Last week, the White House Office of Public Engagement hosted nearly 100 advocates from the bisexual community nationwide. Marking the first day of national Bisexuality Awareness Week, community leaders and Administration officials discussed progress made through community and Administration work, and successes in federal programs and policies. From signing into law an expanded and more inclusive federal hate crimes law, to a first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy that incorporates the unique experiences of the bisexual community, to an Executive Order banning LGBTQ employment discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors, and to the White House’s support for efforts to prevent minors from being subjected to so-called “conversion therapy,” the Administration, under President Obama’s leadership, has sought to protect the diverse identities in the LGBTQ community through laws, executive actions, and by focusing national attention to the hardships that LGBT people continue to endure because of who they are.
Both Administration officials and community leaders led panels and discussions to address ongoing challenges in the bisexual community, with respect to health, housing, employment, violence, and education. Attendees had the opportunity to provide recommendations to better support bisexual youth in schools and communities, better ways to address intimate partner violence, and how policies can be inclusive of the bisexual community.
As the bisexual community and its allies recognized the strides made towards equality by generations of bisexual leaders and celebrated their diverse identities visibly, the policy briefing was an important step to continue the dialogue moving forward. There is much to be proud of, but also much work left to do.