The term bisexual is frequently misunderstood as meaning sexual attraction to men and women; see, for example, the dictionary definition Google provides (at the time of writing in 2019).
This definition includes cis men and women as the potential focus of attraction. It includes trans men and women too; however, it excludes non-binary people.
One response is to define bisexual as attraction to two or more genders. This is the approach taken by the Bisexual Index. But this can be confusing since the “bi” means two, e.g., as in binocular, biennial, biweekly. So where does the “or more” come in?
There is a simple non-binary inclusive definition, which builds on definitions of heterosexual and homosexual:
- Homosexual means attraction to people who are the same gender as you.
- Heterosexual means attraction to people who are a different gender to you.
- Bisexual means attraction to people who are the same gender as you and to people who are a different gender to you.
Bi refers to same and different – that’s the two. So acknowledging that there are more than two genders, this is compatible with the definition that “bi” means two or more. Additionally, it spells out what the “bi” (two) refers to.