25 Years Young: Manchester’s Bi Space & Voice!
On 1st September 1994, a new bisexual social-support group met in Manchester for the first time.
25 years later they are still meeting regularly, making it the longest-running bi group we have in the UK. As well as the social and support meetings the group has expanded its remit into outreach and speaker work, training, publications, and policy input at both national and local levels. Their Getting Bi In A Gay/Straight World guide to coming out and staying out as bisexual has been given away at countless Prides, outreach stalls and leaflet racks – with more than 20,000 copies finding their ways to homes across the UK on top of editions in other languages abroad.
It was the local group for the 2000 and 2004 BiCons – in their time the biggest ever – and quick work on the part of group members made Manchester the first place in the UK to mark Bi Visibility Day, way back in 1999.
They’ve seen to it the bi flag got flown at Prides in Manchester, Tameside, Oldham, Bury, Blackpool, Liverpool, Levenshulme, Stockport, Bolton and Carlisle.
The group was shortlisted for Community Project of the Year in the European Diversity Awards in 2015 and was shortlisted for LGBT community group of the year in 2009 by Pink Paper readers.
Last week a birthday party in the cafe at 70 Oxford Street held as part of Manchester Pride was standing room only with dozens of attendees.
Earlier this year their LGBT History Month work included talks at a local library and museum complete with displays of materials from the archives of local bi ephemera.
Happy birthday BiPhoria – and have fun on Tuesday night at your monthly meeting at the LGBT Foundation. Will there be cake?