Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick Hits: this is what Biphobia and Bisexual Erasure looks like

This Is What Biphobia Looks Like
Anime OMG - Quick Hits: this is what Biphobia and Bisexual Erasure looks likedivaprime wrote in the blog community bisexual,
"I was once kicked off the board of a women's group I helped start, because I was dating a woman, but refused to call myself a lesbian, because I love people, not plumbing. While I was out of town, they changed the bylaws. And all the places I had carefully put 'woman' they replaced with 'lesbian'."

This Is What Bisexual Erasure Looks Like
chasingtides wrote in the blog community bisexual,
"I don't go to my local PFLAG meetings because they won't call me anything but a lesbian."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

[Chicago] Call For Volunteers - Help Plan the 2009 Bi Health Summit!

2009 Bi Health Summit Chicago IL USA kich-off evening of August 13th  Summit alll-day August 14th 2009The 2009 Bi Health Summit will be on August 14, 2009 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers located on Michigan Avenue’s “Magnificent Mile” overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL USA. This event will be held in conjunction with the National LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) Health Summit which runs from the evening of August 13th thru 18th 2009, as a one-day event and as a broader presence within the larger conference.

Currently, we are looking for individuals to help with a number of activities:

Programming: We are looking for 6-8 individuals who are familiar with health issues facing bisexuals who would be willing to help review proposals for the national Bi Health Summit to be held in Chicago August 13-17, 2009.

A request for workshop proposals (RFP) was issued in February, with a deadline of March 31st 2009. Program committee members would be expected to participate in 1-2 conference calls and to review between an estimated 15 proposals each, spread out over April, 2009. A standard form will be provided for reviewing proposals. Program Committee members would also be asked to help suggest plenary speakers for the Summit program. Program committee members will have a chance to shape the program of the second national Bi Health Summit. Please reply to Stewart Landers (landers@jsi.com) with your email address and preferred telephone number (in case we need to find you other than through email).

Publicity/Outreach: If you are interested in volunteering to help prepare for the Bi Summit in terms of publicity/outreach we need all of the help we can get! Please contact Ed  (ednpride@hotmail.com) directly at with your email address, phone number, and field of interest.

Finance (budget, fundraising): We are looking for people who may have some idea about sources of funding to help support the Bi Health Summit. The Finance Committee will look the overall budget for the Bi Health Summit and then develop a strategy for meeting any unmet costs. For information please contact:Jen Bonardi (jbonardi@hotmail.com) and Luigi Ferrer with your email address and area of interest.

Facilities/Hospitality/On-Site Logistics Committee: We are looking for 3-5 individuals, particularly people living in the greater Chicago area, who would be willing to help with hospitality and on the ground needs for the Bi Health Summit. Committee members are needed to help with any or all of the following roles:

  • 2-3 people plan logistics for the Thursday night event - work with venue on food needs, finalize room, coordinate any A/V needs

  • 3-6 people welcome and direct people to reception and conference locations on Thursday evening, August 13th and Friday morning, August 14th via signs and in person

  • Be local hosts - answer questions about local resources such as directions, transportation, nearby restaurants, coordinated with LGBTI Health Summit efforts

  • Coordinate with LGBTI Health Summit registration folks for current estimated registrations, Thursday night event count, and any on site registrations

  • 2 people to staff summit registration table on August 13th/14th

  • Coordinate A/V needs for Bi Health Summit itself

  • Committee members are needed starting now but particularly during the second half of July and first half of August through the Summit. Please contact Ed (ednpride@hotmail.com) directly

    The Bi Health Summit attendees have included active members of the bisexual community, including bi activists, researchers, therapists, and other health care professionals. The goal of the Summit is to update attendees on the field, and hold a movement-building and strategizing session, not an introductory informational session.

    For further information please also contact Julie Ebin (jebin@FENWAYHEALTH.ORG)

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Bi Activist Robyn Ochs receives Susan J Hyde Award from the NGLTF at Creating Change 2009

    Longtime bisexual rights activist Robyn Ochs was honored with the Susan J. Hyde Activism Award for Longevity in the Movement at the 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change. Ochs was recognized for her outstanding work and dedication to the LGBT movement and the advancement of equality.

