Bisexual people should use National Coming Out Day as a way of coming out of the closet, a group has said.

The Bisexual Index, a network of activists, says that the ‘B’ in LGBT is too often silent and that bisexual people are often faced with prejudice.

It has created a badge that can be posted on web pages and is urging people to use them on blogs and social networking sites on October 12th, which is National Coming Out Day.

Marcus Morgan, co-ordinator of the Bisexual Index and chair of next year’s International Conference on Bisexuality, told PinkNews.co.uk: “When I came out, I came out as a gay teenager – it was a huge shock to my parents and family, although most of my friends were struggling with the decision of whether or not to come out themselves. I got a lot of support from them, and the local gay community.

“Years later when I realised I was bisexual it was different. My gay friends accused me of being ‘straight all along’, despite the fact that at that point I’d had boyfriends but no girlfriends.

“When I rang the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and asked if there were any bisexual groups I was told by the volunteer that before he’d give me details of such things he felt ‘obliged’ to ask me if I was sure that was what I wanted. We get a lot of calls from bisexuals, he said, and apparently he always asked them if it wouldn’t be easier to come out as gay, “without all the pretence”.

“When I explained that I had come out as gay to my parents and that I wasn’t trying to ease myself out of that closet, his response was that I was presumably making the reverse journey – I was doing this as a precursor to becoming straight!”

Morgan added that these kind of myths can make coming out as bisexual harder than coming out as gay.

He said: “Coming out as bisexual is harder for many people – because of these sort of attitudes towards the validity of bisexuality, the lack of information for bisexuals and the assumptions that get made, it’s like the closet door faces uphill.”

The badges can be downloaded here