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A Bisexuality Primer
"Bisexuality 101"

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Intro to Bisexuality  |  Definitions of Bisexuality  |  FAQs  |  History of Bisexuality
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  An Introduction to Bisexuality 

What is Bisexuality?

Bisexuality is the potential to feel sexually attracted to and to engage in sensual or sexual relationships with people of either sex. A bisexual person may not be equally attracted to both sexes, and a degree of attraction may vary over time. Self-perception is the key to a bisexual identity. Many people engage in a sexual activity with people of both sexes, yet do not identify as being bisexual. Likewise, other people engage in sexual relations only with people of one sex, or do not engage in sexual activity at all, yet consider themselves bisexual. There is no behavioral “test” to determine whether or not one is bisexual.

Bisexual Identity: Is it just a phase?

Some people believe that a person is born heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, and their identity is inherent and unchangeable. Others believe that sexual orientation is due to socialization or a conscious choice. Others believe that these factors interact. Because biological, social, and cultural factors are different for each person, everyone’s sexuality is highly individual, whether they are bisexual, gay or lesbian, heterosexual, or asexual. The “value” placed on a sexual identity should not depend on its cause.

Many people assume, solely, that bisexuality is just a phase people go through. In fact, any sexual orientation can be a phase. Humans are diverse, and individual, sexual feelings and behavior can change over time. The creation and consolidation of a sexual identity is an ongoing process. Since we are generally socialized as heterosexuals, bisexuality is a stage that many people experience as part of the process of acknowledging their homosexuality. Many others come to identify as being bisexual after a period of living as a gay man or lesbian woman. An orientation that may not be permanent is still valid for the period of time that it is experienced. Bisexuality, like homosexuality and heterosexuality, may be either a transitional step in the process of sexual discovery, or a stable, long-term identity.

How common is Bisexuality?

It is not easy to say how common bisexuality is, since little research has been done on this subject; most studies on sexuality have focused on heterosexuals or homosexuals. It is said that almost everyone has had a thought or a sexual fantasy relating to someone of the same sex, at some time in their life. Some bisexual people feel the need to express their bisexuality more than others. Based on research done by Kinsey in the 1940s and 1950s, as many as 15-25% of women and 33-46% of men may be bisexual, based on their attractions and activities.

Bisexuals are in many ways, a hidden population. In our culture, it is generally assumed that a person is either heterosexual or homosexual. Because bisexuality does not fit into these standard categories, it tends to be denied or ignored. When it is recognized, bisexuality is often viewed as being “part heterosexual or homosexual, or as a “confused state,” rather than being a unique identity. Bisexuality threatens the accepted way of looking at the world by calling into question the validity of rigid sexual categories, and encourages acknowledgment of the existence of a diverse range of sexuality. Since there is not a stereotypical bisexual appearance or way of acting, bisexuals are assumed to be either heterosexual or homosexual. In order to increase awareness, bisexuals have begun to create their own visible communities.

  Definitions of Bisexuality       Back to the top  |

Proposed by participants of the first annual BC Conference on Bisexuality, held in 1996.

  1. Honoring both sexes.

  2. Having the capacity to be sexually / emotionally attracted to and "fall in love" with both men and women, and from this place challenge the notion of only 2 genders - to let go of / stand against the dualities.

  3. Being free of the lies that once surrounded me. BEING ME!

  4. That I am attracted to people and their personalities first and what gender they are is secondary.

  5. Being open to new desires and options for sexual and emotional fulfillment constantly. Finding the erotic potential that both genders - and all those in between - can offer.

  6. I am attracted to men and women. I can't choose. I have tried to ignore my attraction to women (when I was younger) to "fit in" with society, but my attraction doesn't go away.

  7. The recognition that at times I am attracted to one sex and at other times the other sex. This attraction is based on the individual not on their sex.

  8. 1. Being open to sexual relationships with both men and women, in theory, if not in practice. 2. Being sexually attracted to people of both sexes.

