Thursday, December 22, 2011

Living Bi, Thoughts on A Year Straight

By Faith Cheltenham

In between the pages of Marie Claire, I found a lovely review of “A Year Straight: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Lesbian Beauty Queen”.   From the very beginning it seemed like a bisexual story, but the word bisexual was nowhere to be found.  I emailed the agent and the author to request an interview as I just had to know, is this a bisexual person hidden by society or by themselves?  

“It was Shark Week.  We watched episode after episode until sundown, at which point I dragged myself to the subway and made my back to my brother’s house.  
The odds of being attacked by a shark are one in eight million.  What are the odds of meeting that special single someone in a city of eight million?” – A Year Straight

The HuffingtonPost.com excerpt of A Year Straight has nearly 400 comments.  It’s in the “Women” section of the website, not the cheery rainbow oriented “Gay Voices” area of HuffPo.  Comments from include readers saying “this is a lot like me” as well “this is just another bisexual”.  There’s also a good amount of “she doesn’t have to use a label if she doesn’t want to”.

In contrast, over at afterellen.com, a Lesbian reviewer is outraged at the book and its lack of the word bisexual.  AfterEllen.com Managing Editor Trish Bendix remarks that “the first problem with this memoir is…that author Elena Azzoni ‘goes straight’.”  The second problem according to Bendix is that “Bisexuality is not once mentioned. The idea of either being a lesbian or being straight is the perpetuation of a terrible stereotype.”  As a bisexual activist I can’t argue with that sentiment, but I find it curious that Bendix goes onto say that “Elena doesn't even consider the fact that her attraction to men could mean she's interested in exploring her sexual fluidity instead of a quarter-life crisis indicating she's meant to be with a guy. “  

Is it just the lack of key terms like bisexual, pansexual, fluid and/or sexual fluidity that leads Bendix to assume the heart of Elena’s matter?  In short, are you bisexual if you don’t use the word bisexual to self-identify?  In my opinion, Bendix incorrectly summarizes the earliest content of the book as it’s overarching theme when she says, "In fact, the whole reason she starts dating guys is because she felt a connection with her yoga instructor. And when she shares her crush with a coworker and gets a Brazilian wax, she decides to keep trying to date men because she didn't want to let all that go to waste."

First of all, Brazilian waxes shouldn’t be so lightly discounted!  It’s a huge investment charmingly well described by Azzoni when she says , “I did not recall feeling that exposed during my last wax job, or during any pap smear for that matter”.  All joking aside, it seems to me that Bendix is indeed well meaning in her assessment of A Year Straight; but her assumptions of bi people get in the way of her intended defense of the fluid community. 
“I didn't want to want men.  I didn’t want to end up like those women I overheard in restaurants and bars, catching wind of phrases like ‘He always’ and ‘He never,’ their martinis teetering on active fault lines.  Many of my friends had nothing but horrible luck with men, and there was no reason to assume I'd be spared. – A Year Straight

In my experience the bisexual process of coming out and accepting yourself goes through several stages.  If I had to distill it down to six steps said to a bisexual self at least once, it would go a little like this:
1)    Oooh he’s hot!  Wow, she’s so cute.  Wait?  What is this?  Am I lesbian?  Am I gay? Am I Straight?  What the heck is going on?!

2)    Hey Angelina Jolie/ Evan Rachel Wood/Alan Cummings have said they’re bisexual?  What is this word bisexual?  How do I split myself in half and like each equally?  Do I do it at the same time?  Shall I be gay and then be straight or vice versa?  How long do I get to make up my mind?

Bisexual Resource Center responds to bi teen on YouTube

Amazing story coming out of Massachusetts right now!  The Bisexual Resource Center is saying...
The BRC is Here For You! The BRC has produced a video in response to one by a bi teen on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She described how she's been bullied and beaten up by fellow students and how it's affected her self-esteem. She's strong and brave for sharing her story and the BRC offers encouragement and resources for her and for many others out there who need resources about bisexuality.- http://biresource.net/


Amy Andre has written her thoughts on HuffPo as well, check it out!

Bisexual Teen vs. Rick Perry on DADT

By Chiquita Violette 
ABCNews.com states, Rebecka Green, a 14-year-old student challenged Rick Perry, Republican Governor of Texas and 2012 Presidential-contender after a town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa. She had a very simple inquiry that exposed the hypocrisy of Perry's stance on LGBT persons in the military and his faith. She makes her offense with the following statement, "I just want to know why you're so opposed to gays serving openly in the military, why you want to deny them that freedom when they're fighting and dying for your right to run for president." 

