Bisexual Awareness Week or Biweek is celebrated annually in September, culminating on September 23rd, “Celebrate Bisexuality Day.” In a recent Gallup poll, 54.6% of LGBT adults identify as bisexual yet in the LGB population, they are probably the most misunderstood.
Did you know that:
- Almost 1/2 of bisexual youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. Source: The Trevor Project.
- 1 to 3 bisexual youth report being bullied at school. Source: Human Rights Campaign.
- 11% of bisexual youth have been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. Source: HRC.
- According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s YouthRisk Behavior Survey, bisexual people make up 75% of young LGB people.
With all these challenges, as the parent of an LGB child, you can educate yourself and be an ally by downloading the guide from The Trevor Project.
When your child comes out as bisexual, don’t utter: “It’s a Phase!” “Stop sitting on the fence and choose!” The identity is real and valid. If the child’s identity does shift at a later time, it DOES NOT change the fact that the child’s previous identity was valid and true to him/her/they at the time.
Here are some basic vocabulary terms to help you along the journey:
“BISEXUALITY is the potential to be attracted romantically and or sexually to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way and not necessarily to the same degree,” defines Robyn Ochs, bisexual advocate.
BIPHOBIA: It is defined as fear, intolerance or hatred of people who experience attraction to people of more than one gender. It’s a negative reaction to people coming out as bi.
BISEXUAL ERASURE: Strategies for Inclusion from The Trevor Project
- If you assure that a person is gay or straight based on their current relationship, try to reframe your understanding that the people in that relationship could be of any gender or sexual orientation.
- Take people for their word if they share more than one identity with the youth, but don’t ask them to explain their identity.
- Affirm and uplift the bisexual people in your life.
SELF-CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD:
- Find a support system that will validate and accept bisexuality.
- Learn more about bisexual activists and advocacy. They will be good talking points for you and your child!
- Explore media and literature that represent positive representations of bi people.
- Reach out on Trevor Space to connect with others and connect with The Trevor Project by phone, chat or text when your child is struggling. The 24 hr. hotline is http://1-866-488-7386.
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.