    Bi Activist Robyn Ochs receives Susan J Hyde Award from the NGLTF at Creating Change 2009
    Ochs is co-founder of the Boston Bisexual Women’s Network and the Bisexual Resource Center; editor of the international anthology Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World; has taught gender and sexuality studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University and Johnson State College; and is a strong advocate for transgender rights, marriage equality and animal rights.

    The Susan J. Hyde Activism Award is named after Creating Change Director Sue Hyde in honor of her dedication and outstanding work for more than 20 years at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). It is awarded every year at the Creating Change Conference to an activist who has a history of longevity in the LGBT movement.

    In presenting the namesake award, Hyde told Ochs: “We hear your clear voice, we see your staunch advocacy and we respond to your loving insistence that our movement includes all of us.”

    Upon accepting the award, Ochs delivered the following remarks:
    I confess that when Sue Hyde contacted me to let me know that I would be the recipient of the Susan J Hyde Activism award for Longevity in the Movement, and I would be receiving – in her words – “a plaquey thing” and some cold, hard cash – I was stunned.

    My first thought when I heard the news was “me?” They’re giving this important plaquey thing to someone who identifies as bisexual? I don’t think so. You’re joking, right?

    My second thought when I heard the news was “You can’t be serious.” "I’m not old enough to get an award for longevity in the movement.”

    But then I thought about what it has been like over the years being a bi activist in the movement formerly and sometimes still known as the Gay and Lesbian Movement, and sometimes still known as the Gay movement. And I remembered how hard it was – and sometimes still is – to be out and visible as bi or as a trans activist in a community where our presence was often not welcomed, and was sometimes overtly called into question. It took a whole lot of extra energy to be part of this movement that was often hostile, and that often ignored bi and trans activists, or treated us as the unwelcome stepchildren. This place that should have felt always like a safe haven and sustained us in our activism often did not feel safe or welcoming. So perhaps bi and trans activists should get to count those earlier years of activism in dog years. Using this calculation, that gives me about 150 years of activism in the movement.

    I realize too that the award doesn’t say “most longevity in the movement.” It just says longevity. How many of you in this room have 25 or more years of activism in this movement?

    (Wow.) We are a community rich in profoundly committed activists. And fortunately, we’re also rich in newer committed activists. Frankly, we’re just rich in activists.

    It sustains me to come to Creating Change where I am surrounded by people working so hard on so many issues of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, two spirit, and queer people. And to our straight allies as well. It’s very good medicine to be here, and makes us feel a whole lot less alone.

    I am a full time speaker now, and I spend much of my time traveling around the United States. I have the privilege of coming firsthand to your cities and towns, and meeting you, and witnessing first hand the work that you are doing in your local communities. And I am so impressed by what I see. I am in awe of the amazing people who run LGBT centers on campuses, and of the student leaders on those campuses. And I meet brilliant and dedicated people who work in health, in aging, with youth, with substance abuse, with disability rights, in the field of domestic violence, for economic justice and against racism, and in communities of color. And I could go on and on and on because we are doing so many different types of important work. I salute everyone here today, whether you are gay for pay, or committed volunteers because together, together with all of these different types of work, we have a strong movement.

    I am also the editor of the Getting Bi anthology, which contains the words of people from 32 different countries. In the process of putting together this book, I have come into contact with our amazing counterparts in Uganda, in Zimbabwe, in Poland, in Mexico, in Argentina, in Brazil and in so many other places. This work makes it clear to me that our perspective must be not only intersectional, but also transnational.

    And to all of the bi activists, and the trans activists, and the intersex activists who are here at Creating Change, and to those who could not be here today: You inspire me. You inspire me. You are the reason I am still at it after 25 + years, and you are the reason I plan to do this work for another 25 years. Or perhaps, with luck, even longer.

    And I want to acknowledge what Rea said today, because, Rea, your statement makes me feel welcome here. It really makes a big difference. Rea Carey models the type of leadership that we need in this movement.

