Bisexual Health Summit hopes to spark a conversation about bi+ health issues | Picture: Pexels
The very first Bisexual Health Summit took place earlier this week in Chicago.
More than 100 people gathered on 9 July to discuss bisexual health and community building at the largest event of its kind.
Local bisexual activists and healthcare providers and researchers prompted conversations around the issues bisexual people face on a daily basis, with a focus on access to healthcare.
The meeting was part of the 2019 National Sexual Health Conference. It tackled mental health, discrimination, violence and substance abuse in relation to bisexuality.
Really excited for the panel facilitated by Aisha Davis, Esq. “Improving healthcare access and experiences: The perspectives of #bisexual community members and providers” #BiHealthSummit19 #NSHC2019 pic.twitter.com/3fGnxXEYiu
— Lauren Beach, JD/PhD (@laurenbbeach) July 9, 2019
Why a Bisexual Health Summit?
‘There’s a need to have a broader conversation about bisexual health issues. And the reason is there is little to no infrastructure, programming, and far too little data into our community,’ Ian Lawrence Tourinho told GSN. He is the founder of bi+ advocacy groups bisexual.org and amBi.
‘We make up more than 50% of the LGBTI community. Yet programming and outreach to bi people is close to nonexistent,’ he then added.
‘In 2016 and 2017 grants to LGBTI causes were about $200,000,000 but less than 1% of that was for bi+ issues, far less than for LGT and I issues’
The convention also addressed the sort of invasive questions doctors ask that might push bisexuals away from seeking professional help.
Tourinho then highlighted that some studies might be flawed and leave out some bisexual people simply erroneously.
Some research, he explained in a tweet, only take into account those who are equally attracted by men and women or are in non-monogamous relatioships. But bisexuality is a broader identity.
Great breakdown of the kinds of gatekeeping bi people are subjected to in research and in everyday life by Christina Dyar from @ISGMH #BiHealthSummit19 #BiTwitter https://t.co/EV4sdPpmia pic.twitter.com/Gp7F9tqCgQ
— Ian LawrenceTourinho (@ianLourinho) July 9, 2019
Bi people have poorer mental health than gay and straight peers
Bisexual people are at greater health risk than straight and gay people.
‘Data on bisexual issues shows that bi+ people have worse health disparities than gays and lesbians due to a double dose of minority stress. The same stressors that gays and lesbians have, plus biphobia from the straight, gay and lesbian communities,’ pointed out Tourinho.
A 2018 report showed that bisexual people have the worst healthcare access compared to straight and LGT people.
A new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research revealed lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in California wait to seek medical care. It also showed higher rates of unhealthy behaviors among bisexuals.
Moreover, a study called Who I Am questioned more than 2,600 bi people across Australia. Started by advocacy group Bi+ Australia the study wanted to uncover why bisexual people often had poor mental health outcomes.
It turns out that bi people in opposite-sex relationship experience the worst mental health.
‘Data also shows that bi-specific outreach is necessary to reach the bi community but there is next to none from ostensibly LGBT organizations,’ also said Tourinho.
You can watch the convention at the link below: