Y-Axis: 0-10 = # of genders one is attracted to; 10=infinity
X-Axis: Non-monosexual sexual identities; queer, fluid, heteroflexible, homoflexible, gay/lesbian-identified non-monosexual, bisexual/bi-romantic, polysexual/poly-romantic, pansexual/pan-romantic
Red=maximum number of genders one can be attracted to
Blue=minimum number of genders one can be attracted to
(Not Shown on Graph: primary number of genders one is attracted to with a particular sexual identity; also, not necessarily possible to find data for, for most identities)
There are a lot of words people adopt who are non-monosexual…probably because sexuality is fluid and complex, not easily simplified, no one person is the same, and there is a lot of discrimination and confusion toward/about non-monosexuals from monosexuals (straight and gay/lesbian individuals).
Some of these identities include but are not necessarily limited to:
Queer, Fluid, Heteroflexible, Homoflexible, Gay/Lesbian-Identified Non-Monosexual, Bisexual/Bi-Romantic, Polysexual/Poly-Romantic, and Pansexual/Pan-Romantic
Personally, I consider the term bisexual not just as one of many non-monosexual identities, but I feel it can also be used as an umbrella term. Much like trans* can mean trans, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, bigender, androgyne, gender-neutral, etc., bi* can be used to describe bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, queer, fluid, heteroflexible, homoflexible, etc. individuals. I hope this can become a trend that brings together non-monosexuals while keeping sacred our different personal identities.
Anywho, people seem to get really caught up on etymology, and start to confuse, mix-up, change and degrade some (or all) non-monosexual identities. It’s understandable that it may be confusing…I mean, one person with a certain identity may have completely different experiences as another person with that same identity. Everyone has their own reasons for identifying with a particular label, and we should respect that. We should also respect that just because one person feels one way about what their sexual identity means, doesn’t mean that all people with that sexual identity feels the same way or can’t feel another way.
To help people understand, monosexuals and non-monosexuals alike, what each non-monosexual sexual identity could mean, I made a visual chart. On the Y-axis (vertical axis), the numbers represent genders; 0-10. 0 means no genders. 10 means infinity genders. Each number in-between is self-explanatory. On the X-axis (horizontal axis), there are common non-monosexual sexual identities (Queer, Fluid, Heteroflexible, Homoflexible, Gay/Lesbian-Identified Non-Monosexual, Bisexual/Bi-Romantic, Polysexual/Poly-Romantic, and Pansexual/Pan-Romantic). The blue part of the bar shows the minimum number of genders in which someone can be attracted to with a particular sexual identity. The red part of the bar shows the maximum number of genders in which someone can be attracted to with a that same sexual identity. Like I said, a minimum and maximum number of genders one can be attracted to while using the same sexual identity as someone else is important to relay because not every single person who shares a particular sexual identity are necessarily attracted to the same number of genders, even though that is what some sexual identities may be based upon.
The term queer is a vague term and can be used by asexuals, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals and any other non-monosexual. I made sure I used it in my chart, because while it is not specific as a non-monosexul identity, many non-monosexuals identify as queer in addition to and often times instead of any other non-monosexual term. Someone using the label queer could be described as asexual, which is why I put the minimum gender attraction as 0. Queer is also used by a lot of non-monosexuals and non-monosexuals can potentially be attracted to infinity number of genders (not to mention that the term queer is very vague in regard to what genders/how many genders someone is attracted to), which is why 10 (representing infinity in this chart) is the maximum gender attraction.
The term fluid is also a vague term, but it is a vague term only used by non-monosexuals which is why the minimum gender attraction was decided at 2. And because fluid is a term used by non-monosexuals, and is a vague term that does not describe how many genders one can be attracted to, the maximum potential gender attraction is infinity.
The term heteroflexible is a term used by people who are not necessarily non-monosexual or do not necessarily identify with non-monosexuality, but are heterosexuals who recognize their non-monosexual tendencies. I could have place heteroflexibles’ minimum gender attraction at 1 gender, but individuals using this label recognize their tendency to sometimes be attracted to at least 2 genders, which is why I place 2 as the minimum. I recognize, and ask you to do so as well, that while heteroflexible individuals are primarily attracted to 1 gender, their minimum potential, as people identifying with this label, is 2 genders. Also, while heteroflexible people are less likely to be attracted to infinity genders, compared to other non-monosexuals, it is a potential, because there is really no way to say how/with whom the mostly straight person is straying toward. Because of this, I refuse to cut them short of this potential.
