The bisexual population has grown to close to 10% and more than 25% of the bisexuals in this emerging population are facing a hostile world in which they see little hope. In a study done by the American based Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving 15,600 students, we see that sexuality is still a major problem facing emerging adults. Results show that one in three LGBT have been bullied compared to one in five in the general population. More than one in four claim they have attempted suicide compared to one in sixteen in the straight world. Of the population 2% said they were gay or lesbian and 6% to 9% said they were bisexual or uncertain of their sexual identity. If we generalize these results to the 16 million students who attend American high schools, we see that over a million were bisexual and more than 250,000 have attempted to end their young lives.
So what conclusions or suppositions can we make about these figures?
- This is in spite of the changing attitudes by law makers, school boards, and teaching staffs. The answers are not political but in the minds of the straight population and the hearts of gay, lesbian and bisexual young people.
- Bullying continues to be a major problem for the high school population in general and for LGBT students in particular. This is in spite of an all-out effort to make schools a safer place to learn. If we look at bullying itself, we see a significant number of young people are troubled and are showing their anger and lack of connection by hurting others.
- If we look at teens in general, we see massive disconnection and anxiety. These are just young people trying to find their way to adulthood. It shows that our society simply does not know how to nurture and guide its young.
- Most of these problems arise in the homes and are already established by the time the children are five years old. As a society, we have lost the ability to parent. The results are showing up in violence and hopelessness.
- Anxieties leading to depression and suicide attempts are a major problem for LGBT students. As parents and as a society, we simply are not nurturing these young people. We are changing the laws, rules, and regulations but not our attitudes. Teachers, educators and social workers, I believe, have got it, but it is not filtering down to the students themselves. For this to happen, media and social media have to change, but more important, these attitudes have to change in the homes.
And how do we change these attitudes?
- It will take time and persistence in speaking the message over and over again.
- We have to reduce the stress and the subsequent anxieties of the general population.
- We have to cut back on individualization and become more community minded.
- We have to reduce the work time for parents to allow for more quality focused attention that parents can give to their young people.
- We have to educate parents on how to nurture their children.
- In the school systems, we have to convince the administrators and the taxpayers that we need more resources. We need support services for individuals and more one to one time between teachers and students. We have to be focused on the development of the whole child. We have to make each one, even the bullies, even the LGBT student, feel they are a part of a caring community.
- We have to help students see each other as a vital part of the community. We have to honor differences as a source of gifts that each one has to offer.
- If young people feel loved and connected at home and at school, they will take these vibrations into society in general. We will not have to do anything to change the system – the system will change itself.
As bisexuals, we have a responsibility to be true to ourselves and to the young people entering the lifestyle. There is no more place for secrecy and shame; there are innocent lives at stake. We are bisexual. We are unique. This is a blessing not a curse. Let’s let the young people know they have a gift they can be proud of.