London Bisexual Helpline call record sheet

This is the version that was used in 1995, when the Health Education Authority ran the second version of its (awful) 'hands' ad with a referral to the London and Edinburgh Bisexual Helplines in its body text.

In exchange for some money to open the London line six evenings a week rather than its usual two for some months, they wanted some data back, hence a somewhat expanded version of the call record sheet.

I'm not sure how much detail the HEA was given, but these sheets were used to note any trends in calls and, if needed, discuss how to deal with them at the regular Sunday meetings.


Bisexual Helpline Record Sheet

Taken by:Day and date:
Assumed gender of caller:Approximate age group:

Call type: information / advice / help / chat / abusive / hoax / wank / silent / rang off immediately

Referred to: LBG / LBWG / local bisexual group / local bi-friendly group / Bifrost / Penpals / Conference / books / NAH / THT / Body Positive / local HIV or sexual health clinic / other (please specify) :

Was HIV or safer sex discussed?

oral sex / anal sex / vaginal sex / sex with women / sex with men / HIV test / condom use / other (please specify) :

Other issues discussed:

having sex with men and women, general / secrecy of homosexual element / pleased to see ad and line / did not know where to get info / personal disclosure of bisexuality / just had or about to have first gay sex / confusion about own sexual identity / unprotected sex with female partner / other (please specify):

You can ask the following question directly if you wish, or gather it from what the caller says, or omit it if it seems inappropriate

What do you think is the sexual history of this caller?

Ever had unprotected anal sex with men? With women?
Ever had unprotected vaginal sex with men? With women?
Unprotected oral sex with men? With women?
Other sex with men? With women?
Currently in a relationship with a man? With a woman?
Do they use safer sex?

Please ask the following two questions for our statistics:

Where did the caller hear of the phoneline?

HEA ad: Radio Times / TV Times / Sunday Express / Observer / Mail on Sunday "You"
Other: Time Out / monthly magazines / free gay papers / paid for gay press

Calling from (local authority area, if possible):

Call duration:


Call types

As mentioned, the bisexual helplines got very few abusive calls, far fewer than the bigger London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard got, for example. Given the level of biphobia out there, we put this down to the number being publicised in far fewer places and the way that the helplines had only been open for four (London) or two (Edinburgh) hours a week before this point. Anyone wanting to abuse us / bisexuals in general would usually have to wait, unlike callers to the 24/7 Switchboard…

There were also few wank calls (I think I had one in over a decade, and while people answering the line with a voice perceived to be female got more, it still wasn't many) for presumably much the same reasons.

The majority of callers were after information/advice or a chat.

Referred to

LBG = the London Bisexual Group, which ran from 1981 to the mid 2000s
LBWG = the London Bisexual Women's Group, which needs someone else to write about
Bifrost = the monthly newsletter that ran from 1991 to 1995 – this is one of the ways the sheet can be dated. Bi Community News started after BiCon 13 in September 1995, following Bifrost closing
Penpals = the Edinburgh Bisexual Group ran a penpals service for many years. If you sent a stamped addressed envelope to them, you got back a sheet asking some questions. Return that, and you'd get sheets with everyone else's answers. It was then possible to write to them using a 'box number' system
Conference = obviously BiCon – at first, I wasn't sure why that wasn't spelt out, but by this point, only two of them had used the word 'BiCon' in their publicity: most of the early ones used the 'National Bisexual Conference' name
books = Bisexual Lives, plus a handful of others
NAH = the National Aids Helpline, still with us as the 'Sexual Health Information Line'
THT = Terrence Higgins Trust, still with us as a general sexual health charity rather than concentrating heavily on HIV
Body Positive = a series of local groups for HIV+ people. A couple have survived the funding cuts over the past decade that ended lots of local sexual health groups

If I were doing one today, it'd have something on gender identity and not be quite so binary when it comes to partners.

The emphasis on sexual(ity) questions are partly because there was, at the time, money available for sexual health promotion. Apart from this HEA money, I don't think we ever got any.

Similarly, asking about the caller's local authority was done to see if there were any we could approach for funds because a significant chunk of the calls were coming from people in their area. We definitely didn't get any of that…

The bisexual bench in HIV/Aids health promotion work

One of the never ending issues for graphic designers is 'how to show bisexuality without showing three (or more) people'. Most of them never work it out, so go for three people…

.. and sometimes, they add a bench!

I am not entirely sure which of the first two came first, but the Norwegian one is actually aimed at bisexual men, so…

A woman puts her arm around a man as they sit on one end of a bench as he puts arm out to hold hands with a man on the other side; a safe sex and AIDS prevention advertisement aimed at bisexual men by the Oslo Helseråd
The bisexual bench – 1990s Norwegian version – A2 sized poster

English translation of the text, with the help of Google Drive doing OCR and translation of images:

Men who have sex with men should have a health check regularly.

Men who have sex with men are today among those most at risk of becoming infected with the AIDS virus, HIV. Bisexual men who become infected through sexual contact with other men can then infect their female as well as male partners.

You should know if you are infected with HIV. Both because you are responsible for not infecting others, and for your own part. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases do not always cause symptoms. Therefore, we recommend men who have sex with men to take regular health checks.

At the Counselling Service at the Oslo Health Council, we are happy to talk to you about safer sex. You can take the HIV test (anonymously if you wish), be screened for other sexually transmitted diseases and offered Hepatitis B (jaundice) vaccine. You decide which of the offers you want to take advantage of. And all consultations are free.

The counselling service for gays is a special part of the Oslo Health Council. We who work here have broad experience and are particularly concerned with gay and bisexual health problems. Here you will meet understanding at the same time as you get professional help.

Welcome Tuesday and Wednesday at 16.00 – 18.00. There are no appointments. For further information call: [phone number].

Oslo Health Council
St. Olavspl. 5, 4th floor

Note that the hand-holding of the men is literally behind her back, so there's no implication of this being a relationship that she knows about.

