Today, September 23rd, is Bisexual Visibility Day. Today there’s been a bi visibility stall at the University, and this evening the new Getting Bi guide is being launched at Taurus on Canal Street (do pop along if you can!)
Why am I talking about this as a Lib Dem candidate? It’s not because I’m bisexual myself; that does give me some understanding of the difficulties that bisexual people face, but once elected it’s my job to represent local residents regardless of their sexuality, race, background etc.
Perhaps it’s because two years ago, representing LGBT+ Lib Dems at a Question Time-style panel event for Gaydio, I heard my colleagues from the Tories’ and Labour’s national LGBT equality groups describe bisexuals as “the grey area of the gay movement” and complain that “nobody knows what they want”. This was a few months after the publication of The Bi Report, widely-publicised research into bisexual life which demonstrated that ignorance from lesbian and gay communities is a big contributor to the problems bisexuals have. These representatives also said that we need more openly bisexual public figures and politicians, so hi there if you’re reading this.
Perhaps it’s because my blog will probably end up added to web adult content censorship filters for mentioning the word “bisexual”, far more likely than mentioning “gay” or “lesbian”.
Perhaps it’s because when the Lib Dems became the first major party to support same-sex marriage, Stonewall (the UK’s largest charity which supports bisexual people) said that the related issue of mixed-sex civil partnerships was “a matter for heterosexuals”, ignoring the bisexual people they’ve asked to support and fund their work, who have similar opinions on the historic implications of marriage law as lesbian and gay people. Perhaps it’s because the law for Civil Partnerships, originally written by Lib Dem peer Lord Lester, included mixed-sex couples but Labour removed this provision.
Perhaps it’s because I want represent all local residents, not just the ones who fall into neat predefined boxes with stereotypes on the telly. I’m a liberal, and I believe that all individuals who are not hurting others deserve respect, dignity and visibility.