Bisexual women’s understandings of social marginalisation: The heterosexuals don’t understand us but nor do the lesbians

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Hayfield, N. ; Clarke, V. ; Halliwell, E. (2014)

Drawing on interviews with 20 self-identified bisexual women, this paper contributes to the limited psychological literature on bisexual women by exploring their experiences of social marginalisation. These (mainly white and middle class) British bisexual women reported that they did not feel at home in either lesbian or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, nor in the wider (heteronormative) society. They identified a number of understandings – bisexuality as a temporary phase on the path to a fully realised lesbian or heterosexual identity and bisexuals as immature, confused, greedy, untrustworthy, highly sexual and incapable of monogamy – which they reported as arising from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and the wider society. The women refuted these accounts which they stated did not reflect their experiences of bisexual identity and which positioned bisexuality as invisible and invalid.
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