Bisexuality is often linked to the “Invisibility” Dilemma. Although bisexuals constitute the largest sector of the LGBTQ+ population, they are the least likely to disclose their sexual orientation publicly, and the most likely (along with their transgender counterparts) to experience poor physical and mental health outcomes. Even bisexual individuals who proclaim their sexual orientation as “bisexual” are more likely to be erased in historical accounts as loving one gender more than another.
This is because we have a tendency to dichotomize sexuality into an either/or scenario, which means that we simultaneously omit the possibility of “and” (e.g. in asking, “Are you attracted to men or women?” instead of saying “Are you attracted to either men and/or women?”). To most, it may seem like a picky distinction; but in the realm of counseling, comprehending the impact of invisibility is of incredible significance. As many of the following bullet points will illustrate, the concurrent influences of invisibility, delegitimization, and stigmatization of bisexuality can have a powerful impact on an individual’s mental health status.
Bisexual therapy goers will encounter many issues that are identical to those of their heterosexual and other LGBTQ+ community members (problems with conflict in relationships, struggles with depression or anxiety, parenting headaches, and more); but for the issues that are unique—such as the bisexual invisibility paradox, the delegitimization of bisexuality by both heterosexual and homosexual communities, and the stigmatization of bisexuality as a phase of confusion or a license for sexual promiscuity—the most constructive therapeutic outcomes can be achieved by finding a counselor who is unbiased, who acknowledges your unique personhood and sexual identity, and whom you feel comfortable enough with to form a bond of enduring trust. A therapist who is competent in the specific issues that affect bisexual individuals can help you: