Bisexual women and mental health: you should be this queer to enter

Ruby Mountford will discuss bisexuality and women’s wellness at the 2018 LGBTIQ Women’s wellness Conference, July 12 & 13 during the Jasper Hotel, Melbourne.

For additional information and to register for the LGBTIQ ladies’ Health meeting visit


t started with a mention of

The L Keyword


I happened to be resting from the dinning table with my moms and dads as well as their buddies Martha and Todd (I’ve changed labels for privacy factors). The talk had lingered on politics and how considerably longer the Libs could hesitate marriage equivalence, next moved into lighthearted chatter about TV.

«i have been enjoying

The L Word

,» Todd said. He viewed me knowingly. «You’d have experienced it, Ruby.»

I shrugged. I would saw some attacks previously, and all of i possibly could recall was the bisexual figure’s lesbian buddies telling her to ‘hurry up and choose a side’.

«It is alright,» we said. «somewhat biphobic though.»

There was clearly a heartbeat of puzzled silence before half the table erupted with laughter. I believed my personal tongue run dry, adhering to the roofing of my personal mouth area.

«Biphobic? What the hell would be that?!» my dad shouted from home.

Just 10 minutes earlier, my personal mum was in fact advising Martha just how my homosexual buddy along with his date was basically chased down the street in Collingwood, a few momemts drive from your household. They had both named homophobia and nobody had laughed.

The calm, sluggish delight I’d been sensation was actually yanked out.

How could you have a good laugh like this?

I imagined.

How could you believe that is funny? Exactly what the bang is actually wrong along with you?

We understood basically unsealed my lips there is tears and I also failed to want to make a scene. My personal head switched to social automatic pilot. I remained quiet until I could create an escape.


recall the very first girl just who said that many lesbians should not time bisexual females, just a few months when I’d come-out. I recall the first time a guy on Tinder said it absolutely was «hot» that I found myself bi.

I recall talking to my pal over Skype as he cried, stressed and wracked with shame because he would separated aided by the very first guy he’d actually ever outdated, and was actually terrified it created he had beenn’t a genuine bisexual, even though he’d already been drawn to guys all their existence.

From the the specialist whom explained I found myself only right and desperate for affection. The paralysing self-doubt and guilt still haunts myself 10 years later on.

Expanding up, there are no bisexual figures to design myself after; no bi ladies in government, in mass media, or perhaps in the books I read. Bi females were possibly becoming graphically screwed in pornography, or cast as psychotic dating a nympho in thriller movies. We never saw bisexual females becoming happy and healthy and loved.


y dating guys, we believed I’d foregone my claim to any queer area. To do normally would make me a cuckoo bird, driving our siblings in frigid weather, merely to abandon the nest when it comes to security of heterosexuality.

I did not dare head to my personal institution’s Queer Lounge until 2 years once I’d started my amount. A buddy had discussed the great folks they would found truth be told there, the parties they went along to, the talks they would had about gender, sexuality, politics and really love and all things in between and it also had filled myself with longing.

As a rule, homophobic folks did not prevent me and my personal gf on the street and politely enquire if I exclusively dated women before they known as myself a d*ke. So there had been absolutely nothing to counter the crushing shame, getting rejected, self-hatred and isolation. I needed solidarity. So the next occasion my good friend was on university, they required in.

Inside the house, beautiful queer ladies gossiped towards women they would slept with, the bullshit regarding the patriarchy in addition to basic grossness of straight men just who leered at them if they kissed their own girlfriends.

I beamed and nodded along, gripping the armrests of my personal seat and clenching my personal teeth.

You are not queer adequate,

We informed myself personally


I was online dating a straight cis man. He had been sweet and affectionate and a giant dork throughout best steps. As soon as we kissed, it sent small golden sparks capturing through my blood vessels. In that place, as I looked at him, all I thought had been shame. My personal battles were not deserving of queer sympathy, and I also absolutely wasn’t worthy of queer really love.

That you do not belong here, and they are attending find out.


t ended up being March 2017, and that I was actually finding your way through a job interview with Julia Taylor, a scholastic from La Trobe college’s analysis Centre in Intercourse, Health and culture interested in bisexual and pansexual Australians to accomplish a study included in her PhD study.

