If you've missed the latest "scandal," Fox News is claiming that Santa Claus is white, which is an especially ridiculous concept when you pause to remember that Santa isn't real. Racial pearl-clutching aside, Fox News isn't alone in its beliefs about Ol' Saint Nick. An AP-AOL poll from a few years back noted that 86 percent of Americans (91 percent if you're white) believed in Santa as a child, which means that, according to a recent study, more people believe in Santa Claus than believe that bisexuality is a legit sexual orientation. Ho ho ... no!
Among the 1,500 adults surveyed, 15 percent said they
outright disagreed that bisexuality was a real sexual orientation, which is actually lower than we would have guessed, considering previous depressing studies. Not only that, but the overall opinion of bisexuals was negative, even among gay people (We blame Tila Tequila).
Other highlights from the study's findings, which
were presented at the American Public Health Association's 141st Meeting and
- Men who identified as heterosexual were three times more likely to consider bisexuality "not a legitimate sexual orientation."
- Women, white people, and people who said they were a member of the lesbian, gay or bisexual community were less likely to have negative attitudes toward bisexual people.
- However, even within the LGBT community, those who were gay or lesbian were more likely to be biased or prejudiced towards bisexual people than those who identified as bisexual.
- Male bisexuals were more stigmatized than females.
Add these to the already hefty list of stigmas bisexuals face -- it's just a phase, you just haven't met the right man yet, you're a cowardly homo, you're taking advantage of straight privilege, etc. -- and your outlook would be decidedly less jolly, too.
In addition to Santa, the AP poll also pointed out that 86 percent of Americans believe in angels.
As of yet, no correlations have been made between bisexuals and witches,
goblins, the Easter bunny, or the blue creatures from Avatar, but we
can pretty well guess how those would turn out, too.
Silly comparisons aside, what's stressed in the report is that bisexual stigma could have serious negative effects on the mental and physical health of bisexual people, especially in terms of HIV testing, depression, and substance abuse. And we hardly need a poll to see the concern in that, not even a north poll.
To battle the persistent myths and invisibility, perhaps it's time
bisexuals create their own mythical, gift-giving icon, one who
spends less time in malls and chimneys, preferably. And please, no more rhinos.
We vote for these kittens to be the new bisexual mascots:
Follow @annapulley on Twitter. She'll tweet you right.