Bisexual, Pansexual, & Queer Books Releasing in January 2023

Bisexual, Pansexual, & Queer Books Releasing in January 2023

It’s a new year, and already there are new m-spec (bi, pan, fluid, etc) books entering the world! January is bringing a broad selection of titles across many genres, including YA romance, fantasy, educational nonfiction, literary fiction, and more. Each book on this list fits the Bi Pan Library inclusion criteria, but in most cases the library does not have a copy yet.

We’ve included both purchasing links and donation links for each book so you can pick up a copy for yourself or send one directly to the library shelves by way of our wishlist. Preordering books and first-week purchases have a huge impact on a book’s success both in the publishing world and on purchasing platforms, so support queer authors and stories with your dollars — and support the Bi Pan Library’s work at the same time by shopping our Bookshop storefront and affiliate links!

Please note: this list is organized by US release date.


january 3, 2023


The New Life

by Tom Crewe

In this powerful, visceral novel about love, sex, and the struggle for a better world, two men collaborate on a book in defense of homosexuality, then a crime—risking their old lives in the process.

In the summer of 1894, John Addington and Henry Ellis begin writing a book arguing that what they call “inversion,” or homosexuality, is a natural, harmless variation of human sexuality. Though they have never met, John and Henry both live in London with their wives, Catherine and Edith, and in each marriage there is a third party: John has a lover, a working class man named Frank, and Edith spends almost as much time with her friend Angelica as she does with Henry. John and Catherine have three grown daughters and a long, settled marriage, over the course of which Catherine has tried to accept her husband’s sexuality and her own role in life; Henry and Edith’s marriage is intended to be a revolution in itself, an intellectual partnership that dismantles the traditional understanding of what matrimony means.

Shortly before the book is to be published, Oscar Wilde is arrested. John and Henry must decide whether to go on, risking social ostracism and imprisonment, or to give up the project for their own safety and the safety of the people they love. Is this the right moment to advance their cause? Is publishing bravery or foolishness? And what price is too high to pay for a new way of living?

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Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

by Talia Hibbert

Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

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Back in a Spell

by Lana Harper

Even though she won’t deny her love for pretty (and pricey) things, Nineve Blackmoore is almost painfully down-to-earth and sensible by Blackmoore standards. But after a year of nursing a broken heart inflicted by the fiancée who all but ditched her at the altar, the powerful witch is sick of feeling low and is ready to try something drastically different: a dating app.

At her best friend’s urging, Nina goes on a date with Morty Gutierrez, the nonbinary, offbeat soul of spontaneity and co-owner of the Shamrock Cauldron. Their date goes about as well as can be expected of most online dates—awkward and terrible. To make matters worse, once Morty discovers Nina’s last name, he’s far from a fan; it turns out that the Blackmoores have been bullishly trying to buy the Shamrock out from under Morty and his family.

But when Morty begins developing magical powers—something that usually only happens to committed romantic partners once they officially join a founding family—at the same time that Nina’s own magic surges beyond her control, Nina must manage Morty’s rude awakening to the hidden magical world, uncover its cause, and face the intensity of their own burgeoning connection. But what happens when that connection is tied to Nina’s power surge, a power she’s finding nearly as addictive as Morty’s presence in her life?

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A Ruinous Fate

by Kaylie Smith

Calliope Rosewood is a witch with a long streak of bad luck. Like all witches in Illustros, her fate is directly tied to Witch’s Dice—powerful artifacts that have blessed her kind with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction. Cursed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla deserted her coven four years ago and has been in hiding with her two best friends since. But Calla is also hiding a grave secret: She is only three Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her ex leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate . . . even if that means journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with said ex and his enticing, yet enigmatic older brother to find the one being who can help her forge her own path.

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january 10, 2023


Friday I’m in Love

by Camryn Garrett

She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying–about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.

Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.

The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?

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The Daughters of Izdihar

by Hadeer Elsbai

As a waterweaver, Nehal can move and shape any water to her will, but she’s limited by her lack of formal education. She desires nothing more than to attend the newly opened Weaving Academy, take complete control of her powers, and pursue a glorious future on the battlefield with the first all-female military regiment. But her family cannot afford to let her go–crushed under her father’s gambling debt, Nehal is forcibly married into a wealthy merchant family. Her new spouse, Nico, is indifferent and distant and in love with another woman, a bookseller named Giorgina.

