Bi diversity

There are various aspects of bi diversity which I think can best be illustrated by imagining a spectrum, with people at different points on the spectrum. The first is illustrated by the Kinsey scale. I didn't make this up, a bloke called Kinsey did, hence the name. The others are spectra drawn by me, which not everyone will necessarily agree with, but feel free to write and argue  :-)


rainbow line
rainbow line

The Kinsey scale

0 ............... 1 ............... 2 ............... 3 ............... 4 ............... 5 ............... 6
The Kinsey scale is a way of considering sexual orientation as more than just "straight" or "gay".
Kinsey 0 = entirely heterosexual
Kinsey 1 = mostly heterosexual, some incidental homosexual experience
Kinsey 2 = mostly heterosexual, some significant homosexual experience
Kinsey 3 = equally heterosexual and homosexual
Kinsey 4 = mostly homosexual, some significant heterosexual experience
Kinsey 5 = mostly homosexual, some incidental heterosexual experience
Kinsey 6 = entirely homosexual.
(Kinsey was looking primarily at past experience, so the Kinsey scale doesn't explicitly take into account that your future ideal may be different from your past experience.)
Anyone from 1 to 5 can be considered as bisexual, and might choose to identify as bisexual, although some people tend to stereotype only 3 as "really" bisexual and the rest as "really straight" or "really gay".


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"Both/and" / "Either/or" bisexuality

This is a way of looking at one aspect of the diversity of bisexuality.

"Both/and"
Sees men and women as providing different things in relationships, and wants both.
May ideally want to be in a polyamorous relationship with at least one man and at least one woman.
"Either/or"
Sees men and women as capable of providing similar things in relationships.
Chooses partners by qualities other than their gender.
<<< >>>


Most bi people are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. For instance, someone could be happily monogamous with a woman now and have no desire to be with a man (or anyone else) and no plans to split up with that partner, but if they did split up, may be more likely to fall for a man next time. That could be described as mostly "either/or", but with a slight tendency towards "both".


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Aspects of outness & politicisation

These pictures are a way of acknowledging that for bi people, as for lesbian or gay people, there's a wide spectrum of outness and political involvement.

The stereotype of bi people is that they are all at the less aware and less politicised end, and, of course, of some bi people this is true.

It's possible to be at different points on the different scales suggested here.
Homophobia &/or biphobia is unconsciously internalised
Happy with their sexuality
Aware of homophobia & biphobia as society's prejudices
<<< >>>


Not sure what to call themself and where they fit in
May be trying to make sense of their life inside a gay/straight model of the world
The identity they've arrived at feels right to them, and they have a way of thinking about their sexuality that makes sense to them
<<< >>>


Mostly or entirely closeted with friends...
family...
colleagues...
Mostly or entirely out to
... friends
... family
... colleagues
<<< >>>


Don't consider it important to be out / don't consider their sexuality as political
Consider it politically and/or emotionally important to be out
<<< >>>


Haven't dared to act on their desires
Free to act or not act on their desires
<<< >>>


Little or no contact with or awareness of bi/LGB communities
Consider themself part of bi/LGB communities
<<< >>>


Involved with bi/LGB communities mostly or only for recreation
Active in bi/LGB communities and campaigns
<<< >>>


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