‘Bi people are not invisible’: Bi Visibility Day in Manchester helps show solidarity for marginalised minority

Bisexuals will be given the recognition and representation often denied to them at work this evening at Bi Visibility Day celebrations in Manchester’s Gay Village.

Taurus Bar will play host to an event which celebrates bisexuals, often marginalised by both straight people and those on the LGBT spectrum.

Bi Visibility Day is being marked worldwide, including the UK, US, Australia and Japan.

Heather Williams, Policy & Research Manager at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, told MM: “Bi Visibility Day is an important date in the LGB&T calendar, and a chance to recognise and celebrate bisexuality.

“Sadly, the experiences of bisexual people can often be marginalised, resulting in ignorance about bi people and even leading to discrimination and biphobia.

“At The Lesbian & Gay Foundation we work hard to make sure our events and services are inclusive of bisexual people, and we’re supporting BiPhoria’s event to launch their new ‘Getting Bi’ guide.

“It’s a great way to mark today and show that bisexuality and bi people are not invisible. We stand proudly behind that message.”

Bi Visibility Day, originally launched in 1999, was designed to raise awareness about bisexuality and the obstacles many bisexual people face in their day-to-day lives.

Last May, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights revealed that bisexual men often face higher levels of discrimination at work than gay men.

Bisexual people were also more likely to feel like they need to hide their sexual orientation at work than lesbians and gay men.

The study also found that bisexual women were less likely to report any discrimination, believing it would not be taken seriously as it ‘happens all the time’.

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, told Pink News: “Our ground-breaking health research reveals that few bisexual people are open about their sexual orientation to healthcare professionals and many have had negative experiences of the NHS or healthcare providers.

“At work we see that stereotypical assumptions and beliefs about bisexual people and their lives, from both straight and gay people, mean that they feel unable to access the very initiatives that are meant to support them.”

Stonewall’s 2014 Workplace Equality Index Staff Survey found that only 65% of bisexual people said they could bring their whole self to work, compared to 84% and 82% respectively for their gay and lesbian colleagues.

Ruth said: “Bisexuality makes up an extremely large proportion of LGBT communities – perhaps the largest – and there are many organisations who do an incredible job in representing individuals and groups who identify as bisexual.

“Groups including BiUK, The Bisexual Index, Bi’s of Colour and Bi Community News help to support bisexual communities and act as an information point both for them and their allies.”

She added: “Together we can make sure that every letter of LGBT is represented and that we can all enjoy real equality in Britain.”

Main image courtesy of Bi Social Network – Entertainment Media via YouTube, with thanks.

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