Scarborough!

BCN cover image

This originally appeared in BCN issue 71

The Autumn bi activist gathering was held in Scarborough at the end of November. It was, as in the best stories, a dark and stormy night. Well, dark and freezing cold with lashings of rain at any rate, overlooking the North Sea with furious waves battering the cliffs nearby and a sharp wind coming inland, even during the daytime. All in a youth hostel with central heating designed to titillate rather than warm the bones of bi activists, but such things will not put off the hardcore world-changing bisexual – especially when you work out that you just need to turn the cooker on full blast, leave the door open and hold your discussions sat around it.

Bi Media
We kicked off with discussion of the development of the Bi Media group. This started at the Milton Keynes gathering, and contributes a regular column to BCN. The group web page has contact information for media outlets for complaints about poor representation etc, but at present there is deliberately no Bi Media ‘spokesperson’ or ‘line’ to the press. Of course, we should be giving the media a pat on the back when they get it right, as well as picking up on when they get it wrong.

EuroBiCon & International BiCon
Following the collapse of the German bid, EBC 2005 is in limbo, and there was some discussion about bringing it to the UK, but nothing concrete. The next International BiCon will be in Canada, but a non-English-speaking country is being sought for 2009.

Discussion of the international dimension of bi activism led to suggestions of speakers from overseas who might be invited to a UK BiCon, and that led to reflections on how the bi media in the USA is now almost entirely web-based. BCN bucks the trend by being so resolutely print-based.

Academics
The BiBlio group seems to be moving towards hosting its own academics conference in 2006 and at the next activist gathering they will be likely to run several separate sessions of their own. The breadth of academic disciplines which touch on bi issues mean that though the group has grown well in the course of 2004, they still have just a few people in each of many disciplines.

Bi Pin-Ups
There were plenty of other things that came up but more fleetingly or without the key people who know about the matter in question being there. The possibility of a one-off bi calendar was revisited – this was floated at the start of 2004 following on from the BCN photo shoots at BiCon, and may be incorporated into BCN’s photo session at BiCon this summer.

You may wish to join the activism email list for info on further gatherings.

All Aboard The Big Bi Bus!

One of the more ambitious proposals to come out of the Scarborough bi activist weekend was that the comunity should buy one of the routemaster buses currently being sold off by London Transport (in favour of those bendy buses that spontaneously combust).

Painted in bi flag colours and slogans, decked out with bisexual and related community information and resources like the BCN starter pack, with a small children’s play area upstairs (the ultimate in family-friendly gimmiks since since kids always want to go upstairs on the bus) it could tour the various Pride festivals around the country – though we’d probably need some sleeping quarters at the front of the top deck for the longer trips.

It’d be a media story everywhere it went, force the gay press to sit up and notice, and send BiCon attendance that summer through the roof. Now has anyone got ten grand spare so we can pick one up off eBay?

Bi Community News, BM Ribbit, London WC1N 3XX