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The 10 Best Books on Bisexuality You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 10 Best Books on Bisexuality You Should Have Read Already By Now!

We have all had experience with bisexuality. We might identify as one or have friends, siblings or children who identify as bisexuals. At the very least, we would have read about bisexuality – though many of us wouldn’t have gone so far as to cover all the best books on bisexuality.  No matter what our experience with bisexuality is, we would all be better off learning more about it, especially because bi-erasure is a significant problem even in the 21st century!

We are all responsible for making this world a better place for everyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The first step is to read and learn more about the ostracized communities. What better way to learn about bisexuality than to listen to the words of bisexual authors?

Bisexuality has historically been questioned, ridiculed or trivialized. Coming out can be a very traumatizing ordeal for bisexuals. They are interrogated and cross-examined. They carry the burden of proving their sexual identity beyond any doubt. This can be a very insensitive and intrusive process. Many celebrities have done their part in increasing bi-visibility.

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Lady Gaga, Megan Fox and Cardi B, among others, have been out and proud about their bisexuality for a long time. We are sure their acceptance of bisexuality gives validation to many.

But it would be more effective to listen to stories of regular people and how they grapple with bisexuality in their everyday lives. Imagine having access to stories of bisexual people from around the world! It would be an exquisite collection of intersections, giving a well-rounded picture of bisexuality. Does this intrigue you? You are at the right place!

Here we have ten books that will give you a comprehensive account of bisexuality. This is a collection of memoirs, anthologies of bi-authors, an analysis of bisexuality in film and television, and the history of bisexuality. Whether you are just venturing into bisexual literature or are well-versed in this genre, this list of best books on bisexuality will add value to your reading list.

Get comfy, and curl up with your favorite beverage. Let’s dive in!

Queer Literature

Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

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Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow

This is the story of one of the most celebrated American journalists, Charles M. Blow. In this moving memoir, he talks about his childhood, college years, coming out as a bisexual and coming to terms with his painful past. Growing up Black in Louisiana, he has been privy to the remnants of slavery from an early age. He grew up in abject poverty.

To illustrate this, he shares one instance from his childhood where Blow and his brothers ate dirt. From there to becoming the head of the New York Times graphics department by the age of twenty-five, Blow has come a long way. But it was not easy. The first two-thirds of the book is dedicated to the author’s childhood.

This makes sense since it affects the rest of his life. Blow recounts the time he suffered abuse from an older cousin and how it scarred him for years. He writes about his college years and the brutal hazing he encountered there.

Blow also talks about coming to terms with his bisexuality. The abuse he had suffered cost him his self-confidence. It triggered years of confusion and self-doubt. But with great courage, he eventually comes out as bisexual. 

Blow’s writing is lyrical and evocative. Many incidents he recalls are unpleasant and can be difficult to read about. But his compelling writing helps. He taps into the timeless tradition of African American storytelling to tell his story. 

This is a great book to understand the intersection of race and sexuality through someone’s lived experience.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston

This book is a vibrant collection of essays on bisexuality by the author, Jen Winston. Through these essays, she highlights the bi experience. The constant confusion, the feeling of not being queer enough and the judgment bi folks face. She describes how it felt to know that you are different but not have the language to express it.

The bisexual community has always felt that it is not queer enough. She highlights how bisexuals try not to take up too much space, even within the LGBT community. Winston wonders what would happen if the bisexuals did not try to make themselves smaller anymore. What would it look like if they knew what they wanted and asked for it? What if they let themselves be greedy?

Winston draws on her own experiences to shed light on the stereotypes the bisexual community faces. And what happens when you fit those stereotypes? How do you fight them? Winston tackles these questions with wit and grace. She also includes ample footnotes, which add layers and nuance to the arguments. 

The writing is very easy to understand, engaging and conversational. Winston’s wit makes it a hilarious read despite the heaviness of the subject. It almost feels like talking to a very cool and very funny friend. 

Greedy was named one of the best books of 2021 by Oprah Daily. This queer coming-of-age story is relatable on so many levels. Makes for a perfect mid-week read!

Greedy Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World by Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley

This is an anthology of personal essays by bisexuals from across the globe. The editors, Robyn Ochs and Sarah E. Rowley reached out to 185 bi authors from 42 countries to capture a comprehensive picture of what it means to be bisexual in different cultures. The book is structured in chapters, with each one beginning with a question or a prompt.

Then we read the diverse responses of the contributors. The responses tell how similar yet different it is to be bisexual in different parts of the world. The book’s latest edition came out in 2009, which makes some of these experiences outdated. However, the book offers a peek into what it meant to be bisexual in the early 21st century.

Some of the issues that come up are still relevant. These essays will have you rooting for some characters and crying for some. Lived human experiences never go out of style, do they? These are stories of identity exploration and what bisexuality means at a personal level. Is it solely about whom you are attracted to?

