Today Bisexual Health Awareness Month highlights ways to support and protect bisexual+ youth at school.
A recent report found that 37% of gender-expansive youth are verbally harassed at school, and another report found that 44% of bisexual youth were bullied about their weight or physical appearance one or more times during the past month. In addition, a report by the GSA Network chronicles harsh discipline and school push-out often faced by LGBT youth of color. Therefore, it is important to build safer, more inclusive and accepting environments for bisexual+ (e.g. bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, no label) youth in schools.
A report by the Human Rights Campaign provides several recommendations on how to better support bisexual+ youth in schools:
- Use bisexual-inclusive language when talking to youth about bullying and harassment
- Be an ally to bi+ youth by calling out biphobia and stereotypes about bisexuality when you see it
- Be inclusive of bi+ youth in programs and resources. Listen to them and their stories, and use terms like LGBTQ+ whenever possible
- Invite bi+ leaders to speak at LGBTQ+ events so that bi+ youth can see themselves represented
Other tips and steps include:
- Call out all forms of discrimination and oppression in schools and classrooms – biphobia, transphobia, racism, ableism – that affect bi+ youth
- Implement stronger policies in schools that protect bisexual+ youth of color from harassment and discriminatory discipline
- Learn about issues affecting the bisexual+ community in order to effectively address the needs of bi+ youth
What do you think we can do to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of bisexual+ youth at school? Let us know in the comments!