We've updated the Code of Conduct for our online 2020 Bicon!
Here it is below – it sets out behaviour and how we will treat each other. By attending the event, and using the eventbrite booking codes you are sent, you agree to these terms.
Code of Conduct 2020
Since this year’s BiCon is online it might seem that a lot of the usual Code of Conduct doesn’t make sense all the time – I mean you can’t hug someone without permission through a screen, right? But when we’re at home we’re also maybe less likely to think carefully about how our behaviour affects others, so we've adapted the Code of Conduct here, specifically for 2020.
Virtual BiCon 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 organising team, workshop facilitators and volunteers, can expect from others and what is expected from all of us during BiCon.
The majority of BiCon attendees every year enjoy themselves without any problems, and this Code of Conduct is one reason for that. As a community we need to keep this Code of Conduct in mind and hold each other up to it so we can build on that and also so we can do better by people who we have let down in the past.
The organisers are a part of the Bicon community, and 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.
Admission to BiCon
Everyone attending any part of BiCon on any of the platforms must be booked using Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/virtual-bicon-2020-tickets-103470974470. Room codes will be sent only to people who have booked and we ask that these codes are not shared with other people. This is firstly so we can count numbers of attendees, and secondly so we can use proper emails for accountability if we need to follow up with people about a conduct issue. Even if you will be sharing your screen with someone sitting next to you we ask that you both book separately.
People are responsible for themselves, their actions, and their own health at all times during Bicon.
You do not have to stay in any session if you don't want to. You can leave at any time, please do so quietly to try and avoid disrupting any online session for others (do not announce you are leaving as it can be loud when people leave the online sessions).
No Means No
No one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to do.
- any sexual behaviour, including chat or sharing images online,
- taking part in any activity
- disclosing information
- discussing topics which are sensitive or personal
- or even having a chat.
It is fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. For example, "Can we chat privately?" 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 Bicon team to tell someone to leave you alone – email firstname.lastname@example.org
In public, which includes our private Zoom rooms, Discord or anything else, "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.
With the exception of people who are breastfeeding, everyone needs to have bums, nipples and genitals covered. This applies even if you don’t have video on and we also ask you not to *say* you don’t have clothes on, even if it’s not true or a ‘joke’. You don’t know how others might perceive that.
Remember that you are responsible for what can be seen and heard in your background. Please turn off your video or mute yourself if something problematic is happening in the background (like someone walking around with no clothes on or a shouted argument.)
Please be aware that there may be mention of sex, swear words or talk about upsetting experiences in BiCon spaces. If you don’t want someone in the room to hear these things, such as a child or someone you’re not out to, it’s your responsibility to do what you need to do to prevent this, such as by wearing headphones.
BiCon tries hard to be a safe space and is not a place for shouting or swearing at people for any reason.
In Zoom meetings for BiCon we may ask you to turn your video on or off for a few limited reasons, like a facilitator wanting to see who people are at the very start of a session, or a tech support person turning video off to save bandwidth, but other than that you can turn your own video on or off at any time.
We ask people to keep themselves muted when they aren’t speaking to make it easier for others to hear. This is an access issue, so please make it easy for other attendees by keeping yourself on mute unless you are directly immediately speaking, then go back on mute after.
We might also mute people who are saying things that go against the behaviour policy of BiCon or that particular session, but we very much don’t want to censor people unnecessarily and will always tell you why we’ve done this.
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. 'Public' includes write-ups on personal websites or on social networking sites such as Facebook. And includes comments on Facebook posts etc.
Do not take any screenshots or recordings of BiCon sessions.
Some spaces within BiCon are restricted to certain groups of people, eg people aged 18 or over or those with a particular identity. These should be clearly marked on the programme and will be mentioned at the start of the session.
BiCon supports safer spaces and recognises their value. Please do not breach safer spaces you are not eligible to be in, but if you are eligible, don't be afraid that you aren't 'enough' of whatever group to go. If you are unsure of your eligibility you can ask to speak to the session organiser ahead of time – email to ask for help if you aren't sure – email@example.com.
Discrimination, Respecting Difference
BiCon tries hard to be a safer space for all attenders, regardless of ethnicity, class, gender, disability, religion and belief, age or lifestyle.
Don't make any comments or assumptions, or stereotype people on the basis of their skin colour, physical features, race, accent or religious belief. Comments or fetishisation of cultural markers and physical features should be avoided. An example of this could be, "that's such an exotic name" or "your dreadlocks are amazing, are they real?"
This is a very important time for anti-racism work, but it has also been a particularly hard time for People of Colour. If you are white please don’t ask People of Colour about how they’re feeling about the Black Lives Matter movement or anti-racism work, and don’t raise the subject of racism unless they ask you to.
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". If you ask someone or are corrected about pronouns, please try to use them 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.
Please remember that everyone is at a different stage of awareness about various issues and try not to assume people are being malicious if they make an initial mistake. If you are asked to think about your behaviour after making a mistake, please try not to be defensive. We are a community that needs to learn and grow together.
As a community, we are what we tolerate in others. If you witness anything that you feel uncomfortable about, please do feel you can personally speak up and challenge the behaviour, speak to or message the session runner to let them know what's going on, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much detail as you can so that we can step in to help.
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 do let us know, we may be able to learn something from it for the future.
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. You don't have to know what would help.
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 in the same space as you
- exclude them from the rest of BiCon
- pass their detail to future BiCons
- ask them to attend a training or do some learning and reflection in a relevant or related area
- ask them to repair any damage done in some way – for example helping the local community somehow.
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 organisers 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. We reserve the right to pass on details of complaints to BiCon Continuity Ltd or to future BiCon organisers.