Savin-Williams, Ritch C. “Bi: Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, and Nonbinary Youth”, NYU Press, 2021.
Gender and Sexual Identities
Even with greatervisibility of LGBTQ people in American culture, the understanding of bisexuality is superficial even though five times as many people identify as bisexual than as gay or lesbian, and as much as 25 percent of the population is estimated to be bisexual. In his new book “Bi”, scholar of youth sexuality, Ritch Savin-Williams, looks at bisexuality as Gen Z and millennial youth and young adults are rejecting traditional labels altogether. Through interviews with bisexual youth from a diverse racial, ethnic, and social class groups, he shows us how bisexuals define their own sexual orientation and experiences and in their own words. We see how and why people might “identify as bisexual as a result of their biology or upbringing; as a bridge or transition to something else; as a consequence of their curiosity; or for a range of other equally valid reasons.”
We gain a way to think about bisexuality as part of a continuum seeing that “many of the young people who identify as bisexual often defy traditional views, dispute false notions, and reimagine sexuality with regard to both practice and identity.” Many young people experience a complex, nuanced existence with multiple sexual and romantic attractions as well as gender expressions, which are rarely and move back and forth over their lives.
This is an important new understanding of bisexuality as an orientation, behavior, and identity. Bisexuality is seen as a valid sexual identity and we get a timely insight into the experiences of bisexual youth themselves.
There are those thatdoubt that bisexuality really exists, while others think that bisexuals are ‘closeted gays, curious heterosexuals, or maladjusted people who can’t decide what they want”. Savin-Williams’ book changes that by letting diverse individuals speak their own truths. through clear and compelling looks at bisexuality. Savin-Williams explains why young adults want to disrupt the binaries of their parents’ generation and create their own ways of understanding themselves and each other. We see all of the many ways bisexuality has been misunderstood.