Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt says Bi Visibility Day is about bringing down the barriers that bi people face, including prejudice from within the community.
At Stonewall we know that we can always do more to represent and reflect the lives and unique experiences of bisexual people. That’s why this year we’re proud to celebrate Bi Visibility Day.
The day was started in 1999 when a small group of committed campaigners got together to get people thinking about bi issues. They were and still are working hard to bring down the barriers that bi people face, including prejudice from within LGBT communities, the challenges of having to repeatedly come out to friends and partners, and simply being ignored and overlooked. But they also wanted to celebrate and be proud to love who they love.
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.
And there’s still much to be done. 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. In our 2014 Workplace Equality Index Staff Survey 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.
That’s why today we’re marking Bi Visibility Day and some of the fantastic work that bi groups are doing to support and promote role models in all walks of life. We want you to get involved too. To find out how you can get involved join us on Twitter using #BiVisibilityDay or visit our website.
Together we can make sure that every letter of LGBT is represented and that we can all enjoy real equality in Britain.
Ruth Hunt is the Chief Executive of Stonewall.