This is why bisexual people are known for awkward peace signs and finger guns

A man points his finger like a gun while standing outdoors

When you’re hanging out with friends and want to capture the moment with a photo, does your bisexual friend whip out a peace sign? No? How about pointing finger guns at you?

If the answer is “yes”, do you ever wonder why they do this? Whether it’s an innate reflex – or learned behaviour? Or a knowing, self-aware way to reference a joke that’s spread across the world…

To answer any and all of your questions about the trope, here’s a deep dive into awkward bi peace signs and finger guns to investigate the meaning and history behind the gestures.

Why do bisexual people use peace signs and finger guns?

Over the years, bi people have seemingly gained the reputation for being “fidgety”: with jokes about how bisexual people can’t “sit straight” in chairs, and that they have fidgeting hands. 

Whether this is an accurate trait or not, peace signs and finger guns have become synonymous with the way bisexual people pose in photos. But why do bi people have such an affinity with these two hand gestures specifically?

A peace sign illustration with the bisexual flag colours
Many people have riffed on bisexual people’s apparent affinity for flashing peace signs, like the creator of this Etsy decal (Etsy: DarkSparkDecals)

(By the way, if you’re a peace sign bisexual, you can buy the decal above here).

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One Reddit user offered an interesting explanation. They note that in the word bisexual, the ‘bi’ prefix means two.

When you flash a peace sign or “fire” finger guns, the individual is using two fingers. Therefore, hand gestures that use two fingers may well act as a reference to the attraction to two or more genders.

The relationship with bi people and these gestures have become something of a meme within the community, further blurring the lines between a real phenomenon and a self-aware in-joke.

This is often applicable to social media, like this post about recognising bisexual “tendencies”: “Easy ways to spot a bisexual: finger guns, awkward thumbs up, peace signs, salutes, ‘y’all’.”

The use of peace signs and finger guns is still widespread in the bisexual community, to the point some even ask the question, “are you a Peace Sign bi or a Finger Gun bi”? The answer, unsurprisingly given the audience, is usually “both”.

Are there other bisexual signs?

As well as the peace signs and finger guns, bisexual culture has jokingly claimed the term “bi-chair’” This refers to the incompatible relationship between bi people and chairs touched on above.

The bi-chair sitting position includes a variety of positions including draping one’s self over chair armrests or tangling limbs into knots to sit upright. Ultimately, bi-chair is the inability to sit straight

There is a stereotypical way to sit on a chair as a straight person (boring) but not conforming to this straight position is supposedly a trait of a bisexual person.

One Reddit user uploaded a post from X (formerly Twitter) that reads: “Nothing ever felt more validating than when I first saw the tweet that said ‘bi people cant sit right’ while I was sitting half off a chair with my legs up on my couch and my chin pushed into my chest.” The post has over 3,000 upvotes. 

Are bisexual stereotypes harmful?

Though peace signs and finger guns are well-meaningful and playful stereotypes that come from within the community, there are some negative assumptions about bi people that do have a detrimental impact. 

A study by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that the bi population is one of the largest groups within the LGBTQ+ community. However, although bisexuality makes up such a big part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella, bi people still face the brunt of biphobia, harsh stereotypes, and erasure of their queer identity.

Even within the LGBTQ+ community, there can be a tendency to marginalise bi people. This has the effect of bi people being shunned from heterosexual groups but also distanced from queer people. 

Ideas of greed or promiscuity are also sometimes used to dismiss or judge bisexual people about their attraction to two or more genders.

Having such harmful ideas directed at bi people can have real consequences. For instance, in February 2023, Heartstopper‘s Kit Connor was driven off X because of assumptions made about his sexuality. In a post announcing his exit, Connor came out as bisexual.

“The idea that you can tell someone’s sexuality based on the way that they look, the way that they talk, the way that they walk, the way that they dress, is quite frankly ridiculous and it’s really quite harmful,” he shared when speaking on how the Netflix show tackles such issues.

So yes, while it’s fun to joke about peace signs, finger guns and not being able to use a chair correctly – it’s also important not to take assumptions or memes about any sexuality too far.

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