The 'Cakes' are awards given at BiCon for service to the UK bisexual community. They started in 2002 and have happened irregularly since then.
BiCon: Wonderful. Probably one of the happiest times I can remember in my life. Topped by being presented on the last day with a Cake Award (given out to bi activists for their contribution)
Standing in front of people who'd come to feel like my family while they applauded me is a moment I'll never forget.
Prior to this, two people had been given awards at BiCon:
David Burkle – Life membership of the London Bisexual Group (1991)
By founding the London Bisexual Group in 1981, David started today's UK bi community.
Kate Fearnley – 'Famous Bisexual' (1994)
Kate co-founded the Edinburgh Bisexual Group, the UK's second bisexual group, and the Edinburgh Bisexual Helpline, which provided phone support for many years. She was also on the organising team for the first four Edinburgh-based BiCons. At the 1994 BiCon, she was also canonised by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the city's Lesbian and Gay Centre – which she had helped start – was renamed the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Centre.
After this, one person has been given one:
Ian Watters – 'Master Baker' (2006)
In addition to a bi activist history of (then) fifteen years, including being on the team for one International BiCon and (then) three UK ones, plus generally annoying various people at various times, he also created the…
As one of the organisers of BiCon 2002, Ian felt that two awards in what was then twenty one years wasn't anywhere near enough, given how many people had done so much over the years. The name 'Cakes' came out of a discussion with Rowan, who then made the first physical awards, plastic wedges of cake on a stand.
Ian was talked out of giving out twenty(!) at BiCon 2002, and in the end, eight were awarded:
The next Cakes were given at BiCon 2006 (it would have been in 2005, but three of the four weren't at that one!):
Meg-John – "the best moment of my life"
Laurence Brewer (1967-2013) accepted by Hilde Vossen, co-founder of the EuroBiNet with Laurence
— Allison (@GetUpandTeach) August 3, 2018
'"You don't have to be perfect to be appreciated." Super helpful phrase. Thank you for sharing this with us, @lvngbth #BiConUK'
A new award was instigated at BiCon 2013 to recognise work on bisexuality by non-bi-focused organisations. The Ilitha is named after the warmth a community feels when gathered around a fire. They were given to:
UNISON LGBT – UNISON's Lesbian and Gay Campaign used to be appallingly biphobic. At one conference run by another organisation, a delegate from the Campaign reduced several women to tears by insisting that "women-only" meant "lesbian-only". All that changed in 2005 when it became an inclusive campaign. When someone from 'a well known lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation' barely mentioned the b-word in her long talk at another conference, it was the UNISON delegates who picked her up on this.
South Wales Police – For its efforts in involving the LGBT community.
The Equality Network – Scotland's LGBTI charity, campaigning for equal rights. As well as giving an enormous amount of support to BiCon 2013, they do too much to adequately summarize.
LGBT Health and Wellbeing – Since starting as the "The LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing" in 2003, it has always been serious about including bisexuals and trans people in its work.