Bisexuals are the largest group of LGBTs, but they are strikingly closeted.
|Bisexuals account for the most self-identified LGBTs...|
|...but they are much less out than gays and lesbians.|
Here's the full Pew report: A Survey of LGBT Americans (June 13, 2013).
Most of it is about other topics. But here is a Los Angeles Times article, which came out more than a month later, about the study's bisexual findings:
Pew study: Majority of bisexuals still in the closet
At a time when gay rights have made stunning strides, and gays and lesbians have become far more willing to come out, the vast majority of bisexuals remains closeted, according to a Pew Research Center survey last month.
By Emily Alpert
LOS ANGELES — In the middle of the rainbowy revelers at the pride parade in West Hollywood, Jeremy Stacy was questioned: Are you really bisexual?
“One guy came up to me and said, ‘You’re really gay,’ ” said Stacy, who was standing under a sign reading, “Ask a Bisexual.”
“I told him I had a long line of ex-girlfriends who would vehemently disagree. And he said, ‘That doesn’t matter, because I know you’re gay.’ ”
Stacy had gotten the question before. From a friend who said anyone who had slept with men must be gay — even if he had also slept with women. From women who assumed he would cheat on them. From a boyfriend who insisted Stacy was really “bi now, gay later” — and dumped him when he countered he was “bi now, bi always.”
Such attitudes appear to have kept many bisexuals in the closet. At a time when gay rights have made stunning strides, and gays and lesbians have become far more willing to come out, the vast majority of bisexuals remains closeted, a Pew Research Center survey revealed last month.
Only 28 percent of bisexuals said most or all of the important people in their lives knew about their sexual orientation, compared to 71 percent of lesbians and 77 percent of gay men, Pew found. The numbers were especially small among bisexual men: Only 12 percent said they were out to that degree, compared to one-third of bisexual women who said the same.
Closeted bisexuals told the Los Angeles Times that they had avoided coming out because they didn’t want to deal with misconceptions that bisexuals were indecisive or incapable of monogamy — stereotypes that exist among straights, gays and lesbians alike.
The stereotypes make some reluctant to use the word, even after they come out. Laura McGinnis, communications director for the Trevor Project, an LGBT-youth suicide-prevention group, said she was 29 or 30 before she would readily share that she was bisexual or actively correct someone who thought otherwise.
“I hated the label because the assumption is that you’re sleeping around,” said McGinnis, now raising a child with her wife....
....“Bisexuals are thought to be confused, opportunistic and unable to make commitments — and those aren’t the kinds of things you want to see in an employee,” said Denise Penn, vice president of the American Institute of Bisexuality, a nonprofit that funds research.
LGBT community reacts
Inside the gay community, bisexual people are often seen as more privileged than gays and lesbians, able to duck discrimination by entering into straight relationships.
Far more bisexuals are in relationships with people of the opposite sex than the same sex, Pew found. They are less likely than gay men and lesbians to have weathered slurs or attacks, been rejected by friends or family or treated unfairly at work, its survey showed....
...A Kent State University study of bisexual women found that they were more likely than straight or lesbian women to harm themselves or endure suicidal thoughts. Other studies have also cited higher risks for bisexual men.
“I think these problems are coming from two places,” said Northwestern University human sexuality researcher Allen Rosenthal. “The absence of a bisexual community and the psychological stress of being in the closet.”
Activists say bisexuals have two closets — a straight and a gay one....
Read on (July 21, 2013).
Edge magazine now explores why:
"If there’s no strong bisexual community and culture to be supported by, it’s hard to come out," said Kyle Schickner, a filmmaker and outspoken bisexual activist of 20 years. "If you’re a gay teenager and you move to a metropolitan area, it becomes easier to come out because there are so many of you - you have less to lose. Some bisexuals might be in a relationship with the same gender and just find it easier to say they’re gay."...
Whole article (August 8, 2013).
While we're on the subject: here are Autostraddle's 37 Books By, For, or About Bisexual or Otherwise Non-Monosexual People, with 202 comments from readers about these selections and others.
Update: White House to Hold Roundtable on Bisexual Issues on September 23. This is certainly a first. The invitation to LGBT people for this was dated August 16th. I wonder if someone in the White House noticed the Pew report and realized there were voters being unreached?