Remembering My Hat

22nd February 2012

Older bisexual people: In a nutshell

Here’s one of the bits of The Bisexuality Report that I wrote.  It’s a very concise summary.  I would have said much more if there had been more space.

For older bisexual people there may be increased invisibility due to assumptions that older people are no longer sexual, as well as the multiple discriminations of biphobia and ageism. The commercial gay scene, which some bisexual people access, is highly youth centric and may be hostile to older people, even those as young as their thirties [158]. The age profile of those attending bisexual events is somewhat older than that of the commercial lesbian and gay scene but is still fairly young (17-61, but with the largest group in their 30s)[159]. While there is a growing body of research into the impact of ageing on LGBT people in general [160], there is hardly any research on bisexual ageing specifically [161], and a great need for more information and understanding about the needs of older bisexual people.

The footnotes are:

158 Ward, R., Jones, R., Hughes, J., Humberstone, N., & Pearson, R. (2008). Intersections of ageing and sexuality: Accounts from older people. In R. Ward & B. Bytheway (Eds.), Researching age and multiple discrimination, 8, 45–72. London: Centre for Policy on Ageing.

159 Jones, R. L. (2011). Imagining bisexual futures: Positive, non-normative later life. Journal of Bisexuality, 11 (2), 245-270.

160 Stonewall (2011). Lesbian, gay and bisexual people in later life. London: Stonewall.

161 Weinberg, M. S., Williams, C. J., & Pryor, D. W. (2001). Bisexuals at midlife: Commitment,salience and identity. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 30 (2), 180–2

This summary leaves out lots of  interesting stuff  about identity politics and different generations of sexual minorities, and what it means to look back on a life course from later on. But, for now, I will put just that up in case it is useful to anyone looking for a succinct summary of some of the issues.

16th February 2012

The Bisexuality Report

Filed under: Uncategorized — rememberingmyhat @ 12:02

Out now, hot off the presses, get them while they’re still fresh:

The Bisexuality Report, by Meg Barker and Rebecca Jones

The Bisexuality Report was launched last night. You can also read about some of the reasons we wrote it here, hear me and Meg Barker talking about it on a podcast here and see Meg talking about it here. And for Walton Hall colleagues, or other people I’m seeing in person in the near future, I have hard copies in my office.

It was a really good launch event. It was well-attended by a wide range of people – practitioners, policy makers and activists as well as academics. Just the kinds of people we are hoping the report will influence. Although the Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone, couldn’t attend, she sent a message of support and Emma Reed, the Head of LGB&T Equality at the Home Office, said some very encouraging words.  As, indeed, did Alice Ashworth from Stonewall and Dan from the Metro centre.

Several people said that they thought this might be an epoch-changing moment and many gave serious commitments to review their practice in the light of what we are recommending (including Emma Reed), which was hugely encouraging.  As Marcus Morgan from the Bisexual Index said, we’ve been banging this drum for a long time, but this report makes a really good drum.  Of course, the report’s not perfect, and there’s plenty of work still to be done. But just feeling that we’ve made a loud-enough drum to be heard (for a bit, anyway) is great.

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