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July 14, 2016 / cbniccraith

Belfast QueerPoly Day

What is it?

QueerPoly Day is a day for openly non-monogamous people who are also queer or LGBTIA+ to get together to talk about their relationships and experiences, or just to hang out. QueerPoly Day is a discussion and support event, it’s not designed to be a dating, cruising, or hook-up event.

 

When is it?

It’s happening on Saturday, 30th July 2016 from 10am until 6pm.

 

Where is it?

It’s taking place at The Rainbow Project, Belfast LGBT Centre, 1st Floor, 9-13 Waring Street, Belfast, BT1 2DX.

Who is it for?

The day is for anybody who has openly non-monogamous relationships of any kind, and who sees themselves as queer or LGBTIA+ (or in relationships with people who are, or part of those communities).

Who is facilitating it?

We’re a group of queer and poly people who’ve been involved in similar events in the past. We’re very much co-ordinators rather than “organisers” in any formal sense – which means we’ve booked a space and will suggest some workshop topics, but it’s open to everyone who attends to lead workshops and discussions (if theywant to).

We are primarily women and non-binary people, and people of all genders are welcome to attend and to lead workshops.

We will endeavour to centre the contributions of people of marginalised identities.

It’s up to you to decide whether it feels like the right space for you, we won’t be policing who attends! Take a look at the information below to see whether it seems like a good fit for the kinds of conversations that you’re looking for.

We’d respectfully suggest that it isn’t the right event for anybody who has no previous experience of or interest in non-monogamy or who doesn’t relate to queer or LGBTIA+ at all. The UK Polyday event which happens most years would be a better place if that’s you and you’re looking for a space to meet people and learn more.

What will happen on the day?

That’s pretty flexible. At the moment we plan to start with some optional icebreakers so we can get to know each other. Then there’ll be workshop spaces throughout the day, some of which will already have leaders, and some of which will be open to add your own workshop or discussion topic.

There’ll be space to relax, chat, or do crafts throughout the day if you don’t want to do workshops.

Examples of the kinds of topics we might cover in workshops/discussions include:

  • Trans and open non-monogamy
  • What does it mean to do relationships queerly?
  • Mental health in our queer poly relationships
  • Safer queer poly sex
  • Queer poly parenting
  • Cultivating consensual cultures in our communities

 

How much does it cost?

It’s a free event, but we’ll be asking for optional donations from those who can afford it. Any funds raised will be split equally between the Rainbow Project and QueerPolyDay organising. If we cover costs, the extra will go towards further QueerPoly Events in NI and ROI.

We will make accounts available to all attendees within a month of the event.

 

Is it accessible?

The event volunteers are committed to making the event as welcoming as possible to those who may have difficulty accessing many spaces, either because they are disabled, are economically marginalised, or are otherwise subject to gatekeeping. We want to be as transparent as possible where we fall short.

Some key information:

*Our venue at The Rainbow Project is generally wheelchair accessible, although there are a number of heavy doors, and some floors require a trip in the lift to another floor for a wheelchair accessible bathroom.

*Lifts can at times be less than perfectly level with the floor that they stop on.

*Some floors may become slippery when wet, which may be an issue for those who use mobility equipment.

*The lifts have braille on the outside buttons, though not on the inside buttons.

*Sign language interpreters are welcome, as are personal assistants and carers.

*The venue has free access to water, tea, and coffee and is a non-commercial venue. Outside food is allowed and the kitchens are free to use to store and prepare food.

*Children are welcome but must be accompanied by someone responsible for their care. Some workshops and discussions won’t be appropriate for children.

*We’re not funded for this event so unfortunately we can’t provide any additional services like counselling, childcare or sign language interpreters.

Our volunteers will be more than happy to help with any difficulties traversing the venue, or with being comfortable and safe. If you have any other specific access queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at belfastpolyday@gmail.com

 

What are the groundrules?

As coordinators, we’re suggesting the following groundrules to try to cultivate as safe and respectful a space as possible. There’ll also be time at the start of the event to add to these if you want to.

  • Please respect the privacy of everyone else at the event and don’t name anybody to people who aren’t attending, or on social media. Some of us are very open about our relationships and identities. Some of us prefer to keep them private from the wider world.

  • Please treat people respectfully. People at the event will have diverse genders, sexualities, relationship styles, nationalities, ages, disabilities, class and cultural backgrounds, and political     and religious beliefs. Please try not to make assumptions about     these, and to take somebody’s self-identity at face value.

  • Please treat yourself, and others, kindly. Events like this can be quite intense. It’s worth remembering to ensure that you get enough food, drink and rest times in the day. When you have a comment to make, think first about whether it might feel too personally exposing for you afterwards, or triggering for others, and also whether it leaves space for other people to express different points of view.

  • Please treat people consensually: check in before touching somebody in any way or taking their photograph, and unless you get an enthusiastically positive response, don’t do it. Try not to put people under any pressure to do anything whether they are people you know or new people.

  • If your behaviour is causing upset to other attendees, the coordinators may speak to you and ask you to change your behaviour. For more serious or repeated disruption, you may be required to leave the event.

How can I get in touch?

We can be contacted on belfastpolyday@gmail.com

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