Bi health month 2023

Bi, pan, and m-spec authors on disability, neurodivergence, and healthcare

Bi, pan, and m-spec authors on disability, neurodivergence, and healthcare

The Bi Pan Library is proud to partner with the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) for the 10th annual Bi+ Health Month this March. We’re curating content all month to help you connected with m-spec (bi, pan, fluid, etc.) authors who are disabled, chronically ill, and neurodivergent and other resources to learn about health topics important to our community such as HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, intimate partner violence, and mental illness.

On March 18th, Bi Pan Library founder Bren Frederick will be taking over the BRC’s Instagram to give a tour of the library and chat about how her disability, neurodivergence, and chronic illness have guided the creation of the Bi Pan Library (and share a few book recommendations, because of course). Be sure to follow the BRC to catch the takeover and learn about even more #BiHealthMonth resources!

Now, let’s get to the books — we’ve labelled each one with the health topic the book covers, so you can see at a glance if any of the books reflect your own health conditions or a topic you’d like to learn more about. As always, if there’s a book you think we should add to this list, we’re all ears! Write in using the contact form and tell us all about it.  

The Things We Don’t Say: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths
edited by Julie Morgenlender


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Forty-two writers from around the world, including bi activists Julie Morgenlender and Heron Greenesmith (pieces listed below), open up in fifty true stories about their chronic illnesses and their search for answers, poor treatment by doctors, strained relationships with loved ones, self-doubt, the warmth of support from family and friends, the triumph of learning coping mechanisms, and finding ways to live their dreams. Read more…

  • This Is Hard by Julie Morgenlender
  • My Journey for Answers: Because No One Will Care More About My Health Than Me by Julie Morgenlender
  • Pain by Heron Greenesmith

by Chella Man

deaf / hard of hearing

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What constructs in your life must you unlearn to support inclusivity and respect for all? This is a question that artist, actor, and activist Chella Man wrestles with in this powerful and honest essay. A story of coping and resilience, Chella journeys through his experiences as a deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, Jewish person of color, and shows us that identity lies on a continuum — a beautiful, messy, and ever-evolving road of exploration. Read more…

Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience
by Anuradha Bhagwati

military PTSd, sexual assault

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After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons grad school in the Ivy League to join the Marines—the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military—determined to prove herself there in ways she couldn’t before. Yet once training begins, Anuradha’s G.I. Jane fantasy is punctured. As a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faces underestimation at every stage, confronting misogyny, racism, sexual violence, and astonishing injustice perpetrated by those in power. Pushed beyond her limits, she also wrestles with what drove her to pursue such punishment in the first place. Once her service concludes in 2004, Anuradha vows to take to task the very leaders and traditions that cast such a dark cloud over her time in the Marines, and create a program where fellow combat PTSD sufferers can seek relief in community. Read more…

Bisexual Men Exist: A Handbook for Bisexual, Pansexual and M-Spec Men
by Vaneet Mehta

mental, physical, & sexual health

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Being a bisexual man isn’t easy – something Vaneet Mehta knows all too well. After spending more than a decade figuring out his identity, Vaneet’s coming out was met with questioning, ridicule and erasure. Navigating a range of topics, including mental wellbeing and sexual health, Bisexual Men Exist shares Vaneet’s own lived experience as well as personal stories from others in the community to help validate and uplift other bisexual men. The Bi Pan Library was honored to assist with research for several chapters in Bisexual Men Exist, including the health chapter. Read more…

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me
by Keah Brown

cerebral palsy

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A fresh, thoughtful and charmingly funny collection of essays exploring what it means to be Black and disabled in a mostly able-bodied white America, from bisexual writer and actor Keah Brown. In The Pretty One she explores everything from her relationship with her able-bodied identical twin (called “the pretty one” by friends) to navigating romance; her deep affinity for all things pop culture; the self-hate society encouraged toward her disabled body; and her declaration of self-love with the viral hashtag #DisabledAndCute. Read more…

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir
by Ellen Forney

bipolar disorder

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Darkly funny and intensely personal, bisexual artist Ellen Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a bipolar disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose. Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the “crazy artist”, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” a brilliant mind. Read more…

You can also check out Ellen’s follow up to Marbles, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life.

Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmation for People Living with Hiv/AIDS
edited by Khafre Kujichagulia Abif


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A powerful anthology of deeply personal writing by people living with HIV/AIDS, lovingly gathered and edited by bisexual AIDS activist and librarian Khafre Kujichagulia Abif. Abif founded Cycle for Freedom in 2010, a national mobilizing campaign to reduce the spread of HIV among African Americans and Latinos.

Expecting: The Inner Life of Pregnancy
by Chitra Ramaswamy


When bi writer Chitra Ramaswamy discovered she was pregnant, she longed for a book that went above and beyond a manual; a book that did more than describe what was happening in her growing body. One that, instead, got to the very heart of this overwhelming, confusing and exciting experience. Expecting‘s takes the reader on a physical, emotional, philosophical and artistic odyssey through pregnancy. Chitra’s intimate, strange, wild and lyrical essays pay tribute to this most extraordinary and ordinary of experiences. Read more…

Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty First Century
edited by Alice Wong

disability, cHRONIC ILLNESS

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In this fierce, galvanizing anthology of contemporary essays by disabled people, editor Alice Wong has included the work of multiple disabled bi/queer authors (pieces listed below). Read more…

  • How to make a paper crane from rage by Elsa Sjunneson
  • Nurturing black disabled joy by Keah Brown
  • Still dreaming wild disability justice dreams at the end of the world by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  • Falling/burning : Hannah Gadsby, Nanette, and being a bipolar creator by Shoshana Kessock
  • Why my novel is dedicated to my disabled friend Maddy by A.H. Reaume
  • Common cyborg by Jillian Weise

The Collected Schizophrenias
by Esmé Weijun Wang


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Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and bi/queer author Esme Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis Wang’s analytical eye allows her to balance research with personal narrative. Read more…

In the Dream House
by Carmen Maria Machado

intimate partner abuse

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Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, bisexual writer Carmen Maria Machado struggles to make sense of how abuse shaped the person she was becoming. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of women-loving-women relationships as “safe” and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be. Read more…

The Red Zone: A Love Story
by Chloe Caldwell

menstruation, pmdd

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Chloe’s period had often felt inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even painful. It’s only once she’s in her thirties, as she’s falling in love with Tony, a musician and single dad, that its effects on her mood start to dominate her life. Spurred by the intensity and seriousness of her new relationship, it strikes her: her outbursts of anxiety and rage match her hormonal cycle. Compelled to understand the truth of what’s happening to her, Chloe documents attitudes toward menstruation among her peers and family, reads Reddit threads about PMS, attends a conference called Break the Cycle, and learns about premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD, which helps her name what she’s been going through. For Chloe, healing isn’t about finding a single cure. It means reflecting on underlying patterns in her life: her feelings about her queer identity and writing persona in the context of a heterosexual relationship; how her parents’ divorce contributed to her issues with trust; and what it means to blend a family. Read more…

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
by Samantha Irby

Crohn’s disease, depression

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Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., bisexual food blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths. Read more…

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice
by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Disability justice

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In this collection of essays, Lambda Literary Award-winning writer and longtime activist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explores the politics and realities of disability justice, a movement that centers the lives and leadership of sick and disabled queer, trans, Black, and brown people, with knowledge and gifts for all. Care Work is a mapping of access as radical love, a celebration of the work that sick and disabled queer/people of color are doing to find each other and to build power and community, and a tool kit for everyone who wants to build radically resilient, sustainable communities of liberation where no one is left behind. Read more…

On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating
by Karina Manta

eating disorders, anxiety

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An insightful memoir from a figure skating champion about her life as a bisexual professional athlete. Karina Manta has had a busy few years: Not only did she capture the hearts of many with her fan-favorite performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she also became the first female figure skater on Team USA to come out as queer. But On Top of Glass isn’t just a story about Karina’s queerness. It’s also a story about her struggle with body image in a sport that prizes delicate femininity. It’s a story about panic attacks, and first crushes, and all the crushes that followed, and it’s a story about growing up, feeling different than everybody around her and then realizing that everyone else felt different too. Read more…

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir ― and a Love Letter to a Way of Life
by Nyle Dimarco


