More often than not people will say bisexuality is “a phase”, something that one passes through to reach a gay or lesbian sexual identity. It is as though it doesn’t exist, and people’s acceptance of it seems to be lacking compared to their acceptance of a gay or lesbian sexual orientation.

To determine that another’s sexual identity is a phase, is not a call you can make, the only one that can say whether or not it is a phase, is the person themselves. People don’t decide that they’ll be homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. Those that do identify as bisexual may have preference over one gender than another, but that still means they’re bisexual, and not a homo/heterosexual “transitioning through a phase”.

Conversely, sometimes bisexuality is something people will feel is a phase in their life. Sometimes it may take years for someone to question their sexual orientation after living as a self-identified bisexual, to then identify themselves as gay or lesbian (or any number of orientations on the LGBTQ+ Spectrum).

If someone identifies as bisexual, treating them as though it is a phase is not the way to help support them, especially if they are still questioning themselves (which is something you won’t know off-the-bat) so don’t treat them as though this is something they will grow out off, because they may not, they may say to themselves ten years after first identifying themselves as bisexual that this is who they are, and who they will be.

Ask yourself, is it a contradiction if you don’t accept homophobia, but are prejudiced towards bisexuals? It’s dangerous being prejudice towards all gay men because a few are biphobic. It can be awful to exercise this “biphobia” as you can’t see inside someone else’s head and what they see in themselves and how they choose to identify.

Several sources over the last few decades – including the Australian non-profit organisation BeyondBlue – state data trends suggest the highest rates of depression, anxiety and poorer mental health are among trans and bisexual people, especially bisexual women. The National LGBTI Health Alliance (Australia) released several statistics on the data, which can be found at the following link – http://lgbtihealth.org.au/statistics/.

While these statistics are alarming, the high rates of poor mental health for those that identify as “bisexual” is preventable and can be curbed with less prejudiced, and more acceptance. Think about how you would feel next time someone says the person you are doesn’t exist, and then remember not to say that to another. Bisexuality should not be simply disregarded with an off-the-cusp “it doesn’t exist, you’re just going through a phase”, but should be accepted without prejudice and given support from the greater LGBT+ Community, and heterosexuals alike.

Please seek help if you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, if you would rather no face-to-face contact, there are phone and online support services.

There are several support groups set up specifically for those that identify as bisexual, and there are also several youth LGBT+ counselling services available that will of benefit to you, or those you know, who may be in need of support.