Discrimination and Health
Bisexuals do not feel like they are part of heterosexual society and are not always well received by gays and lesbians who think they have a separate agenda.
Bisexuals live an invisible life and therefore don’t know other bisexual people. They do not have the same social support groups as lesbians and gays that can help them move through health issues.
Bisexuals experience an increased risk of health issues because they often engage in higher risk behaviors. This is because the social conversation is about whether they are real instead of being about what their struggle is and how to help them.
Health risks for bisexuals include cancer, obesity in women, and sexually transmitted diseases and domestic violence. Bisexuals are more likely to be suicidal as compared to heterosexuals, gays and lesbians.
Bisexuals are largely invisible because of the stigmas associated with bisexuality.
Bisexuality remains largely invisible because society judges a person’s orientation on their current relationship. Many bisexuals will identify as heterosexual because bisexuality carries many negative stereotypes, others will identify as gay because they think that their parents and friends won’t understand. They will either not come out at all or they will need to be coming out continuously because their sexuality becomes erased depending on who they are in a relationship with.
What does acceptance and support look like?
You can show your support and acceptance by:
- Asking questions but not questioning what you have been told. Parents can say, “I don’t know, help me understand.”
- Being flexible and open to what your child is discovering about him or herself. It may change.
- Keeping an open dialogue. Silence preserves shame.
If you have questions or comments, please use the following link to send them. Someone from the AFCI Education Center will respond asap.
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