Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

Support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

Interested in supporting #RealSexEd and REHYA? Message your congresspeople!
Find your congresspeople! English / English/Spanish


Sample Message

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) have introduced the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA). This legislation would support the health and well-being of young people by providing the comprehensive sexuality education they need to lead healthy lives. This act is critical to the bisexual community because our youth already face increased rates of violence and bullying, they shouldn't have to face miseducation about their own sexuality too.

REHYA is currently cosponsored by 11 Senators and 55 Representatives. Let’s tell Congress it’s time to support comprehensive sexuality education and get more cosponsors on REHYA!

Urge your congressional delegation to support young people’s need and right comprehensive sexuality education by cosponsoring the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.


Sample Letter to Congress

Dear XX,

The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act would establish the first-ever dedicated federal funding for comprehensive sexuality education for elementary and secondary schools, institutes of higher learning, and teacher training while ensuring that federal funds are spent on science-based, age-, and developmentally-appropriate, and medically accurate instruction.

The current federal investment in adolescent sexual health promotion programs is an important step in the right direction, but much remains to be done to strengthen, enhance, and expand these efforts. The availability and quality of sexual health information and sexuality education varies drastically across the country. Less than half of all high schools and only 20% of middle schools in the U.S. provide all of the topics identified by the CDC as critical to ensuring sexual health. The data on disparities and disproportionate burden on young people continue to highlight the need for additional resources to serve young people most in need of sexual health education.

Despite the need to equip and empower young people with the information and skills they need to lead sexually healthy lives, funds continue to be wasted on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that inherently withhold lifesaving and affirming information from young people.

This act is critical to the bisexual community because our youth already face increased rates of violence and bullying, they shouldn't have to face miseducation about their own sexuality too.

It’s time we provide the type of quality sex ed that young people need to lead healthy lives. Please support the sexual health of young people by cosponsoring the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,


To learn more about REHYA, visit SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States and don't forget to join us during today's Thunderclap!


Shareable "#RealSexEd is healthy" images courtesy of BiNet USA



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

GLAAD releases new guide for reporting on bisexual community

GLAAD, in partnership with BiNet USABisexual Organizing Project, and the Bisexual Resource Center has released In Focus: Reporting on the Bisexual Community, a resource guide to equip journalists and media experts to accurately and effectively report on the bisexual community, its experiences, and the important issues bi people face.


"Bisexual people have been at the forefront of LGBT rights throughout history, but are still too often left out of the conversation," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO. "This guide will serve as a powerful tool to combat harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and erasure of bi people in the media."


"How bisexuality is portrayed in the media has tangible consequences on bi people's day-to-day experiences," said Alexandra Bolles, Programs Strategist at GLAAD. "Empowering the media to represent the bisexual community, its challenges, and its achievements in many dimensions is an invaluable and necessary step in shifting the cultural narrative towards bi visibility and, ultimately, full acceptance."


BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham remarked, "The release of the 2016 GLAAD Bi Media Guide marks a critical moment in the movement to save bisexual lives. It's an essential read for anyone who supports LGBT equality because there is a B in LGBT! A guide like this works to turn the tide on the deep disparities bi people face, in favor of a world that openly accepts them as they are, for who they are."

You can learn more about bisexuality at glaad.org/bisexual, and check out the full guide here.

P.S.
Many of the people who contributed to BiNet's work on the guide are also listed in the guide's acknowledgements! Thank you again!

Action Alert: Thunderclap for #RealSexEd!!

Join BiNet USA and others on 4/13/16 for a Thunderclap for #RealSexEd

On Friday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA), joining Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) in laying out a holistic vision for quality sex ed in the United States.




This legislation would establish the first-ever dedicated federal funds for comprehensive sexuality education for elementary and secondary schools, institutes of higher learning, and related teacher training. This act is critical to the bisexual community because our youth already face increased rates of violence and bullying, they shouldn't have to face miseducation about their own sexuality too.

Join SEICUS and BiNet USA in a Thunderclap to tell Congress, "RealSexEd is comprehensive. Support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act! #REHYA."
 

What is Thunderclap? It’s a platform that allows us to flood Twitter and Facebook with the same message all at the same time, like an online flash mob. Just click the link above and choose either “Support with Twitter” or “Support with Facebook” – or both – and you’re all set to show your support!

Our collective message will go out on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 12:00pm (EST) if at least 250 advocates* commit to join our Thunderclap.

