13 things you didn’t know about being bisexual+

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released “Invisible Majority,” a new report that explores the experiences of people who identify as bisexual—who make up more than half of the LGBT community. This report was released shortly after the third annual #BiWeek, a campaign to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual community and raise awareness about the issues it faces.

The report illustrates that bisexual people experience alarming rates of invisibility, societal rejection, violence, discrimination, and poor physical and mental health—often at rates higher than their lesbian and gay peers.

Heron Greenesmith, Esq., the LGBT movement and policy analyst at MAP, told The Advocate:

“Each publication and study cited through this report paints the same picture: bisexual people are afraid to be open about their sexual orientation and if they are openly bisexual, they face bias and a distinct lack of support. This report should serve as a clarion call to policymakers and service providers across the country: In order to fully serve the LGBT community, we must also fully serve the bisexual community.”

Here’s some of what the report says:

  1. Bisexual people are almost twice as likely to be parents than their gay or lesbian peers. 
  2. 58% of bisexuals are exposed to biphobic jokes at work, and 31% have been sexually harassed on the job because of who they are. Many have even been denied job advancement or work opportunities because they are bisexual.

     Employees can be fired on the sole basis of their sexual orientation in 28 states and on the basis of their gender identity in 31 states. This means 52% of the LGBT population lives in states where they can be fired at any moment, simply because of who they are.
  3. Almost half of bisexual people make less than $30,000 annually, compared to 28% of the general population.

  4. Just short of 60% of bi women live with anxiety and mood disorders, almost double the rate of their straight peers.
    Bi women and men who have sex with more than one sex are more likely than their gay and straight peers to experience these disorders.

  5. Around a quarter to one third of Millennials and Generation X are neither completely straight nor gay.

  6. More than half of LGBT youth are bi+, including 7% who are pansexual and 4% who are queer

  7. 40% of bi high school students seriously considered attempting suicide
  8. Nearly 1/3 of bisexual high students ended up attempting suicide.
    Teenagers like Adam Kizer and Alyssa Morgan are among the numerous bi+ youth who lose their lives to suicide each year. Both Alyssa and Adam were forced to confront extreme bullying on a regular basis, including when Adam (9 years old at the time) was tied to a tree and his classmates tried to set him on fire. Adam and Alyssa's famililes reportedly struggled to get their childrens' schools to take the harrassment seriously.

  9. 61% of bisexual women experience intimate partner violence, more than gay or straight men and women. 37% of bi men face the issue as well, more than gay and straight men or straight women.

  10. The bi community is extremely diverse. People of color are more likely than white people to identify as bisexual. Trans people may be more likely than cisgender people to be bi+ as well, with more than 40% identifying as bisexual or queer. 40% of bi men report being disabled, compared to 26% of gay men and 20% of straight men.
  11. Almost 1/3 of youth who’ve had sexual contact with more than one sex have faced dating violence. Almost a quarter of them identify as a bi.

  12. Nearly half of bisexual students are subjected to sexual assault, compared to 1/3 of their gay and lesbian peers.

  13. 1/3 of bisexual people believe there is minimal LGBT acceptance in the U.S.

To see the full report, which compiles relevant research about the bi+ community, check out lgbtmap.org/invisible-majority.  “Invisible Majority” was created in partnership with BiNet USA, Bisexual Organizing Project, Bisexual Resource Center, National Coalition for Anti-Violence Programs, National LGBTQ Task Force, and others. Check out GLAAD’s IN FOCUS: Reporting on the Bisexual Community resource for those looking fairly and accurately cover the bi+ community and the issues it faces.

You can also learn more about bisexuality at glaad.org/bisexual, and how to celebrate it at glaad.org/biweek.