Does Bisexuality Exclude Trans People?
Examining preferences and identity on Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Today, September 23, is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Also known as Bi Visibility Day, this annual event marks the finale of Bisexual Awareness Week, a time to celebrate and learn about the bisexual community.
As a queer trans person who openly identified as bi for many years, I’ve written previously about the perceived differences between bisexuality and pansexuality, a subject of many arguments. I explored, from my own perspective, the evolution of the definition of bisexual from “attracted to men and women” to “attracted to people of more than one sex and/or gender”.
Let’s celebrate bisexuality, minus the identity policing
Your sexual orientation, and chosen label for it, is your business.
But what if, for some, bisexual still does mean only “attracted to men and women”? Would that definition of bisexuality exclude trans people? Quite simply, I would say no, at least when it comes to binary trans people, because trans men are men and trans women are women.
However, it’s abundantly clear from the amount of anti-trans backlash in the U.S. that many people — even some trans people — don’t agree with this statement. Many people do not accept the authenticity of anyone who has changed their gender identity from the associated sex that they were assigned at birth. They often insist on calling trans people “biologically”, “genetically”, or “anatomically” male or female based on what is written on their original birth certificates, regardless of their current identity or presentation.
Granted, people who deny the authenticity of trans women and men may be more likely to identity as straight, gay, or lesbian rather than bisexual. Indeed, some have developed specific labels or groups — such as “super straight” — to emphasize that they are only attracted to cisgender people, even if they don’t themselves use that term. (Cisgender simply refers to a person who agrees with and lives as their assigned sex. The abbreviation, “cis”, is neither a slur nor an acronym.)