Birmingham Bisexuals Do Pride!

Armed with a banner, stickers, felt tip pens and lots and lots of shiny leaflets, the Birmingham Bisexuals Group headed to Pride on Saturday 24th May. We wondered what the first ever Bi stall at Birmingham Pride would be like and discovered our neighbours were the HGL, who kindly offer us space to meet each month.

The weather wasn’t a major concern as we were under shelter because the market space was in an empty car park. We rather liked this and think that it was a jolly good idea (one that will hopefully be repeated nextyear).

The day started at 10.30am and went on till 8.15pm  – quite a long day and we were glad of the foldaway chairs that the group brought with them.Thanks to the one particular member of the group (who shall remain nameless) for dropping us offand picking us up.  Bethan kept us supplied with crisps and chocolate things – shopping bunny extraordinaire!  Other members did sticker creation and so much writing of our website name that they had wrist ache.  It was hard work as we were on our feet for most of the day talking to visitors, passers-by and other stalls and handing out the very popular leaflets. There were a number of groups on stalls who were very bi positive and Natalya seized the opportunity to let them know about Bi Con and ReBiCon.   Natalya had kindly visited to support us and promote Bi Con 2008.

The “Bi?” and coloured “Bisexual” stickers went down really well, as did the Bispotting leaflets.  We didn’t see anyone throwing them away and when we wandered around, we couldn’t see any on the floor – always a positive sign.  There were lots of people interested and signing up for more information on all things bi.  We did encounter some biphobia but of the toned down variety, ie, not screaming, swearing or abusive. I personally felt like a fairy at one point when informed by a passer-by that he “didn’t believe in bisexuals”.  However, this was far outweighed by the positive reactions of people, ranging from “Yes, that’s cool” to “OMG, I am SO glad that there is a bi group/Con!!”.

By the end of Saturday’s daytime Pride, we were all leafleted out and HGL kindly agreed to put some information out for us on the Sunday.

This year there was no official march but more of an “informal meander”. Well done to those who went on that. We    received requests for Bi Awareness training from a few organisations. There could be some potential there for being quite organised
and looking at offering a service and using the funding to support bi activities – one for discussion?

So what next year?  Well, we were told we would be kept in the loop about what is happening with Pride 2009 and be invited to the planning meetings, which, if all things go to plan, should consist of 60% community groups and 40% businesses.  Expect to see us there!

All in all, very much worth doing, fun for the most part and WE ROCK!  Well done to all who came, including Lynn, Traci, Bethan, Natalya, D and K.

Thanks to the organisers of Pride for supporting new community groups and giving us a stall for free this year.