Tuesday, September 28

A New Organization Hopes to Bring Statewide Support & Celebration to Ohio’s Bisexual+ Community

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According to Human Rights Campaign, the bisexual population is the single largest group within the LGBTQ community. That’s why the Bisexual+ Initiative of Ohio is dedicated to making sure bisexual and pansexual Ohioans have the support they need.

Currently, there are a few social groups for bi and pan people scattered locally across the state, but no broader Ohio organization. Bisexual+ Initiative Ohio founder Kimberly Latrice hopes to grow from a Cleveland area group into a statewide support system for all bisexual and pansexual people.

Kimberly Latrice

“It just makes sense that there’s representation for us in all places,” she says.

The Buckeye Flame spoke with Kimberly Latrice about the group’s background, the goal to bring statewide support to bisexual and pansexual people, and how you can volunteer to help.

Can you talk about Bisexual+ Initiative Ohio?
KL: It started from Bi & Beyond, a social group that used to meet at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland way back in the early 2000s. Eventually, the leaders burned out, so a couple of other people and I took over for them. Eventually, it just sort of boiled down to me. So, this group has been around since 2000; it’s just morphed names a few times.

What would be your ultimate goal with this group?
To have bi/pan groups all over the state. I’d love to have a bi and pan table at all the Pride festivals in Ohio. And a speaker’s bureau that would be able to talk to different organizations about issues in the bi community. The group could also organize events for National Bisexuality Day, Pansexuality Day, and Bisexual Health Awareness Month. Just ensure that there’s programming for bisexual and pansexual people.

I feel there’s a need all over the state. Right now, there is a bisexual group in Cleveland. There was a group for a long time to Columbus, but two years ago, they disbanded. The one in Akron disbanded in the early 2000s, as well. I haven’t heard of any other group around the state. I check websites to see if anyone meets in Cincinnati or Dayton or Toledo. Nothing. There’s pretty much no bi/pan representation around the state. It’s just sort of sporadic.

Why do you feel it’s important to have a statewide group for bisexual and pansexual people?
It’s actually the biggest demographic within the rainbow. More people identify as bi or pan than identify as lesbian, gay, or trans. It just makes sense that there’s representation for us in all places.

Right now, you’re looking for volunteers for the group?
Over the years, this has been more of a social group. But I want to make this an actual 501(c)(3) organization, not just a community group. I can’t do it alone, though. I’m looking for people who want to volunteer in leadership positions—such as serving on a board of directors or organizing events.

How can people contact you if they’re interested in volunteering?
They can email me at bngcohio@gmail.com or send me a message through our Facebook page. 🔥

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About Author

Lisa Galek is a freelance writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in Cleveland Magazine, Northeast Ohio Parent, Refinery29, Northern Ohio Live, and on, literally, thousands of American Greetings cards. She lives in the suburbs of Cleveland with her husband and three very clever daughters.

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