Bisexual women are forgotten in health statistics, experts say

It is Bisexual Health Awareness month
Bisexual women are often forgotten or overlooked in health statistics.
That's a focus that the The Human Rights Campaign is looking at this month, which is called Bisexual Health Awareness Month.

This well-detailed opinion piece was submitted by Jeff Krehely, Chief Foundation Officer, and Tari Hanneman, Associate Director, Health and Aging Program.

The piece discusses how the Williams Institute, about 9 million Americans identify as LGBT -- and a majority of those are bisexual women. While one in every four people living with HIV in the United States is a woman, we can’t find a single study that identifies how many of them are women who have sex with women. The article points out the LGBT community includes bisexual women, not to mention lesbians who -- for a variety of reasons -- have sex with men. These women are simply discounted in today’s research.

Almost a quarter of bisexual and lesbian women are poor, according to the Williams Institute. There are also high rates of workplace discrimination, harassment and health care inequities faced by these women, and you begin to see why these women should be part of the conversation when it comes to HIV and the LGBT community.

Bisexual performer seeks help for edgy racial performance

Kai Hazelwood likes to "Color Outside the Lines" which is why her new performance piece is called that. The bisexual dancer and dance teacher is hoping to land $3,000 on an online Hatchfund campaign by the end of the day Friday, March 5 for an edgy dance campaign that educates self awareness issues about racism. She has already raised more than $1,000.

"This is particularly timely because of what is happening in the news today," says Hazelwood, pointing out the issues in Fergusen, police racial profiling and the high-profile domestic abuse issues making the news lately.
Her planned performance, “Color Outside the Lines” will be held in the historic Pig ‘n Whistle in Hollywood, Calif. on March 29. It will happen whether or not she raises the money, but she can use some help.

"The show is not passive, it’s rather interactive, which is why it is in a historic location in the heart of Hollywood in an intimate setting," she says. She has already tested the idea a few times.

"It will be like going to a trivia night, but people will talk about race and be honest," Hazelwood says. "People will be forced to say things they don't necessarily want to say, and it could get uncomfortable. I love seeing the audience laughing and then realizing what they are saying and cringing and then hesitating,” she says.
Kai Hazelwood
Kai has 25 years of dance experience including six years at the San Francisco Ballet School, summer programs at Dance Theater of Harlem and the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, and intensive training at the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. A former basketball player, she has drawn on her sports, dance, and dance medicine experiences.

“Color Outside the Lines” is a twisted trivia night-meets-dance theater show all about race. "Color Outside the Lines" doesn't attempt to offer any answers about race. Instead, she says, “It is an invitation to explore the funny and also dark parts of ourselves, our understanding of our own racial identity and that of people around us.”

The show is done with three collaborators.:Allison Wyper is someone she has known for eight years and she describes as “a totally brilliant and physical performance artist.” Abel Arias works locally as a comedian in the Comedy Sports LA, and Tasheena Medina is a former student and Kai says, “I’m interested in her voice and aesthetic and wanted to work with her.”

This is an all or nothing campaign meaning that if they don’t reach the $3,000 goal, they get none of the funds. All donations are tax deductible and certain donations offer perks donated by members of the cast.

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It's Bisexual Health Awareness Month, how can you check in on it?

It's Bisexual Health Awareness Month beginning in March, and the Meetbi.com wants you to be healthy all year long.
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There are ways and awareness to check in, and starting today you can find out lots of information. Julia Canfield, the president of the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) in Boston, Massachusetts, will be spreading the word out through hash-tags, Facebook and other social media. This is the year two of the social media campaign about the health of bisexuals and it was spurred by the bisexual community’s mental health disparities. The BRC studies and information show that the bisexual community remains marginalized and underserved.

There's more depression, suicidality, substance use, anxiety and other mood disorders compared to their heterosexual, gay and lesbian counterparts. The theme this year will incorporate three main values – Intersectionality, Support, and Advocacy – into its campaign.

“Bisexual people have long been impacted by the negative effects of biphobia and bisexual erasure from both LGBTQ and straight communities," Canfield says. "They have also been denied access to critical services and resources that can enhance their mental and emotional well-being. Therefore, Bisexual Health Awareness Month aims to increase awareness about these issues and feature ways we can effectively address them.”

Bisexual Health Awareness Month will have the following focus themes throughout the four weeks of March:

March 2-6: (Statistics) A focus on current statistics and research data concerning mental health disparities in the bisexual community.

March 9-13: (Intersectionality) An emphasis on how race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, etc., can further impact mental health disparities in the bisexual community, particularly in regards to experiences of oppression and discrimination.

March 16-20: (Resources) A spotlight on current resources and creation of new ones that can address mental health disparities in the bisexual community.

March 23-27: (Action) The promotion and development of interventions, policies, and other activities that work to prevent or decrease mental health disparities in the bisexual community.

Bisexual Health Awareness Month launches on Monday, March 2 on the BRC’s Twitter (with hashtag #bihealthmonth), Facebook, and Tumblr pages.

The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) has been advocating for bisexual visibility and raising awareness about bisexuality throughout the LGBT and straight communities since 1985. Visit www.biresource.net.