15 movies with bi characters or themes

In bisexual communities, we often talk about the lack of bisexual representations in books, TV and movies. While there’s much to say about bisexual erasure from culture and the media, I think there’s also a lot of value to reading texts bisexually – finding a glimpse or an aspect to embrace, a loose thread that we can pull and unwind, and perhaps creating our own yarn, our own story. Maybe the characters and the stories we read were not intended to be bisexual, perhaps they were but were represented negatively, perhaps bisexuality isn’t even a part of the plot but can still be detected underneath, in the subtext.

Whichever way we look at it, finding these texts and thinking about them can be amazingly helpful for us. We can choose to see our own reflections there, and see that we are not truly isolated or eradicated (as so many of us feel). We can feel validated, we can see that we exist, and we can use these stories and characters to say things about ourselves – to reclaim our erased existence, to critique representations, and to create yet another way to speak about our experiences using our own words.

Between the years 2008-2011 I ran a bisexual film club by the name of B-Movies. Each meeting we showed a film with a bisexual theme, or a character that could be read as bisexual. Before the movie, we would have a 20-minute lecture attempting to expose the bisexual story, to put a bisexual lens to the text.

Here is a list of some of the movies we showed in the club (in no particular order). I hope they could be a useful resource for anyone looking for movies with bisexual themes, or that allow bisexual readings. Click the images for IMDB.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that most of these movies are politically problematic in some ways, and that some might contain triggering content. Please read the IMDB information before watching, and make sure you only watch triggering content if you feel you are able to handle it, and in a time and place where you feel safe.

Shortbus // John Cameron Mitchell // 2006

shortbus_ver3_xlg Henry and June // Philip Kaufman // 1990

henry-and-june-movie-poster-1990-1020192782Kinsey // Bill Condon // 2004

kinsey-movie-poster-2004-1020220978The Rocky Horror Picture Show // Jim Sharman // 1975

the_rocky_horror_picture_show_posterHedwig and the Angry Inch // John Cameron Mitchell // 2001

215px-HedwigandtheAngryInchMoviePosterVelvet Goldmine // Todd Haynes // 1998

velvetgoldmine_-_velvet-goldmine-poster03Bedrooms and Hallways // Rose Troche // 1998

bedrooms-and-hallways-movie-poster-1998-1020299092Rent // Chris Columbus // 2005

215px-Rent_movie_posterCabaret // Bob Fosse // 1972

cabaretEating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds // Philip J. Bartell // 2006

eating outInterview With the Vampire // Neil Jordan // 1994

interviewStage Beauty // Richard Eyre // 2004

stage_beauty_ver6Brokeback Mountain // Ang Lee // 2005

brokeback mountainChasing Amy // Kevin Smith // 1997

Chasing_Amy_filmThe Pillow Book // Peter Greenway // 1996

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15 thoughts on “15 movies with bi characters or themes

  1. I love velvet goldmine!! It’s soo great. When Christian Bale’s character gets caught masturbating to a picture of a boy and his parents yell at him I so badly wanted to hug him and tell him there is nothing wrong with him

  2. Frida is wonderful, as is Drool. Bisexuality is a minor subplot of Death at a Funeral, but the movie is hysterically funny (both of them).

    People recommended French Twist to me when I was looking for a movie for a bi film night for my group, but it’s hard to get ahold of and expensive.

    Steam is a wonderful movie, even if the bi character is not positive. But Kyle has said the bi movement is mature enough to not always have to depict bisexuals as perfect angels. And Rose by Any Other Name is fabulous :)

    • Thanks!

      I was wondering whether or not to include Frida, but decided not to, because bisexuality was relatively insignificant, and I didn’t appreciate the way that the movie depicted Frida Kahlo first and foremost as Diego Rivera’s wife.

      I also agree that Rose by Any Other Name is awesome(the web series – I’ve never seen the movie). I considered putting it on the list too, but then again, it’s not a movie.

      I’ve never seen the rest, but I’ll check them out!

  3. Another one is a Canadian film called “Better than Chocolate.” The main characters were lesbians but there was a supporting character who was bi. I watched that movie when I first figured out that I was bi and while I now see that character as being quite stereotypical, it was better than nothing at the time.

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