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BECAUSE 2017- Coming Home: A Bi+ Past, Present, & Future

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Metropolitan State University

700 East 7th Street

Saint Paul, MN 55106

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What is BECAUSE?:

BECAUSE is the annual conference of the Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP), that was birthed out of deep need to find space of belonging, dedicated to building empowered bi, pan, fluid, queer, unlabeled (bi+), and allied communities. BECAUSE & BOP have national reach, but work primarily in the Upper Midwest, focusing especially on our local Twin Cities & Greater Metro Area communities. Our conference was founded in 1992 by a handful of bi+ activists and has grown into the largest conference centered around non-monosexual identities in the United States.

BECAUSE, which stands for "Bi+ Empowerment Conference: A Uniting, Supportive Experience," strives to be welcoming and inclusive - embracing the many intersectionalities of the bi+ community and encouraging people of all backgrounds and experiences to join us for this eventful weekend full of networking, community building, education, and organizing to create a more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable LGBTQIA community. BECAUSE is a home and family to many and we hope to continue to do so for another 25 years. Bi+ people are often said to be fence-sitters by others, but we say that we are bridge-builders. BECAUSE is about fostering connection-- connection with ourselves, connection with each other, and connection with the world around us.

BECAUSE is more than just a weekend thrown together by a bunch of unpaid volunteers, BECAUSE is an often life saving experience that impacts and informs who we are and how we hold ourselves in the world. This conference is sometimes the only space where a bi+ person can be in a room full of other bi+ people. It is a sigh of relief when we realize that we are not alone, but surrounded by much needed support and that we have something to give, then are encouraged to find that something and do it. BECAUSE is a place to come together to share our stories and find strength, beauty, sorrow, pain, laughter, love, and a lot of badassery in each other. It is a moment in the middle of many other moments where we can remember, recharge, relax, and rock the boat.

This is the 25th anniversary of the first conference, our theme is “Coming Home: Bi+ Past, Present, & Future”. We will gather once again and remember where we have been, honor those we have lost, notice where we are and who has not made it to us, feel that, and together dream up where we want to go then fight like hell to get there.

If this will be your first time, welcome. You belong here.

-Your BECAUSE 2017 Chairs,
AL Genaro & Sally Corbett
BECAUSE@bisexualorganizingproject.org
http://www.becauseconference.org

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BECAUSE Mission:


“To be a safe and supportive community space in which bi+ (bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, and other non-monosexual identities) people of all varieties, are empowered and encouraged to discover, celebrate, and dig into their sexual identities and how those identities intersect with their other identities, with each other, and with the world around us.”

BECAUSE Goals:

1- Create a safer and more accessible space for all bi+ people, plus our families, friends, and allies, regardless of the degree to which they are “out” and/or the labels that they choose or don’t choose for themselves.

2- Deliver dynamic programming on a broad range of topics such as understanding sexual identity, the impact of bisexuality on relationships, and other social justice issues where we learn to challenge conventional “norms” to create change benefiting the bi+ community and other communities in which we belong.

3- Provide a meeting space for bi+ community members to discuss topics of mutual interest and importance. And networking opportunities to build mutually supportive relationships that last beyond the conference weekend and into our homes, schools, businesses, organizations where we will bring what we have learned to enact positive changes.

4- Strive for creating better access and inclusion in the broadest sense, in all aspects of the conference. From sliding scale registration, elevators, and interpreters/captioning to acknowledging how privilege and power plays out in our organizations and spaces. And seeking to interrupt areas and moments of injustice by centering those most targeted/affected so that more people can bring more of themselves to the table.

5- To hold space; to honor the rich histories and intersectionalities of our movements and our lives. To challenge through active discussion and actions, that we all examine the ways in which our bi+ identities connect and interact with the other aspects, spaces, and identities of our lives, as well as the lives of others, past, present, and future. To share our stories with each other to encourage that connection, learning, and growth as a community and as individuals who also belong to other communities.

6- Celebrate positive portrayals of bi+ people and identities in art, media, and greater society that help bring about a culture shift in the public discourse around bi+ identities and help foster a sense of pride in ourselves and our abilities to thrive in the face of oppression with the support of communities in which we belong.

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Metropolitan State University

700 East 7th Street

Saint Paul, MN 55106

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