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
What does it mean to us when we have a skewed presence in erotic fiction? Too often we find ourselves squashed into specialist (and hard to access) publications, or we are simply made invisible. People of colour are rarely presented in erotic fiction; for QTIPOC the…
Transpose Halloween Edition.
I had the pleasure to perform at Transpose at their Hallowe’en edition. I felt right at home as soon as I walked across the sticky floors of the University of London’s Student Union bar. CN Lester had provided some sparkly vegan pumpkin cookies, which were yummy. I met up with Sandra Alland, who I hadn’t seen in years, and Kat Gupta who is always fun and full of energy (plus they had a brilliant werewolf tee-shirt!)
The event started with some wonderful songs from CN Lester.
I read a story about a singer who was born a woman but dresses like a man as part of their performance. When they start living as a man, they find little in the way of acceptance until they start to embrace the fluid nature of themselves.
There was also a story with a great take on a kelpie; a re-imagining of the Little Mermaid, and a film and poetry readings that were brilliant. Towards the end of the evening there was an auction to raise funds for TENI. I had to leave before the band finished it all off, but I had a fab time.
Transpose was a fantastic night, and I am already looking forward to the next one in February 2014.
My Bisexual Anthem for Bi Visibility Day
By Jacqueline Applebee
We’re not straight or gay.
Not a silent B
After this great day.
We’re out and proud,
Clothed in purple hues;
Smashing fences down
With our New Rocks boots.
Going all the way.
Neither straight or gay.
Let your voices shout.
Don’t dare leave us out!
The updated bingo card for hanging out with geeky/nerdy white folks. Still quite British, but now 20% more clueless, privileged and racist!
The original bingo card is here
I’m still bisexual. I’m still hanging around with geeky/nerdy white folks. I love my friends most of the time, but they also manage to piss me off on a regular basis. Hence the extended bingo card. It is still my major resource to surviving interactions with them with my brain intact. And without being incredibly lonely.
I’m going to concentrate on the centre four squares, because I actually have a job, and it ain’t this. No further explanations of the outer boxes will be given. Please don’t ask.
Game of Thrones
This show manages to tick every single box of what it is like to be on the outside of popular culture, watching horrified at the world around you. It manages to be racist, misogynistic and triggering to survivors of violence and/or abuse. http://smokeandstir.org/2013/06/22/game-of-thrones-racism-and-white-saviors/
So many white geeky/nerdy folks love this show, and will not shut the hell up about it. Dare you complain about any of this, and you will encounter the next square on the bingo card.
No other black people around
You’ll probably notice how alone you are if you try to speak up about anything. Not all white folks are racist, but the cluelessness and privelige that many have can leave you flummoxed. Get used to explaining why things are hurtful, insulting and racist, because that will be your major contribution, whether you like it or not.
Or what happened when Goths discovered the colour brown. Never mind that steampunk is a fictional concept, it’s a case of history repeating itself and ignoring people of colour. Do an internet search of “Steampunk images of people” and try to find more than three people who are black. Scroll down a good few pages. Go on, I’ll wait for you to come back. Not much luck? Yeah. I thought so.
I wish this wasn’t on here. I wish I didn’t have to encounter this in almost every conversation I have with white geeky/nerdy white folks. But I do. Some examples I’ve personally had to grit my teeth through…
“X isn’t racist, it’s artistic.”
“X isn’t racist, it’s an accurate portrayal of the time period (even if it’s set in the future)
“X isn’t racist, because Islam isn’t a race.” (seriously, do not get me started on this one)
“X isn’t racist, because Scottish/Welsh people get called names too. Nobody starts a riot about that.”
Things that didn’t make the card: Esperanto, Torture Garden club night, Richard Dawkins.
Things I removed from previous card: Slutwalk, Referencing the Guardian newspaper.
Bitcoin. Seriously? Everyone has way too much time on their hands.