Getting Started: volunteering with bi projects for beginners

Without volunteers there’d be hardly any bi stuff out there. From the formation of the London Bi Group in 1981 to the latest hot-off-the-presses copy of BCN, bisexual chatter over coffee to structured bi-talky-space meetings, most “bi things” you have ever heard of are run on a shoestring by people who do it for love rather than money.

It’s incredibly easy to get involved in bisexual volunteering:

Suppose you had ten minutes to spare to help the bi movement, not every day or every week, just now and again… what could you do?
● Come out to someone
● Put up a poster
● Update your blog with a bi link or quick anecdote about biphobia
● Talk to a friend
● Donate to a bi organisation
● Read a web forum or mailing list
● Make another activist a cuppa
● Make a badge
● Sign a petition
● Take a photo of something bi-related and tweet it (or send it in to BCN! – @bicommunitynews)
● Talk to people at work
● Put on a bi t-shirt or badge
● Request a bi-related book at your local library
● Proof read something
● Drop off flyers en route somewhere
● Introduce yourself to an activist and ask how you can help next time you have ten minutes to spare

OK, suppose you could spare an hour or so, perhaps every couple of months…
● Attend something – bi group, LG group etc
● Read BCN
● Be visible
● Write a short article or a press release whether for BCN, the L/G or wider press
● Discuss bi news on a web forum
● Make a few dozen badges
● Other craft activity e.g. making bi-flag coloured friendship bracelet
● Drop off flyers
● Write to your MP or council(lor) on a bi issue
● Be the out bi person at a meeting

Suppose you had a bit more time than that and could give over a day, once every few months….
● Write a longer article
● Attend a BiFest
● Go on a flyering run
● Run a workshop at a group or event
● Make posters, flyers or teeshirts
● Go on a Pride march
● Run a stall at Pride or something non-LGBT like a local international women’s week event
● Work with others on making a bi banner
● Ostentatiously read a bi book on a train

So you get hooked by the activism bug and decide that you can give it a day or a night once each month….
● Attend or run a local bi group
● Design, then print, then distribute, a new poster campaign
● Do lots of the things that take ten minutes or an hour!
● Be a bi rep at a non-bi organisation
● Work on a chapter for a book
● Maintain a bi website
● Research bi history
● Translate resources into another language you are fluent in
● Put on a fundraising event for a bi organisation
● Do a photo shoot for online / printed resources
● Help inspire other people’s activism eg by encouraging them to take turns to write a column for a local gay community news site

* BiCon has a workshop on starting a local bi group and it’ll be run again in Manchester a few weeks later for people not at BiCon. Info: bis@biphoria.org.uk

 

BCN issue 156 cover

This first appeared in BCN magazine issue 156, July/August 2019.