Bi+ Identity Visibility and Well-Being in the Context of Romantic Relationships

Emma L. McGorray*, Eli J. Finkel, Brian Alan Feinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bi+ people—those who are attracted to multiple gender groups and who use labels such as bisexual, pansexual, queer, or fluid—encounter challenges related to making their identities visible and experience reduced well-being relative to their gay/lesbian and heterosexual peers. In a sample of 450 bi+ participants, we pursue two primary goals. First, we investigate whether the subjective feeling that one’s bi+ identity is invisible is associated with lower well-being among bi+ individuals. Second, we identify circumstances under which bi+ people experience lower versus higher subjective identity invisibility, focusing on the influential role of romantic relationships. We find that subjective visibility is positively associated with wellbeing, particularly for individuals whose bi+ identities are central to them. Relationship factors supporting a sense of perceived visibility included being in a same-gender relationship and having a gay, lesbian, or bi+ partner. This study contributes to efforts to identify conditions that promote bi+ people’s well-being and highlights the importance of attending to the relationship dynamics of bi+ people, an understudied population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • LGBTQ+
  • bisexual
  • close relationships
  • identity
  • visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • General Psychology

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