Today — September 23 — is Celebrate Bisexuality+ Day, a day for us to recognize and celebrate bisexual history, and the bisexual+ people in our communities. Despite comprising more than half of the LGBTQ community, bisexual people face significant disparities even in comparison to their gay and lesbian peers.
Over the past three years, several significant studies and reports have come out that highlight the extent of bi+ erasure and the degree to which the experiences of bisexual people tend to be subsumed with those of gay and lesbian people in reporting and research on the LGB community.
Today, we’re highlighting some of the resources we think are most helpful in elevating the experience of our bisexual+ friends and family members.
1. Invisible Majority: The Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How to Remedy Them
Released last year by the Movement Advancement Project, Invisible Majority provides an overview of current research and challenges facing the bisexual community. The report focuses on the nearly five million adults in the United States who identify as bisexual and the millions more who have sexual or romantic attraction to or contact with people of more than one gender.
The authors conclude that bisexual people are often assumed to be gay, lesbian, or heterosexual based on the gender of their partner, and are significantly less likely to be open about their sexuality than their gay and lesbian peers. Bisexual people who are open about their sexuality experience unsafe and unsupportive educational environments, increased domestic violence, higher rates of workplace discrimination, and face greater disparities in mental and physical health.
2. In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community
Shifting public narrative and conversations to be more open, accepting, and understanding of bisexual+ people’s experiences remains a significant challenge. In 2016 GLAAD partnered with BiNet USA, Bisexual Organizing Project, and Bisexual Resource Center to release In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community, a resource guide to help journalists to more accurately report on the bisexual community and the differences between individuals within the community.
The document is brief and to the point, and has had a significant impact on the quality of reporting on bisexual people. Laying out clear terms and definitions, terms to avoid, best practices, and story ideas, this resource should be a must-read guide for any journalist or writer seeking to cover bisexual people responsibly and accurately.
On of the most pervasive misconceptions about bisexual people is that bisexuality is just a phase. #StillBisexual is a social media and video campaign designed to dispel that myth, and the website contains a great library of video content shared by bisexual participants reminding the world that their sexual orientation hasn’t changed.
The campaign organizers write: “What many people don’t understand about bisexuals is that whether we are single or in a relationship, regardless of our partners’ gender, our orientation persists. Being bisexual is lifelong for most of us. It is an identity, not a passing fad. We are still bisexual — no matter how many times folks may ask!”
4. Snapshot: Bisexual in America
This single page infographic prepared by the Movement Advancement Project pulls some of the most significant data points out of the research covered in the Invisible Majority report described above for easy access.
For anyone looking for a primer on the number of bisexual people in the United States today and the challenges they face, this is a great place to start.
This resource also highlights the challenge presented by a lack of data about bisexual people, despite the numbers. Without clear information about the life experiences of bisexual people, addressing disparities in health outcomes, safety from violence, and so many other areas is all the more challenging.
5. Resource Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual
Human Rights Campaign produced a great resource guide for bisexual people considering coming out. This accessible pamphlet walks you through the coming out process, starting by addressing simply coming out to yourself, before moving on to consider the process of coming out to family, friends, to your children, at work, and to healthcare providers, among others.
Where to find more resources and build bisexual community:
American Institute of Bisexuality
Bisexual Resource Center
Bisexual Organizing Project