Celebrating the Power of Representation this Bisexual Health Awareness Month

by HRC Staff

HRC Foundation is proud to join the Bisexual Resource Center and organizations across the country to observe the sixth annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month.

Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall

HRC Foundation is proud to join the Bisexual Resource Center and organizations across the country to observe the sixth annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month. Bisexual Health Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about the startling social, economic and health disparities facing the bisexual community.

BRC, the founders of Bi Health Month, announced that the theme of this year’s campaign is “representation” and will highlight issues of health care, education, politics and advocacy, media and their impact on the day-to-day lives of bisexual, pansexual, fluid and queer people.

Studies show that as many as half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer population identify as bisexual -- making the bisexual community the single largest group in the LGBTQ community.

Yet far too often, the unique needs of the bisexual community go unseen and unheard in LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ spaces alike.

“In the past few years, more and more celebrities, politicians, and others have come out as bi, pan, queer and fluid, putting a spotlight on the bisexual community and making us more visible than ever,” said Chantel Mattiola, co-chair of HRC’s Bisexual, Pansexual, Queer, Fluid Employee Resource Group. “However, even as our visibility increases, we are still fighting to eradicate biphobia and bi erasure within and outside of the LGBTQ community. Increasing bisexual visibility in society -- specifically within the systems and institutions that shape our daily lives -- is crucial to breaking down the barriers bisexual folks face on a daily basis.”

When outcomes for bisexual people are compared to statistics for both heterosexual populations and their lesbian and gay peers, alarming trends are evident in social, economic and health inequities. Bisexual-identified people face higher rates of mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, cancers and more.

Those numbers are even more alarming among bisexual transgender people, people of color or people with disabilities, making these groups vulnerable to further disparities that occur at the intersections of biphobia, transphobia, racism and ableism.

BRC defines biphobia as “mislabeling bi+ people as lesbian, gay or straight, even when they come out as bi+.” Biphobia seeks to undermine the legitimacy of bisexual, queer, pansexual and fluid identities, and it comes in many forms: jokes, stereotypes, non-inclusive language and even abuse. The fear of being dismissed as “too gay” or “too straight” often makes it hard to be open.

This March, we celebrate role models including Stephanie Beatriz, Robyn Ochs, Terrence Stone, Evan Rachel Wood, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Janelle Monáe, Sara Ramirez, Keiynan Lonsdale, Gov. Kate Brown, Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho who unapologetically and fiercely live their truths, paving the way for bisexual, pansexual, queer and fluid youth to be proud of their identities.

Let’s all reaffirm our commitment to creating inclusive, welcoming spaces where bisexual, pansexual, queer and fluid people see themselves reflected and can celebrate one another openly without fear.

For more resources and information on HRC’s work with the bisexual community, please visit hrc.org/Bisexual.