I was very happy to be involved in this video made about mental health issues affecting the LGBT+ community, by Sally Marlow and her colleagues from King’s College London.
On the video I spoke about the issues faced by bisexual and non-binary people when it comes to mental health. In particular these include:
- The stress of being invisible in a world that assumes that people are binary in their sexuality and gender (gay or straight, man or woman)
- Having ones sexuality or gender erased when the existence of bisexuality and non-binary gender are questioned
- Being regarded as untrustworthy or suspicious because of your sexuality or gender
- Living an everyday life in which you rarely see other like yourself represented, and are constantly confronted with binary assumptions which don’t fit your experience (e.g. on toilet doors, changing rooms, forms, or media representations)
- Being misgendered and/or shoved back into the closet
These, and other, points explain why research across the world finds that bisexual people have worse mental health than straight and gay people, and why studies so far are finding that non-binary people have high levels of mental health struggles too. One important solution is to move towards more expansive cultural understandings of gender and sexuality, and to depict the range of gender and sexual expressions in the media.
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