Bi Visibility Day: Romances with Bisexual Characters

Bi Visibility Day

September 23 marks Bi Visibility Day, a day for celebrating bisexuality and teaching people more about what it means to be bi. Bisexual Invisibility is a very real issue, so we set aside a day to promote and bring awareness to what bisexuality is!

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Bi Visibility Day - LOL

From the San Francisco Human Rights Commission:

Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, demonized, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual world and the lesbian and gay communities.3 Often, the entire sexual orientation is branded as invalid, immoral, or irrelevant. Despite years of activism and the largest population within the LGBT community, the needs of bisexuals still go unaddressed and their very existence is still called into question. This erasure has serious consequences on bisexuals’ health, economic well-being, and funding for bi organizations and programs.

bisexual-invisibility

Since this is a book blog, I wanted to mention three of my favorite books with bisexual main characters. When I tag my book reviews, I try to specify the sexuality of the pairing as well as the genders of the characters in that pairing (for instance, ‘gay’ and ‘m/m’, or ‘bisexual’ and ‘m/m’, or ‘bisexual’ and ‘f/m’). The M/M Romance genre is notorious for bi invisibility, where a bisexual character (ie, one who has relationships with both male and female partners in canon) is consistently labeled as ‘gay’ throughout the story.

There are a lot of book with bi characters, especially in the last couple of years, but I wanted to focus on three where the bisexuality is explicitly (and often explicitly) shown.

(Click on book covers for the Goodreads Page.)

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

The Girl Next Door, by Amy Jo Cousins
Read my review here (5/5 stars)

This is a really fantastic romance set in contemporary Chicago. When Cash’s cousin shows up on his doorstep, alone and fresh out of the closet, he turns to the first person he can think of for help: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

Steph is openly and unashamedly bisexual, and her sexuality is discussed and referenced throughout the novel. Plus, the plot and the romance are excellently written!

carey-kushiels-dart

Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey
Published: September 2003

This is a classic in the romance genre. Set in an alternate Europe with strong fantasy elements, it follows Phèdre nó Delaunay, a woman born with an unusual (and highly coveted) gift: she experiences pain as pleasure. The motto of this world is love as thou wilt, and Phèdre has encounters and falls in love with both males and females.

While the word bisexual is never used in this novel (it’s a fantasy, after all), Phèdre is very much a bisexual character (as are many others). Now, before you run out and buy this novel, be warned: there’s a lot of S&M here, and a lot of sex. But the books are full of intrigue and passion and tons of cleverly-done historical references, so it’s a blast to read!

frank-try

Try, by Ella Frank
Published: November 2013

We’ve had some awesome bi ladies, so how about some awesome bi guys! If you haven’t heard of Ella Frank’s Temptation trilogy, then sit back and let me introduce you to your new favorite erotic series! Tate is newly-divorced and has just started as a bartender in downtown Chicago. When Logan Mitchell walks in one night, everything changes. Tate has always thought of himself as straight… but Logan tempts, teases, and convinces Tate to give men a try.

Logan is most definitely bisexual. The very first scene in the book is him joining the Mile High Club with a woman! And Tate, fresh out of marriage to a woman, isn’t sure what he is… but he knows that he’s drawn to Logan’s charm and sexual appeal.

These books are overflowing with sex. ALL OF THE SEX. The second and third book are entirely M/M, but Logan is definitely getting busy with the men and the ladies in this book.


Here are a few resources for Bi Visibility Day:

The Bi Visibility Day Official Website
The San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s report on Bisexual Invisibility
The Advocate’s 2014 Year of Bisexual Invisibility

I’d love any recommendations for books with bi characters! If you’re looking for more recs, check out Bisexual Books on tumblr, and my tag for bisexual characters!

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