According to BBC, a new show started on E! this week called The Bi Life. The reality show follows bisexual participants who live in Barcelona as they “go on dates with other people from outside the group.”
This fact alone makes the show unique, as reality shows typically follow the romantic affairs between housemates rather than outsiders. Although, it may be too soon to see what may unfold between the housemates. It also allows those living in the house to support one another and create friendships between those that have similar experiences.
Many viewers are happy with the show’s outcome so far, as they believe that it covers not just one type of bi-identifying person. Additionally, the show does not feed into any negative stereotypes that are often associated with the bisexual identity, such as that “bisexual people are promiscuous, that [they’re] unfaithful, [or] that [they’re] just in it for sex.”
Shows like The Bi Life are not only important for the LGBTQ+ community, but also for those that do not identify within that world. Without proper representation, those within the LGBTQ+ community are not shown properly, or at all. Creating shows like this increases visibility both in and out of their community, and visibility leads to awareness, education, and knowledge, which can create safer spaces and positive policy changes.
Many people within the United Kingdom, where the show is airing, were previously unhappy when another popular reality show, Love Island, did not have any LGBTQ+ representation. However, Courtney Act, the show’s host, believed it was important to create spaces solely for the LGBTQ+ community first before integrating them in with already-present heterosexual spaces. She stated that the community having their own shows first is imperative in creating proper representations and that without those representations, those in the community will only be compared to the heterosexual community, which will stunt growth and visibility.
The LGBTQ+ community has long desired proper representation in media, whether it be a fictionalized version or reality television. However, the bisexual community has particularly suffered due to the perception that their sexuality switches or turns off based on who they are dating. Whereas, “the truth is that bisexual people remain bisexual regardless of who they’re dating, having sex with or are married to.” Hopefully, with more shows like The Bi Life that cover wide-ranges of the LGBTQ+ community, understanding and acceptance will follow.