Who We Are
The Melbourne Bisexual Network (MBN) is made up of of mental health and advocacy professionals working to raise awareness of the unique health and wellbeing issues facing bisexual+ people, and to collectively determine strategies to improve and promote bisexual+ inclusivity in LGBTQIA+ programs and services.
The MBN is committed to improving the health, wellbeing and development of bisexual+ people in three areas of service delivery:
Bisexual issues are separate and distinct from the broader LGBTQIA+community. Common biphobia issues such as bi-erasure, bi-invisibility and monosexism become daily struggles for those who identify as bisexual inside and outside of queer spaces.
Currently in Australia the overwhelming majority of education on queer issues is drawn from gay and lesbian literature. MBN aims to provide accurate and useful resources to assist in educating the health service sector on the specific experiences and needs of people who identify as bisexual.
This will be done by acknowledging that bisexuality is a unique sexual orientation and intersects with trans and gender diverse identities, cisgenderism, ethnicity, social and economic location, traditional and non-traditional relationship models, people with disabilities, as well as mental health status including neurodiversity of biseuxal people.
MBN will work to support the development of inclusive literature and resources, such as training packages for health professionals, in order to create and sustain a respectful and bi-inclusive health service sector.
Community for bisexual people is of paramount importance. Bisexual people need their own specific bisexual-centered spaces in order to strengthen connections and accessibility to a shared lived experience which is not often acknowledged or affirmed in mainstream and queer community spaces.
This means that the MBN aims to provide advocacy for bisexual groups and programs by supporting them with submissions for funding opportunities, provide a point of secondary consultation regarding bisexuality, offer support with bisexual community events so that shared and diverse bisexual stories and narratives are affirmed and promoted.
The MBN aims to be a reference point for the auditing and promotion of bi-inclusive services so that individual practitioners and agencies have the opportunity to be deemed suitable referral sources for bisexual people.
MBN aims to work with established bisexual community groups such as Bi-Alliance Victoria and JOY 94.9 FM’s Triple Bi-Pass program to broaden its community reach and promotion of services.
Therapeutic Services designed to respond to the specific outcomes from the Who I Am study (La Trobe University) forms the basis of the emergence of the MBN.
Traditionally, psychology has used pathologising models to address the needs of bisexual and queer people.
The MBN aims to inform, design and deliver therapeutic models of care that celebrate, affirm and empower the expression of people’s bisexual experiences.
Research (such as the Who I Am study) and other Australian empirical evidence, together with psychological and sociological theoretical frameworks that are feminist, anti-oppressive, and queer-inclusive will largely shape any therapeutic guidelines, recommendations and resources that emerge out of the MBN.