Giorgina has her own secret, however: she is an earthweaver with dangerously uncontrollable powers. She has no money and no prospects. Her only solace comes from her activities with the Daughters of Izdihar, a radical women’s rights group at the forefront of a movement with a simple goal: to attain recognition for women to have a say in their own lives. They live very different lives and come from very different means, yet Nehal and Giorgina have more in common than they think. The cause–and Nico–brings them into each other’s orbit, drawn in by the group’s enigmatic leader, Malak Mamdouh, and the urge to do what is right.

But their problems may seem small in the broader context of their world, as tensions are rising with a neighboring nation that desires an end to weaving and weavers. As Nehal and Giorgina fight for their rights, the threat of war looms in the background, and the two women find themselves struggling to earn–and keep–a lasting freedom.

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The Sapphire Altar

by David Dalglish

Cyrus wants out. Trained to be an assassin in order to oust the invading Empire from his kingdom, Cyrus is now worried the price of his vengeance is too high. His old master has been keeping too many secrets to be trusted. And the mask he wears to hide his true identity and become the legendary “Vagrant” has started whispering to him in the dark. But the fight isn’t over and the Empire has sent its full force to bear upon Cyrus’s floundering revolution. He’ll have to decide once and for all whether to become the thing he fears or lose the country he loves.

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january 12, 2023


Queer Heroes of Myth and Legend: A Celebration of Gay Gods, Sapphic Saints, and Queerness Through the Ages

by Dan Jones

Hidden in the margins of history books, classical literature, and thousands of years of stories, myths and legends, through to contemporary literature, TV and film, there is a diverse and other-worldly super community of queer heroes to discover, learn from, and celebrate.Be captivated by stories of forbidden love like Patroclus & Achilles (explored in Madeleine Miller’s bestseller Song of Achilles), join the cult of Antinous (inspiration for Oscar Wilde), get down with pansexual god Set in Egyptian myth, and fall for Zimbabwe’s trans God Mawi. And from modern pop-culture, through Dan Jones’s witty, upbeat style, learn more about 90s fan obsessions Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and the BBC ‘s Doctor Who.

Heroes of Queer Myth & Legend brings to life characters who are romantic, brave, mysterious, and always fantastical. It is a magnificent celebration of queerness through the ages in all its legendary glory.

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january 14, 2023


As You Walk on By

by Julian Winters

Seventeen-year-old Theo Wright has it all figured out. His plan (well, more like his dad’s plan) is a foolproof strategy that involves exceling at his magnet school, getting scouted by college recruiters, and going to Duke on athletic scholarship. But for now, all Theo wants is a perfect prom night. After his best friend Jay dares Theo to prompose to his crush at Chloe Campbell’s party, Theo’s ready to throw caution to the wind and take his chances.

But when the promposal goes epically wrong, Theo seeks refuge in an empty bedroom while the party rages on downstairs. Having an existential crisis about who he really is with and without his so-called best friend wasn’t on tonight’s agenda. Though, as the night goes on, Theo finds he’s not as alone as he thinks when, one by one, new classmates join him to avoid who they’re supposed be outside the bedroom door. Among them, a familiar acquaintance, a quiet outsider, an old friend, and a new flame…

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january 17, 2023


Tears in the Water

by Margherita Scialla


At White Ravens University, where athletes train to become professional sportspeople, Alex is on the swimming team with her best friend, Xiuying. Having grown up mostly alone, parents absent and brother often busy with his own life, Alex tends not to meet new people unless she and Xiuying are together.
After an embarrassing encounter with a boy from the volleyball team Alex soon discovers that the world isn’t so big after all and the universe has a funny way of setting people up, especially when and with whom they’re least expecting.
Despite her reserved character, Alex becomes part of a newly formed friend group consisting of four amazing people with different identities and personalities. As she tries to overcome her anxiety and negative past events, Alex finds herself both struggling with romantic feelings for a new acquaintance and a full blown gender crisis.

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Glitterland

by Alexis Hall

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on hope, happiness, and–most of all–himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter throws him into the path of Essex-born Darian Taylor. Flashy and loud, radiant and full of life, Darian couldn’t be more different…and yet he makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of his anxiety. But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can no longer see a way out. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can someone who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

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january 19, 2023


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

by Vaneet Mehta

“You’re just being greedy.”
“Are you sure you’re not gay?”
“Pick a side.”

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. This experience inspired Vaneet to create the viral #BisexualMenExist campaign, combatting the hate and scepticism m-spec (multi-gender attracted spectrum) men encounter, and helping others who felt similarly alone and trapped.

This powerful book is an extension of that fight. Navigating a range of topics, including coming out, dating, relationships and health, Vaneet shares his own lived experience as well as personal stories from others in the community to help validate and uplift other bisexual men. Discussing the treatment of m-spec men in LGBTQ+ places, breaking down stereotypes and highlighting the importance of representation and education, this empowering book is a rallying call for m-spec men everywhere.

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Godkiller

by Hannah Kaner

In solidarity with the HarperCollins strike and the workers’ request to hold coverage of HarperCollins titles, no description or purchase links are available for this book. Details will be added once HarperCollins negotiates with the workers in good faith and come to an agreement. To learn more about how to support the strike, click here.

One Night in Hartswood

by Emma Denny

When Penn and Raff meet in Hartswood Forest the only truth they know of each other is a brief moonlit kiss they had shared previously. But Penn is escaping a life of cruelty, and an arranged marriage to a woman he has never seen. Raff is tracking the elusive missing groom of his sister to restore his family’s honour. Neither are looking for a travelling companion. Yet both men find themselves drawn to each other in ways neither imagined.

Unaware of their true identities they venture north together through Hartswood Forest. And, as their bond deepens, their fates become irrevocably entwined. But, with one escaping a life of duty and one tracking a fugitive, continued concealment threatens everything they know and trust in each other. So when secrets are finally revealed, and the consequences of their relationship become clear, both must decide what they will risk for the man they love.

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january 24, 2023


After Sappho

by Selby Wynn Schwartz

“The first thing we did was change our names. We were going to be Sappho.”

Ignited by the same muse, a myriad of women break from their small, predetermined lives for seemingly disparate paths: in 1892, Rina Faccio trades her needlepoint for a pen; in 1902, Romaine Brooks sails for Capri with nothing but her clotted paintbrushes; and in 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: “I want to make life fuller and fuller.”

Writing in cascading vignettes, Selby Wynn Schwartz spins an invigorating tale of women whose narratives converge and splinter as they forge queer identities and claim the right to their own lives. A luminous meditation on creativity, education, and identity, After Sappho announces a writer as ingenious as the trailblazers of our past.

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6 Times We Almost Kissed

by Tess Sharpe

After years of bickering, Penny and Tate have called a truce: they’ll play nice. They have to. Their mothers (life-long best friends) need them to be perfect, drama-free daughters when Penny’s mother becomes a living liver donor to Tate’s mom. Forced to live together as the Moms recover, the girls’ truce is essential in keeping everything–their jobs, the house, the finances, the Moms’ healing–running smoothly. They’ve got to let this thing between them go.

There’s one little hitch: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.
It’s just this confusing thing that keeps happening. You know, from time to time. For basically their entire teenaged existence.
They’ve never talked about it. They’ve always ignored it in the aftermath. But now they’re living across the hall from each other.
And some things–like their kisses–can’t be almosts forever.

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The Buried and the Bound

by Rochelle Hassan

As the only hedgewitch in Blackthorn, Massachusetts–an uncommonly magical place–Aziza El-Amin has bargained with wood nymphs, rescued palm-sized fairies from house cats, banished flesh-eating shadows from the local park. But when a dark entity awakens in the forest outside of town, eroding the invisible boundary between the human world and fairyland, run-of-the-mill fae mischief turns into outright aggression, and the danger–to herself and others–becomes too great for her to handle alone.

Leo Merritt is no stranger to magical catastrophes. On his sixteenth birthday, a dormant curse kicked in and ripped away all his memories of his true love. Desperate for answers, he makes a pact with Aziza: he’ll provide much-needed backup on her nightly patrols, and in exchange, she’ll help him break the curse. When the creature in the woods sets its sights on them, their survival depends on the aid of a mysterious young necromancer they’re not certain they can trust. But they’ll have to work together to eradicate the new threat and take back their hometown… even if it forces them to uncover deeply buried secrets and make devastating sacrifices.

