Being bisexual isn’t something that should be difficult to understand, but for many that aren’t part of the bi+ community it is a constant puzzle and even mythical.

Pop music celebrity Aaron Carter has drawn praise and criticism since coming out as bisexual recently, sending out what non-bisexual people believe to be mixed messages or queerbaiting.

Through social media, Carter announced to the world that he was bisexual. Initially not using the term, but would later do so in a radio interview. Since then he has performed at an LGBTQIA+ club, for the first time, where he broke down in tears on stage following strong support.

Carter created controversy in a recent interview with TMZ when he declared his desire to pursue relationships with women. With many saying the bisexual announcement was stunt and ploy to help reignite his music career.

“When it comes down to it, really, I had an experience when I was 17 with a guy, but now as an almost 30-year-old man, I’m going to be pursuing relationships with women,” said Carter.

“I want to pursue a relationship with a woman.”

Many bisexuals suffer from internalised biphobia, still struggling to completely embrace their sexuality, leading to heteronormative choices which Carter might be suffering from.

It’s often here that bisexual people will suffer from bierasure or biphobia as many enter straight perceived relationships that are often due to the environment they find themselves in, which in many cases is from not feeling comfortable within same-sex spaces.

Being bisexual isn’t a sexuality based on the sexual action, attraction to a gender even if you haven’t had physical interaction or are not currently seeking out that intimacy doesn’t invalidate ones bisexuality.

Many bisexual people haven’t had same-sex or different gendered experiences but still identify as bisexual. Attraction, either sexually or romantically to different genders means you are bisexual.

It’s where biphobia towards bisexual people begins to surface, not because people outside of the spectrum don’t understand it, but because they choose not to learn and educate themselves.

Being bisexual doesn’t mean attraction to each gender is 50/50, it is often never the same and varies throughout someone’s lifetime. Many bisexual people have long term monogamous relationships with one gender even though their attraction to other genders never leaves.

It draws on the notion that bisexual people must be seeing or seeking more than one gender at a time to be accepted as bisexual. It’s a common case where someone’s sexuality is deemed invalid or not true based on who their current partner is, or what circles of people they are seeking romance from.

This is biphobia and a common cause of why many bisexual people continue to stay in the closet and not publicly display their bisexuality. If someone isn’t visibly seen with a same-sex partner, they cannot be bisexual, and thus deemed straight.

Or in Aaron Carter’s case, a person is queerbaiting.

If someone identifies as bisexual and wants to date men, they are still bisexual. If they want to date women, they are still bisexual. And if they choose not to date anyone, they are still bisexual.

And if they identify as bisexual, they are bisexual.