BCN: Britain's bimonthly bisexual magazine - giving voice to the bi community since 1995.
The latest issue of BCN is out now.
LGBT History Month:
– Growing up with a bisexual father, Humphrey Spender remembered
– Exhibiting bisexuality
The #StillBisexual campaign
Bi Shopping: perfect pressies for your bi-mates
Fair-weather Friends: who’s just woken up to bi inclusion and why?
Local Groups: Bis Of Colour
LGBT Phonelines in 2015: still needed?
April is nearly upon us and there are fistful of bi meets coming up this week too.
Wednesday (1st April) is Bi & Beyond in Edinburgh.Â Meet at the LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing, 9 Howe St, from 7pm-9pm.
Thursday has Cardiff‘s regular bi meet from 6.30pm. For details, email email@example.com
Also on Thursday from 6.30pm it’s Brighton Bothways’ bi “talky space” meetup, at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street.
Finally on Saturday it’s London Bi Coffee meet at Spitalfields Market (coffee shop): see their webpage.
BiCon 2015’s bookings are opening on Thursday, 2 April at 8pm.
In a departure from recent practice the varied room types on offer will be on a ‘first come, first sold’ basis rather than with price differentials. So early bookers who stay on-site have a better chance of en-suite or shared pair bathrooms, while those who leave it til the last minute will be more likely to only have the standard bedrooms as an option.Â A limited number of rooms will be kept back for those with specific needs such as childcare and disabled accessible spaces.
This is also the first BiCon in a long time to be fully catered – and the first time the annual bi conference has been in Nottingham since 1993.
Eight organisations will share Â£2 million of government funding to help prevent and eradicate biphobic, homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. The funding was announced by Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities, and Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, in October 2014, following a review of existing work begun at the start of last year.
Homophobic bullying in schools is decreasing: 55 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people surveyed for Stonewallâ€™s 2012 School Report said they had experienced homophobic bullying, down from 65 per cent in 2009. Stonewall didn’t measure for biphobia or transphobia.
However according to that report, most teachers (89 per cent for secondary schools and 70 per cent for primary) had heard homophobic language used. Teachers say they lack the knowledge and confidence to tackle biphobic, transphobic and homophobic bullying effectively. These projects should help to build that confidence by providing training and resources for school staff.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson MP, said:
Itâ€™s good news that schools are making progress on homophobic bullying, but it must be eradicated entirely.
The trauma of being bullied at school can stay with you for life, and it is absolutely unacceptable that those who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are being targeted.
The organisations awarded funding are:
- Anne Frank Trust â€“ to run workshops and educate young people about prejudice and the impact of the Holocaust on lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
- Barnardoâ€™s â€“ to provide face-to-face support for victims of homophobic, biphobic & transphobic (HBT) bullying and training for staff with a focus on cultural issues in schools in Leeds and Wakefield.
- Diversity Role Models with Brook â€“ to develop and deliver training on tackling HBT bullying to 10,000 teachers and staff in 400 schools.
- EACH â€“ to deliver a training and resource programme in schools across Avon and Somerset.
- Educate & Celebrate â€“ to train staff in 60 schools, giving them confidence and strategies to address HBT language and bullying and promote inclusiveness throughout the school environment and the curriculum.
- National Childrenâ€™s Bureau â€“ to train 1,500 teachers on tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia through PSHE.
- Show Racism the Red Card â€“ to hold workshops with 2,000 young people at football clubs around England, train 200 teachers and run a film competition for young people on tackling HBT bullying.
- Stonewall â€“ to extend and share its â€˜train the trainerâ€™ course with 60 partner organisations, enabling them to run the programme with schools in their local communities and giving them the skills to tackle HBT bullying.
Marcel Varney, Assistant Director for Barnardoâ€™s, said:
At Barnardoâ€™s, we hear about HBT bullying from the young people we work with across the organisation. We know that the bullying of a young person because of their sexuality can be incredibly damaging and can impact dramatically on a young personâ€™s ability to succeed at school.
This commitment from the government will enable us to reach hundreds of young people to alert them to the impact of HBT bullying. Itâ€˜s a big step towards stamping out HBT bullying. We aim to improve the visibility of LGBT lives in the school environment and ensure that young people are supported regardless of culture or religion.
Suran Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Role Models, said:
Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying can affect all students who donâ€™t conform to certain stereotypes, regardless of whether they are in fact LGBT. Diversity Role Models is delighted to have been given this grant so we and Brook can work with schools on this exciting project, to increase staffâ€™s confidence in tackling this type of bullying, and to make schools safer and better places to learn.
