Wednesday, June 15, 2016

PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION ON ORLANDO

HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

-------

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 A PROCLAMATION

   As a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terror perpetrated on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, June 16, 2016. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. 

-BARACK OBAMA

 Presidential Proclamation -- Honoring the Victims of the Attack in Orlando, Florida

 


Photo Credit:

#standwithorlando  #orlandostrong  #orlandorising

Equality Florida GoFundMe Pulse Victims Fund

BiNet USA Statement

To find out about vigils in your area happening today or tomorrow, please visit: #WeAreOrlando http://www.weareorlando.org



 
Please see below for President Obama's full statement.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                                                                                                         June 12,2016

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room


THE PRESIDENT:  Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder -- a horrific massacre -- of dozens of innocent people.  We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts.  We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city.  Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate.  And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.

I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors.  The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement.  I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation. 
We are still learning all the facts.  This is an open investigation.  We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer.  The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism.  And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what -- if any -- inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups.  What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred.  Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.

This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people.  This could have been any one of our communities.  So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need -- they are going to get it.  As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.

We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way.  Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse.  It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.

This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends -- our fellow Americans -- who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.  The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub -- it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights. 

So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American -- regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation -- is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.

Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history.  The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle.  This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub.  And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.  And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy.  Their names.  Their faces.  Who they were.  The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world.  Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families -- that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable.  And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change.  We need to demonstrate that we are defined more -- as a country -- by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.

As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts -- friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives.  In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another.  We will not give in to fear or turn against each other.  Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.    

May God bless the Americans we lost this morning.  May He comfort their families.  May God continue to watch over this country that we love.  Thank you.

                                                          

May God bless the Americans we lost this morning.  May He comfort their families.  May God continue to watch over this country that we love.  Thank you.


      

#standwithorlando #orlandostrong #orlandorising


Sunday, June 12, 2016

BiNet USA Statement on Orlando, June 12th 2016

Statement on Orlando, June 12th 2016

BiNet USA mourns the tremendous loss of life at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community celebrated Pride, a yearly celebration originally co-organized by bisexual activist Brenda Howard in New York City over 4 decades ago.

Pride is a time we celebrate the diversity in our entire community and our collective gains for equality, but this week we worry, pray and hope for the safety of our entire LGBTQIA community.

We urge the media, the LGBTQIA community and our allies to avoid characterizing this tragedy as a religiously motivated terrorist attack until all details are in. Let us avoid focusing on the shooter's ethnicity or religion and instead center our conversations around what work we can do to end the hatred that brings about such violent acts.

As Martin Luther King once said,
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

We pray for love and light to guide our entire community in the days ahead.

Please consider donating to the Equality Florida GoFundMe setup for the victims and survivors in Orlando: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

With a heavy heart,
The BiNet USA Board
www.binetusa.org

Thursday, June 09, 2016

WEHO CANCELS ON BISEXUALS! MTG RESCHEDULED FOR 6/16/16

Note from Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President:

On 6/9/26, at 11:34am, the day of, the City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board cancelled their meeting when many bi people planned to attend.

BiNet USA spoke to the board secretary and confirmed with a board member that the meeting would take place so this cancellation is upsetting.

Many of us took off work, arranged childcare or changed our busy schedules to attend. Heck, I even cancelled on President Obama (thanks Robyn Ochs, Hayden L Mora and Tangela Roberts for standing up for all of us) and the White House LGBT Pride Reception.

This is extremely disappointing and reflects the overall lack of care for local area bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) people I've come to expect from the City of West Hollywood.

Seems like someone's sending us some messages beyond you don't exist, if we do, we certainly don't matter.

We will attend next week's meeting but it's also be rescheduled for what looks to be a smaller room.
Nevertheless, we persist in our existence and this isn't over yet!


CANCELLATION EMAIL
At 11:43am I received this email:
Hi Faith,

Wanted to let you know that the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board meeting scheduled for tonight at the Library Community Meeting Room has been canceled due to lack of a quorum. There will be no LGAB meeting tonight.

The meeting has been rescheduled for this time and place:

7 pm, Thursday, June 16, 2016
First Floor Conference Room
West Hollywood City Hall
8300 Santa Monica Blvd., 90069

Parking for the June 16 meeting will be in the Kings Road Parking Structure, 8383 Santa Monica Blvd., 90069, on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Kings Road.

