Tuesday, 22 February 2011

New shiny bi booklet

It's taken a good bit of work, but I'm delighted to be showing off about Getting Bi in a Gay / Straight World, a new bookletty publication that I've led on putting together, with the aid of a posse of people from inside and outside BiPhoria

It's glossy, it's pretty, it's colourful.  It is chatty and uses simple words where it can.  It does, I think, a pretty good job on including genderqueer well within a publication that is about B not T, sexuality not gender.

And - this is the biggy - it's free and we've made more than 10,000 copies to give away thanks to some very good grant application writing.  Once I've got some sturdy enough hosting to cope with people grabbing the PDF, there'll be an online PDF version too.  Bear with me, just now I have a lot of work I'm juggling along with a day job and a real life!

Many years ago - 1996 I reckon without looking it up - the then Bi Community News team produced an 8 page info sheet The BCN Starter Pack.  It was like a cut-down version of (the then very newslettery) BCN, focused on coming out and what bi resources were out there.  What mostly stuck with me at the time was the information about queer zines, but I know there was mythbusting and recommended books and films and so on. It underwent a few updates over the years including being rebranded as Everything you always wanted to know about bisexuality in the UK but didn't know who to ask, a title which at least would stand out in a booklist.

A few years later, around 2005, a gaggle of bi activists got together following one of the Bi Activist Weekends to write Both Directions, a remake from scratch of the Starter Pack.  This time about 16 pages long, but on smaller pages - A5 not A4 - with information about things that hadn't been so relevant in the mid 90s like email lists and websites.  It was, I'd have to admit, very wordy and lacking in pictures to break up the page: we were going for the cheapest possible print options and those can mangle photos into disasters.  Both Directions has needed a decent makeover for a while, but sometimes it's easier to start with a blank sheet of paper.

And so the new guidebook. 28 pages, though that's about as much paper as was in the other two as it's now A6 - the right size for many pockets and postcard or flyer racks.  And with 1000s of copies already making their way into display racks across the county.  Hats off to CFGM for funding the printing, and many thanks to everyone who helped proof-read, scribe, tweak or otherwise generally encourage this one into life: I'm really proud of it!


  1. Congratulations on finishing this project! I look forward to reading it, whether on paper or as a PDF file.

    One way to promote the booklet might be to stuff one into an envelope along with the next copy of BCN when you are mailing BCN to subscribers. Of course, doing that might increase the postage charge.

  2. Adds 30p+ a copy to a BCN mailing alas - I've already tried that one!

    When things calm down in a couple of weeks it'll probably go on the BCN site or the activist wiki or somewhere.

    Mainly I need to work out how to minimise the pain for my servers, the full resolution print version was about 15meg and I don't want my websites going down due to people downloading this pdf.