On #worldaidsday please remember the bisexuals and pansexuals of colour who are demonised as spreaders of sexually transmitted diseases, when the reality is that we face racism and biphobia when trying to access S.T.I help. We experience multiple barriers from medical institutions, from Queer communities and from communities of colour too. It often feels like there are few safer places for us. We shouldn’t have to fight battles on so many fronts. Bi’s of Colour are here for you (link in bio), but we are just one volunteer run group. You can support other bi & pan people of colour by calling out organisations who erase us. You can include us in your events & projects. You can stop being defensive and violent when we demand you stop pushing us under the bus. HIV & AIDS doesnt discriminate. You can do better than a disease.
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!
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.
This looks like a great opportunity for European Trans folk of Colour – there will be a day of empowerment just for us before the main event happens. The conference is also offering full funding for those who need it, and are specifically encouraging of Trans POCs too.
Trans communities (like all LGBT+ communities) are an absolute blizzard, so please contact them and increase the volume of voices from Trans People of Colour!
The B’is of Colour History Report has been reprinted as a full-colour A5 booklet, just in time for Pride season!
If you would like some free copies for your stall at Pride or any other event that needs bisexual visibility, email us at email@example.com and we can send some out to you. We have a limited budget, so we can only send a small amount outside the United Kingdom (overseas postage is wicked-expensive), but give us an email and we will try to sort something out.
Bis of Colour will be seeing some new changes: we will no longer be meeting up on a monthly basis. The next Bi’s of Colour meetup will be in February 2016 for the UK LGBT+ History Month. We hope to meet up at the South Bank Centre’s Festival Hall, which has good accessibility and is centrally located. We also hope that the Bi’s of Colour poster exhibition will be ready by then, so stay tuned!