The Weir Charitable Trust


The Weir Charitable Trust Funding

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded over £17k in funding to support the work that we do with the bi+ community.
Scottish Bi+ Network was founded in 2018, to provide support and resources to bi+ people and their allies across Scotland, through online engagement, local peer support, events, and training.
Bi+ people face statistically higher rates of poverty, domestic and sexual violence, and mental health issues, than their straight, gay or lesbian counterparts.
Research highlights that 85% of bisexuals feel isolated from their community due to a lack of local groups, and a lack of mainstream funding for bisexual specific work. This contributes to the high rates of social isolation and mental health issues in the bi+ community.
To date, we have directly supported more than 800 bi+ people and their allies through events, talks, training, plus our online forum, and many more through our social media channels.
The new funding from The Weir Charitable Trust will allow us to expand our services by employing a full-time administrator, so that we can develop and deliver more training and education programmes. It will also allow us to train more local volunteers to provide peer support in their communities, so that we can better support the needs of bi+ people outwith the central belt of Scotland.
Additionally, we will also be able to provide more resources and training through our online platforms, including making a wider range of information and guides available, and training webinars.
Graeme, Secretary of Scottish Bi+ Network, said: “It’s amazing that The Weir Charitable Trust has recognised our work, and with this funding will be able to expand as an organisation, and allow us to support more bi+ people across Scotland than ever before.”

About The Weir Charitable Trust
The Weir Charitable Trust aims to support Scottish-based community groups and small charities to provide services across Scotland to help the Scottish community. These groups and charities are likely to have found it difficult to access funds elsewhere.

About Scottish Bi+ Network
We are a network of volunteers, formed in August 2018, to support bi+ people (those who are attracted to multiple genders).
Our aims are to raise bi+ visibility, and increase awareness of the issues facing the bi+ community, both in the LGBTQIA+ community itself, and with the general public.
We do this by: providing resources and online support, taking part in local pride marches, running virtual meetups, organising events, working with other organisations, and raising issues at the Scottish Parliament’s LGBTI cross-party working group.

Notice of AGM



Notice of Meeting

The 1st Annual General Meeting of Scottish Bi+ Network will be held on Zoom at 8pm on Wednesday 8th July 2020.

Agenda:
1. Welcome
2. Apologies
3. Chair’s Report
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Election of Office Bearers
6. AOB
7. Proposed Date of Next AGM
8. Close

If you wish to raise any items for the agenda, please email lorna@scottishbinet.org by 5pm on Tuesday 7th July 2020.

For those who cannot attend the AGM, nominations for the positions of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer are to be received by 5pm on Tuesday 7th July 2020.

For members who are attending the AGM, nominations for the positions of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, will be taken at the appropriate time during the AGM.

All members are welcome to attend the AGM.

Full details, including the link to the Zoom meeting, will be emailed to members.

If you have volunteered on behalf of the organisation since August 11th 2019, and have not yet received an invitation for membership, please email lorna@scottishbinet.org


Additional Information:

See the following documents for more details on the roles of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

To view our constitution, visit our Policies & Guidelines page.

National Lottery Community Fund

We are very pleased to announce that we have been awarded almost £10,000 in National Lottery funding to support our work with the bi+ community.

The money will be used to provide support and resources to bi+ people, in particular those living outwith the central belt of Scotland, by providing local outreach through community events, and training local volunteers, as well as expanding our online resources and support.

Research highlights that 85% of bisexuals feel isolated from their community due to a lack of local groups, and a lack of mainstream funding for bisexual specific work. This contributes to the high rates of social isolation and mental health issues in the bi+ community.

This funding will allow us to organise community events, train local volunteers, and support a far greater number of bi+ people across Scotland.

We will also be able to expand and update our online services, including making a wider range of resources available for bi+ people, and the general public.

Lorna, Chair of Scottish Bi+ Network said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded money by the National Lottery Community Fund to allow us to expand our services and support to more bi+ people across Scotland. The money will allow us to train volunteers from all over Scotland, attend more Pride events around Scotland, as well as hold our own one-day community events.”

