Join us in celebrating Bi Visibility Day
Sunday 23 September is Bi Visibility Day, an international celebration of bisexuality that has been marked each year since 1999. It aims to highlight the challenges faced by bisexual people and bring visibility to the bisexual community.
The University is a proud member of Stonewall and for five years running has been in the Top 100 Workplaces for LGBT+ Equality.
Profiling international LGBT+ awareness days such as Bi Visibility Day is just one way that the University supports workplace equality and inclusion for our staff and students.
Sarah Shahid is a member of our LGBT+ staff network committee and has worked as a clerical assistant in the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) since joining the University in 2008. Sarah is also a full-time welfare officer during the Summer School, offering advice and support to students.
Bisexual people find themselves questioned over their sexuality.
SARAH SHAHID, LGBT+ STAFF NETWORK COMMITTEE MEMBER
“I’m a cisgender female from an Asian background, as well as being disabled with many hidden disabilities. Being bi is part of who am, and the other parts of my identity help me add a splash of diversity to our group!”
As a bi role model at the University, Sarah is passionate about working towards eradicating biphobia and bi-invisibility and has delivered conference workshops on these subjects.
Sarah said: “Biphobia is ever-prevalent in today’s society. Bisexual people find themselves questioned over their sexuality and it’s quite common for people to be dismissive of bisexuality.”
“It’s important to celebrate bisexuality and people who are proud to say that they feel attracted to both men and women. I’ve had all the usual comments: I’m greedy, it’s a phase, and I’m sat on the fence. Well at 45 years old, I’ve been sat on that fence for long enough now that I have splinters in my behind! Bisexuality is just as ‘real’ as being straight or gay.”
Sarah added: “I know I’m safe to be bi at the University. I feel supported and valued, with the freedom to be me. I can work without having to worry about phobic comments or the possibility of losing my job for being LGBT+. The University welcomes staff and students who identify as LGBT+ and we have support from senior staff.”
Sarah will be featured in the upcoming Stonewall Starting Out Guide in October, which is the national careers guide for students, graduates and job seekers, showcasing LGBT+ inclusive employers.
Our LGBT+ allies programme, Open@TUoS, launched in January 2016 and now has over 2,300 staff supporters who can wear a rainbow lanyard to visibly demonstrate their commitment to LGBT+ equality and inclusion.
Additional visible resources are now available including door signs, tote bags and badges. All staff can become an Open@TUOS supporter, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
We are continuing to develop our training offerings to equip staff with a better understanding of LGBT+ identities and the issues that affect LGBT+ people.
As such, there are a number of e-learning courses available to staff through MOLE, covering a variety of different aspects of equality and diversity.
Have your say
Share your thoughts on LGBT+ equality and inclusion at the University with this short Stonewall survey for staff. Enter our unique code: 1699