Bisexuality is an orientation in which the person experiences sexual attraction to more than one gender[1][2][3][4][5][6][7], sometimes worded as "two or more genders".[8] There is some overlap with other mspec labels like pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, etc. All mspec people have the right to use whatever label(s) they like when defining their orientation.

A group of bisexual people marching in 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Some have defined bisexuality as attraction to one's same gender as well as different genders.[9][10][11] However, this is not true for all bisexuals and has been criticized.[12] For example, a maverique person who experiences attraction to women and to men but not to other maverique people could be bisexual without same-gender attraction. The same would apply to a woman who is attracted to men and some or all nonbinary genders, but not other women; this woman is not same-gender attracted but could still use the bisexual label.[13]

Bisexual people may also be biromantic or they may have a different romantic orientation.

History Edit

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Lucy Wayland wearing the bi-angles symbol at London Pride 1994.

The earliest usage of "bisexual" in English dates to 1824; at this time it meant "having the organs of both sexes in one being" - i.e. intersex in modern terminology.[14]

"Bisexual" as an adjective meaning that a person has attraction to "both sexes" dates to 1914.[14] This was first used as a noun in 1922.[14]

The "bi-angles" symbol for bisexuality was designed by Boston activist Liz Nania in the mid-1980s.[15]

In 1998, the American Institute of Bisexuality was founded by Dr. Fritz Klein.[15]

The bisexual pride flag was created by Michael Page, taking inspiration from the bi-angles symbol, and was first unveiled on 5 December 1998.[16]

Misconceptions Edit

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It is often erroneously believed that bisexual people cannot be attracted to nonbinary genders. However, this is not the case.[4][8][17] While some bisexuals may only be attracted to binary men and binary women, other bisexuals experience attraction to all genders.[5] This means that the definition and usage of "bisexual" has a lot of overlap with other mspec terms such as pansexual, polysexual, omnisexual, etc. All mspec people choose their label according to what feels right for them.

A related misconception about bisexuality is the belief that bisexuals only like cis people, and/or that bisexual communities are not welcoming of trans/nonbinary people. This is again false. Trans-exclusionary bisexual people undoubtedly do exist, as can be said of any community, but this is not an inherent "feature" of bisexual people.[18][19]

Yet another misconception is that bisexual people are inherently promiscuous and/or inherently non-monogamous. This belief is inaccurate and biphobic.[17][20]

Some people claim that bisexuals have access to straight privilege or straight-passing privilege. However, many bisexuals have rebutted these claims, saying that in order to "pass as straight", they must censor/repress who they really are, which causes emotional distress.[21][22][20][23][24] Some have even argued that if straight-passing privilege were real, then many other categories of non-straight people would have access to it, not just bisexual people.[24]

Studies have found that straight people often think bisexual men are actually gay, while thinking bisexual women are actually straight.[25] This denial that bisexuality exists as a legitimate orientation is a major component of biphobia.[26]

Notable bisexual people Edit

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Note: Please only add people who have publicly used the word "bisexual" to describe themselves, and who have not later switched to another label. Please include a source if you add someone!

Activists Edit

Musicians Edit

  • Amanda Palmer, of the musical duo The Dresden Dolls, said in a 2007 interview with After Ellen: "I'm bisexual, but it's not the sort of thing I spent a lot of time thinking about. I've slept with girls; I've slept with guys, so I guess that's what they call it!"[27]
  • Lauren Jauregui, of the musical group Fifth Harmony, came out as bisexual in 2016.[28]

Fictional bisexual characters Edit

Not a complete list. See the page Confirmed mspec characters in fiction for more.

  • In the science fiction podcast series The Bright Sessions, Mark Bryant is bisexual.[29]
  • In the 2004 film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Kate is thought by the other characters to be a lesbian, but she clarifies that she's bisexual.
  • In the medical drama Grey's Anatomy, Callie Torres is bisexual. In season 11 episode 5, she says, "So I'm bisexual! So what? It's a thing, and it's real. I mean it's called LGBTQ for a reason. There's a 'B' in there, and it doesn't mean 'badass'. Okay, it kind of does, but it also means bi."[30]
  • Jacob Frye, one of the protagonists of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, was declared to be bisexual by the official Assassin's Creed Tumblr, in a reblog that stated "Jacob Frye is bisexual. This is canon. The end."[31]

Flags and symbols Edit

The official bi pride flag is comprised of three stripes which are magenta, lavender, and royal blue, with the middle (lavender) stripe being narrower than the other two stripes. This flag was posted online by Michael Page on 5 December 1998.[32]

Since then, some variant bi flag designs have also been proposed, but Page's design remains almost universal.

