The B in LGBTQUIA+ stands for Bi+, which is an umbrella term for people who experience a form of attraction towards more than one gender. As the definitions used for various sexualities tend to change over time as language evolves, there can be a lot of natural overlap between terms. Even with this overlap, there are differences, and to some they may be important. Commonly the terms “multisexual” and “mspec” are used in place of Bi+, as Bi+ can often be more strongly associated with Bisexual, rather than the larger umbrella of identities.
All sexualities are valid, so be sure to respect them. The current Bi+ Officer interpreted the following definitions their personal way so they may be a useful guide to some, or something another may want to ignore completely. How you define yourself is valid no matter how you do it.
Multisexual: Multisexual is an umbrella term that covers any sexuality that includes attraction to multiple genders (or, attraction to people with a lack of gender as well as attraction to a gender or genders).
M-spec: A short term for the “multisexual spectrum”
Bisexual/biromantic: the attraction to genders like and unlike your own. This can be with or without preferences.
Polysexual/polyromantic: attraction to multiple genders but not all. The level of attraction to each individual gender can also vary, for example: aesthetic attraction for one, and physical attraction for another.
Omnisexual/omniromantic: the attraction to all genders like pan, but it is not seen as “gender blind” as gender does matter. The levels of attraction here can also vary.
Pansexual/panromatic: the attraction to all without being affected by gender. This is sometimes known as “gender blind”.
Even if how you feel may align with another definition, you are allowed to define yourself however you want. There are many reasons why someone may choose to define by one definition while they may align with another and that’s their choice to make. Respect everyone for who they tell you they are.
FAQ and Issues that Bi+ people may face.
Does being Bi+ make someone promiscuous?
No, it does not. Your sexuality has nothing to do with being promiscuous. Someone can be promiscuous regardless of the number of genders they’re attracted to, being attracted to more genders doesn’t automatically mean you act on your attraction more. Polyamory and bisexuality are conceptually connected through a common oppression but are completely different terms.
Are all Bi+ people polyamorous?
Polyamory refers to people who experience attraction to multiple people at once and it does not have any direct link to the gender of those to whom they’re attracted towards.
Explained in further detail in this article from the Journal of Bisexuality:
It also covers the concept of cheating and the effect of being poly/bi/both.
Can only certain sexualities be attracted to non-binary people? Is being bisexual trans/enbyphobic?
Originally from Latin, “bi” in bisexual meant two, implying two genders which started the weird implication that being bisexual was non-binary erasure. That is just not the case. Language evolves with time so the phrasing “genders like and unlike your own” would suit the definition of bisexual better in a broader sense. Defining does not mean excluding; everyone in the community is connected with each other and it means coming together rather than pushing away.
How do you know you like multiple genders if you haven’t been with them all?
The short answer is that you like who you like, and no one can tell you otherwise no matter your experience. The long answer, is that feelings are complicated. No one needs a reason to like who they like, or a reason to not like anyone either. This can be directed to a specific person, or a whole gender identity. Even if your gender preference is currently fixed, it does not mean you would be attracted to everyone with that identity. Experimenting is cool and very personal so define yourself however you choose that makes you happy.
What is the “greedy” stereotype?
The stereotype of being “ greedy” seems to be the idea that those who like multiple genders are “taking the available” people. That, and the idea that we are “unable to decide”, “confused”, or “only doing it for the attention”.
Firstly, the concept of “taking” someone is a matter that has nothing to do with a third party. Everyone has the choice of choosing who to like, and at the same time, has the choice of not liking anyone they don’t like. Feelings can’t be forced, nor should anyone attempt to force them. This applies to everyone who wishes to do anything, and not an issue of sexuality.
Those under the multisexual umbrella are not “unable to decide”. There’s nothing wrong in liking multiple genders just like the bonds between friends. Gender is not a boundary drawn by others but by yourself and deciding where that line is drawn, is up to the individual. Some such as pansexuals may just not even have a line, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. They are not “confused” nor “only doing it for the attention” as they are their own person and should be valid for who they are.
Can someone be in a relationship and still be Bi+?
Yes, they can. Your sexuality does not change just because you are in a relationship. It helps define who you are attracted to but not who you date. “Straight-passing” relationships are very common but that does not mean any party in the relationship is inherently straight. They are not “picking a side”, they are picking a person/people.
This Association is a space for everyone to feel safe no matter how they identify. No matter your preferences, you’ll be accepted. Love and like whoever you want to love and like. Respect everyone for who they are and most importantly, be yourself.
- 2022/2023 Bi+ representative and welfare officer
There are content warnings needed in all these links as they are scientific journals and cover subjects such as mental health and other potentially triggering subjects.
Link to the keyword engine within the current latest issue of the Journal of Bisexuality
Link to bisexual-oriented articles within the journal: Psychology & Sexuality
Link to bisexual-oriented articles within the journal: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Link to bisexual-oriented articles within the Journal of Lesbian Studies