Bi+ people make up more than 50% of the LGBTQ community. Yet bi+ people can often experience isolation and invisibility--even from each other.
Getting Bi addresses this by collecting 220 personal essays from 185 bi+ authors from 42 countries (from Australia to Zimbabwe).
This book is a safe haven where bi people are celebrated and understood. Bi+ readers will feel comforted, heartened, nourished, and validated. You will find yourself nodding in agreement as you read. You will laugh at relatable experiences. You will receive validation about lived experiences you thought were unique to you. This book is a lifeline to those struggling. You will feel hope and a sense of relief. You will realize that, no matter how isolated as you are, you are not alone.
You will hear many stories (which the mainstream leaves out) on the joys of being bisexual.
Authors discuss their potential to be attracted--romantically and/or sexually--to people with genders similar to and different from their own. They describe liking, having feelings for, and falling in love with others. Many relate their identity to knowing who they desire, are interested in, and have crushes on. Therefore, many knew who they were bi long before they started dating. Others may never date more than one gender, but accept being bi as crucial to who they are.
Each author questioned and subsequently arrived at a greater understanding of their sexuality. So these stories are helpful for anyone undergoing an identity exploration.
Authors also bare their souls while processing feelings of anger, angst, doubt, fear, frustration, guilt, sadness, shame, and just being uncomfortable.
This book explores many common struggles of bi+ people:
- Authors describe dealing with external (or internalized) oppression of all types: biases, biphobia, bi-erasure, heterosexism, homophobia, stereotypes, myths, and general negativity.
- Authors describe repeatedly being told they are 'confused' or 'going through a phase.'
- Authors describe their struggles with labels. Many get creative and create new terms for themselves or use none at all (demonstrating the broad possibilities of self-identification).
- Authors describe the fatigue of having to come out, not once, but over and over again.
- Authors describe monosexual partners (and potential partners) who are insecure, feel inadequate, and fearful about dating bi people.
- Authors describe seeking refuge in the larger LGBTQ+ community only to realize it may not the safe haven they hoped for. After joining organizations, they have found the 'B' in the LGBT to be in name only (despite all that bi+ people have contributed to the movement).
Instead of - or in addition to - trying to fit into potentially less-inclusive LGBTQ+ groups, these authors show that you can seek out and become a member of your own bi+ community which proudly waves its own bi flag.
For those who do not yet have bisexual friends, this book offers a peek inside your own community. Reading about others is a great first step to being a part of a supportive and accepting bisexual culture. It will likely inspire you to network, find allies, and build a strong supportive social circle.
You will learn about bi+ community leaders, activists, and conferences advocating for the interests of bisexual people. You will learn about bi people who, over the decades, have been organizing movements to fight for social justice, equality, and the rights of each one of us.
Drawing from so many different people who have many decades of reflection, you can't help but leave with a deeper understanding and eye-opening epiphanies.
It will make you feel empowered and inspired to exercise your freedom of expression. It will give you more courage because of what others, like you, have done
Robyn Ochs has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS News, NBC News, The Nation, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Bustle, and Refinery29. Ochs is a long-time bi+ activist and educator. With a Masters of Education from Harvard, Ochs has spoken professionally at hundreds of colleges and conferences. Ochs was awarded the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement by The National LGBTQ Task Force. During the Obama administration, Ochs was among those advising the White House on issues facing bisexual-identified people. Ochs was featured on Teen Vogue's "9 Bisexual Women Who Are Making History," Buzzfeed's "13 Incredible Bisexual People You Need to Follow on Instagram," and The Advocate's "50 States, 50 Heroes."
Sarah E. Rowley, a member of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network, is an advocate for victims of domestic violence in the lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities.
"[Robyn] Ochs is an educator, speaker, and editor of Bi Women Quarterly; she also coined a popular definition of bisexual..."
- The Washington Post
"Robyn has probably done more than any other person (in the U.S. and perhaps even the world) to educate the general public about bisexuality."
