Improving equality for bi workers and bi visibility

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2012 National LGBT Conference
26 July 2012

Conference notes that the Bisexuality Report published by the Open University earlier this year on the experiences of bisexual people in the UK advised that:

‘Of all the larger sexual identity groups, bisexual people have the worst mental health problems, including high rates of depression, anxiety, self harm and suicide. This has been strongly linked to experiences of biphobia and bisexual invisibility’.

Conference believes that biphobia and bisexual invisibility in the workplace have a considerable part to play in this. Conversely, bi visibility and bi equality at work can make a very positive difference and contribute to healthier workplaces for all.

Conference welcomes increasing acceptance of the need to address sexual orientation as a workplace and as a trade union issue. However, conference recognises that the experiences of lesbian and gay workers are not an adequate barometer to measure the experiences of bi workers. It is essential that biphobia is challenged and bi equality is addressed distinctly. All, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers, share responsibility for this.

Conference further welcomes the growing network of national and local bi groups, websites and events, including the Bi’s of Colour group, the online Bisexual Index, BiCon and local BiFests, details of which can be found in Bi Community News.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee and regional and branch LGBT groups to:

1)Raise awareness within UNISON of the myths and truths about bisexuality;

2)Seek to ensure that negotiations, campaigns, awareness raising and training on workplace sexual orientation equality makes specific reference to tackling biphobia and to bi equality;

3)Publicise bi events and groups and through them promote the benefits of UNISON membership;

4)Use Bi visibility day on 23rd September 2013 – and thereafter – to give a particular focus to this work.