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presentsBi Lines III A Celebration of Bisexual Writingin Reading, Music & Culture Friday May 28 Program 7-9:30pm Doors open 6:30 for booksignings Celebrated bisexual book authors, most nominated for the 2009“Lammy” LGBT Book Awards, read from their works. Plus live music and bi art exhibits. Authors/Books: Blake Bailey/Cheever: A LifeAudrey Beth Stein/MapBobbie Geary/The JaneidHerukhuti/Conjuring Black Funk Ann Herendeen/Pride/PrejudiceJ.E. Knowles/ArushaLive Music: Meech Morrison, Jade Zabric, Drew Photography: Efrain Gonzalez, Amanda Morgan Location: The LGBT Community Center 208 W. 13th Street 7-8 Ave NYC 10011Suggested donation $7 (no one will be turned away)Hosted by the Bi Writers Association. Co-sponsored by BiRequest, Lambda Literary Foundation & Bi Women of All Colors.
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mono-print ink on paper
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Remixed vintage porcelain by Tulip Art Projects. The Berlin-based art collective has been working on these porcelain mash-ups since 2003.
In this project, old decorated plates are collected, over painted, and fired once more to create durable original art pieces.
Sheela LambertBisexual Examiner covering bisexuality in media, arts, culture & society TV=celebrities=movies=booksbi peopleqbi activismqbi history If it's bisexual, it's on my radarOver 80 articles posted!Three ways to get there: 1) Go to http://www.examiner.com/x-17829-Bisexual-Examiner 2) Google “Sheela Lambert Examiner”3) On Examiner.com site type “Sheela Lambert” into search boxI'm still blogging about everything bisexual, but I'm doing it on Examiner.com to reach a wider audience. You can subscribe to email alerts (at the top of my Examiner column) to be notified whenever I post something new.
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I know I already posted these. Just putting them up again minus the friends only journal entry :)Still need to fix the color in the first one....and the stray hairs and spit bubble in the B&W image.Big post coming soon! Lots of great news to share! :)
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Halloween West Hollywood 2009
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Halloween West Hollywood 2009
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mixed media, collage, acrylic, ink, graphite
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by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist To whom it may concern at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, First, as a bisexual woman and long-time activist for LGBTQ rights, let me express my sorrow and outrage at the hate crime vandalism that your organization has just endured. You intended for the Memphis queer community to gather strength from the positive images and messages in your current billboard campaign, in anticipation of National Coming Out Day, concurrent with the National Equality March on Washington. I was particularly concerned when I discovered that the image of the gay marine that was defaced, was actually a local Memphis gay man who had served his country. My heart goes out to him, since his sacrifice and his rights as an American were not considered in the least by the haters who defaced his image. I know that I am not alone in saying that you have the total support of the bisexual community in the face of this attack. I am heartened to see that Heidi Cranford Williams mentioned bisexuals, as part of the LGBTQ community, in her press response to the hate crime vandalism. However, mentioning bisexuals in fine print on your website or as an afterthought to a significant campaign for visibility does not really include us. When I look at the MGLCC billboard campaign, I feel a strong sense of bisexual erasure. May I ask, why were bisexuals left off the billboards? Why was there no inclusion of the word "bisexual"? When your campaign says that ministers accept lesbian, gay, and transgender people, but makes no mention of bisexuals, you make it seem as though no ministers in your area accept bisexual men and women at their churches. When your billboards say that lesbian, gay, and transgender people have straight supporters, your omission of bisexuals makes it seem as though bisexuals have no supporters at all--not straights, gays, lesbians, or transgender people. Inclusion matters. Bisexual people look and listen for the "B" word. It helps us to know that we have allies in gay, lesbian, transgender, and straight communities. As a matter of fact, this May the Bi Writers Association, headed by Sheela Lambert, held a summit in NYC entitled "Putting the 'B' in the LGBT" attended by national LGBT rights organizations and the press. Furthermore, at least according to your website, it seems as though you have no bisexual-specific programming at your organization. It may be of interest to know that at the Bisexual Health Summit, held on the first day of the LGBTI Health Summit in August here in Chicago, the research consistently showed that bisexuals were at the greatest health risks of lesbians, gay men, and straight people across most of the major health indicators; that health and social service organizations need to develop bi-specific programming to address our underserved health needs. Just on the issue of suicide alone, lesbians and gay men were found to consider suicide 4 times higher than straight women/men; bisexual men were found to consider suicide 7 times higher than straight men and bisexual women 6 times higher than straight women. For some bisexuals, the visible and vocal inclusion of us in your programming and publicity campaigns may be the difference between life and death. We are part of the larger LGBTQ community; we are your lovers, your friends, your fellow activists, your neighbors, and your natural allies. We have been there from the beginning of the struggle for liberation. We too, have served our country. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest moments in American bisexual history was when, in 1989, openly bisexual veteran Cliff Arnesen testified before Congress about lesbian, gay, and bisexual veteran's issues. At that time, transgender people who have served our country were not very visible. Also, the lesbian and gay veterans with Cliff tried to pressure him into identifying as gay, instead of bisexual, because they thought his identification would hurt their cause. Cliff Arnesen refused and became the first non-heterosexual veteran to testify on Capital Hill about LGB veterans' issues and veterans' issues in general. Cliff Arnesen had been dishonorably discharged because of his bisexual orientation. http://www.binetusa.org/bihistory2.html I wish none of my message to be misconstrued as some sign of a lack of support for lesbians, gay men, or transgender people or an attack on the Memphis LGBTQ community in particular. Across the nation, the LGBTQ community has our unqualified support. We are all in this together. But we also need to know that we are supported; that we can be ourselves, just the way we are, among you. One of the clearest ways that our allies can show their support for us is to say our name. Bi all means, say our name. Sincerely,Max the Communist AUTHOR TAGS:bisexual, pansexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, visibility, putting the b in lgbt, publicity, billboards, campaign, gay marine, vandalism, hate crime, bisexual erasure, support, allies, Cliff Arnesen, bisexual history, bi health summit, suicide, health risks, inclusion
This is how I type.:)
LGBT Bohemian Night: Oct 28, 7-10pm Bisexual Poetry, Prose & Artwork plus LGBT open mic at LGBT Bohemian Night Sheela Lambert, Bi Writers Association founder, Bisexual Examiner.com columnist, free-lance writer published by Advocate.com, Curve, AfterEllen, Bi Magazine, Huffington Post, etc & editor of the forthcoming anthology, Best Bi Short Stories.Geoff Kagan Trenchard, poet, has performed on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and toured internationally as a member of performance poetry troupe The Suicide Kings with their hip-hop theater piece “In Spite of Everything.”Ann Herendeen, author of bisexual novels Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander and the forthcoming Pride/Prejudice.Dr. Herukhuti, author of Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality and Sprituality.Amanda Morgan, poet More TBA LGBT Bohemian Night hosts a monthly event filled with poetry, songs, music and visual arts. Generally, artists are scheduled to perform, but there is an Open Mic in case anyone from the audience wants to participate. Performers can speak either English, Spanish or be bilingual.LGBT Bohemian Night is the last Wednesday of every month (except July, Aug & Dec)7-10pm / $5 donationLocation: No Parking 4168 Broadway @ 177st St.Directions: A Train to 175th St. or #1 to 181 St
The Bi Writers Association announces its endorsement of the National Equality March to be held in Washington DC on the weekend of National Coming Out Day, Oct 10-11. The National Equality March used bisexual and transgender inclusive language on its website and in speeches promoting the march from the beginning and did not have to be encouraged to do so. So far, they have been more progressive and inclusive of the bi & trans communities than any other national march to date. We encourage our members, the bi community and our allys to attend. We also encourage our members, the bi community and our allys to renew their efforts to support the fight for equality in Maine, Washinton State, California, Iowa, New York and everywhere else in the country that needs help fighting against anti-LGBT ballot initiatives, bills designed to take away our rights, anti-LGBT rights candidates or fighting for pro-LGBT rights candidates, bills and issues. Our rights and our lives depend on it. Sheela LambertFounder, Bi Writers AssociationFor more info go to the National Equality March website
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by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist The 6th Transcending Boundaries Conference is taking place November 20-22, 2009 in Worcester, Massachusetts, for bisexual/pansexual, trans/genderqueer, intersex, and polyamorous people and our allies . . . "to foster community, provide safe space, educate ourselves, and overcome societal sex, gender, and sexuality boundaries!" Deadline for early registration is Sept. 30; deadline for advanced registration is Oct. 31; and late registration starts in November. Go here for registration and hotel information.TBC has sent out a call for workshop proposals--the deadline is September 15, 2009. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or want to lead a group for the first time, conference organizers are "searching for speakers who are passionate about their area of expertise and want to share it with the community." They are especially looking for presentations along one or more of the following tracks:Bi/PansexualityTrans/GenderQueerIntersexPolyamoryGender (general)AlliesActivismPeople of ColorYouthDiversityCareersSpiritualityHealthHistoryLegal Issues Download the proposal form from here. The keynote speaker for this TBC will be alternative sexuality author, educator, and feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino. Tristan ran a great sex advice column in the Village Voice until they dumbed and dulled themselves down with massive layoffs of veteran contributors last year. But her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships made a huge splash among polyamorous and fluid sexuality folks everywhere. And her porn site, Pucker Up, is still going strong.She follows in the footsteps of sex-positive feminists like Susie Bright, Annie Sprinkle, and Carol Queen. Tristan is one busy woman; I feel a little shamefaced that it was through her website that I found out about the 2009 Loving More National Polyamory Retreat happening this weekend, Sept. 11-13th. Hope that's not too late for all you polys out there. Sorry. Next year I'll be more on the ball. Susie Bright Annie Sprinkle Carol Queen AUTHOR TAGS:transcending boundaries conference, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, polyamory, alternative sexuality, Tristan Taormino, Susie Bright, Annie Sprinkle, Carol Queen, deadlines, loving more polyamory conference, opening up, open relationships
Bi Writers Association founder Sheela Lambert's new bisexual column on Examiner.com was promoted to national status after only a few weeks. Thirty two articles have been posted so far focusing on bisexual books & authors, bisexual films, bi musicians, openly bi politicians, interviews with bisexual people, understanding bisexuality and more. There's also a full listing of articles by topic.You can subscribe to email alerts whenever a new article is posted by clicking on the Subscribe link at the top of any of her articles and filling out your email address.
