That Transcript I
I recently received the latest issue of BCN. The multi-page article that summarised one of the workshops at BiCon (the workshop with the panel discussion) was the best article I have ever read in BCN. Whoever took notes and transcribed them into article format did an excellent editing job to concisely report the essence of what people said. That’s one thing that made it excellent journalism. But what really impressed me in the article what the sense of community ambition that came out of the workshop. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the tedious details of activism and slow pace of social change. Seeing the non-trivial ambitions of “this is what we want to achieve and how we can achieve it” from that workshop restated in such a concise and elegant manner was inspiring.
That Transcript II
My thoughts having read the partial transcript in BCN:
1. It’s not possible for everyone to be at all discussions and there are confidentiality issues with making recordings available, but I think something should be done to ensure that when ‘important’ discussions take place, an accurate record is taken and reported and the original transcript/recording is made available to those with a legitimate interest within the community.
2. There are different tactics to take to get what you want – sometimes the soft, fluffy ‘hey, we’re bisexuals, we exist and we’d like it if you wrote your documentation to be more inclusive of us, here’s a guide’ is the right one, other times the right tone is ‘You are in breach of s.4(1) of the The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 No. 1263 which requires that you do not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of your services. Please put this right by doing x, y and z or we will institute proceedings in the County Court’ [Regulations – http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/pdf/uksi_20071263_en.pdf] The law is a tool to be used for getting some of what we want and I think the lack of direct reference to what can be done with it should be addressed. People can start County Court proceedings relatively cheaply for breaches of the Regulations. The threat of them is a useful way to get people seeing the ‘community’ as a body not to be messed with or fobbed off. s.8 of the Regulations looks like a useful one to point out to the NHS/govt departments conducting research/writing publications in ways that are not bi-friendly/encourage bi-invisibility.
3. There should be more, readily accessible guidlines on how to make services/publications bi-friendly. What does a bi-friendly employer look like? How does it differ from the measures taken to make an employer LG or T friendly?