Thursday, August 04, 2022

Reader's Diary #2031 - Lois Shearing: Bi The Way

I suppose reading two books about bisexuality right after one another, it's only natural to compare them. And to be sure, Lois Shearing's Bi the Way: The Bisexual Guide to Life does have a lot in common with Julia Shaw's Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality. But just like no two bisexuals are exactly alike, nor are these.

Oddly, it's not that one is a guidebook and the other isn't. In fact, despite the subtitle, I'd hardly classify Lois Shearing's a guidebook at all. I suppose I was disappointed a little in that, but to be fair, it's not like there even could be any firm rules or prescriptions for being bi. Really, there's just a lot of background and context for bi's to consider, much of which is also covered in the aforementioned Shaw book. For instance, I've yet to encounter any unacceptance because I'm very new on the scene, but it was somewhat alarming to hear how many supposed LGBTQ groups aren't actually that accepting of bi people. I will approach cautiously!

My only other issue with Shearing's book is the constant references to what will come in later chapters (ex. "we'll discuss this in more depth in the next chapter"), or once you pass the halfway mark, references to what was already discussed (ex. "as we saw in chapter six). They just became tedious and distracting and I wished an editor had advised just to leave them out altogether. Otherwise, the writing is very accessible, friendly, and well-researched.

Like Shaw's book, it's pretty comprehensive, though I do look forward to reading a bisexuality book written specifically for men. 

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