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#BlackBiBeauty happened on the 25th March 2017 (Exactly 6 months before Bi Visibility Day! http://www.bivisibilityday.com )
The hashtag was the idea of @TheAngryFanGirl https://theangryfangirl.com who wanted to change the narrative on how black bisexuals are viewed.
What came through when people tweeted about their experiences was that cisgender black bisexual men are still being blamed for the rise in HIV in black communities, thanks to the awful Down Low misinformation. Black bisexuals who are also trans and nonbinary people are erased from sight. Black bisexual cisgender women are often hypersexualised. All these groups of black bisexuals face biphobia from lesbians and gays, as well as racism from white LGBT people. The alienation we live with from inside and outside of the bisexual communities can lead to a poor quality of life, adverse mental health and a feeling that we are the only ones who are like this. And that’s where #BlackBiBeauty succeeded - it showed the world that we are not alone. We exist and we are beautiful in our own unique ways. It was a pleasure to encourage this event into happening, and to see the positivity and friendships that it spawned in such a short time. I look forward to the next one!
That Loving Feeling is Gone
Racist white folks broke my heart. Power wasn’t just unbalanced in our relationships, it was positively skewed. My choice of partners for a quick shag, wham bang, see you later, could be wide as I want. Yet anything else; deeper relationships, down on one knee proposals were for white folks and their polycules alone.
When I realised I could not be Polyamorous in this society, I felt like a failure. Poly wasn’t something I did - it was who I was. Had I lied to myself all this time? Surely love conquers all? My heartbreak was a brutal crack in the core of my being. I knew I’d never recover that loving feeling, the full expression of how I navigate sex and relationships.
I’ve experienced racism all my life, yet nothing could have prepared me for racism from people who said they loved me. I cannot imagine the cognitive tangle of thoughts and actions that lead to such a thing, but down in my bones, I knew I was never seen as a full human to them. My breasts, my heart and my lips could express my love in acceptable ways, but my skin would forever undermine all of that in their eyes.
I have received white tears, white guilt, but never white respect or action when I was bereft. I just get silence.
Most of my partners have been white. My two black boyfriends both put me in hospital, but white partner’s violence was a slow terrible poison. How could I fight against an assumption? What moves can combat neglect? When my every action paints me as the angry black person, what do I do? How do I react?
Letting go of things hurt, but it means my shoulders no longer slump from the strain of carrying such a heavy load. I can now walk upright instead of wishing I were taller, less bent over. My arms and my hands are empty for the first time - empty and open to embrace whatever comes next. And if nothing comes, I can hold myself.
When white Poly people don’t see People of Colour as human, we become disposable. We don’t consider the feelings of a piece of paper - we write on it, use it up and when we are done, throw it in the bin and pick up another sheet. This is what happens to Poly People of Colour. White folks fetishise us, especially if we are LGBT+ and/or into kink. We are hypervisible in a sea of white faces, but once we serve our purpose, we are ignored, neglected or mistreated. We are never primary partners; we are interchangeable and something to add spice to your white vanilla world.
Poly People of Colour are at a disadvantage. We face many issues that white people never will. Most of us don’t have the family, money, energy or time resources white people have. We are more likely to experience domestic violence, sexual assault, poverty and physical/mental issues. We shouldn’t have to factor in a broken heart to all of the above.
My identity of Poly turned into an identity of trash. Rejecting the label will lead to yet more isolation for me, but it will be an honest isolation instead of the pretence of community and belonging. I do not want to be a square on someone’s bingo card of experiences. I deserve better.
I have so much love to give. I don’t want to close off my heart because of racism, but what choice do I have? You may not want to marry me or anyone else, but I ask white Poly people to be upfront and honest with your desires. Don’t tell me you love me if it isn’t so. If all you want is a hookup with no contact after, say it. I may turn you down, but I’ll respect your honesty. Right now I don’t respect you at all.
I’ve changed access to this story - now everyone can read it for FREE!
The story comes as a PDF, so I realise it’s not great for some screen readers. I’ll try to create other versions in MOBI and Kindle-friendly formats. But for now, I hope you enjoy my tale.
Billie has always had a love of science-fiction and fantasy. His dreams of aliens take a strange turn when shadows around him start coming to life to try to communicate with him. The apparitions continue when children who say they’re from Billie’s past come to visit him, making him question his sanity. When one of the children asks him to change history, Billie is forced to look at his own legacy of violence and neglect that he has buried in order to live a normal life. Billie has to question the possibility of time travel and the multiverse, in order to help one of the children escape a terrifying life of abuse. Billie also has to ask himself if any of this real or is this all in his head?You can now read this short story (20,000 words) for FREE. Survivors of Child Abuse and violence are likely to be poorer, so I wanted this to be available to them. Copy and distribute if you like, but this has a Creative Commons Non Commercial copyright filed. Please don’t go charging folks for reading this!If you have any comments, feedback or general questions about this story, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Billie has always had a love of science-fiction and fantasy. His dreams of aliens take a strange turn when shadows around him start coming to life to try to communicate with him. The apparitions continue when children who say they’re from Billie’s past come to visit him, making him question his sanity. When one of the children asks him to change history, Billie is forced to look at his own legacy of violence and neglect that he has buried in order to live a normal life. Billie has to question the possibility of time travel and the multiverse, in order to help one of the children escape a terrifying life of abuse. Billie also has to ask himself if any of this real or is this all in his head?
