Representation matters. Especially for those who belong to a marginalized community. It helps people feel acknowledged and accepted. This is equally true for the bisexual community.
Bisexuality is a complex and often misunderstood sexuality. To be frank, a lot of society doesn’t quite understand what it means to be bi. And as we all know, misconception leads to societal marginalization and exclusion.
That’s why books featuring bisexual characters and literature written by bisexual people help create a safe, understanding, and inclusive space for the bi-community. Not only does reading books that explore bisexuality help people understand the nuances of bisexuality and the struggles faced by the community, but it also helps bisexual people feel seen and heard.
Whether you are a proud bisexual person or an ally looking to educate yourself, these 27 books are must-reads. Celebrate the beauty of bisexuality, one page at a time:
Never Miss a Beat
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay ahead of the latest LGBTQ+ political news and insights.
The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, And Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways by Nicole Kristal and Mike Szymanski
Are you a fan of snark? If you’re bisexual, of course you are. This book is not only the first winner of the first Bisexual Lambda Literary Award in 2006, it shares a lot of helpful information and is also friggin’ hilarious. Divided into sections — beginner, intermediate, and advanced — it has information for all levels of gay. Plus, Bisexuals Guide to the Universe is infused with the authors’ personal experiences along the way, so it never becomes dry or academic. And because it is written for bisexuals by bisexuals, bisexuality is not just a token mention. It’s the real focus.
Current Research on Bisexuality by Ronald Fox
Current Research on Bisexuality may come off a bit like reading a scientific journal, but it’s a goldmine of information. It rounds up insights from various studies that delve into bisexuality, non-monogamy, and how society views these topics. Science has a complex relationship with the bi community, often neglecting or sidestepping us in research. But Fox steps in to help us understand what science has actually uncovered about bisexuality. It’s perfect for arming yourself with facts when you’re dealing with those folks who insist that “science is on their side” as they argue against your sexuality.
Bi America: Myths, Truths, And Struggles Of An Invisible Community by William Burleson
If you’ve ever felt like the only bisexual in the room, this book is your beacon. In Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community, the author takes a deep dive into the vibrant world of the bisexual community. How’d he do it? By going to bi picnics, conferences, support groups, and performances. The book also delves into the rich history of bisexuality. Shedding light on the existence of a diverse bi community, Burleson explains why it’s not always readily apparent in America, and provides guidance on connecting. Say goodbye to those lonely feelings! Bi America makes the world a much more welcoming place for all of us.
Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions by Naomi Tucker
This book brings the theory. Admittedly, listening to the same stories of invisibility, stereotypes, and coming out can get boring. So, Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions explains why we face these things and how to overcome them. It is more academic than some of the other books on this list. Still, it is also vital because it includes multicultural issues often overlooked when focusing solely on biphobia.
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner
Bisexuals: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution is a call to arms for the politically inclined. It’s not your typical casual read, but a passionate manifesto. This book gets down and dirty in the fight for bisexual rights. Though it may have a few rough patches, it’s a compelling and crucial read for anyone who wants to dive into the intersection of politics and bisexuality. So, if you’re up for some eye-opening insights and a dose of activism, give it a go!
The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television by Maria San Filippo
This is truly the “missing manual” of queer studies and media critique. The B Word digs into the way bisexuality is treated, and often mistreated, in film and television. We know the topic may sound dry. Still, San Filippo has a sharpness to her writing that keeps this look into everything from art cinema to vampire movies enthralling.
Advice from a Wild Deuce: The Best of Ask Tiggy by Tiggy Upland
Initially, Wild Deuce started as an advice column on the Bisexual Resource Center’s website. Both humorous and thoughtful, this collection of Tiggy Upland’s advice is a great read for those wanting to better understand their own bisexuality (or that of others.) What’s more, behind Tiggy’s quirks and wit, you’ll find a large dose of kindness. Kind people are hot.
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu
In this groundbreaking anthology, published in 1991, more than seventy women and men from all walks of life describe their lives as bisexuals in prose, poetry, art, and essays. The literary world considers it one of the most famous books about bisexuality and still one of the most important. Despite some dated content, it’s a seminal collection that deserves to be read!
This book shattered the idea that there was a “typical” bisexual by challenging the stereotypes that still plague us today (namely that some people think we’re very, very slutty). The book is a collection of personal stories, and you can hear from bisexuals in their own words about bi invisibility in the LGBTQ+ community and among straight people. It includes a history of bi-activism in the USA (until 1991). While it’s getting a bit dated, it was one of the first books that made bi people feel at home and among their own people.
Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others edited by Nathan Alexander and Karen Yescavage
Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others is very eclectic. Its essays include personal stories, poems, academic research, theory, film criticism, and history. However, it also confronts the controversy around bisexuality. Is it inclusive or exclude trans people? Does it revolutionize gender or reinforce binary? How does the term bisexuality interact with queer? And where do trans people and other gender benders fit in the bisexual world? Great questions in a great anthology.
Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World edited by Robin Ochs and Sarah Rowley
Robin Ochs is not only the tireless face of bi-activism, but when she does something, she does it well. This book is no exception. Getting Bi collects 220 essays covering the gamut of bi experience, including many non-Western writers and experiences. The essays, written by bisexuals from around the world, give an international context to discussions about bisexuality that are so often limited by a Western (and American) worldview.
Reading them provides self-understanding as a lone bi person and as a part of something bigger and worldwide. The book also confronts assumptions and biases that white Americans may have when speaking about the acceptance and cultures of bisexuality in the countries where the authors lived. While it was updated in 2009, it’s undoubtedly due for yet another edition in the future, mainly to look into the many changes that have impacted the LGBTQ+ community in the last decade.
Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories by Kata Orndorff
While American culture embraces female bisexuality when it aligns with male desires, it denies women sexual autonomy at the same time. Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories by Kata Orndorff is a collection of candid interviews with a mixed group of bisexual women.
Within the book, there are many experiences, including those of women of color and those with disabilities. Through the authentic transcripts of these conversations, the book paints a vivid and eye-opening picture of the multifaceted issues that impact the everyday lives of bisexual women. Some participants openly discuss their sexuality, and many talk about the harsh realities of abuse, discrimination from the broader LGBTQ+ community, and sexism from their heterosexual friends and family.
While Bi Lives occasionally touches upon the tragic aspects of these experiences, it also underscores the significance of acknowledging the diversity within the bisexual community and is a must-read for bisexual people of all genders.
Bisexual Autobiographies and memoirs
Anything That Moves by Jamie Stewart
Anything That Moves is a candid and unforgettable memoir by Jamie Stewart, an openly bisexual and non-binary author and musician. The book takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through the sometimes awkward world of human desire. Brutally honest, funny, and often achingly relatable, the memoir comprises a collection of hookup stories, each offering a unique blend of depravity and joy. If you enjoy emotionally charged and occasionally jarring biographies, Anything That Moves is an absolute must-read and deserves its spot on our list of bisexual books to read.
Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers by Serena Anderlini-D’Orofio
Harmful stereotypes often plague the queer community. Including the idea that all bisexual people are promiscuous. Serena Anderlini-D’Orofio’s autobiography, Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers, is written from the perspective of a bisexual polyamorous woman and serves as a challenge to these stereotypes. This book is a must-read because it dares to question the general belief that having multiple partners, regardless of gender, should be stigmatized.
The memoir encourages readers to examine their preconceived biases about monogamy and promotes the exploration of a more inclusive space for all forms of bisexuality. The queer community sometimes (unintentionally?) marginalizes non-monogamous individuals, and this book sparks a much-needed conversation about the different paths to success, happiness, and the validity of others experiences.
Fire Shut Up In My Bones by Charles M. Blow
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s memoir takes readers on a beautiful and often challenging story of coming of age as a black bisexual man in the Deep South. Particularly poignant in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the post-Trump administration, Fire Shut Up in My Bones offers a vital perspective on identity, race, and bisexuality. It’s a powerful testament to personal growth and societal transformation, making it a must-read for those seeking insights into these complex issues.
Bad Dyke: Salacious Stories from a Queer Life by Allison Moon
If you’re looking for a book to explain being bisexual to Grandma, Bad Dyke isn’t it. Still, Allison Moon’s collection of essays is a bold and often explicit journey through her experiences as a queer person growing up in the 90s. Its raw and honest portrayal of sexual exploration makes it ultra relatable, as Moon’s stories ebb and flow, mirroring her evolving self-awareness and changing desires. It’s a candid exploration of queerness and bisexuality that doesn’t shy away from the intimate details of self-discovery.
Black Dove: Mama, Mi’jo, and Me by Ana Castillo
Black Dove is a beautiful autobiographical picture of growing up in Chicago as a Hispanic woman. Castillo, a feminist bisexual woman, tells a heartfelt and personal story of her and her son’s coming of age in America through a Hispanic lens. While the chapters touching on her bisexuality and polyamory may be of the most relevance on this list, Castillo’s openness about her son’s arrest and incarceration may stick with readers the longest.
Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience by Anuradha Bhagwati
Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience explores the intersections of bisexuality, heritage, and a journey through the male-dominated military complex. As a woman of color in the Marines, Bhagwati played a pivotal role in advocating for policy reform, making her story a compelling and empowering addition to the library of bisexual literature. Offering a unique perspective on the ongoing battle for inclusion and equality, Unbecoming highlights the complexities and triumphs of bisexuality in the face of adversity.
Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy is like no other memoir you’ve read. It’s a whirlwind of a book that looks at the author’s life growing up with an unconventional Catholic priest for a father. While it’s not specifically about bisexuality, it’s a must-read for the bisexual crowd because it tackles complex family dynamics, identity, and the eternal struggle of balancing personal beliefs with family traditions. Plus, Lockwood’s humor and sharp insights make it a relatable and captivating read for those who’ve navigated the choppy waters of bisexuality within the context of family and tradition.
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney
The biggest “bi” in this graphic memoir is “bipolar,” as author Ellen Forney explores her creative life since her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Fear not that this book is on the wrong list, however: Marbles also digs deep into the other “bi’ in Forney’s life, talking frankly about her bisexual identity.
Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
Orlando is possibly Woolf’s most over-the-top book. Following a poet who stops aging and starts changing sex from man to woman over the course of 300 years, the bisexual author’s examination of dual genders made it a hit among feminist and trans readers. Still, Woolf’s curious descriptions of natural and physical beauty throughout the book make it imminently re-readable, even today.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Spielberg’s 1985 movie spin on Alice Walker’s classic, The Color Purple, completely glossed over the bisexuality of the main character, Celie. But in the book, especially in the early chapters, you can clearly see that Celie, our protagonist, a poor Black woman, had a sapphic romance with a confident Black jazz singer named Shug Avery. The book is all about women breaking free from oppression and finding their own paths to self-determination. That’s what makes it a classic, but ironically, it’s also one of the most frequently banned books in the U.S. despite its powerful message.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
When 17-year-old bisexual Elio Perlman becomes smitten with his father’s 24-year-old art history research assistant, Oliver, their pairing awakens romantic and sexual feelings unlike anything Elio has ever experienced. While the 2017 film adaptation stops at the relationship’s demise, Aciman’s 2007 novel follows Elio into adulthood as he meets up again with Olivier. Though Olivier has married a woman and is raising a family, the romantic connection between the two men continues the novel’s slow-burn erotic longing for those who seem out of reach.
YA Bisexual books
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Le
Young Henry Montague’s stuffy father expects him to grow up and take over the family’s estate, but Henry would rather spend his time gambling, drinking, and carousing with men and women. So, before he’s forced to oversee his family’s land, Henry decides to enjoy one last year of hedonism, traveling across Europe with his younger sister Felicity and his best friend Percy. However, Henry starts developing feelings for Percy, just as a turn of events makes Henry question his lifelong comfort and privilege.
Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
A direct sequel to her 2015 debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Albertalli’s 2018 novel follows Leah, a fat, sarcastic drummer who has to deal with body image, social anxiety, and self-esteem during the end of her high school days and while coming to terms with a secret that she’s kept even from her closest gay male best friend: She’s bisexual and has unexpected feelings for a close friend. The book normalizes queerness in a myriad of refreshingly matter-of-fact ways.
Cool For The Summer By Dahlia Adler
Lara has had a years-long crush on the sweet but dumb football hunk Chase. But, she also fondly remembers the romantic feelings she felt last summer with a girl named Jasmine. Naturally, when Chase expresses interest in Lara, Jasmine unexpectedly appears in their high school. The turn of events leaves Lara in a love triangle that forces her to re-examine her thoughts on friendship, love, and sexuality.
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Talented soccer team captain Sebastian Hughes is grateful that his coach doesn’t force him to hide his bisexual identity. But his openness threatens to overwhelm him when his former best friend—a gay Muslim, Pakistani-American named Emir—becomes part of the team. Though the book centers almost entirely on its male characters, the team camaraderie and Sebastian’s self-doubts ring true.
I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
Skye Shin, an unapologetic, fat bisexual teen, joins an internationally televised competition to become a K-pop star. But her mother’s strict Korean cultural expectations of how young girls are supposed to act doesn’t allow for such silliness. While the book’s depiction of the K-pop industry provides plenty of compelling drama, Shin must also navigate her feelings for her fellow competitor Henry Cho. She emerges as a plucky hero who defies expectations, even as she’s asked to compromise herself while pursuing stardom.
As we wrap up our list of the best books for bisexual readers, remember, our literary journey doesn’t end here. The world of bisexual literature is ever-evolving, and there are countless stories yet to be explored.
If you’re hungry for more insightful tales and recommendations, subscribe to the LGBTQ Nation newsletter! Stay in the know about the latest and greatest in LGBTQ+ literature, culture, and more.
Three authors recently targeted by the religious right and Republicans spoke with LGBTQ Nation about being at the center of controversy.
50 writers, actors, and journalists said criticism of J.K. Rowling is “hate speech.” 200 more are rallying behind trans people.
“Words are binary. Humanity just is not, and won’t be.”