BiChat: Being Bi in the Queer Community

#BiChat is a regular twitter chat hosted by  BiAllianceVic and we’ll start posting questions at 6pm AEST on the 8th of September. This month we’re talking about being bi in the queer community!

Our questions will be:

Q0. Introduce yourself!

Q1. What does bi inclusion mean to you?

Q2. How is the biphobia we face from other queer people different from biphobia from cis straight people? How is it the same?

Q3. How do you deal with biphobia from other queer people?

Q4. What can other queer groups/people do to be more supportive of bi people?

Q5. What can cis straight everyone do to support bi people?

When you respond to a question such as Q1, your tweet should follow this format: “A1 [your message] #BiChat”.

If your tweets contain graphic or triggering content, please include appropriate specific content warnings.

Remember to use the #BiChat hashtag when you tweet so others can follow the discussion! Please write #BiChat with capital letters for each word instead of #bichat because capitalising each word in a hashtag makes it easier to read and we want our online spaces to be accessible.

You can see the whole discussion by following the #BiChat hashtag (or searching it), and setting the page to ‘Latest’.

Looking forward to talking with you!

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Religious Discrimination Act Statement

We recognise the need to protect marginalised religious communities from discrimination and hate crimes, and we utterly reject the idea that this can be done by legalising other forms of discrimination. 

We oppose all religious exemptions from anti-discrimination law. No one should be allowed to discriminate against others on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, or disability and religious beliefs should never be an excuse to harm others. Queer and trans teachers at religious schools should never have to fear for their jobs just for being open about their identity. Queer and trans students deserve schools where they can safely be themselves and see role models from their own communities. Services that receive government funding should never be allowed to exclude queer and trans people or pressure anyone into conforming to the standards of their religion.

We also recognise that religious communities are not monoliths. Just as conservative religious groups have targeted and harassed queer and trans people, progressive religious groups have stood with queer and trans communities and fought for equity and justice. Just as their are queerphobic, transphobic bigots in religious communities, there are queer and trans people in religious communities. Using disingenuous claims of “protecting religious freedom” to create legal loopholes for anti-queer discrimination hurts all queer people and ignores the many religious queer people and religious allies who know that religion does not require bigotry. 

We live in a Christian-normative society where Christianity is prioritised and Christians are privileged. We have seen white supremacists target Jews and Muslims, and we recognise the need to protect marginalised religious people. Any conversation about religious freedom should focus on oppressed religious people who are targeted for merely existing, on non-religious people, and on queer and trans people. If there is to be a Religious Discrimination Act it must centre these groups, and must not become an excuse for further oppression.

Signed by
Bisexual Alliance Victoria
Ygender
Democracy in Colour
Aleph Melbourne

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December 2018 – Replacement discussion group event

Hello all! We couldn’t hold the discussion group this month because it fell right on Christmas Day, so we’re running a chilled Saturday afternoon social event to fill the gap. Nibbles, drinks, board and card games, musical instruments, and just low-key hanging out with nice bi+ folks.

Details here

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No discussion group – December 2018

As the discussion group falls on Christmas Day this year we will not be holding the discussion group.  We are planning an event on the weekend between the Christmas and New Year and will provide an update once finalised.

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2019 Pride March – 3 February

Soon it will be time to march as a group of loud, proud, bisexual+ people down the streets of Saint Kilda, being visible (for a change), and showing off our community.

This year we are marching with the Melbourne Bisexual Network and hope to have a huge turn out.  Some tips to make the event successful for all of us are below.  Please note the new start time of 11am.  We will be meeting from 9am onwards.  Further details about our marching order will be provided in late January.

Top Tips

Read on for essential information about Midsumma Pride March 2019.

Familiarise Yourself with the Assembly Times 

(See map below for all locations)

We Have New Marching Times
11am: March begins
1.15pm: March ends (approx)
11.15am – 4pm: Post-Pride March Celebrations at Catani Gardens

Stay Hydrated

Help us reduce the impact of single-use plastic water bottles by bringing a reusable bottle to the march as we have free water refilling stations across the event.

Eat Something
You will find food trucks at Assembly and in Catani Gardens. There is also fantastic bars and restaurants along Fitzroy Street.

Be Sun Smart
Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap! We also recommend leaving your pets at home, where it’s cool.

Read our FAQs
Whether you are handing out things to the crowd or crafting your own banners, check out our FAQs for the do and don’ts of activities during the march.

Plan Your Travel
It’s a big event, parking is going to be limited! Please note that Fitzroy Street will be closed to traffic between 8am and 4.30pm approximately. Additionally, trams will not be travelling down Fitzroy Street between 10.30am and 2.30pm.

Marching Route

Marchers’ Assembly: The Ian Johnson Oval on the corner of Lakeside Drive and Fitzroy Street.
Marching Route: Proceeds down Fitzroy Street and ends in Catani Gardens, St Kilda
End of March: Marchers & vehicles will turn right into Acland Street extension. Marchers will then cross Beaconfield Parade into Catani Gardens. Vehicles will turn right into Beaconsfield Parade. Please note, there is no parking provided for vehicles after the march.
 


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2019 Bisexual+ and/or Poly Community Picnic

Come along to our family friendly, annual summer picnic for the bisexual+ and/or poly community.  You don’t have to be bisexual+ or poly to join us, just friendly to both communities.  We always have a great time, make new friends, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the park.