Unlike the Norwegian poster, the New South Wales, Australia one – probably first published in 1994 – is absolutely aimed at the female partners of bisexual men, despite having an almost identical central image:

A man sits with a woman on a bench looking out to sea while holding the hand of a man sitting on the end; an advertisement for The Women Partners of Bisexual Men Project
The bisexual bench – 1994 Australian version – A2 sized poster

Do you think your partner could be having sex with men?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

The Women Partners of Bisexual Men Project [phone number]

AIDS Council of NSW [phone number]
AIDS Hotline [phone numbers, including TTY for deaf callers]
Family Planning Association [phone number]

Thanks to all the women who have been involved in the project. Thanks to models Tim, Tegan, Michael. Photographer Patrick Earle. Design: David Hodge & Partners London

Here, there's no information beyond 'you're not the only one (being betrayed?)' and a referral to a group. Interestingly, some of the design decisions – the gap between the woman and the 'other man', the way he has a sleeve rolled up (so you can just see the hair on his arm?) and the woman has short sleeves (so you can just see that there isn't any hair?) – are identical.

Given the design was from a London agency, I wonder if there were uses of the 'three on a bench' imagery in the UK and if they were responsible (but uncredited) for the Norwegian one too.

Also from 1994, there's the 'one person in two separate twosomes' (and a dog!) version of the bench from France:

Two halves - in the top one, a male/female couple walk their dog past an empty bench in the day; in the bottom, the same man is talking to another man siting on top of the bench at night
The bisexual bench – 1994 French version – slightly smaller than A2 poster

I have two lovers, I protect myself

Because this one has just the headline, it is only about protecting the bisexual man rather than his partners. How he protects himself isn't stated: condoms? making sure his partners never meet? having a dog to put off muggers?

Again, the implication is that his female lover does not know about the male one..

.. even if the dog does.


Credit: A woman puts her arm around a man as they sit on one end of a bench as he puts arm out to hold hands with a man on the other side; a safe sex and AIDS prevention advertisement aimed at bisexual men by the Oslo Helseråd. Colour lithograph, ca. 1990. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Credit: A man sits with a woman on a bench looking out to sea while holding the hand of a man sitting on the end; an advertisement for The Women Partners of Bisexual Men Project with the telephone lines of the AIDS Council of NSW, AIDS Hotline and Family Planning Association. Colour lithograph, [1994]. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

More Health Education Authority memories

In 2018, some academics got eleven people who'd worked in the HIV prevention sector in the UK for a two hour discussion* on some of the history.

In this extract, they remember the 'hands' ad. Interestingly, the only one to get much more space is the 'iceberg and tombstone' "Don't die of ignorance' one.

'Ford' is Ford Hickson, part of Sigma Research, responsible for multiple surveys and research projects on gay and bisexual men.

'Lynne' is Lynne Walsh, talking about her time as half of (also known as 'in charge of') the press office for the Health Education Authority (HEA).

'Dominic' is Dominic McVey, talking about having been an HEA researcher. His line elsewhere about "Much of my work involved developing and evaluating the HEA gay and heterosexual public health interventions" accurately shows how much the HEA cared about bisexuals…


Ford: It is the case that any disease outbreak is an opportunity to marginalise the people who are suffering, ignore the structural factors, and the government and lots of people in the country took the HIV epidemic as an opportunity to suppress being gay, not having safe sex, just don't do it, and the things Thatcher said in public really reinforced that. That she thought the way to solve HIV was to not be gay, not to use drugs, and Section 28 is what rode on that. Section 28 for me, it really clearly ties to the HIV epidemic and an opportunity to try and stamp out homosexuals.

Lynne: But we did manage to have a press ad that had two men holding hands.

Dominic: The Bisexual Ad.

Lynne: At the time we called it a bisexual ad.

Dominic: Which went into Time Out and places like that, it wasn't just in the gay press.

Lynne: It went into the Telegraph, it's a visual of two men holding hands and it says, "If a married man has an affair it may not be with a woman." So clearly, Thatcher wouldn't have been delighted with that.

Ford: That's interesting, isn't it? Because who is that targeted at? Isn't that targeted at the wives of men, it's, "Be suspicious of your husband."

Lynne: At the time, the rationale was that it was targeting men who may have sex with men, maybe married to women. We particularly wanted to do some stuff with the Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph as well, not just advertising but to get editorial. That was in the context of the Sunday Times having a massive campaign against us led by Andrew Neil who insisted that there was no heterosexual risk at all. So, whereas we would have been able to run things in the Sunday Times as we did sometimes with the Observer, we had this barrage, every Sunday we had something that was attacking, so that was the context trying to do something.


"At the time" it was a bisexual ad?? It wasn't good, but it couldn't be anything else.

I'm also not convinced about Ford's framing of it as being targetted at wives. There were ads targetted at the female partners of bisexual men, but neither of the versions of the 'hands' ad is.. unless it's to get them to point it out to their partner.

Although he wasn't a co-author of Sigma Research's "Behaviourally Bisexual Men: Identifying needs for HIV prevention", he should also have been aware of it and known that there is a high level of disclosure…


* Published as Nicholls and Rosengarten (eds.) (2019). Witness Seminar: HIV Prevention and Health Promotion in the UK. Disentangling European HIV/AIDS Policies: Activism, Citizenship and Health (EUROPACH).

Boys and girls come out to play (The Independent, 1997)

The research on behaviourally bisexual men commissioned by Health Education Authority in 1994, completed in 1995, and eventually published in 1996, was largely ignored.

In part, that's because the HEA leaked the findings – there are a lot of bisexual men! – months earlier, so by the time it was properly published, it was no longer 'news'.

But at least one paper noticed enough to refer to it a year later…

.. even if they didn't read it properly. The estimate of 12% of men being behaviourally bisexual – that is, being sexual with more than one gender – is informed largely by a 1982 survey of Playboy readers in the US* and..

While exact rates are impossible accurately to quantify it seems reasonable to assert that the lifetime figure lies somewhere in the region of 5-15%. Our best guess would be closer to the 12% of Lever et al. (1989; 1992) than the 3-7% of Johnson et al. (1994). However, with little direct evidence, estimates of the proportion of adult men that have had sex with both males and females in the last five years are too hazardous to even attempt.

The "in the last five years" came from the predictions of the person who commissioned it that they'd find hardly any bisexual men and so they needed to make the criteria for being included fairly broad. In fact, it turned out that the average number of partners was three men and three women per year.

The article was prompted by an episode on bisexuality that was part of Channel 4's Seven Sins series, entitled 'Greed', sigh.


