9 #BiWeek facts about the bi+ community

Bisexual+ people make up more than half of the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ). However, data about bisexual+ people is often hidden within studies about the greater gay, lesbian, and bisexual community; the unique experiences of the bisexual+ community—the nearly five million adults in the U.S. who identify as bisexual and the many millions more who have sexual or romantic attraction to more than one gender—are rarely explicitly studied.

This month, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), in collaboration with BiNet USA, the Bisexual Organizing Project, the Bisexual Resource Center, SAGE, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, released two new reports taking a closer look at the bisexual+ community: A Closer Look: Bisexual Transgender People and A Closer Look: Bisexual Older Adults. Here is what we learned.

1. Within the transgender community, one-third identify as bisexual or pansexual.

2. Younger bisexual and pansexual transgender people were more likely to identify as pansexual, while older bisexual and pansexual transgender people were more likely to identify as bisexual.

3. Older bisexual adults are less likely to be out to their friends and loved ones, compared to their gay and lesbian counterparts and to bisexuals under 45 years old.

Only 18% of bisexuals ages 45 and older said that the most important people in their life knew they were bisexual, compared to 32% of respondents under 45. Among gay and lesbian adults, around 70% of both older and younger adults reported that the important people in their lives knew their sexual orientation.

4. Bisexuals ages 65 and older have shocking poverty rates: 47% of bisexual older men and 48% of bisexual women live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

5. Bisexual and pansexual transgender individuals are more likely to live in poverty than gay and lesbian transgender people, as well as heterosexual transgender people.

33% of bisexual and pansexual transgender people reported living in poverty, compared to 27% of gay and lesbian transgender people and 22% of heterosexual transgender people.

6. Forty-three percent (43%) of bisexual and pansexual transgender people reported at least one lifetime suicide attempt.

Analyzed separately, 47% of pansexual transgender people and 39% of bisexual transgender people who reported at least one suicide attempt.

7. Older bisexual people with the same level of education as their gay and lesbian peers still had significantly lower income levels.

Notably, all LGBTQ groups faired worse than their heterosexual counterparts.

8. Bisexual and pansexual transgender people suffer from higher rates of sexual assault than gay, lesbian, and heterosexual transgender people.

While the transgender community as a whole are more vulnerable to sexual assault, 51% of pansexual, and 41% of bisexual transgender people reported experiencing sexual assault. For comparison, 37% of gay and lesbian transgender people, and 37% of heterosexual transgender people reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

9. The bisexual+ community has a strong network of loving, supportive, and resilient bisexual, pansexual, fluid, and queer people.

It's getting better. More and more people, from famous celebrities to young students, are coming out as bisexual+. Positive media representation of the bisexual+ community is growing. Strong bisexual+ transgender/non-binary advocates are leading the fight for LGBTQ justice. And each year, GLAAD's viral #BiWeek campaign celebrates our incredible bisexual+ community in order to combat the negative trends of health, poverty, erasure, and isolation revealed by the data above. Watch this video below to hear messages from out bisexual+ celebrities expressing their love and support for bisexual+ community!

Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Read more of their groundbreaking reports here.

For those looking to fairly and accurately cover the bi+ community, check out GLAAD’s Reporting on the Bisexual Community resource.