The term homoflexible is a term used by people who are not necessarily non-monosexual or do not necessarily identify with non-monosexuality, but are gay/lesbian individuals who recognize their non-monosexual tendencies. Again, I could have place homoflexibles’ minimum gender attraction at 1 gender, but individuals using this label recognize their tendency to sometimes be attracted to at least 2 genders, which is why I place 2 as the minimum. While homoflexible individuals are primarily attracted to 1 gender, their minimum potential, as people identifying with this label, is 2 genders. Also, while homoflexible people are less likely to be attracted to infinity genders, though probably more likely compared to heteroflexibles, it is a potential, because there is really no way to say how/with whom the mostly gay/lesbian person is straying toward. Because of this, I refuse to cut them short of this potential.
The term gay/lesbian-identified non-monosexual simply means that a person who is non-monosexual or sometimes non-monosexual chooses to identify as gay or lesbian instead. This may or may not be similar to homoflexibility for some, but can also be a bi* person/non-monosexual who chooses to identify as gay/lesbian for political reasons, social reasons, or because the individual is primarily attracted to the same-gender as opposed to others. (disclaimer: while most people who identify as gay or lesbian are only attracted to the same gender, there are many bi* people who choose to identify as gay/lesbian for various reasons. I am not saying that gay/lesbian people are actually non-monosexuals.) I could have placed these gay/lesbian-identified people with a minimum gender attraction at 1 gender, but individuals using this label choose it over a non-monosexual identity despite being non-monosexual, which is why I placed 2 as the minimum. While Gay/lesbian-identified non-monosexuals’ identity label does not convey it, they are in fact behaviorally/mentally/and/or emotionally non-monosexual, and therefore have the potential to be attracted to infinity genders.
The above sexual identities can be vague and non-specific about how many genders one can be attracted to, but I feel as though I made an accurate stance on their potential. The following sexual identities are more specific with how many genders one is or can be attracted to based on their sexual identity.
The term bisexual (or bi-romantic) means that someone is attracted to more than one gender and/or is attracted to people of the same gender as themselves and people of different genders of themsevles. This is a definition that most bisexual activists and organizations use, despite the etymology of bi meaning two. Remember, the word bisexual was first created as a way for non-monosexuals to be differentiated from gay and lesbian individuals within the sexual minority movement. A word created in opposition of the binary view of sexual orientation (heterosexuality vs. homosexuality) may seem to be binaryist, but it was the system in which it arose. Either way, bisexuals always promoted the idea that “loves knows no gender,” and never actually said that we were capable of only being attracted to two genders, so we should all probably drop that false notion. So the minimum gender attraction (“more than one gender”) is 2, and the maximum gender attraction (“attraction to people of the same gender and of different genders”) is infinity.
The term polysexual (or poly-romantic) means that someone is attracted to multiple genders. Multiple, as in, three or more. So the minimum gender attraction (“multiple’) is 3, and the maximum gender attraction (not necessarily just three, or four, or five…) is infinity.
The term pansexual (or pan-romantic) means that someone is attracted to all genders or regardless of gender. All genders, as in, infinity genders. I could have put the minimum gender attraction as infinity, but I decided to put it as infinity minus 1. Why? Mostly to give people a little wiggle room, and because making the graph otherwise would have been tricky. But of course the maximum gender attraction is once again, infinity. While all non-monosexuals, regardless of their sexual identity, have the potential to be attracted to infinity genders, pansexuality is the only sexual identity that is primarily attracted to all genders and/or specifically stating such as fact.
I hope that through examining non-monosexual identities, definitions and their potential minimum and maximum gender attractions, you realize that the many non-monosexuals identities, while different, do have much overlap. And because of this, someone who identifies with one identity can identify with another one, and still be accurate (not that it’s anyone’s business what they choose to identify as in the first place). For example, just because someone identifies as queer doesn’t mean they can’t also identify as fluid, or bisexual. Another point I would like to make, specifically, is the overlap with the terms bisexual, polysexual and pansexual. It is possible for someone to be bisexual but not polysexual or pansexual. It is possible for someone to be bisexual and polysexual but not pansexual. It is possible for someone to be bisexual, polysexual and pansexual. Why? Because check out that graph I made with the minimum gender and maximum gender attraction of each sexual identity. It is non-monosexuals’ realities. Also, just to state the obvious, even though all non-monosexual identities on this chart with the exception of queer, polysexual and pansexual had the same minumum and maximum number of gender attraction does not mean that all of these sexual identities have the same definition, description or usage; not all non-monosexual sexual identities definitions rely on the number of genders in which one is attracted to. Non-monosexual is non-monosexual is non-monosexual. At the end of the day, who are you to say who someone can and can not be attracted to? (Seriously, re-read the gay/lesbian-identified monosexual section again.)
I hope you enjoy and reblog!