March marks Bisexual Health Awareness Month, encouraging bisexual people to come out to their care providers.
Human Rights Campaign Foundation has published a guide on how to come out as bi to your doctor.
‘One of the keys to good health care is being open with your health care provider,’ reads the guide.
‘Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, psychotherapists and other professionals treating you need to know about your LGBTQ identity to give the best care possible.’
HRC also highlights how bisexual people are less likely to disclose their sexual orientation to any medical professional.
Bi women face higher rates of cancer and heart diseases
‘The bisexual community faces striking rates of poor health outcomes,’ the leaflet points out.
The most common conditions affecting bi people range from cancer to obesity to STIs and mental health problems.
Research has also shown that bi people are more likely than straight people to have general medical problems, such as asthma and high cholesterol. Furthermore, bi people seem to smoke and drink more alcohol than heterosexuals.
Bi women, particularly, experience higher rates of cancer, heart diseases, and obesity and emotional stress than straight women.
HRC also points out that POC make 40% of bi people in the US, whereas half of trans people identify as bi+.
Why coming out as bi to your doctor?
HRC is urging bisexual people to open up to their doctors to address these health disparities.
Negative experiences in medical settings might lead bi people to delay their doctor’s appointments. Moreover, telling your doctor you’re bisexual might help other bi patients in terms of visibility.
The LGBTI organization recommends bringing a friend in order to feel more comfortable and find a competent health care provider using its Healthcare Equality Index.