Socialising and Support: Bi-ing Indoors
As more and more events are – rightly – being cancelled, and bi groups and social meets up and down the country and around the world close their doors for the time being, how can we find support and tackle isolation?
Many of the bi groups are moving online to hold virtual meetings. Manchester’s BiPhoria for example agreed to suspend real-world meetings on March 10th and began the transition with its first videochat meeting on March 17th. Others are following or have followed: London, Edinburgh and Sheffield are also already meeting online, while Cardiff, Swansea, Leeds and Bristol are among groups looking into options for online meets.
They don’t work for everyone quite as well as in-person meets, because you might be ‘locked in’ with people to whom you are not out as bisexual – in which case loudly chattering away on a video conferencing app over your laptop while they are sat on the sofa next to you is perhaps not a good plan.
On the other hand for people who have previously faced a long journey to get to their nearest bi group, for example if you live in Aberystwyth, Kendal or Exeter, it may be that this makes having a bit of a bi social circle simpler.
Different groups are using a variety of technology and so a variety of formats of text, audio, pictures or video – for example the Manchester bisexuals are meeting through a mixture of Facebook, NetflixParty and Zoom.
Organiser Jen explains, “We’ve been using Zoom for Manchester bi meets for a bit over a week.
“It’s good up to about 10-15 participants but beyond that I’d say it gets unwieldy and you need to instigate some equivalent to putting your hand up to speak in a real-world meeting and someone leading the discussion, or you’re always talking over each other.
“Mind you, that’s the same in real world meetings!
“But the impact of seeing each other’s faces does seem to be really valuable for quite a few of us.”
Many of us have to be alone right now, but virtual meets may help you feel a little less isolated. Check out our local groups listings page and find something virtually happening near you!