  9. Having been in relationships with men and women / or having feelings of attraction for both.

  10. Being able to love a person despite what their genitals look like.

  11. The need, capability, desire to appreciate emotionally and sexually both sexes. Being "balanced", embracing the masculine and feminine in everyone.

  12. That I can fuck who I want without seeking some else's (society's) approval. If I'm attracted to someone, I'm attracted to them - their gender is a bonus and pleasing whichever it is, but their soul goes further. I've been in love with both and it feels the same. I'm capable of being attracted to / falling in love with either.

  13. "Always being lucky!" OR feeling strongly attached emotionally and aroused sexually by both men and women, either at the same time or at different times. It means being me.

  14. Enjoying my masculinity and femininity. My hetero and homo along the continuum. Receiving and giving affection to all.

  15. FREEDOM OF A CHOICE! VISION of a Pan-Sexual community OR Pan Sensual community. Queer is a better word or Pan-Sexual meaning Queer Community (example grass-roots politics).

  16. 1. To be able to love in equal and all capacities, both genders or sexes. 2. To have the capacity to find attractive characteristics of both genders or sexes.

  17. The ability to be attracted to both men and women.

  18. Bi: i.e. dual, of sexualities. I don't really use this word for self-identity. I'm a person with feelings and this includes sexual feelings. It's never been so much a matter of gender (or genitals), but of an attraction. Except for reproductive feelings.


  20. My inner self tells me that I may love and be loved by both men and women. And that I need to love those parts of myself. For me it doesn't mean that can't and don't want to be monogamous with one soul mate.

  21. Loving of being attracted to people as fellow humans, not differentiating between male and female. On some days. Other days it means sometimes I lust after males sometimes I lust after females. Other days it just means lots more to play with!

  22. Growth. Balanced. The best of both worlds. Well-rounded. Lucky. Scared. Happy. As human as everyone else.

  23. It's challenging the social construct of seeing the world in a dual-polar way or an either or way. (of course I therefore have a problem with the word bisexual because it implies dual-polar thinking)

  24. It's a problematic word - initially my sexuality means to me I don't have a gender pre-requisite - and that eludes those of us who are 100% male or 100% female - therefore the problem I have with the world is the assumption of polar opposites when it comes to gender - bi = 2. I think gender is like sexuality in that there's a hell of a lot more than 2 options.

  25. The appreciation of female and male beauty taken to the extreme of wanting and/or enjoying physical contact. Sometimes emotional bonds occur.

  26. Being able to fall in love with either a man or a woman (not necessarily at the same time!) Being "out", being proud and unfortunately right now it means feeling alone in a sea of straights and gays.

  27. Going with spirit rather than genitals - the opportunity to love all human beings on even level. Inclusively and wholeness rather than exclusivity and fragmentation. Extended family, tribal communities. Honoring the bisexual aspects of nature and healing self and planet.

  28. Giving myself permission to be attracted to and love whoever I choose - without limiting myself based on gender.

  29. Self-acceptance; including all aspects of the nature of my sexual and emotional attractions towards fulfillment and complete personhood. The wonder, delight and open appreciation of the beauty of all human beings, embracing the wide spectrum of gender and sexuality. The relinguishment of the need for control and imposed order based on a paradigm caught in fear and scarcity. Moving closer to a transcendence in consciousness that is attuned to the reality and power of love as a primary universal force.

  30. The bridge between two worlds of sexuality, a spiritual / sexual line between gay and straight - men and women, women and women, men and women. An open world of sexual potential, and relationship potential, a wider range of intimacy.

  31. The freedom of Expression in the Sexual, Spiritual Emotional realm of the universe where there are no Boundaries and limitations. We are all one.

  32. Loving and being loved as an equal by both (or many different) sexes. Transcending the physical body for a "higher" love. Non-judgmental life-style! My identity is a non-identity. Perhaps it's "Omni-sexual".

