I’ve recently started identifying as bisexual after hearing someone say that the definition of bisexual has evolved to be more inclusive, going from “attracted to two genders” to attracted to “two or more” genders. Bisexual is just the label with which I feel the most comfortable, because this new definition accounts for my experience of sexuality being very fluid.
A few people have said to me in the past something along the lines of “Well, isn’t everyone a little bisexual?” Usually I just shrug in response. Recently, however, I’ve really started thinking about my own bisexuality and what it really means to be bisexual.
Firstly, it is impossible to tell from looking at someone what their gender identity is. Anyone of any gender can present however they want. Therefore, initial attraction to someone without talking to them specifically about their gender is based on assumptions. For example, a straight man might be attracted to someone he thinks is a woman based on their outward presentation, but that person could identity as nonbinary. So in reality, since it is impossible to tell from looking at someone what their gender is, physical attraction is based on gender expression and physical characteristics. By this definition of attraction, most labels of sexuality become arbitrary. People are inherently attracted to masculinity, femininity, androgyny, all or none of the above, or some type of expression like that. Since expression doesn’t equal identity, any non-asexual person of any gender can conceivably like anyone of any other gender, in which case no one is exclusively gay or straight.
Labels, however, can mean whatever the user wants them to mean. If woman who is attracted to masculine people finds herself attracted to a masculine nonbinary person or woman and wants to keep using the label straight, she is free to do so. If someone who has never been attracted to someone who doesn’t identify as a man, but wants to use the label bisexual because of the uncertainty of the future, good for them. Labels and sexuality are fluid and everyone is free to identify as however they feel.
So is everyone “a little bisexual?” Maybe, it depends on an individual’s choice in label for who they’re attracted to.
About the Author:
Drew Adams is a transgender high school senior from Ponte Vedra, FL, who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. He serves as his high school GSA’s president and raises money for Northeast Florida’s LGBTQ youth outreach, JASMYN, to which he also donates food, toiletries and school supplies. Nationally, Drew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Drew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff.
Additionally, Drew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Drew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.