BiCons in 2024 and 2025

It's 2024! So you may be wondering when BiCon 2024 is going to be.

At BiCon 2023 a group came forward offering to plan a future BiCon. However, they no longer feel able to form a team to run a BiCon, as no further volunteers have come forward. BiCons can only happen when there are volunteers to run them, and finding venues that fit all our needs is getting harder and harder.

Because of these difficulties, it is clear that there won't be a BiCon in its traditional residential form in 2024.

If  there is to be a BiCon in some form in 2024, we need people to come  forward to run it. We are aware of some people who are  considering this. We are open to alternative plans, which might include  a non-residential event (for one or more days) or an online-only event.  It would be fine to have two things called BiCon in one year, so one  in-person and one online-only event are options, as is a hybrid event.  Any event would need to follow the BiCon Guidelines.

We  are very much hoping that a residential BiCon will happen in 2025. For  this to be possible, a team needs to be in place soon, well before  summer 2024. Many venues need to be booked 12-18 months in advance. We  are open to proposals from a team, including variations on the  traditional format.

So, please talk to  your friends and let us know if you have a potential team for either 2024 or 2025. If you have a few people but not enough for a team, we may  be able to help find more volunteers (no guarantee though!).

BiCon Continuity AGM 2023

Continuity’s 2023 AGM will be was on 1st October 2023 at 2pm on Zoom.


(Unapproved minutes subject to approval at next AGM)

1. Housekeeping around the use of the Video Conferencing software

    Brief organisational note.

2. Election of a Chair of the Meeting

    A member volunteered. There were no other candidates and objections. The member was duly elected as Chair.

3. Quorum check

    The current quorum is 5. Sufficient Members were in attendance (see agenda item 5.)

4. Appointment of a Minute Taker to the Meeting

    Ian Jackson volunteered. There were no other candidates and objections. Ian Jackson was duly appointed as Minute Taker.

5. Recording Attendance

    Members present: 12
    Non-members present: 1
    Apologies received: 2

6. Consideration as to whether any non-members of the company should be granted speaking rights.

    Proposed and approved by consensus (no objections):
      Everyone in attendance to be granted speaking rights, subject to Chair's discretion. One specific member was granted speaking rights.

7. Election of Directors/Trustees

    Reported: the following directors were co-opted in September 2023:
      Ian Jackson
      David Matthewman
      Ian Watters
    Their term would end at the AGM unless they are elected.

    The following directors are standing down:
      Marsh Penman
      Karen McAtamney

    The other directors are (in order of first becoming director):
      Anna Sharman
      Asha Wolf-Robinson

    The following three directors were standing for election:
      Ian Jackson
      David Matthewman
      Ian Watters

    Each candidate was invited to make a short statement, and the attendees given the opportunity to ask questions.

    The candidates were asked about their attitude/approach towards disagreement /consensus. Constructive disagreement, without getting stuck, was encouraged.

    The Chair proposed to elect Ian Watters.
      in favour: many
      against: none
      abstention: one proxy abstention
    Carried by show of hands. Ian Watters duly elected.

    The Chair proposed to elect David Matthewman.
      in favour: many
      against: none
      abstaining: one, David Matthewman
    Carried by show of hands. David Matthewman duly elected.

    The Chair proposed to elect Ian Jackson.
      in favour: many
      against: none
      abstention: one, Ian Jackson.
    Carried by show of hands. Ian Jackson duly elected.

8. Finance

    The treasury/accounts volunteer presented finances, via screenshare of a spreadsheet.

    There was a short discussion of our reserves: notably, the timing of BiCon versus our financial year varies, so the changes in reserves from one year end to the next can be misleading.

    Reported: We expect a venue deposit to be about GBP 12,000 – 15,000.

    The volunteer is still happy to run finances. We have adequately many directors and delegated volunteers with access to the bank account.

    The volunteer's report was accepted by the meeting, and they were thanked for their continuing work.

9. Directors' update


    Minimal activity by directors this year. We're hoping with fresh influx of directors more will be achievable next year. There was an in-person directors' meeting in July.

    HMRC may want us to do a corporation tax return. The Directors would like a volunteer with more accounting experience, and/or recommendations for an accountant.

10. Volunteers

    We've had quite a lot of help from volunteers, but we would like more, if and when the Directors send out a call. There is a mailing list and a Slack, for volunteers and members.

    The Slack is; the announcements mailing list is

10. BiCon 2023

    We had a BiCon. It went well. The 2023 BiCon lost a little money. Final accounts are TBD.

