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BISEXUAL
 

Bi Culture Beyond Cliches and Stereotypes
Bisexual Erasure: What It Is, Why It’s a Threat to Health, How to Put an End to It
Huff Post: Bisexual People Are Not Just Going Through a Phase

Why Bisexual Erasure Hurts Us All
GLAAD: Accelerating Bi Acceptance

TED Talk: Bisexual Invisibility

Advocate: How to Make Bisexuals Invisible No More

Hollywood's Loud and Proud Bisexual Celebs
 

 

American Institute of Bisexuality

NY Times Mag: Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists

PBS Video: Bisexuality

Bisexual Celebrities
Info: Pansexual

Psychology Today: Bisexuality Myths Debunked

Video: How I Knew I was Bisexual

NBC News: Bisexual Women With Straight Male Partners Least Likely to Come Out

Cosmo: How to Know If You're Bisexual

Bisexual Youth More Likely to Be Bullied and Commit Suicide

Bi Foundation

Video: Bisexual Spectrum Explained

Book List: Required Reading for Bisexuals

Famous Bisexual People

 

Definition
 

The word “bisexual” describes a person who is romantically, emotionally, and/or sexually attracted to or involved with people of either sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, it can be further defined as an innate, enduring, inherent, and immutable pattern of feelings and behavior in which a person has an affectional, romantic, emotional, spiritual, sensual, and/or sexual affinity or desire for both men and women.

A bisexual person possesses the potential to feel sexually attracted to and to engage in romantic or sexual relationships with people of either sex.

If a person is bisexual, he or she can be attracted to both genders equally, or he or she can be attracted to one gender more than the other, and the degree of attraction may vary over time. So, when entering into an emotional, romantic, or sexual relationship, most bisexuals actually look at the person and not the gender. You might sometimes hear bisexuals described as "going both ways."

 

Bisexual Celebrities

 

Alan Cumming - Actor

Gore Vidal - Writer

Lady Gaga - Musician

Shannon Purser - Actor

Bella Thorne - Actor

Isadora Duncan - Dancer

Angelina Jolie - Actor

Fergie - Musician

Billie Joe Armstrong - Musician

Megan Fox - Actor

John Maynard Keynes - Economist

Bessie Smith - Musician

Shannon Purser - Actor

Debbie Harry - Musician

Frida Kahlo - Artist

Cynthia Erivo - Actor, Singer

Alfred Kinsey - Biologist

Walt Whitman - Writer

Alia Shawkat - Actor

Aubrey Plaza - Comedian

Samantha Irby - Author

 

Jason Mraz - Musician

Auli’i Cravalho - Actor

Halsey - Musician

Alyson Stoner - Musician

Giorgio Armani - Fashion Designer

Greta Garbo - Actor

David Bowie - Musician

Evan Rachael Wood - Actor

Alice Walker - Writer

Amy Winehouse - Musician

Ezra Miller - Actor

Sia - Musician

Lindsay Lohan - Actor

Anna Paquin - Actor

Joan Baez - Musician

Anthony Perkins - Actor

Oscar de la Renta - Fashion Designer

Alec Guinness - Actor

Kyrsten Sinema - Politician

Leonard Bernstein - Musician

Drew Barrymore - Actor

Janis Joplin - Musician

Lilly Singh - Comedian

Andy Dick - Actor

 

Bisexuality in Media

 

Best Films With Bisexual Leads

Groundbreaking Bisexual Characters in Movies and Television

TV Shows With Bisexual Male Characters

Hollywood's Loud and Proud Bisexual Celebrities

Bisexual Celebrities Who Put the 'B' in LGBTQ
 

Sexual Fluidity

 

"Are you going to hold me to some outdated binary of sexuality. I'm bisexual. It's not that complicated."

-Michael Guerin, Roswell

 

As an understanding of bisexual behavior developed, other terms have been used to help define bisexuality. Some individuals may describe themselves as "pansexual," "omnisexual," or "heteroflexible." Some individuals may characterize their sexuality as "fluid." One source describes bisexuality as, "the gift to love someone for who they are regardless of gender."

Bisexuals should not be thought of as "sexually confused," "undecided," or "on the fence." Bisexuality is not a transition phase where a person is still trying make up his or her mind or trying to decide whether he or she is gay or straight. Instead, it is separate and distinct sexual orientation. 

