The Biscuit Purple List 2017

purple_glitter_backdropYour nominations have been counted, your thoughts have been collected and your faithful Biscuit team has cogitated, confabulated and contemplated every single line you’ve written. It hasn’t been easy, but we are at last ready to present the Biscuit Purple List 2017.

We asked you who inspired you, who made you proud and who you though deserved more recognition than they got, and you answered in your hundreds. You told us you value visibility as much as outreach and community building efforts, with household names like Sara Ramirez, Joe Lycett and Nicola Adams appearing alongside prominent activists like Jen Yockney and Meg-John Barker and community organisers like Sali Owen.

From the worker bees of grassroots organising to the Queer elite, the full gamut of the bi community is represented here. YouTube starlets who educate while they entertain; local group leaders who do so much more than just give us a space to meet; academics; part-time activists and celebrities who make our worlds a little easier just by being visible: you appreciate them all.

Now, to the list!


sara_ramirez_true_colors_oct_2016

Sara Ramirez (new)

Sarah Ramirez came out just twelve short months ago (at the True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit for homeless LGBT youth), but she’s become one of Twitter’s most loved bi voices. You told us you love her bravery, her authenticity and her willingness to fight for what’s right.

She took Dustin Lance Black to task over his representation of the Stonewall Uprising in When We Rise, regularly calls out biphobia in the media and regularly calls for more accurate and more positive representations of bi people by the entertainment industry.

Sara supports the Bisexual Organizing Project alongside her work for the True Colors Foundation and The Task Force, and before coming out was awarded the Human Rights Campaign’s Ally for Equality award.

 

Emily Metcalfe, Leeds Bi Group (new)

“I don’t know a more hardworking person in a voluntary role. Emily never stops.”

From working with Leeds City Council, TransLeeds, MESMAC and the West Yorkshire Police to running one of the most well regarded bi groups in the UK, Emily has become a leading light of the Northern scene, running stalls in Leeds and further afield, hosting Bi Visibility Day events and acting as a role model for the community.

 

MJMeg-John Barker, Activist-Academic

Meg-John has been a part of the bi landscape in the UK for over 15 years. With not one but two new books out this year (Queer with Julia Scheele and How to Understand your Gender with Alex Iantaffi), their extensive catalogue of work covers subjects as diverse as counselling skills, sadomasochism, mindfulness and gender. They were the lead author on The Bisexuality Report (.pdf), published in 2012, which has become the key document informing policy and practice surrounding bisexuality in the UK.

Meg-John is also a founding member of BiUK, and a UKCP accredited counsellor specialising in working with gender and sexuality diverse clients in their London practice.

 

Jen Yockney MBE, Bi Community News

“Jen is my hero”

As founder of the UKs longest running bi group, editor of BCN and a newly minted MBE, Jen is one of the most deserving people on the Purple List. Her reach is formidable. She’s nurtured the bi community in the UK, offering help, support and advice to anyone interested in setting up a local bi group, consulted with local and national government on issues affecting bisexual people, and spoken at countless events.

Jen also runs the @bisexualhistory project and September 23rd events hub www.BiVisibilityDay.com.

 

10923329_403781833133279_1385647556480390746_nMarcus Morgan, Bisexual Index

From running Bisexual Index to performing bi themed magic on the stage at Pride in London, there’s not a lot Marcus can’t do. You called him ‘simply awe inspiring’ and we have to agree.

Marcus has been involved in bi activism for more than twenty years; he is the founder and chair of The Bisexual Index, and co-founder of SM Bis and Bisexual Underground. In 2010 he chaired the International Conference on Bisexuality.

He delivers training on bisexual awareness and inclusion to academic and professional institutions and is often called on to be speak on behalf of the UK bisexual community to the media.

 

Rosie Spaughton, Rose and Rosie (new)

“What can I say? I just love her!”

One half of YouTube power couple Rose and Rosie, you praised Rosie’s deceptively straightforward vids that talk about bisexuality in a positive, accessible way, as well as Rose and Rosie’s visibility as a mixed-orientation couple.

You also told us you love Rosie for the love and respect she shows her fans, and her openness, honesty and warmth.

 

zz2-e1490129259159Nicola Adams OBE (new)

Notable for being one of the few out bisexual people in sport, Nicola is nevertheless blasé about her sexuality. “No one’s ever really cared about me being bisexual, she told Vogue in 2012, “I only came out because I had always been out.”

You told us that having a prominent sportsperson out as bi gave you hope for the next generation, and praised her fearless attitude and matter-of-fact interviews that discuss sexuality, prejudice and her aspirations to be a role model for her community.

 

 

Alan Cumming

“An out bi man, as well known as he is, who talks about being bi: that’s valuable. That’s important”

Perennial bi favourite Alan Cumming  supports a number of LGBT charities, among them the Humans Rights Campaign, GLAAD, the Equality Network and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Alan came out as bisexual in 1998, and has been vocal against bi-erasure since then. In 2015 he told The Advocate. “I see a worrying trend among LGBT people, that if you identify yourself in just one way, you close yourself off to other experiences. My sexuality has never been black and white; it’s always been gray. I’m with a man, but I haven’t closed myself off to the fact that I’m still sexually attracted to women”.

 

jacqJacq Applebee, Bis of Colour

As a founder of Bis of Colour in 2010 and author of the Bis of Colour Report (.pdf), Jacq’s impact in our community is immeasurable, but their willingness to address the racism that occurs in the bi community is what impresses you most.