    There was a short discussion of the two motions from the 2023 BiCon Decides (DMP).

    Thanks to the 2023 team from the chair and the meeting for running successful convention under difficult conditions.

11. BiCon 2024/25

    Update on 2024/25: Conversations are ongoing. 2024/25 may be a different shape.

    We encourage the community to volunteer, and to support organising teams.

    David Matthewman volunteered to be point of contact between Continuity and prospective organising teams. (Teams should contact, which will reach David.)

12. Any other Business

    Report: there are people trying to improve communication between current and past teams and volunteers, and our repository of experience. Thanks from to those people for motivating and coordinating this project, and for being enthusiastic and motivational.

    The Chair pointed out that the request for a volunteer to Chair the meeting should ideally be made in advance. They are happy to chair 2024's AGM as long as they can be involved in the AGM planning to enable clearer chairing.

(Minute-taker's note: this version of the minutes is for publication on the Bicon Continuity Limited website. As agreed at the AGM itself, it omits people's names, other than the names of the Directors, in line with the GDPR.)

Call for teams 2024/2025

Do you want to help make BiCons happen in 2024 or 2025?

It would be brilliant if the first BiCon Decides (Bicon's annual decision-making meeting) had well developed proposals to run a BiCon in 2024 and/or 2025. If you're potentially interested in being involved in making BiCon 2024 or 2025 happen, read on – you don't have to commit yourself yet, and you can volunteer in a small way or a large one.

Running BiCon is a big job, but some priorities are more important than others. We expect that any team will continue to prioritise access, particularly around continuing and growing anti-racism work, handling conduct well, and challenging unacceptable behaviour.
Outside of that there is a lot of freedom for a team to create a BiCon that perhaps involves less effort by the team in advance.

We’re open to teams who want to suggest running a less “traditional” BiCon as well those who want to organise one in what’s become the usual way. Some ideas have already been suggested about ways to make BiCon a bit less work for volunteers, which we’re happy to share with anyone who’s interested, but we want the shape of BiCon to be led by the community, of which teams are very much a part.

If you want to propose running a solely online event or a hybrid one not at a university and/or without onsite accommodation, we want to hear from you. Finding a venue is always one of the harder jobs for teams and we don’t have very much up to date community knowledge of venues (other than perhaps Leeds Beckett from 2022 and Nottingham Trent from this year), so do feel free to make enquiries with venues. You do not need approval to run a Bicon from BiCon Decides or Continuity to scope out venues or to form a provisional team. We’re putting this call for teams out now, as this is a good time to be making enquiries with venues for events in 2024 / 2025.

If you are interested in taking on an organising role that extends beyond a single BiCon as part of helping to ensure better carryover of knowledge between teams, we also want to hear from you.

If you’re potentially interested in leading or being part of a team please email You don’t have to commit yourself yet – we’re happy to have a chat about it and share more details of what’s involved. We can put people in touch with each other (if they aren’t already).

BiCon Continuity Needs You

BiCon Continuity is now critically short of Directors and will not be able to continue unless we get some new people. Without Continuity it would be very difficult to keep BiCon's money in the community and available to run BiCons.

Directors of BiCon Continuity are elected from among our members at annual general meetings, which generally happen during or close to BiCon itself. However we can also “co-opt” Directors in between BiCons when we need to as we do now. Co-opted directors would then need to be elected at the next AGM. Elected Directors serve for three years and can then seek re-election.

We are very low on Directors at the moment so we need to co-opt new Directors now, so we are asking for applications. Applicants will need to be members of Continuity before they can be Directors but if you’re not already a member, there is information below on how to become one.

Directors do a range of jobs but not everybody is expected to do all of them.

Essential (you need to do all of these)

  • Attending the majority of our online monthly meetings
  • Attending the AGM online or in person at BiCon
  • Take an active part in discussion with and about BiCon teams
  • Helping decide on applications for small grants
  • Participate in anti-racism and other equalities work

Desirable (you need to do some but not all of these)

  • Bookkeeping
  • Filing accounts with Companies House once a year in August
  • Filing a confirmation statement with Companies House in November
  • Sending an annual return to the Charities Commission in September
  • Running our AGM, usually at or near BiCon in August
  • Reporting to our members and the BiCon community at BiCon
  • Registering changes of Directors with Companies House and the Charities Commission
  • Being a bank signatory
  • Some admin dealing with organisations that process donations

If the basics are covered there may also be scope to do other things you are interested in but these are the essential things Continuity needs to do.