'Greedy' is the latest slang for bisexual. Hester Lacey reports from a scene which pities 'monosexuals' and revels in cake and eatism

28th September 1997

BISEXUALS have always been a notoriously discreet group; but not the exuberantly voluptuous Felicity Diamond, all long dark hair, flashing eyes and throaty voice. Felicity considers herself a bisexual "greedy". She fronts the episode on greed in Channel Four's Seven Sins series, talking not about gluttony, but about bisexuality, in a programme that mixes the imagery of food with that of sex.

Greedies, says Felicity, are hungry for sensuality. "It's not about greed for a number of partners. I want the best, not the most – I'm very, very selective. It's a lust for life rather than a generalised lusting – an intelligent form of greed. I have lots of friendships and good relationships and sometimes they may become sexual. When I like people I don't care what genitals they have."

Felicity, 33, is a professional cook and masseuse. The Islington flat she shares with kittens Special Baby Doll, Squeaky Tiger and Precious Minx Bear, smells wonderfully of chicken breasts stuffed with pesto in the oven. "I really like people and I really like food. Pleasure and lusciousness and luxury are what I do."

Heterosexual sex, she says, has become "tired". "Since the advent of HIV, people have had to become much more explorative, and now sex is not just about penetration. Bisexualism is increasing among women simply because of dissatisfaction with men. The new man thing never really happened and when you want to find someone you can live with, talk to and get on with, often men don't always make the grade." Greedies, on the other hand, she says, make better partners. "Monosexuals haven't explored what their sexuality is all about. The bisexuals I know are much more discerning."

Being bisexual is also rather trendy. Roxi Lockwood, 26, an exotic dancer and techno-violinist who also appears in the programme, says, "Bisexuals do seem to be more to the fore at the moment. I'm not greedy in that I wouldn't have partners of both sexes at once: I'm a monogamous bisexual. It is a wider field of experience, though it can be a pain in the neck – your partner thinks you're looking at girls as well as boys."

Bisexuals have not, up to now, been very vocal. They tend to be mistrusted by both heterosexuals and homosexuals (who regard them as "traitors"). But it seems that there are a considerable number of this quiet minority. A 1995 report commissioned by the Health Education Authority, which concentrated solely on men, found that around 12 per cent of men are probably bisexual.

There is no similar data available for women bisexuals and in any case, as a group, bisexuals are difficult to pin down. One of the difficulties that the HEA study found was in deciding what exactly constitutes bisexual (Freud had at least five definitions). The HEA researchers settled on "men who had had sex with both males and females in the preceding five years". It is, however, a grey area. When asked, less than half of the men interviewed identified themselves as "bisexual"; some called themselves straight, others gay, while others used terms like "confused", "broadminded", "horny" and "normal".

In her book Vice Versa,** published last year, Marjorie Garber, professor of English at Harvard University, made an in-depth study of bisexuality, and identifies a growing trend among American college students to define themselves as bisexual (aka "switch-hitters" or "AC-DC"). Another new book is to be published shortly by Cassell. The Bisexual Imaginary: Representation, Identity and Desire is a collection of essays edited by members of Bi Academic Intervention, a network of teachers, publishers and researchers working on the subject. Merl Storr, lecturer in sociology at the University of East London and one of the book's editors, agrees that bisexuals have become more high-profile. She believes that this is partly because of the HIV epidemic. "Bisexual men were demonised as carriers of the disease to the general population," she says. "Lots of people felt targeted and felt they had to fight back and become active. Also, lesbian and gay communities have come of age, and there is now more space for people to explore the contradictions of bisexuality." She is ambivalent about the use of the term "greedy" to describe bisexuals.

Acknowledged bisexuals include Sandra Bernhardt, REM's frontman Michael "I'm an equal opportunities lech" Stipe, Rachel Williams, the "supermodel" former presenter of The Girlie Show and the actor Alexis Arquette, while James Dean and Marlene Dietrich are two great bisexual Hollywood icons.

But while greed is all very well for the glamorous and famous, others can find they are less well catered for. "You can talk about bisexual greediness if you like, but in that case I'm practically anorexic," says David, 29, a teacher from Birmingham. "Greed is fine if you live in London and have places to go and similar people to meet. There is still a lot of prejudice about and people seem to find it even harder to come to terms with bisexuality than with homosexuality."

Kate, 33, who works in publishing, also dislikes the term "greedy". "It comes from a heterosexist position that bisexuals are promiscuous," she says. "We get that reaction from gays as well – that we want the best of both worlds and are letting the side down. Bisexuality still tends to be hidden. When I have a relationship with a woman, I seem to have to come out all over again." She adds a belief that many bisexuals share: "Everyone has the potential to explore their sexuality in terms of the same sex – it's a shame more people don't feel they can."

Freud's theory, too, was that everyone is positioned on a sliding scale between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Greedy or not, perhaps there are a lot more like Brett Anderson of Suede, who said, "I'm a bisexual man who has never had a homosexual experience."

`Greed', Channel 4, Monday, 10.55pm.


The List's preview of the programme:

Preview of 'Greedy' on bisexuality from The List 1997

The Independent's review of the programme said:

[Part of another programme] raised the hair on the back of your neck.

As did Felicity Diamond, the central character in Greed (C4), though "hackles" might be a better term. The third of a series of films on the theme of the seven deadly sins, this was actually about bisexuality (on the rather tenuous basis that "greedy" is a slang term for a bisexual. Several of the bisexuals interviewed didn't seem to know this, which made you suspect the whole thing might be a fit up). Felicity was the star attraction, a voluptuous Australian with a very self-congratulatory line in sexual liberty ("most people aren't intelligent enough to be bisexual"). Many of those who appeared, but Felicity in particular, seemed terrified of being "boxed in", "categorised", "straight-jacketed" or "programmed". Indeed, they went on about this so much that they began to sound rather neurotic, as though their sense of themselves were so fragile that it wouldn't withstand the impact of a casual preconception. Relax, you thought after a while, nobody cares what you do in bed remotely as much as you do. "Mutual respect" is apparently important to Felicity, but only for those who wear the same extravagant uniform as she does. "I'd cull about 90 per cent of the population," she said at one point, "and I'd eradicate genetic problems like idiocy, racism and lack of understanding". This final solution would seem to include those debased souls who quite like getting dressed in suits and are perfectly happy in "monosexual" affairs. Lack of understanding is the only kind of response those weirdos deserve.

