Today is some-day-we-can’t-decide-on-the-name-of-but-is-definitely-about-yay-for-being-bi day!
There are two problems with the term “bisexual: b and i, that two-letter prefix meaning “two”. Because bisexual says — however else we mean it — of or relating to two sexes. The most commonly accepted definition of bisexual is “sexually attracted to both genders”. And that “both” indicates not only two, but only two, which erases nonbinary persons of many different genders.
There are several suggested replacements for the currently-umbrella “bisexual”. My own favorite is queer, both because I like the word and because it indicates solidarity with other non-straight sexualities. Its main appeal is also its major limitation, though, which is that it doesn’t distinguish between queer monosexualities (eg gay, lesbian) and queer non-monosexualities — and while I, as all queer folk do, experience marginalization specifically because I am not straight (despite also having straight-appearing and straight-partner privilege), I also experience marginalization based on not being monosexual. In order to talk about this difference between monosexual and nonmonosexual queers, we need to have a word for the differences, which is why queer cannot be the primary replacement or “fix” for the problem that is bisexual.
As I used in the prior paragraph, another option is nonmonosexual — which, while linguistically useful, is overly long, overly academic, and centers on what we are not rather than what we are. Pansexual is possibly the one whose meaning I like best — across all — but is both obscure and not personally appealing. Omnisexual, also obscure, perpetuates the anything-that-moves stereotype. Polysexual means exactly the same as non-monosexual and thus might be ideal, but its abbreviation — poly — is already taken by the polyamory community.
So I am still waiting for a perfect word — not to dictate to others the word used for their own identity, but to have the perfect pink-purple-blue umbrella for all our identities that doesn’t erase our own or our loved one’s genders. But that doesn’t mean I’m about to let this day go unnoticed.
Because as problematic as the word we use to describe it is, I’m not dropping the chance to celebrate my sexuality –
Because bisexual isn’t incompatible with monogamy, but monogamy isn’t any better and shouldn’t be more accepted than polyamory –
Because it’s about attraction and identity and potentiality, not history and actions and who I’ve boned –
Because straight folks never have to prove their sexuality, and gay folks usually have their proof accepted (if not welcomed) –
Because sometimes bisexual is a transitory identity; sometimes so is straight; sometimes so is gay –
Because bisexual doesn’t mean “exactly equally attracted to two genders” — not least of which because there aren’t only two genders –
Because not everyone is bi, and we are not un-PC for wanting to name ourselves –
Because we are not “gay-lite” and we do have unique experiences –
Because the Boychick just told me one of his kid elephants has two dad elephants and another has three mom elephants –
Because we are not faking it –
Because we have decided –
Because visibility really does matter –
Because I am bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, nonmonosexual, queer, dykey, hot bi babe, big fat flirt, not gay, not straight, and still not gonna sleep with you –