 

Wikipedia: What is Bisexuality?

Bi Culture Beyond Cliches and Stereotypes

Bisexuality: Some Questions Answered

Huff Post: Bisexual People Are Not Just Going Through a Phase

LGBTQ Nation: Difference Between Bisexual and Pansexual

The Bi Life: First Bisexual Dating Show

Video: Crazy Interesting Facts About Bisexuality

Bisexual Elders

Info: Sexual Orientation

Stranger Things: Shannon Purser Comes Out as Bisexual

Hollywood's Loud and Proud Bisexual Celebs

Video: Things Not to Say to a Bisexual

Slate: Bisexuality is Really Not That Complicated

PBS Video: Bisexuality

Info: Pansexual

 

 

Bi, Ambi, Poly, Pan, Omni
 

The prefix "bi" means "both."  So, what do bisexuals mean when they describe their sexual orientation as "both"?  Do they mean they are attracted to both sexes?  Do they mean they are attracted to both men and women?  Or are they trying to say that their orientation is both heterosexual and homosexual?  Considering how "both" is defined, bisexuality may not be as binary or as limiting in its label as some critics might think.

 

The prefix "ambi" also means "both."  An ambisexual might simply be using a different term to mean bisexual.  Compare with terms like ambidextrous (both hands) and ambivert (both introvert and extrovert).

 

Or they might be trying to express something deeper. "Ambi" can also be used to mean "ambiguous" or "ambivalence," which conjures such definitions as "no preference" or "double meaning" or "more than one interpretation" or "mixed feelings" or "contradictory."

 

Other sexual orientations that are similar to bisexuality, that attempt to broaden their field of attraction and avoid reliance on a binary, include polysexuality (many), pansexuality (all), and omnisexuality (all).

 

BI Both
AMBI Both
POLY Many
PAN All
OMNI All

 

Bisexual vs Pansexual: What's the Difference?

Outdated Myths Everyone Still Believes About Bisexuality

Video Talk: Coming Out as Bisexual

My Story: Bisexuality is Very Real and Valid

Info: Sexual Identity

Video: How I Knew I was Bisexual

Healthline: Bisexual and Pansexual

Bi Foundation

How to be an Ally to a Bisexual Person

Bisexual Celebrities: It's Not Just a Phase

Video: Five Stages of Bisexuality

 

 

 

Bisexuality Myths

 

Bisexuality is a widely misunderstood sexual orientation about which there are numerous myths and stereotypes. In light of this, it might be helpful to explore some of the key findings that scientists have uncovered about bisexuality that are not only informative, but can also speak to some of the biggest misperceptions about it.

Bisexuality is real, and it’s not the same as being gay or lesbian. A lot of people deny the existence of bisexuality and assume that everyone who identifies as bisexual is secretly gay. However, the results of several studies reveal that bisexuality involves a distinct pattern of sexual interest and arousal compared to homosexuality.

Women are more likely to identify as bisexual than men. The results of several national US surveys have consistently found that more women than men identify as bisexual. According to the National Survey of Sexual Health & Behavior, 2.6% of men identified as bisexual compared to 3.6% of women.

  

 

Bisexuals experience prejudice from heterosexual persons, as well as gays and lesbians. Bisexual persons are frequently the targets of prejudice, particularly bisexual men. They are often stereotyped as being sexually confused and highly promiscuous.

Contrary to common stereotypes, bisexual people do not necessarily have higher sex drives than everyone else. A 2007 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, that featured a sample of over 200,000 participants, revealed that bisexuals have sex drives that are similar to everyone else.

 

If a bisexual person falls in love, they are equally capable of monogamy, just like the rest of society. Bisexuality is not the manifestation of relational cowardice. Bisexuality isn’t a temporary phase. It is a biological phenomenon in the same manner and fashion as heterosexuality.

Being bisexual does not necessarily mean that you are equally attracted to both men and women. Being bisexual involves a capacity for attraction to men and women, but attraction to each sex does not necessarily have to be equally strong.

 

 

Bi Culture Beyond Cliches and Stereotypes

American Institute of Bisexuality

Video: Five Stages of Bisexuality

NY Times Mag: Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists

Cosmo: How to Know If You're Bisexual

Bisexual Celebrities

Huff Post: Bisexual People Are Not Confused or Closeted

Video: Crazy Interesting Facts About Bisexuality

Info: Pansexual

Video: What Does it Mean to Be Sexually Fluid?

