The bisexual character isn’t taken seriously by anyone, and people treat the orientation as a phase, attention-seeking, or denial. People face discrimination from other sexualities at an alarming rate. They’re considered scared to come out, show other characters, and acknowledge the bi character’s orientation as valid as much as is reasonable.
Most romance readers focus on gay or lesbian relationship and try to avoid bisexual romance because it is a complicated trope. So there is a huge chance to write about bisexual romance novel and rank it top. Also, huge romance readers are waiting to read bisexual romance and discover something new. So, be prepared to write the bi character and follow my tips.
How to write bisexual characters?
Before writing a bisexual character, you must have adequate knowledge about them because they have multiple sexual abilities and choices. I read many books about bisexual romance and found much inappropriate information.
So, I want to mention some mistakes that the author makes most and give you my 5 best tips to write a bisexual character successfully. Let’s go!
1. Don’t judge your bi character
Some bisexuals are poly, and some are monogamous. There is this misconception that Bi people can’t be satisfied in a relationship with a partner of one gender because they have the potential to be attracted to more than one gender. This is not true! Being faithful to a partner is a decision that people make when going into a relationship, like a straight guy in a relationship with a woman is still attracted to other women.
That’s the same thing as with bisexuals, as our other women are women and men and people of other genders. You still choose only to be faithful to your person whether or not you’re attracted to other people outside the relationship. So try to avoid judging them without them. They’re not all one specific type of unicorn.
2. Clear your reader’s misconception
I want to see them represented in books, TV, and movies because they rock, and they’re awesome. There’s a stereotype about men that they’re all secretly gay in the closet, but that is not true. If there were more examples in media of out bisexual people, celebrities, and characters that are seen as valid and secure in their identity, maybe this wouldn’t happen so much.
We don’t need more examples in literature because we have plenty of examples in the real world. It would help if these were not the examples that we saw. It’s fine to have characters that are against culture.
- Try to avoid only doing that to your characters. Maybe use one of your straight or gay characters to push this agenda.
Don’t choose these examples to push by representation. It’s easy to promote the misunderstanding that same-sex attraction equals gay. There are other contexts where the same-sex attraction is real and valid, and gay is not the only one.
The assumption is that if you are attracted to the same sex, you are gay or lesbian! But the truth is different, and some bisexual people only choose a same-sex partner.
3. Use different labels to diversify your character
There is a powerfully emotional scene where there’s a breakup between two women who have been in a relationship. The reason she’s breaking up with her is that she’s not attracted to her, or she doesn’t want to be with her anymore. Also, many other labels she could fall under would allow her this same-gender attraction but would not necessarily be gay.
So labels exist for a reason, and they’re useful for communication between characters and between people. It’s a helpful tool that we have to be able to identify each other and explain our attractions in a nutshell to someone we’re potentially interested in. So Bi people use bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. Moreover, there are loads of nice labels which summarize that long firelight conversation.
4. Give your character freedom
The best way to write a bisexual character is to have them come out within the narrative, along with supporting hints and statements. I am talking about the supportive hints and statements that you can add to make it clear to the audience. These hints would work for a pansexual or a polysexual character or anyone attracted to multiple genders.
If your character is open to a relationship with a single or in a polyamorous relationship, note it’s not bad to have a character who is bisexual who is also polyamorous. But try not to make them come across as unfaithful because that’s a negative stereotype that Bi people have to deal with in real life. Also, it’s used as an excuse for a lot of biphobia trying to fix that.
- If your character is open to a relationship, they can note or comment on a couple of other people’s attractiveness, whether their appearance or personality traits.
- Try not to make them super promiscuous because it is a negative stereotype.
If your character has exes, you can bring them up in conversation or in various moments relevant to the situation at hand. Your bisexual character can wish for a romantic partner.
5. Bi people need representation
Studies have suggested that Bi people experience higher rates of mental health issues, substance abuse, and self-injurious or suicidal thoughts than any other orientation. Other studies have suggested that it is on par with rates experienced by gay and lesbian people, the invisibility of bi people, and biphobia.
Fiction is uniquely positioned in our culture, and it allows for accurate, well-researched representation, even if the author is not by themselves. Unfortunately, bi characters still fall victim to one or more of these tropes based on real-world stereotypes. They are portrayed as confused, greedy, emotionally unstable, or indecisive. These traits are not predicated on someone’s orientation.
Anyone of any orientation or gender can display any of these traits for various reasons. Characterizing it as a function of the character’s orientation implies that their orientation is the cause of these personality traits that society generally deems to be negative.
- Make it clear through characterization, prose, and every other craft tool writers have at their disposal that someone’s orientation alone is not the reason they may behave a certain way.
- Give your bi characters clear standards for romantic relationships.
- If there will be any romance involved, make them respect, acceptance, trust, and understand their potential partners if they’re already in a relationship.
- When the story begins, show their partner demonstrating these things. You don’t necessarily need to draw specific attention to it or try to force it in somehow because that can be very artificial.
- Let your Bi characters be platonic friends with people of all genders without insinuating it’s more than only friendship and portray their partners absent of jealousy, paranoia, or accusations that the bi character is trying to trick.
So those are my ideas and advice for writing a bisexual character. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know about them in the comment section. I’m waiting for your response.
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