In my previous blog entry Labels, I tried to explain why I disagree with people who feel the term bisexuality should be abandoned in favor of labels like pansexual or queer. I feel I may have explained it rather clumsily, so I’ll give it a 2nd try. I’m not sure Il’l do a better job this time, but Il’l definitely try . 😉
When people start to give their own meaning to words, communicational chaos ensues. This however, doesn’t stop people from expanding the meaning of words; e.g. there are people who call themselves vegetarian even though they eat the meat of fish and/or poultry and some people call themselves actors although they’ve never acted in front of an audience or camera. To use an example that is a little more on-topic: quite a few people identify as heterosexual or homosexual despite being attracted to (and in many cases engaging in sex with) men and women. They stretch the meaning of the words heterosexual and homosexual* instead of calling themselves bi, but I respect their decision to do so.
(* = I find this such a strange phenomenon that I decided to mention it again. 🙂 I first mentioned it in the 3rd paragraph of another blog entry called Anti-Bisexuality Sentiment and Bi Erasure.)
The prefix bi means two, and in the case of the word bisexual it refers to two genders: male and female. Considering that I think its a bad idea to mess with the meaning of words too much, it may seem weird to claim that people who don’t identify as male or female are covered by the concept of bisexuality (and I neither expect nor advocate for others to view the term bisexuality like I do), but I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’m merely trying to emphasize that the word bisexual does not have to be considered AGI-exclusive. The term bisexual wasn’t coined to exclude anyone; it’s simply meant to indicate a person who isn’t monosexual (I doubt that the person who used the word bisexual first knew there are people who don’t identify as male or female).
I assume that most people, including people with an with an atypical gender identity (AGI) don’t consider the word bisexual to be anti-AGI. I have no idea how many AGI-persons** are lobbying to stop bisexuals from calling themselves bisexuals, but I suspect there may be more pansexuals who are lobbying for the abolishment of the term bisexuality than AGI-persons. 🙂
(** = Despite having read a few articles about gender identity, I’m not sure if AGI-person is the right term to use.)
I have never met anyone who didn’t identify as either male or female. Until I do, an expansion of a dictionary definition of bisexual will feel like little more than a cosmetic expansion, but in case I ever do meet someone with an atypical gender identity and end up feeling attracted to the person in question, then I’ll be ready for it label-wise 😉