Do Bi People Need You (Yes You!) To Write Us?

27 April   Heidi Belleau   In commentary, links, lists, personal, sexuality, writing     No Comments

Bi Book w/ Bi Colours

Hey there, long time no blog. Gonna try to get back into the habit of it, especially since I paid for this swanky new website from the gorgeous AngstyG. Watch this space for more squeeing, rambling, and . . . other.

And now, down to business. 2016 has not been a great year for being bisexual in M/M Romance. I mean, it’s almost never super great to be bisexual (and especially a bisexual woman) in M/M Romance, but this year has been especially nasty. I’m honestly kind of over it. But I’m not here to rehash why I’m sick of blog posts arguing Romance about bi characters who are on-page attracted to more than one gender can’t be called M/M, or that bi women in M/M are the exact same as straight women in M/M and are here for all your lumping in and invalidating needs, or that bi people don’t belong in Romance period due to the fact that we are all incapable of emotionally fulfilling monogamy and other fun stale-as-my-cereal-cupboard (seriously there’s likely a box of Chex in there from the twentieth century) biphobic nonsense. This post isn’t here for the Out and Proud Biphobes who can’t go ten minutes on the internet without undermining us in some way.

It’s for the well-intentioned not-bisexual people who want to do better but still need a bit of guidance, and yes, that includes non-straight people too: gay men, lesbians, pansexuals and other non-bi-identifying MGA people, non-bi asexuals, this one’s for you, too. Read this, give it consideration, and I’ll promise to do the same when you’re talking to outsiders about YOUR experience, too.

I hear Bisexual Erasure is a problem in Romance, as it is in all other media and, oh, yeah, the real world too. You feel it’s up to you, non-bisexual person, to fix it. But is it really? Sure I want more bisexual characters in my fiction, written by people both bi and non-, but NOT if it’s coming from people who are going to include bisexual characters wrapped up in a flakey pastry of biphobic tropes and misrepresentation.

So please, if you are not bisexual* and:

  • Think bisexuality is “attraction to men and women”, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuality means “has SEX with men and women”, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuality is rooted in who we have sex with at all, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexual people MUST be attracted to the so-called “opposite sex” or even our “same sex”, please do not write us.
  • Think our labels don’t matter or, worse, are a negative thing, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuality is transphobic or binarist by nature and thus/also ignore the existence of bisexual transgender and/or nonbinary people, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuality is something limited to white, cis, able-bodied, allosexual people and not an identity that includes a multitude of beautiful and varied intersections, please do not write us.
  • Think our identity politics are silly or quaint or just plain wrong, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuals can erase ourselves, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuals should have to keep some kind of even ratio of relationships/attraction and be able to recite that ratio on command to validate our identity, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuals are only queer when we are in a same-gender relationship, or that bisexual characters only “count” if they are in same-gender relationships in a given text, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuals don’t belong at pride if we are in a mixed-gender relationship, please do not write us.
  • Think the only good bisexual character is one that exists in constant, kneejerk opposition to any and all bisexual stereotypes, please do not write us.
  • Think bisexuals do not face unique prejudices from within and without the queer community, please do not write us.
  • Think biphobia is just a form of homophobia or that passing privilege means we’re as good as straight, please do not write us.
  • Think it is natural and normal for a character to explicitly say they are gay or a lesbian or straight on page in a book but that the word “bisexual” needs to be justified, please do not write us.
  • Think it’s completely harmless for you as a non-bisexual person to write (YET ANOTHER) apparently bisexual character who “doesn’t need labels” or “would prefer not to put a name on it” or any other (fictionally**) mealy-mouthed excuse not to ID as bi, please don’t write us.
  • Think all bisexuals cheat OR never cheat, are automatically polyamorous OR never polyamorous, know our sexuality from day one OR are perpetually confused about it, are at the forefront of queer activism OR don’t participate in it at all, kiss when straight boys are looking OR hate straight boys and never perform for them . . . if you’re either biphobic as all shit or reactionary anti-biphobic to the point of erasing real bisexual people, please do not write us.
  • Think sexuality is fluid or we’re all a little bit queer and therefore bisexuality as a label, an identity, or a political movement are meaningless/moot, please do not write us.
  • Think there is such a thing as a “bad bisexual” and don’t understand the difference between that and a poorly drawn bisexual character, please do not write us.
  • Take the word of ANYONE other than bisexuals ourselves to tell you what bisexuality is, means, or stands for, please do not write us.
  • Don’t follow bisexual blogs, pay attention to bisexual activism or bisexual organizations, or otherwise bother to learn from us about us, please do not write us.
  • Do not read or promote books about bisexual characters written by bisexual authors–who are not your friends that you’d read/promote anyway–, please do not write us.

In short . . .

If you have taken no time or made no effort to engage with our bisexual community or educated yourself on the goals of bisexual activism, then maybe you are not the white knight we need to Fix Bisexual Erasure. Fix your own inner understanding of bisexuality before you try to fix the outer problem of bisexual erasure in our genre.

And if you’ve read this entire post and are now huffing and puffing at your computer screen like FINE I WON’T WRITE YOU THEN YOU UNGRATEFUL POOPJERK!!! . . . please do not write us.

I’m in no way against writing outside your own experience (ffs I’m a bi cis white woman who writes GBT men, trans people, POC, and everyone in between. I’d be an absolute fucking hypocrite if I seriously suggested anyone else not write outside their experience). I am, however, against doing it if you’re only doing it out of a sense of obligation, or you’re gonna do it half-assed without putting in some homework first.

Ok, thanks.


Bi Resources and Other Bi Stuff You Should Be Reading:

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner

Bisexual Women of Color

Bisexual People of Color (on Facebook)

BiNet USA 


Bisexual Community

Bi Women Support Network


Bisexual Books (Reviews)


Bi Privilege‘s posts on

A Short List of Bi Authors*** Doin’ It For Ourselves:

(disclaimer: being on this list does not constitute approval of the entire content of my post, which is mine alone. also, NOT being on this list does not mean a given author isn’t bi, just that they didn’t reply to the tweet.)


If you have anyone else you’d like to add, or books by these authors to recommend, or if you’re on this list and would like to include your website or link to your latest release, please leave a comment~~~!


* Bisexual people can write whatever narratives about ourselves that they please, bc #ownvoices has different rules.

** Real people can eschew labels all they want for whatever reason they want and their reasons are always valid to them and their experience. Fictional characters doing the same thing contributes to a harmful bi-erasing trope.

*** This list is people who have self identified in response to me asking about who is a bi author. They may identify in a myriad ways: as biromantic ace, pan, queer, fluid, but they are also comfortable with identifying with “bi” as per their response to the question.


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