Famous Surgeon General Points Out the Importance of Using the B-word

In an exclusive interview with Bisexual.org, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders talked about the importance of coming out as bisexual, and using the B-word.

For scientific reasons, it’s important to identify as “Bisexual” and any other word, such as pansexual or omisexual or any other aberration could be detrimental to the bisexual movement as a whole. DSCN1738

“Bisexuals weren’t identified separately in many studies when I was Surgeon General, but they should be,” Dr. Elders recalls. “They were lumped in with gays and lesbians, and that was wrong. They should identify themselves properly.”

Too many labels confuse the issue, she says, but for scientific and medical reasons it is important.

“It’s a simple question. Do you have sexual interest in men and women? OK, you’re bi,” Dr. Elders explains. “That’s important for your doctor to know.”

Speaking at an event in Minneapolis, Minn., the 81-year-old Dr. Elders says she is well aware of the increased health risks that bisexual men and women have over other parts of the community. She also says she doesn’t understand why, and that more studies need to be done. But, she says identifying yourself is the first step.

“Bisexual people must not be afraid to tell their doctor what they do and who they are,” Dr. Elders insists. “And I know that there’s an issue about the doctor not knowing how to handle that information once they have it, but the first step is to identify yourself. We’ll train the doctors.”

She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton who knew her from working with her in Arkansas. She resigned a little more DSCN1742than a year into her service following her controversial statements about drug legalization, abortion and masturbation. She suggested that legalizing certain drugs may reduce the crime rate, and she once said, “We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children” when asked about abortion.

Dr. Elders knows about the statistics for bisexuals. “Yes, it may be obvious why bi youth are more prone to depression and suicide—they get discriminated by the gay community, too. But why do bisexual women have more incidents of breast cancer, I don’t know? Why do more bisexual men have anal cancer? Are they having more anal sex?”

Read the full report and interview on BiMagazine.org, by CLICKING HERE .

Mike Szymanski
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Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]