In honor of Bisexual Awareness Week and Bi Visibility Day, today I would like to talk about my favorite canon bi characters. Unfortunately, bi characters are so difficult to find, and even when you do, most of them fall under the same harmful stereotypes, not to mention that the word bisexual isn’t even used in the vast majority of cases, making it harder for people find and identify or identify with the characters. So, with that in mind, I also want to share some of my dreams for better bi representation.
With Ghostbusters blessing our screens this year and the announcement of Ocean’s 11 all-female cast reboot, I’m really hoping that this is the beginning of a wonderful new trend—one that will let girls and women see ourselves in the stories we already enjoyed but which severely underrepresented us. In this spirit, I introduce to you this week’s web crush—All For One, a webseries by KindaTV, which is a reimagining of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Instead of being part of the French royal guard, the musketeers are a sorority at a fictional college.
But let me tell you all about it below, with some mild spoilers.
Over the past several weeks I have become hopelessly obsessed with Magnus Bane. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this fabulous bisexual character, Magnus Bane is a warlock in The Shadowhunter Chronicles books by Cassandra Clare and the Shadowhunters TV show. I liked him even before I started reading the books a while back, but it is his wonderful TV portrayal and finally reading The Bane Chronicles that has elevated Magnus to one of my favorite bisexual characters ever. Not only is he the leader of a warlock community, he is a good and caring person, always ready to help others and to fall in love despite the many heartbreaks he’s had before. He is glittery and flamboyant and unapologetically bisexual, but he’s not hypersexual and he doesn’t use his sexuality as a tool to get what he wants. This may not seem like much, but such a combination of character traits is pretty darn unusual in a bisexual character.
Some spoilers for the Shadowhunters TV show, as well as The Shadowhunter Chronicles books, below.
Lost Girl may not be the greatest show out there, but it had quite a lot going for it with the intricate urban fantasy world of Fae and lovable characters, quite a few of whom are LGBTQ+, B in particular. The representation wasn’t without its problems, of course, as in any other show, but over the course of it, we were introduced to Bo, Vex, Tamsin, and Mark, all of whom are bisexual main/recurring characters with compelling character arcs, including the female protagonist. And, sadly, you hardly ever see this much bi (or even generally queer) representation in fiction that’s not specifically LGBTQ-themed.
Spoilers for the concluded series below.
Lately, I’ve been on a young-adult-books-featuring-LGBTQ+-protagonists kick. Pantomime by Laura Lam, which came out two years ago, was on the outskirts of my radar for a while, because how often do you find a fantasy novel about a bisexual intersex transgender teen? Pantomime was definitely the first for me. It surprised me quite pleasantly with the inclusion of many other queer characters in a rather fascinating world, despite the fact that both the LGBTQ+ representation and the worldbuilding leave a little something to be desired at the end. But Pantomime is the first book in a trilogy, so here’s hoping that some of the potential will still be realized. Spoilers after the jump!
Representation matters, and everyone wants to be a hero. Unfortunately, what we LGBTQ+ folks get more often are queer villains, queer-coded villains, or anti-heroes. At least, they’re the most famous ones: pretty much every Disney villain ever, Loki, Constantine. The predominance of these types of characters and the lack of LGBTQ+ “good guy” superheroes creates the image of queerness as being tied to wickedness, threat to society, and general “otherness”. This influences both the way the general society sees LGBTQ+ people and how LGBTQ+ folks see ourselves, especially young people struggling with their identities. It creates a certain narrative for us, implying that we can only fit a certain type of mold and that it always sets us apart and makes us a threat. And that sucks.
However, I’m not saying all queer characters need to be “good guys”. It’s just that a balance is needed to avoid forcing the idea that queer equals bad. Therefore it’s important to have more LGBTQ+ heroes and “good guys” who are people others follow and look up to (I’m not saying bisexual Steve Rogers, but I’m totally thinking bisexual Steve Rogers). We need to see that we can be great heroes and that we can have all kinds of different stories be about us.
I’m not the only one on this site excited for the new season of Game of Thrones, so I’m in good company with people who understand my burning need to see a new episode as soon as I can
. You know, before Tumblr spoils me on everything in convenient gif format. There’s a lot to look forward to this season: more Jaime and Brienne, more Joffrey getting slapped, more Tyrell ladies being badasses. However, something that caught my attention straight away—and something that didn’t escape the watchful eye of the internet—was the appearance of House Martell. Before any trailers, the character of Oberyn had already been making waves due to fandom crying foul over whitewashing the Dornish prince. And while people were rightfully put off by the ethnicity swap (despite reassurances from author George R.R. Martin), it seems another issue could rise; an issue that, in the same vein, has everything to do with the television adaptation and not so much the novelization. That is, of course, Oberyn’s bisexuality.
Being one of the many who only has enough drive to watch the show and not hunker down to read the massive tomes, I’m at a distinct disadvantage when considering whether or not parts of Oberyn’s sexuality were changed to make it more palatable to Game of Thrones’s audience. Also, being bisexual myself, I feel that despite the former “not reading the books” thing, being the latter still allows me a pretty good say in how said sexuality comes across. And what did I think? Well… it was adequate representation.