Bisexuality is a sexual orientation in which there is attraction to two or more/more than one genders and/or sexes. Despite the bi- prefix, bisexuality is a fluid and inclusive identity, separate from heterosexuality and homosexuality, and encompassing anything from attraction to two genders/sexes, to attraction to all/regardless of gender/sex. Therefore, bisexuality is not a binary orientation.
The Flag Edit
The bisexual flag depicts three coloured horizontal stripes. The top and bottom stripes are slightly wider than the middle. The top stripe is pink for attraction to the same gender, the bottom stripe is blue for attraction to the opposite/different gender, and the middle stripe is purple for attraction across the gender/sex spectrum. The first bisexual flag was revealed on December 5th, 1998, by Michael Page.
There are unfortunately many misconceptions about bisexuality, including (but not limited to):
- Bisexuality only being attraction to two genders and/or sexes
- Bisexuality being conflated with promiscuity or polyamory
- Bisexuality being called "half gay" and "half straight"
- Bisexuals being seen as greedy, or not able to pick a side
- Bisexuals being seen as unfaithful to their partner/s because of their sexuality
- Bisexuals being seen as sexually confused or frustrated
Of course, none of these are true about bisexuality or bisexual people, and are also often harmful to bisexuals. As one can see by the definition, bisexuality doesn't just include attraction to two genders/sexes, and it is its own separate orientation from heterosexuality and homosexuality. It is also nothing to do with being promiscuous or polyamorous, as those refer to sexual behaviour and relationships rather than orientation. Being bisexual does not necessarily make a person greedy, unable to pick who they want to be with, unfaithful, confused or sexually frustrated, as these are traits that can be found among all sexual orientations and have nothing to do with who one can be attracted to.
There is a lot of bi history, including ancient and modern history. Modern history is arguably more important to focus on, as it's about bi activism, which is what lead to an inclusive definition of bisexuality in the first place.
Since the 1970s, bisexuality has been defined in many ways by many bi people. Some define it as attraction to men and women, or any two genders, while others describe it as attraction to multiple, all, or regardless of genders:
- "I am bisexual because I am drawn to particular people regardless of gender. It doesn't make me wishy-washy, confused, untrustworthy, or more sexually liberated. It makes me bisexual." -The Bisexual Community: Are We Visible Yet?, 1987
- "To be bisexual is to have the potential to be open emotionally and sexually to people as people, regardless of their gender." -Bisexual Lives, 1988
- “Being bisexual does not mean they have sexual relations with both sexes but that they are capable of meaningful and intimate involvement with a person regardless of gender.” -View From Another Closet: Exploring Bisexuality in Women, 1976
- “Some of us are bisexual because we do not pay much attention to the gender of our attractions; some of us are bisexual because we do see tremendous gender differences and want to experience them all." -Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions, 1995
- "Bisexuality is a whole, fluid identity. Do not assume that bisexuality is binary or duogamous in nature: that we have "two" sides or that we must be involved simultaneously with both genders to be fulfilled human beings. In fact, don’t assume that there are only two genders." -Anything That Moves Bisexual Manifesto, 1990
Additionally, many bi organisations over the years have defined bisexuality as attraction to more than one gender and/or sex. With all this in mind, it's safe to say that specific labels such as polysexual, omnisexual, pansexual, and others are inherently bisexual experiences rather than their own separate sexualities, however, they are all still valid as microlabels.