According to the Williams Institute, bisexual people make up about 40% of those who are attracted to people of the same gender. Despite this statistic, bisexual people continue to lack visibility compared to lesbians and gay men. And because about three-fourths of that 40% are bisexual women, bisexual men often struggle for visibility even more.
Efforts to raise awareness of bisexual issues, including last week’s Bisexual Awareness Week, often focus on the health and well-being disparities faced by bisexual women, which are significant. It’s also important to realize that biphobia negatively affects bi men too. According to BiNet USA, bisexual men have significantly higher rates of suicide than all other groups except bisexual women, and they are also much more likely than gay men or straight men to experience sexual assault and domestic violence.
In a recent blog post, bisexual activist Dr. Herukhuti explained that some degree of the invisibility of bisexual men when compared to bi women is due to the fact the “popular media embraces the idea of female bisexuality to the degree that it fulfills the fantasies of men.” [pullquote]In a recent blog post, bisexual activist Dr. Herukhuti explained that some degree of the invisibility of bisexual men when compared to bi women is due to the fact the “popular media embraces the idea of female bisexuality to the degree that it fulfills the fantasies of men.”—Dr. Herukhuti [/pullquote]
“Bisexual men don’t factor into the sexual desires of straight men,” he continues, which “makes it easy for a media industry that largely caters to straight men and women to ignore us.” Moreover, Dr. Herukhuti explains, bi men are stereotyped as conduits for STIs, and the media warns women about men who are “down low, undercover, or closeted.”
Dr. Herukhuti, whose new book Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men – coauthored with bi activist Robyn Ochs – was released last week, is one of a growing chorus of bisexual men who are working to make themselves visible and thereby combat this stigma surrounding male bisexuality.
In recognition of Celebrate Bisexuality Day on Sept. 23, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released a report groundbreaking report on the experiences of bisexual youth in America entitled, Supporting and Caring for Our Bisexual Youth.
[From an HRC News Release]