Guest blog by Libby Baxter-Williams, Editor of Biscuit Magazine: for women who like all genders.
Some will say they go to get in touch with a side of themselves they mostly hide in the Big Wide World. Others will say they come to learn, or to invigorate and draw on the inexplicably outsized reserves of energy that activists seem to create when they get together. Still others will say they have come to meet people who might be interested in gettin' it on in one of those undersized Halls of Residence chastity beds.
Being bisexual without explaining ourselves
"No one will ask you to defend your sexuality or besiege you with questions that are really only appropriate coming from your sexual health nurse."
But all of them, every single one of them, will say they come to be queer. They come because at BiCon you're never the token 'B' in the LGBT group, either begrudgingly accepted or wheeled out as an example of shining inclusivity – bonus points if you're trans* or a person of colour too. They come because at BiCon no one will ask you to defend your sexuality or besiege you with questions that are really only appropriate coming from your sexual health nurse. No one will, in the face of you standing there breathing and everything, tell you that you don't exist – as if they've confused bisexuality and fairies.
BiCon is a shelter from the ignorant bigotry that can come from straight people and the vicious bigotry that can come from lesbian and gay people.
While we might not always consider it, there are other reasons people come to BiCon too. We're not young as a movement, not really, but we have been marginalised for too long. BiCon helps us to build a communal identity.
Boosting the signal on bisexual voices
"When we think our experiences don't count, we make it that much easier for other people to do the same."
We might be the largest group in terms of numbers, but the G and the L in LGBT, it seems, have the loudest microphones and the biggest stages. In the day to day, that makes it easy for us to downplay our experiences as queer people. And when we think our experiences don't count, we make it that much easier for other people to do the same. When we come together our voice is amplified. We're given a chance to feel less alone, less secondary, less outside, and the value of that cannot be put into words.
Events like BiCon and other bi* majority spaces – like BiFest and Big Bi Fun Day – help us discover our mutual experiences, positive and negative, celebrate our shared culture and history and build a supportive community of people working towards shared goals.