Bisexual Resource Guide
Bisexuality: A broad label encompassing the spectrum of romantic, sexual and/or emotional attraction to multiple genders, gender identities and sexes.
In the scientific language of sexual orientation, bisexuality encompasses both heterosexual (different-sex) and homosexual (same-sex) attraction. In everyday language, depending on a person’s culture, background, and politics, this translates into a variety of common definitions including:
* attraction to more than one gender
* attraction to both same/similar genders and different genders
* attraction to two or more genders
* attraction to all genders and/or sexes
* attraction regardless of gender or sex
* attraction to men and women
* love beyond gender
Some important points to note:
* A bi person may or may not be attracted to different sexes or genders in different ways or to different degrees.
* A bi person may or may not have a preference for different sexes or genders more than others.
* A bi person may or may not be attracted to different sexes or genders at some times and not others.
* Attraction to both the same and different means attraction to all. Bisexuality is inherently inclusive of everyone, regardless of sex or gender.
* saying Bisexuality includes both "both heterosexual (different-sex) and homosexual (same-sex) attraction or behavior" is very different from saying bi means part straight and part gay.
The Bisexual Umbrella: An umbrella term is a word or phrase covering a broad range of related things that are different from each other but all belong to the same category. Bisexuality is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of identities, labels, terms and attractions that all fit the scientific definition of bisexuality.
Just as there are millions of ways to be straight, gay/lesbian, or asexual, there are as many ways to be bi as there are bi people. No one word can fully capture the nuances of personality, culture, beliefs, or personal preference; no word should try to. The term bisexuality makes no such pretense— it is a general and inclusive term that encompasses everyone; all sexes and all genders. That does not mean that bi people are attracted to everyone, simply that bi people’s attractions aren’t limited by sex or gender.
Some people under the bi umbrella use different labels to describe their sexual orientation, such as polysexual (attraction to multiple genders, but not all), pansexual (attraction to those of any or all genders; attraction regardless of gender) and omnisexual (attraction to those of all genders, with gender playing a role in that attraction).
Some people prefer the term fluid meaning that attractions do not fit into any neat category, and may shift while including people of more than one gender over time. These labels can be used by themselves or as additional descriptors. Some people feel that their sexuality, while not limited by sex or gender, is best left unlabeled because it is not central to their sense of self.
If these terms all seem to mean the same thing, that is because they basically do! Still, these words have value in that they allow people to describe their sexuality in ways that feel more comfortable or precise. They allow people to express their identity; how they see and understand themselves and want to be seen by others.
It’s helpful to note that although anyone who experiences both homosexual (same sex) and heterosexual (different sex) attractions is bisexual according to the scientific definition, that does not mean that they will label themselves or even think of themselves (identify) as bi.
Some people benefit from using these labels instead of bisexuality, but others do not. These labels exist to describe specific experiences that a bi person may experience, but that does not mean that everyone wants to use them or even feels comfortable using them.
Bisexuality is broad and encompasses many different experiences. There is no one clear-cut definition of bisexuality, as it is often personally defined in ways unique to one’s own individuality. Telling a bisexual person they're actually another label because of how they experience their sexuality erases the inherent fluidity of bisexuality and the diversity of the bi community.
While labels like pan, omni, and poly may sometimes be included in bisexuality and may be used synonymously with bisexual, this does not mean pan/omni/poly people have to consider themselves bi or identify as such and vice versa with bisexuals and labels like pan/omni/poly.
It is ultimately up to the individual to decide what they feel most comfortable identifying as or which label they connect to the most, and that can be bisexual, any other label. Some people even identify with multiple labels and use them interchangeably.
Bisexual+ or Multisexual: An encompassing term for people with the capacity to be attracted to multiple genders and sexes. The bi+ community includes anyone who identifies as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, fluid, queer, other labels or even unlabeled.
