Jessica Jones’ Kith is my new bisexual favorite

[Warning: minor spoilers for Jessica Jones season 3]

JJ-S3E3-Jeri-Kith

Despite bisexuality’s recent increase in media visibility, bisexual characters are still few and far in between, and looking for positive representations sometimes seems to be a fool’s quest. More often than not, we find bisexuality associated with traits society considers as negative, and used to convey less-than-favorable meanings.

In the rare cases bisexuality is not erased completely, it is most often used to convey characters’ duplicity, indecisiveness, moral ambiguity, and unstable nature. And though there’s much to love about bisexual villains or gray characters (who embody society’s anxiety of bisexuality’s subversive power), only rarely do we find them not just morally complex, but also humanized, not to mention carrying positive and liberatory meanings.

The character of Kith, featured in Jessica Jones’ third and final season, is one such character. Though she receives relatively little screen time, this bi woman of color character shines through as an embodiment of bifeminist values and the symbolic power of women’s bisexuality. Instead of undermining her character or narrative, Kith’s bisexuality underlines her characterization as an intelligent, independent, and resilient woman. Her strength is conveyed through bisexuality.

Continue reading “Jessica Jones’ Kith is my new bisexual favorite”

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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

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Hot sexy bi babes: media depictions of bisexual women

This is a excerpt from my book Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. If you like this text, please consider buying a copy.

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The curious case of bisexual women

In an article called Curiouser and Curiouser: the Strange ‘Disappearance’ of Male Bisexuality, British gay journalist Mark Simpson writes about biphobia against bi men, and compares their status to that of bisexual women. “It’s unques­tion­able,” he argues, “that female bisexuality is today much more socially acceptable than male bisexuality, and in fact frequently positively encouraged, both by many voyeuristic men and an equally voyeuristic pop culture.” [This quote is dealt with in greater depth earlier on the chapter]. In this section, I would like to look a bit deeper into this “positive encouragement” and to question whether it really is so positive. Continue reading “Hot sexy bi babes: media depictions of bisexual women”