Bullying initiative in schools will address biphobia

Jo Swinson MP

Jo Swinson MP

An initiative to help drive out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in secondary schools is being launched today by Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson, during Anti-Bullying Week.

At BiMedia we think this is the first time the UK government has mentioned biphobia in its LGBT work. The LGB&T Action Plan launched at the start of 2011 was notable for only referencing work to tackle homophobia and transphobia.

Jo Swinson said:Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying has serious consequences – it can affect children’s well-being, lead to poor educational performance and prevent them getting ahead in life.

“It’s completely unacceptable that young people are experiencing this type of derogatory treatment.

“This new project will help us to fully understand the issues and develop effective, evidence-based tools and best practice that will help schools and others to stamp out this harmful behaviour.”

Recent statistics from Stonewall reveal that, in 2012, more than half (55 per cent) of young lesbian, gay and bisexual people surveyed said they experienced homophobic bullying at school, while over two-thirds (68 per cent) reported that they heard homophobic language often or frequently. Only three in ten (31 per cent) said their school responds quickly to homophobic bullying when it occurs.

Stonewall’s research didn’t separate out biphobia or look at transphobia, but it is unlikely schools are more welcoming to bi or trans pupils.

The project announced today seeks to understand fully how to reduce the prevalence and impact of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying among school-age children and young people. To start this programme of work, organisations are being invited to bid for funding to conduct a full review of all the available evidence and existing practices currently in place in schools to tackle this issue.

The new initiative will build on existing work to tackle bullying in schools including publishing updated advice and guidance for schools and governing bodies; and schools having greater legal powers to tackle bad behaviour and cyber-bullying.

Happy birthday Bi Community News – new issue out now!

BCN magazine - issue 121The new issue of Bi Community News magazine is out with features on Bi Visibility Day’s biggest September ever, bisexuality research and the Google bi ban.

It’s the magazine’s 18th birthday edition, having launched back in the autumn of 1995. The first edition, entitled simply “issue zero”, included a ballot paper to decide what the name should be.

The new BCN also reports on bis in the media, the new wave of local bi social & support groups, has photos from Prides around the UK. Get your copy!

Bi Visibility 2013: Manchester bis share reminisces and quizzes today

Bi Visibility Website

Find out about lots more Bi Visibility Day events on september23.bi.org

Manchester bisexual group BiPhoria continue their work for this year’s Bi Visibility Day awareness-raising today.

First they will be hosting a social afternoon for Bi Visibility Day at the LGF centre, 5 Richmond Street. With a local bi organising history talk, poster displays, video, food & drink and more. 2pm-5pm. Info here on Facebook – or just drop in.

Later today they also have a pub quiz and general social meet-up, from 5.30pm into the evening. Quiz starts around 6pm. Downstairs function room, Taurus, 1 Canal Street. Again, Facebook info here.


You can find out about lots more Bi Visibility Day events on september23.bi.org

Bi Visibility Day? More like a fortnight!

Bi-coloured UK mapThis year’s Bi Visibility Day events in the UK are stretched out over nine days – at least!  The September23 website sets them out – so far – as follows, while noting that new dates are still coming in to add to the diary.

Manchester, Friday 20 September: BiPhoria will be running a bi outreach stall at the local university student union (Barnes Wallis building), 7pm-9pm.

Manchester, Sunday 22 September: BiPhoria will be hosting a social afternoon for Bi Visibility Day at the LGF centre, Richmond Street. With local bi organising history talk, poster displays, food & drink and more. 2pm-5pm.
Sunday 22 September: BiPhoria pub quiz and social meet-up, 5.30pm into the evening. Quiz starts 6pm. Downstairs function room, Taurus, 1 Canal Street.

Brighton, Monday 23 September: bis and allies get-together over ice-cream. From 4-6pm at Gelato Gusto in the North Laine (2 Gardner Street, BN1 1UP). Look out for the BothWays flyers and the Bi Cat on the table
Monday 23 September: event for over-50s bis at Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, 2pm-7pm and Penderel’s Oak, 283-288 High Holborn 6pm-9pm. Contact: Kate Hancock on kate.hancock@ageukcamden.org.uk
Monday 23 September: evening event hosted by the Co-Operative, with speakers from Bi Community News, BiUK & more. Details and online booking form here.
Sheffield, Monday 23 September: local group is organising a social event, details to be confirmed.
Southampton: Southampton Solent University will have a display about bisexuality in the Mountbatten Library from 23-30 September 2013, organised by the LGBT Staff Network, from 23rd – 30th.
Swansea, Monday 23 September: 2pm-5pm Have Your Say event, Committee Room 1, Civic Centre. Facebook has details here.

Brighton, Tuesday 24 September: “This Is What A Bisexual Looks Like Life Drawing Workshop” from 7-9pm at the Marlborough Theatre above the Marlborough Pub (4 Princes Street, BN2 1RD), hosted by Brighton Bothways.

Manchester, Wednesday 25 September: LGF will be screening a bi themed film and using it as the starting point for a discussion around bi visibility and representation. 6.30pm, LGF centre, Richmond Street.

London, Saturday 28 September: BiFete – 2pm-8pm at Brixton Community Base, £3 entry – details here. 

Have you sent your BiCon survey in?

BiCon 2013 logoThis year’s BiCon bi convention had two surveys of attendees (think of it as 100% extra free compared to most years!) – one asking for general information for the annual BiCon survey, the other looking specifically at experiences of biphobia.

If you were there, and the surveys are still sitting on the kitchen table from where you unpacked after Edinburgh… please get them filled out and into the post!

Thank you! 🙂

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