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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REMINDER: PRIDE THIS SUNDAY

Pride March is on Sunday 1 February 2015

We have The American Bisexuality Institute’s mid-sized bi-flag (it’s still pretty big) for us to march with this year.  We need lots of people to come along and help us carry the bi flag for the duration of the march.  It’s fun and will look awesome.

So the details:

WHERE: In the park on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St Kilda.
WHEN: Meet from midday onward and share a picnic on the grass, then march at 2pm
WEAR: The decorated shirts from the picnic if you were able to attend, otherwise something purple
BRING: Sun protection is a must (sunscreen, hat, parasol, etc.), and optionally something to share at the picnic (but please don’t feel obliged!)

Remember we’ll be picking up everything and marching, so resist the temptation to bring anything big and bulky, like folding chairs or sun sails, unless they are _very_ portable.

We are marching at number 109, behind Poly Vic at 108.

The march numbers appear to have been updated from earlier advice, so keep an eye on this site for more info

I look forward to seeing you there. If you want to know more about the march, there are some details here.

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Events in January and February 2014

*EDIT* Someone has emailed the committee, but didn’t provide an email address asking if they are able to attend the picnic.  The picnic is open to everyone who is bi friendly and poly friendly.  If you’re in Melbourne and want to come along, please do. */EDIT*

I just thought I’d post a reminder of all the exciting things that are happening over the next few weeks. This is going to be a long post (my apologies) but worth it for all the great stuff happening.

First up is the Annual Bi/Poly Picnic:

These annual picnics are always heaps of fun, as well as being a low-key way to introduce yourself to the communities if you haven’t already. We’ve been there in all weathers and the fabulous company (not to mention the awesome food!) always generates a superb day. So don’t miss it!

The location this year is the same as last year and is accessible for people of all abilities as well as for public transport.

BYO: Everything! Food & drinks to share, picnic rugs or chairs, outdoor games, soft toys, a sense of fun and community

DATE: 11th January 2015

TIME: 12:00 til dusk

LOCATION: Darling Gardens, Clifton Hill (Melbourne).

For our location within the park see link below… http://goo.gl/RZioZK

Also on this day we want to invite everyone who is coming to Pride March on 1 February and planning to march with the Bi-Alliance to bring along a T-shirt for painting with a Bi-Pride message. We have fabric paints in blue, pink and purple, and black and white. You will also need to bring along a piece of cardboard to fit in your T-shirt to avoid the paint leaking through your shirt.

Next we’ll be at is Midsumma Carnival – 18 January 2015

Bi-Allliance will be sharing a presence with the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby. Carnival will be held at the Alexandra Gardens from 11am.

And then there is the January Melbourne Bi Chat on 27 January 2015 at our usual venue and the usual time – just after a long weekend.

Pride March is on 1 February 2015

The march order hasn’t been released yet. We aim to again borrow the The American Bisexuality Institute’s mid-sized bi-flag (it’s still pretty big) for us to march with this year. We need lots of people to come along and help us carry the bi flag for the duration of the march. So the details:

WHERE: In the park on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St Kilda.

WHEN: Meet from midday onward and share a picnic on the grass, then march at 2pm

WEAR: The decorated shirts from the picnic if you were able to attend, otherwise something purple

BRING: Sun protection is a must (sunscreen, hat, parasol, etc.), and optionally something to share at the picnic (but please don’t feel obliged!)

Remember we’ll be picking up everything and marching, so resist the temptation to bring anything big and bulky, like folding chairs or sun sails, unless they are _very_ portable.

I’ve probably missed a few events, so feel free to add any events that you’ll be attending as part of Midsumma, or other events that you think that people might be interested in, in the comments and I’ll amend this post as appropriate.

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Update: current secretary and AGM

The Annual General Meeting is occurring 28th October and the current secretary will be not be renominating for committee. Please ensure you update your contacts from the outgoing secretary’s, Kathi (me!), personal email addresses. The simplest way to ensure your email is received by the committee is to contact us by any of the means listed on this page.

Full information about the AGM was sent on 29th September to financial (full members of the Bi-Alliance) and the yahoo groups we manage, this is repeated below. Please email us if you want forms or further information. Please also note that timely applications for a number of those processes listed below have now passed. We apoolgise for any confusion concerned about this.

——-

Bisexual Alliance Victoria (BAV) will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 6:30pm on Tuesday the 28th October, prior to the Melbourne Bi Chat at the Parkview Hotel; 131-137 Scotchmer Street (corner of Brunswick Street), Fitzroy North.

Items on the agenda are:

·         A vote on the fee schedule for BAV membership

·         Confirmation of minutes from the previous AGM 2013, attached

·         Report of transactions during last financial year

·         Election of officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) and up to 5 ordinary members of the committee by BAV financial members, nomination form attached

·         Other business from the floor

Please note only financial members are eligible to vote at the AGM and nominate for a committee position.

A brief summary follows regarding:

·         Membership, 

·         Voting, 

·         Nominating as a committee member, and 

·         Nominating proxies.

If you are not yet a member (by which is meant paid member of BAV) please note that you are not able to exercise voting rights within 10 business days of having your membership application approved, so if you want to vote at the AGM you will need to apply join by 14th October (although we would prefer a few days extra to allow for the committee to vote to approve the application per the Rules). To join, please use the form in the Appendices of the Rules which are available to download here. A scan of the completed form can be emailed to me, or please contact me for my physical address. 

All positions within the committee are up for election at the AGM and we would like to encourage everyone to be involved. Nominations on the attached form must be received by the current Secretary, by 6pm 21 October. To nominate please complete the attached form, then either scan it and return by email or post it to me (please contact me for address). As a current financial member I will happily sign the form as seconder, if you do not expect to see a financial member before the due date. 

 

Any person wishing to nominate can only do so for one position. If only one nomination per position is received by the 21 October, then each position will be announced as filled and no voting will be deemed necessary at the AGM.

Nominations from the floor will only be accepted if no nominations have been received for a position or positions by the 21 October. 

 

If you are not able to attend the meeting in person, but would like to be able to vote, you can nominate a proxy by sending the information outlined in Appendix 3 of the Bisexual Alliance Victoria Rules. This notice must be received by the Secretary no later than 24 hours before the AGM.

 

More information on becoming a financial member is available on our website on the About page and nomination process from Bisexual Alliance Victoria Rules or by contacting me directly.

 

Meals can be ordered from the bar prior to the meeting but please arrive at least 10-15 minutes early so that the meeting can commence as scheduled. This is especially important as the Melbourne Bi Chat is due to start at 7:30pm that evening following the AGM.

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Celebrate Bi Day dinner

International Celebrate Bisexuality Day is on the 23rd September, and as we have done for several years now, we will be holding a dinner to celebrate multigender/sex attraction.

This year the date falls on the same day as the Melbourne Bi Chat, which means we will be holding the dinner in place of the Melbourne Bi Chat.

Start time: 7pm
Location: Upstairs function room, Parkview Hotel
131-137 Scotchmer Street (corner of St Georges Road)
Fitzroy North
Website: http://www.parkviewfitzroy.com.au/

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New By the Bi story

She awoke confused about where she was is the latest story submitted for publication on our By the Bi page. This short story shares some insights of the life of Elsie, who loves the sound of waves, amongst other things.

By the Bi is a place for people to share their experiences with bisexuality and other forms of attraction to more than one gender. To learn more, please visit the main page.

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August (2014) Peninsula Bi Chat Cancelled

Due to illness of the facilitator of the Peninsula Bi Chat, tonight’s group won’t be running, however next month will be business as usual. Apologies for the short notice!

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