by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist Chicago's Gay Liberation Network has been leading a campaign since early August to get Live Nation and other concert promoters to cancel Buju Banton concerts because the performer calls for killing lesbians and gay men in the lyrics of his songs. So far, their work has reaped some success--Thursday afternoon Live Nation announced that it has cancelled all its concerts booking Buju Banton at its 4 House of Blues locations, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Houston. Bob Schwartz of GLN, who has led several campaigns against "murder music" performers over the years said, "Live Nation . . . has done the right thing and canceled the hate monger. . . . We first wrote Live Nation several years ago following their purchase of the House of Blues to alert them to the Jamaican Reggae "Dancehall" singers who advocated killing gays, and had thought we wouldn't have to go down this road again. We hope they have gotten the message. . . . These cancellations show the power of protest to deliver the goods."GLN's position on Banton's music has always been clear. "Advocating murder is not 'free speech.'. . . House of Blues/Live Nation would never book Buju Banton if he advocated killing African Americans or Jews, and rightly so. Why is it still okay with House of Blues to advocate murdering lesbians and gays? Why the double standard?" While I'm not comfortable with the way that GLN neglects to mention bisexual and transgender people under attack, I have absolutely no doubt that they are just as swept up in the anti-queer violence in Jamaica. Supporting this campaign helps them. And addressing GLN's neglect in acknowledging them is certainly on my to-do list. Buju Banton's native Jamaica is rife with anti-queer violence, which is typically tolerated by the authorities. Same-sex behavior is punishable in Jamaica up to 10 years in prison. According to Passport Magazine:"When [Human Rights watch researcher Rebecca] Schleifer visited Jamaica in 2004, Brian Williamson, the country's leading gay activist, was violently chopped to death with a machete in his apartment in Kingston. Schleifer walked to his street shortly after the murder and found a crowd of people gathered outside Williamson's apartment singing and celebrating his murder and shouting the chorus of 'Boom Boom Bye Bye,' a popular Buju Banton dancehall hit about shooting gay men: 'Boom bye bye, in a faggot's head. Rude boys don't promote nasty men, they have to die.' Others were laughing and yelling, 'Let's get them one at a time,' and, 'That's what you get for sin.'" In a story reporting on the London memorial for Brian Williamson in 2004, Williamson's murder created a heightened sense of fear in Jamaica's LGBT community and a violent backlash against on the streets against queer people. Its local queer organization, J-FLAG, received increasing threats and reports of violence against LGBTs. The Jamaican government has been criticized for its criminalization same-sex behavior and its human rights record for LGBT. Several gay Jamaicans attending Williamson's memorial said that the police were carrying out a vendetta against the LGBT community:"The Jamaican police have consistently failed to tackle homophobic attacks. Most of the killers have literally gotten away with murder. The police are themselves accused of beating up lesbians and gay men. Many gay Jamaicans describe the police as 'gay bashers in uniform'."As of last summer, major LGBT groups have encouraged a boycott of Jamaican tourism and Jamaican products. Red Stripe withdrew its corporate sponsorship of music events which featured performers of "murder music." J-FLAG has tried to get the attention of its country's Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, over anti-queer violence, but so far has met with only limited success.Buju Banton has never stopped performing those of his songs promoting violence against LGBT, nor has he ever apologized for them. In 2007, he supposedly signed a Reggae Compassionate Act, to pledge to refrain from homophobic songs or making homophobic statements, but later denied ever signing it. The campaign to stop Butu Banton from performing anti-queer murder music is not over. Other concert promoters in several other cities are still sponsoring his concerts. AEG Live is the promoter behind most of the remaining concerts on Banton's US Tour. You can sign the LA Community Center's petition to AEG Live here: https://secure2.convio.net/laglc/site/SPageServer?pagename=Stop_Hate_Lyrics For a full list of cities still holding Buju Banton concerts, go the to Gay Liberation Network webpage. Please alert GLN if you are planning any protests in those cities. AUTHOR TAGS:anti-queer, anti-LGBT, violence, murder music, Buju Banton, Jamaica, Bruce Golding, Gay Liberation Network, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Live Nation, AEG Live, concerts, reggae, dancehall music
by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist The bisexual Brits are bringing it. An early announcement has been made about the 28th BiCon UK merging with the 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, happening in the UK, August 26-30, 2010--though specific venues are still to be announced-- "welcoming activists, academics, and the 'ordinary bisexual next door'." Its website is still skeletal--but the word is out.Being an ordinary bi/pansexual across the pond, I thought this would be an opportune time to discuss why you should head to a bi/pan/queer conference, especially if you've never been to one and your current environs are short on bi/pan/queer community. Reason #1 actually comes from an older coming out story of a lesbian woman living and trying to date women in the horrible 1950s, when homosexuals were a Cold War national security threat and gay bars were police favorites for raiding and intimidation. Living down South in a large city with several underground gay bars, this young lesbian got arrested in such a raid and dragged downtown with other usual queer suspects to be booked. Lo and behold, the police had swept all gay bars in the city on that night and packed them into one holding area. The dyke was amazed. Never in her young life had she seen so many queers in one place before. Deep in closeted 50s America, it changed her perspective and her life forever.Now, you don't have to get arrested (unless you want to). But if you are bisexual and you have never been in a room packed with hundreds of bisexual/pansexual/fluid sexuality queers before, then going to a bi conference and having that experience just might change your life. The first I attended was in 1990, the First National Bisexual Conference in San Francisco. I was young and bursting at the seams to talk about so many things that I had trouble discussing with people who just couldn't get my sexuality, even if they were sympathetic and supportive. By the end of the convention I was so talked out, I didn't even want to discuss bisexual issues anymore. But, what is even more important, I got to discuss issues at an even deeper level of understanding than I had ever experienced, even in general queer spaces. So that's Reason #2: you can finally get into the deeper stuff that's been sitting there, undiscussed (maybe under-pressure?), because you are finally in an environment where most of the people around you get you.Reason #3: this won't be just a local UK bisexual conference; it will bring an international focus to conditions that people with fluid sexuality are facing around the world. Bisexuals could also benefit from exposure to other cultures' constructions of sexuality and gender. As a general rule, I think all Americans would do better to look outside their country's borders and know what's going on in the world beyond the typical media portrayal. Sadly, our media acts as bubble wrap for our brains against other perspectives from other nations. So this could be a pretty significant conference and could set the tone for activism in the next decade. But even if you can't make this one, look for things in your area or "in country." The Transcending Boundaries Conference, for bisexual/pansexual, trans/genderqueer, intersex and polyamorous people and allies is still on this November 20-22 in Worcester, MA. Follow the link.I close with this logo from an earlier 90s bi conference in the UK. I like the "have your cake and eat it" approach. After all, how are you going to eat your cake, unless you have it?
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by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist No sooner had news gone out about the 2009 Bi Health Summit, but the religious right was on it like white on rice. The website Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, run by Peter LaBarbera, absolutely misquoted and distorted the information brought out at the 2009 Bi Health Summit. Cheryl Dobinson, Amy André and other researchers reported that out of a national survey measure for sexual orientation that included "Heterosexual," "Gay," "Lesbian," "Bisexual," and "Something else," of a grouping of lesbian, gay, and bisexual identified respondents, 50% identified as bisexual. LaBarbera charged that "Half of Homosexuals Are Bisexual . . .," totally misstating research. Maybe someone should go over with him the concept of a sexual continuum. Who's ready to take one for the team? As for the big revelation that there are lots of bisexuals, Americans have had full knowledge of the Kinsey Reports for 50 years. Catch up. Please.Bisexual people are not used to a lot of visibility and the bi community is underdeveloped, compared to the lesbian and gay community. Greater visibility from the Bi Health Summit and LGBTI Health Summit has drawn the religious right like bees to honey. Our hard-earned visibility around bisexual/pansexual/queer health is being, and will continue to be, used against us. I suspected that information from the Summits could be distorted by the right when I saw a simple story earlier this week. A study revealed that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals were twice as likely to seek out mental health counseling. Leave it to a right-wing website to turn that around, to make it seem bad that LGB were taking responsibility for their own mental health--it's a so-called report that stigmatizes not only lesbian, gay and bisexual people but also anyone seeking mental healthcare. Bisexual activists and healthcare advocates must take notice of how their work will be used against them and prepare accordingly. For a queer response to the right's "discovery" of bisexuals, see this link to Box Turtle Bulletin--plenty of input from LGBT readers.
