The becoming of family relationships and friendship circles after a bisexual break-up
Lahti, Annukka (2021). The becoming of family relationships and friendship circles after a bisexual break-up. In Maliepaard, Emiel; Baumgartner, Renate (Eds.) Bisexuality in Europe : Sexual Citizenship, Romantic Relationships, and Bi+ Identities. Abingdon: Routledge, 85-99. DOI: 10.4324/9780367809881
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Emiel Maliepaard and Renate Baumgartner; individual chapters, the contributors
This chapter explores how bisexual women’s family relationships and friendship circles unravel after a relationship breakup. It intervenes at the conjunction of three under-researched areas: bisexual people’s relationships, LGBTIQA+ separations, and social networks after relationship breakups. The becoming of social or friendship circles after a bisexual relationship breakup is approached through the Deleuzo-Guattarian concept of assemblages, where multiple and complex elements come together, connecting in various ways and taking various forms. Further, the chapter offers a novel perspective on bisexuality as a process of “becoming” as part of these relational assemblages, rather than as “being” a stable identity. Bisexuality’s function during a breakup is not determined by participants’ identities, but rather by the specific assemblages that bisexual bodies form with other bodies, relationships, and affects. In particular, binary notions of gender and sexuality give energy to the intensification of affects when bisexual women start to date a partner whose gender is different from that of their previous partner. Yet, as all assemblages are complex and unique, the gender of a bisexual woman’s partner matters differently depending on the other elements and relationships in the assemblage. Some assembled relationships and affects have the power to (dis)connect bisexual bodies with (from) relational assemblages. This can radically diminish the vitality of bisexual bodies. However, bisexual becomings continue because they are connected with other relational assemblages, highlighting multiple bisexual potentialities. ...