You do not need to have been a BiCon organiser to become a Director of BiCon Continuity.

To apply or find out more please email

Continuity Q&A and AGM

If you are interested in knowing more about Continuity (the charity that manages BiCon’s money), Rowan and Elizabeth, two of the Charity’s Trustees will be running a question & answer session from 12 – 12.45pm on Friday 20th August 2021 by video conference as part of Virtual BiCon.

If you have any questions you know you would like us to answer during this session, please do email them to us in advance ( so that we have an opportunity to consider them and where needed find the relevant information in advance. If not, please come along and listen / ask questions as they arise. Where we can’t answer something during that 45 minute session, we can arrange to come back to you afterwards.

Earlier this year, some of the trustees worked with Kate to make videos about Continuity and ourselves: links to the videos are available on Discord, the BiCon Dreamwidth Community, in the unofficial Facebook Group and can also be obtained by emailing us.

Our General Meeting will take place at 2pm on Sunday 5th September 2021 by video conference. Please email us to let us know you’d like to attend. As we did last year, we have scheduled our General Meeting away from Virtual BiCon so it doesn’t clash with any other BiCon activity people might want to attend.

If you are interested in joining Continuity as a Member and/or becoming a Trustee, please let us know. Indicating you are potentially interested in finding out more doesn’t commit you to anything.

As part of our succession planning, this year Elizabeth and Ian will be standing down as Trustees having served as Directors/ Trustees since Continuity’s formation in 2011. Next year Karen, the last remaining original Director/Trustee will be standing down. So, we are very much looking to recruit to replace those of us who will be standing down.

BiCon 2022 call for teams

Do you want to help make BiCon 2022 happen?

We’re starting the search now for a team for 2022 so that people have time to think about whether they want to volunteer and to give the future team as long a lead in as possible.

BiCon 2020 was going to be at Leeds Beckett University, site of BiCon 2017. Covid-19 meant that was impossible, and an online BiCon was organised instead. The continuing epidemic and possible further lockdowns means that BiCon 2021 will be online too.

So rather than lose the non-refundable £12,500 deposit paid for 2020, Continuity have arranged with Leeds Beckett that we will transfer the booking again, to 11-14th August 2022.

We don’t yet have a team to run BiCon 2022, but we do have a date and a venue, which puts any team a big step further forward from where teams usually start.

Running BiCon is a big job, but some priorities are more important than others. We expect that any team will continue to prioritise access, particularly around continuing and growing anti-racism work, handling conduct well, and challenging unacceptable behaviour.

Outside of that there is a lot of freedom for a team to create a BiCon that perhaps involves less effort by the team in advance.

For the first BiCon in three years, what do we want?

We’re open to teams who want to suggest running a less “traditional” BiCon as well those who want to organise one in what’s become the usual way. Some ideas have already been suggested about ways to make BiCon a bit less work for volunteers, which we’re happy to share with anyone who’s interested, but we want the shape of BiCon to be led by the community, of which teams are very much a part.

If you’re potentially interested in being on the 2022 team, please email You don’t have to commit yourself yet – we’re happy to have a chat about it and share more details of what’s involved, and then with your consent we’ll put interested people in touch with one another so they can get a team together.

Another year, another consultation on the GRA asking the same questions

You may recognise some of the text from our response to the Government's consultation back in 2018. If the same questions keep being asked, we'll keep giving the same answers.

Response to the Women and Equalities Committee’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act


BiCon is an annual get-together of the members, friends and allies of the UK’s bisexual community.

We believe it is the longest-running annual LGBT event in the UK.

BiCon has a large number of trans and non-binary attenders. From its start in the early 1980s, BiCon’s informal policy has been to recognise people's self-identification of their gender for all purposes including access to single-sex spaces and workshops. This became an official policy in 1992.

In the 28 years since this policy was put in place – and before – we have seen no evidence that anyone is harmed by it.

We recognise the similarities between accusations and implications currently being made about trans people (especially trans women) and their rights and those made in the 1980s and 1990s about lesbian, gay and bisexual people with Section 28 and other discriminatory laws and policies.

The Government’s response to the GRA consultation:

1 Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?

They do very little to do that. Indeed, by backing down from the Government’s original version of what the response to their consultation two years ago would be, they have caused distress to many.

2 Should a fee for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate be removed or retained? Are there other financial burdens on applicants that could be removed or retained?

Removed entirely.

3 Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?


Requiring a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is a medical not socio-legal issue. Not all trans and non-binary people wish to access medical transition.

