Why I want to tell Croydon that Bisexuality Is Magic

By - Monday 5th March, 2018

Get ready to laugh at bisexuality at Croydon’s Theatre Utopia

Marcus Morgan, bisexual activist magician

Photo author’s own.

An article I read in NBC News last year last year made some sobering points. According to a study of over 500 bisexual adults, we face double discrimination in multiple settings. Bisexual people are often invisible, rejected, invalidated, and stigmatised – in both straight communities as well as the supposedly welcoming LGBT ones. Stigma, prejudice, lack of mental health support – all these things aggravate mental health issues for bi people.

Despite the involvement of bisexual people in the LGBT movement since before it had an acronym, many people still aren’t accepting of our place in the ‘big gay rainbow’. Some progress has been made with large organisations like Stonewall starting ‘bisexual role model‘ programmes to give bi+ people in the workplace examples of how it can be done right. But is it enough to be acceptable?

Tolerance is, to me, a low bar. We tolerate many things without enjoying them. Next door’s loud music, street parking, warm beer. But one of the best things that gives people a chance to come together is celebration. Celebration of common ground. What if one of the cures for loneliness is community?

It’s time to look outwards from the community

One of the things that surprises people is that we do in the UK have a well-established bisexual community. Forged in the 80s out of trade-union groups and support phone-lines, it has kept an annual conference for bisexual people running for over 30 years. It has coffee mornings, social groups, academic networks, and a cabaret night. And now, a comedy/magic show all about how to explain bisexuality to the masses.

I’ve been a bisexual activist since my twenties, and in that time I’ve spoken to thousands of bi people about their situations. The common thread that all seem to have is that of loneliness – people don’t understand us and we don’t feel accepted until we find our community and found new social circles. In the past I’ve worked to bring people together through social projects, helped organise conventions… but now I’m realising that it’s time to look outwards from the community too.

A space that’s as welcoming to bisexuals as to others

We’ve seen how great bisexual-majority spaces are for bi people, to be able to be themselves, relax and not worry about suddenly finding you’re on a different page to everyone else. It’s time to create a bridge to the other communities – somewhere they can come to meet us. Which could be seen as ironic, as many of them picture us as teetering in the middle of a flimsy tightrope strung between the rigid poles of gay and straight.

Bisexuality Is Magic is an attempt to provide a space that is equally welcoming to bisexual people as it is to others. Somewhere enjoyable, which you won’t notice is educational. It’s a semi-autobiographical show that’s part-comedy play and part-magic performance. There’s not many of those around, especially about sexuality.

Billed as “the show that could go either way,” the intention is to make light of the confusion at the heart of bisexuality. Not that we have ‘two natures’ or ‘need to make up their minds’ but instead the simple truth that bisexuality feels really simple to the people who are bi+ but paradoxically really hard to understand for the people around us who aren’t.

The best medicine? Laughter is the best education. It’s time to learn about bisexuality the fun way – the other fun way…

Bisexuality Is Magic premiers at Matthews Yard on Saturday 14th April, with performances at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Between the shows there will be a bi community market at Matthews Yard showcasing projects, groups, and events for bisexual people and their allies. Tickets are available now.

Marcus Morgan

Marcus Morgan

Since his twenties Marcus Morgan has been an activist within the UK bi community. He has written for UK newspapers and magazines and has appeared on national television & radio championing bi issues. He hosts the bisexual cabaret night 'CaBiRet' in south London, and is the creator of the show "Bisexuality Is Magic"

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