#EndTheBiBan petition nears 2,500 signatures

#endthebiban at Manchester Pride 2013A petition is nearing its target 2,500 signatures challenging Google’s decision to block ‘bisexual’ from its predictive search.

When users type words like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ into the Google search page, it suggests what they might be looking for – gay dating, gay pride, gay marriage, gay support… but for ‘bisexual’, it offers no suggestions until you hit ‘enter’.

This is a function Google implemented to prevent what might be offensive searches appearing dynamically while users are typing another word. Not only is this suggesting that bisexuality is offensive in a way homosexuality or heterosexuality are not, the first page of suggestions for ‘bisexual’ simply aren’t that rude – they’re things like advice page Bisexual Index and web hub Bi.Org!

Google said it would remove bisexual from the list of blocked terms over a year ago but has still not done so.

It makes it that little bit harder for bis seeking advice and support to find what they’re looking for online – and to find out about groups like Manchester BiPhoria, Bisexual Underground or Brighton BothWays, events like BiCon and BiFest or publications like Bi Community News and the Bisexuality Report.

The campaign to change Google’s attitude also has a Facebook page and Twitter account to help raise its profile.

You can sign the petition calling on Google to stop its predictive search blocking ‘bisexual’ here.

Appeal for donations to help with “Getting Bi”

copies of "Getting Bi in a gay/straight world"
copies of "Getting Bi in a gay/straight world"

Some of over 10,000 copies distributed already

Manchester BiPhoria are gearing up to make  a new edition of “Getting Bi In A Gay / Straight World“, the pocket guide to coming out and staying out as bi – and are appealing for donations to help boost the print run.

Their successful funding bid for an original print run of 5,000 was boosted up to 11,500 copies in 2011 – over ten thousand of which have now found their way to good homes across the UK, so the supplies are nearly exhausted.

With enough money now in hand to print another 2,000 copies they are inviting any friendly bis and bifriendlies who can afford to donate to pitch more money into the pot.

Jen from BiPhoria told us, “it’s been an incredibly successful and popular resource with bi outreach stalls, in leaflet racks and at Prides. We’ve made it more widely accessible as a pdf, on issuu and flickr and a version on vimeo for people who prefer video or audio to the printed word. However the print version is now running out.

“We’ve had nearly £200 in donations so far, which has been really heartening and uplifting. We’d like to use economies of scale in print costs that mean a single bulk order for say £500 would mean we get many more copies than if we made two separate £250 print runs a year apart.”

“£100 gets around 500 more copies made including delivering them to a bi or LGBT group elsewhere in the country, so if you can afford £50 or £100 it can be targeted to give a bi visibility resources in a particular area a boost.”

If you can help, there is a big yellow Donate button on the BiPhoria website here.

#EndTheBiBan petition nears 1,000 signatures

#endthebiban at Manchester Pride 2013A petition is nearing 1,000 signatures challenging Google’s decision to block ‘bisexual’ from its predictive search.

When users type words like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ into the Google search page, it suggests what they might be looking for – gay dating, gay pride, gay marriage, gay support… but for ‘bisexual’, it offers no suggestions.

That makes it that bit harder for bis seeking advice and support to find what they’re looking for online – and to find out about groups like Manchester BiPhoria, Bisexual Underground or Brighton BothWays, events like BiCon and BiFest or publications like Bi Community News and the Bisexuality Report.

The campaign now has a Facebook page and Twitter account to help raise its profile.

You can sign the petition calling on Google to stop its predictive search blocking ‘bisexual’ here.

Bisexual Health Month

US flag in bi colours

US flag in bi coloursInspired by the historic first White House Roundtable on Bisexual Issues held last Bi Visibility Day, 23 September 2013, USA bi project Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) have declared March to be Bisexual Health Awareness Month.

It’s a social media initiative to raise widespread awareness about bisexual health disparities, using Facebook and Twitter. This year’s theme—“Bi the Way, Our Health Matters Too!”—will highlight the unique ways that the bisexual community experiences physical and mental health disparities and will encourage more research and services be developed to address them. The campaign will highlight work that is already being done by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organisations across the USA and urge more action in the future.

Some UK bi projects, such as BiPhoria and BiUK will be joining in too highlighting work and research around bi health over here.

BRC’s president, Ellyn Ruthstrom, says, “The Bisexual Health Awareness social media campaign will be focusing attention on important health issues that are affecting the bisexual community. With more research indicating that bi people are experiencing severe physical and mental health disparities, we think it is imperative to bring this information out of the shadows so that we can build more effective ways to address them. Our community is suffering and we can no longer afford to be the invisible majority of the LGBT community.”

The Bisexual Health Awareness campaign will focus on the following bisexual health issues over the coming month:

• March 3-7 – Mental Health & Biphobia: The BRC will highlight important statistics about mental health disparities in the bisexual community, including the high rates of suicidality, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

• March 10-14 – Safer Sex & Sexual Health: The focus this week will be on the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and risky s exual behaviors among bisexuals, as well as bi-specific safer sex practices and resources.

• March 17-21 – Nutrition & Physical Activity: This week we’ll point out cardiovascular-related disparities in the bisexual community, i ncluding higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and encourage ways to improve health through nutrition and exercise.

• March 24-28 – Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Violence: The final week of the campaign will draw attention to the high rates of rape, physical violence, and stalking experienced by bisexuals via an intimate partner.

Bisexual Health Awareness Month launches this Monday, March 3rd on the BRC’s Twitter page (@BRC_Central) with a 12-hour Tweet-a-thon introducing bisexual health issues and related topics. The month-long awareness event will continue on both the BRC’s Twitter (with hashtag #bihealthmonth) and Facebook pages. The BRC invites participants from across the country and around the world to become involved with the discussion and to raise awareness about bisexual health issues in their own communities.

 

Taking up the bi podcast baton: The BiCast

The BiCast logoFancy some fresh listening for your mp3 player? There’s a new hour (ish) long monthly podcast about bisexual life just launched called The BiCast.

The first episode, “Bi The Way, I’m Not Gay”, features Lynnette, Becca, John, Will, Michael and Simone: voices from the US, Australia and the UK so there’s a fair scattering of bi experiences from English-speaking countries. Bisexual Index‘s web resources get a mention, as does BiPhoria‘s pocket guide to bi life Getting Bi In A Gay/Straight World.

The show fills a gap left by Kyle Schickner’s weekly bi YouTube podcast which alas seems to have run out of steam in the Autumn of 2013.

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