Zero tolerance of biphobia – encouraging involvement

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2016 National LGBT Conference
28 July 2016

Conference notes that of all the main sexual orientation groups, bisexual people are the most invisible and least provided for in terms of dedicated or fully relevant workplace policies or inclusive services. Lack of evidence on bisexual people at work and in using services is both a symptom and a cause of wider bisexual invisibility.

Conference acknowledges that there has been some progress in tackling the invisibility in recent years and welcomes UNISON lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group’s role in this. Developments include:

1. Increasing marking of Bi Visibility Day on 23 September in workplaces and UNISON branches;

2. Growing recognition of the bisexual pride flag and its use as a statement of commitment to bi equality;

3. Poster campaigns, supported by UNISON, by Bi’s of Colour;

4. Increasing awareness of events like the annual BiCon weekend;

5. Sessions at a range of UNISON events, run nationally and by regions and service groups, on tackling biphobia;

6. Discussions around inclusion and language, including moving beyond the binary;

7. Increased attendance at UNISON’s national bi members network meeting.

Conference notes, however, that increased visibility is sometimes followed by an increase in overt prejudice and discrimination. A lot of work remains to be done to change attitudes and promote acceptance, including within our union and within our own LGBT group and conference.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee, working with the bi members’ network, to build on these welcome developments and:

A. Promote a zero tolerance of biphobia policy in our workplaces and across our union;

B. Collect and circulate best practice examples of bi visibility and bi inclusion from regional and branch groups;

C. Encourage flying of the bisexual pride flag in workplaces and public buildings to mark bisexual equality events;

D. Continue to encourage bi members to get involved in our LGBT group, attend our bi meetings, national LGBT conference and get active in their branches and regions;

E. Review our publications, checking and updating for inclusive language, removing unnecessary gendering and binary expressions;

F. Consider if further resources are needed.