Facing oppression, harassment, and institutionalized discrimination as anti-gay laws remain in place, unquestionably, the global LGBTQI+ community has not had it easy. However, it's perhaps noteworthy that LGBTQI+ individuals in the Arab world possibly have it twice as hard.
In many Arab countries, engaging in same-sex relationships can lead to one's imprisonment. In more severe cases, the death penalty is brought forth.
In the case of bisexuals, the sentiments are worse. Bisexuals are often viewed as "promiscuous" and are expected to resort to the status quo when engaging in relationships, despite their sexual and romantic desires.
In light of this, we spoke to a few Arab woman to understand their views on the matter and asked them to share their thoughts on dating bisexual men. The answers were split between two extremes...
"I recognize this is a personal insecurity"
Sabah Khodir, Egyptian, 26.
"Kefaya I have to wonder 'who’s this girl?' ... now I have to worry about boys and girls? No thanks," Khodir told StepFeed.
When speaking to us, Khodir pointed out that her inability to date a bisexual man has "nothing to do with my prejudices against them".
She explained that it's more about her insecurities as a woman.
"I may be slightly insecure that their interests in separate genders is more expanded."
"I already worry about a man’s interest in women, I wouldn’t want to also be worried about his collective interest in both genders. I recognize this is a personal insecurity; it doesn’t have anything to do with my dislike for a man liking or enjoying other men," Khodir added.
Khodir also believes that bisexual individuals have it harder than other members of the LGBTQI+ community because of "how socially unacceptable the notion of bisexuality is in the Arab world".
"They do not have a safe space to express themselves comfortably with the people they love. They would be hesitant and often afraid of abuse to disclose this information to friends, family and even life-partners. It’s a secret they’d be forced to carry with them."
"It’s not a livable reality for most people."
"As long as we are in a monogamous relationship, I don't really care"
Anonymous, Syrian, 25.
Unlike Khodir, a 25-year-old Syrian woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained that her only condition for dating anyone - bisexual or not - is monogamy.
"As long as we are in a monogamous relationship, I don't really care who they'd be interested in otherwise. It's irrelevant to me who my partner would be interested in, as long as we are both committed and our relationship is exclusive," the 25-year-old told StepFeed.
She went on to explain that bisexual individuals are often faced with two different forms of obstacles from society. On one hand, they aren't accepted by society in the same way LGBTQI+ individuals aren't.
On the other end of the spectrum, bisexual individuals are faced with the burden of informing their partners of their sexual and intimate interests as they may not accept it for a number of reasons.
"For bisexual individuals, I think another layer of struggle is finding partners that are accepting of their orientation, especially that they are attracted to both genders. However, not everyone from both genders is going to be okay with them being bisexual," she said.
"I can't help but think that a bisexual man is not as 'manly' as a straight man"
Sarra, Tunisian, 22.
One woman, who preferred to be identified by her first name only, expressed complete opposition to the idea of dating a bisexual man, stating she would not do it because "I can't help but think that a bisexual man is not as 'manly' as a straight man," Sarra told StepFeed.
The 22-year-old Tunisian woman said that the fact that most women justify their opposition with the "idea of infidelity ... and that people have to worry not only about other women but also men," is ridiculous.
"The reason I personally wouldn't date/marry a bisexual man is first and foremost due to the fact according to my personal religious convictions, homosexuality is a sin," she said.
She went on to explain that she supports an individual's "freedom of choice" but firmly believes that "the traditional nuclear family, which consists of a married couple and their biological child or children, is the ideal people should seek."
"Although I’m not an advocate for gay marriage and believe it’s a sin, I still condemn the invasion of the private lives of those who have different convictions and lifestyles. Anal exams of those who are suspected of homosexuality should be made illegal and their physical integrity should be protected," Sarra said.
"When I am interested in dating someone, I am not so concerned with their dating history"
Zena Ozeir, Lebanese-American, 27.
When asked whether she would date a bisexual man, Ozeir explained that she would be open to it, as she believes it is incredibly healthy and essential for people to explore their sexuality.
"Yes, I would date a bisexual man. I believe that sexuality is fluid, meaning that there are many variations of men and women’s sexual desires and attractions," Ozeir said.
"I think it’s healthy for people to explore their sexuality. When I am interested in dating someone, I am not so concerned with their dating history, and more interested in the person’s character," Ozeir continued.
She added that a majority of people are in constant denial upon encountering a bisexual man. Why?
The concept of masculinity in the Arab world is to blame.
"Particularly, as it relates to bisexual men, I believe that Arab masculinity makes it more taboo for a man to be bisexual because their manhood is called into question. If a man identifies as bisexual, it is assumed that they are gay and just in denial about it," Ozeir said.
"I wouldn't really give those details a second thought"
Anonymous, Palestinian, 20.
A 20-year-old Palestinian woman told StepFeed she wouldn't mind dating a bisexual man as she would not be thinking about his sexual orientation at that moment in time.
"I would not mind dating a bisexual man. I doubt that [his bisexuality] would be something I would be thinking about it at the moment. If I have feelings for someone - regardless of details like their sexuality - I don't really give those details a second thought," she said.
"I will be paranoid 24/7"
Ghiwa Abi Haidar, Lebanese, 22.
The 22-year-old Lebanese national told StepFeed that despite the fact that she accepts bisexual individuals, she, personally, cannot imagine herself engaging in a relationship with a bisexual man.
"No I wouldn't. I accept and respect all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, however my trust issues will not allow me to date a bisexual man. I will be paranoid 24/7," Abi Haidar told us.
She then added that the jealousy radar would be on at all times.
"I don't need that kind of jealousy in my life. It's hard enough I'm already jealous of other women, I can't handle other men too!" she added.