One must be careful to judge these shows on what they are, not what they aren’t. What Buffy the Vampire Slayer is is a television show that aired from 1997-2003. What it isn’t is a show made in 2015 when same-sex marriage is being rapidly legalized and bisexuals are just as common, if not more so, than gays/lesbians. Just having a non-straight character at all was almost unheard of when Buffy was airing. I find it 100% believable that someone who has only recently begun to rethink their sexuality as Willow has, particularly in this time period, would choose to identify as the extreme, even if part of her knows she could still potentially be attracted to a man.
Shoutout to all Asexuals, Bisexuals, Pansexuals, Polysexuals and Demisexuals. Who are often shunned because they’re not straight enough, not gay enough or are accused of trying to be “special snowflakes” and that their sexuality isn’t real. Your sexuality is real, your sexuality is valid and you shouldn’t be made to feel otherwise.
The 2015 edition of GLAAD’s annual report on the state of minorities on TV mostly looks like progress … But larger pools of diverse characters make it easier to spot cliches … One observation: It appears that what the website TV Tropes calls “the Depraved Bisexual” is only getting more common.
while gay and lesbian characters on TV increasingly are portrayed in a way that doesn’t make their sexuality into a large and dubious metaphor about their character, bisexuality often is portrayed as going hand-in-hand with moral flexibility. The tropes, as identified by GLAAD:
• bisexual characters who are depicted as untrustworthy, prone to infidelity, and/or lacking a sense of morality; • characters who use sex as a means of manipulation or who are lacking the ability to form genuine relationships; • associations with self-destructive behavior; • and treating a character’s attraction to more than one gender as a temporary plot device that is rarely addressed again.
Studies have revealed widespread stigma and disbelief facing people who identify as bisexual. Women are frequently seen as experimenting when they identify as bisexual; men have it arguably worse because they’re often seen as lying to themselves and others about just being gay. In both cases, the upshot is: untrustworthy…
As for why any of this matters, GLAAD’s Alexandra Bolles explains in the report,
“Though bisexual people make up the majority of the LGBT community, they are less likely than their gay and lesbian peers to be out to the people they love, because their identity is constantly misconstrued as either a form of confusion, a lie, or a contrived and hypersexualized means to an end. Perpetuating these tropes undermines the truth that bisexuality is real and that bi people deserve to be treated equally and fairly.”