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january 26, 2023


Haruko/Love Poems

by June Jordan

In trailblazing poet, essayist, teacher and activist June Jordan’s poems, love is a vision of revolutionary solidarity, crossing borders both emotional and literal with an outstretched hand. Haruko traces the faltering arc of a passionate love affair with another woman while Love Poems encompasses relationships with men and women, political resistance, the need for self-care in a demanding, uncaring world and apocalyptic visions of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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january 30, 2023


Sorry, Bro

by Taleen Voskuni

When Nareh Bedrossian’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.

Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. But it’s not the mom-approved playboy doctor or the wealthy engineer who catch Nar’s eye–it’s Erebuni, a woman as immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her wingwoman, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Who knew cooking up kuftes together could be so . . . sexy?

But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. Her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave and to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bisexual, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.

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JANUARY 31, 2023


Then Everything Happens at Once

by M.E. Girard

In solidarity with the HarperCollins strike and the workers’ request to hold coverage of HarperCollins titles, no description or purchase links are available for this book. Details will be added once HarperCollins negotiates with the workers in good faith and come to an agreement. To learn more about how to support the strike, click here.


OTHER BOOKLISTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY


Black writers on bisexuality and fluid sexuality

Dear Bi Pan Library, I have read some non-fiction about bisexuality but I have overwhelmingly just seen books by white people. Do you have any recommendations of bisexual non-fiction by Black writers?

16 Nonfiction Books to Help You Explore Outside the Gender Binary

Whether you’re newly questioning your gender, have known you’re nonbinary for a while and want to settle your roots deeper, or even if you’re cis and looking to learn more about how to support and respect your friends outside the binary books are a great way to start!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, which support the Bi Pan Library’s operation at no additional cost to you. Read more about the Bi Pan Library’s affiliate relationships here.

Pan Week 2022

Since 2017, Pan Week has been held in December to celebrate the pan community, spread awareness of pan-specific issues, and honor pan history. Pan Week was started by the pan activist behind Posi-Pan.tumblr.com.

“The objective of Pan Week is to spread awareness and positivity for pan identities and show support and acceptane for pan people. Sharing and learning about pan topics and issues, such as history, media representation, inclusivity in queer spaces, treatment from fellow queer people, hate, erasure, etc.” (x)

History of the Pan pride flag

History of the word Pansexual

Pan media representation

PAN NONFICTION

PAN FICTION

The Bi Pan Library website exclusively lists books we have physically acquired.
For a more exhaustive list of pan literature, we recommend the Posi-Pan representation database.

PAN PODCASTS

New arrivals: Fall 2022

New arrivals: Fall 2022

This Fall we added several books on the encouragement of friends of the library, such as Lucas Scheelk’s poetry collection A Prayer For A Non-Religious Autistic and a very generous donation of five books from Windy & Wallflower. Purchasing focused on memoirs, including a very exciting children’s book about author and inventor Margaret Wise Brown, perhaps the first read-aloud book to specifically reference attraction to multiple genders.

A Prayer For A Non-Religious Autistic
by Lucas Scheelk

A family history book for those who (in various ways) choose their own, a Jewish conversion story, disability advocacy, and a behind-the-scenes feature on the effects of misdiagnosis, mental illness, and addiction.

Nonbinary: A Memoir
by Genesis P-Orridge

World-renowned fine artist Genesis P-Orridge takes us on a journey searching for identity and their true self. It is the story of a life of creation and destruction, where Genesis P-Orridge reveals their unwillingness to be stuck—stuck in one place, in one genre, or in one gender. 

Paint the Town Red, Vol 1 and Vol 2
by Winter J. Kiakas and Tas Mukanik

Paint The Town Red is a noir-inspired rom-com about monster babes (of the more femme persuasion) who kiss, date and have dramatic pasts, presents and futures! Paint the Town Red includes traditional favourite monsters: vampires, werewolves and demons all learning to try and co-exist with one another.

