Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Vintage Patriotic Divider: God Bless America

On this Fourth of July, 2009, we bisexual, fluid and pansexual citizens and residents of the United States of America as well as our friends, families and allies can be proud that we are ably represented at several levels of government by out Bi-identified LGBT politicians.

There is Kate Brown, Oregon's Secretary of State, currently the highest ranking openly bisexual elected politician in the United States. She also attended the June 29 2009 Reception for LGBT people at the White House in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, where she met up with BiNet USA's own Robyn Ochs. Robyn reports "Kate and I were very excited to see each other and hugged and exclaimed happily!".
Kate Brown Out Bisexual Oregon Secretary of State & bisexual activist Robyn Ochs at the White house on June 29th 2009 at Reception in honor of the Stonewall Riots
We also have Newark, Delaware City Councilman Ezra Temko and New York State Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner. Assemblyman Kellner has sent this Fourth of July message to the Bisexual Community:
Out Bisexual New York State Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner"On this our day of independence, we must always remember that we had to fight for our rights and freedom. They were not handed to us. The 4th of July should be a reminder to all those in the Bisexual Community that we must continue to fight for full acceptance with in the greater LGBT community. Bisexuals must be an equal partner in the loud and proud fight for LGBT civil rights."

Micah Z. Kellner
Member of the New York State Assembly
Kellner, who is also a Disability Right's Advocate, is a veteran of many years in the political trenches serving as an aide to Senator Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and City Controller William C. Thompson and now as an Assemblyman elected to represent New York State's 65th district with the assistance of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, nevertheless is realistic about both celebrating how far as a community we have come and yet also clearly facing the almost institutionalized biphobia we must overcome saying "I've found that because the gay community treats us poorly that enables the straight community to do the same, because their gay friends have de facto sanctioned it."

However, with such fantastic out, visible and above all able elected leaders as Brown, Temko and Kellner and up and comers like Emily Drennen we are definitely making progress. It is getting harder and harder for mainstream society straight, gay, lesbian and otherwise to continue to pretend that we as a people and a community do not exist!!!
Happy Birthday USA!!

4 comments:

  1. This just put a huge grin on my face. Thank you! Happy Independence Day and happy weekend to every American reading!

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  2. Kim Westrick3:39 PM

    It's exciting that there are out bi politicians, but, as a political community, we should question or challenge our community leaders (such as Kellner), who honor racist holidays such as the 4th of July. The 4th of July is about European colonizers’ racial and cultural genocide of native people, the celebration of which perpetuates white supremacy and racism as they exist today. Why would BiNetUSA, an organization that espouses to work for social justice be casually praising this history?

    I should think racism would be a top issue to the bi community, considering it affects bisexuals everyday. As many people have heard, African American and bisexual sailor August Provost, was just murdered as a racist and homophobic/biphobic act of hate. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/03/california.sailor.death/.

    I hope BiNetUSA will counter this message with educational information about the genocidal history of the U.S. I also hope I'm not the only bi to be upset by this post and the fact that it was supported by BiNetUSA and sent out to the listserve.

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  3. As an African American Indian Bisexual Woman, I heartily embrace Kim's comment with a caveat; I don't think BiNet is wrong to celebrate the founding of the idea of freedom. It may have started out as a colonizer's holiday and a day many of my ancestor's rued, but these days the 4th reminds us all of who we can be as a truly free people. That's how I'd like to think about it at least.

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  4. I feel like a regrettable choice sometimes made by communities attempting to escape marginalization is to embrace aspects of the status quo. In this case, I believe BiNet USA is guilty of such a transgression. As a European American, it saddens me to look back at subsequent waves of European immigrants who at the time were not considered "white" and in turn embraced whiteness in order to assimilate with the broader culture. Of course this meant aligning with the de-facto racist majority. As a Bisexual, it saddens me further to think we might follow along similar lines. Let's not buy into a culture if it means we sacrifice our values. Let's embrace freedom - freedom from the racist status quo.

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