by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist I look at things through an activist lens. Give me facts, give me info, but above all, give me ideas on what to do next. By the end of the Bi Health Summit, the last hour and a half of programming, you could feel the brain death. Everyone was wiped, probably experiencing information overload, and finding focus for creating a bisexual health agenda became difficult.How grateful was I, then, when Stephen Simon, AIDS Co-ordinator for the City of Los Angeles, pulled off a BiHealth Top Ten list, drawn from the 25 recommendations crafted by Julie Ebin, Marshal Miller, Amy Andre, and Leona Bessonova in their groundbreaking bisexual health report. Yes, Stephen, I still owe you. Top Ten Things To Do For Bisexual Health AdvocacyTake non-programmatic steps to make your agency or practice as a whole more inclusive of bisexual people by having posters and pamphlets with "bisexual" or "LGBT" prominently mentioned (rather than just "gay and lesbian") in your waiting area. Use these terms in advertising and outreach materials.Fund programs! Recognize that there are significant health disparities and that traditional gay or lesbian-focused programs and services do not necessarily address the needs of MSMW/WSMW* of any identity.Create programs that specifically target bisexual people, tailoring them according to the needs of your community. If it's not feasible to replicate these programs at this time, you can still revise existing programs to be more inclusive.Understand the difference between sexual identity and sexual behavior. Promote this understanding with your colleagues, staff and boss.Increase research that targets bisexual people specifically, asking both behavioral and identity-based questions. The research is fundamental, as funders and practitioners need it to be able to fund and create programs and services. Recruit MSMW/WSMW and bisexually-identified individuals** for policy and/or funding advisory groups and grant/proposal readers.Work together to provide training on bisexuality for local health groups. Distribute information on bisexuality to your own and other area health providers. Ask your own and other doctors/counselors/therapists to have the materials available for their colleagues, in their waiting rooms and anywhere that bisexuals might need to be welcomed.In the general health arena, attend professional and grassroots national health conferences and speak out on issues that affect MSMW, WSMW, and bisexuals.In the bisexual arena, support health organizing and educational efforts at national and international bisexual or bisexually-inclusive conferences.Help the Bisexual Health Summits to go forward.While the list clearly targets healthcare professionals and people working in larger mainstream agencies, a street-level activist can get a lot of mileage by just promoting a few things on this list. The Fenway Health Institute has bi-specific safer sex pamphlets and safer sex pamphlets that integrate safer sex for WSMW and MSMW, whatever their identity. Julie Ebin has helped to develop at Fenway bisexual health clinical education modules that are designed to assist training of healthcare providers to be culturally competent with their fluid sexuality clients. The modules can be used in tandem with the institute's book, The Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health.*** The modules can be downloaded from Fenway's website and are free. Hear that, administrators? Free, free, free! One thing that was pretty much--well, nearly--it's practically a done deal--it looks like Portland will be the next spot for the 2011 Bi Health Summit. Stay tuned. *MSMW=men who have sex with men and women; WSMW=women who have sex with men and women. **I think it bears emphasizing that "bisexually-identified" should be taken to mean any identity that is part of the fluid sexuality pantheon--pansexual, omnisexual, queer, etc. ***or email: email@example.com
by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist It was a pleasure to be able to hear Wendy Bostwick and Grady Garner's presentations at the 2009 Bi Health Summit once again during the first day of the LGBTI Health Summit, since it allowed for more discussion from those attending and the presenters did not have speed through their findings. Convenience studies--smaller studies done to target a specific group who are usually accessed through community resources or settings, or learn of the study by word-of-mouth or referral--are not the studies of choice for a lot of researchers. Large population studies provide more reliable data and more diverse participants across social, economic, racial, and education backgrounds. But smaller convenience and pilot studies are more affordable for researchers (no small factor when one is competing for research funding) and can point the way toward further research. Plus, when done qualitatively with in-depth interviews, rather than respondents just checking off pre-formed answers, the responses can humanize statistical reality.A study on the impact of biphobia on bisexual women, conducted by Wendy Bostwick, Assistant Professor of Public Health at Northern Illinois University, has many of the typical drawbacks of a convenience study--being overwhelmingly weighted toward white, highly educated women. But its findings in mental health for bi women are fairly similar. 50% of her respondents met the criteria for depression set by the CES-D*, while larger national surveys found bisexual women at the highest of all other sexual orientation groups for mood disorders--a whopping 58.7%. (Depression for straight women stands at about 20%)Bostwick analyzes her findings within the context of stigma, as defined by Erving Goffman (1963): "Stigma is a process of naming differentness." She also relies on the framework for establishing stigma--or a group as stigmatized--developed by Bruce Link and Jo Phelan (2001). Naming difference and singling out people for separation and status loss is always about power. Her preliminary analysis finds that the higher degree of consciousness regarding bisexual stigma correlates with her respondents' higher levels of depression. Regrettably, she still had to analyze levels of "outness" in her respondents to reveal if disclosing bi identity or activity had any impact on bisexual stigma consciousness.By far, most agreed strongly with the following statements: "Bisexual stereotypes affect me," "I fear lesbian women will reject me," "I fear others view my identity as unreal." Interestingly, the respondents agreed least with the statement: "I wish I wasn't bisexual."The fear of rejection by lesbian women was the highest, while fear of rejection by straight women was around the middle, and fear of rejection by straight men ranked the lowest in the respondents' concerns. The theme of isolation came up frequently for bisexual women. While all the quotations from in-depth interviews with them were poignant, this one spoke to the issue of isolation:"It sort of puts a moat between you and other people. Where you cannot become intimate or make good friendships if you feel like you have to explain to someone who's not gonna get it . . . And it does, I think it does isolate me." --Stella, 36Stella (not her real name) has a rather interesting story. Raised in a strict religious family, her mother, a Roman Catholic, told her to "stay away from boys," so she did. She started having relationships with women at 15 and remained identifying as lesbian until she began sexually experimenting with men in her 20s. Now married to a man, she finds it difficult to find people to disclose her past to who will understand. Whenever friends make remarks about lesbians and gay men, she would rather say, "Well, I used to be a lesbian . . ." but refrains from saying it because it sounds all wrong. She is not ex-gay and doesn't want to give that impression to straight people.I make mention of this one study that shows student bisexual women are not doing so well academically in higher education, because of the demographic Bostwick is studying and because, on a personal note, college got psychologically harder for me once I came out bi. I needed so many answers that no one around me was giving. But that's a story for another day. My impression from the Bi Health Summit overall was that studies focussing on bi women still outnumbered studies of bisexual men, unless those bi male studies are exploring factors regarding HIV/STDs. That's really a shame, since bisexual men have been receiving negative attacks in the media over the last few years, from both straight and gay sources, and even so-called "positive" articles on bi men still manage to work in the opinion that they may not really exist, let alone whether someone should date them. If it's that bad for bisexual men in general, bisexual men of color may be receiving the least non-judgmental, non-stereotypical treatment. Grady Garner's convenience pilot study on the impact of biphobia on bisexual black men drew from an even smaller sample than Bostwick's for bi women. Garner, from DePaul University, has been working in LGBT health for 15 years and is on the Board of Directors for the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention and the Brothers Health Collective. Because so little research has been done on being black, bi, and male, Garner wants to find how such men are dealing with multiple oppressions. His study is also designed to understand the coping strategies of black bi men and whether they are influenced by the tactics they have learned in dealing with racism. Is there in fact, a certain resilience born of coping with racism that teaches them how to deal with heterosexism and biphobia? Grady himself emphasized the need to locate the office in which he took the interviews in a quiet, unremarkable office space, with no signage or any indication that the spot was LGBT-related. He noted that black bi men are not quick to come out about their identity and that discretion was the most talked about aspect of their coping strategy--coming out only to very close friends or not at all. In fact, some respondents directly said that there was no need to come out, that it was no one's business.33% of respondents had experienced heterosexism and/or biphobia, while 67% reported not experiencing discrimination regarding their bisexuality. The respondents who had no run-ins with heterosexism and biphobia reported having supportive family, peers, work environment and supportive experience in the gay community. The study, however, does not measure for "outness" or degrees of outness, which in my opinion, is a critical omission for assessing the reality for multiple oppressions in this group. Garner did mention the primacy of race for his respondents and their coping strategy of putting race first as a concern and bisexuality next. Garner discussed the value of not coming out, or avoidance, as a worthwhile strategy for individuals in the short term, while long term consequences may be more suspect. Garner also discussed negative coping mechanisms, such as role-flexing--being hard and masculine to divert suspicion, or engaging in homophobic or biphobic behavior.I appreciate that Garner's study is trying to do a lot in measuring multiple oppressions, but there were times when I felt his analysis was so preliminary, its presentation to the Bi Health Summit was somewhat premature. I am glad there was time for a discussion on the impact of notions of masculinity on black men. I'm grateful to ednpride (I know you, Ed) for posting these video clips of a performance of black bi men's concerns regarding acceptance and health during the break-out session of the Bi Health Summit. Presentation "Bi Cultural Competency and Men of Color" from Jeffrey McCune of the University of Maryland and Alexander Sewell (contributing performer/scholar, Alcolu Lymon was unable to attend): I want to add on these two gems of black bi male expression because there is such a dire need for visibility. I found their personal stories and personal expressions of faith, since that is such a profound element of African American culture, to be deeply humanizing. Just tryin' to make it in this world--that's what it's all about. *Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale--one of the most common screening tests used to help determine an individual's depression quotient.