Myth Retold: Medusa
by Winter J. Kiakas

Cornered as the elusive love-interest to the horrible God of the Sea, Medusa strikes a deal with Athena to save herself from a terrible fate. She accepts the chance to become a gorgon, a monstrous form which soon becomes a prize of considerable acclaim for warriors and heroes across Ancient Greece. Until one of these heroes proves to be very different to those she’s faced before…

Prism Knights: Sapphire and Velvet
by Winter J. Kiakas

Sapphire: A poetic-prose story about a knight struggling with depression who meets and falls in love with a dragon and a royal. Based on Sleeping Beauty.
Velvet: A poetic-prose story about a bisexual knight overcoming grief. Based on The Twelve Princesses.

The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown
by Mac Barnett and Sarah Jacoby

In 42 inspiring pages, this biography by award-winning writer Mac Barnett vividly depicts one of the greatest children’s book creators who ever lived: Margaret Wise Brown, the author of Goodnight MoonThe Runaway Bunny, and The Little Fur Family. Illustrated with sumptuous art by rising star Sarah Jacoby, this is essential reading for children’s book lovers of every age.

Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality
by H. Sharif Williams

A fiery collection of essays, poetry, creative nonfiction, and experimental writing that challenges conventional thought, offers alternative perspectives, and suggests ways of practicing Afrocentric, queer liberation/transgression. This book is an important contribution to Black Queer Theory, Black Feminist Thought, and Afrocentric Thought.

The Body’s Alphabet
by Ann Tweedy

“Ann Tweedy’s first book is a brave and honest examination of liminality. In delicate lyrics she confesses to trespass, asking readers to question the boundaries between acts and identity, sexuality and family. The Body’s Alphabet documents the poet’s courage, living openly as a bisexual feminist.”

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir–And a Love Letter to a Way of Life
by Nyle DiMarco

In this moving and engrossing memoir, Deaf actor, producer, and model Nyle DiMarco shares stories, both heartbreaking and humorous, of what it means to navigate a world built for hearing people. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood in Queens with his big and loving Italian-American family to where he is now, Nyle has always been driven to explore beyond the boundaries given him.

Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
by Rebecca Walker

When Mel Leventhal married Alice Walker during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, his mother declared him dead and sat shiva for him. By the time her parents divorced, when Rebecca was eight, the excitement of the milieu that had brought her parents together had died down and the foundation that gave her life meaning dropped out from under her. Black, White, and Jewish, her much-anticipated memoir, is the story of a child’s unique struggle for identity and home when nothing in her world tells her who she is or where she belongs.

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

After a lifetime of ambivalence about becoming a mother, 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.

The Black Book (5th Edition)
edited by Bill Brent

A fabulous resource for anyone with a libido, this all-new 5th Edition of THE BLACK BOOK includes hundreds of listings — from sex clubs to stores that sell whips and chains, swingers’ gatherings, bed & breakfasts that cater to cross-dressers, makers of ‘watersports’ videos, on and on. Thoroughly indexed, with full contact information for every listing, and a mind-boggling array of lists in the back — leather bars, lesbian hang-outs, sexy websites. Simply the best resource there is, on the actual practice of unusual sex.

Bisexuality in Europe : Sexual Citizenship, Romantic Relationships, and Bi+ Identities
edited by Emiel Maliepaard, Renate Baumgartner

Bisexuality in Europe offers an accessible and diverse overview of research on bisexuality and bi+ people in Europe, providing a foundation for theorising and empirical work on plurisexual orientations and identities, and the experiences and realities of people who desire more than one sex or gender

Let us know in the comments or our contact form what bi, pan, and fluid titles we should consider adding to the library’s shelves next — or sponsor the purchase via our Ko-fi to guarantee we get a copy!

Some links in this post are affiliate links, which support the Bi Pan Library’s operation. Read more here.

Bisexual non-fiction by Black writers

SERIES: ASK THE BI PAN LIBRARY

Black writers on bisexuality and fluid sexuality

Hello 🙂 I have read some non-fiction about bisexuality but I have overwhelmingly just seen books by white people. Do you have any recommendations of bisexual non-fiction by Black writers?
Much love, Christine

Hi Christine, what a delightful question!

