The Richmond Bisexual Network meets tonight at the Gay Community Center of Richmond for the first time in several years. According to chairperson Karen Kacey, the group is needed now more than ever.
“The GCCR is growing stronger and providing a supportive, comfortable space for groups of various kinds to meet and explore what the needs are of subgroups within our community,” she says. ”Bisexuals do have different experiences from their gay & lesbian ‘siblings’ or from their straight cohorts as well – and therefore need their own space to speak our truths.”
She says the group creates a space where “monosexist” attitudes prevalent in both the gay and straight communities holds less sway.
ROBIN’s mission is to provide support, acceptance, and information to the bisexual community with membership open to those that identify in either sex or are bi-curious. Formed in 1993, a group of eight met at local bookstore Pheonix Rising. After outgrowing the space, moving to Babe’s of Carytown, and other LGBT-friendly restaurants for its monthly meetings, attendance began to wane due to a variety of factors.
“In addition to economic pressures… I feel that the coming of the highly conservative George W. era sent many people scurrying back into their various closet,” Kacey said. ”So much of the whole world went online with the rise of the Internet that many people stopped going out to contact others of like minds, and started finding them on the Web.”
Until now, the group had been functioning online in several forms like Facebook and through its newsletter, Bi Lines – in its most recent incarnation as a blog.
Kacey looks forward to the group planning a series of social events and getting a younger crowd involved, but first the group wants to make it’s presence known.
“We want to get the word out to other Bi’s who have also been feeling isolated, unsupported, perhaps even ashamed, and in need of a real space to talk about who we are and what our needs are in the world,” she says.
ROBIN meets tonight, Monday, January 31 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Gay Community Center of Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Avenue.