Denver, September 22, 2014 — According to a new report released today in conjunction with Bisexual Awareness Week, while more than half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community identifies as bisexual, bisexual people are vulnerable to poverty, discrimination, and poor physical and mental health outcomes—often at rates higher than their lesbian and gay peers.
Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans is a guide offering an overview of the economic and health disparities facing the bisexual community, and recommendations for supporting bisexual people through advocacy, research, and programming. The resource was developed by BiNet USA, the Bisexual Resource Center, and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).
“Despite comprising the largest population within the LGBT community, bisexual people are among the most invisible,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. “The failure to account for bisexual lives and experiences compounds a lack of social support and keeps bisexual people in the closet.”
Bisexual people experience significant health, safety, and economic disparities. These include:
“Bisexual people often face pervasive stereotypes and myths surrounding bisexuality,” said Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center. “The fear of being stereotyped manifests itself in a real way: bisexual people are six times more likely than gay men and lesbians to be closeted. This impacts the emotional well-being of many bisexual people and is a contributing factor to the community’s higher rates of poor physical and mental health.”
“More and more organizations are realizing that they need specific resources and programming for bisexual people,” said Faith Cheltenham, president of BiNet USA. “Cultural competence and deliberate and thoughtful visibility will support the bisexual community and combat stigma and discrimination against bisexual people.”
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About the Authors
BiNet USA is America’s civil-rights & advocacy group for all bisexual, fluid, pansexual, and queer-identified people, and their families, friends, and allies. www.binetusa.org
Founded in 1985, Bisexual Resource Center is the oldest national bisexual organization in the U.S. that advocates for bisexual visibility and raises awareness about bisexuality throughout the LGBT and straight communities. The BRC envisions a world where love is celebrated, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. www.biresource.net
MAP's mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life.