Module 3: Bisexuality
Definition: Bisexuality is sexual and emotional attraction to both men and women, some would argue all genders. It also refers to an individual's sense of personal and social identity based on attraction, behavior, and membership in a community. Bisexuality does not require that a person be attracted equally to both sexes. In fact, some bisexuals may have a preference of one sex over the other.
Statistics and facts:
•Based on research, as many as 15-25% of woman and 33-46% on men may be bisexual based on their activities/attractions.
•There have been many famous persons throughout history who have identified as bisexual, for example Margaret Cho, a famous comedian.
•Self-perception is the key to a bisexual identity. Many people engage in sexual activity with people of both sexes, yet do not identify as bisexual. Likewise, other people engage in sexual relations only with people of one sex, or do not engage in sexual activity at all, yet consider themselves bisexual.
•There is no behavioral “test’’ to determine whether or not one is bisexual.
•Bisexual persons are largely misunderstood, marginalized and discriminated against by both the homosexual and heterosexual community alike.
•The bisexual population is in many ways largely hidden.
•Bisexuality is not just a phase, between being “straight” and “gay.”
•Bisexual persons have started to create their own communities in order to become more visible and create more awareness.
•Biphobia is a term used to describe the fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against bisexuality or people who are bisexual or are perceived to be bisexual.
•Biphobia is a problem both inside and outside of the LGBT community.
Bisexuals, like all people, have a wide variety of relationship styles. Contrary to common myth, a bisexual person does not need to be sexually involved with both a man and a woman simultaneously. In fact, some people who identify as bisexual never engage in sexual activity with one or the other (or either) gender. As is the case for heterosexuals and gay men and lesbians, attraction does not involve acting on every desire. Like heterosexuals and gay people, many bisexuals choose to be sexually active with one partner only, and have long-term, monogamous relationships. Other bisexuals may have open marriages that allow for relationships with same-sex partners. It is important to have the freedom to choose the type of sexual and affectional relationships that are right for the people involved, whatever their orientation.
UC Riverside LGBT Resource Center
Important information for allies regarding bisexual persons:
•Believe that their identity is valid and that it is not a phase or try to talk them into redefining my identity.
•Speak up with others make biphobic comments.
•Provide a safe space for bisexual persons to be themselves