There are excessive delays for trans and non-binary people in being able to access gender identity clinic services with waits of over 1-2 years being common for first appointments. Some GPs will not refer people to gender identity clinic services and self-referral is not usually possible. Further appointments and access to medical transition treatment take years because of delays between appointments and waiting lists.

BiCon Continuity supports a simple process of self-identification of gender identity (including non-binary gender options) via statutory declaration.

4 Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?


People's lived experiences are not accurately reflected by paperwork. Ability to obtain, retain and manage paperwork needed for a GRC application is linked with other privileges like education, social class, stability of employment, stability of finances, stability of housing, age and disability. Many trans and non-binary people have additional protected and non-protected characteristics which make dealing with evidence, bureaucracy and health services difficult or impossible.

BiCon Continuity Ltd support a simple process of self-identification of gender identity (including non-binary options) via statutory declaration.

5 What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it?

Statutory declaration is an existing well recognised legal process which is very low cost and accessible to most people. It has existing and well understood safeguards for fraud and misuse.

6 Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming? If so, how? If it needs reforming or removal, is anything else needed to protect any rights of the spouse or civil partner?

It needs removing, as in Scotland.

No other life or health process (including tattoos, plastic surgery, spending large amounts of money, changing housing or employment) has a system where a person's spouse has to give written consent for that person to proceed with the activity. This provision is cruel to trans and non-binary people and singles them out as people that others need protection from which is not supported by any evidence. Trans and non-binary people are much more likely to be the victims of abuse than the perpetrators.
BiCon Continuity recommend that there is a system in place that allows the trans person to obtain a GRC and if their spouse objects they can file for rapid no-fault legal separation/divorce with appropriate systems for minimising adversarial aspects of this process and protecting any dependants appropriately.

7 Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?

We would not support any arbitrary age limit but, if necessary, look at the individual’s competence to make such a decision.

8 What impact will these proposed changes have on those people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and on trans people more generally?

They are, apparently deliberately, inconsequential.

Some anonymous ministerial briefing was done before they were announced, making it sound like they could have been worse and this had a negative impact on trans people’s mental health.

The actual announcement did not make up for this, and it is particularly insulting that the majority of respondents to the Government’s consultation were dismissed because their views did not fit those of the ministerial team then in place.

What is the point of having a consultation if that is going to happen? What is the impact to trans people’s mental health on having to answer the same questions on the same issues again, as here?

9 What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?

What the majority of respondents wanted, and what we have set out then and now.

10 Does the Scottish Government’s proposed Bill offer a more suitable alternative to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004?

Should it be enacted, it probably would be. It still has an unnecessary and problematic “living in role” provision, but it is considerably shorter.

Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:

11 Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender?

For one thing, plenty of trans people do not identify as either ‘male’ or ‘female’. The Government’s National LGBT Survey was flawed – by only being interested in the identity aspect of sexual orientation, it underestimated the number of bi+ people – but it clearly confirmed that.

Given the transphobia driven by the prejudices of a few, there is also a completely understandable reluctance by many to be on a government list of trans people. Unless you need one for a specific purpose – and they’re unnecessary for having a passport or driving licence in the correct gender – what is the benefit of paying so much and jumping through the assorted hurdles to get one?

12 Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 interact? For example, in terms of the different language and terminology used across both pieces of legislation.

What challenges there are minimal compared to the problems in trying to amend the Equality Act 2010: yet more “debate” calling into question the validity of trans people.

13 Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is reform or further guidance needed?

What challenges there are minimal compared to the problems in trying to amend the Equality Act 2010: yet more “debate” calling into question the validity of trans people.

14 Does the Equality Act adequately protect trans people? If not, what reforms, if any, are needed?

As many disabled people, for example, know it is (deliberately?) not easy to get action under the Equality Act. It takes months of trying for a remedy before court action, and then such action is neither cheap or without risk.

If the Equality Act is to mean something, it needs to be usable by those disadvantaged groups it says it wants to protect.

15 What issues do trans people have in accessing support services, including health and social care services, domestic violence and sexual violence services?

One issue is that a few bigots have been allowed to pretend that such services have, overall, problems with being trans-inclusive. The vast majority do not, but this campaigning puts off trans people from using them and normalises transphobia.

16 Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?

Obviously, yes.

Simple legal recognition would be a start.

