Bi Nottingham

Info for bi / queer / pan / bisexual / bi-curious / bi-by-some-definition people in Nottingham, England, UK

Bi Visibility Day Success

by nottmbitopia

During the day I did a small bit of Bi activism on Twitter.

bivisdaytweet

The photo shows a tweet from the BiTopia account.  (User handle NottmBiTopia.) It says “Don’t erase. Don’t ignore. Don’t stereotype. Don’t discriminate against me. Don’t be violent towards me. INCLUDE ME.”

That evening we had a wonderful turnout for the photos & speech at the Robin Hood Statue; many more people than I’d anticipated! The main bulk of the crowd were members of the LGBT+ Youth Group Outburst, as Jennifer (and friend) were going down to do a talk with them afterwards and their venue was just a few minutes away. Representatives from the police, Unison, and Nottingham University were also there along with members from a few different local LGBT+ groups.

The photo shows about 30 people, holding purple umbrellas, bi and trans flags, and banners from Unison, the police and the Uni of Nottingham. The crowd surrounds a statue of Robin Hood with an arrow in his bow, about to fire. The statue has been decorated with rainbow bunting and a bi flag.

I also got my photo taken with the representatives from the police. The uniformed officer present was actually the person whose image is used on the cardboard cut outs of policemen stood in shops in order to prevent shoplifting. It kind of felt like having a minor local celebrity present which was rather exciting. I enjoyed it when he put his hat on my head!

police shot

The photo captures the moment just before the intended shot is taken. Five people stand behind a rainbow flag with the Notts Police logo on, not quite ready for the camera. Some are looking at each other rather than the lens. A policeman in uniform is putting his hat on the woman next to him.

After the photos had been taken Jennifer gave a wonderful short speech about Bi Visibility Day and I handed out some cake. Once we had packed everything up Jennifer went over to Outburst whilst I headed up to the Friends’ Meeting House for the second event of the evening.

IMG_5602

The photo shows a cake covered in white icing, with the words “Happy Bis Day!” iced in blue on top. A purple unicorn soft toy and a rubber duck sit next to the cake, looking happy as if they are about to take a bite!

An image showing Jennifer stood in front of the aforementioned statue, wearing a purple shirt for Bi Vis Day.

An image showing Jennifer stood in front of the aforementioned statue, wearing a purple shirt for Bi Vis Day

We had a nice, quiet social at The Friends’ Meeting House with some interesting discussions taking place. Jennifer and her friend (sorry I’ve forgetton their name!) arrived later in the evening and said everything at Outburst had gone well. As usual for BiTopia events, somewhere between a quarter to a third of the people there were first time attendees. I was happy to note that they seemed to get a lot out of coming along, and two of them have since been to our monthly pub social. I was really happy with how well everything turned out, and I had a really great evening.

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Events for Bi Visibility Day

by nottmbitopia

Soon it will be Bi Visibility Day, which is also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day.

Can you make it to either of these two events?

First Event There will be a photo with bi flags at the Robin Hood statue in Nottingham at 6:30pm on Wednesday 23rd September.

This will be a very brief event. About 15-20 mins long. We will just take photos with bi flags and there will be a short speech too. We will hopefully have lots of people show up. People from the Notts IDAHoBiT group, reps from the police etc. have been invited to show their support.

Address: Castle Place, Nottingham, Notts, NG1 6EL

These pictures will be posted on the Internet and maybe even in magazines such as Bi Community News, so there is absolutely no pressure to attend if you don’t want a public photo.

After the photo, people can walk up to the Friends Meeting House if they want to join in with the BiTalkia social. (See below!)

People who are not attending the photo can just go straight to the Meeting House for 7:30pm. 🙂

Second Event
The BiTalkia Social at The Friends Meeting House
7:30-10pm, also on Wednesday 23rd September
Format of BiTalkia This is a chance to chat and chill out with others in a private, alcohol free setting. There aren’t any workshops or activities planned this time (yet!), so please bring games, crafts, things to do, tea to drink, snacks, etc etc!

