Wednesday, June 01, 2016

#ImWithAmber

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2016
CONTACT:
Nicole Kristal
#StillBisexual Campaign Founder
stillbisexual@gmail.com

BISEXUAL LEADERS, ORGANIZATIONS AND LGBT ALLIES NATIONWIDE CONDEMN BIPHOBIC COVERAGE OF AMBER HEARD DIVORCE
AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are writing to condemn the biphobic media coverage of the Amber Heard divorce and domestic violence case. The coverage has been damaging to abuse survivors and has perpetuated negative stereotypes of bisexual women in the following ways...

  • Listing unnamed sources that claim Heard’s “bisexual tendencies” doomed the marriage (inferring bisexuals are incapable of monogamy)
   
   
  • Reports that Johnny Depp was “driven insane” by fear of Heard cheating on him with a woman (again, justifying the abuse because it was caused by her bisexuality)
   
  • Blaming Heard’s “lesbian friends” for the break-up (reinforcing the assumption that bisexual women are sexually involved with all same-sex non-heterosexual friends)
   
  • Pundits talking about the situation by stating it is “unwise” to marry a bisexual and that bisexual marriages are “doomed to fail.” (reinforcing the stereotype that bisexuals are incapable of having healthy, functional relationships)

Since this story broke on May 26, not one media report (aside from some excellent reporting from Carolyn Cox at TheMarySue and Casey Quinlan at Think Progress) has pegged this story to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey report released by the CDC in 2013 that found...

  • Sixty-one percent of bisexual women have a lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women and 43% of lesbians
   
  • Forty-nine percent of bisexual women have a lifetime prevalence of severe physical violence by an intimate partner (e.g., hit with fist or something hard, slammed against something, or beaten), as opposed to 23% of heterosexual women and 29% of lesbians
   
  • Nearly half of all bisexual women have been raped, as opposed to 17% of  heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians

  • Seventy-four percent of bisexual women have experienced sexual violence other  than rape, as opposed to 46% of lesbians and 43% of heterosexual women

One of the reasons bisexual people may experience higher rates of domestic violence is an abuser's irrational fear that their bisexual partner may be unfaithful. See this moving story of a bisexual woman who lived through that scenario. For the media to perpetuate the myth that bisexual people are more likely to be unfaithful, and that lack of faithfulness is an excusable rationale for abuse, is reckless, irresponsible, and may perpetuate further violence against bisexual people.  

We strongly encourage all media outlets to do their due diligence and frame Heard’s experiences in light of the legitimate health statistics and data that show bisexual women are at greater risk of intimate partner violence. By omitting these facts and instead choosing to frame Heard’s experiences as the result of her orientation is victim-blaming, irresponsible and damaging.


Sincerely,

BiNet U.S.A.
#StillBisexual campaign
Bisexual Resource Center
Robyn Ochs, Editor of the Bi Women Quarterly
The BiCast, podcasting for the bisexual community
Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago
Bay Area Bisexual Network
Fluid Arizona
OMNI: Bi/Pan/Trans Women and Transmen of Color Network
Spectrum Queer Media
Boston Bisexual Women’s Network
Lisa Francavilla, BiQ Atlanta
Bi Request NYC
New York Area Bisexual Network
1 to 5 Club of the Utah Pride Center
Biversity Boston
BiLaw
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
SALGA-NYC
Michael Prager, Organizer, Bi Brigade, Portland, Oregon
Evan Peterson, Bisexual Books
Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Portland's UnShul, editor, Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of
Faith
Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich, Principal Author of Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and
Recommendations, San Francisco Human Rights Commission
Lauren Beach, Director of LGBTI Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Jennifer Restle, San Diego bisexual and disabilities activist
Lani Ka’ahumanu, co-author of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexuals Speak Out
Apphia K., Advocate for Bisexual Immigration and Social Justice
Heidi Bruins Green, Co-Chair, Bisexual Advisory Committee of Out & Equal Workplace
Advocates
Knox Inman, Leader of the Washington DC Bisexual Community Group, Center Bi
Alexei Guren, bisexual activist
William Burleson, Author of Bi America
Sheela Lambert, Founder of the Bisexual Book Awards
Elana Levin, Co-Founder of Organizing 2.0
Ashton Woods, gay/LGBT ally and #BlackLivesMatters activist
Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, Author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes
Women’s Lives
Cathy Renna, publicist and managing partner Target Cue
Campus Pride
Samati Niyomchai, social worker
Wayne Bryant, President Emeritus, Bisexual Resource Center
Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor in chief of Plus magazine and editor at large for The
Advocate
Denise Penn, Co-Chair, LGBT Caucus of the California Democratic Party
Adele M. Stan, columnist, The American Prospect
Kevin Hogan, Founder of Healing Stigma and BRC board member