Billie Prime is available as a paperback at http://www.lulu.com/shop/jacq-applebee/billie-prime/paperback/product-23111819.html or as a FREE PDF if you send an email to BilliePrime AT gmail.com
Get your selfie sticks ready!
Let’s show the world who we are.
So, I had an idea. A shit idea probably, but an idea nonetheless.
Black bisexual people catch shit from all sides. We get labeled as gay when we come out or told we don’t exist. Black bi men get told they’re the cause of HIV in the Black community because “DL”. Black cishet women are biphobic af (don’t try to deny it). Black bi women are treated as personal sex toys by cishet Black men.
To counter this, I wanted something where Black bisexual individuals could show ourselves being happy and cute and shit because we are. I also want to show all the closeted Black bisexual people and the Black bisexual babies that they aren’t alone. We’re out here and we’re here for you.
So, the last Saturday of this month (the 25th), if you’re Black and bi and wanna participate, post a pic or tell your story using the hashtag #BlackBiBeauty either on here or twitter. Shit, get Facebook involved too. Why the fuck not?
London BiFest is back!!!
It’s happening on Saturday 8th April 2017. And good news for al Bisexual People of Colour - WE GET IN FOR FREE!
London Bi Fest is sometimes called a mini BiCon, but it’s a great even just as it is. There will be workshops, music and fun. The location has good accessiblility - look at the website for a breakdown of that.
Sessions have already gone up. There will be a Bi’s of Colour session, where we’ll be giving progress on the upcoming book, plus catching up with all you lovely folks!
So please come along to London BiFest. If you think you may difficulty of any kind getting to, or attending this event, please contact Bis of Colour at bis.of.colour.gmail.com and we’ll try to help.
I'm very - perhaps too - fond of asking why people so rarely look at their actions in the context of "what happens next?" As Peter Cook might have asked, did A Question Of Sport die in vain?
Back when the same-sex marriage bill was wending its way through parliament, we heard many arguments for and against. Some were coherent. Some were respectable. There's a fun venn diagram to be drawn of which were one, neither or both.
Now, I've just been reading some research from the USA looking at the impacts of same-sex marriage legislation there, where change happened in bursts from state to state over several years.
No, not at the number of weddings and the impact on the sale of top hats and fabulous frocks. One of the other impacts same-sex marriage has had.
It's based on huge sample sizes and shows one of the effects of allowing same-sex marriage nationwide was about 134,000 fewer adolescents attempting suicide each year. Looking at numbers before and after, there's a 7 percent reduction in the proportion of all high-school students reporting a suicide attempt over the previous year, and a 14 percent drop among LGB students, when same-sex marriage becomes lawful where you live.
Often we talk about these kind of statistics but we rarely pause to turn them round. To consider the "what if", the "what happens next" of the path not taken. The path we didn't take thanks to the passage of the two same-sex marriage bills in Wales & England and in Scotland.
US and UK culture are in very many ways similar. So with about a quarter of their population we might rule-of-thumb that the impact here is 134,000 divided by four - 33,500 fewer young people attempting to end their lives each year in the UK. Each year. Our 2013 vote is four years ago already: so the change is 33,500 upon 33,500 upon 33,500 upon...
What an amazing number. What a horrifying number. For the 400 MPs who voted to allow same-sex marriage, what a humbling number. Yes, you let some people get married, and that was beautiful. But "what happened next" was a huge positive impact on the mental health and even survival of young people. You let some people get married and, thanks to an unwritten clause in the Bill, you saw to it that thousands did not try to end their lives early. An unknowable number of parents never came home to the horrible ultimate consequence of social, legal and institutional homophobia.
And for the 175 MPs (and indeed 148 Peers) who planted their colours against the tide of history, with numbers like these the nature of their actions and motives is laid bare. We can see what they were actively, consciously, premeditatedly complicit in, what they were voting for, because let's be frank: while we didn't have these figures, we and they knew the answer to the "what happens next" question all along.
A handful of the 175 have said they'd vote differently today. We have to conclude that the rest are proud of the future they were voting for, and take comfort that they didn't get what they wanted.
We had a cracking day out running a bi history info stall at the People's History Museum last week. Their new LGBT history exhibition is huge and fab (and does include at least half-a-dozen bi things!) - well worth a visit. Be sure to stick a few bob in the donation box on your way out.
Looking ahead to the rest of this month, with bi social-support, boardgaming, coffee and pub meets it's going to be a busy March. We might even manage another outreach stall along the way to help connect with more bi people around the city.
Want to know more? Get your diary out (or kick your diary app into action) and read our latest news & events bulletin here.