2019. The Year of Bisexuality.
It's 2019 and my feed is overcome with celebrities and normies declaring their bisexuality. This year at London Pride, the bisexual flag was flown more than ever before. As a part of the LGBTQ community, bisexuals seem to be a little more open, a little more addressed and a great deal more respected. Perhaps this is because people are getting over their own bisexual confusion, or perhaps it's because we are getting a little closer to the millennial dream of no one giving a fuck
As a bisexual woman, who loves reading, it is important to me to have protagonists who also swing my way. Who make me feel validated, comfortable and proud in my orientation. So I have decided to share with you the books that really helped me accept my sexuality as representation is an important thing for anyone in this LGBTQ+ community, and so is good reading material.
Themes: Bisexuality in pop culture, history, society and self.
Length: 345 pages
Avoid If: Non-Fiction bores you to tears
Ideal For: If you want the fact and figures of bisexuality. E.g. research paper wise.
So first up, do not be put off by this books non-fiction status. I am frequently guilty of approaching these books like some GCSE research paper; with fear, dread and presumptuous boredom. But this book is far from it. Split into numerous chapters and sub chapters, this book is a must read for anyone curious about Bisexuality.
Whether you feel bisexual, want to learn more, or are curious or are straight up angry about how you are told being bisexual is not a thing: this book is for you.
This book explores bisexual history, rights, statistics, society and community, even with a dashing of psychology. The bottom line is, this book embraces every asset of our sexuality and it is beautiful.
Genre: Fantasy Fairy Tale/ YA
Themes: Cinderella, coming of age, first love
Length: 291 pages
Avoid If: You are entirely over these fairy tale adaptations
Ideal For: Every little girl waiting for her beautiful princess and prince.
When I first found this book, it was in the "lesbian" section of Gays The Word. However, given this Cinderella character has a reslationship with both a man and a woman in this novel, I am inclined to argue that this book is in fact bisexual rather than completely gay.
In short, this is your classic Cinderella story but with our girl Cinders called Ash. Whilst she does meet the handsome Prince Charming, she also meets his Huntress and her magical fairy Godmother is in fact some sexy fae Lord in the woods. It's a fun read, not too long and satisfies that bisexual rep itch.
Themes: Nerd culture/pop culture, fame, first love, starting over
Length: 262 pages
Avoid If: you find Comic con and nerd culture obnoxious
Ideal For: any nerd who can't make it to Comic con.
Admittedly, this book is very very sweet. I genuinely did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did as I am very snobby and 9 times out of 10, hate teenagers. But this one was different. Whilst the writing wasn't breathtaking, the story and inclusivity was heartwarming.
Queens of Geek tells the story of three best friends from Australia travelling to America for Comic con.
Firstly, we have Taylor, our other protagonist, who is attending to meet her all time favourite author. However, Taylor has very intense social anxiety, exasperated by the fact she is fat and this is something the world feels the need to punish her for. Taylor's story explores her first taste of romance, coupled with embracing herself and learning how to cope with her anxiety.
Then we have Taylor's best friend, Sci-Fi actress Charlie, who spends the duration of the novel promoting her debut film whilst tackling, educating and overcoming instances of bi-phobia and champions her sexual identity and all those who share it.
Finally we have Jamie, who, is just kind of there, but is a lovely young man albeit his lack of narration.
This is a great little YA novel for anyone who loves nerd fandom and of course, is bisexual, but perhaps those who experience fat shaming and social anxiety.
Genre: YA, Mermaid
Themes: Mermaids, First Love, coming of age, and girl power
Length: 212 pages
Avoid If: you associate mermaids with basic white girls.
Ideal For: basic white girls.
This is a classic Little Mermaid retelling with a twist. The twist being it's not hetero (:
Our young mermaid, Esrel, is of age where she needs to marry and start churning out little merbaes (not all too sure on the logistics of mermaid conception yet. Will do more research). Her best friend would marry her in a heartbeat, but she knows deep down marriage won't make her happy. Thus, she goes to the surface and saves a beautiful human girl from death. As expected, the duo fall in love and their happily ever after is tested and fought for.
I am classing this as bisexual as firstly, our little mermaid has had a relationship with both a man and a woman. Secondly, it is mentioned that sexuality is fully explored in mermaid land (or waters...?) and not a taboo, the only issue is the patriarchal world of marriage in which women are regarding as mermaid making machines. And finally, Julia Ember, our lovely author is a polyamorous Bisexual woman, so it feels fitting that this novel is representative of our sexuality.
Genre: Dark Humour, Fantasy, YA
Themes: coming out, mermaids, elves, harpies, magic land in conjunction with reality
Avoid If: within the first two chapters you cannot hack the sense of humour.
Ideal For: anyone who wants anything different.
In Other Lands is a fantasy novel about a boy called Elliot being told he is able to enter the Other Lands, aka magic world.
Elliot is an odd ball to say the least. Hugely irritating and socially awkward, he somehow manages to secure the beautiful elven Serene-heart-in-the-chaos-of-battle as his friend and some strange alliance with the school heartthrob Luke Sunborn. The trio have numerous adventures both of the magical kind and the growing up kind. Gender roles within this novel are flipped and the results are hilarious, such as;
“Do not have a catfight, boys, even if it is that time of the month,” said Serene, and when she saw them staring at her, she explained: “You know—women shed their dark feelings with their menses every month? But men, robbed of that outlet, have strange moodswings and become hysterical at a certain phase of the moon?”
This book doesn't take itself seriously in the slightest and it is truly hilarious if you can embrace the very niche humour.
So, sexuality wise, there is a lot of good representation. I don't want to give any spoilers with regards to which character identifies as what, but I will say that numerous characters identify as gay and it is perfectly okay for them to do so in this world, and some identify as bisexual. Our Bi folk face a little stigma from those around them not being able to understand their love for all genders, very much like our current world, but they persevere!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something a little bit different.
Themes: Identifying within the Lesbian-Bisexual spectrum
Avoid If: you're looking for something more adult. This is very rooted in the late teen age group.
Ideal For: anyone who has identified as a lesbian but felt more bisexual.
This is by far one of my favourite ever books. It tells the story of Ramona, a girl who has always identified as a lesbian, until she begins to develops feelings for a boy. Her struggle with her shifting identity is set against the backdrop of Mississippi, where Ramona is the soul provider for her family.
For me this novel is important because it handles the transition of "lesbian" to "bisexual" so accurately. When I first came out, I felt no attraction to men and thus identified as a Lesbian. But over time things changed for me and it made me feel like a "failed lesbian". Which is insane as there is no final entry exam into the lesbian club... That I am aware of.
The bottom line is, this book feeds your soul regardless of how you identify.
Stars: 3* (pending on story)
Length: 25 short stories
Avoid If: Your idea for erotica is a SJ Maas novel, you might blush at the amount of "appendages" in this.
Ideal For: anyone who needs to get off.
I direct you to Love Honey's vibrator selection before you read this book.
It's pure and simple smut that will indulge your every bisexual desire.
However this was published back in 2000 (19 years ago), so it might feel a little dated for you kids.