Bisexuality and “Odd One Out”
I read Odd One Out by Nic Stone soon after it came out. It spoke personally to me, so it's my favorite of (currently three) YA titles of hers.
The premise is you have this really bizarre love triangle between a Heterosexual boy, a questioning girl, and a lesbian.
After this point, I'm talking about the entire book, so this is your last chance to leave.
Basically, it hinges on the fact the lesbian character is some manner of bi- or pan-sexual and can't cope with losing her label because it's tied to her identity as she sees it.
She's also probably demisexual.
Now, here's the thing, the book has a lot of bi-phobia for what I hope is are obvious reasons. The author is bi, so I don't think it was put in there out of some bi-misia and if you read her author's note, she wrote this because she felt it was a needed book, one she would have needed at 12. She goes on to say while it took her a long time to figure out her identity, any amount of time is valid.
This is shown in the dedication: > For all the people who just don't know
The character, Jupiter, is a big Queen fan. So I think if you know Freddie Mercury's deal and how he's seen as gay when he was in fact bi, you can see how this would be a big symbol.
Jupiter in fact comments on the fact that Freddie Mercury was bisexual, yet the entire novel you have all this biphobia and her seemingly being unable to accept it as a real thing. Any girl who has dated a boy in the past is “straight” and just wants to experiment.
Jupiter has sex with two people in the novel: One of the protagonists, Cooper, and a lesbian in college she knows rather well, the latter being discussed beforehand as statutory. While the college girl is amazing at sex, she more enjoys her awkward-probably-not-very-good sex with Cooper, which I assume is the demi-aspect. In Cooper's case, it gets really interesting, because she was into him but not acknowledging it, and only chose to have sex with him because the girl she was in love with, Rae, was acting like she was in love with Jupiter until Rae told her that she was going to ask out Cooper because she liked him. So it's partially a spite-move.
It resolves, Rae and Cooper break up and Jupiter and Cooper get together, and Rae has to move. I still feel like since every person in this love-triangle had feelings for the other two members, that this could have ended in polyamory, but I'm not an expert on such things, so maybe I'm full of shit. Maybe poly is too much for the YA market. I only know of one romance in YA ending in a poly relationship, and it was a quiet fantasy series that had it so subtly you could be reading into it, and the books never attracted much attention..
I mean really when I think about it, all the biphobia in the book only comes from queer characters (though not all the queer characters I should clarify). I feel like that's a pretty good statement on the LG(bt) community.
Basically the message from the book is “take as long as you need to figure it out, and don't stress about labels”. Which I think is a fair message.
I know I just gave the ending of the book, but I do recommend reading it.