With nearly $2 billion still being wasted on abstinence-only-until marriage programs, Congress must do more to ensure young people get #RealSexEd, not scare-tactics and dubious science. That’s why we need to tell Congress just how critical REHYA is for the lifelong health and well-being of young people. 

Help us amplify our voices: Sign up today and spread the word!

For more information about the bill, check out SIECUS’  press release and fact sheet.

*If concerned with advocacy restrictions, remember everyone can advocate, just do so on your personal time and computer/phone!


Shareable "#RealSexEd is healthy" images courtesy of BiNet USA





Thursday, March 31, 2016

The LGBTQ UMass Boston Advocacy and Research Collaborative offers exersizes to deal with Heterosexism

We are a LGBTQ-affirmative research group at the University of Massachusetts Boston
"The LGBTQ UMass Boston Advocacy and Research Collaborative"
(https://www.facebook.com/UMassBostonLgbtqResearchTeam).

We have developed brief exercises to help LGBTQ people deal with experiences of heterosexism.  We are hoping you would be willing to help us, personally benefit from the exercises, and to contribute to the mental health of LGBTQ people who experience heterosexist experiences.  In addition, if they finish the questionnaires and exercises at the times below, they will receive an $80 Amazon gift card and if they participate at all they will be eligible for a raffle for a $100 gift card.

In total, the entire study should take three hours to complete across five days (about 20-30 minutes on four of the days and 45-50 minutes on one day).

The study involves completing:

*A questionnaire on the first day

*A writing exercise on each of the following three days

*A follow-up questionnaire two months later. 

The link to the survey is:   http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2582177/Initial-Page

 If you have any questions, please let us know by writing to us at UMBstudyschedule@gmail.com. This study has been approved by the University of Massachusetts Boston Institutional Review Board. If you have questions about your rights as participants, please contact the University of Massachusetts Boston IRB at orsp@umb.edu or 617-287-5370.

We really appreciate your support to better LGBTQ lives.
 
Sincerely,

Tangela Roberts, MS & Heidi Levitt, PhD

University of Massachusetts Boston

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

White House Bisexual Immigration Meeting

On March 15th, 2016 BiNet USA attended a historic meeting at the White House organized by Apphia K and Ari S. 

The meeting focused on the experiences of bisexual asylum seekers and bi immigration. 

Read the recommendations provided for the White House by Apphia K and Ari S. here.

Read more about 45 years of bi immigration at academia.edu via the excellent SAGE journal article by Ray Sin. 

Check out the Bisexual Resource Center "HOW TO BE AN ALLY TO A BISEXUAL PERSON" brochure that was provided to meeting participants.

Here are the photos!

Ari S. and Apphia K. prepared long into the night to prep their recommendations for White House staff. 
Photo Courtesy of Robyn Ochs

Robyn Ochs and Apphia K. as Apphia shares her personal experience with administration officials.
Photo courtesy of Faith Cheltenham/BiNet USA


Ari directly after finished sharing her story.
Photo courtesy of Faith Cheltenham/BiNet USA



Attendees after meeting: Stacey Long Simmons, The National LGBTQ Task Force, Isa Noylan, Transgender Law Center, Jorge Gutierrez, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA, Eliel Cruz, Faith in America Executive Director, Ari S., Robyn Ochs, Apphia K., Aaron Morris, Immigration Equality and Sharita Gruberg, Center for American Progress.
Photo courtesy of Faith Cheltenham/BiNet USA


Attendees after meeting: Stacey Long Simmons, The National LGBTQ Task Force, Isa Noylan, Transgender Law Center, Jorge Gutierrez, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA, Eliel Cruz, Faith in America Executive Director, Ari S., Robyn Ochs, Apphia K., Aaron Morris, Immigration Equality and Sharita Gruberg, Center for American Progress.
Photo courtesy of Faith Cheltenham/BiNet USA

Aaron Morris from Immigration Equality with Apphia K. 
Photo Courtesy of Robyn Ochs




Ari and Apphia after the meeting
Photo courtesy of Faith Cheltenham/BiNet USA

Thursday, March 24, 2016

We remember Chastity, one of our own bi leaders lost too soon

Chastity Matthews was part of the larger community of bisexual leaders and she will be greatly missed. When one of the B in LGBT is lost to us, it's critical their family and friends know they were part of a diverse and vibrant community, often hard hit by disparities that take our lives far too early.
Please donate and share widely:  GoFundMe: We need just a little more help.!




