community building

A Hand Along the Way – Volunteering in the Bisexual Community

volunteer-1The bisexual community thrives because of its volunteers. Some are highly visible – those who run events like last weekend’s highly successful EuroBiCon and the heads of organisations like BCNBiUK and the Bisexual Index, others work behind the scenes, doing accounts, designing posters and collecting tea money.  Biscuit fave Cat returns to tell us what the draw is, and how you can get involved. 

I’ve done quite a bit of volunteering work in the UK bi community over the years. I work full time and have children and, as a result, have limited free time – so why do I want to spend it doing more work when I could be relaxing?

Putting something back

I’ve been involved with the UK bi community for 10 years now, since I attended my first BiCon in 2003. Although I had other friends who were… Continue reading

Pan on Campus: Biscuit Interviews Pansexuality Advocate Elle Long

elle2Pansexuality may be as old as the hills, but the pansexual movement is still young, and that means that it’s still a little mysterious to outsiders. We’re natural allies, and we’re nosy, too, so we caught up with advocate Elle Long to get the skinny on what’s happening in pan activism right now.

Hi Elle! First of all, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do. How long have you been involved in pansexual activism and advocacy? What sort of things do you get up to as an advocate?

I am a junior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, majoring in Political Science and Law, minoring in Ethnic Studies. I’m involved with the Speech and Debate team for the school but that’s about as sporty as I get!
My main focus in advocacy for pansexuality has been education and it started when I came… Continue reading

Activating our Bi-dar: a future for the bisexual community

Radar

Most of us are familiar with the term gaydar.  It is the ‘intuitive’ ability to assess if someone is not straight.  But then, there you have it.  It implies that you can only be gay or straight.  What about all of us bisexuals?  What happens to us when someone erroneously assumes we are straight or gay?  As Shiri Eisner points out in Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution: “Since our bisexuality is not ‘known’ to have any visual markers, we are routinely accused of fraudulence, perceived as invisible, and forced to deal with others’ doubts regarding our identities and our oppression.”

The terms ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ present a simplified and more palatable understanding of how the world works.  In fact, the Western, minority world has a long-standing affinity for binaries – so much so that binarist ways of thinking and acting go unquestioned.  Anthropologists have a term for this: ‘Doxa’ – the stuff that goes without saying.  Good /bad; male/female; child/adult; life/death; straight/gay: are all binarist, seldom questioned, ways of making sense of the world.  Anything in between, that doesn’t fall neatly into one or the other category, is feared and sometimes reviled.

As part of our Judeo-Christian heritage, we tend to divide everything into rigid categories of good and bad so often, we don’t give it much critical thought.  For example, the male/female binary is left unquestioned, and it is assumed to be natural and inherent.  Any person who falls outside that binary is a social outcast.  Puberty, is another example of a liminal state of existence between childhood and adulthood, and as such is often scorned.  Teenagers are depicted in Western culture as individuals who are caught between childhood and adulthood and are therefore unstable and dangerous.  Those stages between life and death are rejected as unnatural and even repulsive because they defy our strict separation between those categories: life and death.  States of being like depression and chronic illness that are between being fully alive and dead, are considered to be something to avoid at all costs.
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