Support bisexual inclusion in the city of West Hollywood

A who's who of bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) culture and bisexual advocates have RSVP'd for the City of West Hollywood event TODAY! Can't make it? Tweet and share memes below in support of @wehocity creating a Bisexual Advisory Board! 

Bi+ Weho City Event
6/9/16 
7-9pm
Learn more/RSVP: bit.ly/DontForgetTheBWeho
‪#‎DontForgetTheB‬

We need an advisory board that can focus on "bisexual specific" issues like 61% of bi women experiencing violence in their relationships nationwide and 35% of bi men reporting they had seriously considered or attempted suicide. Learn more about how domestic violence, poorer mental health and sexual violence affect bi communities.
Photo Caption: A dark skinned masculine person stands with shocked face and mouth open. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION / “…the Board is barely able to get through the agenda it already has, without adding an additional subject.”/ #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) / 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574) Photo Credit: BiNet USA
Photo Caption: A medium skinned feminine person with tattooes laughs in the rain. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION / “…supports the idea of asking the City Council to consider a Bisexual Task Force, but that she had joined a Lesbian and Gay board.”/ #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) / 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574) Photo Credit: BiNet USA
Photo Caption: A medium skinned masculine person squishes up their face, appalled. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION / "…said members were appointed to represent their particular identity as gay or lesbian, and that he didn’t want to presume to speak on someone else’s identity.“ / #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) / 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574) Photo Credit: BiNet USA
Photo Caption: A medium skinned masculine person stands with shocked face and mouth open while looking over their glasses aghast. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION / "“…spoke against having a separate board, because younger people are moving toward not defining themselves in these ways…” / #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) / 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574) Photo Credit: BiNet USA
Photo Caption: A medium skinned feminine person in heels walks out of the picture holding rainbow balloons and looking downcast. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION / "...said he didn't support this proposal at this time."/ #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) / 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574) Photo Credit: BiNet USA


Photostock provided by http://www.gratisography.com/

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Announcement: Welcome our BiNet USA New Board Members

BiNet USA is Proud to Announce Its Newest Board Members
Join us in welcoming…

Beth Sherouse
Photo Credit: G. Beth Sherouse
[Image description: Beth Sherouse and Faith Cheltenham at HRC Event for #biweek 2015]

G. Elizabeth (Beth) Sherouse, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is an academic and social justice advocate from Atlanta, GA. She currently works as the Senior Content Manager for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Before coming to HRC, she was an adjunct professor of U.S. and African-American History at the University of South Carolina, where she completed her graduate work. Her career in LGBTQ advocacy began as an undergraduate, when she cofounded Mercer University’s first officially recognized LGBTQ student group, which later led the Georgia Baptist Convention to sever its 173-year ties with the university. As a graduate student, she volunteered with progressive campaigns and organizations in South Carolina including South Carolina Equality and the SC Progressive Network. Dr. Sherouse holds a B.A. in History and Southern Studies from Mercer University (2006), and both an M.A. (2008) and Ph.D. (2013) in U.S. and African American History from the University of South Carolina.


Zeam Porter
Photo credit: Geena Rocero, Founder “Gender Proud
[Image Description; Zeam Porter standing in front of Trans Queer Youth Artwork]

Zeam Porter (they/them/theirs) is an 18 year old bi, pan and trans femme non binary person of color. Zeam first came to the public eye when they gave an incredibly moving speech in December 2014 on how the state of Minnesota could best accommodate trans student-athletes. That testimony led to more appearances and opportunities for them to share their story including an appearance on Geena Rocero’s digital series Beautiful as I Want to Be with none other than Caitlyn Jenner who introduced Zeam to Matt Barnes, an NBA player with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Zeam is also an accomplished artist and will graduate soon from The Blake School.

Watch Zeam and their dad meet Caitlyn Jenner:
[Zeam Porter and Caitlyn Jenner from the premiere episode of Beautiful As I Want To Be.]