    Finally, this award has very special meaning for me. It is named after one of my role models and sheroes: Sue Hyde. Sue is a truly amazing woman, and I am thrilled to be given a plaquey thing with her name on it. Last year the recipient was Mandy Carter, a dedicated and formidable activist, and also a mentor and a friend.

    So I stand here on this stage, feeling the blazing power of Sue Hyde on one side of me, and the relentless dedication and vision of Mandy Carter on the other, and I am grateful.

    With a special shout out to all of the bi activists who have been creating change for so many years, and to all of the people who attended yesterday’s bi caucus, and to the people at every point of our beautiful sexuality spectrum, I am delighted to accept this award.

    Thank you

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    He’s not gay. He’s bisexual. A NYC Math Teacher is holding his Commitment Ceremony

    X-Posted from article by Susan Farley for The New York Times: NY/Region published: March 23, 2009
    Most of the Seventh Grade Will Be at the Commitment Ceremony

    Mr. Chance Nalley a NYC 7th grade math teacher invited his students to his coming commitment ceremony, prompting very little uproar.Sometimes the best news is that a story makes no news.

    Chance Nalley, a teacher at Columbia Secondary School, said students kept asking if they were invited to his commitment ceremony. At last he said yes.

    In the fall of 2008, the supporters of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative meant to ban gay marriage in the state of California, fell on a lucky break: video of first graders whose class parents had arranged for them a trip to city hall, where they celebrated their female teacher’s marriage to another woman, a ceremony over which the mayor of San Francisco presided. Gay-marriage opponents cried indoctrination, and the ensuing controversy provoked so much outrage that it has been considered important in squashing opposition to the ban. (The California Supreme Court is currently weighing the constitutionality of the proposition.)

    Were they surprised to learn he was gay? 'He’s not gay,' said Japhet Guzman, 12. 'No,' agreed a lanky 13-year-old who walked with a bit of a tough-guy swagger, 'he’s not gay. He’s bisexual. Why don’t you ask him?' (Mr. Nalley confirmed this.)In Harlem a week ago, a 32-year-old math teacher handed out slips of paper inviting the entire seventh grade of Columbia Secondary School to his upcoming ceremony, where, the names on the invitation made clear, he’d be celebrating his commitment to another man. The teacher, Chance Nalley, rarely wastes an instructional opportunity but said that, in this particular instance, he wasn’t trying to make an educational statement.

    “They kept asking if they were invited,” he said of his students at Columbia, a selective public school that specializes in math, science and engineering. “Originally, I said no. But when I found a venue that turned out to be big enough I said, ‘O.K., you can come.’ I invited their parents, too.”

    Please click here to read the full story.

    Many thanks to Ann Herendeen who is (among many other things) the out bisexual author of Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander a witty & wise bisexual Regency romance novel (with a positive 'happily ever after' for all ending), who noticed and passed along the tip that "The New York Times learns the B word" on the BiRequest ListServ.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    The Spring 2009 issue of 'Bi Lines On Line' has been released today

    ROBIN, The Richmond Bisexual Network"Bi Lines On Line" is the long running newsletter produced by ROBIN, The Richmond Bisexual Network. In this Spring 2009 issue a new column about Norfolk, VA based artist Jule Clark has been added. She is the third BGLT (Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender) musical artist that is now feature in the publication. Here is what else you will also find in the current issue:

    Item 1: THE WORLD SCENE: The latest issue of "Bi Women" now officially exists
    Item 2: THE NATIONAL SCENE: Study finds Mass. Bisexuals face significant health disparities and Gay-rights leaders' enthusiasm for Obama subsides
    Item 3A: THE STATE AND LOCAL SCENE: The Latest from the Richmond Gay Community Center (along with Diversity Thrift), and BGLT Singer/Songwriter Julie Clark to perform in both Richmond and Newport News
    Item 3B: SPECIAL SECTION JUST FOR EQUALITY VIRGINIA (EV): A Report on the Virginia General Assembly and 20 OUTstanding Virginians to be honored at our April 4 dinner
    Item 4: ROBIN RENEE ROUND-UP: The latest news about our favorite Bi Singer/Songwriter
    Item 5: AND FEATURING ZOE LEWIS: Perhaps the most musically talented person on the face of the planet!
    Item 6: NOW FEATURING JULIE CLARK: We are proud to feature this outstanding musical artist
    Item 7: UPCOMING EVENTS: BECAUSE Conference in Minneapolis and Julie Clark in Concert
    Item LAST: High Finance - The Business End of Bi Lines On Line

