Today, to mark Bisexual Health Awareness Month, HRC Foundation, in partnership with BiNet USA, the Bisexual Organizing Project, and the Bisexual Resource Center, released a guide to help bisexual people of all ages who are contemplating the important step of coming out.
“A Resource Guide to Coming Out As Bisexual” features the inspirational words of bisexual people who have come out and found community and fulfillment, as well as advice about the risks and rewards of coming out, and strategies for navigating real life coming out situations - from telling family and friends, to assessing whether a workplace would be supportive and safe.
The guide also provides advice for healthcare and school settings, and for finding an affirming and empowering community. With straightforward guidance, it offers bisexual people tools to help them come out and live life openly when they are secure, able and ready.
“Coming out can be daunting, no matter how you identify, but it can also lead to a more whole and open life, to having more genuine relationships, and to creating a supportive path for future generations,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training. “We hope this important resource demystifies the coming out process for bisexual people by providing real life advice for managing the challenges ahead, and can be a resource for allies supporting bisexual friends, family members and others in their community.”
Surveys have shown that bisexual people are the largest group within the LGBT community: half of people who identify as LGB identify as bisexual. Yet bisexuals are far less likely than their gay and lesbian peers to be out, citing stereotypes, skepticism and pressure to “choose” one sexual orientation as reasons for staying in the closet.
“Now that more youth than ever are coming out as bi+ -- bisexual, pansexual, queer, and free identifiers --this guide is a crucial tool. It will help bi+ youth know they are seen, appreciated, and supported,” said Kate Estrop and Heather Benjamin, co-presidents of the Bisexual Resource Center’s board.
"This guide is important for our bisexual+ community. Historically, there has been little information or support available outside of our community for those who attracted to more than one gender. This guide will reach a larger audience through HRC's platform, and help individuals accept themselves and live openly. It will also help educate the world on the diversity of the bi+ community and the issues we face," said Lynnette McFadzen, Secretary, BiNet USA Board of Directors.
The Resource Guide for Coming Out As Bisexual is the latest in a series of HRC coming out guides. More resources for bisexual people, including HRC Foundation’s Supporting and Caring for Our Bisexual Youth report, and its report on Health Disparities Among Bisexual People, can be found here.