Photos of BiNet USA having fun with Chastity and other AZ bisexual community members at Netroots Nation 2015


"I met Chastity in Phoenix last year at NetRoots. She was fun, highly intelligent and completely open and honest. She was a knowledgeable and fearless activist, She will be missed."-Lynnette McFadzen



Please donate and share widely to the GoFundMe her family has set up to deal with expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/wwspzyd4
#4Chastity


In crisis? Please text trained crisis counselors about anything that's on your mind. 
TEXT “GO” TO 741-741
FREE, 24/7, CONFIDENTIAL.
http://www.crisistextline.org/

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Transgender People of Color Survey

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

My name is Mirella Flores, and I'm a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. I am currently conducting a study regarding transgender People of Color’s sexual objectification experiences. In order to participate you must (a) self-identify as a transgender Person of Color, (b) be 18 years of age or older, (c) speak English, and (d) not be in current significant psychological distress (i.e., greater than everyday hassles).

If you are interested in participating, you will be asked to participate in an interview, lasting about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. The interviews may take place over the phone or in person. For your participation, you will receive a $25 Visa gift-card. 
 
If you are interested in participating, please email Mirella Flores at mjflores@mail.umkc.edu
Please feel free to share this with others.This study, protocol number 15-310, has been approved by University of Missouri, Kansas City’s Institutional Review Board. If you have any concerns about your rights as a participant your concerns please call 816-235-5927Thanks for your consideration,
Mirella J. Flores
Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Counseling & Educational Psychology
mjflores@mail.umkc

Pronouns: she / her / hers

BISEXUAL RESOURCE CENTER DESIGNATES MARCH AS BISEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

BISEXUAL RESOURCE CENTER DESIGNATES MARCH AS BISEXUAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH




BiNet USA joins the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) and other bisexual community advocates in celebrating the third annual Bisexual Health Awareness Month. This year’s focus is on bi+ (e.g. bisexual, fluid, no label, pansexual, queer) youth.


The third year of this social media campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the
health disparities of bisexual+ youth
 

With a focus on the unique needs and experiences of bisexual+ youth, the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) proudly proclaims March as Bisexual Health Awareness Month (BHAM) for the third year in a row.
Image Caption: Image with hand draw heart and a hand coloring the heart in red. Image says #BHAM Bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) youth are more likely to be told their sexual orientation doesn't exist." #bihealthmonth. Image Credit: http://bihealthmonth.org/2016-campaign/infographics/ 

Bisexual+ youth, who encompass a diverse spectrum of sexual identities (e.g. bisexual, fluid, no label, pansexual, queer), experience higher rates of suicidality, substance use, bullying, and sexual violence compared to their gay, lesbian, and straight peers. They are also less likely to be connected with programs and services, both at school and in their local community, that can best support them.

Therefore, Bisexual Health Awareness Month aims to raise awareness about these health disparities and to promote resources and actions that can improve the health of bisexual+ youth. BHAM will work in partnership with various LGBTQIA organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Trevor Project, BiNet USA, and Bisexual Women of Color (BIWOC), to achieve this mission. This year’s campaign will also empower bi+ youth to share their health related experiences and needs.

“With more and more youth coming out as bi+, the need to highlight their disparities becomes more crucial every day,” said BRC Co-Presidents Heather Benjamin and Kate Estrop in a joint statement. “This year, Bisexual Health Awareness Month is providing a needed spotlight on bi+ youth to educate parents, teachers, administrators, health professionals, and other members of the LGBTQIA community on how they can help. It’s important that bi+ youth know that they are not alone, they are valued, and they have community.”

Throughout the month of March, BHAM will focus its efforts on bisexual+ youth with the following weekly themes:

March 1-4: (Statistics) A focus on current statistics and research surrounding bisexual+ youth, including mental health, sexual health, and interpersonal violence.
March 7-11: (Intersectionality) An emphasis on how race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and class can further impact social, economic, and health disparities among bisexual+ youth, particularly in regards to experiences of oppression and discrimination.
• March 14-18: (Resources) A spotlight on current resources, and the creation of new ones, that can improve the health and wellbeing of bisexual+ youth.
• March 21-25: (Action) The promotion of programs, policies, and services that can work to prevent or decrease social, economic, and health disparities among bisexual+ youth.

