Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Media & Communication Studies


Louise Woodstock

Committee Member

Kara McShane

Committee Member

Sheryl Goodman

Department Chair

Louise Woodstock

Project Description

This study explores the perceptions of bisexuality and argues that stereotypes lead bisexuals to feel isolated from both queer and straight communities, leaving bisexuals in a liminal space, not gay enough for one and not straight enough for the other. Based on close reading of scholarship in queer studies, media history and the social construction of reality theory, paired with a series of qualitative interviews with straight, gay, pan and bisexual young people aged 18-25, this study identifies and considers the implications of two central challenges young bisexuals face. A lack of a clear commonly held definition of bisexuality, unlike hetero- and homosexuality, leads to confusion and consequential lack of acceptance. Beyond shared definitions, heteronormativity, pervasive throughout media and our culture at large, rests on the assumption that heterosexuality is normal, while other sexual identities are not. The essay ends by calling for increased discourse on bisexuality through more scholarship, positive media representation, and general discussion in order to expose society to the realities of bisexuality.