The First BiTopia Meet Up!

First published in January 2014, the date of our first meet up.

Before the big day I’d tried to do as much preparation as possible to ensure the event ran smoothly. I’d promoted it online. I packed everything I’d need the week before. I found a purple shoelace towear round my wrist so people would be able to spot I was the group organiser. I also needed something to put on the table for people to be able to identify us without outing us to other members of the public. I looked around my room for something suitable and promoted my rubber duck from shelf clutter to group mascot.

bitopiaduck

The photo shows a rubber duck with travel/passport stamps all over its body.

On the day I had a few feels but wasn’t too nervous. Work passed very slowly.

That evening I brought a book in case no one turned up for a while but didn’t need it: as soon as I walked in I spotted someone wearing a necklace with the bi flag on!

I’d hoped to get five people attending the first meet up so was astonished to have twelve attendees within about fifteen minutes of the start time. Mission accomplished! I couldn’t believe how far people had come either; Leicester, Derby and rural Lincolnshire were all represented. Everyone seemed to have a good time and get on really well with each other.

I was able to relax, enjoy myself and get to know everyone as the event needed very little involvement from me. People introduced attendees to others, instigated a round of name sharing when someone new arrived and even encouraged each other to swap seats to ensure everyone got a chance to speak to everyone else! The venue was very bi-friendly & made us feel very welcome.

In total we had 17 people who came for the event, along with 3 others who saw someone they knew and stuck around.

What a perfect evening.

“Get up to anything last night?” my work colleagues asked.
“Nah. Just stayed in and watched a movie.”

Kept smiling when no one was looking.

Can’t wait for the next meet up.

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