Life

It’s BiWeek. Here are some words you should know.

The bi flag
The bi flagPhoto: Shutet

Do you know why there’s sometimes a plus sign after the words bi or bisexual? Do you know what “bi erasure” is?

This week is Bisexual+ Awareness Week, also known as BiWeek for short. BiWeek was co-founded by the LGBTQ media organization GLAAD and the bisexual+ advocacy group BiNet USA to help educate and build awareness about bi people.

Related: There was an outpouring of love after this bisexual girl’s grandma went viral

Some of the language when it comes to the B in LGBTQ might seem a little confusing, but fear not! The folks at GLAAD have prepared a quick refresher on some common terms.

Bisexual/Bi

A person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/ or emotional attractions to those of the same gender or to those of another gender. People may experience their attractions in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime. Some bi+ people are attracted to people of all genders equally. Others may have attractions that are predominantly towards one gender over others.

Bi Erasure

A pervasive problem in which the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality+ (either in regard to an individual or as an identity) is questioned or denied outright.

Biphobia

Fear of bisexuals+, often based on stereotypes, including inaccurate associations with infidelity, promiscuity, and transmission of sexually transmitted infections.

Bisexual+ Umbrella/Bi+ Umbrella

An encompassing term for people with the capacity to be attracted to more than once gender. Includes people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, and more.

Pansexual/Pan

A person who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to people of all genders or to people regardless of gender.

Polysexual

An individual who has the capacity to form enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to a range of people of various – but not necessarily all – genders. For example, a woman may identify as polysexual if she is attracted to other women (cis and trans) as well as nonbinary individuals.

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