Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Journal of Bisexuality



Start Page


Last Page





Fluidity is a term sometimes used in reference to bisexual identity, thus positioning sexuality as an adaptive, evolving set of behaviors performed to constitute alternately straightness or queerness. Part of the speciousness of using fluidity to describe bisexuality centers on the implication that heterosexuality and homosexuality occupy opposite ends of a psychological spectrum, leaving bisexuality vaguely straddling poles of identity, without specificity or intent. This article is predominantly concerned with the notion of intentionality in bisexual behavior and whether or not deliberate choices are made to participate in communities that identify as either straight or queer. Rather than framing this investigation in terms of whether or not sexuality itself is a choice, this article compares bisexuals who alternately engage in straight or queer practices in the context of passing, as when a person presents herself as an alternate race. Using personal narratives, theoretical works from Judith Butler, bell hooks and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and drawing on descriptions of racial passing, I am interested in crafting psychological profiles of women who routinely perform their sexualities differently as part of belonging to and identifying with distinct communities of queerness and straightness.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Bisexuality in 2009..

Available online at:



At the time of this publication, Dr. Lingel was affiliated with Rutgers University. Currently, she is a faculty member at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.


passing, bisexuality, race, gender studies

Included in

Communication Commons



Date Posted: 12 July 2019

This document has been peer reviewed.