Bi Visibility Day

Thank you

As part of the University of Plymouth’s recognition and celebration of Bi Visibility Day, we are delighted to share this message of support for our bi staff, students and friends.

Since 1999, 23 September each year asks us to celebrate bisexuality, and even after more than 20 years, we know that some may be asking why this is so. Well we all know that being heterosexual is celebrated every day in our media, our workplaces, and our society; assumptions are made and stereotypes prevail. The University is committed to a society where LGBT+ friends don’t have to constantly challenge incorrect assumptions or be in any way unsafe because of simply being themselves. It is great that just recently Strictly Come Dancing announced its first same-sex pairing, and we look forward to other positive representations of LGBT+ relationships following suit. Being LGBT+ should never be illegal, it is horrific that it is still punishable by death in six countries.

But the focus here is on bi. The University stands proudly with our bi staff, students and friends. The ‘B’ in LGBT+ should not ever be forgotten, we believe there is no place for binary boxes, so, on this Bi Visibility Day we celebrate bisexuality and commit to ending bi-erasure on our campuses. Bi people are very often stereotyped, made to feel invisible, and receive discrimination on the basis of their sexuality – Stonewall research suggests 27% of bi women and 18% of bi men have been subject to discrimination within the LGBT+ community, let alone in the heteronormative world outside. Equally, bi people are more likely to experience more poor mental health and increased anxiety even compared to lesbian and gay people.

This needs to change and we look to you all to help support the rights of bi people to live a happy life, free from judgement and fear.

We are both delighted to be senior allies for the LGBT+ Staff Forum and equally delighted to be part of the University of Plymouth’s LGBT+ Inclusion Taskforce. Over the coming year the taskforce, led by Alice Ludgate and Ariel Chapman, will work with colleagues across our University to ensure that all our process and procedure is inclusive of all LGBT+ identities. We take our commitment as allies and as senior leaders within the University seriously and will ensure that work of the taskforce is a force for good. Our University only succeeds when it recognises and celebrates the diversity within our community, and from conversations with our bi staff and students, we know we can always do better. The taskforce, alongside our continued work with Stonewall, will ensure that the voices and experiences of our bi staff and students are truly reflected in everything we do at the University. We are really excited to be working hard at continuing to strengthen the University of Plymouth’s reputation for being an institution where you can bring your whole self to campus, and that whole self will be welcomed.

Today, on Bi Visibility Day, we stand with our bi staff and students and celebrate all that you bring to our University community. Thank you.

Professor Sube Banerjee (Executive Dean, Faculty of Health) and Alice Ludgate (Head of Student Services)

<p>bi couple hugging&nbsp;</p>

Why do we need Bi Visibility Day?

Bi people face challenges unlike those faced by their gay and lesbian peers and often erased or forgotten about both in and outside of the LGBT+ community. Almost half of bi men (46 per cent) and a quarter of bi women (26 per cent) aren’t open about their sexual orientation to anyone in their family, compared to 10 percent of gay men and just five percent of lesbians.

Bi Visibility Day is here to change that on 23 September and every single day of the year; bi voices matter and are celebrated at the University of Plymouth. 

Find out more about Bi Visibility Day

Virtual event: Bisexuality in the workplace: Including the B in LGBTQ+

Celebrate Bi Visibility Day 2021 by joining the webinar, hosted by the Diversity Trust and UWE Bristol.

It is relatively recently that workplace policies have become more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. However, bisexual and pansexual people may remain invisible within these policies and in the workplace more broadly. This talk considers bisexual and pansexual people’s experiences, including barriers to them being out and open, before discussing how we might tackle bisexual and pansexual invisibility and work towards inclusivity in the workplace.

For more information please view the event in Eventbrite

Please note the cut-off date for bookings is Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 5pm.

Nikki Hayfield is a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at UWE Bristol, whose research focuses on bisexualities, pansexualities, and asexualities. Read more about Nikki’s research

<p>Bi Visibility&nbsp;</p>

The Invisible Letter 'B'

Perception is everything. It impacts our public image, as well as our personal relationships. Being open about one's orientation is a risk, but one that can pay off by living a fully authentic life. Visibility can break down stereotypes, eliminate shame and secrecy, and create accessible, realistic representation and role models.

Misty Gedlinske is the founder of Fond du Lac Pride Alliance, a community outreach effort connecting local LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies with services, resources, and welcoming organizations in Wisconsin, USA. This TEDx talk focuses on the need for us all to be open and authentic in order to live our best lives.