Melbourne Bisexual Network

Who We Are

The Melbourne Bisexual Network (MBN) is made up of mental health and advocacy professionals working to improve and promote bisexual+ inclusivity in LGBTQIA+ programs and services. 

The MBN is committed to raise awareness of the unique health and wellbeing issues facing bisexual+ people, and to collectively determine strategies toimproving the health, wellbeing and development of bisexual+  people in three areas of service delivery:


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Education

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.

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Community

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.

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Therapeutic 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.

The Team

 
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Ruby Mountford

PResident

(They/She)

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Jess Olivo

Vice President

(She/ Her/ Hers)

Josh Muller

Josh Muller

Treasurer

(He/ Him/ His)

 
Anthony Lekkas

Anthony Lekkas

Secretary and Public Relations & Marketing Manager

(He/ Him/ His)

 

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Ella Buczak

Education Coordinator

(They / Them / Theirs)

 

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Jo Williams

Committee Member

(She/Her/Hers)

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Why We Exist

 

Mental Health

Studies on the LGBTQIA+ communtiy have revealed that bisexual identifying people suffer worse mental health outcomes than LG people.

 

Coming Out

Bisexual people are less likely to come out to friends and family.

 

Engagement

Bisexual people are less likely to be engaged with the LGBTQIA+ community.

 
 

Homelessness

In Australia, bisexual people are homeless from a younger age than LGT people, and are more likely to be homeless multiple times or continuously.

 

Definitions

 

Bisexual

Bisexuality is romantic or sexual attraction to the gender the same as your own, and to other genders. Some people use it to mean attraction to two or more genders. It is not attraction to only men and women. The understanding of "bisexual" as being supportive of gender binary is one that is from outside the bisexual community.

 

Monosexual

Monosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction to members of one sex or gender only. A monosexual person may identify as heterosexual, homosexual or queer. In discussions of sexual orientation, the term is chiefly used in contrast to bisexuality, or pansexuality and various other gender-inclusive or gender-neutral identities.

Bi+ or “Bisexualities”

May be understood as an umbrella term for the community of individuals who experience multi-gender sexual, and romantic, attractions. The use of the term bisexualities aims to counter the extent of bisexual erasure in our culture, whilst remaining inclusive of the diversity of identifications, as well as the fluidity of these labels. For instance, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, queer, bi-romantic etc.

Multi-Gender Attraction/ed-

Multi-gender attraction or multiple gender attraction (MGA), sometimes, is an umbrella term that includes any romantic or sexual orientation which experiences attraction to more than one gender either sexually, romantically, intellectually, spiritually or a combination of these. Such orientations include, but are not limited to, bisexuality, pansexuality, and polysexuality.

Bi-erasure

Bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include the denial that bisexuality exists.

Bi-Visibility

Bi-visibility is marked by efforts to increase awareness and acceptance of bisexuality as a sexual orientation.  Bi-visibility can be undertaken by bisexual individuals, bisexual communities, and allies who are not bisexual.

Pansexual

Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.

 

“I call myselfbisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

--Robyn Ochs

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Get In Touch

 
 
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