As long as I have been writing about bisexuality, I have been receiving messages from people all over the world asking much the same questions: “How do I know if I’m bisexual?”
After dissuading them from trusting a BuzzFeed quiz result, I often find that a conversation about assumptions, misunderstandings, and fear happens and is enough to bring clarity to this question. (And more often than not, when you are genuinely asking yourself this question, the answer is fairly likely to be “yes”).
Ultimately, deciding to identify as bisexual (or not) is entirely your decision. There is no panel of judges. There are no qualifying tests. You do NOT have to score above 50% on a queer-o-meter to gain entry. No, instead, all that is required is for your to decide if it seems right for you. This article is merely a tool designed to help you bring clarity.
What Is Bisexuality?
While this may seem like a straightforward question (no pun intended), all too often the topic of definitions can be more complicated and unhelpful than you might think. For example, if we were to rely on an online dictionary (such as the Oxford Languages one), we would get something like this: “the quality or characteristic of being sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender.”
Like any dictionary definition (especially an online one), it is very concise. And that’s part of the problem. Like most things important, a single, short sentence will be hard-pressed to get the job done. And in the case of this particular example, it has the added problem of defining bisexuality in the negative (i.e. “not exclusively). So, while a starting point for understanding, such definitions are not nearly enough.
Then, of course, we have to acknowledge that different terms mean different things to different people. Personal experience, cultural context, and even language will shape how one defines and understands bisexuality. Therefore, it is important to note that what I share here is just my take and in no way lays claim to having it all worked out.
After years of hearing many different definitions (such as it meaning: attraction to men and women; attraction to all sexes or genders; love beyond gender, etc.), I have come to most commonly use the explanation put…