    For the newsletter plus the latest news about ROBIN, The Richmond Bisexual Network, you can go to ROBIN's Website and then click on "Our Newsletter". Or you can just click here to go to Bi Lines On Line directly.

    For additional information, questions, or other related items about this electronic publication, please contact

    721 Daylight Court
    Newport News, VA 23602

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    I Hate the Word 'Bisexual' - Brunch Tales From Albuquerque

    written by Miss Bliss on February 4, 2009 – 10:00 am and X-Posted here with permission

    Bliss Warrior: Faiblesses de Femmes “I don’t think of myself as bi. I actually hate that word,” says Jenn, a stunning brunette with sky blue eyes. “I think I am just a very sensual person who loves sex.”

    It is a cool Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and ten women have come together to share the stories they cannot tell their straight friends. I have not been to Albuquerque since the first brunch I hosted almost exactly a year ago to the day. When I first saw the fabulous Lacivia waiting for me outside the cafe, I hugged her tightly and thanked her for working so hard to create a community for bisexual women in New Mexico. “It’s a lot of hard work,” she said. “I know,” I said. “But brunches like these make all of the work so worthwhile.” Now, it is two hours into the brunch and we have brought three tables together to make sure everyone can talk and be heard.

    “I don’t like the term bisexual, either,” says Nicole, a girl with cropped blond hair and a tattoo curled around her ear. “I consider myself to be ‘open’.”

    “A lot of women who date men and women don’t like the term ‘bisexual’ because of the negative connotations,” I say. “But I think this is exactly why we need to reclaim the term as a form of empowerment, like the lesbians did with ‘dyke’ and the gay rights movement did with ‘queer’. If we do not take the label back, how are we supposed to find one another?”

    “But when you say you are bisexual,” says Jenn, “it just is so gross. People think you’re slutty or into threesomes . . .”

    “That’s why I like to say that a goal of Bliss Warrior is to take the sex out of bisexuality. By creating a bisexual community that is strong and vibrant, we can show our diversity. Bisexuals can and do have successful monogamous relationships. Bisexuals are not liars, or confused, or discontent in their relationships. They are not trashy girls who will jump into bed with just anybody. The problem is, if we all go around saying we are ‘beyond labels’, how do we create community and fight the negative stereotypes?”

    “That is so interesting,” says Nicole. “I never thought of it in terms of bisexual culture. Whenever I heard ‘bisexual’, I always thought it was in terms of sex.”

    “That’s what we are fighting. When we have no visibility or power, it’s easy for pornographers to define our culture,” I say. “There is an incorrect assumption that if you are bisexual, you are sleeping with men and women all the time. It is hard to admit you are bi to people who don’t get it, because the minute you say, ‘Yes, I am bisexual,’ you can almost see their minds wondering, ‘Oh, so you’re a swinger,’ or, ‘Oh, you must have orgies,’ or, ‘Oh, that means you’re an easy lay.’ They don’t react how we wish they would react. We know we are attracted to a person despite gender; we love who we love and it does not matter if it is a woman or a man.”

    “As soon as you say you’re bi,” says Lacivia, “straights think you’re hitting on them and lesbians don’t trust you.”

    “It is the lack of a bisexual community that makes us feel shame. If we just keep floating under a non-labeled identity, we continue to perpetuate the myth that we are either gay when we’re dating girls or straight when dating men,” I say. “I have a dear friend in Seattle who is ’straight’ when she’s with her heterosexual friends and ‘lesbian’ when she is out with her dyke friends. But she has no space to be her real self and few friends who understand who she really is.”

