Today, September 23 marks Bi+ Visibility Day. The day celebrates all people who experience attraction to more than one gender, inclusive of those who use any label or no label. Bi+ Visibility Day was established to combat bi-erasure and invisibility, and help people find the bi+ community. There are many bi+ people living with HIV in Australia. We see you, we acknowledge the richness and validity of your identity, and we are committed to supporting your journey as bi+ people living with HIV.
Bi+ Visibility Day plays an important role in raising awareness of bi+ stigma and discrimination, which create unique challenges for the bi+ community that are both interpersonal and systemic.
To-date, the way that research and data has been collated has not captured the diverse experiences of the bi+ community. This can inhibit our ability to appropriately respond to our community’s needs. HIV Futures tells us that bisexual men living with HIV are more likely to report higher frequency of HIV-related discrimination, higher rates of internalised HIV stigma and lower rates of wellbeing and community connection.
NAPWHA Vice President, Sarah Feagan: “As a queer, HIV positive woman visibility is important in validating my experience. I am not hard to reach nor am I hard to understand. Let’s celebrate Bi+ Visibility Day and celebrate inclusion, diversity and community.”
NAPWHA Board Member, Steve Spencer: “Today is a day of joy! Today we get to celebrate the bi+ people in our lives, and as a bi man living with HIV I am taking the time today to celebrate my own journey and appreciate all those that helped me here. We must also look forward to what we can do every day of the year to end biphobia and improve social and health outcomes for bi+ people.”
NAPWHA Executive Director, Aaron Cogle: “It was heartening to see bold bi+ representation at the Joint HIV&AIDS and Sexual Health Conference this month, with many sessions highlighting the need for tailored action to improve quality of life for bi+ people living with HIV across Australasia.
NAPWHA is dedicated to serving the needs of bi+ people living with HIV. We are pleased to have bi+ advocates Steve Spencer, Sarah Feagan, and Eloise Monteiro as part of the NAPWHA board and staff team, which positions NAPWHA to more effectively connect with bi+ people to provide much needed support. By championing the participation of bi+ people living with HIV at all levels of the national response, we can build a positive future for all people living with HIV.”
This Bi+ Visibility Day, we encourage the NAPWHA community to seek out bi+ stories, perspectives, and research. You can join bi+ community-led events at the Stand Bi Us Forum (Sept 23 – 26).
*Bi+ is an umbrella term that refers to people who have the capacity to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree. – Based on Robyn Ochs’ definition of bisexual
Webinar: Bi+ Experiences of HIV Prevention and Healthcare (Fri, 24 September 2021, 1PM – 2:30PM AEST)
Sydney Bi+ Network is hosting a webinar for the HIV sector on bi+ experiences of HIV prevention and healthcare.
This webinar will provide an evidence-based review of bi+ people’s unique experiences of HIV prevention, healthcare and community. We will also discuss research challenges and limitations that mask bi+ health disparities, which have flow-on effects to further research, services, health promotion and policy. The webinar will conclude with an open consultation to discuss how Sydney Bi+ Network and the HIV sector can improve bi+ health.
The webinar will be presented by Steve Spencer and Eloise Monteiro from Sydney Bi+ Network. Sydney Bi+ Network is a volunteer organisation, which aims to improve the wellbeing of bi+ people through education, advocacy, community-building.
The Zoom link will be emailed to registered attendees on the morning of the webinar. The webinar will not be recorded, so we hope you can make it on the day.
Webinar: Bi All Accounts: Amplifying Bi+ Intersectional Voices (Thu, September 23, 2021, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM AEST)
Bisexual Visibility Day (also known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day) has been marked each year on 23 September since 1999 and is a day to recognise and celebrate bisexual people, the bisexual community and the history of bisexuality.
This is not only important in achieving diversity and inclusivity in workplaces, but necessary for the overall health and wellbeing of the bisexual community.
Bi+ people make up the largest part of the LGBTQ community, however are significantly less likely to be out at work, are likely to be less productive and engaged and are less likely to feel mentally well at work than gay/lesbian employees, as per findings from the AWEI Survey.
Additionally, bi+ employees are also much more likely to have an intersecting identity than gay/lesbian employees and therefore can often face multiple forms of discrimination and inequity.
Join Pride in Diversity for an empowering and inspiring panel discussion that will raise the visibility and lived experience of bi+ intersectional people, the impact this can have on the workplace experience and what organisations and allies can do to amplify and support intersectional bi+ people.
- Michelle Gissara (she/her)
- Steve Spencer (he/him)
- Beren Niemann (he/him &/or they/them)
- Ezra Dickson (they/she)