A historic study from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission titled "Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations" finds that bisexuals not only make up the largest population within the LGBT acronym, but are also the most underrepresented.
Key points of the landmark report reveal that:
- Bisexuals constitute the largest population within the LGBT community, but few services exist to address their specific needs.
- One in two bi women and one in three bi men have attempted or seriously considered suicide. This is significantly higher than the rates for heterosexuals, lesbians, and gay men.
- Bisexuals experience higher rates of hypertension, depression, poor or fair physical health, smoking, risky drinking, and other mood or anxiety disorders.
- Bisexual men were 50% more likely to live in poverty than gay men, and bisexual women were more than twice as likely to live in poverty as lesbians.
- In 2008 and 2009, not a single grant in the entire country explicitly focused on bisexual issues.
Unfortunately, as much blame for biphobia falls on gay men and lesbians as it does on the heterosexual community. "Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, demonized, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual world and the lesbian and gay communities. Often, the entire sexual orientation is branded as invalid, immoral, or irrelevant. Despite years of activism and the largest population within the LGBT community, the needs of bisexuals still go unaddressed and their very existence is still called into question."
Worse, while bisexuals are often segregated from the LGBT community, they're just as often included in the diatribes and hate agendas of anti-LGBT groups.
"The irony is that opponents of the LGBT community remember to include bisexuals in their discriminatory actions. For example, Colorado’s Amendment 2 would have repealed any regulations that protected people based on their “homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation.” More recently, here in California, the chapter of the Christian Legal Society at Hastings College of the Law sued the school for not recognizing them as a registered student organization because they discriminate based on sexual orientation. The language of their petition uses orientation-neutral language, including identifying Hastings OUTLAW as “a group advocating for the interests of homosexual and bisexual students.” Meanwhile, the law school’s petition defending the nondiscrimination policy is not as consistent in its language, referencing “gay and lesbian students” several times―including in their description of Hastings OUTLAW."
Wow. Clearly something needs to change. But what do you think the community should do to ensure that all segments of the LGBT shine equally?
Read the full PDF version of the report here.