The authors also share about the fatigue of coming out. It can be very taxing to share something personal and then explain it repeatedly.

The editors also include a list of resources at the end for readers who want to explore bisexual literature more. There is a list of fiction with bisexual characters as well. What’s more, the editors have compiled a guide for parents whose children have come out as bisexual! 

Getting Bi Voices of Bisexuals Around the World by Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner

In this book, the author, Shiri Eisner, examines and analyses bisexual politics from different angles. Even though there is increasing awareness of the LGBT community, bisexuality continues to be sidelined. The community faces flak from both queer and non-queer people. Those who come out as bi are harassed with questions and judgments.

Either you are too bisexual, promiscuous, or incapable of a stable relationship. Or you aren’t bisexual enough, not having enough partners of both genders to prove bisexuality. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Eisner draws parallels between the struggles faced by bisexuals to the systemic oppression that some other communities face.

She argues that the system harms everyone and rallies support to transform it. Another remarkable thing in the book is how Eisner deals with bisexuality in men and women. Because both genders experience bisexuality differently, she calls on the men within the community to fight against the heteronormative patriarchy.

She also addresses the gay/straight washing that the bisexual community is constantly subjected to. Bi women are considered straight, whereas bi men are considered gay. Eisner goes into the nuances of biphobia and how it manifests in everyday life for bisexuals.

She advocates for radical change that will topple the current attitudes. She draws on activist Robyn Ochs’ words to assert that bisexuality is not a neat concept. It is messy and complicated, but that’s not a drawback.

Bi is a concise, accessible introduction to bisexual politics and activism. This is a very insightful, eye-opening book. A must-read for bisexuals as well as allies.

Bi Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me by Ana Castillo

Ana Castillo is an award-winning author of Chicana literature. In this memoir, she recounts her life as the daughter of a strong and stern woman. And later as a single mother. This is one of those stories where you can see life coming full circle. We learn about her childhood and the huge role tortillas played in it!

She also touches upon how it was to grow up as a Latina teen in the 70s Chicago and how she made sense of her racial identity amidst Black popular culture. We also glimpse how she starts to lose hope in men. Castillo’s relationship with her mother was a turbulent one. She fought against familial expectations to go to college and build a career.

She left home as a young woman to make her way in the world. And boy, did she do a good job! But her lowest point was witnessing her son being persecuted by the American penal system. 

Embedded in this story is the exploration of her sexuality. Castillo is bisexual, having had relationships with both men and women. One of her longest relationships is with the woman who helped raise her son. Castillo does not write of a monumental coming-out story. Her sexuality does not take the center-stage in the memoir. 

Black Dove is a poignant tale of a Chicana bisexual woman and mother. This unique intersection gives way to intriguing experiences and perspectives. This story is relatable for any community whose voice has been silenced and neglected throughout history. 

Black Dove Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me by Ana Castillo - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Lani Ka’ahumanu and Loraine Hutchins

Some people from the bisexual community hail this book as the Bible for bisexuality. Comprising of personal essays and poems, this is an informative read. The essays are by bisexual men and women from different walks of life. They give a comprehensive view of being bi.

However, the issues in the book are a little outdated, as it was published in 1994. The essays recount, in detail, the ostracization that bisexuals face at the hands of gay and straight people. It also tackles the AIDS outbreak in the LGBT community, which was a fresh issue when the book was published.

Nevertheless, many of the issues discussed within the pages of this book are relevant to this day. In the myriad stories, we are sure all readers will find something to relate to. Validation is crucial for the queer community since it has been suppressed for so long.

And this book doles out validation generously. The personal accounts will surely trigger self-exploration. Some of us, even those who identify as bi, can be blind to certain stereotypes and issues that plague the community. You might not agree with all the perspectives shared, but each one will help you reflect. 

The editors, Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka’ahumanu, have included a list of resources at the end of this book. While none of these are Internet links (this was before the Internet), they are some of the most significant books in LGBT history.

Bi Any Other Name is a classic anthology that cannot be missed. Monosexual, bi or multisexual, your reading is incomplete without this one!

Bi Any Other Name Bisexual People Speak Out by Lani Ka’ahumanu and Loraine Hutchins - Best Book on Bisexuality


The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television by Maria San Filippo

Are you a movie buff? Do you love talking for hours on end about the nuances of a film? If so, this is the book for you! Bisexuality is often dismissed by camouflaging it as gay, homoerotic or simply queer. It does not get its due share in mainstream media or academic discourse.

In The B Word, the author Maria San Filippo looks at the depiction of bisexuality in queer studies and film and media. She patiently dissects numerous films from diverse genres. She analyses gaps in narratives where bisexuality would have added depth to the story and made more sense. She calls these “missed moments”.

