One of the largest-scale surveys on bisexuality in the the workplace is now underway.
The research is being carried out by American learning and development expert Heidi Green and will take into account workers predominantly in the UK and US.
Research carried out by Stonewall last year found that bisexual employees often feel excluded by their lesbian and gay colleagues and that straight and gay people were likely to have little awareness of bisexuality.
The aim of the new survey is to create a better understanding of the experience of – and problems faced by – bisexual people in the workplace, with sections on self-definitions, relationships and community, as well as workplace issues.
According to Ms Green, who designs and delivers workshops on bisexuality in the workplace, there currently isn’t enough empirical information on bisexuals, so workshops rely primarily on anecdotal data and inferences to help non-bi people understand the bi community.
She said: “Bisexual people’s lives are not reflected in data collected from the LGBT community, because despite the listing of the B, the vast majority of bisexuals are not involved in the LGBT community because that community generally runs the gamut from ignoring bisexuals to being overtly hostile.
“I have been in LGBT settings where, despite the fact that I made it clear I am bisexual, LGBT people have referred to me as an ‘ally’ (meaning a supportive, straight, non-queer person) because I am married to a man.
“The survey is designed to understand from bisexuals themselves who they are in order to dispel some of those concerns. There are quasi-academics who have written articles claiming bisexuality doesn’t exist, but their so-called ‘science’ is so full of holes that anyone reading them discovers they have proven nothing.”
Ms Green is also looking for input from academics and researchers in other countries to help widen the survey.
Results will be available at Bi-Con in London, later this year.
The survey was originally intended to cover just a few hundred responses but is now likely to bring together feedback from over 4,000 individuals.
It is being sponsored through a collaboration between Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the premier international LGBT workplace organisation, the Bisexual Resource Center and the American Institute of Bisexuality.
Jane Fae’s blog can be found at janefae.wordpress.com