Bisexual Awareness Week was this past week and ends today, September 24, 2017. Yesterday was National Bisexual Day. This day and week celebrates bisexuals who make up more than 50% of the LGBT community.
There were teach-ins, poetry readings, concerts, festivals, parties and picnics calling attention to the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexual history, bisexual community, and culture and all bisexual people in their lives in the United States and Europe.
As a straight parent, what does this mean if you have a bisexual child? How do you respond?
• As you would a gay, lesbian, transgender child, show unconditional love. Love your child even if you don’t love the sexuality.
• Don’t regard this as a “phase.” You can’t get rid of their sexual identity.
• Don’t sexualize your LGBT kids. They may not be having sex, but just feel they are attracted to both sexes. If they are having sex, be sure they are practicing safe sex!
• Don’t pray that your child will choose one identity. You will be disappointed.
• Know the difference between sexual fluidity and being bisexual. Bisexual is a sexual orientation that refers to being interested in people of one’s own gender and people of other genders. Sexually fluid people often feel that their attraction is situated and shifts due to particular partners, their environment, and the time in their life.
• Realize that GLSEN research reported that bisexuals have poorer psychological well-being. Bisexuals have been given a bum rap by society. Often considered “half-queer,” they are considered sexually greedy, having sex with both genders. Some lesbians think they are sleeping with “the enemy.” Society wants them to get “off the fence” and choose one gender.
• Compared to their straight counterparts, bisexuals have disproportionate levels of substance abuse, suicide, and eating disorders. Bisexual women have 46% of being raped as opposed to 17% of straight women and 13% of lesbians.
Because of these alarming statistics, you can make your home a haven. Seek support for your child within the community and his school through GLSEN.org and a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance).
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.