• Evan Rachel Wood slams bisexual myths and talks mental health in a new video for Pride month. (Getty Images, Theo Wargo)Source: Getty Images, Theo Wargo
"Being bisexual's not a big deal, but the journey to get there should not be discredited," says Evan Rachel Wood.
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

22 Jun 2016 - 1:23 PM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2016 - 1:23 PM

Actress Evan Rachel Wood has posted a vlog to YouTube addressing the misconceptions and struggles facing the bisexual community currently.

Describing herself as "openly bisexual", Wood says that she's "had it up to here" with misconceptions about bisexuality, noting that “there are so many grey areas in this world, especially when it comes to gender roles and especially when it comes to sexuality".

"Four little letters for the whole spectrum of queerness? Ummm... I don't know," she ponders.

Reading statistics from her phone, Wood says that "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 more than 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."

Noting that "the stats for bisexual men aren't much better," Wood continues: "One in three bisexual men has considered or attempted suicide, they are 50% more likely to live in poverty than gay men, nearly half of all bisexual men suffer from mood disorders, while one in three has experienced rape, violence or stalking by an intimate partner, as opposed to one in four gay men."

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"Bi youths have a higher instance of suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts than gay and lesbian youths, as well as a higher risk of truancy and bullying," she reads. "Bisexual female youths experience sexual harassment at a younger age than their heterosexual peers."

Wood goes on to open up about her own experience as a bisexual woman, saying that she's "always been very gender fluid" and has found both men and women "very beautiful".

"I'm fluid," she shares.

"If anything, I tried to make a choice to be gay," she says. "I wanted to be gay. It was easier."

Despite growing up in a "very open" house and being raised by two artists, Wood says that she wasn't raised being exposed to many queer women, and after seeing the reaction of her classmates when she kissed a girl in the lunchroom at age 7, she says she realised that her feelings toward other girls "[weren't] okay".

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“I was getting crushes a lot on girls in middle school. I was afraid to be honest with [people] for fear of losing them,” she says. “As open-minded as my family was, I was still terrified to talk to them.”

After experiencing her first same-sex romance at age 12, Wood says that she ended it out of "fear" that people would find out, and contemplated suicide for the first time because she had "no way to express [herself]".

"I was also very, very confused," she says, "because I didn't know bisexuality was a thing".

Wood shares her struggle to accept her bisexuality, saying that she "assumed" she was gay for a long time, despite being attracted to boys, because she thought that "the gayness trumped" her attraction to men.

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“There was no where to go," Wood says of the moment she realised she was bisexual. "I think I already realised being bisexual or saying I’m bisexual was not cute and was looked down upon.”

Saying that the experience of coming out as bisexual is one that is met mostly with eye rolls, Wood says that these statistics come down to a lack of "self-esteem" that comes from bi-erasure.

Wood goes through the statistics, revealing that she's been in an abusive relationship, experienced "more [sexual aggression] than she'd like to admit" and that she attempted suicide in the past. "We're constantly being told we don't matter. We're constantly being told that our stories don't matter," she says.

"When you're constantly being met with people looking right at you and still not believing that you exist, ignoring what's right in front of their face, how are you supposed to feel? You'd feel pretty lonely, you'd feel pretty hopeless."

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"So let me clarify, being bisexual's not a big deal, but the journey to get there should not be discredited."

Wood goes on to reveal that she initially came out as a lesbian, for which she received an "OUTPOURING of support," only to find herself "absolutely f--king terrified" when she fell in love with a man and had to come out again as bisexual, "because you may as well tell [the gay community that] you're straight, and that you were lying the whole time".

"If anything, I tried to make a choice to be gay," she says. "I wanted to be gay. It was easier."

Going through the statistics one more time, Wood compares them to her own story, checking them off one by one.

“I can only speak for my experience," she says. "There are many, many factors that come into play when dealing with statistics like this, but I can say it certainly heightens them and certainly makes them heavier and more frightening and more lonely and harder to bear and I hope that by sharing one bisexual story we’ll start to become real people with real stories and real struggles.”

“I want to wish everybody a happy pride month, no matter who you are,” she concludes. “I'd like to call on you to stand by us and to acknowledge us and to open your arms.”