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Jen Yockney is one of the most prominent bisexual community activists in the UK, having worked on giving bisexual communities support and voice for the past twenty-plus years.
She is active in many levels of community work: frontline support at the UK's oldest bisexual support group; publications and policy-making such as initiating meetings between the bi volunteer / activist community and GEO; and as a mentor actively reaching out to new volunteers to help bi groups and projects around the country blossom.
She tries not to work with organisations that uphold or promote prejudice, such as LG(BT) projects that are consciously or institutionally biphobic or transphobic. But life is full of messy compromises.
- Awarded the MBE for Services to the Bisexual Community in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours List. Reported here.
- Shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life Award in the British LGBT Awards 2017 (awards event is on May 12th)
- Interviewed alongside other NW bi activists in the Big Issue North, here.
- Interviewed in Co-Op Respect magazine, May 2016, here
- Winner, LGBT Heroes "Volunteer of the Year" award, presented by LGBT Foundation based on over 11,000 public votes, 28th January 2016.
- Editor, Bi Community News. Bimonthly magazine giving national forum and visibility to bisexuality and bi communities. BCN also seeks to give a bi voice in policy making, including being the only bi organisation to give input to the Scottish Parliament consultation on same-sex marriage. Responsible for Design & Distribution, 1998-2001. Editor since 2001.
- Convenor, BiPhoria. Hosting typically 24 social and support meetings a year, and leading the fundraising and structural work needed to sustain that group. Established in 1994, it is the UK's longest-running bisexual social and support organisation. Involved from 1994, convenor since 1997: public face, fundraising, group work and peer counselling.
- Host since 2001 of the website BiVisibilityDay.com, which raises the profile of the annual Bi Visibility Day / International Celebrate Bisexuality Day / Bi Pride, marked each September 23rd, and events to mark it around the world. Most years since its inception in 1999 she has organised some event around the date. You can hear an interview about this with the BiCast here.
- Maintainer of the Bisexual History Project.
- Honorary Vice President of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats
- Chair, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, 2006-2009, turning the organisation around and preparing it for the work it would then do when the party entered government to deliver same-sex marriage, end the life ban on blood donation for bi & gay men and their female partners, instigate a trans action plan & more.
- Member, Lib Dem Trans Working Group, 1998, drafting the party policy on gender recognition that would form the basis of the Gender Recognition Act, there as a 'gender radical' voice to make the policy more inclusive of the wider trans community.
- Bi Researcher & Writer for the LGBT Foundation's "Foundation" volunteering magazine. 2013 - 15.
- Convenor, Bi Local Groups Network. This helps support groups similar to BiPhoria to give bi space and voice in local communities around the UK and Ireland. 2011 - 2015.
- Secretary, Bisexual Action, campaign group lobbying on issues around bisexual exclusion from gay community support and spaces in the 1990s.
- Equal Opportunities Officer, British Youth Council 1996-97.
Awards & Near Misses
- Shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life Award in the British LGBT Awards 2017
- Awarded the MBE for Services to the Bisexual Community, Queen's 90th Birthday Honours List, June 2016. First "bi" honour and first nonbinary entry in the Honours List.
- Winner 2015 LGBT Heroes "Volunteer of the Year" award, presented by LGBT Foundation based on over 11,000 public votes.
- Winner 2005 Home Office "Year of the Volunteer" award for Community Impact, for work supporting bi people and in particular bisexual community building.
- Winner 2002 Cake Award from the national UK bisexual convention BiCon for contribution to the bisexual community
- (Project rather than individual):
BiPhoria shortlisted for 2015 Inclusive Networks Award
- (Project rather than individual):
BiPhoria shortlisted for 2015 European Diversity Award
- Shortlisted: 2013 LGF Homo Hero award for Role Model
- Shortlisted: 2011 LGF Homo Hero award for Community Champion
- (Project rather than individual)
Bi Community News shortlisted: 2011 LGF Homo Hero award for Community Organisation
As lead organiser: ran the 2000 International Conference on Bisexuality, on a small team of three people hosting a 5 day conference with 265 attendees from 20 countries.
Four years later ran the 2004 UK BiCon, a similar scale of event.
Organiser or co-organiser of many one-day bi community events since 2001.
Speaking Engagements etc
Numerous individual or panel including for LGF/LGBT Foundation, LGBT Health Summit, NUS, GALIPS, LAGIP, the Co-Operative, IDAHO(BIT). Many radio spots.
- October 13th: Speaker at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for Bi Visibility Day.
- September 24th: Gaydio interview about bisexual visibility.
- September 21st: Speaker at Lloyds Bank HQ for Bi Visibility Day.
- June 28th: Speaker at Houseproud LGBT Housing Conference.
- June 13th: Speaker at Riverside Housing Association's LGBT tenants conference.
- May 31st. Gaydio election coverage panellist.
- May 4th: Speaker at Rainbow LGBT Professional Network banking conference.
- March 9th: Speaker at Stonewall NW Awards.
- Feb 25th: Speaker at Bi History event organised jointly by BiPhoria and LGBT Foundation at People's History Museum, Manchester. Sold-out, 85 tickets and standing room only at the talk.
- Jan 29th: Guest, That's Pride TV show, That's Manchester TV.
- Jan 20th: Guest, Gay Agenda radio show
- Nov 19th: ALL FM - hour long interview around the MBE for Services to the Bisexual Community
- Oct 9th: Gaydio interview about new ONS bi statistics and receiving the MBE
- Sep 24th: Closing vigil speaker at Bolton Pride
- Sep 22nd: PWC GLEE Network speaker for Bi Visibility Day
- Sep 22nd: Co-Op national HQ speaker for Bi Visibility Day
- Aug 8th: Bisexual History speaker at Leeds Pride "Bi Brunch" event
- Feb 21st: Bisexual intersections speaker at "Polyamory, Consensual Non-Monogamy and Relationship Anarchy" Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University
- Feb 13th: ALL FM radio - hour long interview around bi volunteering and challenges facing bi people
- Feb 12th: Keynote speaker at Greater Manchester Police hate crime event around biphobia and reporting hate incidents & hate crime
- Aug 2nd, Leeds Pride main stage - bisexual speaker / LGBT community voice
- May 28th, Launch of "Complicated?" report on biphobia, Edinburgh
- Apr 20th, BBC Radio 4 / World Service, on the LGB&T vote
- Mar 11th, University of Chester Diversity Week
- Feb 18th, University of Manchester. Guest lecture: "Gay Pride, Bisexual Euphoria?"
- Feb 15th, Festival of LGBT History, People's History Museum. "21 years and more: BiPhoria and Bisexuality in Manchester"
- Jan 17th, ALL FM radio - hour long interview covering many bi issues