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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.”