The Times review said: "Last night's sinner was Felicity Diamond, who purred at us for half an hour about how much she enjoyed bring greedy. As it happens. Diamond — who is a caterer and a masseuse — is just the sort of woman who might well request an extra pillow: she believes in enjoying all that life has to offer. But she still resents the assumption that all bisexuals are promiscuous, explaining that "that's one of the reasons they call us greedy".


* Unlike most other large surveys done for magazines, it looks like all of the over 60,000 responses from men were actually analysed!

** An excellent 200 page book.. but it's just over 600 pages long…

The Health Education Authority's bisexual and 'definitely not' bisexual ads

Even governments sometimes realise that spending money on health promotion – enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health – can be better than dealing with the consequences of not doing so.

In the UK, the Health Education Council (greatest hit: the 'pregnant man' campaign with its "Would you be more careful if it was you who got pregnant?" strapline*) ran government campaigns between 1968 and 1987, before a reorganisation (not entirely coincidentally following a row about a politically embarrassing publication about health inequalities) led to its replacement by the Health Education Authority in 1987.

When the UK government decided that Aids was in fact worth doing something serious about (about three years after gay and bisexual men in the UK started dying from it, followed by similar epidemics amongst IV drug users and then haemophiliacs), one of the things that pushed it towards that position was the way that Aids activists had deliberately chosen to emphasise the risks of bisexual men being responsible for the spread of the epidemic into the presumed heterosexual population.

The result was the first big 'Don't die of ignorance' campaign by the Department of Health and Social Security – the 'icebergs and tombstones' one – following which the HEA ended up with the responsibility to do national HIV/Aids health promotion work.

Here's are the ads that they did aimed specifically at bisexual men rather than 'gay (oh.. and bisexual) men'.

The 'hands' ad #1

Safety in Numbers by Edward King reckons this was first published in spring 1990. The HEA operated on the principle, given to them by their ad agency, that if they ran it, once, in about half a dozen magazines – the TV/radio listings magazine Radio Times, some car thing, etc etc – then 90+% of men in the UK would (have a chance to) see it.

The first HEA 'hands' ad - close-up photo of two white middle class men holding hands

If a married man has an affair, it may not be with a woman.

According to the dictionary, a bisexual man is simply 'one who has sex with both men and women.'

As a way of life, however, bisexuality can prove to be anything but simple.

Yet few of the problems bisexual men have faced in the past can compare to the one that confronts them now.

HIV. The virus that causes AIDS.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is transmitted when infected semen, blood or vaginal fluid enters the body.

And of all sexual activities, unprotected anal intercourse presents the highest risk.

Even using a condom won't make it completely safe.

If you'd like more information about AIDS or safer sex, ring the special bisexual helpline on 0800 83 85 75.

This is open from 4pm to 10pm daily. All calls are free of charge and completely confidential.

It's hard to overstate how much the HEA loved this ad. Every time someone in the bi community pointed to some issue, like the implied class of the men photographed – look at the suit sleeves! – or their middle age or.. they'd point to the response from the advertising world who told them it was great.

They were working under some constraints. In particular, every. single. word. had to be signed off by a minister. Despite the personal behaviour of some politicians in the Conservative government of the day, at least one of them objected to a late draft of the ad which had the headline start "When a married man has an affair.." and insisted it be changed to something that didn't imply that affairs were normal.

The 'hands' ad #2

Although the first one may have had more than one run, in 1994 there was another run when a completely different body text was used. (As I say, the HEA loved the picture and the headline… and would not consider changing those.)

The HEA's 'hands' ad - close up photo of two middle class men holding hands

If a married man has an affair, it may not be with a woman.

It's not uncommon for some men to be attracted by the idea of having sex with another man.

Should these feelings lead to a physical relationship, the argument for safer sex becomes all-important.

Particularly when it comes to protecting against HIV, the virus that leads to Aids.

The safest way to have sex, of course, is where no penetration takes place at all.

And, therefore, no exchange of any semen or blood.

Other than that, using a stronger kitemarked condom such as Durex Extra Strong or Mates Super Strong significantly reduces the chance of HIV infection.**

With anal sex carrying the highest risk, it's certainly a precaution worth taking.

Moreover, along with personal protection, it's a way of protecting other partners as well, whether female or male.

To find out more, why not seek helpful advice from people who are easy to talk to.

Simply call the National Aids Helpline free on 0800 567 123, open 24 hours a day. Or, if you prefer, try one of the Bisexual Helplines. On Thursdays, the number is 031 557 3620, from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.

For other days of the week, ring 081 569 7500, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

Looking at assorted old files, I can see that we were told that this run would appear in Radio Times and TV Times (TV listings magazines) plus the Sunday Express / Observer / Mail on Sunday's "You" supplement (newspapers).

Discussions with the HEA about the cost of expanding the number of days that the London Bisexual Helpline would operate were happening in February 1994 and described the notice we were given about all this as "short".

By November 1994, the London Bisexual Helpline was back to opening on just Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, so the run must have been before then. They did tell us around then that they were going to run the ad again, but they didn't pay to have the London line expand to six evenings again, so if it did actually happen – around Christmas? – the text may have changed slightly to reflect that.

The absolutely not bisexual, really, honest 'torsos' ad

The HEA's 'torsos' ad, showing a male and female upper body, both topless

Which do you find more attractive? If you're not certain, read on.

For some people it's not always clear cut which sex they are attracted to.

If that sounds like you, you may have felt unsure for as long as you can remember. Or maybe your uncertain feelings are a relatively new thing. You might even be in a heterosexual relationship when such feelings began.

Whatever the case, it can seem very confusing, and discovering your sexuality may take time.

To help you sort out your feelings, it's quite likely you could have a sexual encounter or two with a member of your own sex.

Of course, this should still involve safer sex. Sex, that is, where there is little or no risk of HIV transmission through exchange of blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. This could include massage, body rubbing, or mutual masturbation.

Penetrative sex can be more risky. But it is unprotected anal sex that's the riskiest of all. For either partner.

So if you do try it, you should always use stronger condoms, such as, Durex Extra Strong, Mates Super Strong, or HT Special.

For more information about safer sex call one of the numbers at the bottom of this page. You'll also be able to talk openly to someone about your worries.

You may still feel unsure as to who you're attracted to, but one thing is certain, if you practise safer sex, you know you're doing everything you can to protect yourself and your partner.

Whatever sex they may be.

