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Friday, June 14, 2024

During a week meant to raise awareness about bisexuality, Gainesville stood quiet.

Bisexuality Awareness Week runs through this weekend, and despite national social media trends to spread awareness, UF’s LGBT Student Affairs Office, UF’s Pride Student Union and the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida did not plan events.

"I don’t think that our country even has a full understanding of what bisexuality entails," said Aaron Victoria, head teaching assistant for UF human sexuality and culture, "so I think awareness and programs that promote them and bring that to light could benefit just by educating individuals who aren’t bisexual."

More than half of all LGBT people are bisexual, according to a report released Monday in conjunction with the Bisexual Resource Center.

The report emphasized the importance of reaching out to bisexual people.

Pride Student Union President Collin Vernay wrote in an email he was planning Pride History Week — which runs from Oct. 6 to 10 — and could not respond.

LGBT Affairs Student Ambassador and 20-year-old UF international studies junior Carolyn Cesarotti said it takes months to plan events like a Bisexual Awareness campaign — time they simply didn’t have, she said.

"Our office did a lunch series where we had panelists speak, and as an office, we try to serve the whole LGBT spectrum," said Cesarotti. "And I think that’s an issue as far as bisexual and pansexual visibility, but a lot goes into programing for different events in the offices ahead of time."

Bisexual people are more likely to be poor, feel alienated in workplaces, be involved in violent relationships and have health complications than lesbians, gay people or homosexuals are, according to the report.

"If you don’t come out and you aren’t completely comfortable with your sexuality, other studies have shown that containing this really weighs on you and has long term health effects mentally," Victoria said.

Laura Yudiski, a 19-year-old UF accounting freshman, said she’s not involved in the LGBT community and has limited means of finding more information.

"I think people could learn more about it," said Yudiski. "It’s not really something that you constantly hear about. You hear more about homosexuals instead of bi."

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[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 9/26/2014]

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