This post includes affiliate links, which means we make a small commission on any sales. This commission helps Feminist Book Club pay our contributors, so thanks for supporting small, independent media!
First of all – another disclaimer – this book review is written from my lens as a queer person. I am not sharing this as the “standard” for how queer people should feel when consuming LGBTQ+ content. Everyone’s journey is their own. This is solely based on my experiences.
Greedy is a fabulous memoir by Jen Winston that shares her journey as a bisexual woman and how that impacted her quest for love. I’ll start by saying that the lack of bi content out in the world is absolutely wild. So when my friend recently recommended this book about a bisexual woman, I had to try it. I am a bisexual girly, but I have found the lack of bi media disappointing. I haven’t found the stories that made me say, “Wow, I felt the same way,” or “Oh yeah, I have been there…”. I didn’t feel this way until I read Jen Winston’s Greedy. For the first time in my queer life, I found a book about bisexuality that made me feel heard and seen (I need to explore this genre further, so please share your recommendations in the comments!).
Bisexuality is notoriously a forgotten part of the queer community. Many bi people feel discriminated by the LGBTQ+ community. The BBC shared that, “Bisexuals face hostility from their own LGBT community and are subject to the offensive narrative that they are ‘on their way to being gay,’ the head of LGBT rights charity Stonewall has said.” Many parts of the queer community have historically discriminated against each other (especially Trans women like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson who were leaders of the Stonewall movement in 1969), and bisexuals are no different.
According to Pew Research Center, bisexual people are less likely to be out to the most important people in their lives. Research showed that 19% of survey respondents who identified as bisexual have shared that with the most important people in their lives whereas 75% of their gay and lesbian counterparts said the same. Being bisexual never seems like a “big enough deal” for many people.
We hear questions like, “Can they pick a side?”, “Oh, it’s just a phase,” “Are you sure you’re not just straight?” or “Are you sure you’re not just gay?”.
Greedy took all of those questions and threw them out of society’s heteronormative window. Winston’s memoir is a collection of stories from her queer journey that include many experiences and emotions that many people navigating their sexuality have felt – shame, guilt, confusion, and my favorite one as a bisexual person – doubt.
Should I even be in the LGBTQ+ community? I know the “B” is there but still… What about when I’m a woman and dating a man? Am I still queer? What if the queer community does not accept me? What if the heterosexual community does not accept me?
Winston’s words helped navigate these complex emotions with the humorous and genuine stories of her sexual escapades. She began the memoir by sharing how she learned she was bi (her long-time girl crush on her childhood friend that surprise was more than just a friendship her entire life). She wrote about dating men, women, and non-binary people and how those experiences made her who she is today.
Winston’s authenticity struck me throughout the book. She never pretended to be anyone else or put up a ruse. She owned up to her insecurities as a bi person, the messy nights with her roommates, the awkward dates where she probably should have set a higher bar, and her desire for a life partner. I felt a lot of similar emotions to Jen throughout the novel. For most of my life, I didn’t know I was bi. There were a few years where I did not accept myself. And, in recent years, I finally came around (and out!) to love myself for who I am. It’s not a linear journey. I still have my doubts some days. But the feeling of authenticity and acceptance of my true self is priceless. Jen learned this for herself, too, but you’ll have to read her entire book to learn how she did it. It’ll inspire you too. Trust me.
Greedy is a must-read for queer, especially the bisexual community, or anyone who wants to learn more about the inner thoughts of a queer person learning about their sexuality. You’ll learn more than you think – some may even realize you’re queer. So what are you waiting for?