BiCon Continuity AGM 2020 and Q&A

If you are interested in knowing more about Continuity (the charity that manages BiCon’s money), the Trustees will be holding an open forum / question & answer session from 2 – 2.45pm on Sunday 23rd August 2020 by video conference. This is scheduled to take place just before our General Meeting that will run from 3 – 4 pm as the General Meeting will probably be easier to follow for some people if they have been able to ask questions about Continuity in advance. If you would like to come to the open forum session and/or observe the General Meeting, please email (and please do email, rather than tweet at us or comment on Facebook). Our selection of video conferencing software will depend on how many people in total want to attend and we will confirm the software and any information needed to join the meeting by email in advance of the meeting.

If you are interested in joining Continuity as a Member and/or becoming a Trustee, please let us know. It isn’t going to be possible to just turn up at the open forum and join as a Member / volunteer as a Trustee without there having been some pre-discussion. Indicating you are potentially interested in finding out more doesn’t commit you to anything. As a charity dedicated to looking after money, it helps if you are at least a bit interested in finances, and we are specifically looking for a treasurer.

This year’s General Meeting has been deliberately scheduled for the weekend after Virtual BiCon rather than during it. When there isn’t a pandemic, there are considerable advantages in us meeting in person at a BiCon. This year that’s not possible; whenever the meeting is, it has to be by video or telephone conferencing. Being in long talky video conferences is now known to be quite tiring, so we decided not to squeeze this meeting in to a weekend when there are a number of talky video conferencing sessions – we didn't want to compete with BiCon. The timing will also allow us to consider any discussions that take place as part of Virtual BiCon as part of our ongoing decision making.

Virtual BiCon – new organiser!

We trustees at BiCon Continuity were sad Rowan felt unable to continue organising a Virtual BiCon for August 2020. A few of us are attached to a Facebook group of past BiCon attendees. Some of the conversation there caused us to stop to consider whether a BiCon was viable while conversation moves between holding to account and optimism for the future, and multiple organisers stepped down in the space of two weeks.

BiCon Continuity has two basic powers:

  1. Releasing funds we are trusted to hold for the community, which are dedicated to keeping a BiCon going, and
  2. Holding the registered trademark of BiCon, what can legally call itself ‘BiCon.’

Issues we consider most years are therefore, ‘reputational damage’ and viable budgeting, often looking at funds needed three years into the future due to the nature of deposits at university venues.

Our role this year in the question of ‘Should there be a virtual BiCon?’ is mainly about reputational damage – will a Virtual BiCon be close enough to BiCon to have that title, and will it be safe for organisers and attendees. We also do a certain amount of behind the scenes making sure that structures are in place, though we don’t deal with those structures directly – is there a bank account/way to move money around as needed; what kind of conduct oversight and safety is in place (aspects of ongoing conduct oversight is a particular role we were requested to take up in 2016/17). These are most closely related to Reputational Damage, but also to wider support for making BiCon happen.

Our decision-making as trustees has to be from the perspective of public benefit to bisexual people in the UK. We cannot and would not make decisions about BiCon solely on the basis of commentary on Facebook (or any other social media platform). Recently, we have had requests from people who have never been to BiCon before, asking what is available for them, especially  people who are newly out. It is our view that if there is someone willing and able to organise a Virtual BiCon this year, in a reasonably safe* way, then the event should go ahead.

We are extremely fortunate Kate is willing to take over and organise a Virtual BiCon. We have spoken at length with Kate and feel confident that she embraces the mix of holding to account and optimism for change. She has both reflected on decisions she would have made differently in past organsing, and has been supporting community events for several months.

The risks to participants of attending a Virtual BiCon are different from those of an in person event; Kate will provide an update regarding the Code of Conduct for the event in due course. A lot of in person opportunities for socialising are either not possible due to COVID-19 or not practical for many people to participate in due to their own health, changed caring or work responsibilities, poorer finances or other reasons. A Virtual BiCon is, for some people, one of the few occasions this year they’ll be able to be in bi space and that’s important. Group internet calls / chat spaces will not work for some people, and we have great hopes for returning to Leeds in 2021.

* No event can guarantee safety, especially when open to all bisexuals, friends and allies from across the UK and beyond. BiCons need to become safer, but it is also important not to raise expectations that cannot be met: prevention and follow-up are not a magic wand.

Virtual BiCon 2020 update

From Rowan:

"Having seen some of the reactions to the announcement on the 26th I've decided I cannot take on running Virtual BiCon 2020 and I therefore resign. I also want to say that I'm not turning my back on the BiCon community, and will continue to engage with the anti-racism work we've started to do within BiCon and elsewhere."