Want to get out and meet some other bis? It’s the end of the month which tends to be quiet – and its’s quieter than usual with just the three meetups this week.
Leicester bis are havingÂ a social evening to meet and chat on Wednesday 25th March from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Leicester LGBT Centre, 15 Wellington Street, Leicester LE1 6HH.
All bi-friendly people welcome. Accessible venue. For more information contact the Centre on 0116 254 7412.
Then on Thursday in London it’s the London Bi Meetup, from 7.30pm at the O Bar, 83 Wardour Street. Details here.
Finally, on Saturday in Leeds, it’s Leeds Bi Group’s first cafe meet – replacing their usual midweek meeting this once. It’s at Kirkstall Abbey Museum Cafe, 2-4pm on Saturday 28 March, look out for “Bilee” the purple unicorn, sitting on the table to help you find the group.
Bi Cymru have set a date for the 2015 BiFest Wales in Swansea.
BiFests areÂ one-day events celebrating bisexuality, for bisexuals and bi-friendly people. Originating in London, it has now spread to several other UK locations.
Wales has had a BiFest since 2010, although it was originally in Cardiff in 2010 and 2011. After a year off in 2013 BiFest Wales has moved to Swansea, where the support of Swansea YMCA has helped us to keep entry prices down and make the event affordable.
After a successful, if small event, on 5th October 2013 BiFest Wales returned to Swansea YMCA on Saturday 10th May 2014 and added an evening live alternative music gig to the programme.
2014 was so successful that with the support of Swansea YMCA we are returning with a full daytime workshop, social space and information event and evening live alternative music event on Saturday 9th May 2015.
About BiFest Wales 2015
Daytime workshop, social and information event
Registration from 12 noon. First workshop 12:30pm. 6:30pm finish.
The Theatre, 1st Floor, Swansea YMCA, 1 The Kingsway, Swansea, SA1 5JQ
Entry:Â Free entry for people aged 25 and under
Â£2 over 25s
Pay on the door.
Babies, children and young people under 16 welcome with a responsible adult.
Includes refreshments throughout the daytime event.
During the day there will be:
- A set of workshops themed around bisexuality and related issues
- A set of workshops themed around fun and games and getting to know other people
- A craft space with materials and craft workshops
- Bi and community information area
- Meet and mingle social space
Details of further workshops will be posted here, as they are announced.
BCN ran a bi outreach stall at Sheffield Zinefest this weekend to both to bring bi resources to public attention and to celebrate the flowering of bi groups in the North of England at the moment.
For the last few years the only regular bi meets have been in Manchester – BiPhoria’s talky space meetings, bi pub meets and bi coffee meetups.Â However in the last year this has blossomed with meets in Sheffield every week and Leeds every fortnight. Meanwhile Liverpool’s about to get a bi group again after an interval of more than ten years.
Want to get out and meet some other bis? We have plenty of bi meets in our diary around the country in the next few days!
Monday night (Feb 16th) in London itâ€™s the Over 50s bi group from 6pm-8pm at AgeUK, Tavis House, Tavistock Square, London. WC1H 9NA.
Tuesday night has three meets.Â Manchester BiPhoria also has its regular pub meet from 8pm at the Waterhouse, next to the Town Hall. Look for the table with the cuddly lion â€“ usually toward the back of the pub.
Third Way meet in Wolverhampton at LGBT Centre, 4 Salop St, from 7pm Tuesday.
Swansea bis meet on Tuesday too, from 7.45pm at Mozarts, Walter Road: txt: 07982 308812 or email BiSwansea1@yaho
Wednesday night sees Bi & Beyond meeting from 7pm at the LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing, 9 Howe St, Edinburgh.
Finally Sunday from 1.3opm is Birmingham‘s Bi Coffee meet at Coffee Lounge, 10-11 Navigation St. Look for the cuddly lion.
In Sheffield tomorrow there’s a zine fair on at the Electric Works (about 200 yards from Sheffield train station – come out the front, cross the road, turn right, walk for a minute and you’re there). It’s an annual event with lots of art / feminist / queer small press and zinester things in attendance in recent years.Â Â This time there’ll even be a bi stall, with info about BCN and other bisexual stuff like local groups around the North of England.
Drop on by, pick up some inky goodness and say hello!Â And maybe have a go on the slide that takes you from the top floor of the building round and round down to the entrance.
The whole thing runs 11am to 5pm, entry is free and there will be a workshop programme of talks and crafts running through the day.Â More info at http://sheffieldzinefest.wordpress.com/