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Is this the reason why bisexual people have yet to form a community?

Is this the reason why bisexual people have yet to form a community?

Lewis Oakley at UK Black Pride | Photo: @lewyoaks / Twitter

I’ve often found it strange that, when there are statistically more bisexual people in the world than gay or lesbian people, such a limited bi community exists.

Research has found bisexuals make up 52% of all LGB people, with the remainder made up of 31% gay men and 17% lesbian.

I’d always put it down to research that shows bisexuals are the least likely to be out of the closet.

If only 33% of bisexuals are ‘out’, they are going to have fewer options of meeting each other.

Similarly, a trans person I met at an event expressed that they felt there wasn’t a large trans community.

I originally thought that might also be down to there being few trans people and even fewer out.

That’s until I realised a key difference – bisexuals and trans people can date outside of the LGBTI community.

Digital Pride is the only global Pride and is dedicated to enabling everyone to be part of a Pride, whoever they are and wherever they live in the world. This year, we are focusing on tackling loneliness and isolation. It takes place on Gay Star News from 29 April to 5 May 2019. Find out more.

Community founded on love

Bisexual bi campaigners march at Pride London
Bisexual campaigners march at Pride London (Photo: BoBetterBiUs)

To find love and have sex – both gay and lesbians have to interact with each other. Bi people have no such limitations.

The world is quite literally our oyster. We can date, gay, straight or bi. It’s fantastic but has it come at a cost?

No research exists that has ever asked a bi person if they have any bisexual friend or family but the Equality Network ‘COMPLICATED?’ report did find that 85% do not feel part of a bisexual community.

From my own interactions with bi people, many have remarked how I’m the only other bi person they’ve met – and I live in London.

Lord knows what it’s like for the bis of Bolton?

While I’d hate the reality, I do think if bisexuals could only date other bisexuals – you can be damn sure we’d find a way to meet each other and as a result a bisexual community would be much more prevalent by now.

Sex and love are perhaps the two most primal and driving factors of life.

If you have to kiss a thousand frogs to find your prince then gay men have a lot of people to meet.

No wonder we have gay bars, saunas, festivals and Grindr.

Even when a date is unsuccessful, gay men have still managed to interact with others like them. Each interaction also expands their understanding of being gay and perhaps resulting in a friendship.

A different path

The bi+ group at Perth Pride.
The bi+ group marching at Perth Pride. | Photo: Lisa Max

Contemplating this may be the reason for the lack of a bi community, does this mean one will never form?

I hope not, bi people will be greatly advanced by knowing others like themselves and supporting one another.

The truth is, understanding a problem is the first step to solving it.

And understanding that the driving force to form a bisexual community is not the same force that created the lesbian and gay communities might help us in our future efforts.

Stay strong bisexuals – we can do this.

Lewis Oakley is a weekly bisexual correspondent on Gay Star News. Follow him on Twitter.

What is Digital Pride?

Digital Pride is the online movement, created by Gay Star News, so you can take part in Pride whoever and wherever you are. Even if you are from a country where being LGBTI is criminalized or leaves you in danger – it’s a Pride festival you can be a part of.

In 2019, Digital Pride is tackling loneliness and isolation with articles and videos connecting LGBTI people. Join us by reaching out to someone who needs it. The festival takes place on Gay Star News from 29 April to 5 May 2019. Find out more.

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