- Genny Beemyn, Director of the Stonewall Center
"When I first met Robyn Ochs..., I was star struck. As a fellow bi+ advocate and writer, I had not only read her two anthologies, but also have quoted her definition of bisexuality in a number of my pieces."
- Zachary Zane, Huffington Post
"If you want to know what bi people are thinking, feeling, doing; you'll find answers here."
- Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka'ahumanu, co-editors, Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out
"If you would like to know what it's like to live in this world as a bisexual, I recommend checking out this book. There is no better source of information than the community itself."
- Amazon Reviewer
"This book will make you laugh, cry, get angry, and hopefully open your eyes to the wide range of bisexual experiences."
- North Bi Northwest
"It will enlighten and educate even bisexuals themselves to gain an ever so important hidden peek inside their own community."
- Amazon Reviewer
"If you are bisexual or questioning, this book is your lifeline to a supportive and accepting bisexual culture... If you belong to a LBGT organization, you need this book in your office... If someone you love is bisexual or questioning, you have found the perfect gift."
- TLA Video.com
"If you're bisexual [or] have a bisexual friend or family member you want to understand, ...this is a good resource."
- Jan, Goodreads Reader
"This groundbreaking book is the perfect read for bisexual, queer, curious, and questioning people; everyone from the newly out to long-time community leaders; and bi allies of all stripes."
- Matt Foreman, National LGBTQ Task Force
"Especially recommended for queer groups or individuals who are struggling with how to understand or be allies to their bi friends and group members."
- Chris S.
"I've shared this book with many straight- and gay-identified people to help them understand the bi people in their lives. The essays provide great insight into the complexity and joy of living as a bisexual person."
- Amazon Reviewer
"This outstanding collection... does an excellent job of breaking through the stereotypes and myths surrounding bisexuals. It is an excellent resource for families and friends of bisexuals, educators and therapists."
- John R. Selig
"Every counselor and therapist working with bisexual clients and other clients who are questioning their sexuality will want two copies of Getting Bi on their bookshelf: one to read and one to lend to your clients!"
- Beth Firestein, Ph.D., Licensed Therapist
"Bi people who read this book will find validation and community. Researchers and academicians will find the information they need to undertake more meaningful studies of bisexuality."
- Gay & Lesbian Review
"I thoroughly loved this book's very personal one-to-one conversational feel... I also believe it is of great value to academics and LGBT studies courses because of its detailed and varied presentations of bisexuality."
- Dr. Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Deakin University
"As a bisexual activist and researcher, these stories help keep me grounded in the actual lived experiences of bisexual people..."
- Cheryl Dobinson, The Fence
"This book literally puts a face on bisexual identity."
- Gail Zacharias
"Very relatable, and necessary to educate and empathize with the bi community."
- Amazon Reviewer
"What an amazing resource for bi-identified people and for those who love them."
- Mack H Lewis II
"I have a son who is Bi and it helped me to understand what he deals with all the time."
- Mary Rohrer
"This is an amazing book for new Bi Allies. I read it the week after one of my closest friends came out to me."
- Austin Pierce
"This would be useful reading for anyone undergoing any kind of identity exploration."
- Amazon Reviewer
"A brilliant and much-needed resource for people just coming out or hoping to learn about bisexuals and bisexual identity..."
- S. Bear Bergman
"For me, personally, as I had no bisexual friends & got slack from hetero & gays, it helped me on my path to accepting myself for who I am."
- Terri L. Kendall
"This book was so important to me as I prepared myself to come out of the closet publicly as a bi man last year. My copy is now beat up, dog-eared, post-it-paged, highlighted, underlined."
- Amazon Reviewer
"As an American bisexual married man, this volume truly changed my life and gave me more courage than I could have ever hoped for! After 33+ years in the closet, Robyn's book introduced me to others around the world in a similar place."
- Seumas Dòmhnal Ross
"As a queer trans man, I was really moved by the powerful and honest stories in this book."
- Robbie Samuels
"I can't tell you how many times I cried reading someone's story because it resounded so deeply with me."
- Christina Hannan
"I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement with some, feeling like there were other people out there that feel as I do."