Doors open 7:30pm. We´ll start packing up, washing cups and so on to ensure we´re out of the room by 10pm.

Venue Friends’ Meeting House (FMH), 25 Clarendon Street, Nottingham NG1 5JD.

This is round the corner from the Women’s Centre. It’s a beautiful modern building with flat/ramped access and a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

We’ve booked the Social Room which is where we were last time. It includes a small kitchen.

Cost “Pay the amount that seems right to you”. Any donations will be used to pay for the cost of hiring the room. Any surplus will go towards to the costs of future events.
Travel Info See the Friends Meeting House “Finding us” page for lots of useful info on roads, parking and public transport.
Optional pre-meet Optional:  Leaving Central Library at 7:15pm to walk up to the FMH together.  Someone (tbc) will be there to welcome people and lead the way.

This pre-meet is designed for people who don’t want to arrive alone via the quieter streets near the FMH after dark – or who know the library as a familiar landmark, or who just like the idea of having company on the way – and who can walk or wheel for about 500 metres.  Feel free to come straight to the FMH if that works better for you.

Meet outside the library doors. (The library shuts at 7pm.)

The Central Library is on Angel Row, just off the Old Market Square in Nottingham City Centre. Nearest tram stop: Old Market Square.

Who can come? Bi people and anyone with a positive interest in bisexuality, including friends or partners.

(Not sure if you’re bi?  Take a look at the Bisexual Index’s quiz.)

We also warmly welcome anyone who is attracted to more than one gender who doesn´t use the label bi, for example heteroflexible, pansexual, or biromantic.

Volunteers Needed!
  • A person to meet and greet people at the library at 7:15, and walk up the friends meeting house with them.
  • A person to arrive at the friends meeting house at 7pm, and set up the room and put up a bi flag or two, that kind of thing. (I can provide these!) Then will also be the person in charge of BiTalkia, then I will assist once I get there later.
Where will Hannah be? After the photo taking at the Robin Hood Statue, I will be giving a talk to the LGBT Youth Group Outburst – but once that has finished I will dash up to the Meeting House to join the fun!
Bringing Snacks? Please bring a list of ingredients if you plan to bake anything, or keep the packaging if it´s shop bought.

 

BiTopia Events in July & August

by nottmbitopia

I hope you can join us for the following if you’re free:

  • July Pub Social, Thursday 9th July, The Lord Roberts Pub, Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AN.
    7:30-11:00pm. Look for the rubber duck on the table to find us!
  • Nottinghamshire Pride Parade, Saturday 25th July.
    Meet us at the corner of Listergate and Castlegate at 11:00am. More details below.
  • August Pub Social, Thursday 20th August. Same times and place as the July pub social. Please note the change of date.This has been pushed back a week because of BiCon 2015.

Pride Parade Details

I would absolutely love to match the amazing turn out we had last year. Let’s put some purple into Pride and remind everyone bisexuals exist.

As usual the Pride organisers are not so…erm…organised. So I’m expecting some last minute time changes again, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

“The March will start from Castlegate and will set off at 11.30am. Be Colourful, Noisy and PROUD!!”

Unhelpfully, that’s all the info they’ve provided!

So let’s meet at 11:00pm on the corner of Listergate, Albert Street and Castlegate. If you came last year, it will be the same place we met last year. If you didn’t come last year, walk down Albert Street from St Peter’s Square as if you’re going to train station. The parade start point is the first crossroads you’ll come to. You will be able to find me very easily. I will be the person with long brown hair and specs carrying two washing poles and a banner!

I’m going to get a banner with the BiTopia logo printed on for us. Please can you bring whistles, flags, poi, etc. I’d suggest wearing flat, comfortable shoes if you’re walking. Please wear purple if you can!

Access: As soon as I know the route map for the parade I will post it. Last year the road/pavement surfaces were quite smooth and flat and there were no steps, however the parade did go up and down some slopes on streets like Pelham Street.

After the parade we can go and get some food and drink somewhere to unwind and relax.