Brian J. Ellicott
br.jpg
Photo Credit: Bryan J. Ellicott
[Image Description; Bryan seated at an event]

Bryan J. Ellicott serves as Government Affairs Chair on the Staten Island PrideFest Committee and Spectrum Chair. He works at The Door as a Supervisor for Runaway Homeless Youth Drop-In Services. The Door is where Bryan empowers younger people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment. Bryan does that by facilitating groups and doing street outreach to NYC most vulnerable population our Runaway Homeless Youth.
Bryan J. Ellicott is a born and raised Staten Islander from Great Kills. He attended all New York City public schools in Staten Island, as well as graduated from City University of New York College of Staten Island. He is active in New York City politics and activism. He works for the equal rights and protections of the transgender community in New York City and across New York State. He is an executive board member of both SIDA (Staten Island Democratic Association and SDNYC (Stonewall Democrats of New York City). He was recently asked to join the Democratic National Committee's LGBT Advisory Board.
When he isn’t working on Staten Island PrideFest, on a political campaign or legislative issue, Bryan can be found in drinking iced coffee at Starbucks and writing his memoir or researching various topics of interest online.



Katy Butler

katy3.jpg
Photo Credit: Katy Butler
[Image Description: Headshot of Katy Butler in a hat]

Katy Butler is a recognized activist on the issues of bullying, LGBT topics, privilege and oppression, and diversity. Katy earned a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the The George Washington University and she is currently finishing her Master’s in Education from The University of Illinois, Urbana. Katy has worked with GLAAD, The Bully Project, Equality Michigan, HRC and now is working in pediatrics on a project to help pediatricians better prevent bullying. She also petitioned the MPAA to change the rating of the inspirational film Bully from R to PG13 so kids around the country could watch this incredible film and start a conversation about bullying in their communities. Katy has appeared on Ellen, Anderson Cooper, CNN, Fox, MSNBS, in the New York Times, Daily Beast, Huffington Post and more.

As a speaker, she connects with her audience on a personal level and inspires others to join her in working for a world with no injustice through dialogue and activities on various difficult issues. Katy’s passion to create change comes from her experience with bullying and she shares that passion through her programing.


We salute AJ Walkley, Patrick Richards Fink, and Peter Ruggiero as they step down from the board at this time. We commend past, present and future board members for their dedicated service as volunteer activists for the bisexual+ community.





Monday, June 06, 2016

Bi WeHo City Council Event, June 9th 2016

Bi+ WeHo City Council Event
​Thursday June 9th, 2016
7 PM - 9 PM

West Hollywood Library - Community Room
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Parking can be found in the 5 story structure with the elephant painted on the side. 
Parking there will be validated.

We will be showing up to request the creation of a Bisexual Advisory Board for the City of West Hollywood and we want them to see the depth and diversity of our community. There is currently a Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board and a Transgender Advisory Board but no Bisexual Advisory Board! 

We need an advisory board that can focus on "bisexual specific" issues like 61% of bi women experiencing violence in their relationships nationwide and 35% of bi men reporting they had seriously considered or attempted suicide. Learn more about how domestic violence, poorer mental health and sexual violence affect bi communities.


PLANNING TO JOIN US? RSVP on the LA Bi Task Force Facebook event page or on amBi's Meetup event page. Thank you LA Bi Task Force and amBi! 

Please bring your flags, buttons, or bi/pan/fluid pride gear so they know who we are! Partners, families and allies welcome! We will have pride gear for those who have none!



CAN'T JOIN US? Participate digitally by tweeting @WeHoCity and using the tag #DontForgetTheB!





BACKGROUND
Back in Nov 2015, the West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian board considered adding bisexual to their name or creating a bisexual advisory board but did not do so (see the publicly available minutes below). We're showing up in person to ask again! 


We'll be bringing copies of LA Bi Task Force's bisexual needs assessment for Greater Los Angeles as well as copies of the Movement Advancement Project report Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans for the current advisory board. 

Join The LA Bi Task Force, amBi, and BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham at Thursday's City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board meeting at the West Hollywood Library community room! 6/9/16 7-9pm Learn more/RSVP: bit.ly/DontForgetTheBWeho #DontForgetTheB Photo Caption: A medium skinned masculine person squishes up their face, appalled. The image reads: EXCERPTS FROM THAT TIME THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD TRIED TO DO BI INCLUSION "…said members were appointed to represent their particular identity as gay or lesbian, and that he didn’t want to presume to speak on someone else’s identity.“ #DontForgetTheB @CityWeho (on top of bi pride flag background) 11/12/15, City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board Minutes (http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574)
A photo posted by @thefayth on


