DENVER, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 — A new report previewed yesterday at the White House in a groundbreaking policy meeting found that while more than half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community identifies as bisexual, 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.
Invisible Majority: The Disparities Facing Bisexual People and How to Remedy Them examines the “invisible majority” of the LGBT community, the nearly five million adults in the U.S. who identify as bisexual and the millions more who have sexual or romantic attraction to or contact with people of more than one gender. The report shows how bias, stigma, discrimination, and invisibility combine to create serious negative outcomes for bisexual people, and it provides concrete recommendations for change.
The report was authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, BiNet USA, Bisexual Organizing Project, Bi Queer Alliance Chicago, Bisexual Resource Center, Center for Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality, Los Angeles Bi Task Force, National Black Justice Coalition, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. It is available at www.lgbtmap.org/invisible-majority.
“Bisexual people account for half of the LGBT population, yet they are often isolated and overlooked,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. “As a result, bisexual people experience pervasive bias and discrimination and lower rates of social acceptance, which in turn means fewer bisexual people feel comfortable being openly bisexual.”
THERE ARE MORE BISEXUAL PEOPLE THAN LESBIAN AND GAY PEOPLE
“Bisexual people’s sexuality is often invisible in broader society as we are frequently assumed to be gay, lesbian, or heterosexual based on the gender of our partner,” said Faith Cheltenham, president of BiNet USA. “Yet when bisexual people are open about our sexuality, we face increased levels of violence from intimate partners; rejection by our communities, families, and peers; and skepticism from the people and organizations to whom we turn for help, resources, and services.”
BISEXUAL PEOPLE EXPERIENCE PERVASIVE BIAS AND HIGHER RATES OF DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE
“Research shows that bisexual people face discrimination from both heterosexual people and gay and lesbian people” said Kate Estrop, co-president of the Bisexual Resource Center. “This results in a wide array of disparities, especially impacting bisexual people’s physical and mental health. It is time to recognize the unique needs of bisexual people.”
This report serves as a clarion call to policymakers and service providers across the country: in order to fully serve the LGBT community, they must also fully serve the bisexual community.
Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Learn more at www.lgbtmap.org