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Before becoming the actor, producer, advocate, and model that people know today, Nyle DiMarco was half of a pair of Deaf twins born to a multi-generational Deaf family in Queens, New York. At the hospital one day after he was born, Nyle “failed” his first test—a hearing test—to the joy and excitement of his parents. In this moving and engrossing memoir, Nyle opens up about his sexually fluid identity and shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. Deaf Utopia is more than a memoir, it is a cultural anthem—a proud and defiant song of Deaf culture and a love letter to American Sign Language. Read more…

Broken (in the best possible way)
by Jenny Lawson

rheumatoid arthritis, depression

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As bi blogger and author Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. Read more…

Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom
by Sara Benincasa


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In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own room—even to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru. In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male student’s unusually, er, hard personal problem. Bold bisexual humor writer Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacher—and so much more. Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair. Read more…

Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity
by Devon Price


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Bisexual social psychologist Dr. Devon Price shares his personal experience with masking and blends history, social science research, prescriptions, and personal profiles to tell a story of neurodivergence that has thus far been dominated by those on the outside looking in. For Dr. Price and many others, Autism is a deep source of uniqueness and beauty. Unfortunately, living in a neurotypical world means it can also be a source of incredible alienation and pain. Most masked Autistic individuals struggle for decades before discovering who they truly are. They are also more likely to be marginalized in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and other factors, which contributes to their suffering and invisibility. Dr. Price lays the groundwork for unmasking and offers exercises that encourage self-expression. Read more…

In the Body of the World: A Memoir of Cancer and Connection
by Eve Ensler

cancer, sexual abuse

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Bisexual playwright and activist Eve Ensler (playwright of The Vagina Monologues) has devoted her life to the female body—how to talk about it, how to protect and value it. Yet she spent much of her life disassociated from her own body—a disconnection brought on by her father’s sexual abuse and her mother’s remoteness. But Ensler is shocked out of her distance when she is diagnosed with uterine cancer, and through months of harrowing treatment, she is forced to become first and foremost a body—pricked, punctured, cut, scanned. As she connects her own illness to the devastation of the earth, her life force to the resilience of humanity, she is finally, fully—and gratefully—joined to the body of the world. Read more…

Out of the Woods: Nature, Sexuality, and Faith in the Forest
by Luke Turner

depression, sexual abuse, ptsd

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In the wake of a significant breakup, Luke Turner is visited by familiar demons, including depression and guilt surrounding his bisexual identity, experiences of sexual abuse, and confusion brought on by an intensely religious upbringing. With nowhere to turn, Turner seeks refuge in London’s Epping Forest, where unexpected, elusive threats seem to have replaced its former comforts. No stranger to compulsion, Turner finds himself repeatedly drawn to the woods, eager to uncover its secrets and investigate an old family rumor of illicit behavior that once happened there. Away from a society that still cannot cope with the complexities of masculinity and sexuality, Turner finally begins to find acceptance among the trees as he reconciles external expectations with his own way of being. Read more…

Baby Love : Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence
by Rebecca Walker


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After a lifetime of ambivalence about becoming a mother, bisexual writer Rebecca Walker decided to have a baby. As a member of the generation who believe in ‘having it all’, a career and a baby, she found that having a baby can mean losing oneself in caring for another. Yet she also found it to be the most meaningful experience of her life… Read more…

Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words
edited by Maxfield Sparrow


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Written by autistic trans people from around the world and edited by bisexual writer Maxfield Sparrow, this vital and intimate collection of personal essays reveals the struggles and joys of living at the intersection of neurodivergence and gender diversity. Weaving memories, poems and first-person narratives together, these stories showcase experiences of coming out, college and university life, accessing healthcare, physical transition, friendships and relationships, sexuality, pregnancy, parenting, and late life self-discovery, to reveal a rich and varied tapestry of life lived on the spectrums. Read more…


Fantastic m-spec fiction picks for #BiHealthMonth

Explore queer disability and neurodivergence in fiction with these illuminating, heart-wrenching, romantic, and fantastical books featuring bi, pan, and queer characters.

Everything to know about Bi+ Health Month

Connect with resources, books, and advice about healthcare topics important to the m-spec community such as disability, sexual wellbeing, abuse, pregnancy, and more.

Need more books? Schedule a visit to the Bi Pan Library

The Bi Pan Library offers free services for the queer community, writers, educators, and anyone else looking to learn. Schedule your virtual visit today!

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