"I gave a speech on bisexual health at a medical association conference a few years ago. One of the attendees, who is a mental health professional — he’s a therapist — wasn’t at my talk, but when he heard the topic of my speech, he told me, "Oh, when I have clients who say they’re bi, I really question it. I really make them talk it through, and we examine it very closely."
I said, "What if they say they’re gay?" He was gay, by the way.
He said, "Oh, in that case, we just talk about whatever they came to me for.""
Amy Andre in “Nothing About Us Without Us” from her speech on problems of Physical Health in the Bisexual Community, at a bisexual roundtable on 23 September 2013 in Washington DC USA (via bialogue-group)
It’s this shit right here that gets me so fucking mad at people who trivialise biphobia and monosexism by saying shit like “oh the worst you get is people thinking you are confused and greedy”, as if those stereotypes has no real consequences for bisexuals.
This is a fucking therapist, a man in charge of helping people overcome mental health issues and trauma, admitting freely that he and his colleagues treat bisexuality as if it is a mental health problem and a symptom of mental disturbance to be treated and cured.
He is telling a bisexual woman that he doesn’t treat gay people the same way and I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t treat straight folks that way, he is singling out bisexuals because he thinks there is something wrong with us identifying that way, because we are, in his mind, confused.
It makes me sick to think that he is making clients doubt and dissect their own sexuality, blamed their bisexuality for their mental state, told them that bisexuality was a symptom or something to take centre-stage over everything because he thinks it’s not as natural or mentally healthy as monosexuality.
This attitude towards bisexuality is endemic to the medical health industry, especially mental health, which is already a problematic field given how much stigma is attached to mental illness.
So many times I hear bisexuals express their anger at being told by qualified therapists and doctors that they were confused, greedy and/or unstable and therefore had to jump through pointless hoops, longer and more invasive therapy sessions, or even worse, threatened with having treatment withheld or taken in a direction completely different from monosexuals because “it’s all in their heads” or “just doing it for attention”. All because the person in charge believes all the shitty stereotypes that seem ever so trivial and not worth combating to biphobia-deniers.
And people wonder why bisexuals don’t come out to health professionals? They wonder why we don’t come out at all? They wonder why bisexuals have a rate of suicide and poor health way above straight and gay people?
Don’t ever tell me that is trivial. Bisexuals die because of these stereotypes, they are killed by these so-called mental health professionals telling them that they need to be cured by denying themselves and are erased after death by monosexism. Fuck everyone who doesn’t think that’s worth caring about.
This is why it is so important to make sure that your therapist is actually bi-competant, or at least bi-friendly. If you cannot find a therapist near you on the Bisexuality-Aware Professional’s Directory, the questions on the list are good ones to ask any therapist who claims to be able to treat bisexuals.