There is quite a bit of writing about bisexual and sexually fluid identity by Black writers, and I’ve compiled a booklist below across a variety of forms. A few of the individual essays are found in difficult-to-find out-of-print books, so if you are interested in a particular essay but cannot purchase or borrow the book yourself, please contact me to set up a viewing or scan of the library’s copy.

I also want to note that although this list focuses on published works (because that is what the Bi Pan Library primarily focuses on), printed-and-bound books are just one of many ways to engage with the deep well of Black bisexual/fluid experience and wisdom. Digital resources like blogs, social media, YouTube, and podcasts are also fantastic ways to connect with modern Black bisexual/fluid perspectives.

BOOKS focused on bi/fluid identity

Finding the B in LGBTQ+ History: Tips & Tools for Learning Bisexual+ History by Angélique Gravely

Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality by bisexual scholar and activist H. Sharif Williams, perhaps the most prominent living Black bisexual writer.

Black Enough Man Enough: Embracing My Mixed Race and Sexual Fluidity by Gee Smalls

ESSAYS

• “A New Politics of Sexuality” by June Jordan is a powerful piece of bisexual writing. It was originally published in The Progressive in 1991, but was later published in essay collections such as Some of Us Did Not Die. The Bi Pan Library has a copy of the original issue of The Progressive

• “Erotic Computer: Janelle Monáe’s Black Queer Femme Representation and the Lens of Audre Lorde’s Writing” by Jessica Brough(from The Bi-ble: New Testimonials)

‘I Still Feel Like I Can’t Quite Be Myself’: Bisexual Students’ Experiences with Invisibility, Marginalization, and — Exclusion Within LGBTQ+ Camps Spaces” by Jayna Tavarez(from The Bi-ble: New Testimonials)

• “Fluid Desire: Race, HIV/AIDS, and Bisexual Politics by Elias Farajaé aka Manuel Kalidas Congo (from Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions)

• “Politics of the Bisexual Deep-Fry” by Michèlle T. Clinton (from Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions)

• “Celebrating bisexuality, beyond the silos” edited by mpho ndaba

• Several sections that may be of interest to you in Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectivesparticularly “Part II: Indigenous and Decolonizing Spiritual Discourses”. 

• “Worth the Balancing” by Alan Silver (from Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out)

• Several personal narratives, poems, interviews, and art pieces in Plural Desires: Writing Bisexual Women’s Realities you may find interesting. Notably, it was published in collaboration with Sister Vision: Black Women & Women of Color Press.

• Several personal narratives from Black bi/pan/fluid men in Rec*og*nize the Voices of Bisexual Men, co-edited by H. Sharif Williams. 

• Several personal narratives from Black bi/pan/fluid people in Getting Bi : Voices of Bisexuals Around the World.

MEMOIR & BIOGRAPHY

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay covers her relationships with men and women. 

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow covers him questioning his sexuality and coming out as bisexual.

A Woman Like Me by Bettye LaVette covers her relationships with men and women.

• Any of bisexual humorist Samantha Irby’s essay collections (We Are Never Meeting in Real LifeWow No Thank You, and Meaty) discuss her love and sex life.

• The biography Alice Walker: A Life and Rebecca Walker’s memoir Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple) and her daughter Rebecca Walker (prominent activist, coined the term “third wave feminism”), both identify as bisexual. Rebecca has another memoir about parenting, called Baby Love : Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence.

Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood by June Jordan. I read this quite a while ago and do not recall if this book covered her bisexuality, but I do remember it was very good! 

POETRY ABOUT identity, LOVE AND SEXUALITY

Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan by June Jordan

The Body in Its Seasons and This Isn’t Godhood by Maz Hedgehog / M.S. Ikeji

Race. Resistance. Love. by H. Sharif Williams

books focused on THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

I am including a short list of books about sexually fluid figures during the Harlem Renaissance because it is a fascinating and particularly well-documented period of Black bi/pan/fluid history.

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday by Angela Y. Davis

Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters by Donald Bogle

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments : Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by Saidiya Hartman

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

Christine, I hope this list helps you get started! I’m sure if you keep exploring, you’ll find new books and authors the Bi Pan Library should know about — stay in touch and let me know what we’re missing!

Do you have a question for the Bi Pan Library? Let us know what you’re searching for, we’re here to help.