References Edit

  1. Dellar, Nico M. (23 May 2022). "A Guide to Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity Terms". Retrieved 23 April 2023. External link in |work= (help)
  2. Barker, Meg-John (18 February 2019). "The pansexual revolution?". Rewriting The Rules. Retrieved 25 February 2022. That's why the most accepted definition of bisexuality is 'attraction to more than one gender'.
  3. "FAQ". PAVES. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Understanding Bisexuality". The Trevor Project. 20 August 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Bisexuality Report: Bisexual inclusion in LGBT equality and diversity" (PDF). 2012. p. 3. Bisexuality generally refers to having attraction to more than one gender.
  6. Flanders, Corey E. (March 15, 2017). "Under the Bisexual Umbrella: Diversity of Identity and Experience". Journal of Bisexuality. doi:10.1080/15299716.2017.1297145. Retrieved November 26, 2019. Bisexuality as a single identity encompasses so many different meanings and attractions and behaviors for people who explicitly identify as bisexual. The general identity definition most commonly used, attraction to more than one gender, then leaves room for the multitudinous expressions of that identity.
  7. "What is the definition of "Bisexual"?". Bisexual Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lorna (15 October 2018). "What's In A Name?". Scottish Bi+ Network. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2019. Bi: Attraction to two or more genders, and can include non-binary gender(s). Can also be used for attraction to all genders.
  9. Thomas, Sophie Saint (8 September 2021). "45 Gender- and Sexuality-Related Terms You Absolutely Need to Know". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 23 February 2022. Bisexuality refers to the capacity for attraction to your own gender as well as genders that aren't your own.
  10. New York Area Bisexual Network (11 July 2011). "Bisexual Defined". Flickr.
  11. "Bisexuality, Pansexuality, Omnisexuality, and Polysexuality". Queer 2 Help. 21 September 2020.
  12. Delta (24 June 2023). "interconnections #1: nonbinarity & mspecness". misfit media.
  13. bisexualistheword (30 January 2022). "...So What Is Bisexuality?".
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "bisexual (adj.)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Williams, Isabel (July 2021). "An Introduction to Bisexual and Non-Monosexual Identities and Resource Guide". Campus Pride. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  16. Page, Michael. "The History of the Bi Pride Flag". Archived from the original on 7 June 2001.
  17. 17.0 17.1 GLAAD (April 2016). "Reporting on the Bisexual Community" (PDF). p. 8.
  18. "Bi+ Intersections". Bisexual Resource Center. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  19. "What is Bisexuality?". The Bisexual Index. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Chvany, Pete (22 November 2005). "Dispelling myths about bisexuality". The Advocate: 24.
  21. White, Brittney (7 October 2017). "The Myth of Straight Passing Privilege". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  22. Farnsworth, Stephanie (24 August 2016). "Straight privilege? Check yourself, not bisexual people". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  23. Grannis, Kathryn (22 November 2005). "Bi and invisible". The Advocate: 24.
  24. 24.0 24.1 M., Kravitz (18 October 2020). "The Myth of Bisexual (and "Straight-Passing") Privilege". Medium. Retrieved 25 February 2022. Ergo, if bisexuals in man/woman-appearing relationships have straight-passing privilege, then so do all closeted gay people, gender-conforming gay people (if orientation is not public), gay people who aren’t interested in relationships, and even gay people in same-gender relationships who don’t engage in public displays of affection or announce their relationship status to strangers.
  25. Yost MR, Thomas GD (2012). "Gender and binegativity: men's and women's attitudes toward male and female bisexuals". Arch Sex Behav. 41 (3): 691–702. doi:10.1007/s10508-011-9767-8. PMID 21597943.
  26. Morandini JS, Dacosta L, Dar-Nimrod I (2021). "Exposure to continuous or fluid theories of sexual orientation leads some heterosexuals to embrace less-exclusive heterosexual orientations". Sci Rep. 11 (1): 16546. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-94479-9. PMC 8368213 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 34400657 Check |pmid= value (help). Likewise, denying the existence of bisexuality is a core component of the unique stigma (or biphobia) faced by bisexual folk.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. "Getting Real With Amanda Palmer". AfterEllen. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 Jul 2012.
  28. Mizoguchi, Karen (18 November 2016). "Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui Says She's Bisexual in Open Letter to Donald Trump Supporters". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  29. @brightpodcast (14 January 2018). "Confirmed in the podcast are Adam (gay), Caleb (undefined), Mark (bisexual), Chloe (panromantic asexual), and Rose (gay)". Archived from the original on 23 February 2022 – via Twitter.
  30. Grey's Anatomy, season 11 episode 5, "Bend & Break"
  31. Assassin's Creed official tumblr, February 2016
  32. Page, Michael. "The History of the Bi Pride Flag". Archived from the original on 7 June 2001.