Guest blogger Joy M.A writes about bivisibility, and the importance of intersectionality, when considering equality, diversity and inclusion.
Having an identity that is part of multiple communities considered marginalised has been more of a driving force rather than a hurdle for me. It is true that the less privileged your identity may be, the higher the bar is set. However as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion becomes key in corporations, we can look forward to imparting some of our knowledge from a first person perspective to improve businesses and society.
I have been writing since I was very young and my first published piece was for an Asian queer women’s charity when I was in my teens. Not exactly shying away from attention, I have also served on voiceover assignments, acted in national Asian theatre and independent productions. I also work as a background artiste for both international and local TV and film.
Currently I volunteer for Bisexual and Muslim LGBTQI charities, who work very hard to ensure that their voices are heard, giving hope to and educating others on their often overlooked backgrounds. It has taken me to different paths, including providing outreach and counselling for women in culturally sensitive settings to media appearances for Pride and organising events to bring people together. Both communities still have a long way to go and often members feel isolated despite LGBTQI awareness developing in leaps and bounds. This is due to the lack of understanding on reconciliation of culture, faith and sexuality for LGBTQI Muslims and a dismissive attitude towards bisexuality in general. Thus it is important to keep support groups growing and expanding, rather than just depending on one channel for each. Representation is always needed.
At the moment I am working on several entrepreneurial projects which focus on niched markets and concepts. I find that using market driven tools like social media and just the simple things like the notebook on your phone are crucial to keep these ideas going – it’s served quite well when I write freelance. I have written articles for online publications including Gay Star News, BuzzFeed and Huff Post Blog covering mainly sexual orientation, faith and race issues and some sub-culturalism. Getting out there in the field to different events to interview established and emerging artistes is a skill I have learnt through, believe it or not, the world of recruitment which is where I have worked full-time for the past decade. I am also in the midst of completing a series of novels covering bisexuality and have a short piece called Return of the Naïve which is featured in the latest anthology of short stories called Subatomic, which is released for Bi Visibility Day this year.
Joy M.A is a freelance writer, background artiste, voiceover and entrepreneur. She has been working and volunteering for numerous LGBTQI campaigns covering bisexuality, queer women and feminism, Islam and Asian ethnicity for nearly twenty years. She has been working for the past decade as a recruiter with a strong knack for administration and candidate rapport.