Questions & Answers

Doesn’t the term “gay and lesbian” include bisexuals as well?

No, it does not.  Gay and lesbian identities are based upon attraction to only one gender, which is something they have in common with heterosexuals.  Bisexual identity is based upon attraction to more than one gender.  That is quite different.  One of the bisexual community’s greatest challenges is lack of visibility.  When people erase bisexuals by leaving them out of the words they use, it is disrespectful and dismissive.  When ostensibly LGBT organizations leave out bisexuals in their names or their programming, they often do so thinking that bis are a small fringe group.  Ironically, when they do that, they explicitly fail to meet the needs of the largest single group under the LGBT umbrella, as the number of people who identify as bisexual is as large or greater than the total number of gays and lesbians.  The total number of people who behave bisexually but identify as straight, gay, or lesbian is larger still.


Answers


"Gay" means a man who is only attracted to men. "Lesbian" means a woman who is only attracted to women.

Bisexuality is feeling attracted to a "type" of person. Any person. I am attracted to smart, funny people who love animals and have a streak of kindness in their soul. A woman like that attracts me as much as a man like that.

-Amaryn

Bisexuality obviously comprises in some way both homosexuality and heterosexuality, but is just as obviously not exclusively either. But being bisexual means I enjoy gay sex, just like gay men do (and straight men don't). So while being bisexual means, to me, being not exclusively gay, it doesn't mean 'not gay at all'. And while the terms gay and bi are not interchangeable, they are not exclusive, either. That is why I use the term bisexual when I wish to be explicit about my sexual identity (such as explaining it to other people) but am fine with the term 'gay' as a general sexual identity. I simply don't consider it as exclusive as term as Amaryn, above, does, and do consider myself a member of the gay community.

-Brian


Want to respond to this question? Sign up