  33. Being able to express my self emotionally. Spiritually - sexually with my partner of either gender and to feel safe and comfortable. Love is genderless.

  34. Capable of loving and having intimate relationships with people without letting gender interfere with the relationship.

  35. Being attracted to both men and womyn. Being capable of loving womyn and men. Refusing to see sexuality as an either / or choice.

  36. Loving people, not gender. Choice. Allowing sexuality into all relationships I choose to do so in.

  37. Being able to be attracted to and be intimate with members of both genders. It is the capacity to enjoy the spectrum of human sexuality.

  38. Bisexuality means not arbitrarily eliminating half the population for potential partners. It means relating to people as individuals, not as gender.

  Frequently asked questions     Back to the top  |

Taken from a variety of sources including the Carleton GLB group and soc.bi.

Bisexuality - Some Questions Answered
Joe Woodhouse & Karina Roberts
From the East Coast Bisexual Network. PO Box 639 Cambridge, MA., 02140
Reprinted without permission

So what exactly is a Bisexual?
A Bisexual is someone who is sexually & emotionally attracted to people of both genders.

So they're equally interested in men & women?
No not necessarily. Some are, some aren't. Some say the're attracted to men & women in different ways, others say gender just isn't relevant to who the're interested in.

Doesn't being interested in both genders mean they're only half as interested in either?
Most Bisexuals will probably say that when they're interested in someone, they're interested in them 100%. Just like you & I.

Aren't people really either heterosexual or homosexual?
No, It's well recognized in medical & psychological circles that bisexuality is a very real & genuine sexuality. But anyway, there are plenty of bisexuals around who can tell you that.

Isn't it just a phase?
No more than being heterosexual or homosexual is.

But isn't it a transition to being lesbian or gay?
Maybe for some people. Some lesbians or gay men "come out" as Bisexuals first, but most Bisexuals remain bisexual for the rest of their lives.

But surely they're just confused, they haven't made up their minds yet?
Don't make the mistake of assuming there are only 2 options to choose from. Bisexuality is an option in its own right. A lack of information about Bisexuality is probably the cause of most confusion a bisexual might feel.

Didn't Freud think we're all Bisexual?
Not quite- Freud thought we were all born Bisexual, and may develop a preference later in life, but most people have had at least some feeling for both genders at some stage in their lives.

Suppose I have - does that mean I'm bisexual too?
Strictly speaking, maybe. But what you call yourself is up to you. Some may feel the attraction they feel for one gender isn't enough to call themselves Bisexual. Some people have other reasons for not identifying as Bisexual, as well.

Like what?
Some people may want to feel "normal" and think of themselves as heterosexual. Others for political or social reasons may wish to identify with the Lesbian & Gay communities.

Doesn't the term "Lesbian & Gay" include "Bisexual" as well?
That's a hot issue for some people. Some people think so, but there are plenty (bisexual & otherwise) who disagree. Lesbians fought for the right to be explicitly names, because they felt invisible. That battle is still going on for Bisexuals.

So why aren't the Bisexuals more visible?
Well, no-one walks around with "Bisexual" stamped on their foreheads. It's very easy to miss them. If you see 2 people of the same gender kissing, you don't think to ask if they might be bisexual. And they might be.

Similarly, if you see a man & a woman kissing, either of them might be bisexual too. Also there's a real lack of information about bisexuality in our libraries & in the media. And there are very few organizations that specifically address Bisexual issues. Some bisexual people have felt as if no-one knows they even exist.

Haven't they received a lot of publicity for spreading AIDS?
Bisexuals have been targeted as scapegoats by people who think of AIDS as being a "Gay disease". Bisexuals are thought to be a "bridge" group between the heterosexual & homosexual communities. Let's get things straight (forgive the pun). One thing spreads AIDS: taking someone else's bodily fluids (like blood & semen) into your body. The AIDS virus neither knows nor cares what your sexuality is. Safe sex will go a long way towards helping stop the spread of AIDS, and everyone bisexual, straight or whatever needs to pay attention to that.

