Bisexuals have been described as “people who acknowledge that they have the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
Did you know?
- Approximately nine million Americans identify as bisexual.
- 8.2% of Americans report at least one same-sex sexual encounter and 11% report at least one same-sex sexual attraction.
- Almost 50% of the LGBT community identifies as bisexual, with women twice as likely as men to self-identify.
How would you feel if someone told you that you didn’t exist? At a time when sexual and gender fluidity are more visible than ever, bisexuals are still being challenged about their sexual identity. Unfair stereotypes of bisexuality can create doubt, skepticism and mistrust in all types of relationships. When folded into a shared LGBT culture and community, bisexuals sometimes feel “invisible” or “erased” as a separate, unique identity.
- Accept that bisexuality and bisexuals exist. It’s not a phase. It’s not a trend. It’s not an experiment. It’s someone’s authentic life. You may never fully understand it — and that’s fine — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
- Challenge your own beliefs about bisexuals. Do you honestly believe sexual identity is an “either / or” decision? Have you ever tried to quantify a person’s bisexuality? Do you make assumptions about bisexual people? Have you unintentionally been using biphobic, gender-specific or non-inclusive language? If so, how can you change your approach?
- Build a bridge. It’s hard to be an ally to someone you’ve never met. So, if you’ve never met a bisexual person, now’s the time to make a new friend. Have an honest conversation with a bisexual person about their challenges, frustrations, obstacles and victories. You’ll be amazed what you may learn about yourself in the process.
- Call out biphobia. Biphobia comes from the same dark place as transphobia and homophobia. Whether its mislabeling, mistaken identity, or just outright meanness, don’t let it go. When you see or hear something, say something — especially if it’s one of those bisexual myths we’ve all heard too often.
For a full list of supportive organizations, resources and national events, visit the Bisexual Awareness Week website.