By signing for your BiCon pass you agree to abide by this code of conduct.
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 organising team and volunteers, can expect from others and what is expected from all of us during BiCon 2014.
The organisers will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issue that is brought to us. We may also make reasonable requests that are not specifically included here.
People are responsible for themselves, their actions, and their own health. The team can help with code of conduct breaches and access issues. You do not have to stay in any session you feel uncomfortable in. You can leave at any time.
Harrassment, No Means No. Ask every time.
No one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to do.
any sexual behaviour
hugs or touching
taking part in a activity
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, “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.
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.
Consent includes any audience. Remember that may include not just attendees, but venue staff and the general public too who may challenge you if they are uncomfortable.
Everyone at BiCon deserves to feel safe and no one deserves to be shouted or sworn at or made to feel threatened. This of course includes desk staff, volunteers and the organising team – all of whom are generously donating their time.
Some spaces within BiCon are restricted to certain groups of people, e.g people aged 18 or over or those with a particular identity. BiCon supports safe spaces and recognises their value. Please do not breach safe 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.
BiCon attendees 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.
We don’t allow weapons, including martial arts weapons, on-site except in pre-agreed session spaces.
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.
Discrimination, Respecting difference
BiCon should be a safe space for all attendees, regardless of ethnicity, class, gender, disability, religion and belief, age or lifestyle. Bigoted behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.
Don’t make negative comments or assumptions, or stereotype people on the basis of their skin colour, physical features, race, accent or religious belief. Negative comments about any aspect of a person’s culture or race, or fetisization 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, can I touch them?”
People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality.
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 for example by using “they” instead of “he” or “she”. If you ask someone, or are corrected about pronouns then please try to use them correctly. We accept people’s self-identified gender for all purposes at BiCon including single-gender spaces.
Please remember that everyone is at a different stage of awareness about various issues and don’t assume people are being malicious.
Please respect people’s privacy, and be aware that not everyone at BiCon may be ‘out’ about their sexuality. Ask permission before identifying anyone publicly. ‘Public’ includes write-ups on personal websites or on social networking sites such as Facebook.
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, assume it may end up online linked to you by name as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon.
If you believe someone has taken your photograph without your permission you may ask them to delete the image or ask the desk or a volunteer to do so for you.
Members of the press should identify themselves to the desk and at any sessions they attend.
People attending BiCon should wear their pass to all events; if you don’t, you may not be allowed into BiCon spaces until you get it.
Passes are numbered and non transferable. If you give your pass to another person you are defrauding BiCon. A fee is payable to replace lost passes.
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 any of this happens to you at Bicon 2014 or you have witnessed inappropriate behaviour we want to know so we can improve your experience at BiCon.
You can tell us
- in person, there will be someone in a sash/on a desk
- through the rainbow box, write something and post it in, as much or as little as you would like.
- By text
- by email.
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
- we can 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 detail to future BiCons
These will be implemented at the discretion of the BiCon team. The level of action will be determined by the ongoing effects of people involved.
An example: unwanted touching
Person A hugs person B and person C without asking. Neither manage to tell them to stop before it happens.
This makes person B feel uncomfortable. They shrug it off but continue talking to A. Later on they think about it a bit more and decide if it happens again they will tell person A they don't like it. They consider reporting it to protect other people. If this was reported we could talk to person A and explain how their behaviour was affecting the people around them and that this is a breach of the code of conduct.
The unwanted hug makes person C feel very uncomfortable. They walk away from person A and don't want to have to talk to them again because it would mean having to be close enough for them to do it again. It really upsets Person C and makes them feel unsafe around other people because they now don't feel other people will respect the code of conduct. Person C doesn't feel able to report it, but they talk about to people they know well who ask person C if they can have permission to report it for them. Person C says its ok for the Bicon team to get in touch with them.
In this situation we could talk to person C and find out what they think would help. We could talk to person A and tell them how they had impacted person C. We might require them to stay away from person C. The outcome would depend on what would help person C. After this If they didn't keep away from person C we could ask them to leave Bicon.