Bisexual men's identities: (re)defining what it means to be bi.




Poole, Lisa Dianne

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Bisexual identity is formed within the constraints of a heteronormative framework which is infused with power, promotes stability and alignment of apparently binary sex, gender identity, and gender roles, as well as promoting procreation, monosexuality and monogamy. Heteronormative models of sexuality fail to capture the complexity, ambiguity, multiplicity, and fluidity of bisexual experience. Using data collected through interviews with twelve self-identified bisexual men this research explores questions of how bisexual men make sense of what it means to be bisexual within a heteronormative framework of sexuality and if they disrupt or reproduce dominant understandings of sexuality. I found these bisexual men sometimes conformed to a dominant framework; however, as an example of how identity can be unstable in both meaning and expression they also took up a provisional bisexual identity and disrupted dominant discourses by redefining bisexual meanings – offering alternatives to the binary, gender based definitions of sexuality, and monosexuality.



Bisexuality, Bisexual men, Bisexual identity, Queer theory, Heteronormativity, Bisexual politics