It's Bisexual Health Awareness Month!
This month is the 5th annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month. Curve takes a look at why it's important and how you can get involved.
Credit: Hedi Alija
Bisexual Health Awareness Month was first launched five years ago by the Bisexual Resource Center. Bisexuals face unique issues when it comes to healthcare, especially in terms of mental health. Studies show that female-spectrum bisexuals are more likely to report mental health problems than both their straight and lesbian counterparts, with higher rates of suicidal ideation, substance abuse and PTSD from sexual and physical assault.
Bisexuals often feel alienated from both straight and LGBT communities, as well as experiencing prejudice within relationships. Healthcare professionals are also less likely to understand and provide tailored support to bisexual patients than gay or straight patients, due to a lack of bisexual visibility and specialized training. There are very few resources targeted specifically at the health needs of bisexuals and many umbrella LGBT schemes simply aren’t equipped to help us. If we visit an LGBT-specific sexual health service, for instance, we may not be asked about contraception.
This year’s Bisexual Health Awareness campaign has the theme of “BHAM’s 5-Year Bi-ography”. The first of four staggered weekly phases of the campaign looked at research into bisexuality and mental health. Until March 16, the focus will be what has changed in the recent past and what can be done in the future. From March 19 - 23, the campaign will discuss resources, where to find them and how they can help. The week beginning March 26 will conclude the campaign with a call to action.
The BRC Bisexual Health Awareness campaign is supported by a long list of other organizations, including the BiCast, BiNetUSA, Bisexual Research Collaborative on Health, DOVE, Inc., Family Values @ Work, Fenway Health, GLAAD, GLSEN, the Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care, the Los Angeles Bi Task Force, and PAVES.
“As more and more people, both in the straight and lesbian/gay communities, start to learn about the great disparities faced by members of the bi+ communities, the movement inches forward,” says BRC president Kate Estrop. “Year five is a good time to look back and reflect. However, we cannot assess our growth without also acknowledging how much work still needs to be done, especially for our bi+ communities of color, trans and nonbinary communities, and disabled communities. We hope you will join us in this continuing effort for all, not just some.”
This campaign sorely needs lesbian allies as well as wider support from within the bisexual community. If you want to get involved, just follow the #BiHealthMonth hashtag on your social media accounts or visit any of the following sites: