Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What happened in Michigan?

(a personal note from Faith...)

I am deeply troubled by the news today of the resignation of Emily Dievendorf from Equality Michigan.
[Photo/Credit: Emily Dievendorf, one of the most visible bisexual leaders in the LGBT movement]

Board members of BiNet USA will further investigate Dievendorf's resignation in connection to the recent decision by the National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Center For Lesbian Rights to remove their names from a petition calling for a transgender womyn inclusive #Mitchfest.

Dievendorf began the petition last year while Executive Director of Equality Michigan and wrote a moving explanation of her commitment to leave no one behind in the fight for equality. 
Equality Michigan - as the statewide advocacy organization for the LGB and T communities in Michigan - asks that you live your values. Stop playing Fest. Stop sponsoring Fest. Stop attending and giving your money to an event that, in being passive in its bigotry, is active in its exclusion - because your money is its own passive acceptance of how your investment impacts those around you. Stop making excuses. Supporting Michfest makes us weapons against our own people. Until trans*women are invited to sit next to you as their authentic selves, it is hypocrisy and it is harm.
Viewpoint:Why Trans Exclusion At Michfest Must Finally End, prideresource.com
BiNet USA applauds Emily Dievendorf for her strong stand for transgender inclusion and her committed interest in proudly identifying as bisexual.

Interestingly enough sometimes being out as bisexual has devastating consequences for bisexuals in the workplace. Bisexuals report lower levels of being out than their gay or lesbian peers, with one study finding bi employees eight times as likely to be in the closet compared to lesbian and gay counterparts.
Read more of The Dumbest Stereotypes That Almost Stopped Bisexual People From Coming Out at mic.com
Bisexual* community members also report experiencing high levels of workplace discrimination, and just this month a bisexual man filed suit alleging sexual harassment from a gay co-worker at CBS. Kenneth Lombardi, a bisexual video producer, alleged not only sexual harassment but harassment based on his bisexuality.

[Photo Credit/Caption: We support you Kenneth Lombardi! Photo from advocate.com]

A 2013 survey found that bisexuals report "several themes" in bisexual specific workplace discrimination:
  • Firing due to bisexuality
  • Hypersexualization of bisexual employees by others
  • Discrimination by lesbian and gay co-workers and supervisors
  • Discrimination by religious persons and organizations 
Employment Discrimination Against Bisexuals: An Empirical Study by Ann Tweedy and Karen Yescavage, William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law

Yet, this same survey only found 1 in six bisexuals had filed any kind of complaint, including an internal complaint (with 45% citing a concern they would not get the assistance they needed as one of the reasons).

Do you have experience being discriminated against as a bisexual person in the workplace? 

Do you have messages of support for Emily Dievendorf? 

Leave your thoughts in the comments or email our board directly at binetusa@binetusa.org.

*BiNet USA uses bisexual as an inclusive community identity label for bi+, bi*, pansexual, fluid, queer, multisexual, omnisexual, polysexual and otherwise non-monosexual identified community members.