Scottish Bi+ Network turns one!!!

Unicorn Cake

It’s been a busy year for us, and we can’t believe that it’s September again!
Founded by three people who kept saying ‘someone should really do that,’ we went and did it.
Set up to provide support and resources for Scottish bi+ people, and the general public, we’ve been busy organising events, attending prides, and liaising with other groups.
When we started the Scottish Bi+ Network, we had no idea how much our services would be valued. We’ve lost track of how many people have come up to our stall at pride events and told us that they are surprised to see themselves represented at pride.
This time last year we were busy planning our very first event, a screening of Call Me By Your Name at the GFT (and we are still eternally grateful for all their help and support). It was a sold out event, and it was both amazing and slightly nerve-wracking to see so many people there!

Poster from the GFT Call Me By Your Name Bi-visibility screening and flyer from Out at the Cameo screening

We then ran workshops at BiTastic, and spoke at various events, including LGBTQ+ staff networks, building links with the community.
On the way we acquired Steve the Unicorn, our faithful mascot, who accompanies us to events.

A group of supportes with banners at Glasgow Pride and Steve The Unicorn

We started this year with Trans Pride in sunny Dundee, and recently we attended pride number ten for the year (and Bi Pride UK will make eleven)!
This year saw a return to the cinema, in partnership with Out at the Cameo.  A screening of Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behaviour, which is a rare treat; a bi film, with a bi main character, made by a bi creator.
We’re the first bi+ specific group to be part of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party working group on LGBTI+ issues.

Montage of photographs of Scottish Bi Plus Network at pride and other events

Our Virtual Meetups have been a success, and through this we are able to support bi+ people across Scotland no matter how remote their location, and even if they’re still in the closet.
We’re also one of the partners behind this year’s BiTastic, a one day event for bi+ people and their allies. With fun and games, arts and crafts, and workshops; there’s something for everyone.

Montage of photographs of Scottish Bi Plus Network at pride events

And this is the only the beginning!


We’re preparing for this year’s Bi Visibility Day event, in partnership with the GFT, a screening of the classic bi film Velvet Goldmine in 35mm.
Plus we’re currently trying to secure funding so that we can do more next year, including get to more of the Highlands and Islands, and run Bi Visibility Day events outside the central belt.

So, to everyone that has supported us this year: Thank you!

With special thanks to – Equality Network, The Glasgow Film Theatre, Bi Community News, Bi & Beyond Edinburgh, Pink Saltire, Positive Change Arts Project, Out at the Cameo, OPI Glasgow

You can see more photos of what we are getting up to on our Instagram

Virtual Meetups

Virtual Meetups


We are excited to announce that we are going to start running Virtual Meetups!
We are going to run them on the last Monday of every month, from 7pm – 9pm, through Telegram (for more information on installing and using Telegram, see their website https://telegram.org/ )
People will message us to register their interest, and invite links to the Virtual Meetup will be sent out by 6.30pm to give people time to register if necessary.
We are going to run them on a trial basis until the end of 2019, which will give us time to assess how effective they are.

What is a Virtual Meetup?

A virtual Meetup is a group chat at specific times where, in our case, bi+ and questioning people can chat to other bi+ and questioning people.
It offers a judgement free space where people can be themselves and talk about issues that are affecting them.
It runs at set times, and has at least one moderator.
Group rules can be found at the bottom of this page, and will be pinned at the top of each chat.

Who can benefit from Virtual Meetups?
Everyone!
It’s especially useful for those who aren’t yet fully out, or for those that prefer text chats over in person meetings.
Other factors like accessibility, caring commitments, and travel costs can be a barrier to people attending an in person meeting.
Also, it’s available to everyone across Scotland, even those that don’t have an in person bi+ support or social group near by.

What if I would like to meet other bi+ people in real life?
Bi & Beyond Edinburgh
www.facebook.com/biandbeyond
Social group that meets every first and third Wednesday of the month, 7pm – 9pm, LGBT Health & Wellbeing Centre, 9 Howe Street, Edinburgh.

Bi+ Glasgow (formerly Bi Scotland)
https://www.facebook.com/BiScotland
Peer support and social group, see Facebook page for more information

For general LGBT+ groups, including over 50s, trans and non-binary specific events, please visit LGBT Heath & Wellbeing’s event calendar:
https://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/whats-on/

What if I prefer to talk privately?
If you would rather talk one-to-one with a member of the Scottish Bi+ Network team, you can message us through Twitter and Facebook, 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.

My partner/friend/relative just came out as bi+ and I have questions – can I join the Virtual Meetup?
No.
The group is a safe space for those who are bi+ to talk about their experiences without judgement.
However, feel free to contact the Scottish Bi+ Network team with any questions you have, you can message us through Twitter and Facebook, or email us at contact@ScottishBiNet.org
We are in the process of putting together a guide about supporting a partner/friend/relative who has come out as bi+ and we will link it here as soon as it is finished.

