Tag Archives: bisexuals

45+ IBPOC Marginalised Genders group

Standard

This Facebook group is a Reparations and Mutual Aid for Marginalised Genders who are Indigenous, Black or People of Colour, as well being over 45 years old. It’s the only one of it’s kind that I’ve heard of. Usually Old=white, and BIPOC=young. It’s beyond relief that the two parts can come together for once!

There are a few support initiatives for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (but very little in the U.K). There is more support for Older white people in the U.K. But I can only think of one other place that says they support Older people who are BIPOC folks and Queer (Opening Doors LGBT). They are not a Mutual Aid organisation. However, the two times I attended their group aimed at Older Black Queer people, I was subject to A LOT of Biphobia. The moderators of the group did nothing in both cases. Older Black and bisexual people exist at the axis of many different oppressions. We shouldn’t have to face even more when we are trying to access support.

P.S – I’ve also attended Opening Doors LGBT’s Trans and Nonbinary group, which is open to all ethnicities. I haven’t had any troubles in that group, even though I’m always the only Black person there.

Link

If you’ve had as much trouble finding this book as I have, here’s what it looks like.  I’ve had several issues with this book when it was just a kickstarter: the title seemed inappropriate to the large numbers of bisexual and queer Christians I know, but the biggest problem was the lack of awareness of ethnicity and bisexuality.  I asked about this when the book was being put together, and was given the tired line: “We couldn’t find any Bisexuals of Colour”.  I was later told that there is indeed a black bisexual in the book, but it still hurt me to see this shoe-horning of a silenced group at the last minute when they realised the whole project was a #Blizzard.

Bisexuals of Colour deserve better than that.

And Ian spoke unto the publishers of The Bible and said.. – BiFurious

Image

Guest Post by @Angreebindii

People of Colour at BiCon: Are we really welcome there?

@Angreebindii works in Higher Education. She has a background in political activism and social justice campaigns. She is QTIPOC, disabled, a trade union organiser and is mostly angry about inequality.

Bicon is the UK’s largest and most consistent event dedicated to the bisexual community. It is the amalgamation of both a conference and a convention, hence the name Bicon. Bicon explores a whole spectrum of issues relating to bisexuality, kink and sex positivity. It came about in the mid-1980s after an event titled ‘The Politics of Bisexuality’ was the first to be organised in London, 1984. What followed was a series of similar events after fully concretising into Bicon shortly after. It is a yearly event where the management and delivery of the event is democratically run.

This year’s event was the second I attended. And it may well be my last. In fact, my first Bicon was on the cusp of being my last. My first Bicon was rifled racism. I found myself swimming in meagre attendance of people of colour in an oppressive sea of white attendees. It was an unsafe space fraught with white dreadlocks and well-meaning pretty white bindis. It also consisted of culturally appropriative events organised and led by white people. These included meditation mornings and tantric sex type of sessions. This year’s Bicon was  pretty much of the same old white thing. Even with Bicon’s sponsorship of first time Bis of Colour attendees, this year’s event was quite white.

There have always been ongoing Bicon issues with whiteness. However, this year took more than an uncomfortable turn and it shook me. The organisers booked in Spectrum, the LGBT arm of the Home Office and praised the presence a uniformed Police Officer at the event. Many members from the Bis of Colour were uncomfortable and felt unsafe. I took to Twitter to highlight the issue. The response was mixed. At one point, it got very frustrating. My ‘views’ were disputed however, those of white people were not. For example: I, a migrant of colour got whitesplained about the police & the Home Office. However, ex-employees of the Home Office received support and compassion for stating the same thing as I did.

The very same weekend the police were aiding racists to attack people of colour in Charlottesville, Bicon was sharing pro-police & Home Office tweets. At the event, organisers and attendees were friendly and complicit with their presence. The lack of sensitivity, disrespect and outright racism at the expense of people of colour was hurtful. It certainly felt that our bisexuality counted less than white queers.