OK, I've heard what you've said so far. Where's the Bisexual Movement?
Historically speaking, Bisexuals have been part of the Lesbian & Gay Movement right from the beginning. And they're still there now, too. They're fighting the same sorts of issues: discrimination based on who they love. The Bisexual Movement is still young, but give it time.

More FAQs: Source Unknown

What do you mean by "bisexual" anyway?
Bisexual can be used to describe people who have erotic, affectionate, romantic feelings for, fantasies of, and/or experiences with both men and women, and people who self-identify as bisexuals for these or any other reason.

Aren't bisexuals just going through a phase of being confused about their sexuality?
Bisexuals are people who are attracted to both sexes; their reasons why they are attracted to one sex may be very different from their reasons why they are attracted to the other, and they may not be equally attracted to both sexes.

However, many of us are absolutely certain that we are attracted to both sexes; there is no confusion. It is natural for people who are coming to terms with a sexuality which is not society's norm to be feel confused. For some people, bisexuality is a phase between homosexuality and heterosexuality (and the individual in question could be going in either direction); for others it can just be a brief experimentation. But for many people bisexuality is a lifelong, committed sexual orientation.

And even for those who ultimately do not stay bisexual for life, that does not make it any the less valid as a sexual orientation. Many people have reported that their sexual orientation has shifted over time; sexuality is dynamic, not fixed. For some people it may be a small shift, others a major change of lifestyle; but this does not make the points in between in any sense "wrong". Life is a continuous process, and few of us remain exactly the same over long periods of time.

Aren't bisexuals really denying their homosexuality?
It's difficult for some lesbian/gay people to come to grips with their homosexuality, and for a while, dating MOTOS may make life seem a little more "realistic" and bearable. Let's face it, coming out of the closet and living as a homosexual is no picnic; between the sanctioned discrimination which gay/bi men face of being in a perceived high risk group for AIDS, and the social standards of love, courtship, and marriage, being gay at times takes more energy than humans should be asked to give.

But coming out bisexual is no easy matter, either. Bisexuals have to face loved ones who have relied in the past on their attraction to them being constant, and who have to assure them that it will be there in the future. Bisexuals deal with friends who assure them that their attraction to MOTSS is just "a way of avoiding intimacy" or that their attraction to motos is "internalized homophobia". Bisexuality is not an "easy way out," a "denial,"or a "middle ground." It is for some people the hardest decision they will ever make.

Some bisexuals self-identify as gay or lesbian; for them, their primary sexual interest lies in members of their same sex. But "gay" and "lesbian" (and "bisexual" for that matter) are labels created by a homophobic, biphobic, heterosexist society to create separate categories of "us" and "them." People are unique; they do not fit into these comfortable little categories. But, attracted to or involved with MOTOS or not, revealing an interest in MOTSS will often result in gay-related discrimination and exclusion.

Are bisexuals equally attracted to both sexes?
Many bisexuals feel they have a "preference" for one gender over another, but they do not deny their attraction for that other gender. Some bisexuals, however, have no such preference, and instead focus their attractions on qualities they see in an individual, regardless of that person's gender. Sometimes these qualities involve gender, sometimes not. For example, some people find men attractive as men, and women attractive as women; others find people's gender irrelevant.

Do bisexuals have to have lovers of both sexes to be bisexual?
Sometimes it is useful to distinguish bisexual identity and bisexual behaviour. People who call themselves bisexual are saying that they are attracted to both men and women. They don't necessarily have to act on that attraction. Conversely there are many people who have lovers of both sexes, but who don't think of themselves as bisexual.