READ THE MINUTES
Minutes from the City of West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board meetings suggest a great need for education about bisexual communities as the minutes reflect the all too common bisexual micro aggressions, bisexual erasure and biphobia found in LGBT communities:
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2015 
MINUTES 
LESBIAN AND GAY ADVISORY BOARD  
CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD  
NEW BUSINESS
A.
CONSIDERATION OF INCLUDING " BISEXUAL" IN THE NAME AND MISSION
OF THE LESBIAN AND GAY ADVISORY BOARD 
Public Comment: Nir Zilberman spoke in favor of adding `bisexual' to the Board' s name and mission, saying that there should be one board for all LGBT together, and that by excluding bisexuals we are taking their pride away from them. 
Public Comment: Jimmy Palmieri, Human Services Commission, said that this is a Gay and Lesbian advisory board, and the Transgender Advisory Board was formed to make educated decisions on transgender subjects. He said if bisexual people want to have their own board, the City should do that, but that it would not be serving bisexual people well to have their issues combined with others. 
Board Discussion: Board Members discussed pros and cons of adding the term 'bisexual' to the name and mission of this board. Beth Bishop spoke against having a separate board, because younger people are moving toward not defining themselves in these ways, and we need to have one larger board. Lucas John said he didn't support this proposal at this time. James Duke Mason said whatever action the Board takes should be moving toward greater inclusiveness, and that the Board could ask the City Council to begin a Bisexual Task Force. Marquita Thomas said that the Board is barely able to get through the agenda it already has, without adding an additional subject. 
James Duke Mason moved to ask the City Council to consider whether there is a need to form a Bisexual Task Force to do a needs assessment of the bisexual community. Ruth Tithe said she supports the idea of asking the City Council to consider a Bisexual Task Force, but that she had joined a Lesbian and Gay board. Matt Palazzolo suggested that Board Members talk to their own Councilmembers to see if there is a need for this in the community, and if so, to possibly come back with it in the future. Beth Bishop said the Board spends a large majority of its time on gay issues, and that people of all orientations might be better served by having one large board. Robert Oliver said members were appointed to represent their particular identity as gay or lesbian, and that he didn't want to presume to speak on someone else's identity. He seconded the motion by James Duke Mason.
Public Comment: James Wen, chair of Transgender Advisory Board, said that we are moving toward having one voice as a community, and would like to help people form an LGBT task force, seeing the changing nature of the community.The motion was approved 9 to 1, with Lucas John voting no. 
B.
AIDS WATCH
Public Comment:
1. Nir Zilberman expressed strong disagreement with remarks by some
members of the Board during the previous item.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2016  
MINUTES 
LESBIAN AND GAY ADVISORY BOARD 
CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD 
Nir Zilberman said he met with the City Manager and Mayor ProTern Meister today. He said three main concerns for him are bringing gay and lesbian homeless to the attention of the community, bringing back consideration of including bisexuality as a topic for the board, and making sure that homeless people are understood as individuals, instead of assuming that all are alike.
All minutes: http://www.weho.org/city-hall/download-documents/-folder-574


Download more #DontForgetTheB Weho images here.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Bi youth invited to attend Emerging Leaders Day with Point Foundation

Image Caption: Image says Emerging Leaders in a rainbow font with 7 young people of different ethnicities sitting in front of the word Leaders. 
Image Credit: The Point Foundation

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO IDENTIFY AS LGBTQ are invited to register as “Emerging Leaders” to attend Point Foundation’s Washington, D.C. Policy & Law Leadership Education and Affinities Development (LEAD) Consortium. The Emerging Leaders Opportunity provides high school students with the skills and resources to become leaders in their local community.

Thursday July 21st, 2016 8:30am - 5:15pm
The Mayflower Hotel
1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Emerging Leaders will attend the entire one-day consortium alongside Point Scholars and Alumni. Noted professionals and experts will lead sessions focusing on LGBTQ legislation and public policy, legal case studies, policy/law strategies, and the impact of litigation affecting the LGBTQ community. A session designed exclusively for student Emerging Leaders will address how to be a leader in high school, build connections with the community, and impact the local area as an LGBTQ student while developing skills for the future.

Register by June 24, 2016

For more information, please contact Deepen Gagneja,
Program Coordinator, at deepen@pointfoundation.org.

Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.

Download and share the flyer here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

#ImWithAmber

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2016
CONTACT:
Nicole Kristal
#StillBisexual Campaign Founder
stillbisexual@gmail.com

BISEXUAL LEADERS, ORGANIZATIONS AND LGBT ALLIES NATIONWIDE CONDEMN BIPHOBIC COVERAGE OF AMBER HEARD DIVORCE
AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are writing to condemn the biphobic media coverage of the Amber Heard divorce and domestic violence case. The coverage has been damaging to abuse survivors and has perpetuated negative stereotypes of bisexual women in the following ways...