For help and advice call the National Aids Helpline free on 0800 567 123, the Terrence Higgins Trust on 071 242 1010 or London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard on 071 837 7234.

This is screamingly obviously a 'bisexual' ad. By definition anyone attracted to more than one gender is bisexual, regardless of whether or not they are attracted "more" to one gender.

The HEA absolutely and totally refused to accept that. They did show the ad before publication to their bisexual advisory group, but only to say that it wasn't a bisexual ad: it's for "confused" people.

They also absolutely and totally refused to give the details of the bisexual phonelines on this one. They did have the number of the then very definitely biphobic London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard – typical response to bisexual callers: 'you're the only one' / 'you're lesbian/gay really' – on it though.

Marcus's response was a version that had a picture of a male chicken and a cat, and wondered if you preferred cock or pussy…

Looking back, the HEA's bisexual advisory group should have resigned en masse at this point, in the way that their gay men's advisory group – which included the bisexual David Burkle for at least some of its time as well as some rather less bi-friendly men – had done on being presented with a particularly awful ad aimed at young gay men*** that, again, the HEA loved.

I doubt anyone would have noticed if we had; the HEA continued to pay the expenses of a bunch of bisexual activists to get together to talk about bisexual health stuff; and the sandwiches they provided were excellent.

We should have still done it though – having looked at the (not particularly large) bunch of health promotion ads aimed at bisexuals, this could have been by far the best of them and yet the HEA insisted on the bisexual erasure.

 

In 2005, the Health Education Authority was in turn abolished in yet another health reorganisation, with the health promotion bits going to Health Promotion England (and its Welsh equivalent) with research etc going to the Health Development Agency (2000-2005). According to the National Archive, they lost the HEA's papers between 1994 and 1998. The HDA in turn would be replaced in yet another health reorganisation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). That in turn was renamed in…


* Created by the tiny agency that would become the global giant Saatchi & Saatchi, this was such a hit that the agency named its canteen/bar 'The Pregnant Man'. They did some other work for the HEC, then had to resign when they decided to work for a tobacco company instead.

** It turned out later, thanks to some research that was condemned in the Daily Mail etc, that 'strong' condoms don't provide any benefits compared with 'ordinary' ones. Using lube, especially for longer fucks, is far more important.

*** I don't think it was finally published, but the HEA's concept of an ad for young gay men on the gay scene – so many of them obsessed about looks – was a picture of a very old man – wrinkles, hair loss etc – with the headline something like "If you have safer sex, you could look like this".

!

The HEA loved it because it was so clever – 'How do you do, fellow kids? Have safer sex and you won't die young!' – but I would have loved to have been in the room when they presented it to people who had clue.

The instructions for the London Bisexual Helpline magic box

See the article on the history of bisexual phonelines in the UK for more details, but from its start in 1987 until 1995, when I think it became unviable to repair, the London Bisexual Helpline used a call-diverter box.

Here are the instructions on how to use it that people doing shifts were given…


London Bisexual Helpline

Operation of the call diverter

The call diverter uses two phone numbers:

Line 1   081-569 7500     The helpline
Line 2   081-569 9877     The private line

The public call in on line 1. If the diverter is switched off, the caller will hear a recorded message explaining when the helpline operates, and giving some details of the London groups. If the diverter is switched on, the call is transferred to the volunteer who is on duty.

To switch the diverter on, call the private line (line 2). The phone will ring for about 40 seconds;* when it is answered you will hear a computerised voice saying, "New number please". When this message finishes wait a couple of seconds, then press

    16 10 ___**

where ___ is your two-digit location code.

After you have pressed 16, you will hear the message, "Divert off." After you have entered your location code you will hear the message, "Your diversion number is xxx. Divert On." Here xxx is your home phone number.*** Wait for this message to finish before hanging up.

Having set up the diverter, please do not try calling 081-569 7500 yourself to check if the diverter is working correctly. If it is, this will lock up the system!**** Get another phoneliner or a friend to call instead.

To switch the diverter off, call the private line again. This time you will hear the message, "Please hold, your call is being connected" Wait a few seconds and then press 16. You will hear the message, "Divert off."

When you receive a diverted call there is a delay of about four seconds between your phone ringing and the caller being connected. If you pick up the receiver during these four seconds, you will hear a faint click when the call is actually connected.

The call diversion system often results in a poor quality line, so it is a good idea to speak loudly.

These instructions assume you have a tone phone (i.e. a phone which 'bleeps' rather than clicks as you dial). If you don't have a tone phone, you will need a tone pad in order to operate the diverter. The helpline administrator can get you a tone pad if required.

If you have problems switching the diverter on or off, it's possible that you are pressing the digits too quickly, or that you are starting to dial too soon after one of the recorded messages. Any helpliner can switch the diverter on or off for anyone else, so if you cannot get the diverter to work, someone else may be able to help. The call diverter is in Ian Saxton's home; if no one else can help, phone him on 081-568 xxxx.


* It was this long in order to discourage people who called it by accident or otherwise – most of them would have given up waiting long before the end of 40 seconds.

** Looking at them now, clearly the '16' 'divert off' code wasn't actually necessary for the helpline's usage, when the diversion would already be off at the start of a shift. But for other users who'd bought one and who wanted to switch from diverting to number A rather than to number B, it would have been necessary and so would have been in the box's instructions.. to be faithfully copied here.

*** So clearly '10 nn' was the code to say 'divert to the number that's nn-th in the saved list of numbers, but how long that list was (looking at a list of volunteers and the codes for their home phones, it's at least 18) and which of the 11..15 codes you used to set up that list and what the other codes did – delete one of the numbers? read them out for checking? – I never knew.

**** I'd have thought you just got a busy tone, but I never dared try it!

Bi-Issues #3

The last issue of the run, this was first published around September 1991* as another A5 4 page newsletter, given away free.

Given how much text there was in this one, I can only guess that the type size was smaller to fit it all in the same space – again, I don't think I have a paper copy to check.


Editorial. Introduction.
Form EN202 Application form for Bisexuals.
Census, Bloody Census, by Russell Gardner.
Reviews of Anything that Moves, Bi-Us.
Community in the Bisexual Movement by Kevin Saunders.