Remember to bring along food and drink to share, hats, sunscreen, picnic blankets, and friends and/or family.

Date: Sunday, 13 January 2019

Time: 12pm onwards

Location: Edinburg Gardens, North Fitzroy (https://goo.gl/maps/tw2KUPM8Tn42)

This event is weather dependent.  If it is extremely hot or likely to be extremely wet we will reschedule the event.  Please keep up to date with this event on Facebook.

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Rainbow eQuality Guide

It’s finally here!  I’ve worked with the Department of Health and Human Services over the last 2.5 years to get this document written, and published in it’s current form (HERE).

This document is for health practitioners in all areas to educate themselves on LGBTIQ+ issues and to be better treatment professionals for the LGBTIQ+ community.  You are welcome to share it with any or all (or even none) of your health practitioners.

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Bisexual Adults Face Heightened Risk for Health Issues Including Cancer, STDs and Depression: HRC Joins Call to Close Knowledge and Care Gap

Fear of biphobia in healthcare settings often leads to delay in seeking crucial care

WASHINGTON – A research brief published today by the the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, underscores a dangerous but largely hidden crisis–the striking physical, mental and sexual health disparities bisexual people face.

The Health Disparities Among Bisexual People report, based on the most recent and reliable data available on bisexual health and released in partnership with the Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet USA, and the Bisexual Organizing Project, reveals a troubling chasm between the health outcomes of bisexual people and those of the rest of the population – including gay men and lesbians.

“Bisexual people are the largest single group within the LGBT community, but we’re not addressing their specific healthcare needs,” said Tari Hanneman, Deputy Director of the Health and Aging Program at the HRC Foundation.“The reality is that bisexual people face discrimination not only outside of our community, but also from within. And that can discourage them from engaging in and benefiting from the work that LGBT advocates are doing to address our mental, physical and sexual health.”

Studies show that bisexuals face elevated rates of poor health outcomes ranging from cancer and heart disease, to obesity, sexually-transmitted infections and mental health issues. The report highlights research showing that:

  • Bisexual women have higher rates of cancer than the general population of women, higher rates of heart disease and obesity than heterosexual women, and are more likely than all other women to suffer from mental and emotional stress;

  • Bisexual adults have double the rate of depression than heterosexual adults, higher rates of binge drinking, and are more likely to engage in self-harming behavior, including attempting suicide;

  • Bisexual men are less likely than gay or heterosexual men to get tested for HIV, leading them to be disproportionately affected by the infection; and bisexual people are less likely to be screened for the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can increase the risk of cancer in both men and women.

“Healthcare providers sometimes make assumptions about patients’ identities based on their current or recent partners, and bisexual people often face outright discrimination when they come out in healthcare settings,” Hanneman said. “That can lead bisexual people to delay or avoid seeking care, or not disclose their identities to their providers. This can mean that medical professionals are not getting an accurate picture of what that patient’s sexual health needs are, or the mental or physical health concerns for which they may face heightened risk.”

Recommendations contained in the report, released in advance of Bisexual Awareness Week and the 16th annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day, include calling on healthcare providers to provide inclusive intake forms and paperwork, and to avoid making assumptions about a patient’s gender identity or sexual orientation. The report also urges bisexual people to seek out culturally competent healthcare providers and to be honest about their bisexuality; and asks advocates to raise awareness about health disparities faced by bisexual people, and urge better and more inclusive research about the bisexual community.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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Celebrate Bisexuality Day 2015

So the 23rd of September is Celebrate Bisexuality Day.  Our regular discussion group is on the 22nd of September this year, so we’re going to have a CELEBRATE BISEXUALITY DAY EVE dinner (like Christmas Eve, but full of more bisexuals) instead of our regular discussion.

We’ll be upstairs at the Parkview Hotel, 131/137 Scotchmer St, Fitzroy North VIC 3068, from 7:30pm.

You can order your meals downstairs and the staff will bring them up, and drinks can be brought upstairs.

It will be great to see you all there for a relaxed night of catching up, hanging around people who get bisexuality, and just having a good time.

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Announcement regarding the Victorian Government’s LGBTI Taskforce

The Bi-Alliance was disappointed today to discover that only two known representatives of Victoria’s Bisexual Community are included in the State Government’s LGBTI Taskforce (http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/trans-advocate-brenda-appleton-to-head-lgbti-taskforce). President Rebecca Dominguez has been selected for the Health and Human Services Working Group and Treasurer Sally Goldner has been selected for the Justice Working Group.  While both are pleased to be selected, they remained concerned that the Bisexual Community has insufficient representation in the Taskforce.

The Bi-Alliance is concerned that there is no bisexual representation at the Whole of Government LGBTI Taskforce, though we congratulate the allies who have been appointed.

The Bi-Alliance is also concerned that Sally Goldner will be playing at least a dual role, representing both the Bisexual and Trans Communities, and as a result will face additional workload.

Bisexuals, along with trans and gender diverse people, face worse mental health and physical health outcomes than members of the gay and lesbian communities, and it will be harder for us to have our voice heard without adequate representation. We look forward to ensuring that addressing inequity within LGBTI communities is a priority for the taskforce and working groups.

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