Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Why our Bisexual+ community needs family-friendly workplace policies

From: Preston Van Vliet, National Campaign Organizer at the LGBTQ Work-Family Project with A Better Balance and Family Values @ Work

Preston Van Vliet
My name is Preston Van Vliet and I staff a joint project between Family Values @ Work and A Better Balance, focusing on LGBTQ inclusion, general cross-movement work within paid sick/safe days and paid family medical leave. My policy niche, so to say, is making sure "family" is defined as inclusively as possible in these bills so that workers can use their paid leave to take care of their chosen family and extended family. We have now passed 5 paid sick & safe day laws (3-9 days a year of paid time off work for medical/health/caregiving purposes) that have this most inclusive family definition! Which is awesome! No paid family/medical leave law (6-12 weeks of paid time off work for bonding with a new child/serious health condition/caregiving) with this family definition yet, but we have several campaigns that are introducing bills with this language this year.

Many of the paid sick/safe day laws that have been passed guarantee workers the ability to use their paid time to navigate domestic violence/sexual assault (that's the "safe days" term is used to convey). There is a range legally of what is covered in each law, but usually most cover: going to DV/SA services, going to a shelter, going to get a PPO, seeking counseling. Some laws cover much more!

I have been working with our campaign partners through the Family Values @ Work network to elevate the "safe days" use of paid sick/safe days, and I would love to bring in more LGBTQ x DV/SA perspectives as part of these state and local campaigns. I'm reaching out today to specifically invite bi folks to the campaign, given our disastrously high rates of DV/IPV. These safe days will be an incredible resource for bi communities across the country.

So we need your involvement in this work! If you are interested in learning more about "safe days," to be connected to a local/state campaign, or to share your story about the need for "safe days" for yourself or if you have provided care/support for a loved one going through that, please email me at LGBTQorganizing@gmail.com. I'd be happy to schedule a phone call/video conference call with anyone who wants to learn more.

Here are the active PSSD campaigns within Family Values @ Work's network:
Los Angeles, CA (know your rights community education on 2016 law that already passed)
IL (statewide legislative fight and local Chicago & Cook County know-your-rights on 2016 laws)
MI (building towards 2018 ballot initiative, will start collecting petition signatures soon)
MN (statewide legislative fight)
NM (local Albuquerque ballot for this fall)
PA (protecting Philly law from statewide rollback of it, and local Philly know-your-rights on 2015 law)
RI (statewide legislative fight)
WI (local work around government workers benefits)

Best Practices for Family Definition and Safe Day Provisions
As paid sick and safe day (PSSD) laws have gained momentum over the past ten years, there have now been 39 laws passed across the country, with 22 of them including “safe day” provisions. For LGBTQ workers and their families, PSSD are vital supports that help families remain stable during life’s planned and unplanned challenges. Two pertinent policy components of a strong PSSD program that support LGBTQ workers are inclusive definitions of “family” and inclusive safe day provisions.  

Ensuring that workers can use their PSSD to take care of family members who are sick and who are navigating domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking ("safe days"), and that how "family" is defined is inclusive. The Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA) definition of "parent" and "child" follow our most inclusive principles. "In loco parentis" covers a wide range of parental relationships and is what we encourage our coalition partners to use when drafting their bills. However FMLA falls short in other relationships. How "spouse," "domestic partner," and "family members" are defined is important to cover as many family configurations as possible.

  • Spouse: Define “spouse” as a person to whom the employee is legally married under the laws of any state.

  • Domestic partner:                                    
    • Domestic partner means an adult in a committed relationship with another adult, including both same-sex and different-sex relationships.”           
    • Committed relationship means one in which the employee, and the domestic partner of the employee, share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare. This includes, but is not limited to, any relationship between individuals of the same or different sex that is granted legal recognition by a State, Political Subdivision, or by the District of Columbia as a marriage or analogous relationship (including, but not limited to, a civil union).”

  • Family members: In addition to listing specific family members, include: “Any individual related by blood whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” Five PSSD laws now include family definitions that utilize this principle, including: Los Angeles, Chicago, Cook County (IL), Saint Paul (MN), and the state of Arizona (as passed in a 2016 ballot measure). The federal government uses a version of this language (“related by blood or affinity”) in its own regulations on federal workers’ right to annual and sick leave. 5 C.F.R § 630.201(b)(7).