by Paige Listerudaka Max the Communist Amy André, Julie Ebin, Marshall Miller, and Leona Bessonova put together the 2007 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Bisexual Health Report, which every bi/pan/queer person should read and get into the hands of healthcare professionals. Your own doctor may need to understand the health risks for sexually fluid people and how to be culturally competent in addressing them. Feel like you can't come out to your doctor/health provider? If you don't, for health's sake, consider finding one in whom you can confide all your health care needs. The report is substantial. However, suppose you want to tell someone in a New York minute why bisexual health is so important. One solution is Amy Andre's Elevator Speech on Bisexual Health; information that you can pass on in the time it takes to ride an elevator. According to the CDC National Survey on Family Growth, of the sexual identities "lesbian," "gay," and "bisexual" (queer, pansexual, etc., were not measured for*), bisexual identification amounted to 50% of respondents. That means of that nationally half of all LGB are bisexual. When broken down among men and women, there are twice as many gay identified men as bi identified men and twice as many bi identified women as lesbian identified women. Graph that and it sort of looks like a peace sign. In earlier presentation, André noted that transgender people were simply filed under men or women. Transgenders have as much trouble as bisexuals in getting researchers and funders of health research to separate out populations and specify research for their particular group. The push was on at the LGBTI Health Summit to get researchers and government agencies to distinctly include transgender people in large population studies. Bi and trans people can't make a very good case for their needs without data. So, people with fluid sexuality are 50% of LGB queers. That's the end of the "surprising news" portion. The bad news is that in all the factors that are measured for health risk, bisexuals show the greatest risk, over straight people and lesbians and gay men. So in all these areas, bisexuals are at worst risk:AlcoholSubstance AbuseTobaccoHIV/STDsCancerHeart DiseaseDepressionAnxietySelf-harmSuicideViolence, Domestic Violence, and Sexual AbuseOkay, breathe. Remember that having bad news is better than no news at all and is definitely better than flying blind, thinking that your problems are just your individual fault. Homophobia and biphobia have worked their worst on us. Now that we can look at its impact on us in a quantifiable way, we can face it. So that low grade depression you've been feeling? Or the worry you feel about whether you'll be accepted or understood for being bi? That doesn't just happen all in your head, without any significant meaning for the rest of your life. It can hurt you. It can really, physically hurt you. If you are bisexual, pansexual, queer, or a person of fluid sexuality and you feel isolated and without community support, take the initiative to find support. Mike Szymanski and Nicole Kristal, who co-authored A Bisexual's Guide to the Universe, gave great advice: if you're bi, you're going to need to get out and meet lots and lots of bi friends, as well as bi-supportive straight, lesbian, gay, and transgender friends. Here's where I put in a plug about building community for fluid sexuality folks. Virtual online communities are not communities, even if they do help in the short term. We need to see and be around fluid sexuality folks and the people who love and accept us. Being surrounded by toxic, homophobic/biphobic people is bad for your health! Take the initiative to either drop them out of your life or limit your contact with them as much as possible. You have every reason to promote a healthier environment for yourself. I urge all bi/pan/queer people everywhere to come out--largely for my own selfish reasons. I don't want to be out here alone, doing this kind of work. I need plenty of partners in crime. But I also recognize that people have to work within their own social and psychological parameters for safety and security. Come out as you can, as you see fit. Keep pushing the parameters so that you don't stagnate in unhealthy, dangerous isolation. Work as you are able "behind the scenes" if that's what you can do. In the words of Will Rogers, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Now, here is a little clip of Amy Andre from last year, when she curated "Bi Request," a program of short films by and for bisexuals, for Frameline's LGBTQ film fest in San Francisco. Notice how she squeezes bisexual health information in between talk about the film fest and Lindsay Lohan. *The survey question was, "Do you think of yourself as Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual, or Something Else?" Not brought up at the Summit was the fact that "Something Else" was nearly twice as large as "Bisexual." AUTHOR TAGS:
The 2009 Bi Health Summit is fast upon us. Taking place Friday, August 14, at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, the summit is the second of its kind in North America and is tied to the larger LGBTI Health Summit, which continues on through Tuesday. There is still time to register for the event or volunteer, just follow the links. $75 per day and $200 for the whole summit. Studies over the last three years have indicated that bisexuals have equal or worse health disparities in comparison to lesbian women and gay men. Bisexual men and women report greater levels of depression and anxiety and show a greater tendency toward suicide than lesbian and gay counterparts. Bisexuals are more likely to be underinsured and have more limited access to healthcare than lesbians and gay men. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. This is a very important event for the bisexual community in America. Cheryl Dobinson, bisexual activist, healthcare advocate, and editor of The Fence, a bi women's magazine out of Toronto, will be leading the keynote address. Here is the rest of the schedule for the Bi Health Summit. Looking at both the bi summit and LGBTI summit schedules, I had an early 90s flashback. I remembered looking at lists of bi organizations back then, culled together by the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, comparing that list to the number of gay and lesbian organizations in the local pink pages--a phone book for the Chicago lesbian and gay community. At the time, Chicago alone still had more listings for lesbian and gay organizations than the entire catalogue for bi groups across the nation. Bi/pan/queer/fluid sexuality community is so puny and underdeveloped. Well, compare and despair, as they say in AA. I can also compare today to the 90s and see the distance that we have come, in that lesbian and gay organizations take us seriously, where they didn't before. Some gay men and lesbian women still think we don't exist or "bi now, gay later" or that we're just greedy, but more and more don't. That's an achievement of sorts. To the next 20 years! Also, it looks like we'll have a fine time at the Minibar reception for the Bi Health Summit Thursday, August 13, 6:30 t0 9:30 pm, and another libation laden reception for the LGBTI Health Summit at the Chicago Hilton's Buckinghams Friday, August 14, 6-9 pm. The Abbey of the Windy City Sisters, local Mission of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, INC., will be present Friday night to bless the event. I feel healthier already. The Transcending Boundaries Conference has put out a call for proposals for presentations, panels, and speakers. TBC is a conference for the bisexual/pansexual, trans/genderqueer, intersex and polyamorous communities. It began in 2001 as a conference for those who blur the lines of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Deadline for submissions is September 15. Conference dates are November 20-22, in Worchester, MA. Go here to download the presentation proposal form. The 21st Annual International Twospirit Gathering is taking place October 7-11, in Estes Park, Colorado. Two Spirit is a contemporary term coined to express the Native American belief of two spirits, masculine and feminine residing in the same person. Many North American indigenous nations have a term in their own language for such a concept and Native LGBTQ activists use it as part of a modern movement to reclaim the honored role two spirit people would have in their traditional cultures. I listed these dates before, but I'm happy to include it with this update. Manifest Destiny rubbed out much of indigenous culture in its juggernaut across the west. I grew up a little white girl on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and much of myself was formed by the divide between Indian and white. The poster image for the conference above is artwork done by Gina Gray. AUTHOR TAGS:bisexual, pansexual, fluid sexuality, transgender, intersex, genderqueer, two spirit, bi health summit, lgbti health summit, transcending boundaries conference, international two spirit gathering, community
My dear friend, and partner-in-crime is selling some prints of the photos we've created together (our Skeleton Key Studios stuff) on Etsy! :DExtra added bonus: You can also purchase some of the clothing we've used in our photoshoots! Woot! :)chistudios.etsy.comCheck it out!chistudios.etsy.com
No Photoshop, all light and camera.
No Photoshop, all light and camera.
No Photoshop, all light and camera.
BWA founder announces new bisexual column on Examiner.comSheela Lambert, founder of the Bi Writers Association, announces her new bisexuality column on the Examiner. She will be covering bisexuality-related news, bisexual characters in TV series & movies, bisexual books, bisexual music, bisexual celebrities and will be interviewing bi book authors, bi songwriters, bi politicians, bi community activists and will publish lists of bisexual resources.You can access her first three columns on her NY Bisexual Relationships Examiner page. And while you're there, you can Subscribe to Email notifying you when she has posted a new column and check out her list of the Best Bisexual Books of 2008, in a sidebar to the right.
If you wish, feel free to play this song while you read the rest of the post: The coming out of Blue singer Duncan James as bisexual in a News of the World interview has spread far and wide internationally. It's heartening to read the refreshing candor of his interview. Also, sprinkled amongst the stunned disbelief of fans and homophobic response, men and women opened up in unaffected comments about their own coming out struggles: "I'm 27 bisexual and i've just told a couple of friends and my brother and sister. So duncan i think you have given hope to us all i only hope people can stop being so homophobic as doesn't everyone deserve the right to live there own life there way it would be a dull world if everyone was the same . . ." "I'm a 48 year old man who only came out to family and friends within the last two years . . ." "Well done duncan!! im a bi male and it is difficult . .hopefully you will have inspired people to do the same as you :)" "It is frightening that there are people out there calling him a 'disgusting human being' - vicious dictators are disgusting human beings, not someone who happens to be bisexual. What's wrong with the world?" But it couldn't happen without also generating some biphobia in its wake. It wasn't unusual to see derogatory and stereotypical comments from some in the gay community, such as these at pink.co.uk: "Yet another fence-sitting queen frightened he might alienate his female fans, thus sending his record sales and quasi-celebrity status into a flat spin. Admit you're a faggot maybe what you lose on the girls you'll make on the boys." "A lot of so called "bi's" are in denial. It's safer to say you enjoy WOMEN and that they're more emotional than men which is definitely NOT true. . . I've met some pretty screwed up so called bi men, married and single, who claim that romance is reserved for women only, go figure. . . I'm very leery of people who call themselves "bi" for the most part." "there's no such thing as bi-sexual, its just greediness" "'Biphobia?' Where did that come from? *hurries away to check the OED* I'm not biphobic, just a good observer of human nature. I'll give him a year or two before he finally owns up to being a complete cocksucker. It is the homophobes of this world that exacerbate this situation where people have to pretend to being 50/50. It's all about testing the water. ('If it goes well, I'll admit to being gay, if it doesn't, I can retreat back to girlfriends, no harm done.'). . . I guarantee if there was no homophobia in this world, there would be no bisexuals either. Thank goodness it wasn't all bad--there was healthy response from bi-positive commenters. What has really impressed me, though, was the rapid response of UK's Bisexual Index, a British bisexual activist organization, who responded with a column from member Marcus Morgan: "I am a bisexual man, and I use that word because I want to be honest. So if people want me to come out as 'gay' then I'd need the word 'homosexual' to mean 'sexually attracted to both the same sex and the opposite sex.' . . . I have met hundred of bisexuals and when the question of being out as bi on the gay scene comes up, everyone agrees: being denied a voice is bad enough but being denied our existence is appalling." Kudos Bisexual Index! Most bi activism in the US to any denial of our existence online has focussed on alerting bisexuals to bombard biphobic columnists in the comments sections of their derogatory posts. What we should also be doing is demanding space online from those same publications to express our point of view, especially when that publication has a LGBTQ readership. Visibility has to be fought for. I hardly think that biphobia is the "last bastion of prejudice," but that doesn't make me any less impressed by gay Brit Gary Nunn's attack on bi stereotyping in the Guardian. Michael Musto, Andrew Sullivan, Ted Casablanca, are you paying attention? Here is a fellow gay man not succumbing to the same old willful blindness to fluid sexuality--in men or in women. No, it's not treason to gayness. Blue has reunited for another tour. Hmmm. Their promo photo shoot is certainly interesting. AUTHOR TAGS:
Photo: Donna F. AcetoMy First WinLammy award-winner Jenny Block writes about the night she won the Bisexual Lammy Award for her book, Open. Check out her article on Curve Magazine at http://www.curvemag.com/Curve-Magazine/Web-Articles-2008/My-First-Win/
