Hyphen Watch

Bisexuals aren’t bi-sexuals. We don’t have two competing sexualities, we have one whole healthy one! Stand up to the hyphen!

Send your pictures (phone pictures will do) to Bisexual Index on campaign@bisexualindex.org.uk and they’ll put those rogue hyphens up on their website, and then email the offenders to tell them they’re starring in the gallery! (They’ll happily take them down if offenders remove their hyphens in future).

Academic attacks half-baked "LGBT" research

Times Higher Education reports a speech from the University and College Union LGBT Conference given by Professor Ian Rivers from Brunel University, challenging common practice in LGBT research and service delivery:

Services labelled LGBT often serve “G” and hopefully “L”, occasionally “B” and rarely “T”, he said.

“How can we justify the fact that LGBT sexual health usually means gay men’s health? We accept a need to fund gay men’s health projects, but what about lesbian health, transgender health, bisexual health? In trying to be inclusive have we ‘played’ to the lowest common denominator?”

Many BiMedia.org readers will be only too familiar with the ‘lowest common denominator’ approach to lesbian, gay and bisexual work which focuses only on issues of same-sex attraction and relationships rather than reflecting the diversity particularly of bisexual experience. This site and various bi journals have reported time and again on many pieces of research which sought to categorise everyone as either gay or straight, or have included bisexuality in a way that suggests that just before the report was printed a quick search-and-replace operation was done on the draft report. Isn’t it great to hear someone in academia challenging that mindset?

Proposed 'Equality Bill' could champion bi inclusion

The Equality Bill unveiled in today’s Queen’s Speech could be a brilliant chance to drag the debate on sexuality into the 21st century and we need to make sure that our politicians of whatever party label work to make it so.

The proposals include a duty to promote equality for local authorities – that’s the local council to you and me. In the past this has not applied on LGBT matters but has been the case in other equality areas such as disability and race, so councils have not simply had to make sure they are not actively discriminating in recruitment or service delivery but work to monitor and address gaps.

If the politicians get it right the door will not just be firmly shut on such nonsense as the old Manchester City Council stance that everyone is either gay or straight, but they will at last need to consciously engage with the bisexual community to ensure we are as included in their work as gay and straight people.

It could be a real turning point. Get your letter-writing pens ready and check up on who your MP is!

Greens in Scotland pick bi leader

The Green Party has elected Patrick Harvie as one of their two party leaders in Scotland. Patrick is MSP for Glasgow and replaces the party’s other MSP, Robin Harper, in the role.

It makes him one of the UK’s two highest profile out-bisexual politicians, alongside the Lib Dem party president Simon Hughes.

Bisexual MP takes Friends of Islam award

Liberal Democrat Party President, out bisexual MP Simon Hughes, has been recognised for his long-standing support for the Muslim community in the UK with the award of Friends of Islam ‘Parliamentarian of the Year’.

Simon Hughes was speaking at the fourth Global Peace and Unity Event organised by the Islam Channel. The event is the largest multicultural gathering in Europe , bringing Muslims and non-Muslims alike to promote dialogue and understanding of the Islamic faith.

Simon Hughes said: “This award came as a complete surprise but a huge honour. I am truly humbled by this recognition at such a significant Muslim event. I greatly appreciate and value all that I have learnt from and shared with Muslims in Britain and around the world. I shall continue to work for the best possible appreciation of the contribution of Islam and its followers to the culture, peace and prosperity of the world.”

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