Article by Emma Wilson, work experience placement
The day aims to educate the public on bisexual issues, eliminate negative preconceptions and to end discrimination received both from within the LGBT community and outside of it.
A recent article by YouGov revealed that less than half of the young people (18-24) surveyed identify themselves as 100% heterosexual, with a large number identifying on the bisexual spectrum.
Marginalising bisexuality leads to a negative impact on social and mental wellbeing of bisexual people. A 2012 survey showed that 5% of bisexual men made attempts on their life in one year compared with 0.4% of the general male population. It is for such reasons that days like these provide large importance.
The National Assembly for Wales is very pleased to have been listed fourth in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and named the Top Public Sector Employer in Wales. We asked Mia Rees, the bisexuality lead of our LGBT staff network what being bisexual meant to her:
“Bi means questions. If you tell people you’re gay, nine out of 10 times people are like ‘Oh, OK, thanks for letting me know’ end of conversation. But if you tell people you’re Bi you are met with many ill-formed statements such as ‘You’re just gay but don’t know it yet’ or get intrusive personal questions about your sex life: ‘Have you slept with more men or women?’
Bisexuals are seen as a joke to both the gay and straight community which is hurtful and therefore when people assume I’m straight or gay I very rarely feel comfortable correcting them.
I recently broke up with my girlfriend and the first comment someone made was ‘Are you going to go back to men now?’ – What was I meant to say to that?!
I think people view bisexuality as a transition or experimental stage and for many it is but not all and it is important that is recognised.
To find out more about our LGBT staff network please contact Craig Stephenson.
For more information on how employers can better support bisexual staff members please read Stonewall’s guide– Bisexual people in the Workplace: Practical Advice for Employers