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BiCon 2008 Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions. If the question or answer that you are looking for isn't in here please feel free to email The BiCon Team who will do their best to answer the question, and if appropriate upload it here.

What is BiCon?
What does 'BiCon' mean?
How did BiCon start?
What kinds of things are included in the BiCon programme?
How accessible is BiCon for people with disabilities? Why do people attend BiCon?
What is Helping Hand
What is a Plenary?
I'm questioning my sexuality. Will I be welcomed at BiCon?
Will everybody already know everyone else?
What should I bring with me?
Does everyone just have sex all weekend? With lots of different people?
Is everyone at BiCon kinky or polyamorous?

What is BiCon?
BiCon is an annual festival for bisexual people; their friends, partners and allies. BiCon is held in a different UK location each year. BiCon attracts between two and three hundred people each year and is the single biggest event in the UK bisexual calendar. This year BiCon was voted the third best LGBT event after Manchester and Brighton Prides.

What does 'BiCon' mean?
Since its beginnings, the organisers of BiCon have never quite decided whether '-con' is short for convention' or 'conference'. There is a good reason for this: BiCon has elements of both. Some parts of the programme are aimed at celebrating bisexuality; other parts of the programme are aimed at more serious discussions. Each year, the organisers try to ensure that the programme is as varied as possible, so that you can make the event what you want it to be.

How did BiCon start?
BiCon originated in London in the early 1980s and was originally a political conference. BiCon became successful to become an annual event, alternating between London and Edinburgh, before evolving and growing into the event it is today. 2008 will host the 26th BiCon.

What kinds of things are included in the BiCon programme?
The programme typically includes a wide variety of workshops and entertainments, ranging from support sessions and sessions dealing with political issues to opportunities to have fun and relax. Previous events have had threads such as 'Cultural Differences' and 'Spirituality', and there is usually a BiCon Ball, with a different theme each year.

How accessible is BiCon for people with disabilities?
BiCon aims to be as accessible as possible given the constraints of university accommodation and being organised by volunteers. There is a full
Access Report mainly covering the venue. The BiCon team will do its best to accommodate attenders' access needs - the more notice we get the better. If you have any further questions about access or whether we can meet your needs please email Natalya for BiCon 2008 on bookings@bicon2008.org.uk.

Why do people attend BiCon?
People attend for all kinds of reasons. Many, obviously, are bisexual; some come to support their bi partners, family members or friends; some come out of curiosity or support. Some are veterans who have been coming to BiCon for years; others are first-timers (at 2007 nearly 40% of attenders were first timers). Some come along to engage in discussions about bisexuality and the issues surrounding it; others come mainly to socialise. Most people who attend enjoy the opportunity to spend some time where bisexuality is the norm and all kinds of identities are accepted.

What is a Plenary?
A plenary is simply a gathering of all BiCon delegates. There are several plenaries during the weekend. You don't have to attend all, or any, of them, but they will probably help you to know what's going on. The plenaries are:

What is Helping Hand?
The
Helping Hand Fund is a hardship fund to assist attenders who are experiencing hardship or accessibility barriers to attend BiCon. There is a whole page of information about it at http://www.bicon2008.org.uk/helpinghand.html.

I'm questioning my sexuality. Will I be welcomed at BiCon?
Absolutely. Many bisexual people have experienced forms of prejudice and intolerance because of their sexuality, and know first hand how difficult it can be to accept yourself when others do not. As a result, people at BiCon tend to be accepting and non-judgmental.

Not everyone who comes to BiCon identifies as bisexual. Some people don't like the word 'bisexual', and some don't like labels at all; others have found creative ways of identifying their preferences. You will probably hear a number of terms you have never heard before, and you may find that coming to BiCon helps you make sense of your own sexuality.

Will everybody already know everyone else?
No, not at all. Approximately a third of the attendees each year are there for the first time. So even though you might feel alone when you arrive it won't be long before you meet people. We've all been there, and we'll try to make sure that there are plenty of icebreaker-type opportunities to help ease things along. And hopefully, by the time you leave, you'll have made some good friends.

What should I bring with me?
Here is a list of things you might like to bring to BiCon:

Does everyone just have sex all weekend? With lots of different people?
Just like in life outside BiCon, there are those who like to talk about their sexual activities, and those who don't. BiCon is certainly a sex-positive environment, but you'll also find plenty of people who, "would rather have a cup of tea".

Is everyone at BiCon kinky and or polyamorous?
Because BiCon is such an accepting and non-judgmental environment, many people who attend take the opportunity to be open about other aspects of their sexuality, some of which might not be so openly discussed in the outside world. If you want to take the opportunity to learn about these aspects, you will probably find many people who will be happy to talk to you about them. Some things may also be covered in workshops. If you are not interested in polyamory, kinks or fetishes, that's fine too.

Last changed 5th May 2008


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