IDAHOBIT 2015

by nottmbitopia

This year there will be a ‘stream’ in Nottingham city centre on Sunday 17th May for IDAHOBIT.

Join forces with us as we try and get as many people as possible to ‘stream in’ to the Brian Clough statue in Old Market Square from different starting points. The stream I’m co-leading will start at The Lord Roberts pub. Please meet us there at 12:30 and bring rainbow/bi/trans etc. flags or whistles or signs to hold whilst we walk to the statue.

After speeches at the statue from 1pm, there will be various LGBT activities held throughout the afternoon. Nottingham BiTopia will go for a picnic if the weather is nice! There will also be an after party at the Foresters, or a showing of Milk at Broadway.

Just in case some people reading don’t know, IDAHOBIT stands for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. It happens on 17th May to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. One activity that usually happens on the day is that local services, groups, businesses and organisations fly a rainbow flag to raise awareness and pledge their support to help stop violence and discrimination against LGBTQI people.

Some people/groups/organisations still call it IDAHO or IDAHOT day, but if they do please point them in the direction of the official website. 2015 is the first year bisexuals have (finally!) been officially included!

IDAHO was created in 2004.

“In 2009, Transphobia was added explicitly in the title of the name, in the recognition of the very different issues at stake between sexual orientation and gender expression. “IDAHOT” became another popular acronym used alongside the initial one.

Since 2015, biphobia is added to the title, to acknowledge the specific issues faced by bisexual people.”

This year, emails and Facebook groups about the events happening in Nottinghamshire for IDAHOBIT originally used the acronym IDAHO. These have now been changed to IDAHOBIT, along with wording that goes beyond just mentioning gay, lesbian and homophobia, so it is worth pushing for a name change for bi and trans inclusion if you have the spoons.

Here is the Facebook group for Nottinghamshire: https://www.facebook.com/groups/738691312817067

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Richard Townsley for being the main organiser behind the flag raisings and other events happening in the county for IDAHOBIT. He’s put so much time and hard work in. I have a lot of respect for him and the work he’s doing. Thanks to everyone else who’s helping and putting their time and resources in as well.

I highly recommend the following if you are looking for resources, information and statistics to use for IDAHOBIT:

Whether you are able to organise or take part in an event or just mention IDAHOBIT on social media, these links are a great place to start.

Hannah

A New(ish) Bi Blog

by nottmbitopia

I recently set up a blog to gather together all the bi related stuff I’ve written over the years.

I also write about:

  • My experiences of being bisexual
  • Biphobia and bi erasure
  • Nottingham BiTopia
  • How to set up and run a bi group
  • Bisexuality in the media (especially TV shows).

You can find it here: https://bisexualblogs.wordpress.com

Hannah

Post-BiTalkia survey

by unchartedworlds

The first BiTalkia duly took place! 23 of us turned up to the Friends’ Meeting House on 23 Feb 2015, for discussion, informal chat, tea & coffee.

We’re now collecting feedback from people who were there. Ideally, we’d like to get at least a few words from each of those 23 people.

The survey link

From initial soundings, it seems quite likely that we will do it a bit differently next time, so it’s definitely worth putting in your 2p. Thanks in advance for whatever clues you can give us!

BiTalkia, Monday 23 Feb 2015: details

by unchartedworlds

Date

Monday 23 February 2015.

Start time

Doors open 7pm, discussion 7.30 till 8.30, chatting time afterwards. Then washing-up-cups, and out of the room by 10pm.

Theme

“Fitting & misfitting in the bi community”.

Format

The hour of discussion will be fairly highly structured, for equal shares of talking time. Mostly in small groups. Couple of go-rounds in big group, where everyone gets a turn but doesn’t have to speak if they don’t want to. Little bit of writing; if you like, you can ask in advance for a scribe to do your writing-down, and we might be able to find a friendly volunteer.

More info below about the theme and the format.

The chatting time afterwards won’t be formally structured.

Venue

Friends’ Meeting House (FMH), 25 Clarendon Street, Nottingham NG1 5JD.

