White House holds bisexual leaders roundtable

Today, as Americans commemorate Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the White House is holding a roundtable with some of the country's top bisexual advocates. This is a historic first gathering at the White House to address issues facing bisexual Americans.

Invitations were sent a month ago to this closed-door roundtable. The White House worked with prominent bisexual organizations Bisexual Resource Center, based in Boston, Mass. and BiNet USA, a national network of bisexual organizations.

According to the Washington Blade, bisexual advocates are excited for the gathering.

Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center, said the White House roundtable provides an important opportunity for bisexual advocates to come together to “share their perspectives” with LGBT advocates and administration officials.

“Our bisexual community is suffering to a larger degree on many of these different health disparities, mental health issues,” Ruthstrom said. “You just assume if we’re addressing just the LGBT community as a whole, then we must be taking care of bisexuals. And that is not the case.”

The White House has given little information about the roundtable, citing that it is closed to the public and to press. The practice of holding closed-door meetings is common, not just for LGBT issues.

Bisexual people are often either ignored or face terrible myths about their relationships. The Miami Herald spoke with Luigi Ferrer, one of the attendees about the issues facing the bisexual community.

"There is still a lot of prejudice around bisexuality," Ferrer said. "Mental health professionals aren’t immune to that, although they try to educate themselves."

Also, he said, "there really hasn’t been a strong national organization speaking out for bisexuals."

"What that leads to is being left out of important policy conversations," he said. "Now we are finally having some of those."

On today, Celebrate Bisexuality Day, it is important for media outlets to tell the stories of bisexual Americans. The White House roundtable is one such way to reach out to bisexual people.