True Blood star Anna Paquin slams bi erasure over marriage to co-star Stephen Moyer
True Blood star Anna Paquin addressed the bi erasure she experiences when she’s “assumed to be straight” because she married a man.
The actor came out as bisexual in 2010 shortly after announcing her engagement to her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer, who played her onscreen love interest Bill Compton.
Speaking on The Jess Cagle Podcast, Paquin explained how she felt her “authentic self” was overshadowed and dismissed in light of her marriage.
“It just felt weird being assumed to be straight because I was married to a man,” she said.
“I think the whole bi erasure thing is very real. I understand that people confuse bisexuality with, frankly, open relationships and polyamory, and that’s where people usually enter the conversation.
“They’re like, ‘So what does that mean if you get married?’ Actually, that’s entirely your business what your marriage is like, but that’s a really massive misconception that people throw at you, or that somehow the relationship you’re currently in means [less].”
None of this would be happening if she were married to a woman, she said. “Because if I had fallen in love with a woman and lived happily ever after, I would still be bisexual – that wouldn’t erase that.”
The stigmas surrounding bisexuality are pervasive among straight and queer people alike, and recent studies have shown that bisexual women are particularly vulnerable to poor mental health as a result of this biphobia, invisibility and erasure.
Anna Paquin addressed the double standards she sees when discussing her relationship with straight people, saying they’re often quick to shut down conversations in a way that they don’t with heterosexual relationships.
“People are very quick to say, ‘Oh that’s too much information, don’t tell me what goes on in your bedroom,’ and I’m like, ‘Actually, I didn’t!'” she said.
She explained that coming out as bisexual was not only important for her “to feel like I’m showing up in the world as my authentic self”, but to open doors for others to talk about the topic.
“The more we have open conversations, the more likely it is that there will be a time it just won’t be a big deal,” she said. “But while it’s still literally illegal and punishable by death to be LGBTQ in multiple countries across the planet, yeah, I’m gonna keep talking about it!”