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.

Presentation on Bi+ Issues

Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on LGBTI Issues

Not only are we the first bi+ specific group to be a part of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on LGBTI Issues, but this is also the first time that bi+ issues have been presented to the group.

We covered some of the biggest issues facing the bi+ community, including the increased risk of violence, the poor mental health outcomes, and how LGBTQ+ services fail to meet the needs of the bi+ community.

View or download our presentation.

Bi Visibility Month 2019

Bi Visibility Month Round Up!

September is always a busy month for us, as the bi+ community gets the visibility it so desperately needs.
This year was extra special, because the first Bi Pride UK took part in London on the 7th of September. We also hosted our own Bi Visibility Day event, and helped organise BiTastic, a free one day event for bi+ people and their allies.

Bi Pride UK
We arrived in Hackney after a long night on Megabus, to bi, pan, and poly flags decorating the street, and lots of people wearing their badges and flags with pride.
Over 1300 people attended The Round Chapel in Hackney for a day of all things bi+ including music, panel discussions, and information stalls.
This is now the biggest bi+ gathering in history!

Find out more about Bi Pride UK at www.biprideuk.org

GFT Screening of Velvet Goldmine

We had at least 80 people show up for this very special screening of Velvet Goldmine in 35mm, with a panel discussion about how music and musicians have been consistently providing LGBTQ+ representation for decades.
Velvet Goldmine itself is a beautiful trip of a film, and for a film with lots of sex, drugs, and rock n’roll it does a nice job of humanising the characters, where it could so easily have ended up with the greedy and depraved bisexual tropes. If you love 70s and 80s music, fabulous costumes and glamorous people then this is the film for you! 
Also, it has a cameo by Brian Molko and Placebo, as well as featuring songs of theirs.
Thank you to all our of our lovely panelists for taking part, and to the GFT and their amazing staff for making this wonderful event happen.

To find screening times or to sign up for their newsletter visit www.glasgowfilm.org

Stall at City of Edinburgh Council with their LGBT Network and UNISON
We spent our lunch on Bi Visibility Day with a stall at the main office of City of Edinburgh Council, with their own LGBT+ staff network and UNISON, talking to people about the issues facing bi+ people in the workplace.
And, thanks to the hard work of the local UNISON officer, Edinburgh councillors passed a motion to fly the bi pride flag on bi visibility day.

 

 
Panel Discussion with Edinburgh Uni Staff Pride Network, and PrideSoc
We had a lovely evening talking with the Edinburgh University Staff Pride Network, Edinburgh University PrideSoc and Monstrous Regiment publishers about all things bi+ including how representation in the media is getting better, and how a lot of us struggle with feeling ‘queer enough’ especially in LGBTQ+ spaces. 

Find out more about them at pridesoc.com and twitter.com/UoEStaffPride

BiTastic!
We were honoured to be a part of this year’s BiTastic event, a free one day event for bi+ people and their allies, organised in partnership with Equality Network, Stonewall Scotland, and Bi & Beyond Edinburgh.
There was something for everyone with discussions, crafts, information stalls, and presentations on a wide range of topics, including how to better support BAME people in the community, bi+ representation in the media, as well as safe spaces for those who are non-binary, neurodiverse, and on the aromantic and/or asexual spectrum.
It was a very enjoyable day, and we had people from all over Scotland attending, and we hope to see you all there at BiTastic 2020!

Keep an eye on www.BiTastic.org or follow @BiTasticEvents on twitter for more information about BiTastic 2020!