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Home  »   LGBT+Latest News   »   LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network Newsletter – December 2022

LGBT+ Pharmacists’ Network Newsletter – December 2022

In this December update, read about bisexuality and the issues bisexual people face and national-level data on LGBT+ workers union membership. Also, read about a project that aims to improve cervical cancer screenings for transgender and non-binary people.

Wed 14th December 2022 The PDA

In this issue:
  • An introduction to bisexuality and biphobia
  • LGBT+ workers and unions
  • Trans+ cervical screening project
  • Get involved
  • In case you missed it

An introduction to bisexuality and biphobia

By Soh Xi Ken (he/him), Honorary Secretary of the PDA LGBT+ Network, Joshua Wells (he/him), senior clinical lead at LVNDR Health and co-opted member of the PDA LGBT+ Network,and Adam Pattison Rathbone (he/him), lecturer in social and clinical pharmacy at Newcastle University. 
The aim of this article is to briefly introduce and illustrate bisexuality and the issues bisexual people face.

Bisexuality has different definitions but is most commonly understood as an ‘attraction to both men and women’. It is important to note bisexuality can be further categorised into identity, behaviour, and feelings, which go beyond attraction and sexual desire (Barker et al, 2012).

Figure 1. UK percentage reporting Bisexuality using Office for National Statistics 2020 Data


Although largely heterosexual, current data from the Office for National Statistics indicate approximately 1.3% of the UK population identify as bisexual, compared to 1.8% as gay or lesbian, 0.7% as other, and 1.9% as refusing to report or don’t know. Data from 2014-2020 indicates the number of people reporting to be bisexual has more than doubled, from 0.5% in 2014 to 1.3% in 2020 (See Figure 1). This trajectory may mean more people would identify as bisexual today and display attraction to more than one gender.

LGBT+ workers and unions

By Jayne Love (she/her), PDA Organiser and Lead on Equalities
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) brings together more than 5.5 million working people from 48 member unions. The TUC carries out an annual equality audit to track collective progress across all of the unions.

Looking specifically at LGBT+ workers, there is not yet any national-level data on LGBT+ union membership, though the majority of unions do collect this data individually. Among these unions, the proportion of the membership identifying as LGBT+ varied from 0% to 8%.

Unions collecting data on LGBT+ identity has increased significantly since 2018. Where there is sufficient data, it is also evident that LGBT+ members are well-reflected among activists such as workplace reps and committee members.

TUC rules require unions to show a clear commitment to equality for all and to eliminate all forms of harassment and discrimination within their own union structures and through all activities. The audit provides examples of how unions continue to improve in this area.

For example, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) updated terminology by removing all references to ‘he/she’ in its rulebook and replacing them with ‘they.’ The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has introduced rule changes to increase the number of LGBT+ activists on its national executive committee. Throughout the pandemic, unions have continued to hold LGBT+ events.

The PDA is currently affiliated with the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).  The PDA aims to join the TUC in the near future. Just as individuals achieve more by joining together as a trade union, we can achieve more by working together in the wider trade union movement.

Trans+ cervical screening project

By Georgia Greaves (she/they), second-year PhD student at the University of Sheffield
My PhD is looking at transgender and non-binary people’s experiences of cervical cancer screening in the North of England. This is with the aim of finding ways to improve future screening experiences so that transgender and non-binary people can feel more comfortable when attending screenings, and hopefully to increase the uptake of the amount of us who access screening. You can read a little about the topic area in the previous April 2022 LGBT+ Network newsletter.
I’m now starting to recruit participants who identify as any gender under the transgender and non-binary umbrella, have a cervix, live in the north of England, are aged over 25, and have either attended a cervical screening or made a decision not to. Participation would involve either a one-to-one interview with me or an asynchronous, online focus group with 6-8 other participants. The choice is up to the participant.

For more information, please see visit trans+ cervical screening project or contact me via Twitter, @georgiacgreaves, or email, I’m happy to chat and answer any questions.


Get involved

  • Join the PDA LGBT+ Network here.
  • Follow the PDA LGBT+ Network on social media using the hashtag #PDAlgbt.
  • Contact the PDA LGBT+ Network committee know by emailing
  • Please also feel free to share this mailing with a colleague that would like to read it.
  • Join the PDA LGBT+ Network Facebook group here.

In case you missed it

Below are recently published PDA news items relating to the LGBT+ Network.






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