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…
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!
Now, we are rightfully disgusted that this was allowed to happen. The TERF group shouted transphobic slogans during the parade, which is supposed to be welcoming to Transgender people.
London LGBT Pride showed their hand years ago in 2016, but it was quickly forgotten and mostly ignored by the majority of pride attendees because UKIP hate is mostly aimed at POCs. Jacq A was part of the Community board for Pride London that year, and resigned when they realised what was happening. But no other member of the board stood up for LGBT People of Colour. And now we see another vulnerable group treated in a terrible manner with Trans folk being targeted. It seems the warning from the canary in the coal mine went unheeded until it affected (mostly) white people.
We at Bi’s of Colour chose back in 2016 to no longer work with or take part in London LGBT Pride. We have known for some time that London Pride is far from its roots as a protest – it’s simply a corporate party for affluent cisgender lesbians and gays. The Armed Forces, the police and airlines that regularly deport LGBT People of Colour have more of a presence at Pride than bisexual, trans and asexual groups – the cost of participating is often a major factor in that, but the unwelcoming atmosphere doesn’t help either.
Bi’s of Colour stand with our Trans and Nonbinary folk. We are sorry that they have been treated this way. London Pride is not a safe place for us, and it hasn’t been for some time. Pride is a PROTEST!
London BiFest 2018 http://london.bifest.org will be happening on 18th of August at Kingston Quaker Centre, from 1pm – 5.30pm. It’s FREE ENTRY for People of Colour! London BiFest has always been a great, fun event that is very inclusive. Definitely a date to put on your diary-type-app!