 

Editorial

Welcome to the third edition of Bi-Issues. With the advent of a new newsletter on the Bisexual scene, (Bi-Frost**) Bisexual publishing is looking more healthy. Bi-Frost is published every month and has so far produced two editions. They are hoping to expand to a two page format. More information can be obtained by writing to Bifrost, [PO Box address in Norwich].

Good progress is reported on the new book Bi-lives 2.***

Bi-Issues will be concentrating more on the issues around community and the running of groups. In the next few editions we will be taking a look at some of the more established groups in the country. If you attend a bisexual group on a fairly regular basis and want to write about your impressions and experiences then write to Bi-Issues. The article can be a few sentences or as long as you want. Either way, if you have something to say about your group, let us know.

Health and Happiness
Kevin Saunders

Bi-Issues is published every two to three months. If you want to get a copy, they will be available at most of the national groups. If you want to take a subscription, send four 1st class stamps (unwaged) or £1.50 (waged) to [address].

NOTE
Bi-Issues is published independently of the London Bisexual Group. The views published here are the views of Bi-Issues, not the LBG.****

 

Form EN202

Application Form for Bisexuals

  1. Are you Bisexual?
    Yes__ No__ Don't know__
    Don't believe in labels__
    Only in it for the sex__
  2. How many partners have you had in the past year?
    …..
    Really?…. No, really?.
    Oh dear.
  3. Do you have frequent arguments about monogamous and non-monogamous lifestyles?
    Yes__ No__ Don't Know__
    Look I keep telling you I don't believe in labels__ Only in it for the sex__

 

Census, Bloody Census

Russell Gardener

Did you or did you not fill in your 1991 census form?***** Whether you did or not is completely irrelevant, but the chances are that you would have been either angry about some of the sections or very distrustful of it. The Gay Press made, much of the assumption of universal heterosexuality in the relationship section. That was certainly something that annoyed me. Just why is it necessary to know the name of my employer? Knowing my occupation is enough, I think.

In my first job I worked for a company which provided retail location studies for major petrol banking and food retailers. A company such as Esso might be considering two new sites for petrol stations in Sheffield and need to have more data on which to base their decisions. The company I worked for did an in-depth study of all factors, both supply and demand, then gave recommendations. This is where the census form came in, it gives all the information a commercial operation might need, such as household sizes, average income, etc. The materialist bias of the form is depressing, anyone wanting to get information for such things as health care or the integration of energy saving insulation into national life would have to go elsewhere.

Another worrying aspect of the census was the nationality part. Page 2 carried the figures for the place of birth. Who does this information benefit? A lot of non-white adults now living here were born outside of Britain. Does that sort of information help racial integration? or does it just help the bigots to target racial minorities more effectively?

The census provides much useful information and is an interesting social document. Unfortunately it seems to provide us with more information about the attitudes and prejudices of the people who wrote it than genuine snapshot of the population as a whole.

 

Reviews

Bi Any Other Name

This review is eight months after the publication of 'Bi Any Other Name', but better late than never. It is a collection of short pieces and is divided into four sections; Facing ourselves, Healing Splits, Bi-Community and Politics. No less than 76 contributors make their voice heard. Articles range from 'My life as a lesbian identified bisexual fag hag' to 'Growing up with a bisexual dad'.

The breadth of the book is tremendous and really does bring out the immense diversity of the bisexual community and experience. The depth is somewhat lacking due to the shortness of each contribution. The effect is like being at a party where 76 people stand up and do their party piece. it leaves me thinking 'Wow there are a lot of them … tell me more'.

The writing is sometimes awkward, I sense that many of the contributors are ill at ease with putting their thoughts on paper, yet the really unique achievement of both the editors and the contributors is that each personality behind the article shines through. I was left with a feeling of contact with real people, even the political section was remarkably free of the aggressive posturing, something which can mar similar works by Gay and Lesbian writers. For all the works flaws it is human and this bisexual is grateful to Editors Lani Kaahumanu and Loriane Hutchins for producing it.

Bi-Us

Bi-Us has now been published and is available from the Bi-Us collective (see below for the address). It is well written and is lighter in tone than its predecessor Bi-Monthly. Articles include 'Threesomes' and it has an advice column.

The collective deserve congratulations for their hard work, it has not been easy for them to publish. There are still some unanswered questions about why it took over two years to produce and whether it has a long term future.***** *

Bi-Us costs 1.25 and is available from PO BOX 1912 LONDON N16 5AU

 

Community in the Bisexual Movement

I like being powerful. Being powerful, to me, means being able to truly be myself. It means being able to love who I want in the way I want without the debilitating fear of being judged and found lacking. The knowledge that others think I'm O.K. no matter what helps me take risks I'd never normally take. This knowledge also helps me heal my wounds and protect myself from attack. This is what I understand to be in community.

Community is both an intuitive feeling of being involved, of feeling safe and stimulated, and a pragmatic task which the Bi-movement needs to tackle. The following list is one of the attributes of community is one used by Scott Peck. (The different Drum).

Inclusivity; one of the greatest means of control in Western Societies is the threat of exclusion. For many bisexuals being excluded for not towing the line on sexual identities is one of the most painful experiences they have had. Conversely one of the great healing factors of Bisexual groups is their inclusivity.

Commitment; this means hanging in there when the going gets rough, and believe me the going can get very rough indeed.

Consensus; conventional use of the word consensus means everyone being equally unhappy and no-one really getting what they want. The real meaning of the word is getting agreement by balancing individual needs against group needs. This requires;

Realism; which is facing up to all the issues and not just the ones you find the easiest to deal with. It also means acknowledging different aspect of reality both the positive and the negative. This requires;

Contemplation; which means knowing your own shit and owning the effect you have on others.

Can Fight Gracefully; a toughy, most groups avoid contentious issues in the hope that they will go away, and when it is obvious that it will not, they'll have a enormous bust-up (later saying really stupid things like "that cleared the air, didn't it") Fighting gracefully means knowing exactly what you're arguing about and its relevance to the overall group aims.

A safe place; a place where people can let their defences down and know that they're going to be 0.K.

Group of all leaders; means that everyone has some contribution to make, I take it to mean that power within the group is able to be passed to those who are fitted to take on whatever task needs to be undertaken.

Having read through the rather formidable list above, try to figure out how your group is doing on nurturing community. Probably no group ever has all the above attributes, no-one is totally perfect. Have a go at the questions below and if you'd like to write them out and send them to Bi-Issues I'd be happy to read them and perhaps publish an overall conclusion.

