This post is also available in: French
A recent study in the UK found that those who identify as gay or lesbian, or bisexual report lower well-being than the average person for all personal well-being measures.
Bisexuals fare the worst.
Research published by the Office of National Statistics showed that LGB people scored lower than heterosexual people when rating their own quality of life, life satisfaction, happiness and perception that the things they do in life are worthwhile.
The largest differences in personal well-being were seen in anxiety. Three in every ten people (30.1%) who identify themselves as bisexual reported their anxiety as high. This compares with two in every ten people (19.5%) who identify themselves as heterosexual or straight.
Bisexual people also recorded the lowest levels of happiness and life satisfaction in the three years leading up to December 2015.
The transgender community was not included in the research because the study focused on sexual orientation, not gender identity.
The results from the ONS study echo findings from a similar study conducted by Rice University in 2015.
The report “A New Piece of the Puzzle: Sexual Orientation, Gender and Physical Health Status” analyzed the self-rated health and contributing factors among 10,218 gays, lesbians and bisexuals, along with 405,145 straight people. Bisexuals fared worse than heterosexuals and homosexuals in every category.
Results of that study indicate that bisexuals on average experience poorer health, make less money, often don’t graduate college and smoke more cigarettes.
Justin Denney, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice, said: “If bisexuals are minorities within the minority and experience unique and more extreme forms of discrimination, this might contribute to disparities in things like earnings, educational attainment, the propensity to smoke cigarettes and other factors that affect well-being.”
People who identify as bisexuals face a lot of discrimination, even from gays and lesbians who think they can just hide their sexuality whenever they want. Considering the bi-phobia inside and outside the LGBT community, many bi people stay closeted at almost six times the rate of gays and lesbians.
Armen, a closeted bi-man, told Bisexual.org his feelings about how the lesbian, gay, asexual and straight communities accept bi people.
He said, “I think it varies from person to person. I think the LGBTQ is not really a community. It’s just an acronym for separate communities. When we have Pride, we go there for a sense of belonging with like-minded people but what we find is, at least, in the bisexual community, and it could be said for the asexuals as well, when you go there you feel a little bit alienated.”
Bisexual.org notes, “Bi people and [asexual] people both share the unique ability to appear invisible in not only queer spaces but also straight spaces, a dilemma that creates anxiety within themselves and a sense of exclusion from those groups as a whole.”