Reporting biphobic hate
This week’s stories about a biphobic hate incident at a festival in Cardiff being poorly handled by the council’s stewarding team highlight how difficult reporting biphobic hate can be.
One of the women at the centre of the so-called “lesbian kiss” furore told BCN yesterday,
“We weren’t even snogging, it was literally a couple of pecks on the lips while dancing. For that we found ourselves subjected to a group of older women screaming hate speech and one literally getting right up in our faces to tell us we were disgusting.
“So the fact that a steward came over and then rather than address the actual criminals in the situation, asked us to “tone it down” instead was less than fun.”
People yelling abuse at you and screaming to your face that you’re disgusting?
To us that reads like a biphobic hate crime or biphobic hate incident. But if something similar happens to you and you want to report it or need support, you might not know where to go.
You can call 101 to report it to your local police or go online to Report It – and in most areas there are “third party reporting centres”, usually community centres, with trained staff who can take details. Your local police website should list where they are in your area.
With the processes that don’t involve going directly to the police, you can choose to have your details passed to the police for personal follow-up, or to remain anonymous. Anonymous reporting still helps map where hate incidents are happening, to show patterns of harassment.
If you need support after a biphobic or other hate incident, Jessica White, the Community Safety Co-ordinator from the LGBT Foundation advises:
“The website LGBT Hate Crime offers details of charities within the partnership who can provide direct support around LGBT hate crime. I would also recommend Victim Support, who have a helpline, and offices around the country, and whose staff and volunteers have been trained in supporting LGBT victims of hate crime.
We talked to Ele from local bi support and outreach organisation BiWales, who said,
“The experiences of bisexual young people in schools and people in the community lead to many bisexual people approaching us feeling that there’s something wrong with them or that they’re the only bisexual person in their community.
“Tackling biphobic bullying in school and biphobic hate crime, educating people on bisexuality and myths and misconceptions and promoting community cohesion are vital to supporting bi people.”