This is round the corner from the Women’s Centre. It’s a beautiful modern building with flat/ramped access and a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

We’ve booked the Social Room. That has pretty good acoustics for talking, and includes a small kitchen. Its max capacity is 60, but I think it’ll feel fine with the 15 to 25 or so participants we can probably expect.

Cost

“Pay the amount that seems right to you”. For more background on this, see below.

Travel info

See the Friends Meeting House “Finding us” page for lots of useful info on roads, parking and public transport.

Optional pre-meet

Optional:  Leaving Central Library at 7pm to walk up to the FMH together.  Hannah will be there to welcome people and lead the way.

This pre-meet is designed for people who don’t want to arrive alone via the quieter streets near the FMH after dark – or who know the library as a familiar landmark, or who just like the idea of having company on the way – and who can walk or wheel for about 500 metres.  Feel free to come straight to the FMH if that works better for you.

Depending on your travel situation, an extra possibility might be to come to the Central Library a bit earlier and have a browse round. If you’ve brought a snack, you can eat it in the food-and-chat-allowed area on floor 2.

Meet outside the library doors at 7pm. (The library shuts at 7pm.)

The Central Library is on Angel Row, just off the Old Market Square in Nottingham City Centre. Nearest tram stop: Old Market Square.

Access note:  If you want to take advantage of the communal walk, but it would take you longer than about 15 minutes to travel that far under your own steam, let me know, and we can probably organise a bonus earlier slower walk-up-together.

Open to

Bi people and anyone with a positive interest in bisexuality, including friends or partners.

(Not sure if you’re bi?  Take a look at the Bisexual Index’s quiz.)

Theme blurb for “Fitting and misfitting in the bi community”

Ever been dissatisfied with the words “bi” and “bisexual” because they don’t quite fit for you? Or ever wondered whether you’d be welcome at bi events? Ever looked around a bi group and felt “odd one out”, unfashionable or not quite at home? Ever questioned where you fit in the community (including for instance as the non-bi partner of a bi person, or as someone wondering whether they might be bi)? Ever felt like you’re “not a proper bisexual”, or “not bi enough”? Or, on the other hand, ever thought how much you like it here, even though you’re not bi?

Facilitator for this discussion

Jennifer. (me!)

I first invented the “Fitting & misfitting” format in 2002, I’ve run it a few times since then and so have other people.

Totally not necessary in order to enjoy the evening, but if you’re interested, you can read about its history here:
http://www.uncharted-worlds.org/bi/fitmisfit.htm
http://www.uncharted-worlds.org/bi/BiCon/fitmisfit2005.htm

Co-facilitator

Ideally, I’d like to collaborate with someone else who wants to be on a learning curve towards leading similar things. No previous experience required. Talk to me if you fancy it.

Other help required
  • two or more currently-ablebodied people to turn up no later than 7.10pm to help set out the room. This mainly just means moving chairs and maybe tables. Good opportunity for people who find it easier to settle in when they’re being collaboratively helpful 🙂
  • two or three people to wash up cups at the end. Hannah is bringing tea & coffee supplies.
Other contributions possible

Optionally, bring cakes / snacks! as long as they come with a piece of paper listing the ingredients.

Background on money

We want to cover the costs of hiring the room, the tea and the coffee.

We decided not to set a specific price, because it’s so hard to make that fair, given that some people can easily spend £10 without noticing and others are carefully managing pennies. Instead, we’ll have anonymous contributions to some kind of box or hat.

To give a sense of roughly how we expect the money to work: The room is £37.50 (subsidised by the FMH hire rates because BiTalkia is non-profit). In the survey, we asked people “Per meeting, an amount I would feel was an amazing bargain for such a rare & useful event is: ….”. Most people replied something like £2, £3 or £5. Then we asked “Per meeting, an amount I could stretch to if needed without feeling bad about it, to make things work well for the event as a whole, is: ….”. Most people replied around £5 to £15, a few either higher or lower. This gave us confidence to go ahead and book the room. So if there are one or two people who can’t even stretch to £2, we’ll probably still be OK. In other words, do chip in, and don’t miss it due to worrying about the money!