- S. Cabral
"I thought I was the only one who experienced those frustrations, joys, and epiphanies until I read Getting Bi..."
- Amazon Reviewer
"I used to be so ashamed of my sexuality, and still am at some level. However, the different essays in this book show the diversity in bisexuality, which was somehow more comforting than confusing. Instead of trying to hide my sexuality by saying, 'It's just this one part of me,' I now realize that it inherently goes down to my bones."
- Kati Giblin
"[Getting Bi] captures the immense diversity within the bisexual experience while also highlighting some of the common threads, like grappling with labels, coming out, and finding (or not finding) community."
- Haleigh, Goodreads Reader
"I was heartened to read that my experience of being 'confused' about labeling myself as one thing or another was not unique."
- Rick Vassallo, Radio Host
"The personal stories are all very interesting."
- Sabrina Haenze
"The approach of using many voices is extremely powerful and shows that not everyone agrees and that there is a huge variety of self-expression."
- M. Barusch
"My reading experience of this was like it is with a collection of short stories: most of it was good, some did nothing for me, and a few nuggets gave that amazing feeling of "Yes! I identify with this.""
- Stefanie, Goodreads Reader
"This was a great book to read on my 15-minute coffee breaks at work... Some entries had me nodding along with every word, but other entries had me angry or going, "What?! Seriously?" But that is the varied scope of bisexuality."
- Kate, Goodreads Reader
"Most of those viewpoints I found to be interesting and engaging. Some had me wavering of, some people I absolutely couldn't connect with and found to be off-putting. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. It just shows that everyone has different perceptions and that sometimes you meet or read about people... you don't end up enjoying your time with."
- Laura, Goodreads Reader
"... you'll find traces of your own experiences as well as those you don't relate to, all together contributing to a deeper examination of bisexuality than the occasional glossed-over portrayal afforded us by the mainstream."
- Nine, The Skinny
"The book is an eye-opener for both Bi people and others... it shows how Bi people perceive life... from so many different points of view, even from each other... The struggles, joys, angst and ecstasy expressed in the multitude of articles are riveting..."
- Gary North
"There's one very specific thing that this book does for me, every time I open it, talk about it, study it: I feel empowered."
- Renee Groskreutz
"Kind of like a Chicken Soup for the Bisexuals' Soul"
- Kate, Amazon Reviewer
The landscape has changed substantially since the first significant book of personal writings by bisexual people ( Bi Any Other Name, 1991) broke ground... nearly a generation ago.
A tremendous surge of visibility for gay and lesbian--and sometimes bisexual and transgender--people has transformed our worlds. Many more people are coming out and claiming a bisexual or related identity. Many are doing so at younger ages, while others continue to discover or come to new understandings of their sexual identities later in life. The Internet has made information on bisexuality more readily available, and allowed some who might have struggled in isolation to find support.
As more and more people have come to recognize the limitations of rigid classifications, sexual orientation labels have become less fixed and permanent. People are becoming not only increasingly willing to embrace identities that cross lines, but... some eschew labels altogether.... we want this book to be a safe and nourishing haven not only for those who identify as bisexual, but for everyone.
Yet the process of creating safe space... remains incomplete, and is taking place (when it does at all) across a wildly-uneven background. Reading through the pieces collected in this book, perhaps most striking are the pressures that remain widespread. Bisexuals still confront shame, fear, homophobia, biphobia, invisibility, oppression of all types and--above all--isolation (even in the midst of the most accepting societies)....
We hope that bringing these voices together can help ease the isolation felt by many bisexuals. The details of our circumstances may differ, but in our stories are common threads. Wherever you may be, you are not alone.
About the Publisher
The Bisexual Resource Center is the oldest nationally-focused bisexual organization in the USA. Since its inception in 1985, the Bisexual Resource Center has been creating resources, providing support, and helping to create a stronger sense of community for bi/pan/fluid people across the world. (Visit us at Biresource.org)
100% of proceeds benefit the Bisexual Resource Center.