Bi+ Visibility Day 2021 Becoming Visible in a Digital World
From Robbie Court
This event is co-hosted by the University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network and PrideSoc.
The past 18 months have seen the LGBTQ+ community making connections less often at in-person events or in public spaces, and more often online. While Bi+* individuals have been at home and behind closed doors, in what ways have we tried and succeeded at increasing our visibility via digital media?
The average queer internet user can encounter lots of relatable and often validating content online in a day, from clickbait about public figures declaring their sexualities and personal essays on experiences of coming out, to a simple Pride flag emoji in a Twitter users’ bio. If you have recently found yourself watching a continuous stream of videos tagged ‘#bisexual’ thanks to TikTok's algorithm, you’re not alone! With this kind of content becoming more and more prevalent, can we equate this to accelerated progress for Bi+ representation?
Join us for this panel event exploring how Bi+ visibility has progressed via social media and other online spaces since early 2020, while celebrating Bi+ identities, discussing what online communication has achieved for the Bi+ community, and considering steps that we still need to take to address bi-erasure and biphobia, both online and offline.
Vaneet Mehta (he/him) – Writer, #BisexualMenExist creator
Rebecca Wojturska (she/her) – Director, Haunt Publishing
Lorna Ward (she/her) - Co-founder and Chair of the Scottish Bi+ Network
Chair: Cathy Naughton (she/her) - Bi+ Representative, University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network
All were welcome to join, including University of Edinburgh staff and students in particular, as well as members of the broader LGBTQ+ community and allies. We particularly welcome Bi+ individuals who are Black, who are People of Colour, who belong to ethnic minorities, and who have disabilities.
*The term ‘Bi+’ in this context relates to an umbrella definition of bisexuality that includes people who are attracted to more than one gender, and may self-identify as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, bi romantic, questioning or bi-curious, to name but a few identities. We recognise that identities are unique and sometimes cannot be easily defined with labels. The Bi+ community is inclusive of trans and non-binary people. (UNISON, 2020 / Stonewall definition)
Vaneet Mehta, pronouns He/Him, is an Indian bisexual man born and raised in Southall, West London. He works as a Software Engineer, but in his spare time he works within the LGBTQ+ community. He volunteers for Rainbow Films and Middlesex Pride and co-founded The AmBIssadors, a bisexual YouTube channel. He is also an avid writer, having been featured in Stonewall, Metro UK, Unicorn Magazine and The Bi-ble Volume 2, a bisexual anthology. He delivers talks to companies on the topic of bisexuality and intersectionality and has appeared on numerous panels discussing these topics. He created the #BisexualMenExist hashtag and is currently writing a book on bisexual men as well as editing a bisexual anthology.
Twitter - www.twitter.com/nintendomad888
Instagram - www.instagram.com/nintendomad888
Medium - nintendomad888.medium.com
Rebecca Wojturska (she/her) is the University of Edinburgh’s Open Access Publishing Officer, managing a diamond Open Access journal publishing service. Rebecca is also director of Haunt Publishing, a small indie press that shines a flickering candle to underrepresented voices in the Gothic, horror and dark fiction genres. Rebecca's essay about being bisexual, 'Bidentity', was published in New Testimonials: Essays and Narratives About Bisexuality (Monstrous Regiment, 2019) She's an avid fan of board & tabletop games, horror films and Gothic fiction.
@HauntPublishing | www.hauntpublishing.com
Lorna Ward (she/her) is the current Chair of the Scottish Bi+ Network, and an experienced activist and community organiser. She enjoys writing, crafts, and playing music, and loves spending time in nature.
Scottish Bi+ Network is a community run organisation that aims to support the bi+ community, increase bi+ visibility, and raise awareness of issues facing the bi+ community. In addition to regular social events, we have a monthly Neurodiverse Space, and run quarterly one-day community events known as Bi+ Gatherings.
You can get more info or contact the Staff Pride Network via:
Background image: https://www.freepik.com/wayhomestudio
Headshots and logos courtesy of panellists.