For more information about the National Lottery Community Fund visit @TNLComFund on Twitter, @TNLCommunityFund on Facebook, @TNLCommunityFund Instagram, or their website.

June Online Socials

We’ve listened to your feedback, and we’re sticking to a single platform for our socials so that there’s less confusion!

Tuesday: 2 – 3pm on Discord
Thursday: 7.30 – 9pm on Discord
Sunday: 2 – 3.30pm on Discord

For the link to the discord server, either sign up or log in to our forum.

Even when there’s not a social, our forum and discord server are also there 24/7 if you want to chat!
And you can always message us on social media, or send us email!

There’s still time to let us know what online and telephone services would be of most benefit to you, fill in the survey here – https://forms.gle/LBobA1d7SPwdcW7N8

May Online Socials

It’s been lovely seeing you all at the online socials, and thanks to your feedback, we have expanded our online services!

Monday: 7.30 – 9pm on Zoom (video and voice chat)
Tuesday: 2 – 3pm on Zoom (video and voice chat)
Thursday: 7.30 – 9pm on Discord (text and voice chat)
Sunday: 2 – 3.30pm on Zoom (video and voice chat)

Details of the zoom meeting links for the week ahead, will be posted every Friday in the forum, and our discord server.

Our forum and discord servers are also there 24/7 if you want to chat!

If you have any suggestions for socials, or would like to volunteer to run a social, please get in touch!

Also, a huge thank you to Equality Network for enabling us to run more online socials by helping us out with Zoom pro for the next four months!

We’d also like to say a big thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey about what remote support you would find useful.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, there’s still time to share with us what online and/or telephone support would benefit you:

https://forms.gle/sb1AwUAors5qm7mL6 

Online support survey

It’s been lovely seeing so many of you at our online socials this month, and we’re looking to further develop and expand our remote services going forwards.

We want to know what types of support bi+ people would find most useful at this time.

Fill in the survey here: https://forms.gle/7UG2pd1zAA4WJ4z86

Also, feel free to get in touch by email, or through our social media channels. We’d love to hear from you!

email: web@ScottishBiNet.org
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @ScottishBiNet

April Online Socials

 

We’re missing being out and about and meeting all of you, but we’ve been looking at ways to do all the same things online!

We’re going to run video chats, online games nights, film screenings and more, in these time slots on our discord server until the end of April, and we’ll add more if they’re successful!

Thursday 6pm-9pm
Sunday 12pm-3pm

You can find all the details, and the link to our discord server, on our forum:
https://forum.scottishbinet.org

If anyone has any suggestions for online games, films to watch, books to read, or topics to be discussed, let us know.

And if anyone would like to run an online event, we would love to hear from you!

We Have A Forum!

We are excited to announce that we have launched a forum for bi+ people, and those who are questioning their attraction to multiple genders!

It’s something that a lot of people have asked us for, and we are happy to have another way to be able to support the bi+ community in Scotland.

You can sign up at – forum.scottishbinet.org 

Once you’ve signed up, don’t forget to check your email for the activation link!

If you would like to talk privately, or if you are an ally:
You can message us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or email us at contact@ScottishBiNet.org
We aim to answer all messages within 48 hours, but this is not always possible due to holidays and illnesses.



Stonewall Scotland Workplace Conference 2019

We were honoured to be invited to take part in this year’s Stonewall Scotland conference.
It was a fantastic opportunity to build links with other organisations, and there was a variety of workshops to help us develop our skills, and grow as a network.
Being around other people who have LGBTQ+ rights at the forefront of their work in diverse professions and sectors was inspiring, and we have picked up lots of tips and tricks that will be useful for the continued growth and expansion of our network. 

We were also part of the panel on the importance of a holistic approach to intersectionality and inclusion, which was a valuable insight into the ways that organisations can do better to support the intesecting identities of their members, staff, and/or service users.


