SF Human Rights Commission releases new report on Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts & Recommendations

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San Francisco Human Rights Commission issued a report on the challenges experienced by people that self-identify as bisexual.

The San Francisco Human Rights Commission LGBT Advisory Committee released a report on Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations. This is the first government report to examine the issues and challenges that impact individuals that identify as bisexual.

The report begins by recognizing the nuances of self-identification and limitations of language in capturing human behavior and orientation:

The term bisexual is imperfect at best. It can imply a duality of genders that many people feel erases transgender and gender-variant people. For others, it connotes a requirement of an exact balance between someone’s attractions for women and men…For others, it connotes a requirement of an exact balance between someone’s attractions for women and men…At this time, there is no clear ‘best practice’ for terminology that fully honors gender diversity while not reinscribing invisibility or nonmonosexuals.”

The report highlights some startling gaps in service provision:

  • Bisexuals constitute the largest population within the LGB community, but few services exist to address their specific needs
  • Bisexual experience higher rates of hypertension, depression, poor or fair physical health, smoking, risky drinking, and other mood or anxiety disorders
  • In 2008 and 2009, not a single grant in the entire country explicitly focused on bisexual issues

The LGBT Advisory Committee offers several recommendations for creating more visibility for bisexuals and bisexual issues in the City and County of San Francisco:

  • Educate the public, city departments, and elected officials about inclusive language
  • Review the STI brochures offered through San Francisco’s Department of Public Health and, if needed, encourage them to adopt models created by Fenway BiHealth in Boston
  • Share this report and the results of the survey of local nonprofits on what bi-specific programming they have
  • Include specific, separate information on bisexuality in diversity trainings

To read the full report, click here.

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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