Updated: Mar 29
I’ve lost count of how many blank faces I’ve seen as I ask a room (or these days, a screen) of people if they’ve heard of bierasure.
Today is Bi Visibility Day. Every year on the 23rd September people wave their blue, purple and pink flags and scream out to be noticed.
Bisexual people make up around 50% of the LGBTQ community, but many bi people are often still invisible.
Bisexuals also experience higher rates of mental health issues than gay and lesbian people, yet very often receive way less funding in services.
What is Bierasure?
So what is bierasure? It’s basically the erasure of bisexual people. Many people talk about it being the silent B in LGBT.
You see, for some strange reason bi people face so much stigma and discrimination. They are not believed, thought of as greedy, fashionable or not able to make up their mind.
As a gay person nobody ever says these things to me but I am all too aware of how often these insults are thrown at my bi friends and also my clients who are bi.
Many counsellors come on my training workshops thinking it’s just trans people they need to learn about. They have some gay friends, so think that equals knowing about bi people too. In a presentation at the 2016 Pink Therapy Conference Meg-John Barker poignantly said:
'... people often think that either bi is a tiny minority of people so do they really need to know about it or they think because they already know enough about straight people and gay people they can add that together and that equals knowledge on bi people ...”'(Meg-John Barker, 2016)
Can married people still be bisexual?
I was having coffee with a friend who is a fellow counsellor a year or so ago and I remember her saying to me that she doesn’t assume her clients are straight, she knows they are straight as it becomes very clear when they start talking about their boyfriends/husbands, etc.