Thank you to everyone at Stonewall Scotland for an amazing day, and to all of the speakers and panelists for sharing their stories and experiences with us!



Bi Furious Test

When we started the Scottish Bi+ Network, our first event was a film screening, and since then we’ve ended up doing a lot about bi+ representation in the media.


https://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/scott_pilgrim_vs_the_world43.jpgTwo of the questions we get asked a lot are: Why is representation so important? And what do we mean when we as a community ask for ‘good’ representation?

There’s been more and more mainstream films featuring bi+ characters, but when it comes to box office takings, there’s one film franchise that are in a league of their own.

Thor: Ragnrok is widely considered a bi+ film by those in the community, even though no-one is explicitly stated or shown in the film to be attracted to multiple genders.

One of the reasons it’s considered a bi+ film is its use of ‘bi lighting,’ where pink, purple and blue lights in the background of shots are used to subtly indicate that a character might be bi.

Is this ‘good’ representation?

If you’re bi+ and know what the colours signify, then it can be a subtle clue as to a character’s sexuality without having to spell it out.

But for those outside the bi+ community it’s just pretty colours. Explicit representation is the only way to show them that we exist, and let them see that we are more diverse than the stereotypes about us.

Which leads us to the hardest question of all; what is ‘good’ representation?

There is no single character or film that can fully represent the diversity of the bi+ community, but from talking to lots of bi+ people there’s a few things we all seem to agree on.

So, with all this in mind, we wanted to create a test that would help people judge the quality of bi+ representation in film.



The Bi Furious Test:

  1. The character’s bi+ identity is not revealed through cheating.
  1. The character is explicitly stated or shown to be attracted to multiple genders.
  1. The character is integral to the plot, and not just there to be ~sexy~ or for a throwaway joke, i.e. removing them would have a significant impact on the story.
  1. Their sexual orientation (and gender identity, if applicable) isn’t their only defining trait.
  1. The character is not later retconned to be gay/lesbian/straight.

In the last five years, we have been spoiled with a selection of films that pass the Bi Furious test, but there’s quite a few classics that were ahead of their time when it comes to bi+ representation.

Velvet Goldmine was a relative box office success back in 1993. Set in the 70s glam rock era, a time of rebellion and sexual fluidity.

Period dramas always pose a problem for bi+ representation, as a lot of the labels we use to describe our attraction to multiple genders didn’t exist or weren’t used in the same context back then. Even though it is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Colettemanges to explicitly show that she is attracted to multiple genders, leaving no doubt in the viewer’s mind that she would identify under the bi+ umbrella.

My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend set a new high bar for tv representation of bi+ people. Not only does the show use the word bisexual many times, but they have a full song and dance routine for Darryl coming out as bi, complete with saxophone solo.

TheFeels, a series of short films, released one a day for pride month, is the story of a bi guy with too many feels. As the episodes are only a few minutes long, it allows them to have such a varied cast of bi+ people that the series does feel like it shows the full diversity of the bi+ community.

Ironically the film that gives it name to the test, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, at first glance, wouldn’t qualify as good representation, because Ramona’s bisexuality seems to be there as a throwaway joke. But there wouldn’t be a story without her, and she has more to her character than her sexuality. Also, her fluffy jumper in the bi pride colours is a huge hint.

Like all of these simple representation tests, there is always room for debate, and even if a film is ‘good’ representation, it may not be to someone’s personal taste.

Leading the push for better bi+ characters seems to be coming from bi+ creators and actors, but there’s still a long way to go before all of the bi+ community sees themselves reflected on the big screen.

The small screen is rising to the challenge, with streaming services allowing more creators to get their work out, and combined with the rise of web series such as The Feels, we are starting to get the diverse representation we deserve.

To find more bi+ films and tv shows, check out our Bi+ Media Project https://forum.scottishbinet.org/wp-test/p/media.html or @BiMediaProject on twitter.