Bisexual+ Role Models:
Supporting the Bisexual+ Community and Positive Representation

We are currently recruiting participants who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) for our study!

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About This Study


Bisexual representation matters. Research with the broader LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and beyond) population has consistently demonstrated how being a member of LGBTQ+ community leads to positive outcomes. Having a role model that identifies as LGBTQ+ also benefits younger people with these identities. Further, having the opportunity to serve as a role model can often be a positive experience for the individuals in those roles. However, bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, and other sexual identities indicating attraction to more than one gender) representation in media and in LGBTQ+ community spaces is limited relative to gay and lesbian people, despite being the demographic majority of LGBTQ+ people overall. There is also very limited information regarding how the experience of being a role model affects bi+ people. The purpose of the proposed project is to explore how bi+ role models have experienced the practice of role modeling, both in the impact it has had on how they see themselves and their own bi+ identity, as well as how they feel it has positively impacted current and future bi+ people.

Research Aims and Scope

The goal of this research is to highlight the important work of bi+ role models. Through in-depth qualitative interviews with bi+ identified people who have served as a role model, we plan to develop an understanding of how serving as a bi+ role model for other bi+ people has positively affected the role models, whether and how the role models feel they have impacted other bi+ people and communities, and their ideas for how bi+ role modeling can benefit current and future generations of bi+ people. By gathering and disseminating information about the role model experiences of a diverse range of bi+ people, we hope to both provide greater recognition of the positive bi+ representation currently ongoing, as well as potential pathways for supporting the development of more bi+ role models.

Research Team

Corey Flanders
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Corey Flanders

Corey Flanders (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology and Education Department at Mount Holyoke College, and the director of the WISH research team. Corey conducts research with LGBTQ+ community on mental and sexual health equity and access, and in particular focuses on the health and wellness of bi+ community. Corey also enjoys made-for-tv sci-fi monster movies, and hanging out with their kiddos (2- and 4-legged, alike).

Kirsten Gonzalez
Milena Insalaco

Milena (she/they) is a senior at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Psychology and Philosophy and is pursuing a 5-College Certificate in Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies. She hopes to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology and specialize in sex, sexuality, and self-acceptance. Milena is involved in many other activities at Mount Holyoke College including the Mount Holyoke Glee Club and the Animal Welfare Association. In their free time they enjoy reading, gardening, and playing Minecraft with their little brother.

Kelly Lam

​Kelly Lam (she/they) is a senior at Mount Holyoke College and is double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She is also a double student liaison for both the Psychology & Education and Mathematics/Statistics departments. Kelly is interested in applying social justice and positive social change to their research. Their research interests mainly revolve around identity and the intersection of identities, and these include the mental health and wellbeing of marginalized communities, particularly pertaining to racial, gender, and sexual minorities. Outside of research and academics, Kelly is also involved with Asian/American Students In Action, otherwise known as AASIA. During Kelly's free time, she enjoys reading and writing poetry, sending letters to their friends, and making boba.

Katherynn Susa

Kat (she/her) is a senior at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Psychology and Education and minoring in Sociology. She is also a liaison for the Psychology and Education department. She is interested in mental health issues and trauma in children. During her free time, she enjoys being in her friends and family’s company, watching shows, and playing with her dog -Teddy.