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.
Want to get out and meet some other bis? We have a flurry bi meets in our diary around the country in the next couple of days!
Tonight in London it’s the Over 50s bi group from 6pm-8pm at AgeUK, Tavis House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA. Note that new start time of 6pm.
Tuesday night has three meets. Third Way meet in Wolverhampton at LGBT Centre, 4 Salop St, from 7pm.
Swansea bis meet on Tuesday too, from 7.45pm at Mozarts, Walter Road: you can text them on 07982 308812 or email BiSwansea1@yahoo.co.uk for more details.
And Manchester BiPhoria also has its regular pub meet on Tuesday from 8pm at the Waterhouse, next to the Town Hall. Look for the table with the cuddly lion – usually toward the back of the pub.
Finally – before the big rush of September 23-related Bi Visibility Day events kicks off – on Wednesday it’s Bi & Beyond in Edinburgh from 7pm at the LGBT Centre for Health & Wellbeing, 9 Howe St.
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.
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.
September is here, with a host of meetups for bisexual folk around the country coming up.
Tuesday sees the monthly meeting of Manchester BiPhoria, at the LGF community centre on Richmond Street from 7.30pm sharp.
This is the 20th anniversary of their first meeting – so something like their 240th monthly social-support space for bis in the North West. An amazing record.
It’s also the night that Southampton Bi Group get together.
Wednesday is Edinburgh Bi & Beyond. 7pm-9pm at the LGBT Centre at 9 Howe Street.
Thursday sees bi meets in Cardiff and Brighton, both starting at 6.30pm.
For info about Bi Cardiff contact email@example.com or text 07982 308812; for Brighton BothWays see their website here.
Finally Saturday is the monthly meet of Bi Coffee London, at Spitalfields Market (coffee shop), from 3pm. More info here.
Today was parade day at Manchester LGBT Pride, but the bi visibility carries on for another two days with a bi info stall in the Lifestyle Expo area of the festival.
Drop by and say hi to the folks from local group BiPhoria who are celebrating their group’s 20th anniversary in a few days.
The word on the purple street is that they are nearly out of their supply of freebie BCN magazines, but still have plenty of copies of their own excellent bi ‘coming out and staying out’ guide Getting Bi in a Gay/Straight World.