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The B in LGBT

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The B in LGBT: Bisexual Identity, Erasure and Invisibility

 

Objective:

 

GSA members will gain insight into the unique and complex issues facing bisexual people. This includes understanding bisexual erasure and how it is perpetuated. 

 

Things to Prep & Tools Needed

 

Materials: Smartphones or computers and internet access to view video, Viet Vu’s TEDx Talk video, Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations, markers, and blank sheets of paper. 

Prep: Use the blank pieces of paper to write out the definitions of bisexuality and bisexual erasure. Post them up for all to see. If possible, project them on a wall instead.

Time: 60 minutes

 

All About the Activity:

 

Welcome GSA members and explain that today’s meeting will focus on the experiences and unique needs of bisexual people. Members will learn about bisexual erasure and engage in hearing both stories and statistics about bisexual people.

Ask GSA members to look at the definitions on the wall. Choose members to read them aloud. Ask if anyone would like to add to the definition of “bisexual” and/or “bisexual erasure.” (5 minutes)

Definitions (from Bisexual Invisibility):

Bisexuality: The capacity for emotional, romantic, and/or physical attraction to more than one gender. A bisexual orientation speaks to the potential for, but not requirement of, involvement with more than one gender.

Bisexual erasure/Bi-invisibility: Refers to a lack of acknowledgment and ignoring of the clear evidence that bisexuals exist. The tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources

Introduce Viet Vu’s TEDx talk: Bi the way, we exist. 

Example: In 2015, Viet Vu was a fourth-year Economics student at the Vancouver School of Economics. He’s also a researcher at EqualDex, a database that maps the status of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide. His TEDx Talk is about his experience as a Japanese-Vietnamese bisexual man with a focus on his coming-out story and his network of support. (5 minutes)

Watch “Bi the way, we exist.” (15 minutes)

Engage in group discussion using the following questions. (30 minutes)

Questions for Bi the way, we exist

How do straight, lesbian and gay people participate in bisexual erasure?

How might bisexual erasure impact bisexual people?

Friendship helped Viet through dark times after he came out as bisexual. How have your friends helped you navigate coming out? Or dealing with an unsupportive family?

Happiness. Empathy. Vulnerability. Viet pointed out these key principles when encouraging people to be supportive of bisexual people. How can your GSA utilize those principles to act in allyship with bisexual GSA members or bisexual folks in general?

 

Want to Do More?

Contact your local LGBTQ community center and ask if they have any programming specifically related to the bisexual community. Inquire if anyone who leads that programming can come and speak to your GSA or school.

Review & tweet! Review the Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations and tweet out the statistics that surprised you the most. Help spark more conversation around bisexuality and bisexual erasure!

 

Did your GSA participate in this activity? Tell us how it went and what could have been better! Email us at students@glsen.org