Sexuality Wiki

Bi-Lesbian is a sexual orientation term for those who are lesbian on one range of attraction but bi on another range. It is a term that falls into the split attraction model. Someone who is bi lesbian may find one single range of attraction towards a non-woman gender but may not want to be in a relationship and may have stronger and more ranges of attraction to other women. One may be bisexual lesbian or biromantic lesbian. The mlm alternate would be bi-gay. Bi-lesbian is a subset of biromantic homosexual or bisexual homoromantic but a specification to emphasis ones attraction to women is stronger.

History of Bi Lesbianism


The label "bi lesbian" originated in the 1970s as a result of the effects of lesbian separatism, a belief within some strains of lesbian feminism and often within radical feminism which advocates for separating women from men in as many ways as possible as a strategy to achieve women's liberation. Subsequently, this lead to lesbian separatists rejecting and often discriminating against women who refused to withdraw from their involvement with men, particularly bisexual women. Lesbian separatists accused bisexual women of "sleeping with the enemy" and forcefully removed them from lesbian spaces and from claiming the lesbian identity for themselves, by redefining it as "a homosexual female/woman" or "a woman who does not sleep with men/is not attracted to men". It is because of lesbian separatism that the bisexual label became very popular starting in the 1970s, as the word to describe a woman who was attracted to other women before was "lesbian", whether they were attracted exclusively or not, and now that had suddenly changed.

Examples of Useage

  • Lavender Woman, Volume 2, Issue 5, August 1973: "What is a Lesbian? To me, a lesbian is a woman-oriented woman; bisexuals can be lesbians..."
  • Lani Kaahumanu, "Bisexuality & Discrimination", BBWM Vol. 3, No. 6, Dec 1985-Jan 1986: " lesbian awareness isn’t lost now that I claim my bisexuality [...] My political consciousness is lesbian but my lifestyle is bisexual..."
  • Robyn Ochs, "Bi of the Month: Betty Aubut", Bi Women Vol. 5, No. 2, April-May 1987: "I call myself a “bisexual lesbian.” I will always politically identify as bisexual, which to me means opposing restrictive categories [...] I consider myself gay. I think bisexuals are gay and gay liberation is our liberation..."
  • Amy Wyeth, "Don't Assume Anything", Bi Women Vol. 13, No. 4, Aug-Sep 1995: "Unfortunately, many of my experiences as a lesbian-identified bisexual woman have said to me that having an appearance or demeanor that diverges from the expected means I will not be accepted as truly belonging in the lesbian community."
  • Naomi Tucker, Liz Highleyman, and Rebecca Kaplan, "Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions", 1995: "I am not just bisexual I am a lesbian I am not just a lesbian I am a bisexual lesbian [...] I have the right to claim my lesbianism and my bisexuality even if it confuses you."

Additional Sources

  • A Carrd site focused on information on bi/m-spec lesbians.
  • A Tumblr blog dedicated to sharing accurate and historically backed information about bi lesbians.


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