Post Submitted by Helen Parshall, HRC Diversity & Inclusion Assistant
HRC joins organizations across the country in observing March as Bisexual Health Awareness Month. The Bisexual Resource Center announced that this year’s focus will be identifying social health disparities within the bisexual community, and taking steps to build social support and resiliency.
A study conducted by the Williams Institute found that the bisexual population is the single largest group within the LGBTQ community, with about half identifying as bisexual. The Williams Institute also found that bisexual people are far less likely than their gay and lesbian counterparts to disclose their sexual orientation to their medical providers, leaving them at risk of failing to have access to a full range of medically-necessary care.
“Now more than ever, communities need to come together to offer support, stand up to injustice, and plan our continued efforts to survive and thrive,” said BRC Co-Presidents Heather Benjamin and Kate Estrop in a joint statement. “This year’s Bisexual Health Awareness Month, focusing on the social health of the bi+ community, will help followers do just that.”
In September 2016, HRC staff joined bisexual advocates to mark #BiWeek at the White House for the final bisexual community briefing of the Obama administration. HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools Project Coordinator, Charles Girard, and HRC Membership Outreach Coordinator, Laya Monarez, spoke on panels about the intersections and challenges of their identities.
HRC’s 2015 report Health Disparities Among Bisexual People found that when compared to their heterosexual, lesbian and gay peers, bisexual adults reported double the rate of depression and were far more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors. HRC’s 2014 report Supporting and Caring for our Bisexual Youth found that bisexual, queer and pansexual youth were less likely than their lesbian and gay peers to report feeling happy, and more likely to experience being excluded and harassed.
Last March, HRC published its Resource Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual, highlighting the potential challenges in coming out as bisexual and providing tools to “live openly wherever and whenever you are safe, able and ready.”
HRC is proud to mark Bisexual Health Awareness Month again this year and to raise awareness of the numerous health disparities that the bisexual community faces.
For more resources and information on HRC’s work with the bisexual community, please visit hrc.org/bisexual.