Bisexual individuals experience unique discrimination related to their sexual orientation, which may increase their risk of adverse health outcomes. The study goal was to investigate how bisexual and other non-monosexual individuals experience discrimination, understand how they perceive discrimination to affect their health, and examine the ways in which they cope with discrimination by analyzing responses to open-ended survey questions. The sample included 442 bisexual and other non-monosexual adults, ages 18–68 years (M = 28.97, SD = 10.30), who either reported a bisexual identity or reported attractions to more than one gender. Gender identities included women (n = 347), men (n = 42), and transgender/non-binary individuals (n = 53); 29% of participants were currently located outside of the U.S. Participants completed an online survey, including three open-ended questions regarding their experiences with discrimination, how discrimination affects their health, and methods used to cope with discrimination. Themes related to perceived discrimination included: double discrimination of bisexuals and other non-monosexual individuals by heterosexuals, lesbian and gay individuals; bisexual invalidation and erasure; and sexual victimization. Themes related to the perceived effects of discrimination on health included: impact on mental health; impact on physical health; and effect of discrimination in healthcare. Themes related to coping with discrimination included: social support; resilience; and identity-specific media consumption. Findings demonstrate that bisexual and other non-monosexual individuals’ experiences of discrimination can be additive, based on other marginalized facets of identity, including race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Our findings have implications for advancing bisexual health research from an intersectionality framework.
- Bisexual health
- Coping mechanisms
- Sexual orientation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)