Ensuring that paid sick days can be used for "safe days" (navigating DV/SA related events & services), and that those safe time provisions are inclusive of the different ways survivors are navigating violence. While legally there are sometimes challenges in redefining DV/SA statutes in laws that we’re working to pass, as an organization, your HR policies can of course be more inclusive. Especially since we know that mainstream DV/SA services and the criminal justice system are not accessible, safe, or wanted options for marginalized communities, I recommend taking a look at DC’s safe days provision within their PSSD law, as copied here:

"Absence resulting from employee or employee's family member being a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse and the absence is for the purposes of:

a. Seeking medical attention to treat or recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by the stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse;
b. Obtaining services from a victim services organization;
c. Obtaining psychological or other counseling services;
d. Temporary or permanent relocation;
e. Taking legal action; or
f. Taking other action that could reasonably be determined to enhance physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of employee, employee's family member of the safety of those who work or associate with employee. "

Chosen families provide care too and need paid sick time

A Better Balance and Family Values at Work

Why is it important we have these protections?

  1. Survivors of sexual assault lean on friends & chosen fam for help, so #paidsickdays need to include them because #OurFamiliesCount

  1. Many bisexual individuals are sexual assault survivors & need #paidsickdays. See our report on #paidleave for more http://bit.ly/2pRTI6X

  1. #LGBTQ sexual assault survivors & those that help them need #paidsickdays. #OurFamiliesCount because support saves survivors’ lives

  1. #LGBTQ sexual assault survivors & those that help them need #paidsickdays.

  1. 61% of trans ppl w/disabilities are sexual assault survivors. Chosen family who helps them need #paidsickdays

  1. 65% of trans ppl who were homeless are sexual assault survivors. Their caregivers need #paidsickdays to help 

  1. 72% of trans ppl who did sex work are sexual assault survivors. Their caregivers need #paidsickdays to help http://bit.ly/2pRTI6X

  1. According to US Trans Survey, ½ experienced sexual assault. We need #paidsickdays so trans survivors can get services w/o being fired

  1. #OurFamiliesCount no matter what shape they take. We care for close friends, extended family, neighbors, so #paidleave needs to cover us.

  1. #OurFamiliesCount & we need #paidleave. #Trans people of color experience high rates of violence & they need chosen family to help recover.

  1. #LGBTQ domestic violence survivors & chosen fam that helps them need #paidsickdays. #OurFamiliesCount because support saves survivors’ lives

  1. Black #trans survivors of intimate partner violence are more likely to be injured by partner, so they need #paidsickdays for recovery

  1. #LGBTQ immigrants build chosen families. They need #paidsickdays that cover them #OurFamiliesCount http://huff.to/1FT5Msn
  2. #LGBTQ workers need #paidsickdays & nondiscrimination protection to care for ill same gender partner w/o being fired #OurFamiliesCount

  1. #Trans workers need #paidsickdays & nondiscrimination protection to access gender-affirming health care w/o being fired

  1. #Trans ppl travel further for transition health care than for routine care, so need #paidsickdays to help keep job http://bit.ly/1VdoXX1

  1. #LGBTQ workers need #paidsickdays & #paidleave to access family planning services because #OurFamiliesCount

  1. 1 in 5 #trans people are parents so need #paidsickdays for caregiving & #paidleave for child bonding #OurFamiliesCount http://www.ustranssurvey.org/report

  1. We need #paidsickdays to help prevent the flu being spread to people living w/HIV who are vulnerable to getting very sick  #OurFamiliesCount

  1. Chosen fam has important history in taking care of gay & bi men dying of AIDS. #OurFamiliesCount & we need #paidsickdays that cover us.

  1. Chosen fam has important history in taking care of #trans women dying of AIDS. #OurFamiliesCount & we need #paidsickdays that cover us

  1. Elders in the #trans community take care of younger trans people. #OurFamiliesCount & we need #paidsickdays to help care for each other
  1. #LGBTQ workers need #paidsickdays to access routine health care, especially as lesbian & bisexual women have higher rates of ovarian cancer

  1. #LGBTQ workers need #paidsickdays to access routine health care, especially as lesbian & bisexual women have higher rates of breast cancer

  1. Ppl living w/#HIV need #paidsickdays to access routine health care. Getting tested regularly for STIs & #Hepatitis C is crucial for health

  1. #LGBTQ workers need #paidsickdays to access sexual health care, such as annual exams, STI testing, and accessing #PrEP.

Friday, September 15, 2017

BiWeek 2017 “Our Past, Our Present and Our Future” Graphics by Elizabeth Beier

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Color graphic in pink, purple, blue and white with BISEXUAL AWARENESS WEEK SEPTEMBER 17-24 2017 www.bisexualweek.com (original graphic by Nikki Zang for 2015 campaign)

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Image: Purple background photo of  BiPOL founding organizer Lani Ka'ahumanu  wielding her "Bi-Phobia Shield" as she marches with her contingent in the 1984 Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day Parade
Caption: #BiWeek17 Honoring Our Past “It is through history we shape our future” L.McFadzen

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Image: Purple background of Sara Ramirez speaking at the Equality March 2017 in Washington DC
Caption: #BiWeek17 Acknowledging Our Present “We stood in Solidarity with you. We ask you stand in solidarity with us” GLAAD.ORG/BIWEEK BINET USA

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Image: Purple background with bisexual activist Miles The Bisexual leaning on a tree.
Caption: The bisexual activist community is filled with so many young, innovative minds begging for greater intersection and representation. They're gripping discourse by the horns and dissecting the nuances surrounding it. These youth are, as cliché as it sounds, our future.

BiWeek 2017 SEE ME NOW” Bisexual Awareness Week graphics by Ellen Stothart

Caption: Color graphic with people of various ethnicities, genders, abilities along with the words Bisexual Awareness Week September 17th-24th 2017 / BiNet USA GLAAD Credit: Ellen Stothart for BiNet USA

Color graphic with people of various ethnicities, genders, abilities along with the words Bisexual Awareness Week September 17th-24th 2017 / BiNet USA GLAAD Image Credit: Ellen Stothart for BiNet USA

Color graphic with people of various ethnicities, genders, abilities along with the words Bisexual Awareness Week September 17th-24th 2017 / BiNet USA GLAAD Image Credit: Ellen Stothart for BiNet USA

Color graphic with people of various ethnicities, genders, abilities along with the words Bisexual Awareness Week September 17th-24th 2017 / BiNet USA GLAAD Image Credit: Ellen Stothart for BiNet USA

Ellen Stothart

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Pride Study: BiNet USA partners with PrideNet

PRIDEnet is a national network that engages lesbian, gay, bisexual, tran
BiNet USA is proud to partner with PrideNet to bring “The Pride Study” to our bisexual+ community

What is The PRIDE Study?
The PRIDE Study is the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), or another sexual or gender minority.
By participating in The PRIDE Study over time, your unique story teaches us about the health and well-being of LGBTQ people like you.
To participate, please join The PRIDE Study.

What is the goal of The PRIDE Study?

The goal of The PRIDE Study is to improve the health of LGBTQ people. To meet this goal, we need to understand how being LGBTQ affects your health. The PRIDE Study deeply explores how the experience of being LGBTQ is related to all aspects of health and life. We study the unique health care disparities, strengths, and resiliencies of our communities. We share our findings through a variety of methods to help LGBTQ communities and health professionals.
Learn more about The Impact of The PRIDE Study.

What does it mean to join The PRIDE Study?

A minimum of 30 minutes once a year is all it takes to change LGBTQ health! As a participant in The PRIDE Study, we will send you a brief online annual health questionnaire. You can choose how much you participate. Some participants will be invited to complete more online questionnaires about specific health topics.

Who is conducting The PRIDE Study?

The PRIDE Study is conducted by doctors and research scientists at University of California, San Francisco. Health questionnaires are designed with the input of national expert advisors. The study receives input from PRIDEnet and its Participant Advisory Committee.
Learn more about The Team behind The PRIDE Study.

How is my information kept safe?

As doctors and research scientists, we understand that information about your life and health is personal. Like our patients’ health information, it is our priority to keep the information you share private and secure. All communications between you and our system are secure electronic transmissions, and our data centers are physically secured. All our systems meet the requirements defined by federal law.

How is my information shared?

Your participation in The PRIDE Study is wasted if we don’t share the results with the people and organizations that can make real change for LGBTQ health. Results from The PRIDE Study will be shared directly with you, healthcare professionals, policy-makers, and community organizations. Only pooled data about groups of people in the study will be shared and we work to ensure this data cannot be traced back to you.

How is The PRIDE Study funded?

We are supported by resources from the University of California - San Francisco, research grants, product donations, pro bono services, and individual donations. In addition, we actively seek funding from foundations that focus on health, LGBTQ issues, and social justice as well as research grants from public and private institutions.


The PRIDE Study Video

To participate, please join The PRIDE Study.

sghttp://pride-files.s3.amazonaws.com/The%20PRIDE%20Study%20Overview.pdfender, and/or queer (LGBTQ) people in research about our health. The PRIDE Study is affiliated with PRIDEnet and is the first national, large-scale, long-term health study of LGBTQ people in the USA.

#BiWeek 2017 Our Past. Our Present. Our Future

Celebrating our Bisexual+ Community!

The fourth annual BiNet USA partnership with GLAAD for #BiWeek is fast approaching. We have designated September 17th to the 24th as #BiWeek! 

BiWeek 2017 Collaborators To Follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

@binetusa, @glaad, @BRC_Central, @biorgproject,,@antiviolence, @lgbtmap, @Out2Enroll, @PPFA, @FmlyValuesWork, @ThePRIDEStudy


#BiWeek (official)
Other popular hashtags: #BiVisibilityDay, #BiMonth , #BiPride, #BiHistory, #BiHealth, #BiTwitter, #BiChat

This year we focus on “Our Past Our Present Our Future”

Image: Color photo of non binary bisexual+ activist and student Mile Joyner aka “Miles The Bisexual”
The bisexual activist community is filled with so many young, innovative minds begging for greater intersection and representation. They're gripping discourse by the horns and dissecting the nuances surrounding it. These youth are, as cliché as it sounds, or future. There are more young bisexuals realizing who they are every day, realizing they don't have to be ashamed, changing the game and refusing to stay silent. All I can hope for is that these young people, generously including myself, are able to find our way into positions where we can place more power behind our movements and celebrate the diversity and unique experiences of bisexuals - no matter their gender, race, or specific kind of attraction.
Miles Joyner

Monday, September 04, 2017

Celebrate Bi Visibility Month: EVENTS

Celebrate Bi Visibility Month: EVENTS

Bi Visibility Day is September 23rd. Please share your events here! Groups and organizations across the globe are celebrating the entire month. We will be highlighting events and group throughout the month.

Here are several events scheduled from groups across the US


BiNet USA and The Bi Brigade are hosting a #BiWeek Wrap Up for the entire LGBTQIA community in Portland, Oregon. Rabbi Debra Kolodny,author and activist, will be the main speaker.. Other guest speakers include Stacey Rice, Q Center Director and George T, Nicola, GLAPN and Melanie Davis, PQ Monthly. . The BiCast will be live streaming via Facebook Sunday September 24th from The Q Center in Portland Oregon. Panels, meet and greet and refreshments to be included.

8th Annual Bi Arts Fest in honor of Celebrate Bisexuality Day

bi arts fest.jpg

Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
1125 N McCadden Pl, Los Angeles, California 90038
This is our annual signature event, featuring a range of local bisexual/pansexual/fluid artists to showcase the vibrancy of our community. Featured artists: Hannah Harris (spoken word), King Leo the Great, (hip-hop), Riley Rose (photography)


B+ Awareness Month! Brunch!

It's our monthly brunch! But with more ooomph! ;)

Come join us for some mimosas, some chatter, and of course, a celebration.

Please let us know for sure if you are coming so that if there are more than 8 of us we can reserve a table. Thanks!

September 16th, 2017 10:30-12:30PM
147 W Broadway, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

3rd Annual Queer Continuum Conference

It's here, it's here! Salt Lake City's 3rd Annual Queer Continuum Conference is upon us!

Come and join Utah's 1 to 5 Club as we explore what it means to be sexually fluid in our community. With panels and workshops on everything from healthcare to asexuality to queer representation in comix to using art for radical change with drag and zines, the conference is going to cover as wide a range of topics as there are parts to our community.

Even better - we are delighted and honored to have local artist and activist Ella Mendoza take the mic for our Keynote address!

But the best part? The conference is completely free. While we ask for donations online, we do not take an entry fee at the door. Come as you are, ready to work with your fellow bi and pan and ace (and more!) peeps as we break down binary walls and build ever stronger platforms.

(And if you're coming from out of town, some hosting is available.)


September 23rd 9-4 PM MDT
210 E 400 S, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Philly Bi Visibility Rally and Health Fair


Celebrate and support Bisexual Pride and the LGBT community in Philadelphia! http://www.bivisibilityday.com/
The event is a rally to show the bisexual and LGBT presence in Philadelphia so bring signs and LGBT flags.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

2:00 - 3:00 pm HEALTH FAIR with sponsoring organizations

3:00 - 4:00 pm Rally for bisexual Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians! Mayor James Kenney, Amber Hikes, and bisexual activists will be speaking at the event!

4:00 - 6:00 pm AFTER PARTY at TABU!

The event is open to all LGBT people and allies. Please share and invite friends.

Check out our website at biphilly.org
We are on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy Bi  Visibility Month!


Bi Local is delighted to announce the calendar for Bisexual Visibility Month for September 2017!

This month, we are hosting a bike ride and picnic - Bis on Bikes - on Sunday, September 10.10 AM Goodale Park

Thursday, September 14 6-8 PM will be a special Unicorn-Themed Cocktail Happy Hour at Bossy Grrl's Pin Up Joint.

And please join us Saturday, September 23 7 PM - 10 PM for our

503 S Front St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Find us on Facebook and Meetup for more details and to RSVP!