  • What sort of people do you have difficulty with in the Bi-movement? Can you say why?
  • What sort of things make you want to give up going to your group or dissociate yourself from being Bisexual? Are you doing anything to ensure that you can keep up your enthusiasm for a long period?
  • Can you say what your groups aims and goals are? Do you think that these aims and goals are being carried out effectively by; others? yourself?
  • What sort of issues is your group good at dealing with? What sort of issues would the group try and avoid unless you all had a gun pointed at the group?
  • On the whole, do you feel safe in your group? If not can you say what it is that gives you feelings of being in an unsafe place?
  • Do you encourage others to make a contribution? Do others encourage you to make a contribution?

Kevin Saunders


* When originally putting these online, Rowan reckoned the date for this one was August or September 1991. The way Bifrost – said to have 'so far produced two editions' – was ultra-reliably monthly would suggest September as that started coming out in July 1991.

But the comment that it was eight months after the publication of Bi Any Other Name which happened in March 1991 would suggest it was later. Or perhaps Kevin made a mistake in that latter comment.

I have a memory he'd produced all three copies by the time of BiCon / the '9th National Bisexual Conference' in late September.

** There's no hyphen in 'bisexual', and there isn't one in Bifrost either 🙂

*** The first 'Bi-Lives' is obviously Bisexual Lives, republished here. 'Bi-Lives 2' would be published as Bisexual Horizons: Politics, Histories, Lives in 1996, a mere five years later than this newsletter.

**** There's obviously a story behind this – I wonder what it was. Did people assume it was an official publication of the LBG?

***** The UK has one census every decade: this one was on Sunday 21st April 1991. It was the first UK census to have a question on respondents' ethnic group. Probably largely because of the deeply unpopular Poll Tax in England, Wales and Scotland, over half a million people failed to respond, despite the announcement of its abolition in March.

***** * I don't think I have ever had a copy of this 🙁 and it wasn't something Rowan put online either.

The aside about it being the successor to Bi-Monthly and taking a while to produce makes me wonder if it was the same team who put together the unpublished Bi-Monthly 22, a copy of which I had in my hands at an LBG meeting to discuss the magazine's future but never saw again.

The question as to whether or not it had a future was answered by the way that I don't think there was ever a second issue. By this point, Bifrost had replaced Bi-Monthly for most people and the community wasn't big enough / have enough spoons for two similar publications.

Outright #43 article on BiCon 11

Outright was a free community newspaper in the East Midlands – it started life in February 1990 as 'Outright: Gay Freesheet for the East Midlands', and became '.. For Gays and Lesbians in Central England' by November 1992.

By issue 43 in November 1993, it was '.. For Gays Lesbians and Bisexuals in Central England' and in the same issue carried the following story about the recent BiCon 11 in Nottingham:

(HTML version of the text on the BiCon website.)

Outright dropped the '.. in Central England' bit of its subheading September 1995. Its last issue was #89 in October 1997.

Its archive is at The Sparrows Nest.

Bi-Issues #2

With an estimated date of May 1991, the second issue of Bi-Issues was "slightly larger than the first" according to the intro, but was also "an A5, 4 page newsletter, given away free" like the first according to Rowan in 1999.

Perhaps there was more text without increasing the page count; I don't think I have any paper copies to check.


Editorial. Introduction.
Bi-Issues Guide: Promoting Peace in the Gulf.
News from Off Pink, bisexual summer Camp, facilitators workshop.
The Group. A personal account of going to a bi group.

 

Editorial

Welcome to the second edition of Bi-Issues. This edition is slightly larger than the first. I hope you like it.

If you want to submit articles, suggestions or readers letters, write to the contact address. If you want a copy then send an SAE to the contact address:-

Health and Happiness
Kevin Saunders (Editor)
Contact Address: [address].

 

Bi-Issues Guide: Promoting Peace in the Gulf*

  • Launch your own missile at Downing Street. In case your local supermarket doesn't stock one, missile launchers are available from Brigadier I.L.L. Coverup, M.O.D., Little Hypocrisy St., London WC2. If you need an end-users certificate remember to emphasise your psychopathic credentials.
  • Join the majority of the male population over thirty-five and use C.N.N. as a hard porn S&M; channel. Every time a Cruise or Scud finds its target ejaculate (or orgasm). Remember to shout "Britain" as you come.
  • Make effigies of Major Bush and Hussein then vomit all over them.
  • Count the number of times the word butt is used and wonder why American military commanders are so anally fixated. Write letters to Gen. C. Powell on the benefits of sex as a way of sublimating his war drive.
  • Cry a lot.

 

News

The Off Pink publishing collective is getting material for a successor of "Bisexual Lives". They are hoping for a wider selection of material which will stretch across cultural boundaries. They also want material about sexual oppression, gender, relationships, personal and creative stories from bisexual people and their partners. If you want to contribute write to Guy Chapman** [address and phone number] or Zaidie Parr*** [address and phone number].

Bisexual Summer Camp – space limited to thirty people for a self-contained self-catering centre with accommodation and camping in June in S.W. Wales. Come for the weekend or five days. Contact Guy Chapman at the above address.

Facilitators' Workshop – N. London 9.30am-5.00pm on 18th May. A workshop to help participants improve their facilitation skills. It is aimed at those wanting to facilitate at the 1991 Bisexual Conference but all are welcome. It will be run by Kevin Saunders Andrew Cullis and Andrea Perry. Andrew Cullis and Andrea Perry are both qualified Psychotherapists with extensive experience in facilitating workshops on bisexual issues. Workshop limited to 20 spaces. Phone Kevin [phone number] for details.

 

The Group

I pause as I walk into the room.

"Is this the Bisexual Group?", I ask.

Heads turn, "You've come to the right place, we're just beginning the discussion, what's your name?".

"Julie".

"OK Julie, have a seat, we're just starting".

I sit down feeling like I'm the only one at the party who doesn't know the others and who can't point out the host either. I smile with an effort as the group leader starts an introduction exercise. In the circle the nervous 'hellos' are beginning; my thoughts become less jumbled.

– Do I belong here? Are they going to close me in? Who is the real bisexual here? I wonder if anyone is worth knowing? That guy is looking at me strangely, does that mean he is attracted to me?, or does he dislike me already?

