Zine Review: Claiming Bisexuality

Claiming Bisexuality
Adelaide Barton

Claiming Bisexuality is a black and white, about 11cm X 18cm sized zine about confusion around bisexuality and exploring it both as “an umbrella term as well as a distinct sexual identity”. (Quote from the front inside cover.)

Claiming Bisexuality opens with a dedication of sorts in that this zine was written for people who think they don’t count or aren’t ‘queer enough’ for the bisexual label. It’s a lovely strong but gentle start – and exactly what I was hoping for.

From there we learn about the author’s own realisations in regards to sexual and romantic attractions *not* being intrinsically linked. How people can be, for example, ‘heteroromantic and bisexual’. What is offered as a perzine-esque introduction to the zine begins the interesting path of education and appreciation of the subtleties in meaning.

On that note, we them move into a section I greatly appreciated that breaks down the different between sex (biological) and gender (societal). I appreciated it because I’ve seen and heard both terms used when the person using them meant the other but also because the author took the time to make it clear how sex isn’t as binary as many people would like to think. My pedantic editor soul enjoyed this, and the shy ‘I’m not clear about myself’ part of me enjoyed it as establishing this zine to be one of gentle but clear education.

I could really go on and on about this zine section by section. It’s so chock full of information, quotes, definitions, and more. There are even charts, some of which the author uses to show interesting ways to define attraction and sexuality.

There is so much going on in this zine that I even considered taking notes in a few places. I learned so much about labels, definitions, bisexuality in the media, and difficulties people who are bisexual face. There is a lot to love visually, too, with readable handwritten text, drawn pictures, and the aforementioned charts.

One part that means a lot to me and made me feel better about myself in general is this:

“There is no correct age to claim one’s identity, and there’s no correct age to update one’s identity to something that best reflects where someone is currently at.”

Wrapping up with a big ol’ list of cited sources, Claiming Bisexuality is the best ‘bi primer’ I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I would not hesitate to give it to anyone who is questioning and/or wants to know more. (Just not my copy, because I’d be very sad to lose it.) Check it out.

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