From the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) — https://biresource.org
Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month (#BiHealthMonth), led annually by the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), raises awareness about the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, etc.) community’s social, economic, and health disparities; advocates for resources; and inspires actions to improve bi+ people’s well-being.
Now in its 36th year, the Bisexual Resource Center proudly presents the 8th annual #BiHealthMonth campaign. Lasting throughout the month of March, the theme for this year’s #BiHealthMonth is equity. The bisexual+ community makes up the majority of the LGBTQ+ community and experiences significantly higher rates of physical, sexual, social and emotional violence and disparities than gay and straight people, as well as worse physical, mental and social health. These health disparities are even worse for bi+ people of color and trans people. Equity is achieved when the unique needs of our diverse bi+ community have been met and discrimination against BIPOC, transgender, and disabled members of the bi+ community has been eliminated.
Key facts & talking points:
- Equity means recognizing the specific social, educational and health care needs of our diverse bisexual+ community and directing resources and support to meet those needs. It’s about centering the voices of those who carry multiple marginalized identities. By centering the unique needs of the bi+ community, we can fight back against bi-antagonism in media, health care, research, and education, and improve the physical, sexual, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of bi+ people. Equity is achieved when the unique needs of our diverse bi+ community have been met and discrimination against BIPOC, transgender, and disabled members of the bi+ community has been eliminated.
- Bisexual+ people make up the majority of the LGBTQ community, but receive less than 1% of all funding that supports LGBTQ advocacy, and they experience significantly higher rates of physical, sexual, social and emotional violence and disparities than gay and straight people, as well as poorer physical, mental and social health.
- Bisexual+ people often experience higher levels of mental health distress than their gay and straight peers, including suicidality, substance use disorders, depression, and anxiety. It’s important to connect with bisexual-specific and -inclusive resources, programs, and services that can best serve bi+ people’s mental health needs. For more information, check out this pamphlet on Mental Health In the Bisexual Community.
- Healthy social connections that affirm all parts of a person’s core identity are vital components of bisexual+ equity. The bisexual+ community includes a wide variety and many intersections of identities. Our community is at its healthiest when we are inclusive and affirming of everyone under the bi+ umbrella, and discrimination against BIPOC, transgender, and disabled members of the bi+ community has been eliminated.
- Despite bisexual+ people comprising over half of the LGBTQ community, only 29% of people report personally knowing a bisexual+ person, compared to 73% of people who report knowing a gay or lesbian person. As a result, media representation of bisexuality+, which is often harmful and reductive, heavily shapes the general public’s understanding of who bisexual+ people are and perpetuates dangerous stereotypes.
- Bisexual+ youth are less likely than their gay peers to be out to their loved ones, but account for 8% of 18-34 year olds, whereas gay and lesbians only account for 3% of that age bracket. They’re also less likely to attend queer youth groups. It’s vital for schools & youth spaces to be bi+ affirming and welcoming in order to best serve LGBTQ young people.
- 37% of gender-expansive youth are verbally harassed at school, and another report found 44% of bisexual youth were bullied about their weight or physical appearance one or more times during the past month. A report by the GSA Network chronicles harsh discipline and school push-out often faced by LGBT youth of color. It’s important to build safer, more inclusive and accepting environments for bisexual+ (e.g. bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, no label) youth in schools.
- 44% bisexual youth reported being bullied about physical appearance one or more times during past month, and a report by the Human Rights Campaign found that 37% of gender-expansive youth were verbally harassed at school. In addition, bisexuality was associated with a history of forced or unwanted sex among female high school students, and compared with gay male youth, bisexual male youth were 5.4 times as likely to have been threatened with outing by a date or partner. Therefore, it is important to build safer, more inclusive school environments for bisexual+ youth and to connect these youth with interpersonal violence services, resources and prevention programs that can support and protect them.