Reviewed by Bri Kerschner
Edited by Kate Harrad, this ambitious text sets out not just to define bisexuality, but to champion it with the myriad of diverse voices and experiences compiled in the pages. Claiming the B in LGBT is the epitome of bisexual intersectionality, as it includes sections on non-monogamy, bisexuals of color, issues of faith, being out in the workplace, disability, gender, and aging. If there was a standard handbook on being bisexual, Claiming the B in LGBT would be on all our bookshelves! Structurally, the experiential narratives of numerous diverse bisexuals are tied together with thoughtful and inclusive threads from the brilliant team of editors. As H. “Herukhuti” Sharif Williams states in the foreword, the book is “a collection of bi+ people living in the UK describing the nature of sexual fluidity on their terms.” While Claiming the B focuses solely on bi+ experiences in the UK, bisexual readers from all over the world can relate and see themselves mirrored in the stories of the contributors.
Claiming the B begins with an attempt to define bisexuality. While this seems like a Herculean task, the first two chapters illuminate how “defining” bisexuality actually means explicating all the ways bisexuality intersects with various other identities, and that bisexuality has as many definitions as the number of people who identify as bi+. Claiming the B is at its best when illustrating how, despite the diversity of our experiences as bisexual individuals and our different converging identities, the shared identity of bisexuality connects us. Our voices resonate together under the umbrella of our shared identity.
Claiming the B in LGBT: Illuminating the Bisexual Narrative shines as an inclusive, landmark text voicing the beauty, the struggle, the diversity of being bisexual. It should definitely be included on every LGBTQ+ bookshelf.
Bri Kerschner is an English instructor at a two-year community college in Minnesota. In addition to spending time with her mini zoo of animals and partner, she loves running her small business. She is passionate about eliminating bi-erasure and encouraging LGBTQ+ voices.