Bisexuality

Catherine Tramell in ‘Basic Instinct’ Is a Subversive Anti-Hero

Basic Instinct

The notion of Catherine as a subversive anti-hero develops when you view the film not as a story about the supposed protagonist Detective Nick Curran but as Catherine’s journey from mind games to almost domestic bliss but always returning to her basic instincts which threatens the Hollywood happy ending of established heteronormativity.

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Bisexual Representation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

But the clearest example of the Buffyverse’s discomfort with bisexuality, in my opinion, appears in the character of Faith Lehane. … Despite what was at the time a groundbreaking portrayal of a loving lesbian relationship, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ still had many issues in its messaging surrounding queer sexualities, in particular bisexuality. In my opinion, a few material changes could have gone a long way in removing at least some of this negative messaging.

‘Supernatural’s Scariest Monster: Bisexual Erasure

Supernatural

I won’t spend too much time trying to convince you that one of the main characters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), is bisexual — or would be, if the writers and producers would allow him to be — and that the show is queerbaiting. … What I am arguing is that queer people do not need a character’s sexuality to be canonized in order to identify with that character and recognize literary tropes that are generally used to align characters with queerness.

‘Person of Interest’s Sameen Shaw Stamps Her Place in TV’s Bisexual Landscape

Person of Interest

She is a victor, a fighter, and a survivor. Shaw is a queer, neurodivergent, woman of color, and she was allowed to be all of these things without ever being judged or punished for them. Though ‘Person of Interest’ never used the label, and Shaw herself is not likely to ever use such labels, she is unmistakably a bisexual character, and her status as such is treated by the narrative with matter-of-factness, but also with respect and compassion.

‘Jennifer’s Body’ and Bisexuality

Jennifer's Body

We don’t have direct evidence of how Jennifer or Needy would describe their sexual orientations, but ‘Jennifer’s Body’ works as a depiction of the relationship between two young bisexual women. If nothing else, it subverts expectations around gender and sexuality in horror films. … Even when Jennifer and Needy resort to physical violence with each other, their conflict has an erotic, and even romantic, subtext.

‘Grace and Frankie’ and the Binary of Bisexual Erasure and Representation

Grace and Frankie

What makes it even more exciting to me, as a queer woman, is that not only are we being treated to these stories of our elders but that queerness is acknowledged and exists amongst older people in this television series. … My one bone to pick with ‘Grace and Frankie,’ for all of my true and deep love, is the decision to make Sol and Robert come out as being gay after 40 years of consummated, loving marriage to their wives. Surely, there was a possibility they were in fact bisexual?

How ‘My Own Private Idaho’ Changed My Life as a Bisexual Man

My Own Private Idaho

The film never demonizes either Mike or Scott for their sexuality or their profession, which is great, but it also never feels the need to explain their sexuality. Maybe these characters haven’t quite figured it out yet. Maybe Mike is gay and maybe Scott is straight, or maybe they’re both bisexual, but from the film itself, it makes more sense to me to not label them. They simply fall somewhere on the wide spectrum of sexuality. You have no idea how important it is for me to see this on-screen.

‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Gets Bisexual Representation Right

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The musical sitcom shows the gradual development of a male bisexual character, who willfully rejects bi stereotypes to the point of addressing them in song and dance. And for anyone who cares about bisexual representation on-screen, it is magnificent. … The image of a bi character both confident in his identity and committed to addressing biphobic stereotypes — not to mention the incredible catchiness of the tune — is deeply satisfying.

‘The O.C.’s Alex Kelly Deserved Better; All Bisexual Characters Do

The O.C.

I’ve had countless conversations with other queer women who had similar awakenings in 2004, when Alex Kelly burst onto our TV screens and shook up the Orange County. But upon subsequent re-watches, I’ve been forced to notice that Alex’s storyline isn’t the empowering queer narrative I remembered. For one thing, all of her romantic interests take advantage of her and use her for personal gain.

Biphobia in ‘Basic Instinct’

Basic Instinct

The film is extremely biphobic and includes many of the most negative stereotypes about bisexuality, particularly in terms of bisexual women… ‘Basic Instinct’ manages to have not one but three queer women characters, including two canonically bisexual ones, and they all are written as stereotypes.

If It Were, We’d be Dating: The Tale of Brittany and Bisexuality on ‘Glee’

Glee

Brittany’s sexuality, while never explicitly stated by the character as bisexual, goes unconcealed for the most part because the ‘Glee’ audience is led to believe that she doesn’t have much agency over her own personal life. … Sure, ‘Glee’ might be one of the only shows on television to use the word bisexual to describe a character, but all the biphobia it exhibits sort of nullifies that progress.