Figures published by the USA’s Center for Disease Control suggest less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual. An additional 1.1 percent didn’t know how to answer the question, had another identity than gay, straight or bi, or refused to answer.
0.7% were recorded as bisexual while 1.6% identified as lesbian or gay.
However, it’s hard to imagine every bi or every LGB person would have been comfortable openly labelling their sexual orientation to a stranger – having grown up in a culture where being bi or gay can be strongly stigmatised.
A UK study in 2010 by the Office for National Statistics suggested 0.5% of the population were bisexual, 1% lesbian or gay, and another fraction of a percent had other non-straight identities such as queer and asexual or consciously avoiding a label.
The UK study suffered a similar problem in obtaining identity information – but was carried out on a much bigger sample size. The US survey covered some 33,000 people whereas the ONS study interviewed 450,000 people.
Read the CDC report here.
Over the past week, hundreds of events have been held across the country to say thank you to volunteers, recognising the important contribution they make.
Almost all the bi community events, groups and support depend wholly on volunteer effort – so it has also been a prompt for many to say thanks to the people who make them happen, and for some to step up and offer to share the workload.
Maybe now’s the time to become a bi volunteer yourself?
BCN magazine has an article in its archives with lots of ideas of ways you can get involved in bi volunteering – whether you have ten minutes to spare just now, a day every week, or anything in between.
A new report by the National Union of Students reports on life for bisexual, transgender, lesbian and gay students today.
While it is often ‘lumpy’ in its treatment of data – combining bisexual, lesbian and gay experience into one – the report does have some findings on bi experience. For example:
“Only 40 per cent of bisexual respondents are out to their family, compared to 72.5 per cent of gay and 77 per cent of lesbian respondents; 82 per cent are out to their friends, compared to 96 per cent of gay and lesbian respondents; and slightly more than one in 10 bisexual students are out to academic staff, compared to 40 per cent of gay and a third of lesbian respondents.”
This ties in with other research over the last few years which has shown bi workers are less likely to feel they can be open about their orientation in the workplace than gay and lesbian staff.
Bi students are also more likely to have considered dropping out of university courses than gay or straight students, and are to feel less able to speak up during classes or to be welcomed as a participant in group activities than their lesbian or gay peers.
However the report’s recommendations are disappointing, urging action by universities and student unions only on homophobia and transphobia.
You can read it in full here.
Parliaments have already made the decision for Scotland, Wales and England, but a new Ipsos-MORI survey of public opinion shows the debate has brought the people with it – with a majority backing across the political spectrum for same-sex marriage.
No surprise that three in four Liberal Democrat and Labour voters back the measure, perhaps, but support among Conservative voters runs at 61% and even staunchly anti- same-sex marriage party UKIP is out of step with its voters, 54% of whom back its introduction.
The more marked divide is on age: 88 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds surveyed said same-sex couples should be free to marry, while this falls to 43 per cent of those aged over 65.