Development of Bisexual Identity

  • Juan Pablo Perera
  • Ysamary Arenas
Keywords: Bisexuality, bisexual identity, experiences, construction of meanings, qualitative research


Bisexuality is the sexual, romantic, emotional and physical attraction that a person experiments for both of the biological sexes (men and women) (American Psychological Association, 2013). Since the Venezuelan society is built under a heteronormative paradigm sometimes is considered that those sexualities, that drift apart from the social reality, are not comprehended thus generating a reject. Authors such as Esteban & Vásquez (2014) affirm that one of the main reasons for this situation is the focalization on the heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy, categories that are mutually excluding, and that enable a binary system which makes invisible other sexual identities (Lambda, 2013). It is important to mention that with this article we aim to increase the theoretical value of the subject, because in agreement with what has been investigated, the stigmatization of bisexuality, for being considered a “doubtful sexuality” or a “transitional sexuality”, is still a topic of discussion filled with taboos, prejudgments and discrimination (Esteban & Vásquez, 2014). Therefore, we conducted a study that was titled “Construction of Bisexual Identity in Venezuelan Adults: ‘It is Not a transition, I Just Simply Am Like That’”. In response of the theoretical gap existing in the academic field regarding bisexuality the following research questions emerged: how the meaning of being bisexual is constructed in venezuelan adults? how is the development of bisexual identity in venezuelan adults? how is the sexual, emotional and romantic attraction of a person that identifies as bisexual? which are the feelings and emotions associated with the bisexual experience? and, how the participants experience their bisexual identity in the present venezuelan context?. The mentioned research questions allowed us to have as a general objective the understanding of the bisexual identity in Venezuelan adults. This article contemplates one dimension of this major project degree that focuses on the development of the bisexual identity, comprised of six phases, and the emotions and feelings associated with each one of them. In terms of the applied methodology in-depths interviews were carried out to willing participants and the obtained data were analyzed with the constant comparative method in which we firstly created the initial categories and then we searched for similarities and differences within the data so as to produce concepts, characteristics and categories according to repetitive patterns (Glaser & Stauss, 1967). Later, we proceeded to the axial coding in which we selected the most important category and put it in the middle as to link it with other categories and subcategories. In addition, it is important to highlight that we followed an emerging design in order to analyze the construction of their meanings (Galeano, 2004). Among the results four major categories were described, however, in this article we will be only focusing on the six phases of the bisexual identity: curiosity to experiment, obstacles, confusion in the development of the bisexual identity, partial commodity with the bisexual identity, acknowledgement of bisexuality as a sexual orientation and “I just am like this” as well as the emotions and feelings associated with each one.