Bi Visibility Digest from Living the Bi Life blogfor you commie, homolesboswitchhittertranny-lovin' sons-of-gunsby BWA member Max the CommunistBringing Out Bi/Pan/Queer Pride I have yet to receive photos from Chicago Bi/Queer Meetup's participation in Chicago's Pride Parade last Sunday. All of Noel's efforts generated a sterling and enthusiastic group of bi, pansexual, queer, and polyamorous activists to march with our bi/poly truck. As promised, I showed up as Anita Bisexual, love-child of Anita Bryant and Camille Paglia. Although the wicked wind tossed my wig into a hot mess, the crowd really responded positively to us and to Anita, especially her sign, "A Day Without Queers Is Like a Day Without Sunshine." I did go searching for other evidence of bi-ness within LGBTQ Pride celebrations. Here are a few results: Polys and bisexuals in San Francisco Pride Parade. Los Angeles says "Biphobia Is So Last Year." Birmingham Bisexuals making love count. Here's a quick clip of the Toronto BiNet Float. Send me your links to other Bi/Pan/Queer and Poly Pride images for your city or town. You know I will do my best to post them here. However, I don't think anyone here in the States was prepared for . . . India's Queer Explosion!Here are some great pics of New Delhi's Pride Celebrations, a very daring thing to take part in, given the social conservatism of the country. I, for one, was very moved by the blatant bisexuality . . .and the lovely hijras . . .But parades in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore were just the beginning of India's LGBTQ explosion. A day after I found these images, I got the news alert that, in a landmark decision, India's High Court ruled against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized same-sex behavior. The ruling is India's equivalent of our Lawrence v. Texas, which declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in the US. Since then, more news has leaked out regarding bisexual, pansexual, and queer involvement in the fight against 377. An activist from the BIACT-L listserv reported that she heard an Indian bi activist being interviewed on NPR. Then Robyn Ochs, Boston bisexual activist, speaker, and editor of Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals from Around the World, informed me that two contributors to her book took part in the campaign against 377--Apphia K. and Rajiv Dua.Here is another story: Indian bi activist Manohar Elavarthi is running for office, building on a coalition across social and economic strata, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. The article first identifies him as a gay man, but further down it acknowledges him as bisexual. He is currently with a male partner.Finally, bisexual Indian author Vikram Seth, a member of Voices Against 377, spoke out that more needs to be done for India's LGBTQ community: Vikram Seth has long addressed gay and bisexual issues in his novels and poetry. Gay and bisexual characters are centrally featured in novels like The Golden Gate and A Suitable Boy. (Supposedly, Seth is working on a sequel to the latter, called A Suitable Girl.) In an early poem, "Dubious," he states, "Some men like Jack and some like Jill/I'm glad I like them both but still/I wonder if this freewheeling/Really is an enlightened thing,/Or is its greater scope a sign/Of deviance from some party line?/In the strict ranks of Gay and Straight/What is my status: Stray? Or Great?"I focus on the switchhitters, but all Indian LGBTQ and allies should absolutely take pride in their hard work and courage. I worry about a backlash. Still, they made it this far. Go India!Bisexuals Sneak Into the White HouseOkay, they really didn't really sneak in, but BiNet didn't receive an official invitation to the White House's LGBT Pride soiree. So Robyn Ochs and her partner Peg Preble got in under the wire with their Task Force connections. Other official bisexuals in attendance were Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown. It was a big deal of sorts. Obama included bisexuals and transgendered people in his address commemorating June as LGBT Pride Month, which is somewhat more than Bill Clinton did. But come on--after hundreds of LGBT military personnel thrown out under Obama's watch; after that horrendous DOJ brief on DOMA, comparing same-sex relationships to incest--WTF, Obama? Yeah. Thanks for the wine and cheese. Now, where are my rights?A few bi politicians issued some Happy 4th of July statements. Interesting to read these and news from across the pond where Labour competes with the Tories over who is more gay-friendly. It's like a blurry vision from an alternate universe. Their conservatives try to prove how much better they are for queers; our conservatives wear homophobia like a badge of honor. Helping us through the looking-glass is Peter Tatchell, longtime gay activist who got arrested with Chicago GLN's Andy Thayer at Russia's Pride events earlier this year. Again--Gordon, David--where are our rights? Alan Cumming is Bi-Safer-Sexy! Alright Mr. Three-way, did you really do the ad to promote safer sex and condom use, or are you just bragging about your sex life? Damn him for bogarting all the bi chic. I would change the hot dog/penis graphics. They're a little too dizzying. If you'd like to read more on how this zany thing was created, never fear. I am your total bi connection. The Hidden Queerness of "Jersey Boys" It's been running in Chicago since forever, but I've never been interested enough in the musical Jersey Boys to go see it--at least not until I saw this article. Apparently, the Four Seasons' producer, Bob Crewe was bi and Jersey Boys covers that story in the plot. A songwriter as well as producer, Bob's crafting of the hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" came as an inspiration from his gay lover. It's one man's love song to another man. Tila Tequila Gets Political Okay. I never, ever, ever thought I would see the day, but bi porn celeb Tila Tequila, former star of MTV's "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," has expressed a desire to turn activist. Her latest Tweets have revealed a plan to unleash her 3,833,688 MySpace friends on President Obama for not halting Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell. Some gay guys over at queerty.com think she's just looking for attention. But I think she is truly inspired by Dan Choi. Can you blame her? That man is one righteous ball of gay fierceness. I say, Tila, whatever sets you on fire. How much more convincing does the President need? Colin Powell has joined over 100 generals in calling for an end to DADT. It's not about taking heed from "more respectable authorities" on the subject anymore--Obama certainly isn't listening to people I'd respect. So, go for it, Tila! Unleash the hounds! Bisexual Navy Man Shot Dead "Execution Style" Really, because how much more of this crap are we going to put up with? Much as that is a rhetorical question, service members like Seaman August Provost deserve better than to be thrown out like trash or executed in the dark of night while they are just performing their duties. Provost's murder was the most depressing news alert I scavenged from last month, but there was more. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stonewall--and yet police are still raiding gay bars in this country! Chad Gibson received an injury in that raid and could still die due to a blot clot from that injury. At 29. Insane! Apparently, queers still need to fight the cops, given that the police are bashing lesbians in Brooklyn and queer activist conventioneers in Chicago. Is this how far we've come? Are we going to have to party like it's 1969? Because it isn't just the nut jobs who make you tear your hair out, like Oklahoma's Sally Kern and her "Proclamation for Morality." It's incidents like this one, where the security at a No Doubt concert harassed a couple of young women for kissing. Really? For kissing? At a No Doubt concert? In Canada? Well, those last stories were real downers, so here's a little pick-me-up: Zachary Quinto as Smudge in the series "Off-Centre"--a WB sitcom that ran from October 2001 to October 2002. *sigh* I discovered it a bit late, but better late than never.They killed Freedom! Those bastards! Beware my bisexual fury!
Bisexual Art Show: Call for SubmissionsSeeking artists who identify as Bisexual (or with a label inclusive of bisexuality, such as Pansexual, Omnisexual, Ambisexual or Queer), to submit paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, or sculptures relating to their experiences of living as a bisexual person. This project is an opportunity for artists to represent what being bisexual means to them and to help promote the wide variety of people who are bisexual. Artists selected for the exhibition will have their work on display in the art gallery at the Good Vibrations on Polk Street from October 8 to November 26, 2009. There will be a formal opening for the event at the beginning of the exhibition. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2009. For more info see website. or email curator at BiArtSF@gmail.com.
FRESH FRUIT FESTIVAL: LGBT Theater, Arts & CultureJuly 9th - July 27th Locations around ManhattanHighlites of interest to the bi community:THEATER: BISEXUAL PLAY!PERSEPHONE’S AUTUMNby Suellen RubinAn eternal story for the young: Meet, love, leave or stay for a while. Does it still work in late middle age? Past 60, do what's new? What do you do when your girlhood is in the last century? Therapy? An affair? These are the questions facing Damita, an aging bisexual woman searching for never-ending youth.7:30 pm - Friday July 24, 2009 -Bi Women of All Colors is going to this showing!2:30 pm - Saturday, July 25, 2009Admission: $20.Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26th Street (9-10 Ave), New York, NY 1001 (212-760-9800)For Tickets: (212) 352-3101 / (866) 811-4111 / theatermania.comV-LOVEby Lucile Scottdirected by Scout DurwoodV-Love tells the intertwined stories of six post-modern women using dialogue, song, dance, spoken word, beatboxing and burlesque, All of it MCed by a bumbling yet lovely Minstrel strumming along on her guitar. They sing, dance and talk their way through some sticky situations, even enlisting help from the audience along the way in this multi-media cabaret play.8:30 pm - Wednesday, July 22, 20098:30 pm - Thursday, July 23, 20099:30 pm - Saturday, July 25, 200912:30 pm - Sunday, July 26, 2009Admission: $20.Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26th Street (9-10 Ave), New York, NY 10001 (212-760-9800)For Tickets: (212) 352-3101 / (866) 811-4111 / theatermania.comDANCEOPEN FRUIT BARRE: Three choreographers/ four dance pieces--performed on one bill-on two days! THE SWANdanced and choreographed by Ian Archer WattersIn homage to the great Maya Plisetskaya who danced "The Dying Swan,"Lamaya Plisetswanskaya dances "The Swan" who does not die but dances on forever. Music? Saint-Saens. Choreography? She starts with Fokine. Color? You'll adore her pink cheeks, full fire engine red lips, sparkling eyes that pick up the light. Costume? Black tutu, swan-like feathers, crown of diamonds with a decorative black feather headpiece. Extravagance? Her eyelashes are nearly as long as her nose and studded with diamonds. Agility? She balances en pointe! You'll cheer. ACCIDENT". . . AND NO DESSERT!"danced and choreographed by Marissa MaislenAn undergraduate in dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Marissa Maislenreceived the NYU Stein Scholarship, two NYU Tisch Summer DanceScholarships, the NYU CV Scholarship, and the NYU Tisch EckhouseScholarship. In 2002 she traveled with Pacific Dance Ensemble to Japan where she collaborated and choreographed a show with the Toshitsuna Ensemble. Her solo piece Accident deals with the conflict between who we are and the stereotypes that define us. ". . . And No Dessert" explores women's place in society.FEVER!choreographed by Christopher J. AndersonCombining the surrealism of fantasy with the magic of the mind this performance voyage explores styles, scenarios, gay love, fetishes and sensual fantasy. Using original costumes with vivid colors and imaginative designs, The Rhythm Knights bring to the stage one man's musical journey expressed through exciting, mysterious and tantalizing dance and energetic and upbeat song.4:00 pm - Saturday, July 25, 20093:00 pm - Sunday, July 26, 2009Admission: $20.Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26th Street (9-10 Ave), New York, NY 10001 (212-760-9800)For Tickets: (212) 352-3101 / (866) 811-4111 / theatermania.comSPECIAL EVENTSGOING BANANAS-COMEDY NIGHTHosted by Lady Clover HoneyThe glittering Fruits of Comedy take the stage.6:00 pm - Saturday, July 11, 2009Admission: $10.00 cover / 2 drink minimumDon’t Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036 (212-757-0788)FRESH FRUIT PLAYHOUSE AND OPEN MICHosted by Lady Clover HoneyCalling all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender performers and their friends: You are cordially invited to perform at the Fresh Fruit Playhouse and Open Mic. Celebrate LGBT contributions to the arts! Many Open Mic performers have been invited to perform at other Fresh Fruit festival events. Bring your music, short plays, poems, and kazoos. To sign up, write . . . or arrive 15 minutes before the shown to sign up.7:00 pm - Wednesday, July 15, 2009Admission: $7.00 / EverybodyThe Nuyorican Poets Cafe236 East 3rd Street, (Between Ave B & C) New York, NY 10009 (212-780-9386)KIDSJOURNEY THROUGH THE RAINBOWby Nick Curto and Hal RainbowA fun-filled puppet fantasy for children ages 5-9.Two families picnic in the park after watching the Gay Pride Parade. The afternoon turns into an exciting, event- filled journey when their children decide to explore. The boy and girl find a waterfall that leads them into a rainbow landscape where they meet various friendly and sometimes scary characters: Sigmund Squirrel, Henrietta the Orange Bird, the Talking Sunflowers, Big Ears Eddie, the Green Three-Eyed Monster, Madame Jessica Octopus, One Big Scary Shark and the Demon Dragon. But don't worry! There is nothing to be afraid of on this journey. These colorful puppets lead the children on a path of acceptance, joy and into the loving arms of their parents.10:00 am - Sunday, July 26, 2009Admission: $20.Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26th Street (9-10 Ave), New York, NY 10001 (212-760-9800)For Tickets: (212) 352-3101 / (866) 811-4111 / theatermania.comSee Fresh Fruit Festival Website for more events & info!Fresh Fruit wants you to submit bisexual plays for future Fests!
