Why do we need a Code of Conduct?
People come to BiCon with different experiences and ideas of how to behave and how they expect others to behave. This Code of Conduct outlines what everyone – including the organising team, workshop facilitators, and volunteers – can expect from others, and what is expected from all of us during BiCon.
The organisers will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issue brought to us. We may also make reasonable requests that are not specifically included here.
Please remember that everyone is at a different stage of awareness about various issues, and don’t assume people are being malicious
If you are able, please consider kindly educating people when they make mistakes – this includes everyone, even the organising team!
People are responsible for themselves, their actions, and their own health.
You do not have to stay in any session you feel uncomfortable in. You can leave at any time.
People attending BiCon should wear their pass to all events; if you don’t, you may not be allowed into BiCon spaces until you have it on your person.
Passes are numbered and non transferable. If you give your pass to another person, you are defrauding BiCon. A fee may be payable to replace lost passes.
Consent is crucial at BiCon, it is important the no one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to do. This includes but is not limited to:
• any sexual behaviour
• hugs or touching
• taking part in a activity
• disclosing information
• discussing topics which are sensitive or personal
• even having a chat.
Ask every time. Don’t assume that because someone said “yes” earlier that they will still say “yes” the next time.
It is fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. For example, “Would you like a hug?” If they refuse, continuing to ask is pestering them and will be viewed as harassment.
If someone asks you to leave them alone, do so. You can ask the conduct team to tell someone to leave you alone.
In public, “no”, “stop”, “don’t do that” or similar words and phrases will be taken at face value by the BiCon organisers and volunteers, regardless of context.
BiCon should be a place where people feel free to express their sexuality, but it is not a sex or fetish party. We ask that overtly sexual behaviour be kept out of the public areas. Please keep public behaviour within what is normally publicly acceptable.
BiCon is supportive of breastfeeding. It is illegal to discriminate against breastfeeding parents. Do not make negative comments if you see someone feeding their child.
Apart from parents actively breastfeeding, BiCon attenders should remained fully clothed in all public areas. All nipples, genitalia and bums must be securely covered by clothing. Some sessions are counted as private areas and will be clearly marked as such.
Consent includes any audience. Remember that may include not just attendees, but venue staff and the general public, who may challenge you if they are uncomfortable.
Everyone at BiCon deserves to feel safe and no one deserves to be shouted at, sworn at, or made to feel threatened.
We don’t allow animals on-site, except for pre-registered assistance animals.
Please abide by the smoking zones which will be clearly marked and explained in the handbook. It is illegal to smoke anywhere indoors including on-site accommodation, including out of windows.
Please do not smoke e-cigarettes indoors or near venue doors, as vapours from these devices can be triggering for people with asthma and related conditions.
Discrimination and Respecting Differences
BiCon should be a safe space for all attendees, regardless of ethnicity, class, gender, disability, religion, spiritual belief, age, or lifestyle. Bigoted behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.
Don’t make negative assumptions or stereotype people on the basis of their skin colour, physical features, race, accent or religious belief. Do not make negative comments about people based on the characteristics outlined above.
People who attend BiCon may define their gender in a range of different ways, which we understand aren’t always easy to spot. If you are unsure of the pronoun someone uses, we encourage you to ask them, or avoid gendered language by using “they” instead of “he” or “she”.
Once you have been informed of someone’s gender pronouns, whether by asking them or being corrected, please try to use these pronouns correctly.
We accept people’s self-identified gender for all purposes at BiCon including single-gender spaces.
People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality.
Do not criticise someone based on what label (or lack of) they use to define their sexuality.
Culture & Race
Negative comments about any aspect of a person’s culture or race should not be made.
Fetishisation of cultural markers and physical features should be avoided. An example of fetishisation of cultural markers could be, “that’s such an exotic name” or “your dreadlocks are amazing, can I touch them?”
Some spaces within BiCon are restricted to certain groups of people, e.g. people aged 18 or over, or those with a particular identity. These will be clearly marked in the session guide and handbook.
BiCon supports safer spaces and recognises their value. Please do not breach safer spaces you are not eligible to be in.
If you are eligible, don’t be afraid that you aren’t ‘enough’ of whatever group.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can ask to speak to someone wearing a purple sash for advice, contact the team prior to the event or speak the person running the session.
Please respect people’s privacy, and be aware that not everyone at BiCon may be ‘out’ about their sexuality or other aspects of their lifestyle, such as BDSM or non-monogamy.
Ask permission before identifying anyone publicly.
This includes in other conversations at BiCon or on social media relating to BiCon (e.g. the Facebook BiCon attendees group). ‘Public’ also includes write-ups on personal websites or on social networking sites such as Facebook.
If you find yourself talking to someone you met at BiCon after the event has ended, be careful if you need to remind them where you met – you don’t know who else might be listening! Perhaps just remind them that the event was in Lancaster…
Do not take any photographs or recordings of people without their express permission. It is your responsibility to make sure everyone in shot is happy to be photographed.
If you give permission for your photo to be taken, please assume it may end up online, linked to you by name, as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon.
You have the right to ask for any photo, video or recording of you to be deleted, and you do not have to give a reason. If you are uncomfortable asking for this to happen yourself, or your request is not met, please speak to someone at the desk, or a volunteer in a purple sash.
Members of the press should identify themselves to the desk and at any sessions they attend.
If you want support in challenging anyone’s behaviour or anything they’ve said, please come and talk to the desk or the organisers who can assist you or speak to the person for you.
The organisers very much want to know about things that make people at BiCon less likely to attend another bi event. If anything happens that makes you uncomfortable or unwelcome – even if you do not want us to do anything about it, or feel it is your fault – please let us know.
Breaches of the Code of Conduct
If anything happens to you at or in the run-up to BiCon that you feel is a breach of our Code of Conduct, or you have witnessed inappropriate behaviour, we want to know so we can improve your experience.
Additionally, we are always open to adding to the Code of Conduct, should you feel we have missed something out.
You can talk to us:
• in person: there will be someone in a sash/on a desk
• through the organisers post box: write something and post it in
• by text or phone: number to be confirmed
• by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Things we can do to help
If something has happened that makes you uncomfortable we can talk to anyone else involved. We are happy to do so even if you haven’t communicated this to them, since that is not always easy to do. We will listen to what you think would help, if you have any ideas.
Examples of things we can do
• communicate to others that there is a problem
• ask for an apology
• ask them to leave you alone
• require them to not be where you are
• exclude them from the rest of BiCon
• pass their details to future BiCons
These will be implemented at the discretion of the BiCon team.
Breaches of this Code of Conduct or reasonable requests will, in most cases, be met with a warning from a member of the organising team. The organising team decision is final.
If warnings are ignored, or in the event of serious misconduct, we reserve the right to ask anyone to leave all or part of BiCon.
If you are asked to leave, you will not receive any refund. We reserve the right to pass on details of complaints to future BiCon organisers.