Representation can be transformational for a community that has been sidelined for so long. Filippo’s arguments to include bisexual characters in mainstream media are relatable for many of us. She transcends beyond the dominant monosexuality (gay or straight) and presents bisexuality as a much-needed trope in movies.

While Filippo primarily tackles American film and television in this book, her opinions also apply to other regions. Most of the book is focused on female bisexuality. But there are chapters on Brokeback Mountain and The Wedding Crashers that provide insights into the conceptualizations of male bisexuality.

This book was published in 2013, so you can expect some ideas to be a little outdated. But it is surprising that many of them still hold. While bisexual representation has improved a little, there is still a long way to go.

This is a great book for people exploring and advocating for bisexual representation in mainstream media.

The B Word Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television by Maria San Filippo - Best Book on Bisexuality

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Bisexuality in the Ancient World by Eva Cantarella

We all know bisexuality did not sprout in the last few decades. It has been around for a long time. But what was it like to be bisexual in ancient times? There was no Internet, no pride marches, and no support groups. Bisexuality in the Ancient World tells us exactly that.

The author, Eva Cantarella, juxtaposes Roman and Greek cultures and their attitudes toward bisexuality. This book is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to bisexuality in Greece. The second part covers the Roman side of it. Cantarella draws on many sources- legal texts, inscriptions, medical documents, poetry and literature, to glean a comprehensive picture of the bisexual experience in both cultures.

These ancient civilizations were not very forgiving of any deviation from heteronormativity. There are accounts of bisexual men who have had to conceal their identity.

In many cases, they had to completely renounce it to survive and lead a respectable life. The roots of discrimination against bisexuals that we encounter today can be traced back to the ancient period. The collective evaluation and taboos were much stronger back then. The author concludes the historical study by illuminating the legal and social repression of bisexuality by Christianity in the late ancient period.

Cantarella does a commendable job of making this analysis easy to read. She ensures that the language is accessible to everyone. A great book for understanding the history of bisexuality.

Bisexuality in the Ancient World by Eva Cantarella - Best Book on Bisexuality


Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain by Kate Harrad

Purple Prose is a book written by bisexuals for bisexuals. It is an anthology of interviews, personal essays, poems and commentaries. As the title states, these contributions are from people living in the UK.

It explores a wide range of bisexual issues, from representation in mainstream media to more inclusive definitions of bisexuality. Biphobia, bi-invisibility and erasure, bisexuality and polyamory, and bisexuality and religion are some of the major themes of this book.

It is replete with first-person accounts of people from the community. These raw and real stories will have you tearing up in no time! However, this is not a sad book. The tone is kind, supportive and uplifting. The editor, Kate Harrad, wanted to make the bisexual community feel safe, heard and loved. And it shows. She uses simple language.

You won’t need any prior knowledge of LGBT issues to understand this book. Harrad goes out of her way to incorporate diversity. There are accounts of people from various religions, races and minority ethnic groups.

She also includes accounts of people whose bisexual identity interacts with other types of sexuality, like pan or asexual. This very delicate topic is handled beautifully in this book. In addition, there is an insightful section on ethical non-monogamy in the bisexual community. 

Reading personal essays feels like talking to someone who knows exactly what we are going through. Purple Prose is a great tool for anyone exploring their sexuality, parents of bisexual children or teens, friends and community allies.

Purple Prose Bisexuality in Britain by Kate Harrad - Best Book on Bisexuality


Advice from a Wild Deuce: The Best of Ask Tiggy by Tiggy Upland

What do you do when you are clueless about something? You ask for advice! If there’s no one around who can understand you, you will need to look elsewhere. Maybe that’s how newspaper advice columns became popular. This book contains questions and responses from one such advice column.

But the fact that this column was dedicated to bisexuals and answered by the quirky Tiggy Upland makes it all the more intriguing! Jennifer Bonardi, aka Tiggy Upland, wrote this book based on the questions she received over the years about bisexuality. The queries are organized into themes. The book starts with basics like labels and identities.

It then proceeds to more complex issues like coming out and navigating relationships. Of course, you can always jump directly to any section you need. The book is organized with a reliable table of contents. Upland is witty and a very shrewd writer. But she is never harsh or blunt. Her responses are compassionate and supportive.

Upland is great at taking a question and drawing out its underlying issues. She manages to answer the question while simultaneously connecting it to a bigger problem. Upland stresses over and over again that any label is only meaningful as long as it is self-chosen. This book is a strong advocate of self-identification. 

This book is not just the advice column favorite. Upland also includes tips for coming out as bisexual, snippets of her bisexual webcomic, and more. Advice from a Wild Deuce is an entertaining and educational crash course on bisexuality!

Advice from a Wild Deuce The Best of Ask Tiggy by Tiggy Upland - Best Book on Bisexuality


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