It hasn’t always been easy for bi men. Between biases in the dating market from straight women, hostility from gay men who insist that they are “gays in denial”, and the false stereotype that they are hypersexual carriers of disease, bi men have faced challenges no other group has had to deal with. The skepticism that male bisexuality even exists at all was so pervasive that researchers actually had to scientifically prove it in a laboratory setting in 2011. But boy things are changing fast! Bi folks used to be the most likely to stay in the closet. Today, the percentage of society who are out and bi is higher than ever, especially among the younger generations. In fact, bi men and women account for nearly 60% of the entire LGBT community. With so many bi men in the spotlight, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of bi men!
The year kicked off with rap megastar Lil Nas X coming out as bi. In a reversal of the old trope that male bisexuality is a stepping stone to homosexuality, Lil Nas, who had previously come out as gay, demonstrated that, well, some things run both ways. He was joined by actor and comedian Wayne Brady, UFC fighter Jeff Molina, former pro soccer player Nicola Porcella, television personalities Josh Seiter and Paulie Calafiore, and rising young actor Kit Connor (okay, Kit came out late in 2022, but we’ll allow it!), among others.
2023 saw the release of the very bi film adaptation, Red, White & Royal Blue, based on the book of the same name. It also saw the publication of two wonderful bi memoirs. In The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Football, R.K. Russell tells the moving and inspirational story of how he became the first openly bi NFL player. In Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto, Bi.org’s own Zachary Zane leaves nothing to the imagination as he regales us with tales from his sexual odysseys and solidifies his status as one of the loudest bi men in the world. We also witnessed the coronation of Cristian Peralta, a bi man who competed on Drag Race Mexico (2023–) (featured in RuPaul's Drag Race (2009–)). His participation marked the first season in Mexico, and of course, he took the crown, making Drag Race history and opening the door for greater diversity of expression in the world of drag.
Throughout popular media, we see bi men increasingly represented. We have bi male superheroes in Peacemaker, Loki, and even a bi Superman. We have bi male shows such as Heartstopper (2022-) and Interview with the Vampire (2022-), and bi male storylines in series such as The Summer I Turned Pretty (2022-), The House of Flowers (2018–2020), and The Witcher (2019-). Add this to the massive and growing list of bi men in public life, history, and fiction, and it’s clear that the tide is turning.
2023 has also been an important year for bi research. Sociologists found that the number of Americans who report having had both male and female sexual partners more than tripled from 1989 to 2021. A recent survey also found that over 13% of young men who identify as straight report having bisexual attractions, and over 38% say they would be open to bisexual behavior! Another study showed that bi men are perceived to be manlier than either gay or straight men. And new research reveals that even among our closest primate relatives, male bisexuality is not merely common, but the norm. While it may seem unnecessary to demonstrate bisexuality through studies, having hard data to point to is tremendously helpful in opening the minds of people who are not personally plugged into the bi community and in changing the way that experts and leaders discuss bi issues.
The amount of progress that has occurred in just the past few years is incredible. Bi men have never been more visible, accepted, and celebrated. What does next year have in store?