There’s no doubt when watching television shows which champion queer experience that bisexual erasure remains the unspoken elephant in the room of popular culture. Despite its many advancements in terms of queer visibility, contemporary television struggles to depict bisexual characters in a meaningful and representative way.
Bisexual erasure is the tendency to “ignore, remove or falsify” evidence of bisexuality, and it’s alive and well in popular culture. In the absence of identifiable character representation, bisexual people continue to feel as if they don’t really ‘fit’. The more sexuality is portrayed as a straight/gay binary the more illegitimate attraction to more than one gender feels and the more marginalised bisexual people become. While not wishing to detract from the positive work certain television shows do in their efforts to be as inclusive of the LGBT experience as possible, these efforts make it even more frustrating to see bisexual experience represented in a way which wholly fails to grapple with the identity in queer-positive television. Looking at a handful of shows, this blog post demonstrates examples of bi-erasure in popular television shows and explores why this issue matters.
what about the 'b' word? bisexual erasure from 'the l word' to 'orange is the new black'