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  • Blogging in Shadows 8:43 am on June 10, 2017 Permalink  

    Black Panther Teaser Trailer:

    *screams*

    Black people front & centre in a science fiction movie?  I’ll have some of that!

    This reaction vid https://youtu.be/QN-WCHacRgI is pretty much my reaction too.  His best comment, “It’s like Africa in space!” 

    But seriously, representation matters!  Whether in small everyday things or in big flashy stuff that everyone except you gets to fully enjoy.  Sci-fi and fantasy has the tendency to be very, very white - whether the media or the fandom.  It’s easy to feel alienated when I go to conventions and am the only black person in the room.  The usual state of black people in scifi is like this: http://j-applebee.tumblr.com/post/141781152918/i-wrote-the-poem-below-for-mancunicon-the-uk

    This trailer makes me happy.  And it makes me especially happy that it features black people and it’s NOT IN AMERICA.  I get thoroughly sick that if I ever see Black people in anything visual, it’s always in the U.S.  

    *screams some more*

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 7:58 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink  



    I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou

    The caged bird sings with a fearful trill;

    Of things unknown but are longed for still,

    And her voice is heard on a far-off hill

    For the caged bird sings of freedom.


    I have loved this poem for a long time.  As a fellow survivor of child abuse, I can connect with what Maya said in these words.  I have many scars on my body as a result of the first 22 violent years of my life, and whenever I saw them I would remember the incident that caused it.  I see tattoos as positive scars, and with the bird tattoo I’m especially happy as it’s the first colour tattoo I have.  Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time as an activist - that I’m shouting into the void.  But I shout for freedom - for disabled, survivors of abuse, the ageing, people of colour, and LGBT+ people to be treated better than they currently are.  Freedom shouldn’t feel like an impossible dream to me.  I hope this tattoo will remind me to keep going; keep on singing.

    The tattoo was done by Tracy at Pride Tattoos, http://pridetattoos.webeden.co.uk


    P.S - the snowflake above the bird was my first ever tattoo done in 2005.

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 7:26 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink  

    100’s sign an open letter to reject ‘blackface’ performance at UK Prides June 2017:

    bisofcolour:

    There is no place for black (or yellow) face at Pride.  Bi’s of Colour have always denounced this, and we we ALWAYS WILL!

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 7:26 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink  

    100’s sign an open letter to reject ‘blackface’ performance at UK Prides June 2017:

    bisofcolour:

    There is no place for black (or yellow) face at Pride.  Bi’s of Colour have always denounced this, and we we ALWAYS WILL!

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 6:33 pm on May 29, 2017 Permalink  

    Decolonise Fest 2017 - Tickets:

    bisofcolour:

    There will be an informal Bi’s of Colour Meetup at Decolonise Fest on Saturday 3rd June at 2:00pm in the bar area.  Jacq will be wearing their B’i sof Colour T-shirt, so should be easy to spot!  Come and say hello, have a chat and hang out with other bisexuals of colour!

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 4:04 pm on May 26, 2017 Permalink  



    Structural issues with BiCon. Or why I’m not returning unless I see some changes.

    BiCon is run by volunteers in the bisexual community.  Every year the organisers change.  If an organiser screws up, often nothing is done, cos they won’t be there next year (usually).  Last year an organiser made paedophile jokes during the cabaret, mocked non-binary people & was generally inappropriate. Very little was done, even though lots of people complained & were in tears (including me) at the Paedophile thing.  There’s nothing to guarantee the same won’t happen this year or the next, because they’re never held accountable.  The same guy who caused the upset last year (breaking several BiCon Code of Conduct rules in the process) wasn’t thrown out of the Con. If an attendee had done that, they’d be told to leave immediately.  It’s been almost a year since that incident, but I haven’t heard or seen anything on BiCon website apologising about it, or even mentioning it.

    When I’ve brought up problems in the past, I’ve often been told “We’re just volunteers!  We don’t get paid to do this!”  This is a silencing tactic, which minimises the power that these volunteers have.  It’s like saying, “Shut up and be grateful!”

    Another issue is the constant lack of engagement with bisexuals of colour.  The highest attendance (20+) we had was the year a donor gave BiCon funding to subsidise free places for People of Colour, disabled and working class.  The next year there was nothing, and the attendance went down to about 5 bi’s of colour.  Nobody on organising teams wants to look at the fact that bi’s of colour are more likely to be unemployed or on low wages - due to racism.  If we can’t get subsides places, we simply can’t go.  I’ve been saying this since 2008, and nobody seems to listen.  At the same time, I keep getting asked how BiCon can become more accessible and diverse.  This just feels like the minimum amount of lip service.

    I’ve been a bisexual activist for years.  BiCon has been the highlight of each of those years.  BiCon needs to look at the structure of organising the event.  BiCon Continuity could possibly include this in their remit too.  Because until things change, and I feel safer attending, I’m not going back.

     
  • bisexualblogs 11:02 am on May 16, 2017 Permalink  

    Advice from Workshops: Coming Out 

    Last month I presented a workshop on coming out at London BiFest 2017. You can read more about it here.

    As part of the workshop I asked participants to share their tips & advice on coming out and said that I would post it online afterwards so people can use it as a resource.

    Every time I present this workshop I will add to the list- but please feel free to comment below if you would like to contribute anything.


    • Learning facts about bisexuality (e.g. studies have shown there are more bisexuals than the number of lesbians and gays put together) can help you respond to people’s negative comments (‘But bis don’t exist!’) and give you resilience. You know you’re not alone.
    • Sassy comebacks:
      • “No I’m bi, you’re confused!”
      • Answering “I’m 100% bisexual.” if anyone asks what percentage you’re attracted to different genders.
    • Asses how much time/energy you have left to give? If anyone has questions or wants a discussion you can refuse to answer, delay answering until another day, or talk away. It’s up to you. You don’t have to be anyone’s educator or ignorance buster. Nor do you have to explain yourself or justify your sexuality.
    • But if you want to, you can prep answers to questions in advance because sometimes it’s hard to speak in the moment.
    • Choose a place where you can leave easily and/or choose a place where leaving is the normal thing to do. E.g. the kitchen. Makes things safer and less awkward.
    • ‘Lead bi example’ – if you come out like being bisexual is absolutely fine and normal (which it is) then other people are more likely to respond in the same way. (Much better than starting with something like ‘I HAVE SOME DIFFICULT NEWS PLEASE DON’T BE UPSET!’
    • Say what you want the other person to do. E.g. I’m telling you, but don’t tell anyone else.

     
  • bisexualblogs 10:14 am on May 16, 2017 Permalink  

    Workshop Outline: Coming Out 

    In April I presented a workshop at London BiFest. I wanted to share my notes on here so that anyone who is thinking about running a session at an event can use this as a resource or a place to get ideas.

    The first thing I did was write an outline for the session guide which had to be submitted in advance. You can see the guide from London BiFest 2017 here, but for convenience I’ve copied mine below.

     

    “14:30 – 15:30 Session 2A: Coming Out

    Facilitator: Hannah Bee.

    A facilitated group discussion on everything to do with coming out.

    Do you let other people know about your sexuality? Why, why not? Should you? Is it safe to? What are the pros and cons of each option? In addition to the above we will also look at the bi specific issues surrounding coming out (or being unable to), swap tips, and share our own experiences.”

     

    For a discussion based workshop there isn’t really a lot preparation involved which makes this the ideal format for the time strapped individual. The day before BiFest I wrote out some notes and mentally planned how I would arrange the room. (Chairs in a circle or horseshoe shape.)

    On the day I packed some whiteboard markers, blue tak, and spare paper as you never know when these items might run out or go missing!

     

    My outline looked like this:

    1. Introduction
    2. Explain how the workshop will run: I’ll lead a guided discussion
    3. Explain the ground rules. E.g. no interrupting, respect everyone’s opinions and experiences, give everyone a chance to speak. Ask the room if they want to add anything?
    4. Explain that I would like people to use three ‘discussion gestures’. A raised hand means someone would like to say something. Holding both hands in front of you in a fist with the index fingers raised and wiggling means you have something to add, but it relates to what has just been said so you need to speak next. Turning hands back and forth (a bit like Beyonce’s putting a ring on it) is sign language for applause and allows people to express agreement and/or solidarity without interrupting.
    5. Do a show of hands asking who’s mostly/completely out, somewhat out, or barely/not at all out. (This allows me to tailor the workshop to who has come that day.)
    6. Work through questions on flipchart (see below).
    7. End on sharing coming out tips/positive stories.
    8. Wrap up. Thank everyone for coming. Let people know that if the workshop has had an emotional impact, I am available outside if anyone wants to talk more. Encourage people to get a drink and a snack. Give out contact details. Promote any events I’m doing in future (in this case The Big Bi Fun Day).

    Before the workshop started I wrote a list of questions on the flipchart. I find this works very well for discussion based workshops as it helps people settle in and reduces feelings of anxiety or awkwardness. This is because it shows people what to expect and gives them time to think of things to say. It also gives them something to do whilst they wait, plus people can break the ice by talking about it if they want to.

    It’s also a lifeline for me, as it saves me from painful silence when I throw a question to the room and no one replies!

     

    What I wrote on the flipchart:

    Things to think about whilst waiting:

    • Are you out?
    • Why/Why not?
    • If you’ve come out to someone, what kin of reactions have they had?
    • How do you deal with coming out (or correcting) over and over again?
    • How do you deal with negative reactions?
      (Both emotionally and in dealing with the other person.)
    • What advice would you give others?

     

    I had expected about 10-15 people to attend so was rather surprised to find 24 faces sitting and looking at me. This made me worry that some wouldn’t get a chance to speak and that the layout wouldn’t work as instead of 1 circle we had a 2 row horseshoe to fit everyone in. Thankfully the gestures made the workshop flow perfectly. And when someone gave visual applause out of eyesight of the person speaking I just mentioned it to them which got around the layout problem.

    After the workshop I said I would post the coming out advice people gave on this blog. You can find this in a separate post here. Sorry it’s so late!

    Finally Written by Jenny did a lovely write up of my workshop in their blog post about London Bifest 2017 so I would like to thank them for their kind words.

     


     
  • Blogging in Shadows 2:07 pm on May 12, 2017 Permalink  

    Mixcloud:

    I was interviewed about my activism on bisexuality, ageing and ethnicity. Listen to the show, and also hear my music choices!

    TW: Child abuse

     
  • jen

    jen 11:17 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink  

    Labels are not the Enemy 

    I made a little web graphic about something that keeps coming up in conversations around bisexuality both in person and online.

    While labels are optional, too often they seem to catch the blame for another thing's misdeeds.

    (shareable online from here on twitter, here on tumblr, here on facebook)
     
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