STUDY: 33 Percent of Bi Guys Stay Closeted to Their Doctors
According to a new study in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy, bisexual men and women are over one-third less likely to disclose their bisexual identities to their doctors than gay men or lesbians.
The study looked at 396 LGB New Yorkers and found that young men and those who had been born outside of the U.S. were among the least likely to disclose their bisexuality to health care providers.
But strangely, the study says that "Expectations of rejection and discrimination and past experiences with everyday discrimination did not predict disclosure to health care providers."
Rather, the decision not to disclose their sexual identity had more to do with what the study called higher levels of "internalized homophobia," which is weird because you'd think that a reluctance to share such information might come from internalized biphobia instead, especially when you consider the "stereotypes and exclusion that [bi people face] from both the straight and gay communities."
Knowing a person's bisexual identity could help doctors respond better to their unique mental state and sexual habits.
But if bi men aren't sharing that sort of information with the people who need to know the most, the health disparities affecting them begin to make more sense.
Perhaps we should take a note from bi-YouTuber Ritch Famous and help bi guys feel more welcome and comfortable in their own skin, rather than making them feel like its a secret they have to keep from themselves and those who truly care for them.
That would make both bi guys and their doctors feel a lot better.