Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month
What is Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month?
Every March, Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month is led by the Bisexual Resource Center to raise awareness about the Bisexual+ community, which entails tackling social, economic, and health disparities, advocating for more resources, and inspiring more actions to improve bi+ people’s health and well-being.
For starters, What does Bisexual+ mean?
Bisexual+ encompasses the terms bi, pan, queer, fluid, and etc. It’s not exclusively for those who identify as bisexual, but all sexualities that may fall under that general umbrella.
Why is Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month important?
While the Human Rights Campaign found 57.9% of LGBTQ+ adults identify as bi+, there is still a lot of bi-phobia and discrimination faced within the LGBTQ+ community and outside of it. Research has gathered that bisexuals suffer from higher rates of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and substance abuse than heterosexuals, lesbians, and gay men. Along with that, that can also suggest lower levels of social support and a lower comfort level in their sexuality or being out to friends and family compared to those who identify as lesbian or gay.
With that said, there are harmful stereotypes surrounding bisexuality, which has fueled distrust and discrimination against bisexuals. Some of these stereotypes include:
- Bisexuals are traitors to the LGBTQ+ community because they can take advantage of “heterosexual privilege.”
- Bisexuals are greedy and promiscuous.
- Bisexuals cannot be monogamous because they’re attracted to everyone.
- Bisexual men are just “too afraid to fully come out as gay.”
- Bisexual women are just “trying to get sexual attraction from heterosexual men.”
- Bisexuality is “just a phase” until someone comes out as fully gay or straight.
Additionally, bisexuals may face erasure in the LGBTQ+ community. For instance, if they are in a same-sex relationship, they are thought to be gay or lesbian. However, if they are in a non-same-sex relationship, they are viewed as straight. Altogether, these conclusions invalidate their bisexual identity, leading to isolation and self-hatred.
What can non-bi+ people do during this month?
Bisexuality+ Health Awareness Month is a time to facilitate conversations to debunk the detrimental stereotypes listed above, as it is a reminder that they do belong in the LGBTQ+ community and that they have the right to a safe space as much as anyone else. This is a great time to examine media and policies that are in place. Are there any bi+ stereotypes or bi+ erasure that you notice? How can you address it? Along with that, feel free to check in with your Bi+ friends and possibly even research whether resources are available to Bi+ members. If there isn’t, this would be a great time to help advocate for more bi+ resources.
As a friendly reminder to everyone in LGBTQ+ community, please take care of yourself! If you are feeling depressed or feel lost, reach out to a friend, trusted family member, or a Bi+ community. If possible, try to find time to engage in mindful exercise to take care of your mental health, such as going on a nature stroll, meditating, or having a mindfulness journal.Celebrate your Bi+ identity in whatever way you are comfortable with. Maybe that means wearing your pride colors, watching films with wonderful representation, or learning more about the history of the Bi+ community .Even if you aren’t out or sure which identity fits you best, know that you are still welcome within our community.
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