New arrivals: Fall 2021

New arrivals: Fall 2021

This Fall we’re focusing on deepening the collection by building up our queer author backlists, starting with Jan Clausen, Ana Castillo, and Lidia Yuknavitch. A few recent releases also hit our shelves in October, including two 2021 m-spec nonfiction titles and Camryn Garrett’s much anticipated second novel.

Here’s what’s new…

Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction by Lee Mandelo

Speculative fiction is the literature of questions, of challenges and imagination, and what better to question than the ways in which gender and sexuality have been rigidly defined, partitioned off, put in little boxes? These seventeen stories explore the ways in which identity can go beyond binary from space colonies to small college towns, from angels to androids, and from a magical past to other worlds entirely, the authors in this collection have brought to life wonderful tales starring people who proudly define (and redefine) their own genders, sexualities, identities, and so much else in between.

Beyond Gay or Straight: Understanding Sexual Orientation by Jan Clausen

Is sexual orientation an inborn trait, or does it somehow develop in the unfolding personality? In this remarkably candid work, author Jan Clausen explores the intense and often emotional debate surrounding these questions. Moving from historical and cross-cultural surveys to scientific studies of modern sexual identity, from the political and social ramifications of “being different” to distinctly personal analysis, Clausen examines the spectrum of variations in sexual orientation, allowing the reader to formulate his or her own idea of what constitutes “the mystery of desire” and how it informs individual identity. 

Bi: Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, and Nonbinary Youth by Ritch C. Savin-Williams

In Bi, Ritch C. Savin-Williams brings bisexuality out of the shadows, particularly as Gen Z and millennial youth and young adults increasingly reject traditional sexual labels altogether. Drawing on interviews with bisexual youth from a range of racial, ethnic, and social class groups, he reveals to us how bisexuals define their own sexual orientation and experiences—in their own words. Savin-Williams shows how and why people might identify as bisexual as a result of their biology or upbringing; as a bridge or transition to something else; as a consequence of their curiosity; or for a range of other equally valid reasons.

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

Can Everyone Please Calm Down?: A Guide to 21st Century Sexuality by Mae Martin

Comedian Mae Martin investigates in this hilarious and intelligent guide to 21st century sexuality. Covering everything from the pros and cons of labels, to coming out and the joys of sexual fluidity, Mae ponders all the stuff we get hung up about – and then a bit more. Mae’s mission is to ensure that in a world that’s full of things to worry about, who we choose to kiss should not be one of them. And when it comes to sexuality, she asks: CAN EVERYONE PLEASE CALM DOWN?

Cook As You Are: Recipes for Real Life, Hungry Cooks and Messy Kitchens by Ruby Tandoh

Ruby Tandoh wants us all to cook, and this is her cookbook for all of us – the real home cooks, juggling babies or long commutes, who might have limited resources and limited time. From last-minute inspiration to delicious meals for one, easy one-pot dinners to no-chop recipes for when life keeps your hands full, Ruby brings us 100 delicious, affordable and achievable recipes, including salted malted magic ice cream, one-tin smashed potatoes with lemony sardines and pesto and an easy dinner of plantain, black beans and eden rice.

This is a new kind of cookbook for our times: an accessible, inclusive and inspirational addition to any and every kitchen. You don’t have to be an aspiring chef for your food to be delectable or for cooking to be a delight. Cook as you are.

Dar: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary (Volume 2) by Erika Moen

DAR! Vol 2 chronicles the six year long autobiographical story of Erika Moen, a lost 20-year-old lesbian artist-wannabe in college who falls in love with a boy in England and the evolution that her sexual identity undergoes before winding up marrying him as a queer 26-year-old full-time cartoonist. Along the way there are many vignettes about sex, farts, the queer community, the Brits, vibrators and figuring out sexual identity.

February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Brooklyn by Sherill Tippins

February House is the uncovered story of an extraordinary experiment in communal living, one involving young but already iconic writers — and the country’s best-known burlesque performer — in a house at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn during 1940 and 1941. It was a fevered yearlong party fueled by the appetites of youth and by the shared sense of urgency to take action as artists in the months before America entered the war.

