Friday 16 September marks the start of Bisexual Awareness Week, also known as #Biweek. This week aims to raise awareness of and celebrate bisexuality across society, as well as reduce judgement and highlight the issues faced by the bisexual community.

Bisexual people can often face difficulties, some of which include their sexuality being accepted by family, friends, and society. It can take a huge amount of strength to be open to family and friends about our sexual identity and when it is met with judgement and non-acceptance it is not an easy thing to deal with.

There is also a range of negative stereotypes attributed to the bi community, including people being ‘greedy’ or ‘indecisive’ when it comes to who they chose to date. Moreover, bisexual representation in the media, and on our screens is limited; the nuance of this sexuality is little explored by creators of film and TV.

Research by leading LGBT+ charity Stonewall found that 46% of bi men and 26% of bi women aren’t open about their sexual orientation to anyone in their family. This is compared to 10% of gay men and 5% of lesbians.

It may not be surprising then, to hear that bisexual people are more likely to experience anxiety, and report feeling unhappier than their counterparts in lesbian, straight and gay relationships.

This can greatly impact people’s mental health and wellbeing and can sometimes lead to thoughts of suicide.

People who are open about being bisexual are more likely to become victims of intimate partner violence, Bisexual Awareness Week gives a chance for bisexuality to be not only seen and talked about but to be celebrated so that being open about any sexual identity is accepted in the way it should be, with no judgement violence or discrimination.

Biphobia is present within the LGBTQIA+ community as well. Bisexual Awareness Week can help to reduce this with the aim of a completely non-judgemental society where people are not made to feel scared to be themselves.

To everyone inside and outside the LGBTQIA+ community, have a happy Bisexual Awareness Week and know that support is available if you need it. Let’s all come together to reduce the issues that can come with being our own unique selves.

For people experiencing any discrimination, abuse or struggles with acceptance there is support available and some of these services are below.

How To Come Out | How To Come Out To Your Parents | The Mix

Sexuality (supportline.org.uk)

LGBT Foundation – Bi Programme

Bisexual Resource Center (biresource.org)

If you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, and need a safe non-judgmental space to talk, PAPYRUS is here for you. Call HOPELINEUK for free, confidential advice and support on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039 967 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org from 9am to midnight every day of the year.

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