Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall
To mark Bisexual Awareness Week, HRC’s Bisexual, Queer, Pansexual and Fluid Employee Resource Group recommends some simple steps for honoring the bisexual community all year long.
Studies show that as many as half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer population identify as bisexual -- making the bisexual community the largest single group in the LGBTQ community.
HRC uses the definition of bisexuality given by longtime bisexual leader Robyn Ochs to explain the nuances of our community: A bisexual person has the potential to be attracted -- romantically and/or sexually -- to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way and not necessarily to the same degree.
We are defining bisexual community as including people who identify as pansexual, queer, fluid and other identities that reflect potential attraction to more than one gender.
To increase bisexual visibility, here are some places to start:
- Partners are not labeled “lesbian,” “gay” or “straight” because bisexual people are still bisexual no matter who they are -- or are not -- dating;
- Fighting biphobia both inside and outside of the LGBTQ community starts by having bisexual individuals and our voices present, supported and visible;
- Don't assume bisexual people are promiscuous or polyamorous, but recognize and celebrate that there are those among the community who are;
- Eradicating biphobia involves fighting all intersecting forms of oppression, including racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, islamophobia and anti-semitism;
- Bisexual as a term does not erase transgender and non-binary people, and embraces the tenet that all identities in our communities are valid;
- LGBTQ advocacy organizations actively reach out to bisexual communities and dedicate proportionate resources to issues unique to our needs;
- Bisexual, queer, pansexual and fluid voices receive proportionate representation in the media;
- “Gay and transgender” is never used as a synonym for “LGBTQ”;
- We recognize that identities are fluid and, as such, no one is ever shamed for moving in and out of the bisexual community.
While bisexuality awareness continues to grow, it is vital that we all remain aware of the issues our community is facing. Compared to other groups in the LGBTQ community, bisexual people face striking rates of poor health outcomes, ranging from cancer and obesity to sexually-transmitted infections and mental health issues. Additionally, bisexual youth face a unique set of challenges that affect their ability to flourish in their families, schools and communities.
Check out hrc.org/bisexual for more information about issues unique to the bisexual, queer, pansexual and fluid community.