In memory: Joy Hilbert

In memory of

Joy Hilbert

(born Helen Joy Hibbert) 1959-1999

Joy was a regular attendee at BiCons from 1987 until 1993. She played a central part in the organising group for Coventry 1989 (held at the then Lanchester Poly, the first residential BiCon). In 1993 she brought along her baby son Lee to join in the Nottingham conference, where there were five small babies (including the performer Claire Dowie’s first daughter) Joy was certainly one of the BiCon peer group at that time. I remember her hanging out with the SF sub-group and joining in with the group chain massage at one workshop we both went to.

Later on Joy became part of SM-Bi’s and was a founder and long-term contributor to the infamous ChainLetter. She and second husband Anthony shared interests in paganism and historical re-enactment and were also regular contributors to Internet forums including the uk-poly mailing list.

Joy was an intelligent woman who had strong views about certain subjects. In print and on the ‘net, she seemed to relish the odd flame war and was a strong character who would continue arguing her side to the bitter end (big men left in tears after run-ins with her).

Joy and Anthony’s search for another man to join their household became a legend in its own time. They appeared together on one of the Kilroy programmes about Bisexuality together and discussed what they were looking for. Joy had lived with her first husband Dave and Lee’s father Haz for many years before they left in turn and she placed an ad which led her to meet and later marry Anthony.

A few months ago Anthony posted a short message on a mailing list to say that Joy was ill in hospital surrounded by tubes. Many members of the list posted their get well soon messages. Even so, the message that Joy was dead seemed to come out of the blue and was a complete shock.

As far as we know she is one of the first (if not the first) of our peer group of early BiCon attendees to die. That she has left a young son and a devoted husband adds to the loss. Her new career as a legal secretary had blossomed recently and she obviously had so much more to contribute to a world in which she had had a difficult start but was increasingly enjoying herself and making her own voice heard and her own unique contribution.

Lisa Lovely & Ian Watters

An obituary by Anthony is on the web: