by Ritch C. Savin-Williams
What bisexual youth can tell us about today’s gender and sexual identities
Despite the increasing visibility of LGBTQ people in American culture, our understanding of bisexuality—perhaps one of the least visible sexual orientations—remains superficial at best. Yet five times as many people identify as bisexual than as gay or lesbian, and, if we were to include the many bisexual people who remain hidden from sight, including those who simultaneously identify as pansexual, fluid, genderqueer, and no label, as much as 25 percent of the population is estimated to be bisexual.
In Bi, Ritch C. Savin-Williams brings bisexuality out of the shadows, particularly as Gen Z and millennial youth and young adults increasingly reject traditional sexual labels altogether. Drawing on interviews with bisexual youth from a range of racial, ethnic, and social class groups, he reveals to us how bisexuals define their own sexual orientation and experiences—in their own words. Savin-Williams shows how and why people might identify as bisexual as a result of their biology or upbringing; as a bridge or transition to something else; as a consequence of their curiosity; or for a range of other equally valid reasons.
Savin-Williams provides an important new understanding of bisexuality as an orientation, behavior, and identity. Bi shows us that bisexuality is seen and embraced as a valid sexual identity more than ever before, giving us timely and much-needed insight into the complex, fascinating experiences of bisexual youth themselves.