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New report highlights discrimination against bisexuals by both gays and straights

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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A new report released by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission highlights the demonization of bisexuals from both the lesbian and gay community, as well as the straight community.

From disbelief of existence, to the branding of “slut,” the “B” is often invisible in LGBT, according to the report.

Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, demonized, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual world and the lesbian and gay communities. Often, the entire sexual orientation is branded as invalid, immoral, or irrelevant.

Despite years of activism and the largest population within the LGBT community, the needs of bisexuals still go unaddressed and their very existence is still called into question. This erasure has serious consequences on bisexuals’ health, economic well-being, and funding for bi organizations and programs. [...]

While bisexuality has often been considered merely a “phase” en route to a stable gay or lesbian orientation, it is also a stable sexual orientation in itself.

Calling bisexuals the “invisible majority,” the report cites studies that reveal self-identified bisexuals make up the largest single population within the LGBT community in the United States. In each study, more women identified as bisexual than lesbian, and fewer men identified as bisexual than gay.

Many assumptions lie at the core of bisexual invisibility, the report concludes: assumptions about a person’s sexual orientation based on her/his partner’s gender; about bisexuals people’s reliability, honesty, or commitment to the LGBT movement; about bisexuals’ health concerns and needs; and about the world as an “either/or” place rather than one of infinite variety.

“Any long-term solutions must dispel these assumptions to make room for those whose lives exist beyond binaries.”

The full report is available here.

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