WikiMedia Commons
WikiMedia Commons

Here's a depressing bookend to Bisexual Awareness Week: a shocking new report on how underserved most bisexual Americans are underscores why we need a Bisexual Awareness Week in the first place.


The Movement Advancement Project's report, titled, "Invisible Majority: The Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How to Remedy Them," found that bisexual people face greater levels of bias, discrimination, and violence than gay and lesbian individuals do in many arenas, despite comprising more than half of the LGB community.


According to the report, which draws on data gathered from a variety of disparate studies on sexuality, bisexuality, and intimate partner violence, among others, 52% of all LGB people identify as bisexual. Two percent of all men identify as bi, and 5.5% of all women identify as bi. Yet despite these figures, a full 14% of all Americans feel that bisexuality is not a "legitimate" sexual orientation.

Perhaps because of this ignorance surrounding bisexual identity itself, bisexual people of all ages face huge levels of social isolation from their communities, the report states. Only 28% of bisexual people say that all or most of the important people in their life know that they are bi, versus 77% of gay men and 71% of lesbians. Only 20% of bi individuals say that there is social acceptance for LGB people where they live, far less than the respective figures given by lesbians (31%) and gay men (39%). Among bisexual youth specifically, only 44% say that there's an older family member they could turn to if they needed help, versus 54% of young gay and lesbian people.


MAP's report, published in partnership with a number of other LGBTQ organizations, also found that bisexual individuals face high levels of harassment and violence in the home, in the workplace, and in places of incarceration; have seriously unmet mental health needs (28% bi students have attempted suicide, and 40% have seriously contemplated it); and experience unique forms of bias and discrimination when seeking immigration relief.


"Bi people are the majority of our population," Heron Greenesmith, MAP's LGBT Movement And Policy Analyst and lead author of the report, told me in a phone interview. "In order to fully serve LGBT people, we need to confidently and competently serve bi people and understand the awesome diversity of the bi population. People of color are more likely to identify as bi. Bi people are more likely to have disabilities. Bi people are more likely to be low-income. Trans people are more likely to identify as bisexual."


"This report is a strong, evidence-based call for policy makers, service providers, and the entire LGBT community to fully serve the bisexual community," they concluded.

Read the full report here.

Bad at filling out bios seeks same.

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