  • Listing unnamed sources that claim Heard’s “bisexual tendencies” doomed the marriage (inferring bisexuals are incapable of monogamy)
   
   
  • Reports that Johnny Depp was “driven insane” by fear of Heard cheating on him with a woman (again, justifying the abuse because it was caused by her bisexuality)
   
  • Blaming Heard’s “lesbian friends” for the break-up (reinforcing the assumption that bisexual women are sexually involved with all same-sex non-heterosexual friends)
   
  • Pundits talking about the situation by stating it is “unwise” to marry a bisexual and that bisexual marriages are “doomed to fail.” (reinforcing the stereotype that bisexuals are incapable of having healthy, functional relationships)

Since this story broke on May 26, not one media report (aside from some excellent reporting from Carolyn Cox at TheMarySue and Casey Quinlan at Think Progress) has pegged this story to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey report released by the CDC in 2013 that found...

  • Sixty-one percent of bisexual women have a lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, as opposed to 35% of heterosexual women and 43% of lesbians
   
  • Forty-nine percent of bisexual women have a lifetime prevalence of severe physical violence by an intimate partner (e.g., hit with fist or something hard, slammed against something, or beaten), as opposed to 23% of heterosexual women and 29% of lesbians
   
  • Nearly half of all bisexual women have been raped, as opposed to 17% of  heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians

  • Seventy-four percent of bisexual women have experienced sexual violence other  than rape, as opposed to 46% of lesbians and 43% of heterosexual women

One of the reasons bisexual people may experience higher rates of domestic violence is an abuser's irrational fear that their bisexual partner may be unfaithful. See this moving story of a bisexual woman who lived through that scenario. For the media to perpetuate the myth that bisexual people are more likely to be unfaithful, and that lack of faithfulness is an excusable rationale for abuse, is reckless, irresponsible, and may perpetuate further violence against bisexual people.  

We strongly encourage all media outlets to do their due diligence and frame Heard’s experiences in light of the legitimate health statistics and data that show bisexual women are at greater risk of intimate partner violence. By omitting these facts and instead choosing to frame Heard’s experiences as the result of her orientation is victim-blaming, irresponsible and damaging.


Sincerely,

BiNet U.S.A.
#StillBisexual campaign
Bisexual Resource Center
Robyn Ochs, Editor of the Bi Women Quarterly
The BiCast, podcasting for the bisexual community
Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago
Bay Area Bisexual Network
Fluid Arizona
OMNI: Bi/Pan/Trans Women and Transmen of Color Network
Spectrum Queer Media
Boston Bisexual Women’s Network
Lisa Francavilla, BiQ Atlanta
Bi Request NYC
New York Area Bisexual Network
1 to 5 Club of the Utah Pride Center
Biversity Boston
BiLaw
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
SALGA-NYC
Michael Prager, Organizer, Bi Brigade, Portland, Oregon
Evan Peterson, Bisexual Books
Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Portland's UnShul, editor, Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of
Faith
Rev. Lindasusan V. Ulrich, Principal Author of Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and
Recommendations, San Francisco Human Rights Commission
Lauren Beach, Director of LGBTI Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Jennifer Restle, San Diego bisexual and disabilities activist
Lani Ka’ahumanu, co-author of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexuals Speak Out
Apphia K., Advocate for Bisexual Immigration and Social Justice
Heidi Bruins Green, Co-Chair, Bisexual Advisory Committee of Out & Equal Workplace
Advocates
Knox Inman, Leader of the Washington DC Bisexual Community Group, Center Bi
Alexei Guren, bisexual activist
William Burleson, Author of Bi America
Sheela Lambert, Founder of the Bisexual Book Awards
Elana Levin, Co-Founder of Organizing 2.0
Ashton Woods, gay/LGBT ally and #BlackLivesMatters activist
Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, Author of Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes
Women’s Lives
Cathy Renna, publicist and managing partner Target Cue
Campus Pride
Samati Niyomchai, social worker
Wayne Bryant, President Emeritus, Bisexual Resource Center
Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor in chief of Plus magazine and editor at large for The
Advocate
Denise Penn, Co-Chair, LGBT Caucus of the California Democratic Party
Adele M. Stan, columnist, The American Prospect
Kevin Hogan, Founder of Healing Stigma and BRC board member