Bisexuality has traditionally been used to describe people who are attracted to men and women. However, this fails to consider many people who fall outside of these two binary genders and have a gender identity that is not male or female.
The following terms can be used to discuss attraction to multiple genders without excluding non-binary people:
- Bisexual- the potential to be attracted to people of two genders;
- e.g., male people and female people, or male people and people of one non-binary gender.
- Polysexual- the potential to be attracted to people of multiple, but not all genders;
- e.g., attraction to female people, and multiple people of different non-binary gender identities, but not male people.
- Pansexual- the potential to be attracted to anyone, regardless of their gender.
- For a pansexual person, gender is not a consideration in whether they are attracted to someone or not.
People attracted to more than one gender do not have to feel equally attracted to all the people in all the genders that they are attracted to. They can be interested in certain types of people or genders to different degrees and still identify perfectly well as bi/poly/pansexual. Of course, this can be difficult to explain to some people, and sometimes simply saying “bisexual” can save you a lot of trouble from having a discussion about the gender binary with someone who is not ready to have a sensible and considerate discussion about it.
If you have any questions about bisexuality, feel free to contact our Bisexual and Pansexual Representative.