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SEXtember 2022 - Expanding Bisexuality: The Evolution of Bi+ Identity and Community 

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Event description

Challenging the harmful stereotypes of bisexuality as indecision, greediness, or closeted homosexuality, people who identify as bi+ today are finding new ways to celebrate and communicate the incredible diversity and distinctiveness in multi-gender attraction.   

But how exactly is bisexuality defined by bi+ people today? How is this different to the old stereotypes, and how is it adapting to extend beyond a gender binary? What are some of the joys and the challenges experienced in belonging to this community, and how does this differ from being part of straight and queer communities? How can we best support and champion our bi+ friends and colleagues? 

As part of SEXtember 2022, this panel discussion explores the perspectives of bi+ students, staff and others connected to UNSW on their experiences of love, identity, erasure, visibility, respect and belonging.  

Note: The term bi+ is used by those in the bi+ community to encompass a range of ways of experiencing and expressing multi-gender attraction, including pansexual, omnisexual, polysexual, ombisexual, queer, heteroflexible and homoflexible. 

Chair: Professor Christy Newman (bi+ social researcher, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture)   

About the panellists: 

Nayonika Bhattacharya 

Nayonika is a 6th year Arts/Law student with a passion for having uncomfortable conversations in a safe space with all the communities she is a part of. She draws on her experiences as a n international student, migrant woman of colour to think about ways to educate people to fill the gap between knowledge, practice and community safety. She started the 'SexEd and everything they got wrong' video series alongside the founders of Consent Labs in 2020, has helped in consulting with the content for several Sexual and Peer Health programs and has been actively involved in having conversations about consent, sexual and mental health with the student community since her time on the SRC began in 2019. She has previously been a student advisor for MHAHS and is currently a Youth Disability and Sexual Health advisor for the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network and a Youth Advisor on Cultural Communication for NSW Health. 

Luke Levett

I am a 21 year old first year student, studying the UPP (University Preparations Pathway), the mature age pathway program at UNSW. I aim to enrol in the Surveying degree next year, continuing from previous TAFE study and work experience. 
Despite having suspicions I was bisexual for a number of years I only fully identified myself as such in 2020, and I'm still actively exploring the nuances of both my sexual and gender identity. 

Annie Wylie 

Annie Wylie can be described as a swimming, stripping, water polo playing queer. She can also ben described as an inclusion advocating, idea generating content queen. As both drag and burlesque performer, Daddy Annie, and the Senior Manager of Digital Content at ReachOut, she's passionate about storytelling, being brave, and the importance of  building community wherever she finds herself.   

This event is brought to you as part of UNSW's annual festival of celebrating, questioning and exploring every aspect of sex. To learn more, check our website out here.

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