Writers - Paul Matthews, Nick Laird, Allie Cherry, James Whyte, Alan Surgeon, Linda Thompson, Ann Mariott, Paul Robertson. Edit and Design - Brian Houston
HOMOPHOBIA, AS A TERM, IS WIDELY USED AND UNDERSTOOD. BUT WHAT ABOUT BIPHOBIA? JOHN SEVERN TAKES A LOOK
Bisexuality is nothing new, but tends to go through phases of being more or less acceptable to both the straight and the lesbian and gay communities.
The 80s and 90s in particular saw bisexual men being blamed as causing the spread of HIV & AIDS in the straight community (when we all know that HIV is spread through unsafe sex, not sexuality), while bisexuals became increasingly marginalized within the lesbian and gay communities. And positive bisexual role models are pretty thin on the ground - try and think of an 80s or 90s film where any bisexuals shown were not ice-axe-wielding murderous drug addicts!
The 22nd annual UK Bicon is based in Manchester from 26 - 30 August, and should be even more fun-filled than usual, as it coincides with Manchester 's Mardi Gras weekend. The annual Bicon (no-one is sure if it's a convention or a conference - a bit of both really, appropriately!) brings together around 300 bisexuals of all ages and genders, plus partners and friends.
There's always a wide range of workshops to cover most interests, from political activism, sexual & gender politics, arts & creative events such as film-making, spirituality and general fun & games. There's also a series of workshops specifically aimed at Bicon first-timers, or those who are new to the bi community, plus ice-breaking events.
Venues are usually wheelchair-accessible, and child-care and British Sign Language interpreting can usually be arranged if requested in advance. Costs are worked out on a sliding-scale according to income, and some hardship grants may be available. Finally, Bicon is always very trans-friendly!
If you can't make it to Manchester this August, there's still a chance for bisexuals to get together in Scotland this year. The LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing, Edinburgh, is planning a Celebrate Bisexuality Day on Saturday 25 September. Plans are still at an early stage, but, if you're up for coming along - mark it in your diary!
Bisexual and want to know more about the bi community in Scotland ? Bi Glasgow meets in the Glasgow LGBT Centre, 11 Dixon Street at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of every month, and Bi Edinburgh in the Edinburgh LGBT Centre, 58-60 Broughton Street at 8pm on the third Wednesday of every month.
Can't get along to either meeting, but have access to e-mail? The virtual bi community is also very active. Email [email protected] with a short message about yourself to join up. (We should point out that this is not a 'would like to meet' type of mailing list!)
Both the Glasgow & Edinburgh groups are open to bisexuals or those questioning their sexuality, and provide a monthly bisexual safe space where you can just be yourself and meet other bisexuals. Both groups also go for drinks & chat after the meetings and arrange occasional social events outside the usual monthly dates, where non-bi friends, partners and allies are welcome to join in the fun.
is a partnership project representing the LGBT community in Scotland. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the partners. However, if they're witty, intelligent and insightful - they probably are. If you flicked through this mag, saw a photie and made an assumption about someone's sexuality - then you're about ten years behind what we're trying to do here. Click the mag off and walk away. Accurate at going online time, but hey, we didn't get this sarky without making mistakes.