Frequently Asked Questions
Why “Bisexual” and “Bi+”?
The BRC uses “bisexual” and “bi+” as umbrella terms for people who recognize and honor their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender (bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, fluid, queer, asexual, and other free-identifiers). We celebrate and affirm the diversity of identity and expression regardless of labels.
Doesn’t the word “bisexual” mean attraction to men and women?
It’s a common misconception that people who identify as bisexual are only interested in the binary genders of male and female. However, the true definition is being interested in genders like yours and genders different from yours. People of all genders are included in who bisexual people have the capacity to love and to be attracted to!
What are some challenges that face bi+ people specifically?
Bi+ people are less likely to be out than their gay counterparts and are at a higher risk for mental health struggles and intimate partner violence. Our unique challenges are often not taken into account, and we are too-often lumped into categories of “gay” or “straight”. Our identities may be invisibilized or ignored all together. Even when our identities are acknowledged, they can often be fetishized or judged in negative ways.
What are some things to celebrate about being bi+?
There are so many things! We have a rich culture of out bi+ celebrities and a strengthening worldwide community. Bi+ folks have a unique and fascinating perspective on the world, and actually make up the largest portion of the LGBTQIA+ community! (Plus, bee puns.)
If you’re in a monogamous relationship with someone of the same/a different gender, doesn’t that make you gay/straight?
Consider the werewolf – whether they are currently in human or wolf form, they haven’t stopped being a werewolf. Similarly, in the same way that straight people are still straight when they’re single, bi+ people are still bi+ when they’re dating someone.
Am I bi+?
Only you can decide that! There’s a plethora of labels under the bi+ umbrella for you to choose or not choose as you feel comfortable. Nobody can define your sexuality except for you, so try on some labels and rock ‘em!
Can I call myself bi+ even if I’ve never had a relationship with someone of the same gender as me, or with someone of a different gender than me? Or if I’ve never had a relationship with anyone at all?
Only you can answer the question of whether or not you are bi+. Being bi+ is not about what you have done or who you’ve had relationships with. It’s about knowing yourself and understanding your unique sexuality and your unique identity. If claiming a label under the bi+ umbrella feels right to you, our community welcomes you!
What’s the difference between “Bisexual” & “Pansexual”?
Ultimately, people use the label that feels most comfortable for them, and some people may use more than one label to describe themselves. People of all sexes and genders make up our community, and are included in who bisexual and pansexual people have the capacity to love and be attracted to! For details on how these labels are defined, check out our page on bisexuality & pansexuality here.
What is it like to come out as bi+?
Coming out is a complex process, something that’s done repeatedly throughout our lives. Sometimes we might have to come out multiple times to the same person. If we are in long-term monogamous relationships with someone of the same or a different gender, others might assume that we are gay or straight, and coming out might sometimes mean reminding folks that we are always still bisexual. For more details, check out our page on coming out here.
Do I need to come out?
No. Coming out is a personal decision, and whether you choose to come out — or who you choose to come out to — is entirely up to you. If coming out is something you’re not sure about, check out our page on coming out here.
My partner has come out to me as bi+. What does this mean?
You might be nervous about whether your partner’s bisexuality could change your relationship. But remember that being bi+ does not make a person promiscuous, and that bisexuals form loving, long-term monogamous relationships just as often as people of other sexual orientations do. There is no reason why your relationship needs to change at all. Talking openly with your partner about what their new identity means to them — and what kinds of support they need from you — will help you both navigate this change. Most of all, remember that your partner is still the same person. If your relationship is strong, communicating honestly through your partner’s coming out can make it even stronger.
How can I support a friend or family member who has told me they are bi+?
First of all, thank you! Asking this question is a terrific first step in showing your support for the bi+ people in your life. Check out our “For Allies” page here for some ideas.
I’m the parent or caregiver of a child who has told me they’re bisexual. What should I do?
There are many ways to educate yourself and to support your child as they make new discoveries about their sexuality, and we have resources to help! Check out our page here.