Rare self promotion post!
The Independent newspaper Rainbow List is looking for nominations of LGBT people. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/the-rainbow-list-2014-9771881.html
Please vote for ME, or another UK bisexual activist. Some suggestions are:
Jen Yockney http://bicommunitynews.co.uk
Sue George http://suegeorgewrites.blogspot.co.uk
Marcus Morgan http://www.bisexualindex.org.uk
Charlotte Dingle http://thisisbiscuit.com
Edward Lord OBE http://edwardlord.org
My talk from the Bi Inclusion panel on 25th September 2014
I’ve tried to remember what I said, so forgive me for anything I missed out.
I’m going to talk about bisexuality, ethnicity, and faith.
I’d like to start off by asking three questions:
Can you be a Person of Colour (PoC) and bisexual?
Can you follow a religion or hold a faith and be bisexual?
Do bisexuals really exist?
Well the answer to all three questions is: yes, yes, and HELL YEAH!
Faith and religion has often been used as a stick to beat people with, but it has also been used as a source of hope for oppressed communities for a very long time. My faith doesn’t mean I go to church on Sunday, stand when I’m told, sit when I’m told, and then go home. It gives me hope when I face multiple discrimination and bigotry on an almost daily basis.
However, I’ve encountered assumptions held by white LGBT people, who say that all religious folks hate them, and all PoC hate them too, so they feel justified to hate us back in return. When you’re a black person who holds a belief, that’s an awful lot of hate to deal with. I’ve also seen many articles, and heard comments made that faith groups need to be more accepting to LGBT people (which assumes that no religious people are LGBT ). I’ve only encountered two people who have asked how can LGBT communities be more accepting of religious people and people of colour. When I’ve pointed this out in the past, I’ve been met with the same tired variant of: “I can’t be racist; I’m gay!” I’ve also experienced mocking, erasure and ignorance as a result of this. (sounds familiar?)
I’ve experienced biphobia and racism in most LGBT spaces I’ve attended. Many organisations will happily put LGBT on their funding applications, on their headed paper and above the doors to their offices, but in my experience, the reality is that they are LGGGGG…GGG, very white, and not welcoming at all to bi’s and PoC. There is an awful lot of racism in LGBT communities: Islamaphobia is especially bad too, and used as a way to be racist towards PoC.
I’ve experienced racism and biphobia at Pride events, being called a “Breeder” which is a racially loaded term, and a very hurtful one as well. I’ve also been spat on at Brighton Pride by a white gay man who was marching in the parade. No one should have to experience that kind of violation, especially not at a Pride event. It is something that still makes me nervous when I attending other events.
I am black, Christian, and I am bisexual. These aren’t just parts of me; they are me. I cannot stop being these things. And the only time I’ll stop is when I’m dead. I want to be here. I want to go on.
I will now end with a little poem:
Just like sleeping with your tampon in
being bisexual is not a sin.
And I don’t always shout it out loud,
but I do like to be out and proud.
It’s hard though, especially when some people insist
that bisexuality just doesn’t exist:
that I’m trying to be trendy,
or playing it safe.
Inviting gays and straights to spit in my face,
or completely ignore everything I say;
go back in another closet, and pretend that I’m gay.
So I’ll tell you all without being too intellectual:
I’m Jacq: black, happy, bisexual!
A few U.K & Online resources for LGBT PoC who are religious (the level of bi-awareness varies):
Sarbat (Sikhism) http://www.sarbat.net/
Imaan (Islam) http://www.imaan.org.uk/
Rainbow Jews (Judiasm) http://www.rainbowjews.com/
Gay and Bisexual Men’s Buddhist group http://www.meetup.com/Buddhist-Meditation-for-Gay-and-Bisexual-Men/
Vaishnava (Hinduism) http://www.galva108.org/#!about-galva-108/c24vq
Various LGBT Christian groups http://two23.net/resources/other-helpful-groups/
For the complete strip, see http://empathizethis.com/stories/prejudice-pride/
I was interviewed by Empathize This ( http://empathizethis.com) a great website that creates comic strips based on social justice. I contacted them with an idea, and they encouraged me to tell of my experiences attending LGBT pride. They are very open to people sharing their stories, and were helpful through the whole process.