Group Rules:
    1. The group is only for bi+ people, and those who are questioning their attraction to multiple genders, who are over 18 years old.
    2. This is a peer led group. It is not a therapy group nor a substitute for professional counselling or emergency services.
    3. No discrimination of any sort will be tolerated.
    4. Be respectful of other people’s pronouns, and personal identities. Just because you don’t agree with the use of a particular label, doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful for someone else.
    5. What’s said in the group stays in the group. Don’t reveal any personal information about yourself, or others. That includes your full name, email, social media pseuds, phone number, and address.
    6. This is not a place for finding dates!

BiTastic! 2018

Some of us were lucky enough to attend BiCon this year, a three day convention and conference for all things bi. For those who couldn’t make the trip down to Salford, there was a chance to experience the fun of BiCon at a one day event called BiTastic.
Over 100 bi+ people and their allies descended upon Forth Valley College in Stirling, for fun and games, workshops, and a chance to socialise with other bi+ people and their allies. This free event was fully accessible, with a BSL interpreter as well as a quiet space for those with autism or who needed a break from the crowds.
It started with everyone gathered together for a welcome session, and sitting in a room with that many supportive people is a strange yet wonderful feeling, as many bi+ people can go weeks, months even, without seeing another visibly bi+ person in public, let alone talking to them.
For a community that is often invisible, just knowing that you are not alone is affirming. Especially since a lot of us are unable to make it to Edinburgh or Glasgow where there are monthly peer support groups. Online support can fill the void, but there is something about face to face interactions that a text chat struggles to match.
One of the attendees (who asked not to be named) said, “As someone who is not able to be open about my sexuality, it was liberating to spend the day with so many like minded individuals.”
There were 16 workshops that ran throughout the day, given by volunteers from all walks of life, and some of them couldn’t have attended without the financial support of the organisers.
There was something for everyone: from Polari to poetry, activism to arts and crafts, with everything else in between. But most important of all, was a chance to socialise with other bi+ people in a safe and non-judgemental space.
Personally for me, the importance of this event is learning more about a community that I didn’t know existed two years ago. I have been out for over a year now, but could not have told you what Polari was until this weekend.
The inclusive atmosphere of the event is highlighted by the number of trans and non-binary people at the event who felt comfortable being out and talking openly about their experiences.
It is like an alternate universe, and I hope that it is proof that one day the rest of society can be as supportive and accepting as the attendees at BiTastic this year.
Until then, I am safe in the knowledge that I have a community behind me, and the many others like me across Scotland.

BiTastic was made possible thanks to: Equality Network, Scottish Trans Alliance, Stonewall Scotland, and CSREC (Central Scotland Regional Equality Council).

Bi Visibility Day Event 2018 – Call Me By Your Name Screening + Q&A

Bi+ visibility in the media is a rare thing, we are more likely to see dragons and other fairy tale creatures on the big screen than a character who is explicit about their bisexuality.

This is why Call Me By Your Name is such a rare gem, not only is it an achingly beautiful film about young love, but both of the main characters are shown to be attracted to multiple genders.

Which is why it was the perfect choice for a Bi Visibility Day screening.

More than 140 people came along to the screening, and most of them stayed for the panel discussion afterwards about Bi Representation in the Media.

One important question raised; how do you show bi+ people when romance is not the focus of a film?

The answer is simple – have more characters actually say the word, show that we exist, and that we exist even when we are not in relationships.

Atomic Blonde is a great example of this, proof that a character doesn’t need to be bi for a reason, that we can be part of a story without it being solely about our sexuality.

While there has been an increase in the number of bi+ characters that we are seeing on the big and small screens, there’s still a long way to go before the full diversity of the bi+ community will get to see themselves represented.

[Pictured L – R: Lorna and Calum of Scottish Bi+ Network, and Kerry of Positive Change Arts Project.]

This event was made possible by the generous support of the Glasgow Film Theatre, who not only paid for the rights to show the film, and gave us the cinema for free!

Bi Visibility Day 2018

Events taking place across Scotland for Bi Visibility Day 2018


Wednesday 19th September 2018, 19:00-21:00, Edinburgh
Bi And Beyond Discussion around bisexuality & visibility.
LGBT Centre, 9 Howe St, Edinburgh
@Bi_AndBeyond – Facebook Event

Saturday 22nd September 2018, Stirling
BiTastic! – A one-day workshop programme for bisexual and transgender people and our allies!
Forth Valley College, Stirling Campus, Drip Road, Stirling, FK8 1SE
@BiTasticEvents – bitastic.org

Sunday 23rd September 2018, 13:30, Glasgow
Film Screening: Call Me By Your Name + Discussion on Bisexuality in the Media
Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB
@glasgowfilm – GFT Info + Tickets

Monday 24th September 2018, 18:00-20:00, Edinburgh
A curated set of episodes from The Feels (plus more!) followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with voices from the Bi+ community.
ECA Evolution House, 78 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LE
@UoEStaffPride – Event Details + Booking

Wednesday 26th September 2018, 17:00-20:00, Aberdeen
RGU Rainbow Network Film Night: The Comedian 
Sir Ian Wood Building, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, AB10 7GJ
@RGULGBT – Event Details + Booking