GLAAD Steps It Up
US Campaign group gives the press bi pointers
Around ten years ago, UK bi activists talked about making a topical-pun titled ‘Preparing for Bisexuality’ guide for media reporting about bisexual people and bisexuality.
As with many good ideas it nearly took off but didn’t quite make it into print, which is a shame, but the baton has been picked up by counterparts in the USA with a new publication from GLAAD.
They are a high-profile media lobbying organisation, whose evolution from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to simply GLAAD has begun to include bisexual projects.
In Focus: Reporting On The Bisexual Community was launched in April and seeks to cover the cliches and misconceptions and offer positive ideas for representation and terminology.
Similar work from voluntary group TransMediaWatch in the UK has had a positive if not universal impact on reporting of trans stories, so a major LGBT organisation offering this advice about bisexuality is both overdue and very welcome.
Setting out the breakdown of the LGB population in the USA from the Williams Institute (see that pie chart above) the guide highlights that bisexuals are the majority of LGB people. The reverse is often assumed given that we have tended to have a smaller, quieter voice and comparative lack of representation in the media.
It goes on to explore other statistics to help understand bi life, such as that bi people are less than half as likely to be out to the important people in their lives as are gay or lesbian people.
The guide is not ideal for UK use – as the cliche has it we are two nations divided by a common tongue. It talks about Bi Awareness Week where here we tend to talk about a week of events around Bi Visibility Day, its cultural reference points are a little askew, and its further information pointers are exclusively to US organisations. But it is a welcome first step and I’m sure that now an American guide is in place a UK equivalent can’t be that far behind.Point your web browsers here