Quebec actor François Arnaud, who’s been on “Schitt’s Creek” and “UnREAL” and had a starring role in “The Borgias,” just came out as bisexual ahead of Bi Visibility Day.
He wrote on his Instagram story that people generally assume he’s straight, and that he doesn’t often correct them for a variety of reasons: privacy, worries about oversharing, stigma, fear.
″‘Masculinity’ is a most fragile currency, ready to nose-dive at the first sign of vulnerability or difference,” he wrote. “It’s really fucking scary to give up your privilege.”
But stigma about bisexual people being “indecisive” or just wanting attention persist in part because people are afraid to speak up, he said.
“Silence has the perverse effect of perpetuating those stereotypes, making bi guys invisible, and leading people to doubt that we even exist,” he wrote. “No wonder it’s still a chore to acknowledge bisexuality without getting into lengthy explanations.”
Several of Arnaud’s best-known roles have been LGBTQ+ characters. He played Dan Levy’s character David’s ex-boyfriend Sebastien in a Season 3 episode of “Schitt’s Creek.” And his breakout film role was as a love interest to Xavier Dolan in Dolan’s first film, “Jai tué ma mère.”
HuffPost Canada reached out to a spokesperson for Arnaud, but he declined an interview, saying that his Instagram story communicates everything he wants to say.
Bi Visibility Day is celebrated every year on Sept. 23 in order to fight the stereotypes that people who are bi have to deal with. As Arnaud mentioned, many bi people face gendered expectations, where bi men are considered to be “going through a phase” before declaring themselves gay, and bi women are thought to be actually straight, but trying to attract male attention.
A U.K. study from 2018 found that a quarter of bi women (26 per cent) and almost half of bi men (46 per cent) haven’t revealed their sexual orientation to their families.
According to Statistics Canada, there are almost as many Canadians who identify as bisexual as who identify as gay or lesbian — 1.3 per cent of people between 18 and 59 are bi, while 1.7 per cent are gay.