Fringe BenefitsOr, â€śWhat has being a bi activist ever done for me?â€ť
After the flamewars, after the discussions on slogans, after the endless questions on toilets, parking, cutlery and the last minute changes â€“ an organiser of a bi event might be left wondering â€“ what has being a bi activist ever done for me?
In my case – lots.
Iâ€™m not talking about the shadows under my eyes or my increased knowledge of long words and politics.Â Iâ€™m talking about the skills, knowledge, confidence and experience Iâ€™ve gained.
Since attending my first BiCon in 2000, Iâ€™ve become increasingly more involved in supporting groups, running events and writing things for BCN.Â Â Things like BiCon, Big Bi Fun Day, Birmingham Bi Group, Pride Packs, Pride stall organisation, writing funding bids, running workshops, gaining sponsorshipâ€¦ and so on.
As a result of all this volunteering, I recently got a paid job as a Volunteer Development Manager.Â Without the experiences with the bi community, I would not have been offered the post.
In â€śjob speakâ€ť Iâ€™ve gained skills in and around:
- working in a teamÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – working on own initiative
- collaborative workingÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – event management
- budgetingÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – venue liaison
- marketing and social mediaÂ Â Â Â Â Â – community engagement
- delivering trainingÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – awareness of the benefits of volunteering
- communication, motivation and influencing skills
Reflect for a moment on the activism you have done:
- delivering leaflets and Â Â Â = marketing activities
talking to local venues
- booking a Pride stall and Â Â Â = organisation and communication
talking to people Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â and public relations
- running a workshop at BiCon = preparation, facilitation,
organisation and/or training skills
- helping on the desk at BiCon = customer service and communication
- writing an article for BCN Â Â Â = research, writing and being
published in a national magazine
If you think about it, youâ€™ve done a lot too.Â My suggestion â€“ sit down, consider just how much youâ€™ve been doing and consider at how it could help you get a job.
So next time you are wondering, what has being a bi activist ever done for me â€“ donâ€™t forget the skills and experience you have gained.Â It got me a paid job, it might do the same for you.
Editorâ€™s note: bi activism isnâ€™t only good for your CV, but it helps!