Attracted to men?
Attracted to women?
Attracted to people?

"I always thought of myself as straight,
but I'd never entirely ruled out the possibility
of falling in love with a woman"

"All my most important relationships
had been with women
so I called myself a Lesbian,
but then I fell in love with a man"

"When I was a teenager I fancied my friend,
another lad my age - I never told him.
Later I thought that had just been a phase,
and started going out with girls...
But now I'm coming to recognise that
as an important part of who I am"

"I've always known I could fall for men or women.
I always knew that myself, though it took a while
before I told anyone"

The bi community welcomes people with any of those stories...
and many more...

whether they've known for years they didn't fit into "straight/gay",
or are just beginning to question their sexuality.

rainbow line
rainbow line

Different people have different definitions of bisexuality.
But in the bisexual movement, most people seem to agree that:

- It doesn't mean you have to have exactly the same feelings for women as for men.
E.g. you might still have more of a tendency to fall for people of one particular gender. Or you might tend to have sexual relationships with women and emotional relationships with men... or the other way round.
- It doesn't mean you have to have acted on your feelings. Emotions count too.
- The most important thing is what you say about it.

Even if you don't actually use the word bisexual, if you acknowledge attractions to more than one gender you'll be accepted as part of the bi community.

There are plenty of stereotypes about bi people (they can't make up their minds, they can't be monogamous, they're greedy). The reality is that there are all kinds of bi people, same as there are all kinds of straight people or gay people or lesbians.

The bi community includes and welcomes people

- who previously identified as heterosexual
- who previously identified as lesbian or gay
- who don't want a label
- who never gave those labels a thought
- in relationships with women
- in relationships with men
- in relationships with non-binary-gendered people
- who are single and looking around
- who are single and not looking around
- in monogamous relationships
- in non-monogamous relationships
- who have never had sex with a man
- who have never had sex with a woman
- who have had all kinds of sex
- who have never had sex with anyone
- who are sure they are bisexual
- who aren't sure, but are thinking about it

The word "bisexual"

Not everyone who has sex with both women and men calls themself bisexual (though they might be referred to as "behaviourally bisexual").

For instance:
- Some lesbians have sex with men, but still choose to identify as lesbian to make a visible statement about the prime importance and value of women in their lives
- Some people think of themselves as straight, because they "know they're not gay" and it's never occurred to them that they could use the word bisexual
- Some people "don't believe in labels" and say "I'm just me"
- Some people don't like the word, and choose another one that they think describes them more accurately.
Objections to the word "bisexual", as a word, include that
- by saying "sexual" it may sound as though sex rather than love is the most important part of it
- by saying "bi" it accepts a division between men and women as being implicitly the most important factor in sexual choice.

However, it's the word most people use for sexual attractions that aren't limited to one gender.

When people do choose to identify as bisexual, it can be for political reasons - to be visible in the struggle against homophobia - and it can also be for emotional reasons - to validate all of their sexuality without hiding.

What you choose to call yourself is up to you.

This text is freeware: on the web, please feel free to link to it; off the web, copy wherever it would be useful bi-education, including this credit.