    “That’s exactly how I have been,” says Nicole. “When I’m with the lesbians, I’m gay. I even came out as lesbian when I was in high school, but later on, I fell for a guy. So then I thought, maybe I’m straight? And I tried to be straight for awhile, but then I fell for a girl . . . Ultimately, I married a man and when I was pregnant with my son I felt - maybe due to the hormones - really heterosexual. I had no desire for women at all. But as soon as he was born, something changed and I said to my husband, ‘I want to go to Exhale and dance with girls!’”

    The table laughs and the conversation turns to other topics. I take a moment to smile at Lacivia for creating a space where women can discuss these complicated issues and feel less alone.

    Bliss Warrior

    Bliss Warrior is a happily married bi-girl who jets between her two apartments in New York and Hollywood.

    Passionate about art, design, fashion, health, bisexuality and vegetarianism, her website, myspace page, on facebook and blog are dedicated to all the Bliss Warriors out there who are fighting for a fabulous, free, decadent, healthy, creative, and sensual life.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    [BiNet USA] LGBT Community Rallies Against Biphobic Mis-step, Applauds Quick Results

    Media Advisory

    Date: 03/17/2009 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    Contact: press@binetusa.org 1-800-585-9368

    click here to Download Hard-copy (PDF)

    The US national bisexual/pansexual community and their gay, lesbian, genderqueer and straight allies rallied this week in response to a fresh round of biphobic web assaults.

    BiNet USA is pleased that their close relationship with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) resulted in a quick and effective collaborative response. In particular, BiNet USA applauds "The Tyra Banks Show" and its parent company Warner Bros. TV for their rapid cooperation in removing their Web Poll "Bisexuality Real or Bogus?" that questioned whether bisexual/pansexual people really exist.

    They also thanks the many people and groups who help alert the Community to biphobia, including Queers United, BiRequest, Bialogue, BiDiscussion, as well as individual members on BiNet USA's MySpace page and Facebook group.

    The community’s quick reaction to the inflammatory question of whether bisexuality exists or not was in direct proportion to the dangerous stereotypes the question perpetuated and that ultimately contributes to the misinformation about bisexual/pansexual people. This misinformation has very real and tragic results. For example, it is not commonly known but research shows bisexual/fluid youth have a higher rate of suicide than gay and lesbian youth and bisexual/pansexual people are the victims of higher rates of domestic violence than other sexual orientations.

    BiNet USA is looking forward to continuing to working closely with GLAAD, "The Tyra Banks Show" and other popular productions to bring to fruition future programming on issues of importance to the bisexual/fluid community,

    Now approaching its 20th year of existence, BiNet USA is America's Civil-rights and advocacy organization for all bisexual, pansexual, fluid and all the rest of us "somewhere in between" people as well as their lesbian, gay, transgender, "straight but not narrow" and questioning friends and allies, BiNet USA facilitates the development of a cohesive network of independent bisexual/pansexual, fluid and friendly communities; promotes bisexual, fluid, pansexual and inclusive visibility; and collects and distribute educational information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on the bisexual/pansexual, fluid and allied communities.

    For more information, please visit us on the Web at:


    and for press inquiries, please call 1-800-585-9368 or email press@binetusa.org

    Tags: Biphobia, Bisexual Erasure, Bisexual Community, Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, BiNet USA, GLAAD, TV, Tyra Banks Show, Polls, LGBT

    # # #

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Handsome and Glamorous

    It's official now: only the really good-looking men are bisexual.

    That’s the gist of a press release about a recently discovered painting that some scholars claim is a portrait of William Shakespeare. From The New York Times of March 10: " 'This Shakespeare is handsome and glamorous, so how does this change the way we think about him?' the handout reads. 'And do the painting and provenance tell us more about his sexuality, and possibly about the person to whom the sonnets are addressed?' "

