we have had to remove details of one of the authors because they have recieved abusive emails. We stand by all our writers/our critical Bis of Colour family. If you want to support J, a marginal activist, in their work, you can make donations to the bis of colour PayPal. Please mark your donation ‘for J’ so we know to pass it on,
First section by J who says
BiCon is paying bi people of colour to speak at this year’s virtual BiCon.
I don’t recommend anybody work with them – they’ve fucked bi people of colour over in systemic racist ways every year since I’ve known the event (that’s a full fucking decade now). They’ve even managed to fauxpology their statement about fucking up: referring to bi people of colour as “that community” rather than recognising bi people of colour as part of the bi community, and phrasing what has happened previously as the event “not felt welcoming” is just about as useful a statement as “I’m sorry you felt that way” – their actions have not been welcoming, its not about hurting individual feelings.
They invited the Home Office agents to have stands at their events, cops in uniform were allowed to attend sessions, one of last year’s organisers went on an antisemitic screed before the event that (despite me making a formal complaint about it) was never handled despite promises from other organisers, and they’ve consistently not handled huge numbers of racist incidents between attendees, and they still allow white people to run sessions that are entirely culturally appropriative.
But I’m not the boss of any of you – if you want to work with them and you’re a person of colour, they’ll pay you. Just know that they’re doing it so they can prove their liberal wokeness, their diversity and that bi people of colour have forgiven them for (at least) the last ten years of racism. They will use you, but if you need to work and they’re an option you can work with then go into it with your eyes open.
“Funding for speakers
We are aware that BiCon has not always felt welcoming to Bisexuals of Colour and would like to take a step towards making things better for the future. We have managed to secure some funding to pay for speakers from that community who would be willing to contribute to the programme. Please contact Sessions20@bicon.org.uk if this would be of interest to you. We understand that many Bisexuals of Colour will not be on our mailing list so if you know anyone who might be interested please let them know.”
some context from Nila K
1. infopoint: it’s now TEN YEARS since J and I made loads of critiques, complaints and were assured ‘this is a priority now’. We tried every ‘reasonable’ route and were ignored, shut down, harassed, and the level of emotional/intellectual violence was off the fucking chain.
Don’t tell us to be fucking ‘patient’.
2. the fact that they will only express it as ‘bicon has felt unwelcoming to bi BIPOC’ = an indicator of what anyone doing this work is in for.
It needs to say ‘bicon has been structrually racist and still is’.
They’re not even ready to have *that* conversation.
3. . I first went 17 years ago. Any ‘progress’ in that time has been forced by the blood, sweat and tears of BIPoC Bi’s.
And from Jacq:
“BiCon used to mean a lot to me. For one weekend a year I felt like I wasn’t a minority in a minority. But the racism that kept on happening quickly wore down anything positive I felt. In the end it wasn’t even the racism that made me decide to never attend BiCon again. One of organisers in 2016 made nonbinary ‘jokes’ as part of the night’s entertainment. Several people complained, but he was still allowed to run the entertainment on the following night, when he proceeded to make child abuse ‘jokes’. The number of survivors of childhood abuse at BiCon is sufficient enough to have a Survivors meeting most years. That one of the organisers thought it was a good idea to do this was mind boggling and deeply upsetting to me and many others who ended up in tears. The next year this same person was stated to be on the organising committee. There had been little in the way of apology or action taken to stop this person returning. All my faith in BiCon was gone for good a that stage.”
I am beyond fucking tired of seeing
“black gay, lesbian, trans lives matter”
“homophobia and transphobia must end” etc
Except… Black Bi people exist and Black bi ppl have some of the worst stats (in UK and US) re life expectancy, dv, homelessness, etc. Have a look at the Bi’s of Colour report for examples of this.
I’ve seen 5 examples this week. I’m close to losing it with a lot of ppl.
And this goes for things that have the rainbow and trans flags on, but no bi flag.
I mean we’ve only been using it for 20 fucking years.
The SIBL research study is looking to examine which psychological factors or processes are associated with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in young bisexual people. The reason we are focussing on young people is because adolescence/young adulthood is a time when this behaviour has been found to particularly emerge.
We are looking for people aged 16-25, who identify as bisexual (or attracted to more than one gender), and who have had NSSI thoughts/urges/behaviour in the previous 6 months. We will ask participants to fill out short online surveys once a week for 6 weeks. These surveys take around 10-15 minutes to complete. For every survey a participant does, they have the choice to be entered into a prize draw for that week. There are 6 prize draws, each with a £50 Amazon voucher (total prizes: £300). Participants don’t have to be entered into these draws if they don’t want to.
We also invite people who take part in the online study to complete a 30-40 minute interview with a researcher about their experiences of self-injury, and of the COVID19 crisis and subsequent lockdown. This interview take place over the phone/Skype/Zoom and we will reimburse anyone who takes part in this with a £10 Amazon voucher for their time.
If you are interested in finding out more information, then the link to our consent-to-contact form is here: http://man.ac.uk/9YjBjj
Please kindly help us to promote this study by retweeting/sharing our information with your networks 🙂
Many of you online may have seen recent posts from BiNetUSA regarding the bisexual flag. BiNetUSA have declared that they own the copyright of the flag, and that they will sue anyone or organisation using it, if they make over a certain amount of money per year. This has understandably upset many bi+ people.
BiNetUSA claims the flag is theres, but they themselves tweeted this in 2018:
We at Bisexuals of Colour would like to make public that we in no way agree, endorse or support this decision. We are all sad that BiNetUSA have made this cash-grab, when it isn’t even possible to copyright geometric shapes and flags in general in the U.S We feel this incident will only add to the myth that Bisexuals are greedy, unreliable and untrustworthy. We also acknowledge that this will harm Bisexuals who are people of colour, and/or Indigenous, who are some of the most vulnerable out there. We call on BiNetUSA to apologise for the hurt and fear they have generated as a result of this. Many small bisexual creators, artists and craftspeople now face an uncertain time (during a flipping pandemic!). Nobody needs this.
Much love and acceptance to all of our bi+ siblings around the world.
Imaan, the Muslim LGBT+ group are holding their first ever festival! Tickets are on sale now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/imaanfest-muslim-pride-tickets-90779683477 and include low-cost tickets of Queer Muslims on a low income. We at Bisexuals of Colour are so pleased this is happening. LGBT+ Muslims face racism, queerphobia and Islamaphobia inside and outside of Queer communities. This is the an opportunity for often-alienated LGBT+ Muslims and their supporters to come together and celebrate who they are. We stand with our Bisexual Muslim friends and siblings!
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.