Psychology Today: Bisexuality Myths Debunked

Video: Things Not to Say to a Bisexual

Book List: Required Reading for Bisexuals

Hollywood's Loud and Proud Bisexual Celebs

Video Talk: Coming Out as Bisexual

Info: Sexual Orientation

LGBTQ Nation: Difference Between Bisexual and Pansexual

Famous Bisexual People

Video Talk: My Bisexuality Story

American Institute of Bisexuality

 

 

Random Thoughts on Bisexuality

 

"I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted (romantically and/or sexually) to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree."

-Robyn Ochs

 

“Freud's most radical legacy is the one that is the least actualized. After years of evolution on the topic, he came to the conclusion that any exclusive monosexual interest (regardless of whether it was heterosexual or homosexual) was neurotic. In a sense Freud is saying what second-wave critic Kate Millet said a half-century late: Homosexuality was invented by a straight world dealing with its own bisexuality. By the end of his writings, in 1937, Freud was downright blythe about bisexuality: Every human being's libido is distributed, either in a manifest or a latent fashion, over objects of both sexes.”
-Jennifer Baumgardner, Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics

“People sometimes tell me that they're baffled by bisexuality. They are convinced that having sex with women is totally different from having sex with men. But it isn't. No more than having sex with anyone is totally different from having sex with anyone else.”
-Ariel Levy, The Rules Do Not Apply

“Whether it's men or women, it doesn't really matter. The human race is filled with passion and lust. And to coin terms like heterosexuality, homosexuality or even bisexuality makes no sense to me. You are human. You love who you love. That should be enough. No labels. No stigmas. Nothing. Just be to be.”
-Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

 

American Institute of Bisexuality

NY Times Mag: Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists

PBS Video: Bisexuality

Huff Post: Bisexual People Are Not Just Going Through a Phase

Info: Pansexual

Psychology Today: Bisexuality Myths Debunked

Video: How I Knew I was Bisexual

NBC News: Bisexual Women With Straight Male Partners Least Likely to Come Out

Cosmo: How to Know If You're Bisexual

Bisexual Youth More Likely to Be Bullied and Commit Suicide

Bi Foundation

Video: Bisexual Spectrum Explained

TED Talk: Bisexual Invisibility

Book List: Required Reading for Bisexuals

Advocate: How to Make Bisexuals Invisible No More

Famous Bisexual People

 

 

Many Gays and Lesbians Still Don't Believe Male Bisexuality Is Real

New research has provided evidence that systematic biases exist in how we perceive female and male bisexuality. Researchers found that bisexual men were more likely to be viewed as being attracted to men more than women, while the same was not true for bisexual women. They were viewed as being equally attracted to men and women.

Published in the European Journal of Social Psychology earlier this year, the study’s authors write that the findings, “add to the understanding of the unique bias bisexual people face by showing that perceived attraction patterns may underlie the labeling of bisexual men as ‘actually gay.’

An analysis conducted by the research team also found that heterosexual, lesbian, and gay participants all perceived bisexual men as more attracted to men than to women.

 


“My research interests usually come from something I observe in real life and that was the case here, too. I’m part of the LGBTQ community myself and so are a lot of my friends and one thing I noticed often was that people often don’t believe that bisexual people are actually bisexual,” explained the study’s lead author Thekla Morgenroth, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter and incoming assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University.

They told PsyPost, “There is also research to back this up, showing that bisexual people are stereotyped as confused or that bisexuality is not a real sexual identity. What I found particularly interesting, however, was that this denial of bisexual identities seemed to take different forms for women and men. (I should say here that there are of course also non-binary bisexual people but for the purpose of this study, we just focused on women and men.)”

Morgenroth said that when a woman identifies as bisexual, people think they are actually straight and “maybe experimenting a little bit.” However, when a man identifies as bisexual people believe he just hasn’t come out as gay. They explained that in both cases people are prone to think bisexual people are more attracted to men.

 



The study involved 787 participants who told the research was examining online dating. The participants were shown a profile of a person who identified as bisexual. The viewer indicated if the person profiled favored men or women more.

