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What's On? 21.09.17

Flags are funny things. For countries they're so pivotal, and actually can be nice to look at. I used to have a bedroom poster of all the flags of the world, I was drawn especially to Africa, and the flags of Kenya and Uganda, and for their colours, Botswana and Tanzania. Favourite flag of all? Obviously Wales, but Ireland's flag is soothing, the Belgian and German flags have cool colours, Macedonia's is wonderfully striking and for a simple, solemn power, I also like Japan's. Given its natural beauty, it's also fitting that Sri Lanka has the kind of flag that would make a great matchbox cover, and I mean that in a nice way.

Please don't pin me down on what to do this weekend, I may not go at all to the cinema. The thing I really wanted to see, Richard Alston's contemporary dance group at the Festival Theatre, will be brilliant as it always is, but clashes with a series of commitments that I have for Friday evening.

One of those things is an event at Edinburgh University, celebrating Bi Visibility – hence my use of the flag for bisexuality for this post. The event is being organised by the University's Staff Pride Network, of whom I serve and for whom I also organize. But I think the event is interesting anyway – bisexuality is interesting anyway. In some ways I don't understand what bisexuality is supposed to mean – is it really something you'd need to inform your sexual partner? I listened to a panel once discussing such a thing, and one of the panel recounted how she'd told her husband she was bisexual, as if it mattered. Should it matter? If you're in love with someone? Does bisexuality mean you need to be with both men and women? Or does it mean you can happily be with either? I'm guessing I'm in the latter category – I'm just waiting for love, and I guess it would be monogamous, but whatever works. I will ask about this at the Friday night event.

Back to flags, it's funny applying flags to gender and sexuality. There's the rainbow flag of course, for LGBT+, and there are also flags for non-binary, trans, genderqueer, and etc. But clinging to a flag seems funny – who am I to say what trans is meant to be? What are the parameters? Would I represent the nation of trans at a World Cup? Would I fight a war in its name? Would it be okay to have dual-citizenship, since I'm also pretty non-binary, and as for sexuality, my flag might be bi or it might be asexual as things stand at the moment. In an Olympic Games of Queer, would it be okay if I changed sides halfway through an event that I was winning? 'And Gina Maya wins the Gold for Trans . . . No, she's switched to Bi, and the Trans Community have stopped celebrating . . .' I'm not sure what kind of events would be in an Olympic Games of Queer, but as an alternative to the hyper competitiveness of the real Olympic Games, I think it's something I would like to be a part of.
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