The third year of Bisexual Health Awareness Month launches Tuesday, March 1st on the BRC’s Twitter (with hashtags #BiHealthMonth and #BHAM), Facebook, Tumblr, newly launched blog and campaign website. The BRC invites individuals and organizations both in the United States and from around the world to become involved with this year’s campaign and to raise awareness about health disparities impacting bisexual+ youth in their own communities.

BiNet USA proud to join BRC, Trevor Project, Bisexual Women of Color,The BiCast and other community advocates to raise awareness about these critical issue.

The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) has been advocating for bisexual visibility and raising awareness about bisexuality throughout the LGBTQIA and straight communities since 1985. The Bisexual Resource Center envisions a world where love is celebrated, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Visit www.biresource.net for more information.


Action Alert: Help Defeat Anti-LGBTQ Bills in Georgia












The Georgia Legislature is dangerously close to passing a so called "First Amendment Defense Act” or #FADA. This bill would allow businesses and taxpayer funded organizations to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. It could even allow help to be denied to victims of domestic violence, or police to stop protecting religions they don’t belong to.

But YOU can help to stop it. (link to www.theNEAT.org/Georgia)

Volunteer to make calls from home with Georgia Unites and #theNEAT at www.theNEAT.org/Georgia 

Once you sign up, our partners at the National Equality Action Team (NEAT) will provide training and all the resources you need to be great! The passion you each bring to our work for equality is exactly what we need to bring to the Peach State.

Sign up today to help us move one step closer to equality and justice for all!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Correct the Definition of Bisexuality on Dictionary.com to reflect the Bisexual Community's Definition


 BY: Katie Carbrey
TARGET: Dictionary.com

 It is important for bisexuals to be able to voice their definition of their own sexuality.  

For many decades the bisexual community has reclaimed the word "bisexuality" to mean "an attraction to more than one gender"



Bisexual Organizations have been using this definition for many years now, and we request that the dictionary reflects this definition. A definition used by bisexuals, for bisexuals. We request that we be the ones to define our own sexuality.



For a reference of bisexual organizations, resource centers, activists, and other campaign's definitions, please see below:



Bisexual Organizations/Resource Centers:



- BiNet USA


Bisexual - A person whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction is to other people of various sexes and/or gender identities. Individuals may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime.”



-Bisexual Resource Center: USA 

The BRC uses bisexual as an umbrella term for people who recognize and honor their potential for sexual and emotional attraction to more than one gender. We celebrate and affirm the diversity of identity and expression regardless of labels.”



- The American Institute of Bisexuality


A bi person has the capacity for romantic and/or sexual attraction to more than one gender.”



- Bisexual Index: UK


This is how we define it: A bisexual is someone who is attracted to more than one gender. You might care about the gender of your partner a lot, a little, or not at all - but their gender doesn’t prevent you from being attracted to them.”



- Bi UK 

Bisexuality (or bi) is commonly defined as being attracted to both men and women. However, many members of bisexual communities tend to prefer the definition: ‘a changeable sexual and emotional attraction to people of any sex, where gender may not be a defining factor’: the emphasis here is on being attracted to more than one gender or being attracted to people regardless of gender.”



-Toronto Bisexual Network


Bisexuality is the potential to feel attracted to and to engage in sexual and/or romantic relationships with people of any sex or gender.”



Bisexual Activists:

- Robyn Ochs


I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted - romantically and/or sexually - to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”



Other Campaigns:



Human Rights Campaign


Bisexual | A person emotionally, romantically, sexually and relationally attracted to more than one sex and/or gender, though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.”



As you can see, the bisexual community is currently defining their sexuality as an attraction to more than one gender. This is an inclusive term that reflects the diverse nature of gender identity, and it includes those who do not identify as one of the binary genders (male and female). It is inclusive of our genderqueer, transgender, and intersex peers. We ask that you please change your definition of bisexuality to an "attraction to more than one gender" as this reflects the definition the bisexuality community has been using. 

 


"Every time someone defines bisexual as binary, the chances we lose a member of our community to harm increase. Every time someone defines bisexuality incorrectly, less bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) are able to find help, support and understanding from a community that goes back 50 years. This is one of the more important petitions you will sign today, because every signature represents the hope that we don't have to lose anyone else."
-Faith Cheltenham

Thank you Katie Carbrey for starting this petition!