I attended the first Bi Pride on 7th September 2019. I was surprised at the turnout – it felt like hundreds of people were there! I was also pleasantly surprised at being at the most diverse mainstream* bisexual event EVER.
I spoke on the Mental Health and Bisexuality panel, about the problems with long waiting times, how NHS mental health services are awful and putting bi and trans people in danger. I also spoke up as an audience member during the session on Bi Community. I raised the point of the barriers to building bi communities, when so many meet-ups and events were held in pubs, which are often unfriendly to visibly queer, POC, those who wear religious clothing, and/or gender non-conforming clothes. These places are also often inaccessible to those with mobility issues.
Overall I was impressed at how professional the event was – the scale of things to do, and the community marketplace. Also the Sensory relaxation room was small but it was AMAZING!
*mainstream, as in the event was not for bi people of colour only
I wrote this short piece for Independent Voices 2 days before Black Pride. I’ve been going to Black Pride for years, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s a hell of a lot better than most other Prides I’ve attended. I hope you enjoy the article, and please remember…
Don’t read the comments!
Sorry for this being posted so late!
If you were to look at most photos from any Pride celebration, you’d think there were zero bisexual people in attendance. Biphobia from lesbians, gays and straights often mean they’ll snap pics constantly, but suddenly put their cameras down when they see a bisexual group or stall. See for yourself by doing an internet search of your local Pride parade – see if you can spot any bisexuals at all!
Well Bi’s of Colour were at Black Pride this year, and we had a great time. We had many bisexuals and pansexuals come by the stall and make the most of our resources. We had lots of fun chats too, and most surprisingly, we only had 2 biphobic WANKERS make nasty comments. That’s the lowest number yet, but it shouldn’t happen at all. So please enjoy these pics which Jacq took of the event. And call out biphobia whenever you see it!
We at Bi’s of Colour have known Andre for years, and have been impressed with his activism, his positivity, and his ability to keep going with a smile on his face. We are all proud to have Andre as our first ever Bisexual of the Year!
My name is André Lawson-Walters, and I’m a proud black bisexual from Wolverhampton, UK. I have been advocating for bisexuality for over five years.
Previously, I have been the Group Facilitator and Lead Campaigner for Brum Bi Group (Birmingham, UK) and the Group Facilitator for Third Way Bi Group (Wolverhampton, UK), both of which are bisexual support and social groups. As well as a being a Volunteer Outreach Worker with Terrence Higgins Trust.
I believe that advocating for bisexuality is crucial because even though roughly half of the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bisexual, we’re seldom represented. This often leaves many bisexuals to feel invisible and alone. Especially if they are a Person of Colour. Nevertheless, I hope that by being so visible and open about my own bisexuality will help others (especially POC) to embrace their bisexuality.
This 2017 article in Gal-Dem on self-care, was mostly a positive read, but something really jarred me: the line that read, “The oppression that we face builds character.”
The oppression we face as bisexual people of colour, builds the likelihood of mental distress, anxiety, alienation and depression. It is no wonder that bisexuals of all ethnicities are more likely to be suicidal, self-harm and/or abuse alcohol, cigarettes and drugs more than either straight or gay and lesbian people. (Source: The Bisexuality Report, Open University, 2012). Add to that the racism bisexuals of colour face on top of all of this from white members of the LGBT+ and straight communities, and it’s not a recipe for building character at all (Source: Bi’s of Colour report, 2015)
The myth that suffering builds resilience is common, especially when aimed at women and femmes of colour. Sure we have to go through many things that others don’t, but it wears us down in a way that’s terrible and often invisible. What is worse, we are expected to see it as part of our daily lives. The world is a cruel place for bisexuals of colour. Don’t make it harder by putting the expectation of suffering on our shoulders as well.
Text reads: This is to certify you finally realised that you can’t fuck your way out of racism.
“But I can’t be racist, I have a black lover!”
“I’m not racist, I adore black & brown bodies – they’re so exotic!”
“I’m not racist, I had kids with a black man!”
Racism within intimate relationships can definitely happen. Examples include fetishising people of colour, only doing sex acts with them that you would never do with a white person, or leaving all your positivity in the bedroom. Many bigots, fascists and white supremacy folk seem quite happy to be with people of colour for sex, solely because we are often seen as ‘forbidden’ or ‘animal-like’ if we’re black. If we’re Asian, we’re seen as submissive and docile. White folks can make a start by unlearning all they’ve been told about people of colour, by supporting us, reading anti-racist blogs & books, and by not getting threatened and defensive when POC talk about their experiences. Ditch the #notallwhitepeople , listen and learn if you truly want to change for the better.
Queer Cinema presents: Being Bisexual/Pansexual.
This event is FREE and happens in an accessible place. Newham Bisexual event