The presence of organisations linked to institutions such as the Home Office and the police is not only racist due to how the people of colour are treated but how our sexuality is discriminated against. Bicon organisers decided to defend their presence. That was racist as well a biphobic, classist, ableist and sexist. Their discrimination towards us were intersecting. The Home Office’s abhorrent treatment of queer, disabled, and women refugees cannot be ignored. The same is with the police. In fact, the police are responsible for killing people of colour due to the colour of their skin. These facts are not ignored by white queers at Bicon – they are debated then negated.

Following from these debates I had about Bicon, I decided that enough was enough.

Bisexuals of colour are told to engage in the event’s organisational processes. We are encouraged to attend, to contribute, and to make complaints within the existing structures. And when we do, we are thanked and our ‘views’ appreciated. However, those views, which in stark reality are in fact outright experiences of discrimination, are only ever just acknowledged. Racism becomes diluted to ‘microaaggression’ and ‘cultural appropriation’ almost as if that is an optional form of being discriminated against. It is as if we, queers of colour, choose to feel discriminated, hence actual change to create decolonised queer spaces become optional. That is all too convenient to white LGBT types. It suits them that we have done our job and contributed. And they have done their bit, they have acknowledged us. So the matter is closed.

Except that for us, queers of colour – the discrimination is ongoing. So each year, we have to do the same, contribute and be muted. It goes on until it becomes all too much for queers of colour. Then sometimes we let the less worse things slide. At other times, we get traumatised, burnt out and angry. Or just angry. Often we need to distance ourselves and take breaks whilst we carry on being racially discriminated against. All the while the racism never stops and nor do the white excuses. Hence, for us the racism never ends.

If we demand our rights, we are told that we are insensitive and unreasonable. We are told to appreciate that Bicon ‘is run by volunteers’. We are told that it takes a lot to organise an event. We are told that organisers get burnt out. We are told that it is a structural issue. All in all, we are told many things and are reduced to feel like misunderstanding children.  At the end of the day, all those things we are told are white excuses for racial bias. Respectability for the structure and the ‘volunteers’ outweigh our struggle to exist safely as bisexuals/queers of colour.

Bicon has been going for over 30 years, yet people of colour still face the brunt of bi-racism. I have been involved in political work since I was seventeen years old so I understand the dynamics of oppression. I have experienced such exclusive behaviours far too much. So for it to happen again, for me, is unacceptable.This is why I have made my decision.

Bicon and its white apologists are not worth my time. In an act of decolonised queer self-love, Bicon will never be graced by my powerful and important presence. Not until, real action occurs. By that I mean at least 1) a consistent increase of Bis of Colour year on year 2) a stronger decolonised code of conduct 3) the proper enforcement of the code of conduct 4) the end to cultural appropriation 4) POC focused session *run* by POCs 5) intersectionality.  

I encourage other queers of colour and their allies to demand the same. We need to stand up and own our power. It is an act of self-love to break an abusive relationship. People of colour everywhere deserve to be respected and valued. Until those changes in Bicon happen, we should stand up and demand change. Bicon’s reward would be our presence. And until then we will thrive by organising together our own events as queers of colour – in a decolonised act of self-love.

Gallery

Image

I curated the chapter on Bisexuals of Colour!

Thursday is our big day!
At long last, Purple Prose: Bisexuality in Britain will hit bookstore shelves on Thursday, September 1! By now you should have your backer copies (let us know if they didn’t make it). This Friday, September 2, we’ll be gathering at 7:30 p.m. at the Brixton Community Centre. Please join us if you can–and bring your friends!

Help us spread the word!

You can help us promote the book for launch day by sharing the order links with your friends. And be sure to leave a review!

Order it at Waterstones http://waterstones.com/book/purple-prose/kate-harrad/9780996460163
Order and review it on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purple-Prose-Bisexuality-Kate-Harrad/dp/0996460160
Review it on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29362988-purple-prose
You can also submit a purchase request at your local public or university library.

Thank you for your support!

Gallery