- August 7, 2014
Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, HRC Senior Content Manager
In a recent interview with Larry King, the host asked openly bisexual True Blood star Anna Paquin if she was a “non-practicing bisexual.” When she replied that she was in a monogamous marriage with her co-star Stephen Moyer, King asked, “But you were bisexual?”
“I don’t think it’s a past-tense thing.…Are you still straight if you are with somebody?” said Paquin. “If you were to break up with them or if they were to die, it doesn’t prevent your sexuality from existing. It doesn’t really work like that.”
Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly is a deeply personal and arduous journey. Pacquin first came out publicly in 2010, and continues to serve as a powerful role model for LGBT youth. Paquin’s willingness to openly discuss her bisexuality is particularly important because of the unique issues facing the bisexual community.
Bisexual people are much more likely than other sectors of the population to be victims of intimate partner violence, to suffer from depression, anxiety and hypertension. More of us smoke, drink excessively and have generally poor health. We are also less likely to come out to our health providers, leaving us at the risk of receiving inadequate screenings and prevention for STIs.
Bisexual women in particular are much more likely to live in poverty, lack health insurance, and be less educated than their lesbian, gay, and straight counterparts. These problems don’t go away based on the gender of our current romantic partner.
Studies suggest that about 40% of Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, fall into the “bisexual” category, making us the “largest single population within the LGBT community in the United States.”
Hats off to Paquin for bringing visibility to the bisexual community and for helping bring greater understanding of our lives.
For more resources to help you along your journey of coming out as LGBT or allied, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center.