Justice

Evan Rachel Wood Speaks Out On Bisexuality

A few days prior to Bi Visibility Day, which was Wednesday of this week, actress Evan Rachel Wood opened up about her bisexuality. The celebrity, who came out as bisexual several years ago, revealed in a series of tweets how she struggled after sharing this information with the world. She explained via Twitter that she faced discrimination, depression, and shame because of the way people reacted to the news.

This month, Wood discussed her bisexuality further with the LGBT news outlet Daily Xtra, saying she chose to come out a few years back because bisexuality is an important part of her identity.

 

"I had waited long enough to really sit with myself and go, 'no, this is how it is,'" she said. "I think there's so much biphobia and so many misconceptions about it, and it's ... not really acknowledged most of the time. I wanted to speak out about it because obviously it was something that was near and dear to my heart. It was a weight lifted. I was a happier, better person because of it."

Wood added that people warned her that her career could be impacted as a result of coming out, but she does not feel the decision hurt her acting prospects in any way.

Why bisexuals don't come out very often.

Wood's battle with not feeling "gay or straight enough," and her experiences with biphobia are felt by a lot of people in the bisexual community, and in many cases, this adversity discourages them from coming out. According to research from a 2013 Pew survey, those who identify as bisexual are far less likely to come out than gays and lesbians, and slightly more than a quarter of bisexuals say that all or the majority of the important people in their lives know about their bisexuality.

The Pew survey found that bisexuals experience fewer instances of discrimination than gays and lesbians, but the stigma surrounding bisexuality forces many to stay silent. Following Wood's string of tweets, she spoke with NYLON magazine about how people can be better allies to bisexuals and said withholding judgment is a good start.

"Try not to judge someone before you really know their story," she said. "Be good to people who are good to you. And don’t let bad experiences with certain people taint your perception of an entire group of people. That’s how extreme points of view take over and bigotry is born."

Bisexuality visibility in the public eye.

Wood is not the only big celebrity to come forward about being bisexual—spreading awareness for the bisexual community as a result. Earlier this year, Vogue was criticized for a cover story written about openly bisexual actress Cara Delevingne. In the piece, Delevingne said she'd been confused about her sexuality since childhood, but her parents think her bisexuality is merely a phase. Vogue received ample backlash for writing that her mom and dad "may be correct" about this, seemingly dismissing Delevingne's sexuality.

Cara Delevingne bisexuality

Delevingne, who is currently dating musician Annie Clark (also known as St. Vincent), fought back against this assumption by assertively telling the New York Times, "My sexuality is not a phase. I am who I am."