In spite of the sheer intensity of life at 7 Middagh, the house was for its residents a creative crucible. Carson McCullers’s two masterpieces, The Member of the Wedding and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, were born, bibulously, in Brooklyn. Gypsy Rose Lee, workmanlike by day, party girl by night, wrote her book The G-String Murders in her Middagh Street bedroom. Auden — who along with Britten was being excoriated at home in England for absenting himself from the war — presided over the house like a peevish auntie, collecting rent money and dispensing romantic advice. And yet all the while he was composing some of the most important work of his career.

Give it to Me by Ana Castillo

Recently divorced, Palma, a forty-three-year-old Latina, takes stock of her life when she reconnects with her gangster younger cousin recently released from prison. Her sexual obsession with him flares as she checks out her other options, but their family secrets bring them together in unexpected ways. In this wildly entertaining and sexy novel, Castillo creates a memorable character with a flare for fashion, a longing for family, and a penchant for adventure. Give It to Me is “Sex in the City” for a Chicana babe who’s looking for love in all the wrong places.

Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much by Jen Winston

If Jen Winston knows one thing for sure, it’s that she’s bisexual. Or wait—maybe she isn’t? Actually, she definitely is. Unless…she’s not? Jen’s provocative debut takes us inside her journey of self-discovery, leading us through stories of a childhood “girl crush,” an onerous quest to have a threesome, and an enduring fear of being bad at sex. Greedy follows Jen’s attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be “queer enough,” and how to overcome bi stereotypes when you’re the posterchild for all of them: greedy, slutty, and constantly confused.

Greedy shows us that being bisexual is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with—it’s about finding stability in a state of flux and defining yourself on your own terms. This book inspires us to rethink the world as we know it, reminding us that Greedy was a superpower all along.

Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack

The year is 1994 and alternative is in. But not for alternative girl Tabitha Denton; she hates her life. She is uninterested in boys, lonely, and sidelined by former friends at her suburban high school. When she picks up a zine at a punk concert, she finds an escape—an advertisement for a Riot Grrrl meet-up.

At the meeting, Tabitha finds girls who are more like her and a place to belong. But just as Tabitha is settling in with her new friends and beginning to think she understands herself, eighteen-year-old Jackie Hardwick walks into a meeting and changes her world forever. The out-and-proud Jackie is unlike anyone Tabitha has ever known. As her feelings for Jackie grow, Tabitha begins to learn more about herself and the racial injustices of the punk scene, but to be with Jackie, she must also come to grips with her own privilege and stand up for what’s right. 

I Ask the Impossible: Poems by Ana Castillo

With the poems in I Ask the Impossible, Castillo celebrates the strength that “is a woman?buried deep in [her] heart.” Whether memorializing real-life heroines who have risked their lives for humanity, spinning a lighthearted tale for her young son, or penning odes to mortals, gods, goddesses, Castillo?s poems are eloquent and rich with insight. She shares over twelve years of poetic inspiration, from her days as a writer who ?once wrote poems in a basement with no heat,” through the tenderness of motherhood and bitterness of loss, to the strength of love itself, which can ?make the impossible a simple act.” Radiant with keen perception, wit, and urgency, sometimes erotic, often funny, this inspiring collection sounds the unmistakable voice of a “woman on fire? / and more worthy than stone.”

It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland

Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.

But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.

The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy

It is 1988 and Saul Adler, a narcissistic young historian, has been invited to Communist East Berlin to do research; in exchange, he must publish a favorable essay about the German Democratic Republic. As a gift for his translator’s sister, a Beatles fanatic who will be his host, Saul’s girlfriend will shoot a photograph of him standing in the crosswalk on Abbey Road, an homage to the famous album cover. As he waits for her to arrive, he is grazed by an oncoming car, which changes the trajectory of his life.

The New Bottoming Book by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton

Almost a decade ago, the first Bottoming Book taught tens of thousands of people that bottoming – being a submissive, masochist, slave, ‘boy’ or ‘girl, ‘ or other BDSM recipient — is as much an art as topping. Since then, the growing popularity of BDSM, and the blossoming of the Internet as a source of information and connection, have created a whole new universe of possibilities for players. Now, the completely updated revised New Bottoming Book gives even more insights and ideas, updated for a new millennium, about how to be a successful, popular bottom!