Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex & 2-Spirit

Bisexual Resources

for the East Bay (Contra Costa & Alameda Counties) and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bisexuality 101

In general, society assumes that every same-sex couple is homosexual and that every “opposite sex” couple is heterosexual. As PFLAG parents, family and friends, it is critical that we give bisexual youth and adults the validation they deserve. Biphobia is the prejudice that occurs when bisexual people are ignored, unaccepted, or rejected by heterosexual society and lesbian and gay communities. We see the same assumptions and prejudice towards bi-racial people. Let’s face it, people are not always what we perceive them to be. The reality is that many people are bisexual and that bisexuality is a genuine, valid sexual orientation.

Bisexuality is the capacity for physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to more than one gender. The famous, controversial ‘Kinsey scale’ invented by Alfred Kinsey in the late 40’s presents the idea that most people fall somewhere between 0 (totally heterosexual) and 6 (totally homosexual) on a sexual “preference” continuum. Kinsey’s scale suggested that ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ are not opposites, but rather two possible positions on a continuum of sexual “preference.” There are other theories on the variables that play a role in determining sexual orientation. In fact, researchers are finding that many people have transitional phases of heterosexuality or homosexuality in their coming out process as bisexual. While there is a bisexual movement with several national bisexual organizations, it is quite small compared to the lesbian and gay movement. And, while many of the national lesbian and gay organizations now include bisexuality in their mission statement, their programs and organizing do not specifically address this population.

Various myths about bisexuality perpetuate social rejection from both heterosexual society and the lesbian and gay communities. Some people see bisexuality as a phase, but the fact is that bisexuality is a long-term orientation for many people and bisexual people are a part of the larger movement advocating to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and securing equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. PFLAG plays a very significant role in this movement in that we are the parents, the grandparents, the sisters and brothers, the friends, and we are straight and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Because we want to hear all the voices and as many voices as we can, we want to be sure we represent the voices of bisexual people and their families and friends in our fight for equality.

Most people believe that they are either straight or gay. Bisexuality as well as the famous Kinsey scale, challenge this idea and make it difficult to maintain a clear border between straight society and lesbian and gay communities. This happens to others whose identities do not conform to “us and them” views of the world. In our racially polarized society, many multi-racial people who do not solely identify with one particular race are alienated from their communities. It is empowering to embrace one’s uniqueness and claim one’s value. For some with multiple identities or identities that challenge our society’s dualistic assumptions, it can be limiting to try to fit into any identity-based community. This is one factor that fuels the oppression, isolation, and invisibility for those who we claim to include. In the social justice movement we must advocate equal rights for everyone. If we as a whole society open our minds all the way and acknowledge bisexuality as a genuine social force, it would help form powerful and highly needed alliances between the straight and lesbian and gay communities. As bisexuality becomes more recognized as a true sexual orientation by society as a whole, there will be more people coming out and identifying as bisexual. As a result, we may see more parents, families and friends of bisexual people joining organizations like PLFAG. Click here for the entire PFLAG article.

Bisexual Information and Resources: