Raising Bi Visibility and supporting Bi Pride

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2018 National LGBT Conference
27 July 2018

Conference can celebrate how far we’ve come as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, but sometimes in the bi community it can feel as if we’re slipping into obscurity again, and again.

Conference recognises that coming out can be wonderful, sometimes mundane, often traumatic. What would happen if you had to come out again and again, a never-ending cycle of assessing whether it is appropriate, whether you’ll be judged, condemned, or accepted? This is what it can mean to be bi.

The impact is that bisexual people suffer higher rates of anxiety and mental health issues than many of our counterparts in the LGBT community. Bi women are three times more likely to suffer from sexual assault than straight or lesbian women, and 60% more likely to develop an eating disorder. Bi men, especially Black bi men are demonised as vectors of HIV transmission. Much of this can be attributed to the double discrimination we face. Bi visibility is an issue that is becoming all the more relevant as younger people embrace the freedom of non-categorisation. All the while it seems some of our LGBT community insist that bi people choose between being gay and being straight. If we want our union to remain relevant in a young, queer world, it’s time to recognise the value of bi visibility, and embrace it.

If conference is questioning how we achieve this, why not turn to those organisations already working so hard in this area. Brenda Howard, the mother of “Pride” was an out bi woman. While many prides appear to have forgotten their bi origins, Bi Pride UK is still fighting. They are working hard with established prides, and smaller events to ensure that bi awareness is raised and stays on the agenda. They are creating safe bi spaces, providing training and resources, and speaking up. As an LGBT community we all benefit, demonstrating tolerance, inclusivity, and acceptance.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1)Work with Bi Pride UK to increase bi visibility at Pride events supported by UNISON, and to support the first Bi Pride UK event on 09 March 2019

2)Develop a fact sheet on how to be a good bi ally, and how to combat bi erasure and biphobia, and circulate it to branches and regional LGBT self-organised groups (SOGs).

3)Provide support to branches and regional SOGs for Bi Visibility day on the 23rd September.