How to spell the word "bisexual"
By Tom Limoncelli
The word is spelled "bisexual". It's really quite simple. It has no hypen and the "s" is not caps. Unless it is at the beginning of a sentence, the first letter is lowercase.
WRONG: bi-sexual, BiSexual, Bisexual (unless at the beginning of a sentence)
It's easy to remember the thing about the hyphen: It's not homo-sexual, it's not les-bian, it's not bi-sexual.
I see some people write it with the first letter in caps as in:
Tom is a Bisexual.
I consider this to be bad form. Nationalities are first letter cap, but adjectives aren't. The word "bisexual" is an adjective, not a nationality. There is no Bisexualia from which we all come. Therefore this is correct:
Tom is Italian.
and this is correct also:
Tom is bisexual.
On the other hand, some GLBT publications, like the Philadelphia Gay News have an editorial guideline that dictates that they always capitalize Gay and Lesbian. Therefore they write:
Johnson, a Gay activist, spoke at the conference.
In this case, we demand capitalization parity and therefore in this case and in this case only should the word be capitalized. Therefore, PGN should write:
Bob, a Gay man, and his partner Mike, who is Bisexual, also spoke at the conference.
However, we consider this a silly editorial standard since they don't capitalize the word "heterosexual".
I can't believe that I've been doing bisexual activism for the last 10 years and this issue still comes up so often. Oh well. There are bigger fish to fry.
P.S. This reminds me of the old vaudville joke where the secretary asks her boss if "brown" should be capitalized. He tells her "no" and leaves the room. She turns to her typewriter and speaks as she types: "Dear Mister brown".