Recent research shows that bisexual people experience significantly higher rates of depressive illness than their homosexual or heterosexual counterparts, in line with Meyer’s Minority Stress Theory (2003). This can be explained by the large degree of social stigma carried by bisexual people, broadly via a twofold process of identity erasure and identity degradation, which sees bisexual identities either ignored or misdiagnosed by third parties. The complex intersection of faith and bisexuality creates further difficulties for those who self-identify as bisexual and Christian. In this chapter, I outline my empirical research with this group. This involved qualitative interviews with bisexual Christians in the UK and USA and revealed depressive disorders at an overall rate of 93%. This was potentially linked to the almost blanket erasure of bisexuality within pastoral practices and liturgical resources in participants’ places of worship, revealed through a second set of interviews with pastors and supporters of LGBT Christians. If the current climate prevails, it would seem unlikely that bisexual Christians will achieve any degree of heightened visibility within the more fundamentalist branches of the Church, either side of the Atlantic, where bisexuality is largely overshadowed by gay, lesbian and, increasingly, transgender issues.
|Title of host publication||Bisexuality, Religion and Spirituality|
|Subtitle of host publication||Critical Perspectives|
|Editors||Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip, Alex Toft|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2020|