Are bisexuals capable of monogamy?
It depends on the individual. It's like asking "Can a straight person be monogamous?" Some bisexuals are monogamous, and some aren't. Monogamy is the socially sanctioned option with respect to relationships, but then so is heterosexuality. It should be up to every individual, of any sexuality, to choose the lifestyle which is right for them.

But if they're monogamous, how can they be bisexual?
A bisexual deciding to be monogamous is not deciding to be "gay" or "straight." He/she is still bisexual; he/she has chosen a PERSON to live his/her life with, not an orientation, preference or idealogue. It is important to recognize that he/she still FEELS bisexual.

Isn't everyone really bisexual?
Not by any useful definition. A useful definition of bisexuality might be, anyone who has serious relationships with members of both sexes, and anyone who identifies as bisexual. It is possible to suggest that everyone has some potential for attraction to both sexes, but since most people never act on it, this is pretty irrelevant.

If someone says that they are straight, or (gay/lesbian) then for you to insist that they are "really" bisexual but perhaps just don't realise it is to deny them their self-identity. Everyone should be free to define their own identity for themselves, which invalidates this kind of generalisation.

Why do you think bi issues are different from gay issues, since all your problems come from the same source, homophobia?
While homophobia is a bi issue, we do also have concerns different from those of the gay community; the most striking being that of dealing with prejudice from the gay community itself!

Among our other concerns are:

  • dealing with the emotion of significant others who we do so deeply love yet who cannot understand our attraction to members of the other sex.
  • being accepted as bisexual if we only have one partner.
  • dealing with a lot of myths which surround bisexuality.

Why would lesbians/gay men discriminate against bisexuals?
Because we are sometimes perceived as "hiding," a sense that some bisexuals use their bisexuality to look heterosexual at work, in straight social settings, to enjoy the "heterosexual privilege" that is part of the social norm. Also, bisexuals are sometimes seen as blurring the issues and weakening the lesbian and gay movement. Naturally, bisexual activists disagree with this view! A further reason is that some lesbians and gay men also have sex with MOTOS (while not identifying as bisexual). Often they can't admit this in the lesbian and gay communities.

  History of the Bisexual Movement     Back to the top  | 

By U.S. activist Liz Highleyman, from the Concise Encyclopedia of Homosexuality.

The Birth of the Bi Movement

The contemporary bisexual movement began in the early 1970s, although earlier communities of bisexuals did exist, such as the Bloomsbury community of artists and writers at the turn of the century. Early bisexual groups tended to focus broadly on sexual liberation (for example, the Sexual Freedom League); members of these groups were often more closely connected to heterosexual ``swinger'' communities than to gay or lesbian communities. Many bisexuals were also associated with the early gay liberation movement, which at the time advocated sexual freedom and the potential for people to be sexual with both genders. As gay activists began to adopt an either/or ``ethnic'' identity-based model of sexuality, however, bisexuals were faced with exclusion from parts of the gay movement, and some sought to create specifically bisexual communities and organizations.

The ``Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality'' (by the Quaker Committee of Friends on Bisexuality) appeared in _The Advocate_ in 1972, announcing the new bi consciousness to gay readers. This consciousness was influenced by the shift of activism toward personal concerns following the end of the Vietnam war, by increasing gay visibility, by the feminist and civil rights movements, and by the cultural focus on paradigm-smashing and self-discovery (often aided by mind-altering drugs). This was the era of ``bisexual chic,'' with a rash of articles in the popular press about bisexuality, and high visibility of bisexual rock stars and artists. The media focus was on the club scene and celebrities rather than on bisexual liberation politics.

The first bisexual groups developed in the 1970s in large U.S. cities. The National Bisexual Liberation Group was founded in New York in 1972 and claimed a large membership in the U.S. and abroad by 1975; it published ``The Bisexual Expression,'' probably the earliest bi newsletter. New York City's Bi Forum began in 1975, and Chicago's BiWays formed in 1978. The San Francisco Bisexual Center was founded in 1976, and from the start engaged in political activism. Throughout this period, bisexuals also continued to be active in gay and lesbian groups and events.

