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 the organizing team, workshop facilitators, and volunteers – can expect from others, and what is expected from all of us during BiCon.
The organizers 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.
Please remember that everyone is at a different stage of awareness about various issues, and don’t assume people are being malicious
If you are able, please consider kindly educating people when they make mistakes – this includes everyone, even the organizing team!
People are responsible for themselves, their actions, and their own health.
You do not have to stay in any session you feel uncomfortable in. You can leave at any time.
Consent is crucial at BiCon, it is important the no one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they do not want to do. This includes but is not limited to:
• hugs or touching
• taking part in a activity
• disclosing information
• any sexual behavior
• discussing topics which are sensitive or personal
• even having a chat.
Ask every time. Don’t assume that because someone said “yes” earlier that they will still say “yes” the next time.
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. You can also ask the organizers to tell someone to leave you alone.
In public, “no”, “stop”, “don’t do that” or similar words and phrases will be taken at face value by the BiCon organizers 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 behavior be kept out of the public areas. Please keep public behavior within what is normally publicly acceptable.
BiCon attenders should remained fully clothed in all public areas, except for when breastfeeding. All nipples, genitalia and bums must be securely covered by clothing. If some sessions are counted as private areas they will be clearly marked as such.
Consent includes any audience. Remember that may include not just attendees, but venue staff and the general public, who may challenge you if they are uncomfortable.
Everyone at BiCon deserves to feel safe and no one deserves to be shouted at, sworn at, or made to feel threatened.
We don’t allow animals on-site, except for pre-registered service animals.
Please abide by the smoking zones which will be clearly marked. Please do not smoke e-cigarettes indoors or near venue doors, as vapors from these devices can be triggering for people with asthma and related conditions.
Discrimination and Respecting Differences
BiCon should be a safe space for all attendees, regardless of ethnicity, class, gender, disability, religion, spiritual belief, age, or lifestyle. Bigoted behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.
Don’t make negative assumptions or stereotype people on the basis of their skin color, physical features, race, accent or religious belief. Do not make negative comments about people based on the characteristics outlined above.
No Racism, sexism, classism, sizeism, biphobia, transphobia, TERF’s, body shaming, diet talk or concern trolling.
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”.
Once you have been informed of someone’s gender pronouns, whether by asking them or being corrected, please try to use these pronouns 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. Do not criticize someone based on what label (or lack of) they use to define their sexuality.
All identities in the queer community have equal value. Bi, pan, demi, questioning, ace, enby, gay, lesbian, etc., all belong equally.
Culture & Race
Negative comments about any aspect of a person’s culture or race should not be made.
Fetishization of cultural markers and physical features should be avoided. An example of fetishization of cultural markers could be, “that’s such an exotic name” or “your dreadlocks are amazing, can I touch them?”
Some spaces within BiCon may be restricted to certain affinity groups of people, e.g. people aged 21 or over, or those with a particular identity. These will be clearly marked in the session guide and handbook.
BiCon supports safer spaces and recognizes their value. Please do not breach safer spaces you are not eligible to be in.
If you are eligible, don’t be afraid that you aren’t ‘enough’ of whatever group.
If you are unsure of your eligibility, you can ask to speak to someone wearing a purple sash for advice, contact the team prior to the event or speak the person running the session.
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.
This includes in other conversations at BiCon or on social media relating to BiCon (e.g. the Facebook BiCon attendees group). ‘Public’ also includes write-ups on personal websites or on social networking sites such as Facebook.
If you find yourself talking to someone you met at BiCon after the event has ended, be careful if you need to remind them where you met – you don’t know who else might be listening! Perhaps just remind them that the event was in SF.
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, please assume it may end up online, linked to you by name, as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon.
You have the right to ask for any photo, video or recording of you to be deleted, and you do not have to give a reason. If you are uncomfortable asking for this to happen yourself, or your request is not met, please speak to a BiCon volunteer.
Members of the press should identify themselves to the desk and at any sessions they attend.
If you want support in challenging anyone’s behavior or anything they’ve said, please come and talk to the organizers who can assist you or speak to the person for you.
The organizers 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 anything happens to you at or in the run-up to BiCon that you feel is a breach of our Code of Conduct, or you have witnessed inappropriate behavior, we want to know so we can improve your experience.
Additionally, we are always open to adding to the Code of Conduct, should you feel we have missed something.
You can talk to us:
• in person: you can identify us by our name tags (specifics tba)
• by text or phone: number to be confirmed
• by email: email@example.com
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, if you have any ideas.
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 where you are
• exclude them from the rest of BiCon
These will be implemented at the discretion of the BiCon team.
If you mess up, acknowledge, apologize and learn from it. Practice saying, “Thank you for letting me know what I did and how it was inappropriate”. Strive to improve your behavior.
Breaches of this Code of Conduct or reasonable requests will, in most cases, be met with a warning from a member of the organizing team. 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. If you are asked to leave, you will not receive any refund. We reserve the right to pass on details of complaints to future BiCon organizers.
-This CoC was adapted (with minor adjustments) from BiCon UK's Code of Conduct, with permission. Thank you.-