Programme

Our workshops will be as diverse as our communities, so they will be loosely grouped under four themes to suit our various needs and moods:

  • Equality and Diversity
  • Sex and Relationships
  • Safety and Self-care
  • Fun and Games

You can also download the full programme and workshop details as a PDF.

Time Room 1 Room 2 Room 3 Room 4
10:00 Registration opens
10:30 – 10:45 Welcome (in the Refectory)
10:45 – 11:45 The Impact of Storytelling – Sharing Experiences of Bi People
(Cat Telford)
Including Disabled People
(Sam Rankin)
Fun and Games
(Mel Maguire)
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
(Benn Benjamin)
11:45 – 12:00 Break
12:00 – 13:00 Building Better Bi Events
(Rowan Alison)
‘I am…’
(Kerry Rush)
Bisexual Representation in Film and TV
(Lorna Ward)
Talking about Our Relationships
(Sam Rankin)
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch and Stalls
14:30 – 15:30 Hate Crime & Overcoming Barriers to Reporting Hate
(Arun Gopinath)
Mental VisiBiliT
(Emma Cuthbertson)
Want to Learn Some Basic BSL?
(Leah Francisco)
Subcultures of the Bi+ Community
(Calum Shepherd & Kerry Rush)
15:30 – 15:45 Break
15:45 – 16:45 Polari: Speaking Queer under Oppression
(Calum Shepherd)
All Sizes Clothes Swap
(Rowan Alison)
Including Minority Ethnic People
(Arun Gopinath)
Activism During a Period of Backlash
(James Morton)
16:45 – 17:00 Break
17:00 – 17:30 Thank you and Close (in the Refectory)

Programme Details

10:00

Registration opens

10:30 – 10:45

Welcome (in the Refectory)

10:45 – 11:45

Room 1:
The Impact of Storytelling – Sharing Experiences of Bi People

Cat Telford

This workshop will focus on the impact which sharing our stories can have, particularly around the visibility of different bi individuals and to change attitudes and misconceptions about bi people. By the end of the session, attendees will:

  • Have gained some understanding of the impact being visible can have for those with bi identities.
  • Have begun to explore the impact which storytelling can have on increasing visibility.
  • Have begun to develop their own “story” and looking at how their life experiences can impact on others.

Room 2:
Including Disabled People

Sam Rankin

This workshop is a chance to discuss the issues that affect those who are both disabled and identify as LGBT and to suggest ways in which service providing organisations can be more inclusive.

Room 3:
Fun and Games

Mel Maguire

Want to have a bit of fun? Join us for a fantastic mix of party games, some with a bisexual twist. We will kick off with a Treasure Hunt, pass the parcel and much more. You are never too old or too young to make some time to have a bit of fun and make some new friends. Prizes to be won!

Room 4:
What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Benn Benjamin

Exploring love in all its forms – romantic, familial, friendship, stranger, community – and what it means to us. We’ll use questions and readings to explore the theme in a discussion space – what does love feel like? How do we express love? Do we express self-love differently to love of others?

12:00 – 13:00

Room 1:
Building Better Bi Events

Rowan Alison

In this session we will talk about what we want from future bi events, from meet-ups to BiTastic! and beyond, and think about how we might like to be involved. Come and share what you want your bi community events to look like, get ideas for things your could help to organise, and maybe learn a few tricks for making the vision into a reality…

Room 2:
‘I am…’

Kerry Rush

In this workshop, Kerry provides a supportive and nurturing environment for attendees to creatively explore who they are. With the aid of art and crafts materials, attendees are invited to shed any unwanted or enforced labels and to use language and images of their own choosing to express their own ‘I am…’.

Attendees of the ‘I am…’ workshop have typically struggled to find appropriate support in the wider community and are often, but not restricted to, members of underrepresented minority groups and/or survivors of abuse and rape.

Room 3:
Bisexual Representation in Film and TV

Lorna Ward

Representation for bi people in film and TV is getting better, with films such as Call Me By Your Name receiving critical acclaim, but we are still under represented as a community. Come and discuss your favourite bi themed films and characters!

Room 4:
Talking about Our Relationships

Sam Rankin

Join us for an informal chat about relationships. Topics covered will include coming out to dates, finding bi and trans friendly people to date, when relationships go wrong and enjoying being single.

14:30 – 15:30

Room 1:
Hate Crime and Overcoming Barriers to Reporting Hate

Arun Gopinath

This interactive workshop explores the following:

  • Hate crime and hate incidents
  • Barriers to reporting hate
  • How to overcome the barriers to reporting hate crime
  • How hate crime can be reported
  • Third Party Reporting
  • Improving hate crime reporting

The workshop will also explore hate crime and trauma response and how trauma affects victims, witnesses and those supporting people who have experienced hate crime.