The early 1980s also saw the development of a bisexual movement in the U.K. and Europe. Though this movement paralleled the US movement in some ways, the U.K. and European groups often arose from different roots and followed different courses. The London Bisexual Group was founded in 1981 by men active in the anti-sexist men's movement. The Edinburgh Bisexual Group formed in 1984 as an outgrowth of a lesbian/gay/bisexual socialists conference. The discussion later in this pamphlet regarding trends in the bi movement refers specifically to the movement in the USA.

Changes in the 1980s

While the groups of the 1970s were often predominantly male, many of the 1980s organizations were founded and led by women. Bisexual women had begun to experience alienation from lesbian communities as separatism and polarization around sexual orientation increased in the late 1970s. For many bi women, bisexuality was an integral part of their feminist politics and they wanted their groups to reflect this emphasis. The Boston Bisexual Women's Network (formed in 1983) and the Seattle Bisexual Women's Network (founded in 1986) are based on these principles.

The formation of bisexual groups proceeded steadily throughout the 1980s. Washington DC's bisexual group began in the early 1980s. Philadelphia's Bi Unity, the Wellington Bi Women's Group in New Zealand, and groups in Germany and Australia formed in the mid-1980s. Umbrella groups were formed to facilitate regional organizing, including the East Coast Bisexual Network in 1985 and the Bay Area Bisexual Network in 1987. The first groups devoted specifically to bisexual political activism were formed, including San Francisco's BiPol (1983), Boston's BiCEP (1988), and New York City's BiPAC.

AIDS had a profound effect on the bisexual movement. Bi men were stigmatized as spreaders of HIV from homosexuals to the ``general population.'' In the late 1980s, as awareness of AIDS in women increased, bisexual women began be to stigmatized as spreaders of HIV to lesbians. These developments spurred discussions about the distinction between sexual behavior and sexual identity (for example, many self-identified bisexual women did not have sex with men, while many self-identified lesbians did). Activists and public health officials alike began to emphasize behavior, not identity, as a risk factor for HIV infection. Many men who had been leaders in the bisexual movement became ill or died, and many other bi men and women turned their attention to AIDS-related activism and service work.

National and International Consolidation

In 1987, a call was put out for a bisexual contingent to the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights. Seventy-five people participated in what proved to be the first U.S. nationwide bisexual gathering. Discussion began about creating a national or continental organization of bisexuals. Networking continued following the march, and the North American Bisexual Network in formation (NABN) was born. In June 1990, BiPOL organized the first U.S. National Bisexual Conference in San Francisco, with over 400 attendees. The conference was comprised of over eighty workshops on a broad range of subjects, including organizational meetings; as a result of these meetings, NABN was formalized as the North American Multicultural Bisexual Network (NAMBN). After a year of discussion and re-organization, NAMBN was renamed in the summer of 1991 to BiNet: the Bisexual Network of the USA. In October 1991 the First International Conference on Bisexuality was held in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and in October 1992 the Second International Bisexual Conference took place in London, bringing together bisexuals from Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. The second U.S. National Conference on Bisexuality is being held in April 1993 in conjunction with the March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, and the third international bisexual conference is planned for June 1994 in New York City in conjunction with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (widely considered to be the birth of the modern gay rights movement).

New Directions in the 1990s

In the late 1980s and early 1990s students and youth became more active in the bisexual movement. College students began to include bisexuals by name in campus gay and lesbian organizations, with over 100 such groups in existence by the end of the decade. At the same time, a new ``queer movement'' had begun to take shape. Young activists, many of whom were involved with the AIDS activist group ACT UP, formed Queer Nation in the summer of 1990. With its emphasis on diversity, radical politics and direct action, this movement brought out people who had become disillusioned by the assimilationism and apoliticism of existing gay and bi organizations. Parts of the new movement emphasize the inclusion of bisexuals, transgenderists and other sexual minorities under the queer umbrella; other parts are less welcoming to those who are not exclusively homosexual.

