1991 – 9th National Bisexual Conference

The 9th National Bisexual Conference was held at the University of London Union (ULU), on the 20-22 September 1991. It was organised by London Bi Group and was non-residential, relying on crash space provided by the bi group and their network of friends. Nevertheless, around 240 people attended.

Jon writes: I remember Peter Tatchell addressed the conference, and used the phrase "lesbian and gay" dozens of times, but never once mentioned bisexuality.

The following piece appeared in Bifrost #1, July 1991, before the conference:

Ninth National Bisexual Conference

Following the success of last year's National Bisexual Conference, in Edinburgh, the Ninth National Conference will be held at the University of London Union for three days, from Friday the 20th of September until Sunday the 22nd. There will be early registration on Thursday evening for those who have had a long way to travel.

The conference is as much for people who have never been in touch with other bisexuals as for long serving activists, and, like previous conferences, will include workshops on a wide range of topics. In Edinburgh we explored personal issues from Body Image to Communication Skills, shared practical advice on Safer Sex and legal matters, relaxed with Massage, and had fun with Circus Skills, as well as discussing how to build a bisexual movement and work with lesbian and gay groups.

There will be a party on the Saturday night, which this year should be particularly special as it is also the tenth birthday party of the London Bisexual Group.

Not all the workshops for this year have been fixed, so if there is anything you would like included and/or you are prepared to facilitate, the organisers will be pleased to hear from you!

There will be a facilitators workshop during the day of Thursday the 19th, which will be led by Kevin Saunders, for anyone wishing to run a workshop.

The cost of the conference will be £12 per person (unwaged), £20 or more if you are waged (dependant on income). If you require crash space it is best to book as early as possible. For further information and registration forms, please write to:
Conference Collective

The poster, which was widely distributed, was done by someone who did a variety of other graphic design work for the bi community.

Draft of the poster for BiCon 9 - the Piccadilly statue against an outline of a couple of London landmarks

The designer's thoughts

The draft was made up of several layers of paper, with the title cut out from a stencil.

The final version, too big for my scanner and so with a very visible crease:

The phone number was that of the London Bisexual Phoneline and the address was the British Monomarks post box of the London Bisexual Group. Both are no longer valid.

This was the first BiCon to feature the 'anonymous confessions' game that's happened at many subsequent events. From the Dec 1991/Jan 1992 issue of Bi-Women, the newsletter of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network:

"After lunch came a packed session on the Bisexual Erotic Imagination, led by journalist Cherry Smith. She read and commented on several extracts from gay, lesbian and bisexual literature, and identified the erotic content as belonging to the fulfilment or part-fulfilment of the fantasy. The second half of this workshop consisted of everyone (some 70 people) writing down their most cherished/taboo fantasy on a slip of paper, folding it, and putting it on the floor in a pile in the middle of the room. The pile was well mixed, and then everyone took one, and read it out. As each was identified only by a sign of gender preference, those listening had to guess what gender the author was. Interestingly, a good 80% of the fantasies involved activities which were easily achievable (e.g. group sex, i.e. [members of the same sex] with [members of other sex] watching or participating; copraphagia;* bondage and bestiality) and had probably already been done by some if not many of those present. Only a small number involved impossible or criminal activities (child sex, necrophilia). The fantasy for group sex was particularly strong, and there was some discussion of this desire being more prevalent among bisexuals than among other queer orientations."

(Peter (Silmaril), reprinted from a email list.)

Friday evening would have been a party at the London Bisexual Group's regular evening at London Friend.

The main Saturday party was held at a nightclub close to the Angel station in Islington, as a combined '10th birthday of the London Bisexual Group' event. As part of it, David Burkle was given life membership of the LBG.

The music was done by the venue and admission was opened to the (mostly gay) public later in the evening. Some years later, I discovered that it was the first ever night DJing for Ian Smith, 'Primax', who was the main Saturday night DJ at London's Heaven club for many years. His remix credits include one for Traci Lords

The accounts were prepared by mid-November – the person who very probably did them ended up as a partner at one of the big accountancy firms.

Short version:

Income:            8,219.11
Expenditure:       8,230.02

Surplus/(deficit):   (10.91)

The expenditure included a £1,600 donation for the London Bisexual Group's phoneline, which would have been enough to keep it running for several years.

Full version, with names redacted:

9th National Bisexual Conference – BiCon 9 – accounts

* 'Scat' / playing with poo.

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