I wish biphobia at LGBT events didn’t happen, but they do at almost every single one I’ve been to. I felt so sad when I saw the image of myself crying at Brighton pride, after I was spat on; it’s one of the most horrible things to happen in a supposedly LGBT space. I remember how alone I felt when it happened. I also remember how that incident still makes me nervous at times. However, the final image of me hugging a bisexual heart makes me smile. I am happy to be bi. I’m happy that I can love others. I just wish lesbian and gay folks would be happy to leave me alone too.
BiCon 2014 was a chilled out affair for me. I was very anxious to start with, and as a result, I missed my train up. But when I arrived I had a good time. I did a bisexual blackout poetry session that was well received, with all the participants creating amazing poems. I also attended some good sessions, including Creative writing, and Zine making.
There was also lots of time to catch up with friends, and snuggle with lovers. The staff at Leeds Trinity University were very friendly, and the accommodation was nice. I felt relaxed in an environment where I could be myself all the time.
Thank you to everyone who made BiCon such a fab event!
London LGBT Pride 2014 was the biggest one ever! There was a huge visible bi presence, with over sixty in the bisexual marching group. The wet weather didn’t dampen our spirits too much, and even the biphobic remarks shouted by fellow marcher didn’t bring us down. It was great to see so much diversity amongst the marchers. I remember my first Pride in 1993, when I felt like one of the few black people in the parade. But now there were so many people of colour, including LGBT religious groups, and an LGBT immigration group which was huge. There were also plenty of older folks, disabled people, asexuals and much more. You may only see sparkly young lesbians, gays and drag queens portrayed in the media for Pride, but this event belonged to all of us who are LGBT!
For more Pics, have a look http://bisofcolour.tumblr.com
Image from channel 4
Unreported World. May 2014.
(TW: mentions of abuse & homophobia/biphobia/transphobia)
(link to video - http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/videos/all/jamaicas-underground-gays but it may not be viewable outside the U.K)
I don’t watch a lot of…
Edited 22nd May
Big Bi Fun Day 2014 was a blast! I had been very unwell for a month, so I didn’t know if I would be able to make it, but I’m glad I did. The event was held in Leicester, UK, at the Quaker Friends Meeting House (although the Quakers had no involvement in the event)
The weather was sunny and incredibly hot; the garden was full of happy bi folks, their friends and families. There were quite a few children present who all enjoyed the garden facilities, although I did spot a few adults making castles in the sand pit, and taking advantage of the swings!
I found I had very little energy when I arrived, but I still had a go learning how to use flower sticks (I can twirl it now!). I also enjoyed the quiet room with the free books and games.
I returned home at 5 o’clock, totally exhausted, but I had a brilliant time. Most of the other attendees went to nearby Victoria Park for some more fun in the sun.
Big Bi Fun Day managed to raise enough money to cover their costs, so they will be back in 2015. Many thanks to Sanji for a wonderful event!
My heart is still beating.
It’s a political event;
This desire to be here,
To keep breathing.
I want to live.
I want to be happy when my eyes
I want to rest in peace,
Long night hours I’m keeping.
My only torment: a sweaty pillow.
I’ve been unknowingly drooling.
I want to live.
Rush me to a hospital bed.
Blood transfusion, see it dripping.
The burn of a scalpel, my only proof,
I’m still capable of feeling.
Strap me down, see me raw
From incessantly screaming:
I want to live!
If the shadows in the corners
Rise up around me, all consuming.
If this body, fat and brown
Brings nothing but pain unrelenting,
Then let this pain be my only proof
My heart’s indeed still beating.
Fear and dread will make my brain
Crackle with terrible feeling.
I want to be alive,
Even when my life is only fleeting.
Being present and visible is something that I often struggle with. There have been countless incidents in my life when I’ve been told, “Are you sure you’re in the right place?” This doesn’t happen when I’m lost, but almost every time I go to a queer space, or a white-dominated space (which is often the same thing). After a while I start wondering if there is another place I could be. I keep searching, hoping to be in a more accepting environment, but it hasn’t happened yet. I suppose the thing that has changed is me wanting to stick around when I feel so unwelcome. Biphobia, racism, fatphobia, class-hatred are some of the things that I am bombarded with on a daily basis. It gets tiring. It only adds to me feeling like crap. I don’t know if things will improve, but I don’t just want to exist. I want to be happy to be here: happy to be alive.
QTIPOC and Erotica
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