Monday 31 August 2009

I turn on the box, it's like punk never happened

While the big Pride festival settles across Manchester for the weekend, outside the sprawling mass of the gay village there is a small 'free' Pride event in parallel.

Of course, like the NHS it's not free, simply free at the point of use and the ways the money get there are a bit more hidden away.

Part of the incoherent mission of the alternative event is to recreate the spirit of the 1990s when Manchester Pride in its various incarnations didn't have the gated area that exists now.

And fair play to them, they have got one bit of the 90s spirit right. Back in the 90s, Pride - or Mardi Gras as it was - never invited any of the bi groups running in the city to take part: sure enough, just as we weren't invited there then, we weren't invited to this rose-tinted take on 90s Pride now.

There are a smattering of things wrong with the big Pride, or things that you might equally do differently, but I do like that even if we have to pay for a stall, these days when Pride are putting on a parade or an exhibition, at last the bis are invited to the ball.

Saturday 29 August 2009

Paint the city purple

Manchester Pride kicks off and gosh, I've been going to them off and on for fifteen years now I think.

Back then there was no gated area and a consequently higher incidence of general homophobic abuse and knife crime and such in the village, it was a determinedly lesbian and gay event with the bis not on the posters or the guest lists.

Even a year or three ago, there were biphobic teeshirts on sale, and the only bi stuff on display was on the bi stall.

This year - records broken all around as four stalls have bi specific materials on them (BiPhoria, Lib Dems, Unison, Albert Kennedy Trust) and a smattering of people arrive at the bi stall who we've never met but who are variously wrapped in the bi flag, wearing pink-purple-and-blue dog tags, have Bi Pride wristbands or in one fabulous case wearing a checked dress in the colours of the bi flag. Awesome.

Of course that's still about a hundred stalls with no bi stuff. But oh, the difference in not being quite alone.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

BiCon went really well

I think there were about 230-240 people this year: very good for Worcester, where there isn't the kind of pool of local people that Manchester or London can soak up to boost attendance "on the day".

I'd put in to run two sessions, one of which was taken: the CoverBis session. I'm pleased to say we seem to have a good pool of pretty new coverbi images for BCN for the coming year :) It also seemed to go OK so far as putting photographees at their ease is concerned - wasnt sure how rusty I'd be as the last few years other people have led on this session.

The one not taken was on running local bi groups. Ah well, it's been done most years recently.

Monday 17 August 2009

97... and 97A

Issue 97 of BCN is out just in the nick of time for BiCon - and 97A is back from the print shop too.

97A is the BiCon special which is a kind of 'taster' BCN that has developed over the last few years, with a mix of the best stuff from the magazine and things that it is particularly helpful for newcomers to BiCon to be able to understand ("what's polyamory?", "what is this LiveJournal thing?" and such). Along with a plug for that I hope might inspire some more activity for this year's ICBD.

It started in 2003 as a simple sheet with local and national groups contact details and has grown to what I think of as a good mix - but feedback on it would be very welcome, especially from first-timers at BiCon. Preferably early enough before next BiCon that we can incorporate any changes :D

Saturday 15 August 2009


Last weekend was edit the BCN site weekend, this weekend is fix the timeout bug on BiMedia weekend. Little by little it's getting there.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Colour schemes

The horrible thought strikes me that the BCN website currently has the same colour scheme as the new Tory party logo. Perhaps we need a disclaimer!

Saturday 8 August 2009

BCN site: not really out of date

Lordy. Though the links and back issues have been kept up to date, on looking I see that it's two years since I last uploaded a decent set of content to the BCN website. Consider it a project for October this year.

In the meanwhile, I've put a couple of fresh articles up one there: issue 88's panel discussion about where the bi movement is going and how we should focus our energies, and issue 96's interview with the boss of Bisexual Butterfly.

And tweaked a couple of really dated bits - the bis in the media section is no longer written by the Bi Media yahoogroup collective (who are nowt to do with, confusingly) as for the last year or two it's been either written by a couple of guest writers, or just as often but frustratingly not happened at all.

Enough wrangling for now. The rest of issues 87 - 96 will fill in later :) - well, it's not as if the site has gone horribly stale what with all the things coming through on the news feed from BiMedia.Org.