BiMate: Sam Rankin
Our “short interviews with bi people” series meets Cake Award winners. The Cakes are BiCon’s own bi awards, presented intermittently since 2002.
Sam Rankin, Intersectional Equalities Co-ordinator for the Equality Network received a Cake Award in 2015 for her bi activism work. This included co-ordinating BiCon 2013, writing “Complicated?” about bi experience of public services (tinyurl.com/complicatedreport), facilitating training for UK Bi Activists and supporting other bi specific events and work. Sam is continuing to do bi specific work, including organising BiTastic and running the Bisexuality Visibility Experiment (tinyurl.com/bivisi).
What is the best collective noun for bisexuals?
There is never one best answer to any question. But if I have to choose just one, how about a Bundle of Bisexuals?
What’s your favourite film?
Audre Lorde, The Berlin Years. It changed my life, my relationship with myself and my work.
When did you know you were bisexual?
The first time I heard the word bisexual at 16 I knew that was a better fit for me than straight or gay. But I didn’t want to accept it until I was 21.
What’s your favourite thing about being bi?
I feel that being Bi reminds me to look for more than one option in a situation, that there may be other choices than those immediately apparent.
Who do you respect most in the world?
Madiba (Nelson Mandela to those not from South Africa). He is the father of our nation and a reminder that it is possible to both fight hard for what is right and also embrace forgiveness at the same time, even in the most dire of circumstances.
What/who has inspired you the most?
My Dad. He’s fought hard for equality all his life, wherever he has been. But he still makes time to help all his kids feel very special, loved and capable of effecting change.
Which historical person would you most like to meet?
I can’t choose between Madiba and Audre Lorde.
What makes you smile?
My little doggie.
What should people try?
Magnesium Oil for sore muscles
What are you most proud/ashamed of?
I find it very hard to be proud of myself or the things I do. I always feel like I should have done more, better. But I am proud of what we achieved with Complicated? As far as I know it’s the first ever UK wide Bi specific survey report. I am gratefully for and proud of everyone who submitted responses and helped with the write up. We have a much better picture now of some of the issues bi peeps in the UK face when accessing services. Of course a lot more work needs to be done. But at least we have some representative stats to use as proof of need now.
What about your life would most surprise your 16 year old self?
That I’m still alive. Maybe it was my age, but I could not imagine myself being “properly grown up and getting old” at 16. Lol.