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Bi+ Representation In Media

What is a trope? Tropes are classified as plot conventions or devices that appear too frequently in the media we consume to just be ‘coincidences’. As a side note, any criticisms of these tropes are criticisms of these tropes in relation to fictional characters. If you find yourself falling into one of these tropes, please know that I’m not criticizing you! I’m criticizing the (generally) male writers who continue to use them! I love adults who are capable of making actual choices in their lives!

Examples of Bi+ Tropes!

A Threesome is Hot. (Duh!)

Almost (like 95% of the time) exclusively FFM.

Usually built from a bet, where a male character will consider himself so hot that he can bed multiple women at once. This is mostly problematic and centers more on the male character’s sexual conquests than the actual Bisexuality of any of the characters in question.

Justice League: Cry For Justice. Green Arrow congratulates Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) on an alleged 3 way he has with Huntress and Lady Blackhawk. Writer Gail Simone hated this idea so much that she later wrote that Green Lantern had passed out drunk before anything could happen.

The TV show “Lost Girl” subverts this trope by having the main character have a poly relationship with a lesbian woman and a straight man and tell the straight man that a threesome is off the table.

1994 film “Threesome” is actually centered around 2 guys and girl.

Film “The Sex Monster” starts out as a man and his wife having a threesome, before she realizes that she prefers women and starts having sex with only women.

Bi The Way.

Is the character Bi? Is the character just super flirty?

A majority of the characters that fall into this trope will have a big coming out type of moment and then it just becomes another aspect of their character. They might jump around and date multiple people of different genders before settling on one character for an extended romance.

X-Men villain Mystique had a long lasting relationship with another women, Destiney, and constantly uses her shape changing abilities and sexuality to complete her, usually villainous and terrorist-y, missions.

Ramona from the film and Manga “Scott Pilgrim Versus the World”. One of Ramona’s exes is female and it takes Scott way too long to realize Ramona is indeed Bisexual.

The Film “Easy A” has a throw away line about a character’s mother sleeping “With a ton of people when I was in highschool…mostly guys!” (see feature image at the top!)

Arrow-verse character Sara Lance/White Canary doesn’t really have a giant coming out moment. She just likes to fuck men and women!

But Not Too Bi/Kiss on the Cheek Bisexual

The character will declare they’re bisexual, but never actually have any type of romantic interaction with a character of the same sex, outside of possibly a date or a “kiss on the cheek”.
A lot of times this feels like a “cash grab” or “diversity push” to the audience.

This is generally also done a lot by “Word of God”, meaning the writer or someone involved with the character will say “Oh so & so is actually Bisexual, we just didn’t show it.” Wonder Woman has been claimed to be bisexual by many writers (Greg Rucka and Gail Simone both) but has never been [seen] in any type of relationship that isn’t with a cis male.

Deadpool. The character is claimed to be Omnisexual, but any form of queerness is played as a joke.

River Song from “Doctor Who” has been claimed to be bisexual but show writers, but her queerness is reduced to throw away ‘flirty lines’.

Experimented in College.

A character will make a one off remark about sexual exploration at a younger point in their life.

This relates really closely to “Not Too Bi/Kiss on the Cheek Bisexual” and also “Threesome are Hot (Duh)”.

Again usually a female character and it almost always plays into the male fantasy of a Bisexual girlfriend that could lead to a threesome eventually.

The film “Four Weddings and a Funeral” has a character say “I was lesbian once in college, but only for about 15 minutes.”

“Will & Grace” had Grace state that she “Tried that in college, but it wasn’t for me.”

Tara subliminally accuses Willow of this in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” asking Willow how she’s going to fit into her life after “She changes back.”

Marvel character Noh-Varr stated that he served on an exploratory ship, and that “exploratory does have multiple meanings. The Kree are efficient like that.”

Suzie and Jon from Sex Criminals both had at least one same sex relationship.

America Chavez inverts this trope, when she experiments with a male character on Teen Brigade and states that she did not enjoy it.

Charlie Flickinger lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with their husband of 3.5 years. Gender Queer. Pop Punk at heart. Disaster Bi. They inspire to write queer comics and love pro wrestling (Please give them Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch for the rest of forever), super hero comics (Catwoman is the best part of the Batman universe) and music (P!nk is their Queen and they will fight you about her).

September 23, 2019
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