Bisexual Alliance Victoria (BAV) continued the representation of the bisexual community at Pride March this year with nearly 20 members taking part on the day. Once again however the marchers received bi-phobic harassment from some members of the crowd that ranged from “greedy” and “make a choice” to “bisexuals aren’t real” and beyond.
“Sadly this is not the first time that things like this have happened.” says James Dominguez, president of BAV. “Some of our members have marched with other bisexual groups in previous years and they have experienced verbal harassment at least as far back as 2007. It’s not just Pride March either as similar comments have been made at Mardi Gras as well. It’s disappointing that members anticipate harassment at events like this when they are a celebration of queer identity. When it’s at queer events or comes from people in the gay and lesbian communities it cuts deeper than if it were from mainstream society or even the lone religious zealot who joined this years Pride March crowd to harass everyone.”
The Bisexual Alliance acknowledges though that it is only a small minority of people at events like this that make the comments and that the overwhelming majority of responses were positive.
“Discrimination of the the bisexual community is often not acknowledged when the issue is discussed in regards to the queer community, but it has a huge impact and it needs to be addressed. Research shows that it contributes to bisexuals being on average more likely to suffer anxiety or depression, have higher risk of suicide and have problems with substance abuse.”
Discussions are underway between BAV, members of Pride March Victoria and the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby on how incidents such as this can be prevented at future events. “We have really appreciated the support that the organisations have given us so far and hope by working together we can find a solution.”