Wednesday 16 April 2008

Liverpool reports:

The website of the Liverpool bisexual group, Mersey Bis, has been updated after a long gap.

The sad news is that it reports that the group is wound up, and they are encouraging anyone from Merseyside and surrounding areas who would have been interested in the group to go along to the Manchester bisexual social-support group instead.

The sad truth is, the Liverpool group shut down a long while ago in response to a lack of members. After bravely meeting monthly for a year they still only had five or six people each session, and understandably decided to call it a day. The website has been frozen with out-of-date information including a duff phone number, and a no-longer-existent PO box, as sadly happens often with websites.

It's even more of a problem where the group runners don't know one another through the peer network of the UK bi scene. I have no idea whether Colchester group is still going, for instance, and suspect that BCN was listing the Newcastle group for twice as long as it was running.

That said, I don't know how we can really improve on the situation.

Thursday 3 April 2008

Stonewall at it again

For the third year in a row Stonewall have helped stiffen the resolve of all those fighting the marginalisation and invisibility of bisexuality with a fine report on the problems and discrimination facing LGB people which makes all its recommendations in terms of what needs to change for 'lesbians and gay men' not to expect to face discrimination in their day-to-day lives. Political parties need to appoint lesbians and gay men to positions of high profile, and so forth.

They did the same thing last year on their social attitudes survey, and the year before in their LG(B) in the media report. It has been pointed out to them in many ways; on panels at public LGBT events; by postcard lobbying; in person to staff members. Alas, they remain resolute in their determination to pretend that everyone is gay or straight with none of the diversity of life in the real world.

This survey was conducted as an interview of 1,600+ people and so - given there are more bis than lesbians and gay men put together - there have to have been a fair number of bisexuals unless the sampling methods were so ropey that Stonewall should be demanding their money back from pollsters YouGov.

That could reveal all kinds of interesting things. There might be interesting gender differences in experiences and expectations. There might be evidence that 'bisexual privelidge' does have some statistical impact. It might show no statistical difference between bi and gay people, which would dispel the 'bi privelige' line. Or it might, like MIND's report into LGB mental health, show the impact that receiving prejudice from both sides has on bisexuals.

Alas, Stonewall's research team and statisticians haven't cared to explore any of that.