The gender agenda

Langridge, Fred and Barker, Meg John (2016). The gender agenda. In: Harrad, Kate ed. Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain. Portland, OR: Thorntree Press, pp. 57–82.



This chapter covers bi people’s experience of gender: how we identify our gender and sexuality, and how they relate to each other; how our gender and sexuality change—or not—over our lifetimes; how they’re linked to the relationships we form, and how they play out in the communities we’re part of.

We’ve included the experiences of bisexual men, women and non-binary people throughout the chapter, including our own experiences. Some of the people we include identify as trans, some as cisgender, and some question this distinction as well, due to having a trans history but no longer regarding themselves as trans, for example, or feeling ‘cis-ish’, due to having some degree of fluidity or experimentation when it comes to gender.

We were keen particularly to include plenty of non-binary bisexual experience because there are existing collections on the experiences of bi men and bi women, but none that we’re aware of on non-binary or genderqueer bis. This is an important absence to address because recent statistics suggest that around 1% of the general population identifies as something other than male or female, and that this rises to 5% among young LGBTQIA+ people and 25% among trans people, and around a third of people in general experience themselves as the ‘other’ gender, both genders, and/or neither gender.

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