Bi Resource Center
Bisexual+ Youth Guide
I Think I Might Be Bi or Pan
Bi, Pan and Bi+
What Is Bisexuality
Mental health in the bi+ community: bi antagonism, bi erasure, & getting help
Bisexuals and Mental Health
How To Be a Bisexual+ Ally
Bi+ Youth Report
Resource Guide To Coming Out As Bisexual
5 Tips For When Coming Out As Bi Goes Badly
Myths About Bisexuality
Bisexual Fact Sheet
The Bisexual Index
Biphobia In An Abusive Relationship
Coming Out For Bi+ Youth
Bi Women Quarterly
The Bi Pan Library
The Bay Area Bi+ and Pan Network
Supporting Bisexual Youth at Home
Bi+ Violence Recovery Resources
Improving Mental Health For Bi People of Color
Getting Bi-Affirmative Therapy
Bi, Never Binary
Anything That Moves Archive
The History of The Word Bisexual and Why It’s Misunderstood
The Bisexual Warriors of the “Gay” Movement
The "Bi" In Bisexual Has Never Meant Only Two
The Bisexual History of HIV and AIDS and Activism
Timeline: The Bisexual Health Movement In The U.S
The Bisexual Manifesto (1990)
Bi Resource History Pamphlet
Archive of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network Newsletter
The U.S. bisexual+ movement: a #BiWeek history lesson
Evolution of The Bisexual Movement
NYC's Bisexual History
D.C Bisexual History
History of Pansexuality
History of The Bisexual Umbrella and Differing Labels
Famous Bi People
Bisexual Historical Figures
The Bisexual History They Don't Want You To Know
Radical Queers or Queer Radicals? Queer Activism and the Global Justice Movement
Historicizing Contemporary Bisexuality
Bisexual Women and the "Threat" to Lesbian Space: Or What If All the Lesbians Leave?
First Person Biography of a Bisexual US Army Veteran
Lesbians and Bisexuals: Contesting boundaries in the construction of collective identity
Bisexuality In The Ancient World
Social Sciences: Bisexuality
A. Billy Jones Hennin
Definitions of Bisexuality Throughout History
A brief history of the term “monosexuality”
Bisexuality in Psychoanalytic Theory: Interpreting the Resistance
Between a Gay and a Straight Place: Bisexual Individuals’ Experiences with Monosexism
Multisexual Youth Mental Health Report
Bisexual Health Disparities
Mental Health Facts For Bisexual Populations
Coming Out As Bisexual To Your Doctor
Seven Things You Didn't Know About Bisexual Health
Boosting Bi+ Competency For Healthcare Providers
Bisexual Microagressions In Medical Contexts
Bisexual Issues and Sources
What Is Biphobia
Biphobia: It Goes More Than Two Ways
Bisexuality and health: The cost of invisibility
Invisible Majority: Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How To Remedy Them
Discrimination and Effects on Health in Bi Adults
Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations
Snapshot: Bisexual In America
Legally Bi: A Brief History of Bi Erasure in LGBTI Political Discourse
Why Bi Representation On Screen Matters
How Biphobia Impacts Black Bisexual Men's Health
Bi+ youth: bullying & interpersonal violence
Bisexual+ & Transgender Youth Info and Issues
Bi+ Youth of Color
The Affirming Power of Research For Bi People
The Harm Of Oversexualizing Bisexuality
The Bisexual Youth Experience
A Closer Look: Bisexual Transgender People
Victimization By Sexual Orientation
Bisexual's Experience With Acceptance
Why So Many Bisexuals Are Victimized
Poverty In The Bisexual Community
Bisexual Mental Health Study
The Bisexual Asylum Crisis
Bisexuality and The Media
The B Word: Bisexuality In Contemporary Film and Television
The Bisexual Seen: Countering Media Misrepresentation
HRC’s Brief Guide to Getting Bisexual Coverage Right
GLAAD Media Reference Guide
Bisexuality In Film
Readings and Activism
Bi: Notes For a Bisexual Revolution
LGBTQ Theme: Making Bisexuals Visible
Bisexual Books Brochure
Under the Bisexual Umbrella: Diversity of Identity and Experience
Concepts of Bisexuality
Bisexuality: A Critical Reader
13 Ways of Looking At A Bisexual
Queering Queer Theory, or Why Bisexuality Matters
What's In a Name: Why Women Embrace or Resist Bisexual Identity
Bisexuals in Relationships: Uncoupling Intimacy from Gender Ontology
Bi Women's Activism
The Bisexual To Be Corrected: Interrogating The Threat And Recuperation Of Women 's Femme Bisexuality
Pansexual and Panromantic People’s Understandings of Their Identities and Experiences of Becoming Educated about Gender and Sexuality
GL vs. BT: The Archaeology of Biphobia and Transphobia within the U.S. Gay and Lesbian Community
The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure