REPORT: High Rates of Violence, Discrimination Against Bisexual People
Bisexual people face disproportionate levels of poverty, violence, suicide, and discrimination, according to a new report.
“While more than half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community identifies as bisexual, bisexual people are vulnerable to poverty, discrimination, and poor physical and mental health outcomes — often at rates higher than their lesbian and gay peers,” says the report, released by the Movement Advancement Project, an independent think tank focusing on LGBT issues, in conjunction with Bi Resource Center and BiNet USA for Bisexual Awareness Week.
For example, the report notes, approximately 25 percent of bisexual men and 30 percent of bisexual women live in poverty, in contrast to 20 percent and 23 percent of gay men and lesbians, respectively.
Bisexuals also reported much negative interactions in their workplace due to biphobia. Almost 60 percent of bisexual people reported they have heard biphobic jokes or comments in their workplace, making it a hostile work environment.
According to the report, 52 percent of the LGB people identifiy as bisexual. “Despite comprising the largest population within the LGBT community, bisexual people are among the most invisible,” says Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. “The failure to account for bisexual lives and experiences compounds a lack of social support and keeps bisexual people in the closet.”
“Bisexual people often face pervasive stereotypes and myths surrounding bisexuality,” adds Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center. “The fear of being stereotyped manifests itself in a real way: bisexual people are six times more likely than gay men and lesbians to be closeted. This impacts the emotional well-being of many bisexual people and is a contributing factor to the community’s higher rates of poor physical and mental health.”
See the full report here.