Manchester Remembers #BiHistory as part of Awareness Week

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Manchester kicks off the week of Bi Visibility Day today with a Bi Coffee meet & chat focused on our community history.

The city has a long record of bi activism, with the UK’s longest-running bisexual group and BCN magazine published there since 1998. But it also has a history of challenges, with a city council that had the non-existence of bis as a matter of policy through the 80s and 90s, and a gay scene notorious for “no bisexuals” door policies up until the passing of the 2005 Goods & Services Act.

The meet will be followed by an outing to see Pride, a film about the relationship between some queer rights campaigners and pit workers at the time of the 1984 coal miners’ strike: an era when bis were especially invisible and scapegoated within gay and straight communities alike.

Find out more here on Facebook.

Our #BiHistory: Let’s hear it for @BisexualHistory

bisexual history project

bisexual history projectIt’s Bi Visibility Day on Tuesday and all week we (and a host of other bi organisations) will be championing different aspects of our community and bi experience. In the UK there is a modern thread of some 33 years of bi organising since the launch of the London Bisexual Group in September 1981.

The Bisexual History Project runs the @bisexualhistory twitter account which gives a daily snippet of bi life from years gone by: whether ‘bi community’ or in the public eye, long gone or recent history.

They are always looking for extra dates to add to their calendar so if you have any bi history to add to the mix, drop them a line.

All their twitter dates are cross-posted to the facebook page too.

Get in touch via Facebook or Twitter to get involved or add your dates.

20 Years On, Mancs Are Still Bi

20 years to the day...

20 years to the day…

Manchester-based bi organisation BiPhoria is celebrating its 20th birthday – their first social / support evening for bisexual folk and those who think they might be bi was held on the 1st September 1994.

It’s the UK’s longest-running bisexual group: there were others before it, but those have fallen by the wayside in the intervening decades.

BiPhoria on the Manchester demo

The group is active socially, academically, educationally and politically

Group convenor Jen Yockney told BiMedia, “My first time along at the group was three months later at the December 1994 meeting. I think it was fortunate both in the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers who have been there over the years keeping it alive, and also in being a mixed group in a city that has a vibrant queer culture.”

Manchester’s queer culture hasn’t always helped the group: the city council is proud of its progressive record on lesbian and gay rights in the 80s but had the non-existence of bisexuality as a matter of council policy in the 90s and 00s.

At the time the group formed many bi groups were gendered – men’s or women’s bi spaces – but the early 90s was when the bi movement in the UK started to get to grips with gender diversity and building welcoming spaces regardless of gender identity.

BiPhoria has been the cornerstone to work including bi social and support spaces, political activism (lobbying local and national government as well as highlighting biphobia on the local gay scene), and research publications on bi needs and mental health. Earlier this year the group led the Manchester LGBT demo about the Sochi winter Olympics for half of the march, alternating with the Lesbian & Gay Foundation.

Tomorrow, BiPhoria will celebrate its 20th anniversary meeting. We expect there will be cake.

Happy birthday BiPhoria. Give ’em a birthday retweet on Twitter here.

 

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