Update 6 Feb: added money info, which I’d forgotten before!

A Look Back at 2014

by nottmbitopia

As we’re approaching the end of December I thought I’d write an entry to summarise the year…and what a year it’s been! We’ve had 12 pub socials at The Lord Roberts, a post BiCon meet up, Christmas drinks and we’ve marched in the Nottinghamshire Pride parade. BiTopia attendees have also gone to other events such as The Big Bi Fun Day and BiCon 2014 together, and several people have had things published in Bi Community News (BCN).

We normally have between 12-20 people per meet up, and about 40-50 people have attended at least one of our events in the past 12 months. This is an outstanding achievement for the first year of a new group, made possible only by the work others have done in helping me to spread the word. I would particularly like to thank uncharteredworlds, the editor of BCN and the person who runs the East Midlands Bi Network emailing list for all their hard work and support in this.

The highlight for me has been watching friendships grow over the course of the year and seeing a local bi community develop.  It’s also been really meaningful to see the group become a source of support for bisexuals and those questioning, exploring or struggling with their sexual orientation.

2015 looks to be another promising year. Thanks to the help of unchartedworlds we now have a date set for our new discussion and workshop based event (BiTalkia) which will run several times a year in addition to the monthly pub social. I also want BiTopia to take part in Pride again and look into creating some sort of display for one of the libraries in Nottingham for LGBT History Month. I will continue to attend the LGBT and KIN meetings run by the local police and encourage others to attend too to make sure we are represented and our voices are heard.

Whether you’ve donated money to us, lent us washing line poles and banners for Pride or supported us in any other way not mentioned in this post, thank you. It really means a lot.

BiTalkia is go!

by unchartedworlds

I am thrilled to announce that we now have our first date for BiTalkia!

Evening of Monday 23 February 2015, at the Friends’ Meeting House (FMH), with an optional pre-meet leaving the Central Library at 7pm to walk up together.

The pre-meet at the library is primarily to address an access concern raised by someone in the survey: not wanting to arrive alone via the quieter streets near the FMH after dark. The Central Library’s probably more familiar as a landmark for more people, as well. Obviously this solution will only work for people who can walk or wheel for about 500 metres, so let me know if something else would work better for you.

The FMH is at 25 Clarendon Street, Nottingham NG1 5JD, round the corner from the Women’s Centre. It’s a beautiful modern building with flat/ramped access and a wheelchair-accessible toilet. There’s some metered parking on nearby streets, which is free with a Blue Badge. We’ve booked the Social Room, which has good acoustics and a small kitchen.

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My apologies to the five people who told us they couldn’t do this date! It turned out that every single date we asked about, five, six, seven or eight people said they couldn’t make it, and this one came out best overall. (good for 14 people, “Yes, but other dates better” for 2 more.)

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Further details
in a while, inc more on access and more on who the event is aimed for. I might also post at some point about what else the survey told us and why we’ve made the choices we did.

Last call for survey on plans for BiTalkia discussion group

by unchartedworlds

We’ve now had 23 replies to the anonymous survey about setting up a new bi discussion group in Nottingham! Nine people so far have said they are “keen”, and another 11 have said “maybe” (the other three just wanted to enthuse and wish us luck 🙂 )

If you’re reading this on a non-bi list and wondering “am I bi enough to take part”, the answer is probably yes 🙂 See the Bisexual Index’s excellent “Am I bisexual?” quiz.

My intention is to close the survey on Monday or Tuesday this week and go on to the next steps. The timescale we’ve got in mind is for the first BiTalkia evening to happen in Jan or Feb 2015, and I’m hoping we’ll be ready to announce its date/time/venue/theme before the next edition of QB magazine (copy date 28 Dec), which has Nottingham’s LGBTQ news.

So if you were meaning to put in your 2p and haven’t yet, now is the time.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JBYW3LS

If you don’t fill in the survey, you can still come to the events – it’s just really helpful for us to gather a sense of best dates, preferred venues, access limitations etc. So thanks to everyone who either has given us their perspective or is about to 🙂