At the turn of the decade there was a marked increase in the appearance of new books on bisexuality, which until then had been scarce and rather clinical. Groundbreaking anthologies included _Bisexual Lives_ (Off Pink Publishing, 1988), _Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out_ (Alyson Publications, 1990) and _Closer to Home: Bisexuality and Feminism_ (Seal Press, 1992). In 1991 the bi movement gained its first glossy national magazine _Anything That Moves: Beyond the Myths of Bisexuality_, which joined the many long-lived local newsletters such as Boston's _BiWomen_, Seattle's _North Bi Northwest_, and Philadelphia's _Bi Focus_.

The early 1990s saw a proliferation of appearances by bisexual people in the U.S. and U.K. media, including such popular national talk shows as ``Donahue'' and ``Geraldo.'' Universities have begun to include bisexuality in their gay and lesbian studies courses, and a few have even introduced courses specifically devoted to bisexuality. National and international bisexual networking has been aided by the creation of electronic computer mailing lists such as the BISEXU-L and BIFEM-L lists, the soc.bi newsgroup on Usenet, and numerous private bulletin boards. There are ongoing projects to record the history of bisexual movement and promote networking, such as the International Bisexual Archives in Boston and the International Directory of Bisexual Groups.

Looking Ahead

Moving toward the mid-1990s, several issues are on agenda for the bisexual movement. There is a growing emphasis on multicultural organizing and activism, and many are working actively to increase the participation of people of color in bisexual communities. Transgendered and differently-gendered people have long been active within bisexual communities, but have often remained hidden and been excluded where only single-sex groups exist. Today, their concerns are receiving more explicit attention, and many transgendered and non-transgendered bisexuals are focusing on breaking down polarized gender categories. There is persistent tension within the movement between the desire to proudly claim a bisexual identity and build strong bisexual communities, and the desire to lessen society's divisive emphasis on labels and categories. Some bisexual activists focus on the category-smashing aspect, insisting that sexuality and gender should be viewed as a spectrum, that there is no ``us'' and ``them.'' Other bi activists emphasize the need to fight societal homophobia, as well as fighting biphobia among gay men and lesbians.

As the bisexual movement has grown, so too has the number of strategies and perspectives on bisexual organizing. Many bisexuals have focused on increasing bisexual inclusion within the lesbian and gay movement and communities; this is especially true of bisexuals who formerly identified as lesbian or gay themselves. The 1993 March on Washington will be the first U.S. national action to explicitly include bisexuals, and is being seen as a big step forward for the bisexual movement. Other bis are interested in creating a broader movement for sexual liberation (including all sexual and gender minorities) in which bisexuals will be equal participants, rather than seeking integration into existing gay and lesbian organizations. Some wish to create a movement that will focus on bisexuals and their unique issues, while at the same working in alliance with gay men, lesbians, and other oppressed groups when our struggles coincide. Still others are interested in organizing and mobilizing bisexuals who do not identify with or have ties to gay and lesbian communities. All these strategies can make a contribution as the bisexual movement and its many communities grows and diversifies.

  Reading List    Back to the top  |

Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out  (Loraine Hutchins, Lani Kaahamanu).
Stories and essays of over seventy men and women, from all walks of by life describe what it is like to be bisexual. Very bi positive reading, Very Highly Recommended.

Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions  (edited by Naomi Tucker, Liz Highleyman, Rebecca Kaplan)
Very good book, edited by bisexual women. This book is the logical next step to Bi Any Other Name. There is a diversity of analysis from feminist and anarchist, to anecdotal and poetic personal stories. This book sifts out many different levels of bisexual identity, and seeks to define what bisexual is in the only way possible, with as many definitions from as many different people from all walks of life. Super Book. Very Highly Recommended.

Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality  (Martin S. Weinberg, Colin J. Williams, Douglas W. Pryor)
Very detailed book based on the study of bisexual lives, relationships, marriage, jealousy, being “out”, and the nature of dual attractions. Chapters on sexual profiles and managing identities. Large section on AIDS and what bisexuals face, and adapting to the new world. Highly recommended.

Bisexuality & HIV/AIDS: A Global Perspective  (Tielman, Carballo, Hendriks)
Essays on male bisexuality and HIV/AIDS in various regions. Great reading on statistics and the differences of bisexual living in the world. Recommended

The Bisexual Option: Second Edition  (Fritz Klein, MD, forward R.U Reinhardt, PhD)
Good reading on definitions of bisexuality, very good section on bisexuality and health, examples of a healthy and unhealthy bisexuals. Section on sociological findings and bisexuals in history. Recommended.

The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses   (Amity Pierce Buxton)
This self-help book for the heterosexual half of “mixed-orientation couples” by an educator/counselor and ex-”straight spouse”. Acknowledges that bisexuality is a distinct orientation and is not necessarily a transitional state. Includes thoughtful chapters on alternative marriage styles and on parenting issues. Recommended for intended readers, and for bi spouses to read before giving it to them. Recommended

Vice Versa --- Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life.  (Marjorie Garber)
A good book that examines the semantics of bisexuality, politics- feminist and otherwise, AIDS history and pop culture. Further explores Greek mythology, Freud, Kinsey, Simon LeVey and The Bell Curve. Very good reading, you need awhile to really get into it. Recommended

Out & About Campus: Personal Accounts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender College Students  (edited Kim Howard, Annie Stevens)

The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities (Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt)
Beyond the often unrealistic ideal of lifetime monogamy lies an uncharted jungle of delightful options - everything from committed multi-partner relationships to friendly sex, casual sex, group sex and more. In this groundbreaking volume, authors Easton and Liszt provide a road map for exploring this sometimes difficult, often rewarding territory. Warm, informative details about how to get your needs met, manage your jealousy, make agreements that work for all concerned, talk to your friends and relatives, and build a life full of all the sex and love you want. Highly recommended.

Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents and Their Families  (Gigi Kaeser, et al)

Bisexuality in Men and Women: Two Lives to Lead  (Fritz Klein, MD.,Timothy J, Wolf, PhD)
Covers theoretical issues, psychological aspects of bisexuality, women and men in marriages. Based on a intensive research surveys, lots of comparisons and percentages, average reader might find it a bit too clinical. OK.

Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith  (edited Deb Kolodny)
Many works are devoted to the specific spiritual inheritance of heterosexual women, lesbians and gay men. This is the first such anthology in which bisexual persons speak for themselves. Blessed with the possibility of a love which transcends the socially constructed boundary of gender identity (masculine/feminine) and the biologically constructed boundary of sex (male/female), bisexual persons speak to a number of theological principles as no others can. Reflecting a wide spectrum of religious traditions and spiritual paths -- including Buddhist, Hindu, 12-step, Pagan, Indigenous, Christian and Jewish -- the 32 contributors speak about the intersections of their faith practice and their sexual orientation.

Bi Lives : Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories  (edited Kate Orndorff)

Bi Resource Guide: 4th Edition  (edited Robyn Ochs)

Closer to Home: Bisexuality & Feminism  (edited Elizabeth Reba Weise: limited availability, paperback May 1992)

Plural Desires: Writing Bisexual Women's Realities  (edited Nancy Chater, Dionne Falconer, Sharon Lewis)

Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex  (edited Pat Califia)

Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits: Secrets of Sustainable Intimate Relationships (Deborah M. Anapol)

Breaking the Barriers to Desire: New Approaches to Multiple Relationships (Kevin Lano)

Loving More: The Polyfidelity Primer (Ryam Nearing)

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For more bi books, check out the books section at bisexual.org.

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