Louise Beale - Gen Sec
Bi Visibility Day
Today (23rd September) marks "Bi-Visibility Day" or "Celebrate Bisexuality Day". It celebrates the achievements of Bisexual individuals, promotes Bisexual awareness and raises issues around Biphobia in society. Bi Visibility Day also marks the beginning of Bisexual Awareness Week.
Our "BiYourSide" campaign is aimed at promoting Bi Visibility, supporting Bisexual colleagues and raising awareness of some of the issues still faced by Bisexual people.
Evidence from research shows that Bi people are less likely to be open about their sexual orientation than gay/lesbian or heterosexual individuals and that this is largely as a result of negative stereotypes, myths and stigma from both within the LGBTI community and society more generally.
"Bi-erasure" (the opposite of Bi-visibility) is still a major issue for the Bi community. Assumptions are often made about a persons sexual orientation based on the gender of their partner, for example. Someone in a same-sex relationship are usually assumed to be gay or lesbian and those in an opposite-sex relationship are assumed to be straight. This can often be reflected in the media, films and tv, role models, art and culture and history.
Negative myths also play their part in creating stigmatisation. Such myths can include Bisexual people being less likely to be faithful towards their partner, that monogamous relationships aren't what Bi people want, or even that Bisexual people are simply 'confused' about their sexual orientation.
The reality is that sexual orientation isn't purely binary. Yes there are people who are mostly or exclusively attracted to someone of the same or opposite sex to them but for a significant number of people that isn't the case nor should anyone assume that. Challenging such assumptions and educating people more about the realities of sexual orientation can help reduce the ignorance around Bisexuality and some of the stigma created as a result.
The Scottish LGBTI Police Association will continue to work within the police services of Scotland to raise awareness around Bisexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity through our events and work because we recognise the importance of creating an inclusive working environment that allows people to be themselves and where they don't have to conceal an important part of their identity or face discrimination.
Today and always, "BiYourSide"
Our Association produced the following video, featuring our Chair, for British Transport Police to highlight support for Bi Visibility Day and take the opportunity to convey a message about hate crime and how you can report it to BTP.