You mentioned Jacq’s creativity, wit and passion as often as their work advocating for queer people of colour both inside and outside of the bi community. Alongside the provision of on- and offline social spaces for queer people of colour, Bis of Colour offer talks and workshops that focus on foregrounding the issues faced by queer, trans and intersex people of colour as well as those faced by the wider bisexual community.

 

Lynnette McFazden, BiNet USA

“I listen to the BiCast. It makes me feel less alone”.

It might be a surprise to see a stalwart of US-ian bi activism on a UK focused list, but Lynnette’s international reach is You know Lynnette as the President of BiNetUSA but it’s her podcast, the BiCast, that earned her a place here. Since 2013 the BiCast has grown from a small home-produced podcast to a multi media advocacy organisation that reaches some of the most isolated bi people in North America and beyond.

30FF8EA100000578-3437431-image-a-1_1454950231171Evan Rachel Wood

After delivering a blistering speech at the Human Right’s Campaign, it was all but inevitable we’d see Evan on the Purple List.

Evan speaking so publicly about growing up bi was something that resonated with a lot of you, and many of you thought she should be mentioned for that alone. But Evan has been dispelling myths around bisexuality since she came out in 2012. She’s not afraid to address contentious issues like labels, and continues to mainstream issues that could easily be avoided or forgotten.

 

 

Sali Owen, #BiSeries (new)

“I didn’t know Sali a year ago, but I’ve seen what she’s been doing with the LGBT Foundation and I’m just in awe”.

Manchester is not short of formidable bi activists (see Jen Yockney, above) but there can be no denying that Sali has impressed you.

Tweeting about bi empowerment as @SaliWho gained her a following on social media, resulting in her being invited to various settings to discuss the bi community; most recently BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Her most longstanding voluntary role is facilitating groups for LGBT patients in high security psychiatric care, and she’s a core member of LGBT Foundation’s #BiSeries team, organising the only regular series of bi events run by a charity in the UK.

 

Joe-Lycett-1050-e1476893752707Joe Lycett (new)

Exploring sexuality through comedy can be a risky move, but Joe In 2015 he told Gay Times, “I think it’s important some people do publicly go “Hey, I’m not straight and I’m not gay. I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s ok”.

Several of you said you admired the ease with which Joe discusses his sexuality on stage, even if he’s a reluctant role model.

 

 

Sarah Emmott, Art with Heart (new)

“…I’d rather have a two hour conversation about bi visibility than ‘pass’ as gay” – Sarah Evans

Through Art with Heart, Sarah gets to talk about sexuality with thousands of people. She’s spoken to Manchester City Council about biphobic hate crime, hosted LGBT Foundation events and mentored young people in confidence building and communication skills but you particularly praised her work with young people, running workshops for young teens about the importance of equality, community and acceptance.

 

14055791_1424191034262517_1391607423_nMiles Joyner, Miles the Bisexual (new)

Miles is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador, winner of the University of South Carolina and outspoken activist for the bi+ community, but most of you know them through their active and influential Facebook page.

You were impressed by Miles’ thoughtful engagement, willingness to learn and to educate and their nurturing presence online.

 

 

André Walters-Lawson and Mieks Weijers, Birmingham Bi Group (new)

“They’ve rekindled the Birmingham bi scene, and they did it practically over night”.

For the first time the Purple List has two people nominated and listed together. Beginning with a small social and support group, Birmingham Bi Coffee, then resurrecting BiFest in the midlands and co-ordinating a bi presence for Birmingham Pride, you told us you were inspired by their vision and impressed by their abilities.

 

FO79Qc7u_400x400Grant Denkinson (new)

Based in Leicester, Grant ran two successful events for bisexual people interested in BDSM, including  social spaces, education and demonstrations and of course a play party. The events attracted, in Grant’s words, “people from all of the country including people who had been involved with kink for ages but who had never spent time with a group of other bisexuals and people who went to bi things but had little connection with a BDSM scene”.

He is a contributor to Purple Prose and can be found promoting the book up and down the country, and often gives talks on bi issues at the University of Leicester and beyond.

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Libby Baxter-Williams

Libby is a 30-something Londoner, who spends more time reading picture books than is seemly. She became a bi activist entirely by accident, but now she can't imagine living any other way. In the event of an emergency, she'll have a large gin and tonic, thanks.
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5 Responses to The Biscuit Purple List 2017

  • What awesome company to be in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Together we change the world. And I firmly believe we are doing that exact thing!! Thank you all for a tremendous #BiWeek17. Our community made it happen!!

  • Lyndsey McCall says:

    Nice list. FYI Jen is Yockney is non binary, they have been misgendered twice above

  • John G says:

    I’ve only just rediscovered/re-remembered that you do this list, and its only just too late for this year, but I’d like to nominate Lewis Oakley for his bi activism journalism and other work. For 2016 Bi Visibility Day, he was a complete tour-de-force across all possible LGBT media outlets and mainstream (Sky news+others I believe) media it seemed, and he keeps producing articles, and tweeting, using his personal time, and often body as a loud canvas to get attention (see his many photoshoots for articles all over the lgbt and non-lgbt web), as an out bi man to raise awareness of the issues, rant at biphobia somewhere, or educate the masses or existing LG(b)TQIA+.. audiences about bisexuality.

  • Pingback: Sarah makes The Purple List! - Art with Heart

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