Room 2:
Mental VisiBiliT

Emma Cuthbertson

This workshop will be an open discussion on mental health within the Bi and Trans communities. Why is mental health statistically poorer within these communities? Is institutional and societal prejudice still a factor? What impact does stigma play? Can we be all of ourselves when accessing services? Are LGBT organisations better than mainstream services at accepting all parts of us? And what do we need as people who experience poor mental health to feel more accepted?

Room 3:
Want to Learn some Basic BSL?

Leah Francisco, Deaf Action

Have you ever wanted to understand British Sign Language? Join Leah from Deaf Action and start learning a few signs in this introductory lesson.

Room 4:
Subcultures of the Bi+ Community

Calum Shepherd and Kerry Rush

Bisexual author Ron Suresha has written widely on subcultures and identities in the Gay/bi male community and is perhaps most famous for having coined/popularised the term ‘bear’. His work has also looked at subcultures in the LGBT+ community. In this collaborative exploration of the subcultures and identities expressed under the Bi+ umbrella aims to address the validity of different expressions. Working in small groups we will explore how we define our identities and how this relates to both inclusion and exclusion under the Bi+ umbrella.

15:45 – 16:45

Room 1:
Polari: Speaking Queer under Oppression

Calum Shepherd

Polari is often referred to as a ‘secret gay language’, but was widely used by Bi and Trans people in the UK before decriminalisation. This workshop offers a beginner’s guide to Polari using the short film “Putting on the Dish” by film producers Karl Eccleston and Brian Fairbairn. Taking the film in short snippets with translations an understanding of the language usage and structure is given as well as discussions of origins. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the importance of continued awareness of Polari as part of our community’s history.

Room 2:
All Sizes Clothes Swap

Rowan Alison

The ever-popular clothes swap is back. Bring some clothes if you have any to give away, take some clothes away for free. All genders and sizes welcome. We will have different tables sorted by size, come and have a look and refresh your wardrobe.

Room 3:
Including Minority Ethnic People

Arun Gopinath

A discussion about the inclusion of minority ethnic people in our Bisexual, Trans and LGBTI work.

Room 4:
Activism During a Period of Backlash

James Morton

This workshop will explore how trans and bi people and our allies can help counter the current backlash against gender identity and sexual orientation equality that has spread from the USA via polarised social media.

17:00 – 17:30

Thank you and Close (in the Refectory)

Facilitator Biogs

Arun Gopinath

Arun is Manager of Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC), which works to promote equality; fight hate crime and discrimination; foster good relations and build partnerships in the Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council areas.

Benn Benjamin

Benn is Development Worker – Mental Wellbeing Project at LGBT Health and Wellbeing.

Calum Shepherd

Calum uses He/Him pronouns, has volunteered with several Pride events this year and works in the IT field. He became interested in Polari over a decade ago as part of a broader interest in LGBT history. Calum believes that awareness of our community’s history and journey is important in strengthening the sense of belonging in that community. Calum has presented this talk previously to Bi Scotland members.

Cat Telford

Cat is a gothy, nerdy, queer, femme witch, who has been out as bi for the past decade and in the closet for a bit longer than that. Growing up in rural shirelands, they understand that visibility of identities is crucial to allowing people to feel comfortable being themselves and being visible for others, particularly for folks who identify as bi. Cat works for Stonewall Scotland.

Emma Cuthbertson

Emma is a sessional worker for the Scottish Trans Alliance

James Morton

James is the Scottish Trans Alliance Manager. He is a trans man.

Kerry Rush

Kerry (they/them) is an LGBTQIA+ creative activist and postgraduate Counselling and Psychotherapy student based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They are the founder of Positive Change Arts Projects (PCAP), a creative non-profit organisation focusing on the mental health, wellbeing and representation of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. As part of PCAP, Kerry can often be found somewhere in Europe facilitating the ‘I am…’ workshop and developing ‘I Have a Que(e)ry’.

Leah Francisco

Leah is Adult Learning and Health Access Officer at Deaf Action

Lorna Ward

Lorna loves all things film, she owns over 2500 DVDs and thinks of the cinema as her second home!

Mel Maguire

Mel is a sessional worker at the Equality Network.

Rowan Alison

Rowan is a serial bi event organiser who admits they might be slightly addicted to clothes swaps. They are a sessional worker with Equality Network.

Sam Rankin

Sam is the Intersectional Equalities Co-ordinator for Equality Network. Sam has previously worked in race equality, as a teacher, teacher trainer and festival organiser.