Breaking the stigma: young bisexuals
Latest UK research suggests more young people are identifying as bisexual – and the shift is dramatic.
Four years ago YouGov polled 18-24 year olds and found 49% would not strictly categorise themselves as straight or gay. On a straight-to-gay scale from 0-6 they placed their orientation in one of the middle ground numbers 1-5.
Yet only 2% identified with the label “bisexual”.
A huge challenge for bisexual liberation groups and campaigners! How do you reach and champion people who are overwhelmingly not identifying with the very word that covers their shared experience? Generations of biphobia and bi-erasure from straight and gay culture alike has made many of us shy of ‘the b word’.
But the shift in people in the public eye strongly identifying as bisexual – and consistently doing so – seems to be having an effect.
This year’s survey shows bi identity among 18-24 year olds is up from 2% to 16% – an eightfold increase.
The shift is accompanied by a movement of gay and lesbian identity from 10% down to 5% and an 8% decline in heterosexual identity – from 83% to 75%.
Interestingly there is not the separation in numbers between male and female respondents seen in some other research. The biggest deviation is on “6” scoring (gay) people – 5% of men and just 2% of women.
Pleasingly, none of the bi identified respondents agreed with the statement that here is “no middle ground” in human sexuality between gay and straight!