I finally cracked open More Than Two and was only on page 3 (technically page 453, which page 3 directed me to) when I realized that I’d like to write a series of commentaries about my thoughts on the book. While the original inspiration was a thought of “Hey now, I don’t agree with that at all!”, I can already tell from the bit of flipping through that I did that there’s going to be a number of “Yes! That is so true!” moments as well as “Ooooh, that is a great idea! I’m going to try applying that myself!” moment.
But for now, we’re on a moment of “Hey now, I don’t agree with that at all!”, starting with page 3. That page (of the paperback) mentioned a glossary at the back listing a lot of popular poly jargon. I like making sure I know my words, so I flipped back to page 453 to take a look at the glossary. And there I saw something that made me groan:
BISEXUAL. Used to describe someone who is sexually attracted to or sexually active with partners of both sexes, though not necessarily equally. [emphasis added]
Oh dear, Franklin and Eve! I’m amazed that there were no bisexuals who reviewed this lovely book and didn’t object to that wording! According to BiNet USA (the oldest national bisexual organization in the US), a bisexual is
A person whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction is to other people of various sexes and/or gender identities. Individuals may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime. [emphasis added]
This is an extremely important distinction to many bisexuals (including me). A lot of us date people across the LBGTQ spectrum. Referring to bisexuals as dating people of both sexes doesn’t respect the growing number people (and growing body of research) that supports the truth that sexuality isn’t comprised of just those two narrow boxes.
In addition to my dissappointment with the definition of bisexual, I was surprised that there wasn’t a glossary definition for queer. Most people have at least some idea of what a bisexual is (even if part of that idea often includes that mistaken, misleading belief that we date “both” genders), even if they haven’t met any bisexuals (or more likely, don’t know that they know bisexuals). Many people are still unfamiliar with queer as a term and what queer means. I have a number of friends who identify as queer, and I’m not entirely sure what it means.
(note to self: go ask them!)
I hope the next edition of More Than Two is updated with the correct definition of bisexual as well as a glossary entry for queer.