13th February 1999: London’s first Bi Festival and first Bi March

Putting the B in LGBT History MonthBiFest events happen all over the UK and increasingly often these days – in the first half of this year they are lined up for Oxford, Cardiff and London, and that’s just the ones we know about.

The first “BiFest” one-day-long bi awareness-raising festival was in February 1999 in London at the UCL on Malet Street. It included a bisexual march long nearby streets that drew 49 people – just short of the 50 required by the police for it to be allowed on the road. That meant that what would have blocked off a small strip of road instead occupied a long stretch of pavement as the bisexuals had to march more or less two by two.

So far as we know that makes it a double first – the first BiFest and the first bi parade. Unless you know better?

 

Submit your favourite bi people and events to remember for LGBT History Month – see here for details

Oxford sets a date

BiFest logo

Oxford’s first BiFest in 2010 was an excellent day out with lots of bi and bifriendly people and a packed programme of discussion spaces, dancing and more.

That set the bar high so perhaps it’s no wonder it has taken 2 years for another Oxford BiFest to come together! But we’re delighted to report that a date has been set of Saturday, 31 March 2012.

They say: “We will have a bar with plenty of space for socialising, workshops on bisexuality and what it means and how it effects us, and a disco in the evening.”

The venue will be the East Oxford Community Centre and a Facebook page for the event is up, along with a page on the BiFest hub site (where you can also find out about similar events elsewhere).

More news nearer the time!

That was 2011

Tis the season to write reviews of the year, so jumping on a bandwagon for once…

Our bi year highlights:

* The biggest UK BiCon ever with 297 people over four days in Leicester

* Bi Visibility Day on 23rd September having a bigger profile than ever – Bi Day website september23 reported double the traffic they had in 2010 (and two bi events marking LGBT History Month – not a lot, but twice the previous best!)

* Good bi coverage from Auntie for once as Tom Robinson talked bi past and bi present on Radio 4

* That New York Times headline breaking the shock news that Bisexual Men Exist.

* Bi community activists being invited to Obama’s White House LGBT reception (sadly the same didn’t seem to happen over here for Number 10’s LGBT shin-dig)

* Jessie J as an out bi woman sweeping the boards at the Mobo awards

* Bristol BiVisible launching Greedy, the first regular bi club night in the UK since the Fencesitter’s Ball closed down

* Manchester BiPhoria launching Getting Bi In A Gay/Straight World, a very pretty and pocketable publication

* Four people presented with Cake Awards recognising their work in and for the bi community

* A massive bi showing in the Homo Hero awards with bi nominees making the three-name shortlist in every possible category

* Also in gong news – Stonewall’s awards shortlisting bis Jessie J and Lady Gaga

* And many more bis in the media talking openly about being bi

* Civil partnerships on religious premises going through, and date set for the move toward same-sex marriage. It’s a slow path to our relationships not being treated differently depending on our partner’s gender, but we’re getting there!

Bi New Year’s Resolutions?

Looking for a new year’s resolution in time for the chimes of Big Ben tomorrow?

Local bi group in Manchester, BiPhoria, have sent out their New Year circular to people they’ve met at their outreach stalls – with three suggestions. Maybe you’ll want to take one of them up!

* going along to a bi group – there are groups in Manchester, Bristol, Swansea, Sheffield, London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and so forth; see the UK bi calendar.

* booking for BiCon, the year’s biggest bi event – this summer in Bradford and bookings are now open.

* subscribing to bi magazine BCN.

Whether you take up one, all or none of them – a happy new year to you

Birmingham revealed

Tomorrow (Sat 12th) is Birmingham BiFest, a day out for bis, partners, friends and allies, being held at the Nightingale club on Kent Street. It’s being organised by Brum Bi Group as part of the city’s SHOUT festival.

The daytime event will run 11am – 5pm and timetabled sessions include:
12pm – Safe[r] sex
1pm – Bring and share buffet lunch – some supplied but please bring along and add to.
2pm – Bi speed dating, whether you want to find a potential date or just new friends
3pm – Knitting workshop.

Bi Community News (Britain’s biggest-selling bi magazine) will be there with a stall: get (or renew) your subscription!
– There will be a craft corner and Glitter tattooing.
– Silly group games.
– And a Raffle

– A separate Evening event – 7pm – 9pm at The Wellington Hotel on Bromsgrove Street.
– There will be a performance from Chrissie Daz, which is a classy alternative drag act.
– Music and games

The event is free but please note due to venue restrictions is for ages 18+ only. There’s a Facebook page for the event too.

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