This weekend’s British newspapers are reporting – with an undertone of homophobic glee – that an Office for National Statistics poll of 4,000 people found that “only” 1 in 100 described themselves as gay or lesbian. Read more closely thoughy and it becomes a little clearer and even heartening.
A further 1 in 100 of the 4,000 respondents identified as bisexual and 1 in 200 as “other”, while 15% were not recorded because the interviewer chose not to ask the question. So this was not some reassuringly anonymous survey method, it was members of the public being asked directly by a stranger whether they were bi, straight or gay.
The real story here is not “only 1 in 100”. It’s a remarkable 1 in 40 non-heterosexuals who are so comfortably out about their sexual orientation that they don’t feel they have to lie when being interviewed by a complete stranger.
Bi Wales have begun a UK-wide consultation on the experiences of bis in the workplace, and are looking for your thoughts and experiences, whether of good practice or of bad.
The following piece appeared in issue 88 of Bi Community News:
Before the launch event Bi Wales were approached by a major employer for advice and guidance on dealing with biphobia in the workplace and improving life for Bi people at work, particularly in relation to sexual orientation monitoring. At the launch event we started a consultation on bi inclusion in the workplace and what employers can do to ensure their workplace is bi inclusive and friendly. This is an ongoing piece of work based around the questions
– what would make you feel comfortable and uncomfortable being bi at work and/or coming out as bi in the workplace?
– What can employers do to improve bisexual inclusion and deal with bisexual issues in the work place?
– And what role do staff LGBT networks have to play in bi inclusion in the workplace?
Bi Wales are looking for opinions from more people on this issue, and due to the interesting range of issues raised by this enquiry, would like to open this up into a UK wide consultation. If you have any opinions at all on this issue please email Bi Wales: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state whether you live in Wales for our information.
LGBT research – bi focus group participants needed
Do you identify as a bisexual woman or man? Do you live in London and use (or want to use) the public transport system? If so, we want to hear your views!
Transport for London (TfL) has commissioned research into LGBT people’s experiences of public transport, including buses, night buses, the tube and the DLR. The results of the research will inform TfL’s Sexual Orientation Equality Scheme. This is an action plan to ensure TfL’s services and employment practices support sexual orientation equality in London and tackle discrimination faced by LGBT people. The research is being carried out by Katherine Cowan (www.katherinecowan.net), and by Synovate (www.synovate.com). Read more
London South Bank University hosts a half-day seminar on “International Approaches to Bisexuality” on Wednesday 7 November 2007. Chaired by Alessandra Iantaffi (researcher on bisexuality and therapist), some of the best names in bi-related theory and research will be presenting their latest work.
Ron Fox (Professor in Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco) on “International Perspectives on Bisexuality: Documenting and Preserving History in the Making”
Matthew Waites (Lecturer in Sociology, Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences, University of Glasgow) on “Bisexuality, ‘Sexual Orientation’ and Human Rights: The Global Politics of Sexual Identities”
Clare Hemmings (Senior Lecturer in Gender Theory and Gender Studies, London School of Economics) on “Bisexuality and Queer Transnationalism ”