GLAAD, the world's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today released In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community for journalists reporting on the topic. The guide was created in partnership with BiNet USA, Bisexual Organizing Project, and Bisexual Resource Center and will be a useful resource for media outlets reporting on the bisexual community.
"Bisexual people have been at the forefront of LGBT rights throughout history, but are still too often left out of the conversation," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. "This guide will serve as a powerful tool to combat harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and erasure of bi people in the media."
Despite comprising a large portion of the LGBT community as a whole, bisexuals face disproportionate rates of physical and mental illness and are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse.
Additionally, those who identify as bisexual are more likely to binge drink, engage in self harm, and have suicidal thoughts than gay, lesbian, or non-LGBT people. By being more cognizant of the realities facing bisexual people and committing to report on the bi community responsibly and accurately, the media has the potential to help eliminate some of the misconceptions and damaging stereotypes bisexual people face on a daily basis.
"How bisexuality is portrayed in the media has tangible consequences on bi people's day-to-day experiences," said Alexandra Bolles, Programs Strategist at GLAAD. "Empowering the media to represent the bisexual community, its challenges, and its achievements in many dimensions is an invaluable and necessary step in shifting the cultural narrative towards bi visibility and, ultimately, full acceptance."
"The release of the 2016 GLAAD Bi Media Guide marks a critical moment in the movement to save bisexual lives," said Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President. "It's an essential read for anyone who supports LGBT equality because there is a B in LGBT! A guide like this works to turn the tide on the deep disparities bi people face, in favor of a world that openly accepts them as they are, for who they are."
"GLAAD's hard work on the bisexual resource guide is another sure sign that the bi movement is progressing in a much-needed positive and visible direction," said Heather Benjamin and Kate Estrop, Co-Presidents of Bisexual Resource Center. "The BRC looks forward to a continued working relationship with GLAAD in the future."
In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community made its debut on April 8th at the Bisexual Organizing Project's BECAUSE Conference, a national conference for bisexual advocates.
The guide stresses the importance of fair and accurate reporting, highlights #BiWeek, and provides story ideas surrounding the bisexual community. Other helpful resources include best practices for media coverage in addition to terms, definitions and pitfalls to avoid.