30 November 2002

What is bisexuality

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

What is bisexuality?

By definition, bisexuality defies categorization.

Bisexual people are people who have romantic, emotional, physical, and sexual attractions with people of either gender. They are able to experience desire and intimacy with, and fall in love with, someone of either sex.

Sexuality is often defined as a continuum, with heterosexuality (the exclusive attraction to members of the opposite sex) at one end, and homosexuality (the exclusive attraction members of the same sex) at the other. In between are people with some attraction to members of both sexes. These people are called bisexual. Most people have at least occasional desires (fantasies, dreams) for sexual partners of both genders. Perhaps a third have sexual contact with partners of both genders at some time in their lives. Few people, however, openly identify as bisexual.


To choose a bisexual identity is a political action, one that subverts conventional categories of sexual orientation. It also means facing discrimination from both the heterosexual and gay worlds. From the heterosexual world comes homophobia (the irrational fear and hatred of same-sex attraction and affection), which results in discrimination, harassment, and violence. Members of the lesbian and gay communities, meanwhile, sometimes discriminate against bisexual people because they are considered to be “hiding”; using their bisexuality to look heterosexual in homophobic settings, so that they can avoid homophobia and enjoy the “heterosexual privilege” that is part of the social norm. Also, bisexuals are sometimes seen as blurring the issues for gay rights activists, and weakening the lesbian and gay movement. Some lesbians see bisexual women as “sleeping with the enemy”. The fear or hatred of bisexual people is called “biphobia”.

Last Words

Some folks say that bisexuals are not oppressed, because at least we are accepted by the mainstream society when we are involved with members of the opposite sex. Agreed, society may like us when we show that piece of who we are. But conditional acceptance is not really acceptance at all. When we show our other side, our gay side, we suffer the same discrimination as other gay men and lesbians. We don't lose only half our children in custody battles. When homophobia hits, we don't just get half fired from our jobs (put on half time perhaps?). We don't just get half gaybashed when we are out with our samesex lovers. (Oh please, only hit me on my left side. You see, I'm bisexual!) We, too get discriminated against because we are gay.

-Robyn Ochs

Homosexuality was invented by a straight world dealing with its bisexuality.

-Kate Millet

Even a superficial look at other societies and some groups in our own society should be enough to convince us that a very large number of human beings – probably a majority – are bisexual in their potential capacity for love… We will fail to evolve in our understanding of human sexuality if we continue to see homosexuals merely as “heterosexuals-in-reverse”, ignoring the vast diversity actually represented by society's many varied expressions of love between people.

-Margaret Mead