"Adjusting the Borders: Bisexual Passing and Queer Theory." Journal of Bisexuality, 2009.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Jessa Lingel
Fluidity is a term sometimes used in reference to bisexual identity, thus positioning sexuality as an adaptive, evolving set of behaviors performed to constitute alternately straightness or queerness. Part of the speciousness of using fluidity to describe bisexuality centers on the implication that heterosexuality and homosexuality occupy opposite ends of a psychological spectrum, leaving bisexuality vaguely straddling poles of identity, without specificity or intent.
 
This article is predominantly concerned with the notion of intentionality in bisexual behavior and whether or not deliberate choices are made to participate in communities that identify as either straight or queer. Rather than framing this investigation in terms of whether or not sexuality itself is a choice, this article compares bisexuals who alternately engage in straight or queer practices in the context of passing, as when a person presents herself as an alternate race. Using personal narratives, theoretical works from Judith Butler, bell hooks, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and drawing on descriptions of racial passing, I am interested in crafting psychological profiles of women who routinely perform their sexualities differently as part of belonging to and identifying with distinct communities of queerness and straightness.
 
Published in Volume 9, Issue 3-4, pages 381-405