Despite eight months co-hosting a bi radio tv series on JoyFM, this is the very first time I’d looked at psychological state research. The review in Julia’s mail proposed that bi folks had more serious mental health results than gay and lesbian individuals, which seemed like a pretty major thought.

I would accepted the mainly unspoken opinion that bisexual individuals were ‘half homosexual’, therefore only practiced a kind of Homophobia-Lite. By that logic, I realized our mental health issues could be even worse compared to those of direct men and women, but much better than the statistics for gays and lesbians.

That hypothesis don’t survive my personal first Bing look. In 2017, a study titled ‘Substance incorporate, Mental Health, and Service Access among Bisexual Adults in Australia’ the

Journal of Bisexuality

discovered that 57per cent of bisexual women and 63% of bisexual non-binary folks in Australia had been clinically determined to have a very long time mental health condition, in comparison to 41percent of lesbian ladies and 25per cent of heterosexual women.

Another study, ‘The lasting mental health threat involving non-heterosexual positioning’ printed when you look at the record

Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences

in 2016, determined that bisexuality was actually the only real intimate orientation that introduced «a long lasting danger for improved anxiety».

Around 21 instances prone to engage in self injury. Much more more likely to report life wasn’t well worth residing. Higher risk for suicidal behavior, drug abuse, consuming problems and stress and anxiety.

Anxious never already been a word I’ve heard the LGBTIQA+ society used to describe bisexual individuals. Perplexed, sure. Attention looking for, promiscuous, unfaithful — I’d heard those many instances from both gay and right men and women.

But despite studies dating back over 10 years showing that bisexual people, particularly bisexual females, are enduring, very few people had troubled to inquire of the reason why.


n the drive residence from work, father requested the things I had arranged for my personal radio reveal that week. My personal cardiovascular system started to pound.

«choosing a researcher. She is carrying out a survey to discover the truth precisely why bisexual men and women have worse mental health outcomes than directly and gay cis men and women.»

«Even Worse? Truly?»

Was just about it my personal wishful considering, or performed he seem worried?

«Yep.» I rattled off the research. Once I took a glance at him, there clearly was a deep, pensive furrow between his eyebrows.

«What’s causing that, do you really believe?»

«I don’t know. It’s mainly presumptions, but once i believe about it… it makes sense. Homophobia has an effect on us, but we don’t obviously have a place going in which we’re entirely accepted,» I mentioned.

«Before my personal radio tv series, I’d never been in an area together with other bi individuals and just spoken of the encounters. Before that, if I’d eliminated into queer rooms, i simply had gotten informed I became confused, or not daring enough to turn out entirely.»

My personal vocals quivered. It was frightening to clarify. I was recently needs to comprehend exactly how deeply biphobia had broken my sense of self-worth, and simply simply beginning to contemplate my bisexuality as an attractive, legitimate thing.

But I needed to find the words. Basically could get my straight, middle aged dad to comprehend, there seemed to be the opportunity my personal rainbow family members would understand also.

«individuals don’t think bisexuality is actually actual adequate to be discriminated over, so they really don’t believe about this. They don’t really think they can be really harming any person. But they are.»

Dad moved silent for a while, eyes closed in the windscreen. He then nodded. «reasonable point.»

An old firmness inside my chest area unclenched. Just like the automobile trundled forward, Dad got my personal submit their and squeezed it tight.

Ruby Susan Mountford is actually a Melbourne-based independent copywriter and radio variety, and a separate supporter for Neurodiversity plus the Bi/Pan community. Plus creating and holding
Triple Bi-Pass on JoyFM
, a weekly radio program and podcast, the woman is currently serving as chairman with the Melbourne Bisexual Network committee.

Ruby Mountford will talk about bisexuality and ladies’ wellness in the 2018 LGBTIQ Women’s wellness Conference, July 12 & 13 from the Jasper Hotel, Melbourne.

To learn more also to sign up for the LGBTIQ ladies wellness Conference head to

The LGBTIQ Women’s wellness Conference is actually a pleased promoter of Archer Magazine.