“One surprising finding was that we didn’t find evidence for erasure of female bisexuality,” Morgenroth told PsyPost. “That might be an indication that female bisexuality is more accepted, but it’s important to keep in mind that this might also just be a reflection of our specific methodology.

A limitation to the study, according to Morgenroth, was that the researchers couldn’t explain why bisexual men were thought to be more attracted to men than women.

[Source: Alex Cooper, Advocate, Sept 2021]

 

Hollywood's Loud and Proud Bisexual Celebs

Bi Culture Beyond Cliches and Stereotypes

Bisexual Erasure: What It Is, Why It’s a Threat to Health, How to Put an End to It
Why Bisexual Erasure Hurts Us All
Accelerating Bi Acceptance
Info: Sexual Identity

Cosmo: How to Know If You're Bisexual

Video Talk: My Bisexuality Story

Bisexual vs Pansexual: What's the Difference?

Huff Post: Bisexual People Are Not Just Going Through a Phase

NY Times Mag: Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists

 

I’m a Bisexual Woman in a Straight Relationship

When I first met my now-husband in April 2016, I made a point of telling him about my history of dating both men and women—and how I came out as bisexual at 16 years old to my friends and family, who offered mixed reactions. My friends were supportive; my family didn't quite understand. But that confusion I first encountered with my parents is a common reaction for anyone who identifies as a bisexual person.

Despite the growing acceptance and appreciation for LGBTQ diversity, many people still don’t actually understand what bisexuality is all about. So, since there's some confusion, I want to clear a few things up: A bisexual is a person who is able to form a relationship (typically physical, romantic, and/or emotional) with those of the same gender or those of another gender. For me, this means that I am attracted to both cisgender men and women, though I am also attracted to others (like trans women and men) on the gender spectrum. I knew I was bisexual long before I had sex or even dated. I knew this because, from a young age, I recognized that I was attracted to all kinds of different people.

 

However, dating as a bisexual woman can be really problematic, as pretty much every bi woman I’ve ever met can tell you. Today, a lot of misunderstanding and stereotypes about bisexuality and bisexuals continue to perpetuate our culture. Here's a short but nowhere near complete list of some of the things that bisexuals tend to hear on a regular basis:

--You just can't make up your mind between men and women.
--You're choosing this identity to attract straight men.
--You are completely sex-crazed.
--You're just in a phase before fully coming out as gay.
--You're not oppressed because you can be in a straight relationship.

 

For the record: None of these are true. But that doesn't stop people from constantly making assumptions about my bisexuality.  When I was single and dating, I received countless messages from straight couples looking for a "fun third" to join them in the bedroom. Typically, these requests started out with the female partner messaging me to get friendly, and then introducing the idea that her boyfriend/husband/male partner really wants to see her with a woman and/or participate in sex with two women. These messages continued to happen regularly despite me explicitly stating in my dating profiles that I was only interested in monogamous relationships.

Then there were the men who only chose to ask me out on a date because they hoped that, as a bisexual woman, I would have a girlfriend (or female friend, even) who would be interested in a threesome with them. Basically, there are a lot of threesome requests for bisexuals. And while I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with a threesome if that is what someone wants to do, it was frustrating to me that I received these requests over and over again, when all I wanted was to find my one true love (emphasis on "one").

 

Sometimes, I even encountered negativity from within my own queer community. Often, when I messaged gay women on dating apps, I received responses that they did not date bisexual women because they had been burned in the past by one who had left them for a man. While I understand why they're hurt, I was similarly hurt by their rejections simply because I was bi and not "totally" gay, as one woman put it.

Additionally, some queer women thought it was unfair that I was able to take advantage of straight-passing privilege when I dated men. It was all very frustrating and painful as I spent my 20s trying to date while also keeping true to my bisexual identity. But all of that turned around when I met Adam, a cisgender heterosexual male, and fell for him hard.

It turns out, though, that this wasn't the end of my bisexual troubles.

Now that I am married to a man, some people assume that I have finally "figured out" which gender I "prefer." Their assumption that my bisexuality all of a sudden disappeared or was no longer an issue—as if I could just choose to no longer be attracted to women now that I am married to a man—made me feel as if my entire identity was erased.

