No bi erasure found here!
It’s Bisexual Awareness Week, and what better way to celebrate it than to talk about notable bisexual authors and recommend a few great books that feature bi characters?
Even in 2023, bi erasure is still alive and well. In fact, the experience of being bisexual typically comes with a lot of explaining to do – not only to straight people but also to many queer people. Unfortunately, it is still common for straights, gays, and lesbians to judge/perceive bisexuality as a “gateway path” or middle-ground label before someone fully comes out as gay or lesbian. This is a terrible thing considering that so many people ignore the completely possible chance that a person isn’t just into one gender.
This very real misrepresentation of bisexual people bleeds into everything: lack of mainstream representation, celebrities being afraid to identify as such, and such few movies, TV shows, and books about bi characters. The list goes on! But since we’re celebrating the B in LGBTQ+ this week, it’s time to recommend a few bisexual authors and books that do feature compelling bi characters.
Scroll through to learn more about bisexual book authors, as well as books that feature bisexual characters!
Actress and comedian Margaret Cho is an incredible writer who has identified as bisexual for many decades. Cho has published two great books, 2001’s I’m the One That I Want and 2005’s I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight.
Steve Orlando is a comic book author who is best known for writing Batman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter books for DC Comics. The out bisexual author has also written for Marvel Comics, tackling characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men.
Roxane Gay, who also identifies as bisexual, has written various fiction and non-fiction books, as well as short stories. Her non-fiction works include 2014’s Bad Feminist, 2017’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, and 2023’s Opinions. Gay’s fiction novels are 2014’s An Untamed State, 2017’s Difficult Women, and 2019’s The Banks.
Even though most people know Alan Cumming as a bisexual actor who’s starred in numerous movies, theatrical productions, and TV shows, he also happens to be a very accomplished author. Namely, Cumming has written 2002’s Tommy’s Tale, 2012’s May the Foreskin Be With You, 2014’s Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir, 2016’s You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: My Life in Stories and Pictures, 2017’s The Adventures of Honey & Leon, and 2019’s Baggage: Tales From a Fully Packed Life.
Lots of fans know Carrie Brownstein as a musician in bands like Sleater-Kinney, Excuse 17, and Wild Flag, as well as her writing and acting work in shows like Saturday Night Live and Portlandia. And yet, Brownstein also published an incredible memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, in 2015.
‘Red White & Royal Blue’ (Alex Claremont-Diaz)
People from all over the world fell in love with the bisexual character of Alex Claremont-Diaz in the live-action movie adaptation of Red, White & Royal Blue on Prime Video. But before the film was made, lots of readers were already invested in this love story from reading the original 2019 novel written by Casey McQuiston.
‘The Girls I’ve Been’ (Nora O’Malley)
Published in 2021, The Girls I’ve Been tells the story of Nora O’Malley getting herself in a very sticky situation involving her girlfriend and ex-boyfriend (who is also her best friend). This novel was written by Tess Sharpe, who has a new book, The Girl in Question, coming in 2024.
‘Exciting Times’ (Ava)
Naoise Dolan’s 2021 novel Exciting Times is about Ava, who’s currently in a relationship with a wealthy man who appears to be emotionally unavailable. When she meets a lawyer called Edith, things take a turn and Ava gets to explore different feelings.
‘Running With Lions’ (Sebastian)
Running With Lions, published in 2018 by author Julian Winters, is a coming-of-age story about a bisexual character named Sebastian. As he experiences senior year and plays for the high school’s soccer team, he is suddenly forced to reconnect with his ex-best friend, Emir, bringing up a plethora of uncovered feelings.
‘Cool for the Summer’ (Lara)
Another great 2021 novel featuring a bisexual character is Cool for the Summer, which was written by Dahlia Adler. This book centers around Lara, who’s spent years crushing hard on Chase Harding. That is, until she meets Jasmine – a summer fling that has leaves her with life-changing questions about herself.