1776 apropos of 2009Inspired by the 4th of July, I was watching 1776 tonite, (the movie musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence) and a scene struck me as completely apropos of today concerning the New York State Senate:John Hancock: Mr. Morris, what in hell goes on in New York?!Lewis Morris: Have you ever been present at a meeting of the New York legislature? They speak very fast and very loud, and nobody listens to anybody else, with the result that nothing ever gets done.So apparently, nothing has changed in 233 years! We could have had Marriage Equality in New York by now if these bickering nincompoops actually did any work instead of playing childish power games.
MySpace page of murdered bi sailor revealedAugust Provost from his MySpace page:I am in the military and I enjoy working and helping my country fight for its freedom. I hope to get married and have kids one day but if not the kids, at least get married to my soulmate.The very first thing on his MySpace page is his love declaration to his boyfriend:My LOVE of my life KAETHERPhoto of Kaether from Album entitled "My Loves Backgrounds" on August's MySpace page:Another pic:"Me, My Sister, And Brother"Provost's MySpace profile states:Male 29 years old Camp Pendleton, California United States Ironically, in his blogpost of 6/27 he is mourning the death of Michael JacksonI miss Michael Jackson. R.I.P. my friend, never will die in my heart.Mood: murning Eerily, his myspace notes:Last Login: 6/28/2009 Which was only 1 week ago, but it will be the last everYou can see his myspace page here http://www.myspace.com/a_provost with more pics, blogposts about missing and loving Kaether and his family, etc.
Seaman August Provost, shown on his MySpace page, was killed while on sentry duty at Camp Pendleton.Bisexual Sailor MurderedCNN) -- A sailor found dead earlier this week at California's Camp Pendleton was shot while standing sentry, and a fire was set in an attempt to cover up evidence, the U.S. Navy said. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/03/california.sailor.death/The death of Seaman August Provost of Houston, Texas, is being investigated as a homicide, Capt. Matt Brown told reporters on Thursday. A sailor is in custody in the case, Brown said.Although at least one of Provost's relatives said she believes he was killed because of his sexual orientation and his race, Brown said there was no indication the killing was a hate crime. A U.S. congressman also said on Friday there are indications Provost may have been killed because of his sexual orientation.Provost was killed while he was standing guard as a sentry for the Assault Craft Unit 5 compound at Camp Pendleton, Brown said. He had begun the shift at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, and his body was discovered by his replacement around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday."Preliminarily, it appears that Seaman Provost suffered gunshot wounds and it appears that someone attempted to destroy evidence by lighting a fire at Seaman Provost's assigned place of duty," Brown said.Provost's aunt, Rose Roy, of Beaumont, Texas, said by telephone on Friday that her nephew had told her he was being harassed because of his sexual orientation and because he was African-American. She described him as bisexual. "He mentioned it to me and a couple other family members," she said of the harassment, and said he had first told her about it sometime last year. "He was frstrated by it," she said. She said she had advised him to speake to someone of higher rank, but said she wasn't sure if he had done so."He went to serve and protect, but he didn't get the protection," she said. Brown said Thursday that he had no information on claims of harassment.Asked whether she believed her nephew was killed because of race and sexual orientation, she said, "In my heart, I do." She added, "it was like an execution-style killing, and nobody does that unless you have that kind of hatred in your heart."The Navy has one sailor in custody who "has been linked to the commission of this crime through both physical evidence and his own statement," Brown said. Watch Brown talk about the killing as a random act »He did not identify the sailor, who has not been charged with wrongdoing. It is unclear if the sailor served with Provost in the same unit.A second sailor whom authorities initially questioned has since been released, Brown said.He said the Navy has no indication that Provost's death is a hate crime, although he emphasized the investigation is ongoing."What I can tell you, unequivocally at this point, based on the preliminary information that we have, is that regardless of the person standing watch in that sentry station, this crime would have most likely been carried out in the same way," he said."In other words, another sailor could have been on that post and would have been the victim of this crime."Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat, has called for a full and transparent investigation. Asked Friday if Provost was killed because of his sexual orientation, he said, "There are indications that that's the case. His family says he was harassed."Filner said he was on Camp Pendleton hours after Provost's body was found, although no one told him of the killing."When I was on the base for another event, the commander of the base was sitting next to me and never mentioned a word, which I find very strange," he said.He said he was asking for the "truth of what happened.""We're going to ask, if I may coin a phrase, and we hope that they tell," he said.Roy said her nephew was "a good kid," who didn't have a "bad bone in his body" and had loved the Navy. He joined the service in March 2008, according to Brown."He was a people person," Roy said. "If he could give you the shirt off his back, he would." **********In other reports, he is described as gay http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/01/ca-sailor-death-070109/ and http://rodonline.typepad.com/rodonline/august-provost/ .
Robyn Ochs at Summit Ron Suresha, Robyn Ochs & Renata Moreira Photos by Barbara FortuneTranscript of Robyn Ochs Keynote Speech National Summit on Putting the "B" in LGBTRobyn wowed the Summit with her Keynote speech and we're very pleased to have a transcript to share with you! You can also listen to it on Robyn's website http://www.robynochs.com/Files/BiMediaSummitKeynote.mp3I’m Robyn Ochs, and I identify as bisexual, and I most certainly exist. (laughter and applause) A big thanks to the conference organizers and volunteers and to the sponsoring organizations. And thanks to everyone here for choosing to take time out of your busy, overbooked lives to be inside on this beautiful, sunny day to listen, learn and to share your own thoughts. The theme of this conference is putting the B into LGBT. L..G..B..T. I went to a trans conference a few years back, and one of the speakers made reference to the “LGB-fake T community.” I thought, “Um, hum.” I sat there in the audience thinking that our community could also be called the “LG-fake B-fake T community.” And sometimes even the “G-fake L-fake-B-fake-T community.” On our inclusion report cards, the box for “needs improvement” will certainly be checked. So the B is not the only letter we have trouble with. But in fact, that is what we are here today to focus on. Keep in mind though, that almost everything I say about inclusion could be applied to other groups as well. But we are here today to focus on this particular letter. So in this keynote, I’ll talk about why I think people have so much difficulty seeing and understanding bisexuality. The panels that follow will provide us with greater specificity and focus. I’ll start by laying out a few of my own assumptions so that you know where I’m coming from, and then I’ll address some obstacles to fair and accurate representation of bisexuals. Here are my assumptions: Fact: Human sexuality exists on a continuum. Some people are exclusively homosexual, some are exclusively heterosexual, and some of us fall somewhere along the continuum. The sexuality continuum is a big one. It doesn’t just have three points. There is a whole lot of variety between the poles. Fact: We don’t all have the same ideas about what these identities mean. There is no universally accepted definition of what it means to call yourself gay, or lesbian, or straight, or bi, or queer. In fact, this is something that is constantly being negotiated. There are many people with same-sex attraction and or behavior who nonetheless identify as “straight.”. Fact: There isn’t a tidy line that can be drawn between people in one identity group and people in another. Some self-identified bisexuals are gayer than some self-identified gay people. And some self-identified lesbians and gay men are more bisexual than some self-identified bisexuals. And to further complicate an already complicated reality, our identities can change over time as we discover more about ourselves. Fact: some people define their identities by their current behavior. If you’re doing… (laughter, and Robyn blushes); others by their historical behavior or attractions. Others define their identities by their attractions, regardless of their behavior, seeing bisexuality as an embracing of one’s potential. Fact: you don’t have to be “50/50” to identify as bisexual. The idea that you have to be 50/50 is really common. I have heard so many people say “I don’t know if I qualify, you see, I have had some attractions toward people of one sex, but most of my attractions have been toward women but I haven’t actually acted on … so I don’t’ know if it qualifies. One of my favorite jokes is the following: we’d make up an official bisexual identity card, which would be a card that the Bisexual Authority would issue to you when you come out as bisexual. It would have two lines: one for a male lover, one for a female lover, and you’d have to get it signed and dated (laughter) by a male and a female lover. Once you got both of those lines signed and dated, you would qualify. You would be an official, card-carrying bisexual. But of course, like most memberships, there’d be an expiration date. Now we can argue about how long that would be: 10 years, 5 years, 6 months, two weeks, one day, whatever. Everytime you have a new lover you would get the appropriate line of your card re-signed and re-dated, and if you didn’t get both of those lined re-signed and re-dated before the expiration date you would no longer have the right to call yourself bisexual. Simple. But needless to say, that’s not really the way it works. In fact, by any of these expiration standards, I would no longer “count” as bisexual. In fact, most researchers wouldn’t count me as bisexual because I haven’t had sex with a man in one year, two years, five years, or even ten years. But I still identify as bisexual. But I’ve had people say “No you’re not, because a bisexual is defined as someone who blah blah blah. But I’d say “You’re not the Biseuxal Authority. I am!” (laughter and applause) So, now to my next to last fact: Fact: all of the above facts make a lot of people uncomfortable because they require people to embrace complexity. Ick. And that’s part of the “ick factor thing – you’ve heard that expression. Part of it is sex-phobia, and part of it is complexity-phobia. The ick factor is about a resistance to sex AND a resistance to complexity." Final fact: Bisexuality is – for some people – a long-term and stable identity. I know this to be true. I know it from experience, as I have identified as bisexual for 33 years – my entire adult life. So if in fact bisexuality is just a phase, then for me it has been one hell of a long phase, that I look forward to continuing. Photo by Amanda Morgan Photo by Barbara Fortune SO WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES TO BISEXUAL VISIBILITY? There are several powerful and longstanding challenges to bisexual visibility. Here are 5: 1. The first is that WE’RE SIMPLY NOT SEEN. Let me explain what I mean by this: One of the particular