Sunday 30 December 2007

The most influential bis in British politics?

As gay news site unveils their list of the "50 most influential LGBT people in politics", I find myself writing on asking: where are the bisexuals?

Sure, there's Lib Dem Party President and London MP Simon Hughes, and Green MSP for Glasgow Patrick Harvie who never returns emails from the bi press. There are a few debatable names in there too: does Michael Portillo count for your definition of bisexuality? He reminds me of a late-night Channel 4 show in about 1990 where Jimmy Somerville did a piece to camera saying "a short message for Cliff Richard. Cliff, if the rumours are true, please, please, please, don't come out you would set the whole movement back years."

But the whole list reflects the relative strengths of the L, G, B and T strands of the queer community. Lots of gay men, quite a smattering of lesbians, not a lot else. A lot of people who we infer are gay men because there really isn't any further evidence and it's not in their interests socially or politically to be anything beyond gay or straight.

But it shouldn't be like this. Every half-decent bit of research out there says there are more bisexuals than lesbians and gay men put together, almost no matter how you happen to define "bi". Bisexual politicians should be making up more than half the list.

Well. Here's hoping 2008 is a year when a few more people in political life can put their heads above the parapet as openly and proudly bisexual politicians.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I am very open about the fact I'm bi, whoever is asking. And I *might* be a politician by halfway through the year....!