Bisexuality and authentic community: an exploration of the effects of social support

Bisexual individuals historically have been grouped with other sexual minorities, leaving a gap in research about unique bisexual experiences. Bisexual individuals are more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes than other sexual minorities. This research study explored the experiences that bisexual individuals have when searching for authentic community and how bisexual-affirming social support may affect an individual’s willingness to share their sexuality with others or accept their own sexual identity. Eight adults identifying as bisexual were interviewed about their experiences finding connection with others. Themes found among interviews included: stereotypes of bisexuality, caution when sharing one’s sexual orientation, feeling unwelcome in the LGBTQ community, and negative effects due to lack of social support. Social workers should be sensitive to unique experiences of bisexual individuals and advocate for increased community involvement and social support for those that identify as bisexual.