London BiFest 2019 took place at the Kingston Quaker Centre on a sunny, cool Saturday. The turnout was very good, with an excellent mix of ethnicities, genders and ages. I was really glad that I didn’t know most of the Bi’s of Colour in attendance, as it showed there are much more of us than anyone would guess!
The centre was very accessible, with lots of refreshments, a lovely garden space, and gender-neutral toilets making it feel even more welcoming.
Katy, the organiser gave a short welcome speech, and then came the first session: Speed Friending. This was much like speed dating, but nobody was expecting to meet a romantic partner! In all seriousness, the fact that this session would be welcoming to those on the Asexual spectrum, made it a thoughtful addition. Often non-bisexuals assume we are only ever interested in sex, so this session may seem like a small thing, but it meant a lot. Plus I could always do with making more friends.
I spent some time enjoying the sunshine in the garden with my friend’s children. I also enjoyed the spread of sandwiches that had been placed there too.
I returned inside for the second session I was interested in: Over 50’s bisexuals. We had an interesting chat about what support we would like to see for older bisexuals. Some talked about fears of being alone with nobody in their corner, and of having to go back in the closet when in a care home or hospital. The staff from Opening Doors were really informative.
As well as sessions, there was a craft room, a quiet room, and lots of stalls from a variety of community organisations including Biscuit, who had a great range of badges, and Queer Muslims, who had the best sweets! One of their volunteers told me that there was a new book about bisexuality in the Qur’an, as well as an ungendered translation of the Qur’an on their site, so I need to look that up!
London BiFest was a great place to network and meet folks from similar groups. The organiser Katy H was also kind enough to give me a copy of the U.S version of Purple Prose, called Claiming the B in LGBT.
I had a lovely relaxing time at London BiFest. It was a pressure-free event that made such a change to much of what’s available on the London Lesbian, Gay, Gay and Gay scene. Just the fact that there was no alcohol present was a welcome addition for me. Thanks so much to Katy H and all of those who made it a great event!