challenges that bisexuals face is that for the most part, bisexual people are not recognizable to others as bisexual. We are assumed by other people to be either gay or straight. Think about it: … If I walk into a restaurant with my arm wrapped around a man, other people see a straight couple, 2 heterosexuals.If I walk into a restaurant with my arm wrapped around a woman, what do other people see? (a lesbian couple, 2 lesbians – wow, they look awfully femmy, but they’re two lesbians. Of course, what else could they possibly be?)What kind of behavior would I have to engage in to get other people to see me as bisexual? I could walk into the room with a man and a woman and engage in a little bit of tongue work to make it obvious that we’re sexual partners. “Ooh, look at those bisexuals” Which leads me to #2:2. TO BE IDENTIFIED BY OTHERS AS BISEXUAL, I’D HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO MAKE ME VISIBLE. I could come into the restaurant with 2 partners (1 on each arm?). Or be known to have 2 or more partners of various sexes; or leave someone for someone of a different sex, or get caught “cheating” on my partner with someone of a different sex, or talk about going to sex parties. Or kiss a girl at a party I’m attending with my boyfriend. Or I could go on a talk show like Jerry Springer. But then, I’ve been turned down by a number of talk shows because they said I wasn’t bisexual enough. (laughter) I know, 33 years of service, but because I don’t have a boyfriend and a girlfriend, that’s the thanks I get.Or I could be 17 years old, go to a party and make out with another girl, and they might see bisexual chicks making out. And if you think about it, these examples mirror the most common stereotypes of bisexuality. And that’s not a coincidence. Because of this, many people equate bisexuals with promiscuity, with polyamory, cheating, deception, and untrustworthiness, with horniness. And by the way, I’m not saying bad about any of those things except dishonesty and cheating. Think about the prevailing stereotypes about bisexuals: that we are hypersexual; that we are bad relationship material and will leave our partners for someone else; that we are not to be trusted; that we are all involved with multiple partners. Is it true that some bisexuals behave in ways that are consistent with some of these stereotypes? Of course it’s true. We run the gamit from asexual to a little bit sexual, to moderately sexual, to mega-multi-very-super-sexual. And that’s not a problem. The fact is that some people in EVERY identity group run the same gamit. We are pretty much like everyone else in that we’re all different. But it’s only for us that our sexuality gets seen as causing supersexuality. Are there any gay men who are very, very sexual? Yes, I’ve met one or two. Any straight men? (laughter) But people don’t say, “Oh he’s straight, that’s why he’s that way.” (laughter) Some of us are monogamous, some of us are polyamorous, and some of us are celibate. Just like everybody else. And I have nothing against monogamy, polyamory, or celibacy or any of the other –ogamies or –amories. In fact I’m totally pro-choice on this. I just don’t want to have my own identity group given full credit for any one particular behavior. But it pisses me off that only for bisexuals is our sexual orientation seen to be causal or predictive of any of these behaviors. Bisexuals are just like everybody else. And I don’t mean that in an “oh, we’re normal kind of way.” I mean that – just like people in every other identity group, we run the gamit from outrageous to boring. #3. EXISTING LINGUISTIC CONSTRUCTIONS REINFORCE BINARIES. (How’s that for academese?) This one is really simple. We love our binaries. Gay or straight. Black or white. Democrat or Republican. Man or Woman. These binaries are great for soundbites, if you only have one sentence. But each of these binaries obscures a whole lot of complexity. Interestingly, I was just doing a speaking engagement where I used the political binary as an example. And I was thinking Democrat/ Republican. And I was thinking of the way in which this binary leaves out people who might be registered one way and vote the other. Then someone shouted out “Green Party.” And I thought, “Oh dear, it’s not even just that it’s a continuum, even if we spanned that entire continuum we’d still be leaving people out! And that’s true for a lot of our binary constructions. It’s not just that we things exist on a continuum, but that there are many different continua. So we have to be really careful that we don’t oversimplify everything. #4. This one is “special”: the very mention of bisexuality often generates outright hostility, as though our existence is an annoyance or – even more – a challenge or threat to the social order. We are often perceived as a threat. You say you’re bisexual and people recoil as though you’re attacking them! I have a pin that says, “I act this way to piss you off.” Well, the reality is that I don’t. My identity is about ME. #5. INTERESTINGLY, BISEXUALS FACE THE UNIQUE CHALLENGE OF HAVING TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE SAYING THAT WE DON’T EXIST. Sometimes I feel like a leprachaun, or a tooth fairy or something, popping around corners and surprising people. How many of you have ever heard someone say that bisexuals don’t exist? (all hands go up). I was hoping that none of you would raise your hands, but of course you all did. It’s really weird. And if you don’t believe me, I present you with a short quote from the usually fabulous Dr. Ruth: "Everyone is either straight or gay," Westheimer wrote in a 2005 column. "Some people go through an in-between stage where they are perhaps not sure, but eventually they fall into one category or the other, so that there really is no such thing as being bisexual." And she is someone whom I would like to respect. But I feel very disrespected by that statement. But mostly I feel defensive and irritated. #6. And finally: All of the above factors result in A SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF POSITIVE IMAGES OF BISEXUAL PEOPLE. How many bisexual people can you think of, fictional or real? Not many, I predict.And most of the ones that come immediately to mind are people like Tila Tequila. I don’t know about you, but when I look at her, I don’t see a reflection of myself. And it’s not just that she is shorter than me. For many reasons, she doesn’t represent me. WE HAVE SEVERAL CHALLENGES IN FRONT OF US. One is to respond to the negative statements about bisexuals made by media stars – let me call them out – Michael Musto, Dan Savage, Dr. Ruth, Michael Bailey, Oprah – Oprah, who gets lesbian and gay people so well, but has a real resistance to seeing bisexuals. She’s said many things that are very dismissive. Interestingly, everyone I’ve mentioned has done other work that I really respect, but then they go and say these negative and dismissive things, and I just want to get them in a room for two days and educate them! We face the challenge of challenging negative stereotypes and also of being proactive, of creating positive, affirming images of bisexuals. I want to leave you with a question. When writing press releases, when blogging or reporting LGBT news, when creating sound bites, some activists and journalists often choose to use the simplest language possible, choosing terms that are easy to digest and also choosing to economize by choosing the shortest, simplest message. They do a little bit of polling to see what words are most digestible. But of course the result of this is often erasure. “Terms such as the gay community,” “gay marriage,” are examples this. Writing “gay marriage” is of course so much shorter and simpler than saying “marriage equality for same-sex couples.” And some people don’t like to use words like “same-sex marriage because it has what word in it? (sex!) Yes, sex. But I’m in a marriage that is not a gay marriage. In fact, our marriage doesn’t have its own sexual orientation and neither of us identify as gay. One of us identifies as bisexual, and one as a lesbian. But think about what is being rendered invisible when we simplify. Sometimes one benefit has the unintended outcome of creating harm. I often hear people talk about the value of simplicity in messaging, and of choosing language that resonates best with focus groups. I do understand the importance of doing research to find out what words “read” better. I’m on the board of MassEquality, Massachusetts’ statewide equality group, and we have used focus groups. When you’re in the middle of a battle, you want to get to a legislative victory. But it comes sometimes at great cost. But what to do if, for example, the phrase “the gay and lesbian community” tests slightly better than “the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community”? What to do if we learn that the more people respond positively to white, middle class professional-looking gay men and lesbians than they do to bi or trans people or to people of color or working class or poor people of any orientation? Do we then choose only easy-to-digest spokespeople? What’s the right thing to do? We know the answer. We need not to choose only easy to digest messages and easy to digest people. Here I visualize a circle. When we choose simple language and images to make our reader or listener comfortable, we are maximizing our chances that we’ll get our legislative victory, and that we will be listened to and understood. But on the other hand, we are reinforcing a false simplicity and therefore perpetuating an illusion. The snake is swallowing its own tail. Until we step outside the circle, the frame will never change. In all honesty, I believe that the challenges facing us will never be fully resolved, that we will need to keep on creating images of bisexual people and images of complexity, and challenging the sexual orientation binaries over and over and over again, reminding people that we exist. Binaries are like magnets, we are drawn to simplicity. But I am willing to keep on doing this work, over and over, smashing and challenging binaries for as long as it takes, with as much patience as I can muster. We have to do this work because it matters. I once heard Raven Kaldera say “every time you draw a line it cuts through someone’s flesh.” The flip side of this dynamic is that every time you challenge binaries, every time you insist that people use inclusive language and images, every time you make space for complexity, you are engaging in an act of healing, You are expanding vision, You are putting more oxygen into the room, You are creating for yourself and for other people more space to be complex and complete.So make a commitment to get out there and challenge binaries. Think about what types of resources you wish were out there. Think about what would have made it easier for you. Think about what would have and does make it easier for you. And now get out there and create some more of that! I’ll end by saying that my name is Robyn Ochs. I identify as bisexual, and I’m here to recruit YOU to challenge binaries.
Openly bisexual poet Carol Ann Duffy appointed Poet Laureate of BritainBeside being the first openly bisexual poet to hold the post, she is also both the first woman and the first Scottish poet to do so. She is also an acclaimed playwright. Duffy is a single mother who lives with her 14 year old daughter Ella and has a pet spaniel. The post has been held by literary luminaries William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson.Duffy took the position on condition that she not be obligated to write poems for royal or state occasions, the original purpose of the post. And her first poem as laureate entitled "Politics" blasted parliament with a cutting commentary on the MPs' expenses scandal, in the form of a 14 line sonnet.You can read more about her in the Daily Mail and Wikipedia. Schizophrenically, in both articles, she is referred to as both bisexual and lesbian. Probably because of a recent same-sex relationship.