    As the article in the Times explained:
    "the [Shakespeare Birthplace] Trust said the portrait might open a new era in Shakespeare scholarship, giving fresh momentum, among other things, to generations of speculation as to whether the playwright, a married man with three children, was bisexual. Until now, that suggestion has hinged mostly on dedications to the Earl of Southampton that Shakespeare wrote with some of his best-loved poems and some of the sensual passages in his poems and plays, particularly his sonnets, most of which, the London scholars said, are centered on expressions of love and desire for men, not women."
    Wow! All this time, ever since I first learned about the "fair" young man and "dark lady" of the sonnets, I had simply enjoyed the extra dimensions of meaning these personae gave to my reading. It wasn't really a new interpretation of the words themselves, just something interesting to bear in mind when brooding over "Th'expense of spirit in a waste of shame / Is lust in action" or "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

    Part of the pleasure of this kind of speculation is that it's necessarily vague. The young man and dark lady may or may not have been "real," and Shakespeare may or may not have had "sexual relationships" with them. But the possibilities were so much greater because we couldn't know for sure. All we could do was imagine. If I had any visual image of the author it was probably that standard black-and-white engraving we all see in textbooks. That bland face certainly isn't going to set the world on fire. Then there's the "Chandos portrait," named for its first documented owner. Whoever that's a picture of, at least it looks like a writer. Somewhat scruffy, with a high forehead, receding hairline with hair too long in back (to compensate?), just like Detective Andy Sipowicz as played by Dennis Franz on NYPD Blue. That little gold earring adds a welcome rakish touch.

    Of course, the sonnets themselves give us some hints, although we should be wary of taking anything a writer says of himself at face value.
    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west,
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
    Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
    This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
    (Sonnet 73)

    Shakespeare died at 52, not so unusual in his time as in ours, and he probably didn't look like a miraculously preserved, Botoxed thirty-something when he passed. Still, let's not forgot this is, on some level, a love poem, a seduction. Is there a part of the author that's winking at his readers, letting us in on the way he's manipulating the sympathies of the innocent young man to whom the maudlin message is addressed?

    But it honestly never occurred to me that, of course, Shakespeare couldn't have been bisexual, or even sexual at all, if he wasn't handsome or glamorous enough.

    It makes me think, as it probably made everybody who read it think, of the so very different way writers are viewed now. In a debate a while ago on the "Dear Author" blog, there were some comments as to how it's better not to see a photo or know anything about an author apart from the works themselves. But good luck with that in today's publishing world. Writers who are published by a major publisher rarely have the option of not providing a photo. We are practically required to present ourselves as "handsome and glamorous." During a telephone seminar I took on self-promotion for writers (I know, I know) the only thing it turned out I was doing "right" was the headshot at the top of my website.

    Verlyn Klinkenborg, always the voice of reason, explains in an opinion piece (New York Times, Editorial Notebook, March 11):
    "The perennial search for a portrait of Shakespeare is really a search for an image that justifies our idea of Shakespeare, our idea of writing. We somehow want the young Shakespeare to look like Joseph Fiennes, fiery and slashing. But what if he looked like Ricky Gervais? Would the plays mean less to us? …

    "From a canon as rich as his, and a documentary record as meager as his, you can infer almost anything. When it comes to privacy, Shakespeare out-Salingers Salinger and out-Pynchons Pynchon. Go looking for the man, and you will find only the person doing the looking."

    X-Posted with permission from The Good-Bi Girl: Writing bisexual historical fiction by Ann Herendeen. Ms. Herendeen is (among many other things) the out bisexual author of Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander a witty & wise bisexual Regency romance novel (with a positive 'happily ever after' for all ending).

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Biphobia Alerts: Two separate incidents to deal with

    First, there is a tragically (mis)named website called "Broadening Our Gay Unity: For A Better Tomorrow" whose Mission Statement talks about "the prospective, tragic threat, duplicity and danger of the "B" in LGBT, exposed." If you read the Guest Book, it is full of hateful messages about bisexuals such as "BI RHYMES WITH LIE AND DIE", and also quoting the discredited Bailey research.

