Bisexuals get a minuscule amount of funding because of Biphobia.
LGBT+ organisations rarely provide anything specific for bisexuals because of Biphobia.
The unique experiences of bisexuals are usually incorporated into LGBT+ reports and stats, but never separated by individual sexual orientation because of Biphobia.
Black and POC charities for LGBT+ are terrible at welcoming bisexuals, providing resources for bisexuals and even saying the word bisexual. And why? Because of biphobia.
We are the B in LGBT+ but are rarely represented by Queer organisations. We regularly receive violence and abuse at Pride events from Lesbian and Gay folks. And if we live with other oppressions, our lives can be unbearable. Because of Biphobia.
Queer Hate doesn’t only come from Straight people. Hell, they don’t have to lift a finger, because so many Lesbian and Gay folks do the work for them.
So if you want to shine a light on bisexual visibility, then shed some of that light on how we face biphobia inside the so called LGBT+ communities as well.
Bi Activists Vaneet Mehta, Bi Artist and designer Chris Morris and Rainbow and Co have brought the world a colourful line of bisexual merchandise. The launch of these items were covered by Gay Times magazine. The t-shirts go from a XX Small up to a 5XL, which is great.
The line includes t-shirts cantering Bisexual men, Bisexual women and Bisexual nonbinary folks. There are items in both the hashtag version or as a graphic t-shirt. This is truly a first in my experience.
Vaneet Mehta created the hashtag: #BisexualMenExist which brings attention to an often overlooked portion of the LGBT+ community. Bi and Pan men, whether cisgender or transgender, are often demonised – by being blamed for spreading sexually transmitted diseases to their straight partners, by living on the “Down Low” or by denying that they are ‘really gay’ but in hiding. All of these toxic messages only add to the biphobia that bisexual/pansexual men face inside the LGBT+ community and outside in the heterosexual world. These t-shirts are a clear message that Bisexual men are here and queer – get used to it!
BiCon Racism Part 2:
Introduction by Jacq
Since posting our previous entry, one of the authors, and Bi’s of Colour as a whole have received threats. If this is what happens when we critique a white bisexual institution, and speak openly about our experiences, then white bisexual people haven’t learned a thing.
By Nila K
One last thing about this latest bout of violent BiCon racism.
I can fight it. we all can. if you didn’t break us in ten years, and by God you tried, then you’re not gonna break us now. ANd that includes those of you who get it now.
Do you think that the ignorance of those we thought were community was less devastating than the outright hate? You’re wrong. Dr King wrote about this in 1963.
thing is, RIGHT NOW THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE LAST THING ANY OF US NEED.
We’re finding our places in the Uprising. We’re navigating COVID and extra police powers. We’re dealing with Toryhell. whatever the latest posh yt ‘feminist’ transphobia is . The DWP. The Home Office. etc. etc.
D’ya not think we’ve got enough to get on with?
and yet, you think now is the ideal time to push us through this tedious racist violent bullshit again.
You’re gonna realise one day, how patient we all were.
But probably only after I stop being patient. And tell it like it is. And set you all on fire. I’m holding my Firey Mother back right now. I’m not gonna do it for long.
And if this sounds like a threat? It should.
Taking a lot of inspiration from Brother Malcolm right now. As I have since I was 14.
“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
and, always from Kwame Toure
” he only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent has to have a conscience.”
We gave you a decade to find your conscience. We’re done waiting.
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.”
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.
A guest post from N. Gupta
I have basically a 99% hard limit re ‘no white people as lovers/play partners/fuckbuddies.
Because I am done showing/sharing my skin and body with people who have no clue what their white skin means.
And no investment in learning *to the level that I need for any encounter to be remotely good/pleaseuable for me*
if im ever gonna have that intimacy again
and tbh it feels unlikely and I go back and forth on how i feel about that
i am prirotising black and brown bodies like AND unlike mine:
– trans, gender non conforming, bi, crip, mad, working/mixed class, immigrant bodies, goddess/magic/witchy bodies.
Bodies that contain multitudes and borders.
Bodies that get stopped and searched at borders and on the street.
Me, reading this back. OH. Right. Yes!
with endless thanks to Rhizome Syndrigast Coelacanth Flourishing whose writing and making and thinking and feeling and re-imagining have been so inmportant to me in last couple years Love and solidarty to u, mate xx
It’s a 99% limit because someone being BIPoC doesn’t guarantee a connection. or that they won’t be shit to me, or me to them.
I donn’t get to ‘disappear’ into that world coz it’s not magically free of transphobic, biphobic, ableist, classist, sanist, capitalist, racist, liberal, faily etc bulllshit.
And if someone is qtibpoc but is that more comfortable hanging on to instead of challenging that stuff, our skin doesn’t make us kin.
And coz if you wanna be my lover .. you literally have to come round and deali with my messy house. Coz I’m largely housebound these days.
It’s a 99% limit because there are *and always have been* white working class people in my chosen fam. (and some of their families pretty expolicity chose/’adopted me)
We share and connect on many of these lines in ways.
And coz I have rarely found absolutism to be a useful/positive force/ i need pluralism and options.
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