evan rachel wood reveals her struggle with bisexual identity
"I think around this time is when I really started contemplating suicide," Wood remembers of her long struggle with her sexual identity.
Bisexual erasure is real and so are its effects. Beyond that, bisexuals are plagued by numerous harmful stereotypes: their identity is a phase, they are cheaters, they lack commitment, and they are sex maniacs. Actress Evan Rachel Wood has addressed the often-devastating repercussions of the misunderstanding surrounding bisexuality in a deeply personal video timed for Pride Month. She starts by citing some horrifying statistics about bisexuality: "Nearly half of bisexual women have considered or attempted suicide. They have higher rates of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. One in two bisexual women has experienced severe violence by an intimate partner. Bisexual women are almost twice as likely to live in poverty than lesbians, are less likely to be out to their doctors, and are more likely to smoke and have substance abuse issues. The stats for bisexual men aren't much better."
Wood's romantic relationships over the years have been well documented by the tabloids. However her dating history gets a lot darker than a controversial relationship with Marilyn Manson that began when she was just 19. She reveals that a prolonged identity crisis began after an incident in her grade school lunch room, where she was verbally abused by her schoolmates for kissing a girl. As a result, she didn't speak about her feelings for girls with anyone. At 12 she had a secret girlfriend, but called off the relationship because she was terrified of anyone finding out. "I think around this time is when I really started contemplating suicide," she reveals. She has also experienced domestic violence and struggled with substance abuse.
The now-28-year-old assumed she was gay even though she was also attracted to boys, because she didn't realize bisexuality was even a thing. She even came out as a lesbian after coming out as bisexual, because it was easier to find acceptance. When she fell in love with a man, she was terrified to tell the gay community. "We're not confused about who we are," Wood asserts, "but we're confused about where we fit in the world."
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via YouTube