    Rick T, a member of NYC's long running discussion group for bisexual and bi-friendly people BiRequest contacted the website, only to receive this response:
    "SHAME ON YOU. Bisexuals are maintaining hetero-privilege and collaborating with the homophobes while simultaneously enjoying the gay lifestyle. Female bisexuals are attention seeking heterosexuals, while male ones are just self-denying homosexuals too afraid to fully acknowledge their true orientation. Bisexuals are actually closeted gay people who wish to appear heterosexual. Bisexuals want to undermine the GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT. BI IS A LIE . . . . . BEWARE OF THEIR VILE, HOMOPHOBIC AGENDA!!!!"
    Though we are all staunch advocates of Free Speech and the 1st Amendment, we also believe the old adage that another person's freedom to swing their arms ends when their fists are in danger of connecting with our nose or in this case the "Bi, Lie, Die" thing et. al.

    The website is on a free web server, and the webhosts state that they have a policy against ". . . the defamation of others . . . and offensive activity". Click here for the form for reporting offensive content. If the hosting service gets enough complaints, this offensive site may be shut down or at least forced to amend their public threats.

    The same people also seem to have a YouTube page It is not clear whether or not someone can be removed from YouTube, but if he gets enough posts that male bisexuals are NOT confused gay men, and female bisexuals are NOT attention-seeking straight women, eventually he might listen.

    Second, The Tyra Banks Show (a Warner Bros. Television product) has a Poll about whether or not bisexuals exist (Yes ANOTHER one!). The votes and commentary are running in our favor on this one, at least, but Tyra Banks and her corporate handlers need to hear that the very existence of such a poll is offensive - as one person astutely points out, "it's like asking if biracial people exist."

    Please Click Here to Vote and Voice your opinion on "Bisexuality Real or Bogus" and while you are at it you may want to mention to her boss at Warner Bros. Television that your life is NOT subject to the whim of a on-line popularity contest and lastly alert the good folks at GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) so that they can bring appropriate pressure to bear on the show and corporation also.

    Great News! BiNet USA is pleased to report that their close relationship with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) resulted in another quick and effective collaborative response and "The Tyra Banks Show" removed the offensive Web Poll and are in discussion about more truthful portrayals of bisexual, pansexual and fluid people.

    Please read BiNet USA's Press Release "LGBT Community Rallies Against Biphobic Mis-step, Applauds Quick Results" for the complete story.

    Thank you all for your marvelous support and as usual, if YOU find an instance of biphobia or bisexual erasure do not keep it to yourself - if you SEE something, SAY Something!

    Thursday, March 05, 2009

    Proposition 8 should be struck down

    by Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

    The California Supreme Court finds itself center stage this Thursday when it will hear oral arguments on whether it should uphold Proposition 8's ban on same-sex marriage.

    The case touches the heart of our democracy and poses a profound question: can a bare majority of voters strip away an inalienable right through the initiative process? If so, what possible meaning does the word inalienable have?

    The state faced a dilemma like this before. In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.

    As California's Attorney General, I believe the Court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons - because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry.

    Some vigorously disagree. That's the position of Ken Starr and those who argue that a simple majority can eliminate the right to marry. But such a claim completely ignores California's history and the nature of our constitution.

    Fundamental rights in California are recognized and protected by our constitution, which declares in Article I, Section 1 that "all people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights" and "among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy."
    These fundamental premises of a free people were declared when the constitution was first adopted. The initiative process came much later in 1911, when the immediate concern was to give the people power over the railroads, which were seen as having a stranglehold over the legislature. In creating this initiative process, there was no discussion or any evidence of intent to permit a simple majority of voters to take away the pre-existing rights deemed inalienable by Article I.

    In 2008, the California Supreme Court was faced with the question of how the values enshrined in Article I apply to same sex marriages. It concluded that the concept of "liberty" includes the right to form the enduring relationship called marriage and that no compelling interest justified denying this right to same sex couples. Just like the right to be free from discrimination in housing, citizens have the right to be free from discrimination in state-granted marriage licenses.

    With this Supreme Court decision, same sex marriage has the protection of Article 1 and, like other inalienable rights, cannot be taken away by a popular vote - whether it be 52% (as was the case in Proposition 8) or 65% (as it was for Proposition 14).

    I believe, therefore, the Court must conclude as I have that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and should be stricken.
    Edmund G. Brown Jr. is the Attorney General of the State of California.