Asylum Denied: The Grim Irony of Proof of Sexuality Edicts

United_States_Court_of_Appeals_for_the_Seventh_Circuit_Seal.svgLast week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a decision:that a  bi Jamaican asylum-seeker isn’t actually bisexual. As in Orashia Edwards recent Uk asylum case, Fuller found that his claim of bisexuality was rejected because of his relationships with women.  

If a documented history of relationships with more than one gender does not equal ‘bi’, what can we do? Holly Matthies tackles the thorny issue of ‘proving’ your sexuality.

My first exposure to the news of Ray Fuller’s failed asylum case was a tweet from Bisexual Index. “Horrifying,” it said. “Not bisexual because he’s attracted to women, asylum judge rules.”

My first response was to write When we say “Biphobia kills,” it’s not hyperbole. People don’t know what bisexuality is, and that harms bisexuals. It’s not the only way biphobia can be deadly, of course, but for anyone to be deported… Continue reading

Flirting Without Fear: Your Guide to Getting It On

download (1)There’s one workshop at BiCon that’s always completely packed: Flirting. We did a little flirting of our own and got Kate Harrad who runs the workshop to let us in on a few of her secrets…

Why do people flirt? There’s often a perception that flirting is a bit dishonest, a bit like beating around the bush; if you fancy someone you should just tell them so. But flirting is a vital tool in the pursuit of romantic/sexual connection. It’s not for everyone, but it is incredibly useful, because the fact is, many – many –  people are not confident enough to walk up to someone and say ‘I fancy you, please date me.’

And the truth is, many people aren’t comfortable with being told that, either. It can put you on the spot, and if you’re not good at saying no, you might find yourself going out with… Continue reading

Research Round-up: Why Is Bisexual Mental Health So Poor?

MPOTY_2014_Helping_someone_get_treatment_for_mental_health_issuesBisexuals face many problems, including higher than average rates of interpersonal violence (IPV) and homelessness, but at top of that list is mental health. In a Biscuit poll in February 88% of respondents reported having had mental health problems at some point, with 37% reporting saying that theirs were severe.

But this is only just scratching the surface, as a 2010 study conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission found bisexuals to be around six times more likely to have mental health problems than heterosexuals. The study also incorporated data from a 2002 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which reported that rates of mental health issues amongst bisexual people were significantly higher than those amongst lesbians and gay men.

My partners and I constantly argue over whether our mental health is a function of our bisexuality, vice versa, or unrelated. – Phil

A YouGov poll from… Continue reading

Being Bi – My First Pride

imagesFrom the erasure of bisexual participation in the early Pride movement, to incidences of biphobia at Pride events today, the bisexual community has had an uneasy relationship with Pride. But when we focus on the worst Pride can be, we can forget about the best. Here Clara from reminds us just how important it can be.

I’m 9 years old. Some friends and I play “Mummies and Daddies”. It turns into a campaign at school of calling me a dyke and a lesbian. I don’t understand – I have crushes on both men and women, but assume puberty will establish a preference.

I’m 17 years old. One night at a classmate’s house, she strokes my waist, she feels different to the lone boy I’ve kissed so far. Her boyfriend watches from a chair. After a while, she leaps away without warning, begins to cry and… Continue reading

We Need To Talk About Intimate Partner Abuse in the Bisexual Community

downloadIn 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the results of a survey into domestic- and intimate partner violence (IPV) in the USA. It found that 38% of bisexual men and 75% of bisexual women and had experienced physical or sexual or mental abuse from a partner. In the UK, Stonewall research has also found 75% of lesbian and bisexual women have experienced domestic abuse. Two thirds of the perpetrators were female.

We asked four bisexual survivors of domestic- and intimate partner violence to tell us their stories, and this is what we learned. [Contains frank descriptions of abuse in survivors’ own words]

We don’t have a frame of reference for our experiences

Stereotypes abound when it comes to partner violence. We believe men are abusers and women are abused and we believe same-sex relationships are by their nature free from violence. We believe abuse must… Continue reading

WATCH: Buzzfeed’s “7 Types of People You Date As a Bisexual”

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

“Bi Shame?”: When You’re Scared To Chase The Girl

girl-1302360_1920Most of the women I’ve ever fancied have scared the hell out of me. OK, I’ve said it. As a result, I’ve probably let a lot of you slip through my fingers over the years… and I don’t mean the good kind of slippery fingers. I’ll confess, if you rated me on my general modes of sexual behaviour between puberty and my current age of 32 rather than my feelings, you’d likely call me a low Kinsey 2 at best. The only reason I still know which way up a woman goes is probably because of my impressive memory and imagination … and on occasion my internet connection. I feel horrendously guilty of hiding in my “straight privilege” when I look at past conquests, even though “straight privilege” is a crazy term coined by crazy people.

If you’re female/female-spectrum, into women, I like you and I’m not making my feelings… Continue reading

“Shoot Out”: Why Orlando Shows The US Needs Better Gun Control

surreal-884695_1920I am fortunate enough to live in a country where it is very difficult to buy a gun.  Difficult but not impossible. I know men with guns, and people who shoot recreationally (clay pigeons, firing ranges) and people who hunt (rabbits, squirrels, vermin on their farms). I once dated a boy who thought a romantic walk held room for shooting squirrels, shotgun over his shoulder and other arm through mine.

I don’t like guns. I don’t like them at all.

Its not impossible to buy a gun here but it is very hard and the last time we had a mass shooting was (I had to pause to look this up) in 2010. Twelve people died and eleven were injured and I can’t help but wonder if maybe that death toll is significantly lower than those coming out of American mass shootings because of the fact that a shotgun… Continue reading

“It’s Not Wise To Marry A Bisexual”: Amber Heard & The Continued Acceptance Of Media Biphobia

Amber_Heard_The_Ward_premiereIt’s OK to be violent towards us, though, it seems – maybe you can beat the bi out? Yeah, smack us about a bit. Maybe we’ll learn to follow the straight and narrow. Thank you, US Morning Show commentator Peter Ford, for your helpful words. Whether or not Depp really did attack Heard, the fact remains that her sexuality is entirely irrelevant to the case. But, as ever, if you’re bisexual it usually gets dragged in as an issue anyway… I’d say the alleged physical attack was worth more airplay, but what do I know? I’m just a fickle bisexual. I’ll have changed my mind by tomorrow.

“I probably shouldn’t say this,” Ford insisted during this broadcast yesterday, “but it’s not wise to marry a bisexual”. Ms Heard “travelled across to the other side” to be with with Depp, according to Ford, and Ford made clear his feelings that… Continue reading

A Response to WikiHow’s Article “How To Tell If Another Woman Is Bisexual.”

bisexual-683939_1920A little while ago brought to our attention a WikiHow article on how to tell if another woman is bisexual. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, it reads like a how-to for unicorn hunters and is full of generally creepy and intrusive suggestions. I’m going to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume they really were well intentioned but just didn’t have any idea how to go about it in a less invasive manner. So I’ve put together some suggestions if you find yourself in that situation that don’t involve spying on her social media and trying to analyse the way she looks at other women’s legs.

1. Think about why you want to know if this other woman is bi.
Are you attracted to her but can’t tell if she’s hitting on you or just a member of the Leslie Knope school of female friendship? Or is… Continue reading