Bisexuality – a short note on the number two

The term bisexual is frequently misunderstood as meaning sexual attraction to men and women. This definition includes trans binary people, since trans men are men and trans women are women; however, it excludes non-binary people.

For example searching Google for “bisexual” leads to a dictionary definition which includes “attracted to both men and women.”

 

One response is to define bisexual as attraction to two or more genders. This is the approach taken by the Bisexual Index. This can be confusing since the “bi” means two, e.g., as in binocular, biennial, biweekly. So where does the “or more” come in?

There is a simple non-binary inclusive definition, which has apparently been around forever (note to self: citation needed!) and is compatible with definitions of heterosexual and homosexual:

  • Homosexual means attraction to people who have a similar gender to you.
  • Heterosexual means attraction to people who a different gender to you.
  • Bisexual means attraction to people who have a similar gender to you and to people who have a different gender to you.

So accepting that there are more than two genders, this is compatible with the definition that “bi” means two or more. Additionally, it spells out what the “bi” (two) refers to.