It’s #BiWeek, so I’m sharing some of my thoughts on what it means for me as a writer of bi-themed fiction. When I started writing novels, I had no intention of being bi-specific. In fact, because my first lgbtq+ writing was slash (i.e., gay) fan fiction, I had in mind to start there. M/M (romantic and/or erotic stories with two male—usually cisgender—leads) is very popular. I ignored the nagging in the back of my mind that this was not necessarily the direction I’d envisioned regarding my writing. As soon as I started putting the story together, I figured out the main character was most definitely Not Gay. Which, to my thinking, was a problem—bisexuality remains relatively uncommon (though this is slowly changing) in M/M fiction. At least, it’s uncommon unless there is in-text proof, frequently in the form of ménage-type relationships. In fact, more often than not, if the (male) main character ends up with another man, his previous relationships with women will be negated in any number of ways. Anyway, the end result was having a beta reader say to me, “You have a bisexual character! That’s awesome!” The story also ended up being very much Not a Romance, despite having an in-game relationship. I thought I’d try again for my second novel, but a similar thing happened. My supposedly very much gay main character realized he might not be gay after all but bi, and that became part of the story. Once again, it was Not a Romance, despite being much more about the relationship. Without giving too much away (that novel isn’t yet released), I will say the “love story” and the sex are not really about the relationship between the two people—they mean something else entirely. Which leads me to the present. I have since written two more novels and partially finished a third—all of which have some aspect of bisexuality and bi culture. The majority of my short stories have also involved bisexual people and experiences. I recently had not one but two separate readers on two separate stories complain that I had “too many bisexuals.” Is there such a thing? So, yes. I write a lot of bisexuality into my novels and short stories. Part of it is the sense many people do not realize we do indeed have our own community with its own subculture. For many of us, we feel safer, freer, and more comfortable associating with people like us. It is no different from other ways in which marginalized people have organized and created space. We have art, music, literature, and so on unique to us and which celebrates our lives. I’m merely adding to the pool. If it is acceptable to write entire novels in which the majority of characters are straight, gay, or lesbian, why isn’t it equally acceptable to write books in which the majority of characters are bisexual? I would suggest it’s not only all right but good to do so, and I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

advertisement