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The bisexual activist Robyn Ochs defines bisexuality as "the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree." ..development of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) sexual identity is a complex and often difficult process.Unlike members of other minority groups (e.g., ethnic and racial minorities), most LGB individuals are not raised in a community of similar others from whom they learn about their identity and who reinforce and support that identity.

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Some individuals identify themselves as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual without having had any sexual experience.

Others have had homosexual experiences but do not consider themselves to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Diamond, which followed women identifying as lesbian, bisexual, or unlabeled, found that "more women adopted bisexual/unlabeled identities than relinquished these identities," over a ten-year period.

The study also found that "bisexual/unlabeled women had stable overall distributions of same-sex/other-sex attractions." Diamond has also studied male bisexuality, noting that survey research found "almost as many men transitioned at some point from a gay identity to a bisexual, queer or unlabeled one, as did from a bisexual identity to a gay identity." In the 1940s, the zoologist Alfred Kinsey created a scale to measure the continuum of sexual orientation from heterosexuality to homosexuality.

In other words, someone does not have to be exclusively homosexual or heterosexual, but can feel varying degrees of both.

Sexual orientation develops across a person's lifetime–different people realize at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual." Sexual attraction, behavior and identity may also be incongruent, as sexual attraction or behavior may not necessarily be consistent with identity.

Hirschfeld created a ten-point scale to measure the strength of sexual desire, with the direction of desire being represented by the letters A (for heterosexuality), B (for homosexuality), and A B (for bisexuality).

On this scale, someone who was A3, B9 would be weakly attracted to the opposite sex and very strongly attracted to the same sex, an A0, B0 would be asexual, and an A10, B10 would be very attracted to both sexes.

Le Vay compares Hirschfeld's scale to that developed by Kinsey decades later.

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