Google's New Bisexual Feature Could Actually Save Lives
Yesterday, the internet search engine Google started offering up instant results for the word "bisexual," making bisexuals everywhere wonder, "What took them so long?"
No, seriously. Google made instant results for "gay," "lesbian," and "transgender" available two years ago after users complainted about their exclusion, but for some reason Google continued to withhold results for the word "bisexual," the same way that bisexuals normally get left out of conversations about "gay rights"--and their exclusion makes us wanna do this.
You might think that being bisexual is just like being gay, only with the benefit of occasionally passing for straight, but you'd be wrong. In fact, a 2011 report on "bisexual invisibility" revealed that 33 percent of bisexual men attempt or seriously consider suicide, almost three times as often as gay men do.
That's especially striking when you consider that the report also said that, "Bisexuals constitute the largest population within the LGBT community." It could be that bisexuals are depressed because gays think they're in denial and because most political discussions and public health services often overlook their specific needs.
The exclusion of bi people in the online world amounts to more than just a bunch of whiny bisexuals who are too lazy to press the "ENTER" key for search results. Online medical journals sometimes lumped bi guys with with gays in HIV studies, giving us inaccurate statistics and a poorer understanding of how the virus individually affects gay men, straight women and bi men--that is, bi exclusion actually makes us less informed and ultimately costs lives.
Just like life is not always black and white, people are not always straight or gay. Now that Google has caught up to that fact, hopefully the rest of the online world will begin searching for more bisexual understanding.