Bisexuality Awareness Week
This week is Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #BiWeek. This week is an annual celebration held in September, from the 16th through the 23rd. It is an extension of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, held annually on September 23.
Bisexuality is a type of sexual orientation where individuals experience a sexual and/or romantic attraction to more than one gender. Bisexual people actually make up the largest population within the LGBTQIA+ community and about 3.9% of the adult population in the United States.
How many times have you heard “it’s just a phase” or “they’re just being indecisive.” Well, these phrases may actually have a significant effect on bisexual individuals. Most people don’t know that bisexual individuals are at a greater risk of mental illness than lesbian women and gay men. Sexual orientation-based discrimination and bisexual invisibility and erasure are two significant reasons why these individuals may struggle. Bisexuality tends to be delegitimized by society, as in assuming or perceiving bisexual individuals as either heterosexual, gay, or lesbian and may receive stigma or discrimination because of this. Consider too the way the lack of bisexual-affirmative support may affect these individuals as well. This can include a lack of support from the partners of these individuals as well as the LGBTQIA+ community or our society.
Because of some of the struggles bisexual people face, they may have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, or even suicidal ideation and self-injury. Bisexuality actually has what’s considered a sexual minority status which can cause psychological stress such as internalized monosexism, stigma, discrimination and violence.
If you or someone you know is struggling to find support, these are ways you can find help:
- seek community and establish connections with other bisexual people or individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community
- have involvement and pride in one’s sexual identity
- join advocacy groups
- find a doctor that supports bisexual identities and is knowledgeable of health complications that could arise
Of course, you can seek out a therapist who supports and affirms bisexual identities, of which we have many at our Simply Thrive clinics at Cary, Fuquay-Varina, and Apex!
Organizations that can provide support:
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Mental Health Student Intern