Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations

San Francisco Human Right Commission LGBT Advisory Committee published a report called Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations and this I suppose this is my 'review' of the document. You can find the PDF here:

First, it has a really well-written note on language, which I think reflects the overall thinking on the term 'bisexual' and its alternatives. Then it shows great references to published resources in its footnotes. For the number crunchers, there are some interesting figures regarding percentage in the population, indicating it is more likely for younger generations to identify as bi as opposed to gay, which isn't a surprise given the inch-by-inch progress of bi activists in the last couple of decades. It seems very in line with current thinking that I read in blogs and other resources, acknowledging "behaviour is distinct from identity", and the frustration and stupidity of lumping bi's in with gay and lesbian.

It's interesting how bi men and women differ, or at least that's what the research suggests, and I can identify with the historic narrative of trans and bisexuals having to band together.

What would be useful with the nice entries of testimonies is a clue at the start of each as to whether it is a bi man or woman, because otherwise it gets confusing if it's not clear.

I find it very interesting (and infuriating) to read about the exclusion of bi's from organisations that claim our name in their title or mission statement - how often have we all been there, right? What's bizarre is the fact it is LGBT opponents, not supporters, who are more inclusive in their language. And it's shocking to see the figures for how few grants go towards bisexual needs.

Then comes the most comprehensive list of common biphobia I've ever seen.

I always have trouble reading about the health implications. It hits me in the gut, that because I fall in love with both men and women, society is set up with such pressures and resistance to me that I am more likely to be at risk of health problems. It's horrific. I also find it difficult to connect with research on bisexuality and race/ethnicity, because it's harder to relate to being Caucasian.

The report ends with recommendations, as is the way with reports, and a very good glossary, which I will put up in a separate post.

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