Students Staff
University of Essex

September 18, 2018

Bi Visibility Day

Filed under: Gender equality — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 2:59 pm

The University is proud to be in Stonewall’s Top 100 Workplaces for LGBT Equality, and we want to make sure we highlight all LGBT+ awareness days.

It’s Bi Visibility Day on Sunday 23 September, and it’s important that we raise awareness of this day, as there are a lot of myths surrounding bisexuality, which can prevent those who identify as bisexual from coming out. We want to support all our staff in feeling comfortable about being open at the University so they can be themselves at work, get the right support, and feel like they belong.

There’s a lack of representation of bisexual people in the media, or they are misrepresented as being promiscuous, greedy, going through a ‘phase’, or that bisexuality as an identity doesn’t exist. Often someone’s bisexual identity will be erased if they are currently with a partner of a different gender, as it is assumed they are now heterosexual.

These stereotypical assumptions are all classed as biphobia, which is an aversion towards bisexuality and is included in the legal definition of harassment. The university has a zero tolerance approach to harassment, and if you experience or witness any incidents, you can report it anonymously or get support from an adviser on our Report and Support system.

One of our students, Owen Preston, came out as bisexual on BBC Three’s ‘I’m Coming Out in August 2017, after struggling throughout his teenage years with his sexuality. We’re lucky to have such a positive role model for our students, and if you want to know more about Owen’s story, please contact  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. You can also find information about supporting our LGBT+ students in the Staff Directory.

Staff can contact our LGBT+ Forum through Lauren Searle-Byrne and Josie Evans, The LGBT+ Forum aims to create opportunities for our LGBT+ staff to share experiences and resources, find peer support, discuss current issues and upcoming events and input into consultation on University policy. The Forum is hosting two lunchtime drop-in sessions in September, and for more information please contact either Josie or Lauren.

For information about becoming an LGBT+ ally, or joining our other networks, please get in touch with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

 

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