I felt this sudden pressure from the straight community to conform because, all of a sudden, I appeared straight. But I also faced pressure from the queer community, who seemed to reject me because of my new straight appearance. It's like my bisexuality was erased now that I was in a committed relationship with someone, because I finally "chose" a gender—but that's not what happened.

I married a man because my husband happened to be the person I fell in love with and, for the first time in my life, saw a future with. Not because he was male, mind you, but because he was the kindest and most generous human I have ever met in my entire life—and because the support and care I received from him made me into a better version of myself.

 

When we first met, I had been in recovery from alcohol misuse disorder for nine months and had recently had a relapse. Shortly after our first date, when I told him about my bisexual dating history and about my alcohol issues, he gave up alcohol in order to support me. Today, I am proud to say I haven't had a drink since my relapse before our meeting. At the time, I was trying to rebuild my life after hitting rock bottom—and he tirelessly supported my efforts to build a freelance writing career. In fact, he still reads all of my pieces and tells me how great my writing is (though, I admit, he's pretty biased).

Our love story progressed pretty quickly: We moved in together after a month and a half, got engaged a year later, and eloped nine months after that. To me, it felt and still feels like a "when you know, you know" moment.

Before I met my husband, I lived in New York City and attended Pride events every single year with my LGBTQ and ally friends. I loved going to the parade or walking around Greenwich Village and seeing rainbow flags everywhere.

When I met Adam, I had just relocated to Florida and, after we got together, wanted to continue to show up as a bisexual person in my community—which is why I've found it crucial to celebrate Pride Month as loudly and proudly as I can.

As a woman in the queer community who is in a heterosexual relationship, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the appropriate outlet for your queerness is. This can be especially problematic for those who come out as bisexual or pansexual after already being in a heterosexual relationship, as it happened to Diane Glazman, 53, from the San Francisco Bay Area. She was in her mid-20s and already married to a "cis-het guy," as she puts it, before she realized she was bi. Still, it took many years before her queer identity grew enough for her to come out—and it wasn't until she realized that she was alternating her language when talking to straight friends versus queer friends (a practice known as "code-switching") that she knew she had to finally be honest about who she is.

 

"Following the Pulse nightclub shooting, I realized I fully identified as a member of the LGBTQ community and decided to come out publicly as bi," Glazman says. "Until I stopped code-switching with my straight friends, I didn’t realize how much I changed my language or way of being to hide this part of myself. Not doing that has been very freeing."

Having the power to speak out about one’s queer identity while in a heterosexual relationship has been one of the saving graces for me. My husband knew from the very beginning that I identified as bisexual and knew about my history of dating both women and men. For me, just as Glazman says, not hiding this part of myself is freeing.

I accomplish this "not hiding" by attending Pride events in my small community in southwest Florida—and by having my husband join me every year. Shortly after we started dating, we had our first-ever Naples Pride (his first Pride!) and have been going together ever since. This year, he even insisted we go despite a rainy morning and the fact that the event was outside. But we had a lot of fun together, as we always do, and I even got to support a couple of LGBTQ-friendly local businesses by buying a new collar for my dog at a store’s booth during the Pride festival, as well as purchasing my first-ever Bi Pride flag pin, which I now proudly wear on my jacket.

As Dr. Liz Powell, PsyD, a licensed psychologist, author, and speaker based in Portland, OR, put it, after she encouraged me to wear Pride colors or gear that represents my identity, "Put your money where your mouth is and buy things from queer companies."

And I'm not the only queer woman in a relationship with a man who finds it important to celebrate Pride Month—even if they're newbies.  "This year, I got to go to the first-ever Pride event in Martinsville, Virginia, which was awesome to be a part of," says Ceillie Simkiss, from Danville, VA, who is a pan-romantic asexual cisgender woman engaged to a cisgender straight man.

Meanwhile, others prefer to do a little more than just go to Pride events. They organize them!

[Irina Gonzalez, June 2019]

 

TED Talk: Bisexual Invisibility

PBS Video: Bisexuality

LGBTQ Nation: Difference Between Bisexual and Pansexual

Video: Five Stages of Bisexuality

Psychology Today: Bisexuality Myths Debunked

Bi Foundation

Video: How I Knew I was Bisexual

Bisexual Youth More Likely to Be Bullied and Commit Suicide

Info: Sexual Orientation

Video: Bisexual Spectrum Explained

Advocate: How to Make Bisexuals Invisible No More

 

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