My feelings are churning around a lump where the memories of past rejections is sitting in my guts. I look around the room meeting one or two people's eyes. It's my turn to speak.

"Hi, I'm Julie from Peckham".

It's reassuring to hear how calm my voice is, none of the strident note which can betray my nervousness, a good even contralto …… er, what's the discussion about again?

I look to the group leader for guidance and reassurance. He looks as nervous as all the rest; Christ! are they all as untogether as this; no, maybe that's a bit harsh. I connect with the discussion again as the voice of a woman with a beautiful jumper comes into focus. I remember her name; Caroline.

"…and I felt pissed off my friend said that, you'd think being a lesbian she'd understand about repression; but she went on about bisexuals being confused and it not being a proper identity anyway'.

Nods, sighs of recognition among the women, sympathetic bobs from the men. The facilitator asks whether this is a common experience. A black guy begins to speak of his experiences at work, being afraid to come out. Suddenly it seems like everyone dives in at once. The emotional temperature of the room goes up, voices rise in volume, men seem more aggressive, women shriller and eyes harder as everyone competes for air time.

I take a sudden breath, tense my mouth and am about to launch into my bossy routine when a guy with Latin American looks gets in before me.

"Yeah, I used to have that problem but since I changed jobs I'm OK".

Momentarily I'm pissed off at the group leader, then I think "fuck it", at least I didn't get hooked into bossing the meeting around. Like my friend Nadine says, being bossy is good for work; in social situations better to be gentle without losing the strength.

The Latin American guy has finished his spiel and is looking around the room. There is a pause; no-one meets his eye. I stop my mouth tensing up again and keep quiet.

Then a chubby guy speaks up, his voice is soft and somehow soothing; "Yes, I find other people's attitudes a problem sometimes – times when I'm feeling good I can dismiss others' attitudes as their problem, times when I feel confused or down, maybe a bit needy or wanting to be liked then those sort of attitudes really hurt".

The atmosphere eases, people meet each other's eyes again. My guts relax and I settle into my chair more. The discussion ambles on without drawing any mind shattering conclusions. The facilitator makes some announcements and asks for money.

I stand around wondering who to talk to: already little subgroups are forming, everyone is holding cups and talking about the latest Outrage protest, or where people live, whether this is their first time here; why aren't there any Bi pubs or discos? I stand around wishing this were a work situation where I was in control and the agenda was clear. I change my mind at least four times about who I want to talk to. Just as I make up my mind to talk to Caroline, the guy with the Latin American looks comes over and launches into a conversation about "where do you live and how did you get here?". He stands between me and the rest of the people, he talks earnestly and smiles at me hopefully.

My hackles rise; I make my voice non-committal and sidle around him so that our initial positions are reversed. I make a move to another group which isn't very interesting to talk to but at least puts me in a place where I can make eye contact with Caroline. She's in conversation with three other guys and although it's difficult to tell, I sense she's not interested in them. She looks over to me occasionally, I smile every time she does.

I'm about to move over to her when the Latin American guy appears from nowhere and backs her into a corner. I'm taken aback by his sheer nerve and insensitivity. Maybe he was sent to make my life difficult for me. I stare hard at him and look away for a while. I wonder about going over and talking to someone else then change my mind. Suddenly I want the guy out of the way and preferably in a stretcher. I begin to walk purposefully towards them, at that moment Caroline breaks free and comes over to me. I change my purposeful stride to casual saunter in ten microseconds.

We talk with each other, I risk a small smile and a joke which evokes laughter from Caroline. I immediately go serious, worried I may be coming across as too frivolous. I discretely ask some leading questions, and she does the same to me. I'm wondering, hoping all the time. That mixture of longing and fear rises from my guts making a lump in my throat. I'm thinking maybe, maybe this time. Along to the pub afterwards, drifting off to talk with someone else, afraid to appear too eager yet still wanting to maintain contact.

I manage to get close to Caroline by choosing a gap in the bar so I can buy drinks and talk to her. I let my eyes soften and open wider (I've been told I have attractive doe eyes). She turns and talks with me, conversation flows easily and naturally, a lot of the awkward pauses are ironed out by thinking up lines of conversation ahead. Definitely getting somewhere here.

"Would you like to come to a nightclub afterwards?" She would, uh oh things hotting up here. Engage pelvis, move breasts suggestively while thinking; try and be subtle about it.

I lose sight of Caroline for a moment as she goes off somewhere and suddenly the whole pub seems to become stilted, two dimensional and indifferent. The other drinkers look fleshy and bland, towering above me. An effort of will and the people shrink to normal human size again. Caroline returns and we move on to the nightclub.

In the nightclub people moving, moving the beat. Holding glasses, looking good, I try to get conversation with Caroline along sexual lines. I talk about bodies she talks about fashion, I talk about the way that woman's clothes cling to her body. Definite warmth in my pelvis rising to my breasts, the urgency of my sexual pulse making itself felt. Our smiles beginning to become private, we're laughing like we're already sharing a delightful secret.

More drink, more dancing, then we leave the nightclub. I feel as light and graceful as a gazelle. Just then the thought pops into my head, how to proposition her?.

Immediately my heart is in my mouth, my stomach muscles tense, my smile becomes a little fixed. I wonder which pick up line to use, "back for coffee?", no, no too feeble, think of something original, "want to see this article in Spare Rib I was telling you about?", no too indirect, "Want to come back and fuck each other's brains out?". Christ no, steady on, I couldn't possibly say that. Caroline smiles at me and says, "You look impish, what are you thinking of?".

I reply, "I don't feel like parting, why don't you come back to my place?". She smiles, god she has such a kind face.

"Yes, OK", she says "that sounds nice."

Whew! Slump a little with relief, I feel a bit drained, perk up, and continue on the way home, both of us thinking of later…


* In response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 'Operation Desert Storm', the counter invasion of Kuwait by the US, UK and various other allies, started with a bombing campaign in January 1991 and a ground assault five weeks later. Kevin wasn't happy with either.

** Along with another 'out of London' attendee, Guy was the person I stayed with at my first BiCon in 1986. He moved to Bristol a couple of years later.

*** If you put Zadie in a room with a dozen other people with everyone talking to each other, and said to another group 'spot the social worker', most of them would have pointed to Zadie.

One of my favourite memories of her is from the launch of Sue George's Women and Bisexuality at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, where she caused much amused laughter with her comments.

She died a few years ago.