Tag Archives: black

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“Would you date a bisexual?”

Among the many insensitive questions I’d like to see disappear in 2019, this is in my top 10.  Firstly, it sets up the answer to be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and when it comes to dating and romance, things are rarely this simple.  It also assumes that the person answering the question isn’t bisexual/pansexual themselves.  The way some of these questions are phrased are also leading: “Would you date a man who had sex with a man?”  The person asking this question is often looking for shock value; a reinforcement of their own ideas.  I’ve seen many youtube vids where this question is aimed at people assumed to be intolerant or bigoted.  Type the words, “Black bisexuality” into the search box of youtube, and you will find zillions of reactionary, depressing vids of black people, whether they are gay, lesbian or straight.  Tempers quickly flare at just the thought of dating a bi/pan person – how dare the interviewer even ask them such a thing?  Stereotypes abound, voices are raised, faces become twisted.  Bisexuals cheat; they spread sexually transmitted diseases, they can’t be faithful and will always want to be with another gender.  The potential for emotional and physical violence is evident in the disgust of many responses.  As a black bisexual person watching these videos, it makes me despair – having been out and open as bi for 25 years, these are the same responses I heard right at the very start.  So little has changed for bisexuals of colour.

Bisexuality and Pansexuality is about attraction to more than one gender: you can be bi/pan and a virgin/celibate/aromantic.  But to bigots, bisexuality is about having unsafe sex with as many people as possible, so that means they don’t deserve respect at even the most basic level.  The chances of the people answering this question, having dated/slept with/fallen in love with/been attracted to a bisexual person who was closeted, is pretty high, but their knee-jerk “NO!” ignores all that.  It lets the world know the responders aren’t that kind of person – sullied by any theoretical closeness to bi/pan people.

Would you date someone you were attracted to?  Would you be with someone you love, but many straight and gay/lesbian folks hate?  Would you accept that people who cheat or exhibit unsafe behaviour, come from all sexual orientations?  If the answer to the above three questions is YES, then I want to say THANK YOU for being an okay human being.

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Zine Fairs, or a Blizzard on a trestle table

I started making zines on Christmas Day 2014.  There was no snow, no blizzard then; that was reserved for later wen I started selling zines at fairs.  Zine events are white; really white, no matter where they happen in the U.K.  With a couple of exceptions* I’m often the only black person tabling, though there are usually a some POC attending as shoppers. The Blizzard Scale explained: http://j-applebee.tumblr.com/post/160014567848/the-blizzardscale

I’ve had discussions recently with a few organisers of zine fairs held in different parts of the country about the lack of diversity at their fairs.  Their responses showed a powerful ignorance of the needs and issues facing zine creators who are marginalised or oppressed (POC, Disabled, Working Class, Older, and LGBT+.  All these groups are likely to be poorer, so costs for tabling, production and travel to the events will be difficult to budget for.

Issues and Solutions:
Finding out about zine events is another issue, as plenty of fairs attract tablers by word of mouth or invitation only, so marginalised creators are unlikely to find out about these events until the publicity for attendees goes out.  I’ve been told by a one-woman zine fair organiser, “We can’t force marginalised creators to approach us for tables!”  This way of thinking is plainly ridiculous.  If organisers truly want diversity, then they have to make an effort to attract us.  This could be as simple as doing a general call for tablers, but stating you’re looking for marginalised creators too; having a quota, or offering tables for a reduced fee (even if that reduction is small).  These things show that you’re aware of us and want us at your zine fair.

Access:
I’ve tabled at zine fairs held in the basement of a pub, where zero customers visited.  The space was down a steep staircase, making it inaccessible to creators and customers with mobility issues.  This lack of consideration made me despair.  Accessibility isn’t just just for those in wheelchairs – I’ve also tabled at a fair in the back room of a noisy pub where my tinnitus played havoc the whole time.**. On one horrible occasion, a zine fair was held in a London bookshop which had a racist book prominently displayed there.

The U.K is a place with marginalised and oppressed people living in every part of it.  Zines are at its heart a tool created for these groups whose voices are often ignored and silenced.  Nobody would know that from the makeup of most zine fairs though.

*Thanks to:

NW Zinefest https://northwestzinefest.wordpress.com

Weirdo Zinefest https://www.facebook.com/events/865940280157674 (2017 event)

 DIY Cultures http://diycultures.tumblr.com 

Penfight Distro https://penfightdistro.com/zine-events/ has a calendar of Zine fairs throughout the year.

@POCZines http://poczineproject.tumblr.com is a mainly U.S based group that supports Zinesters of Colour

for actively encouraging marginalised zine creators.

**There is NO REASON to hold events in a pub nowadays.  Yes, pubs can be cheap or even free, but the majority of pubs are also very unfriendly/off-putting/inaccessible for:
Women & Femmes
LGBT+ folk
Disabled
People of Colour
Religious people (esp if they wear religious dress)

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New Update to Bi’s of Colour Book, edited by the Bi’s of Colour Collective

Bi’s of Colour Anthology: call for contributors WORLDWIDE!

Are you a bisexual/pansexual/fluid-sexuality person of colour?
Are you sick of having everyone else speak for/over us?

If you answered YES, then read on!

We are making plans to write a book about the lives and experiences of bisexuals of colour.

This is part of our longer term project to document and celebrate the richness of our lives; to connect us with one another.

It will be built on the foundations of the Bi’s of Colour History Report. We previously had confined this call for submissions to Europe, but now we are opening this up to bisexuals around the world.  We plan to have the following chapter headings, but this is just a guide.

Creativity and the Arts
Visibility and Erasure of Bi’s of Colour – where we are welcome, and where we aren’t
White Academics versus Activists of Colour
Dominant culture gaze – hypersexual, fetishes, imperialism and colonialism
Dating and Relationships
Isolation, exclusion and loneliness
Health – Sexual health, Mental health, Disabilities
Bi’s of Colour and BAME organisations
Bi’s of Colour and LGBT organisations
Families, Carers, Acceptance and Rejection
Racism
Religion, belief and spirituality or lack of
Body image and fashion
Class
Ageing
Violence
We are open to other headings, so if you think of something you can’t wait to express, let us know. We are also interested in non-fiction, art, photography or things we haven’t thought of yet! You can always contribute using a pen name if you want to be anonymous.

All contributors will be paid – we’ll be crowdfunding, so everyone will get an equal share – the amount will depend on how much we raise and how many contributors

If you are interested in contributing, email us at bis.of.colour@gmail.com .

THIS IS A BIG FLIPPIN’ DEAL!

Please reblog widely.

Thanks

Bis of Colour Collective

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Help me attend this bisexual conference!

I’ve been a bisexual activist for over 20 years.  I’ve campaigned widely across the UK and Continental Europe for better treatment and visibility of bisexual people of colour.  I’d love to go to BECAUSE, but airfare is ridiculously expensive from the UK to the US.

Please donate at Paypal.me/ACrystalGem and help me go!  However if I don’t raise enough, all money will be put toward the B’is of Colour book fund http://bisofcolour.tumblr.com/post/152552451453/bis-of-colour-book-edited-by-asha-jacq-and-nila.

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