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.


Marriage is on the up

Marriage figures - Wales & EnglandThe first statistics on same-sex marriage are out, showing around 1,400 weddings took place in the first three months of the new law coming into effect for Wales and England.

The majority of men and women marrying had never been married or in a civil partnership before (the ONS notes that this is the case for 91% of male couples and 79% of female couples). Marriage appears to be slightly more popular with women than with men – 56% of same-sex couples are women.

There were 95 same-sex marriages in the first three days, and numbers have grown slightly each month. This is probably more to do with the weather than anything else.

The government anticipated around 6,000 same-sex weddings a year, which it appears will be the case.

The 120,000 or so people in civil partnerships will have the option of converting their union to a marriage from 10 December, and same-sex marriage ceremonies will start in Scotland later this year.

What do bis read…

bis and magazines 2013 bar chart

Graph: websites people use often

The results are in… the annual BiCon survey data has been crunched and here are the findings on magazines and social media. 

And the key findings from 2013 are: we love facebook more than any other social network ; and while around half of us enjoy browsing a copy of BCN, we don’t really read the gay press!

OKcupid is much the most popular dating site, not surprising given it can handle bisexuality in a way many dating sites can’t.

LiveJournal’s prominent role in bi social networking has faded, now ranking behind Twitter, Facebook and BDSM social site FetLife.

The survey looks at bis who attend the biggest bi event of the year, and so reflects not the “bi in the street” but those actively connected to a bisexual community or for whom being bi is an important part of who they are.

bis and magazines 2013 bar chartThere’s much more to the survey findings than just these two areas though.  You can read the report on the BiPhoria website.

Massive response to bi survey!

Add your voice to the throng!

Add your voice to the throng!

News in from 2014’s annual BiCon Survey – they’ve had the biggest response ever to the survey, 50% higher than last year!

BiCon is the biggest bi event of the year, held in a different city each time.  It was in Leeds last weekend; next summer’s venue has not yet been announced.

The survey helps reflect who comes to BiCon and how this is changing over time – as well as what attendees hope to get out of the weekend.

If you were at the 2014 BiCon, there’s still time to send your BiCon Survey in. Post it to the BiPhoria address printed at the top of the form and on the envelope it came in.

EuroBiCon returns!

European Union Flag

EuroBiCon is wider than the 28 states: we’ll still be welcome even if we’ve left the EU by then!

It’s been eleven years since the last European BiCon – held in Dublin in 2003 – but the event will at last return.

The event is picking up on a UK BiCon model of incorporating a theory & research event, so today’s announcement is that the first EuroBiReCon as well as third EuroBiCon is to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

There’s some time to save up your pennies for the flight though as the dates are July 28-31, 2016.

We look forward to reporting further, nearer the time!

In the meantime you can follow the twitter accounts eurobicon and eurobirecon. They’ll probably be fairly quiet for a bit!

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