Illustration: Eward McGowanSetting the record straightMake way for Bi Visibility Weekend. [Time Out New York / Issue 713 : May 28–Jun 3, 2009] By Beth Greenfield We’re a full 40 years into the queer-rights struggle, and still bisexuals are getting bad raps from both the straight and gay worlds—most recently and publicly in an April blog post, “Ever Meet a Real Bisexual?” by Michael Musto. “I’m just wondering how real a phenomenon this is, as opposed to a smoke-and-mirrors cover-up designed to keep antsy gays in the closet,” he wrote, to the chagrin of bi readers everywhere. But this weekend, bisexuals strike back with a series of events at the Center being called the Bi Visibility Weekend, which includes a dinner, a brunch, a Bi Lines writers event with readings and performances, and “Putting the ‘B’ in LGBT Summit,” a daylong Saturday event of workshops and panel discussions.“As bi activists, we’ve always been frustrated with the lack of visibility and the attitude that basically we don’t exist,” says event organizer Sheela Lambert. She adds that last year’s national discussion over the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act—which raised transgender awareness but forgot, somehow, to mention bisexuals—was the impetus for the event, which aims to educate journalists, improve visibility and debunk the many prevailing myths about bisexuality. Here, a preview of the mythbusting from some Summit speakers. Myth No. 1 Bisexuals are fence-sittersDebunked by Robyn Ochs, marriage activist and Bi Summit keynote speaker“The fence exists only in our imagination. We’re all individual people with individual experiences, and the categories we create are artificial. The idea that there’s a wall between gay and straight is a myth.… I don’t think there’s any one person out there who can meet all of our needs, no matter what the gender. When I think about the things [my wife] Peg doesn’t do for me, it’s not about what’s between her legs. Gender is just one of the many, many, many things about a person.…But silly, silly humans love their binaries.” Myth No. 2 Bisexual men are really gayDebunked by Ron Suresha, bi activist and writer“The notion that anyone is 100 percent anything is just not true. The scientific research categorically refutes that. That kind of assertion usually reflects a really narrow view of sexuality of the person speaking. Most bisexuals are really quite comfortable with both sexes over the course of their lifetime.… Still, people say, ‘Oh, you can’t be bisexual.’ I mean, people tell you that! It’s like telling you you can’t like chocolate and vanilla, that you have to choose. It’s a real narrow-mindedness.” Myth No. 3 There’s no such thing as a bisexualDebunked by Sheela Lambert, bi activist and writer“If we don’t exist, does that mean we don’t have to pay taxes? People have a hard time imagining bisexuality because they don’t have those feelings. Maybe for a few weeks in their coming-out as gay they thought they might be bisexual, but that’s it. I think the problem is because of this binary thinking we get into—that everything has to be straight or gay, black or white, good or bad. I guess people have no imagination.… We are accused of being in the closet, but often, in the LGBT community, what people are in the closet about is being bi, because they want to fit in and they want to be taken seriously.” Myth No. 4 Bisexuals will always cheatDebunked by Dennis Slade, Bi Request organizer“That one infuriates me. In gay relationships and in straight relationships, people are cheating all the time. Open communication is what’s going to sustain a relationship. When we as bisexuals own our sexuality, then we can talk about it, and a lot of these problems and worries will go away.” Bi Visibility Weekend events are Sat 30 and Sun 31.Link to article on Time Out NY http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/gay/74904/bi-visibility-weekend-in-new-york-city
Action alert: Tell Congress: Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act! Here are the two most compelling reasons to help fuel the fight to finally pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA): 1) In 38 states you can be fired from your job if you are transgender.2) In 30 states you can be fired from your job if you are lesbian, gay or bisexual. It's time to get involved: Click here to contact Congress and demand that LGBT people are protected from workplace discrimination. This week, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will introduce ENDA, and this time it's a bill that we can really get behind. The current bill would protect all workers from discrimination, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Just think about it: Right now employers in MOST states can take away the livelihood of you, or your friends, or your family members, simply because of who you are. This blatant denial of the rights of LGBT people is an affront to the United States' potential as the standard bearer for equality and a disgrace to every American. Congress needs to hear from all of us, and they need to hear from us now. Every single person in the LGBT community has the right to protection from workplace discrimination. Don't you agree?Please take action right now, and then urge your friends, family and co-workers to act as well. The above links will take you to the Task Force website where an email to your congressperson is all set up for you to sign. You can add anything you want so tell them you are bisexual and you need this law so you cant be fired for being bi!
Bi Writers Association Commends Lawmakers for Introduction ofInclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)Monday June 29, New York, NY – The Bi Writers Association applauds lawmakers today for introducing an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees from workplace discrimination. The bill, which enjoys bi-partisan support in Congress, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal employment non-discrimination laws.Last year much work was done to make sure that transgender people were included in the bill. Now we need to make sure the bill gets passed so that all LGBT Americans will be protected from job discrimination.Currently, 12 states and more than 100 localities have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, covering nearly 40 percent of Americans. And, according to numerous surveys, large majorities of likely voters in the U.S. support federal employment non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT people. Polling data from 2006 shows that voters are more likely to support a candidate who votes for an LGBT discrimination law than they are to vote against. At the National Summit on Putting the “B” in LGBT, openly bisexual speaker Meghan O’Connor told the story of how she was fired from her job, shortly after asking if she could bring her girlfriend to the company picnic (she was asked if she would like to invite a boyfriend) despite good performance revues.The Bi Writers Association worked with many LGBT organizations in last year’s push for an inclusive ENDA by participating in United ENDA conference calls and sending out ENDA action alerts to the bi community while pushing for bi-inclusive language to be used in United ENDA action alerts and press releases.“It’s of crucial importance, especially in a recession where jobs are scarce, to ensure that all employees have equal access to a fair and equitable workplace,” says Sheela Lambert, founder of the Bi Writers Association.
Bisexuality on TV: This weekPeaches, a bisexual musician with "hermaphrodite envy" was on Carson Daly Friday nite singing to and interacting with various women on stage. http://peachesrocks.com/media/Brooke Kisses a Girl: In the episode entitled, I Kissed a Girl, Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan's daughter) goes on a date with a girl and has a sexy good night kiss. Episode Summary from Brooke Knows Best website: After a flurry of disappointing dates, Brooke's roommate Glenn is frustrated with the state of his love life. Brooke makes a shocking suggestion -- maybe he should think about dating girls again. Glenn says it's not that easy to switch teams, and challenges Brooke to think of it the same way: how does she know she doesn't like girls? So all the roommates decide to date girls for a night to see how the other half lives. The Unusuals: Two guy cops in bed. In the episode "The Apology Line," Det. Eddie Alvarez is frustrated because he was pranked by Det. Jason Walsh and is often teased by the other cops. He is advised by Det. Leo Banks that the fastest road to respect is to prank Jason right back. So one morning, after a drunken night with his girlfriend, Jason wakes up in bed with Eddie, who claims they had a night of passion. ABC is actually showing this clip right on their website http://abc.go.com/primetime/theunusuals/ or you can view it on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7UhY5atGcU .
President Barack Obama declares June LGBT Pride MonthHis proclamation is 100% inclusive in every sentence and deserves to be reproduced here (see below.)By contrast, Hillary declares Gay and Lesbian Pride Month on the State Dept website1. Read her statement: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/06/124176.htm2. Call or write: Tell her how she stumbled on inclusion and suggest she read the President's proclamation for an example of a fully inclusive statement http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press Secretary___________________________________________________________For Immediate Release June 1, 2009LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009- - - - - - -BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAA PROCLAMATIONForty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.BARACK OBAMA
Announcing the Bi Writers Association Bisexual Book Library Donations CampaignThe LGBT Community Center Library in New York City is one of the most influential and well used LGBT libraries. But their Bisexuality bookshelf was pitifully understocked with only a few (3 or 4) recent titles and a handful of dated titles. The Bi Writers Association is working with volunteer librarian Naomi McClernan to expand their collection. We have already collected and donated 20 of the best recently published bisexual books including donations from some of the authors who read at Bi Lines: Honor Moore, Ann Herendeen and Bobbie Geary. In addition, bi-themed novels and biographies already in the library have now been moved to the Bisexuality shelf, so every kind of bisexual book can easily be found there. (Additional copies will be shelved on bio and fiction shelves as well, so they can be found in either location.) So far, we have increased the number of books on the Bisexuality bookshelf by 200%. But there are still many important bi books missing and we need your help to round out their collection. Donate Bisexual Books If you have any bisexual books laying around your house you can donate (used or new), or would like to purchase bi books for the library, please contact the Bi Writers Association. We have a list of the bi books the library already has, can tell you what they still need and assist you in making the donation. The Pat Parker/Vito Russo Center LibraryFounded in 1991 to encourage and facilitate the reading and research of LGBT literature, the Pat Parker/Vito Russo Center library is an important community resource. More than 450 people visit each month to browse and borrow books and videos. There are more than 20,000 circulating titles of fiction and nonfiction, both current and classic, making it New York's largest lending library of LGBT material. The video collection, named in honor of film professor Michael Janiak who died of AIDS in 1992, includes more than 1,500 circulating videos and DVDs by, about, or of interest to our community. Additionally, the library maintains subscriptions to more than 20 LGBT periodicals from throughout the United States. More info here: http://www.gaycenter.org/community/library
Dont miss this bisexual play by original Bisexual Women's Group member Suellen. Two nights only-mark your calendars! Suellen Rubin in 2008PERSEPHONE’S AUTUMNby Suellen RubinAn eternal story for the young: Meet, love, leave or stay for a while. Does it still work in late middle age? Past 60, do what's new? What do you do when your girlhood is in the last century? Therapy? An affair? These are the questions facing Damita, an aging bisexual woman searching for never-ending youth.7:30 pm - Friday July 24, 20092:30 pm - Saturday, July 25, 2009Admission: $20.Hudson Guild Theater - 441 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 1001 (212-760-9800)For Tickets: (212) 352-3101 / (866) 811-4111 / theatermania.comFor more Fresh Fruit Festival click here: http://www.freshfruitfestival.com/calendar.htm