Bi America : Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community book cover
1st Edition

Bi America
Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community

ISBN 9781560234791
Published March 31, 2005 by Routledge
294 Pages

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Book Description

Gain an in-depth understanding of the unique struggles of the bisexual community!

“To me the gay and straight worlds are exactly the same; equally limited, judgmental, and bourgeois . . . just mirror images of each other. I truly like and overlap with some of the gay world, but my roots refuse to take hold there and grow. Unfortunately, my well-established roots in the straight world are simultaneously shriveling and dying too, leaving me feeling extremely unstable.”
—“Cool,” a bisexual woman involved in a support group

There are at least five million bisexual people in America, generally invisible to straight society, the gay community, and even to each other. While the vast majority of these five million live within the straight or gay world, there are a few who have formed a community of their own. Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community offers an inside look at the American bisexual community and gives an understanding of the special circumstances unique to being bisexual. The book takes the reader to bi community events from picnics, to conferences, to support groups, to performances in order to expose the everyday trials of the bisexual community.

Bi America includes very personal stories that let the voice of everyday bisexuals be heard through interviews, the “Bisexual History Project,” in which ten bisexual people tell their life stories, and the “Online Support Group,” a group of about 75 people who meet in cyberspace to talk about their lives and challenges. The book also includes the findings of a 2002 survey of about 300 bisexual people conducted via the Internet, an appendix that offers a concise list of resources for further study and personal enrichment, and an unabridged transcript of the “Bisexual History Project.”

Get the answers to these questions in Bi America:

  • What is bisexuality?
  • Is there a bisexual community?
  • What is the culture of the bisexual community?
  • What are commonalities and differences between the experiences of bi men and bi women?
  • What is the special relationship between the bisexual and the transgender community?
  • How have bisexuals and the bi community been affected by HIV/AIDS?
  • What is the future of bisexual activism, if any?
  • and many more!
Bi America is a fascinating resource that exposes the challenges, struggles, and triumphs of bisexuals in America. Bisexuals, especially those newly coming out, can use this book to help understand their identity, and family members and friends seeking some insight into the unique circumstances faced by their loved ones will also find it helpful. This book will interest those concerned with the sociology of deviance or with subcultures in general. It is also appropriate for undergraduate sociology and cultural anthropology, as well as feminist studies and LGBT studies classes. This book offers one of the few accessible, nonacademic looks at this unique and interesting community. Visit the book's Web site at

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Fritz Klein, MD)
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • My Own Story
  • Sources
  • Who and What This Book Is About
  • Chapter 1. BECAUSE
  • Welcome to BECAUSE
  • The Workshop
  • Chapter 2. Relating Bisexuality to the World
  • “Bring Out the Bisexuals”: The Jerry Springer Show
  • The Invisible Bisexual
  • The Relationship Between the Bi and the Lesbian and Gay Communities
  • Chapter 3. Bisexuality Defined
  • “Something Men Just Do”
  • Sex, History, and Culture
  • Models of Sexual Orientation
  • Perspectives on Bisexuality
  • Bisexuality As an Orientation
  • Bisexuality As an Identity
  • Chapter 4. In Search of a Bisexual Community
  • The Picnic
  • Who Are They?
  • Is There a Bi Community?
  • Meet the Bi Community
  • Back to the Picnic
  • Chapter 5. Women’s and Men’s Experiences: Penthouse Bisexuals and Support Group Men
  • Kiss the Girls
  • Bisexual Women
  • Bisexual Men
  • Chapter 6. The Transgender Community
  • Bi Cities!
  • What Is “Transgender”?
  • Transgender History
  • Bisexual and Transgender
  • Chapter 7. What Is the Relationship Between Nonmonogamy and Bisexuality?
  • The Wog
  • Bisexuality, Monogamy, and American Society
  • Styles of Nonmonogamy
  • Last Thoughts About Monogamy
  • Chapter 8. Bisexuality in the Time of AIDS
  • Safer Sex Sluts
  • HIV/AIDS 101
  • HIV Risk and Bisexual Men
  • HIV Risk and Bisexual Women
  • AIDS and the Bisexual Community
  • Chapter 9. The History of the Bisexual Community
  • Boston, June 2002
  • The Seeds of Bi Activism in the 1960s and 1970s
  • The 1980s and the Second Wave of Activism
  • The 1990s and Conference Culture
  • Where Does That Leave the Bi Community Today?
  • Chapter 10. The Future of the Bi Community: GLBT Identity versus Cyberspace
  • The College Workshop
  • Into the Future
  • Bisexual Inclusion
  • Here Comes the Internet
  • Do We Want to Have a Community?
  • What Is the Future of the Bisexual Community?
  • Chapter 11. BECAUSE Reprise
  • Back to the Workshop
  • Sunday Morning Breakfast
  • Appendix A. The Survey
  • Appendix B. The Bisexual History Project
  • Appendix C. Resources and Further Reading
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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William Burleson