Collectively written by the group’s members
Who we are:
We are a group of people in Germany who identify with various different labels (or no label at all), are between 20 to 59 years old, come from various origins and professions, and live different relationship styles. Some of us found our orientation a long time ago, some of us have just recently started questioning and exploring it. With this article we hope to inspire many of you to start a local group as well – it’s easy and fun!
Voices from our group members:
“It’s just important to have people who can remind you that you are just fine the way you are and there’s nothing wrong with you and nothing you need to explain to others.”
“It feels liberating to see how diverse we all are. It’s okay to be me.”
“I talk with many lesbians, but with certain topics we reach a limit. I can only discuss these with other bi+ people.”
“The group members give me strength. I can stand up for myself when facing weird comments, because I know that they’ve got my back.”
“Often, what I take with me after our meetings is not necessarily specific information or advice – but rather a certain feeling.”
“Our group feels like home. I am publicly out and have sorted everything for myself. I just like to hang out with like-minded people.”
“It’s a feeling of belonging, of community in which I definitely feel ‘queer enough’.”
“In the beginning I didn’t have words to talk about bi+ sexuality. Now I know many different ways to express what I’m feeling.”
“It gives me so much to know that I’m not alone.”
“I always thought I had to choose once for a lifetime: man or woman. The many life models I got to know through the group give me freedom. Any model is accepted here.”
“Before, I used to read a lot on queer blogs. In the group I realized how I appreciated getting to know people and being able to exchange with them directly. I have met so many interesting people and I share beautiful memories with them – Pride events, going to the cinema, and our weekend getaways on a farm. I’m glad to have a group of people in my life who view gender and relationships more openly than many people in our society.”
“The group is a blessing for me. At 59, I’ve only ever known lesbians or straights. I feel so encouraged and inspired.”
“I love having a group to celebrate Pride with. Last year we went to the first Bi+ Pride in Hamburg. A few of us went around our city the night before Bi Visibility Day drawing chalk messages and putting up stickers: ‘Love is love’ and ‘There are more bisexuals than you think.’ I feel like I have a team who’s in it with me to raise bisexual visibility and have fun doing it.”
What do we do?
We meet bi-weekly for 1.5 hours (in person or online; some of us go to a local pub later on) and talk about bi+ and queer topics. We meet in a private room and decide each time on a facilitator. We explain the setting and rules to any newcomers and then have an introductory round in which everyone says how they are doing and whether they have any specific topics to discuss, e.g. What are your experiences with… Do you have advice for me on… So I went to this queer party and it was… I watched a movie recently and noticed… Do you ever wish… The facilitator makes a note of these topics, decides what to start with, and makes sure everyone is heard and every topic addressed. We close with a round where everyone can say whatever they want (e.g. how they feel now, what they took out of the conversation, etc.)
We do this primarily for ourselves, but many of us – especially those who are out and proud – also engage in activism (plan and participate in Pride events, increase visibility by representing the B in queer networks, supporting queer events, etc). For some of us, it’s fine to attend three meet-ups a year, while some of us come very regularly. We also meet now and then to hang out together, and many friendships have formed. In our chat group we share links to queer resources, memes, events, videos, articles, series, movies, and so on.
What it would take YOU to start a group in your region
– Advertise a short group description (e.g. on websites of local queer organizations or a national bi+ organization), collect the contact of interested people and wait until your defined minimum number of people is reached.
– Meet up all together and get to know each other. Define what you expect from the meetings, give them some sort of structure and define rules (e.g. on confidentiality).
– Do a couple of meetings.
– Review: what did you like about it, what would you change? (e.g. frequency, topics, location, time)
– Make sure bi+ people can easily find you on websites / social media.
– Connect with other bi+ or queer groups and exchange experiences.