This face-off came about after the openly bisexual teen saw Perry's "Strong" ads aired in Iowa and chose to come to the town meeting with her father. Perry defended himself behind the shield of Christianity, “Here’s my issue. This is about my faith…I’m a sinner and so I’m not going to be the first one to throw a stone,” Perry said. “I don’t agree that openly gays should be serving in the military. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was working…but having them openly serve in the military, I happen to think as a commander in chief of some 20,000 plus people in the military is not good public policy...”

Green's father, Todd, expressed his disappointment in Perry's logic saying, “He seemed to get that backward,” according to nationaljournal.com, and that “Christians are not being persecuted in the United States of America. They’ve been in a position of dominance and power and privilege throughout the history of the United States of America. LGBT persons have not.” A video of the bright teen approaching Perry can be seen here.

The teen’s father pointed out his disagreement in Perry’s stance on coming out as Christian means showing bravery, “I’d be more impressed if you were Muslim or an atheist and coming out like that, but to come out as though this was an act of courage for him to proclaim his Christian faith, but he also wants to take the stand against gays in the military. This is someone who’s in the position of power and privilege and he’s abusing it.”

“For a group of women and men to fight for the freedom to run for president, to gather here peacefully and assemble here peacefully in a place like Decorah, but not for them to have the freedom to be open about who they are but he can be free to be open about who he is, to me it seems to be a major contradiction and very hypocritical,” stated by Mr. Green. “If you love the sinner, whatever that means, your policy should reflect that I think...”

According to thenewcivilrightsmovement.com, “Were Perry to invoke with consistency his faith as Commander In Chief, he would be forced to fire an estimated 3500 to 13500 Muslim American soldiers, and 66,500 gay, lesbian, and bisexual American soldiers. Perry has indicated he does not believe Mormons are Christians, so an estimated 17,000 active duty Mormons serving would have to go. Additionally, Perry would have to fire 214,000 active duty women and 200,000 women in the reserves and national guard.” Firing all these individuals doesn’t sound like it would make the U.S. or its military stronger.

The teen dismissed Perry, telling reporters that she finds his stance, as "completely ridiculous.”, according to jezebel.com. Her sentiments are shared by others, as many others disapproved of and parodied Perry’sinfamous “Strong” Youtubevideo.

Bi Celebs – Two Sides of a Good Thing

Bi Celebs – Two Sides of a Good Thing…The Double-Edged Sword of Being a Role Model
By Gary North

The Darkest Hour's Olivia Thirlby Comes Out

Anna Paquin and Olivia Thirlby are two of the more recent thespians to come out as bi.
That’s a good thing, right? Gives the movement some admired role models and some visibility, yes?
Well…yes, but.
The “but” is that I as a movie fan and (erstwhile) cultural maven have two reactions at once (and, no, not because bi people by nature have two reactions at once).
My first reaction, especially when I was first dealing with my sexuality, was: Whew! I’m not the only one! (Of course when I was coming out sometime in the last century, shortly after the Paleolithic era, there were no such creatures as “bi” until Newsweek discovered “bi chic” and then promptly forgot about it.)
At the same time, though, an actor or actress (or writer or director or whoever) coming out (as bi or gay or whatever) is a lot like a magician deconstructing their magic tricks, revealing the gears and levers behind the curtain: See, I’m PLAYING straight, but YOU KNOW and I KNOW that I’m JUST ACTING!
…Well, duhhhhh… Of COURSE they’re acting! That’s their JOB! … But, just as audience members know that the magician knows that the audience knows he or she is a magician, the audience still wants to BELIEVE the magic is real, that the illusions are real. I really DON’T want to know how the trick is done (or how laws are made or sausage is made or sewage is treated…).
So when Anna or Olivia come out as bi, I cheer – and then I have to force myself to fight through the cognitive dissonance of KNOWING they’re bi in order to BUY that they’re “straight” in whatever role they’re playing.
And this is a bad thing. But only for me, and that’s MY problem.
To this day, I have trouble watching Doris Day/Rock Hudson romance movies (well, truth be told, I always had trouble sitting through those) or “McMillan and Wife” episodes because, well, heck, it’s a gay guy playing straight. It carries right through for me to the most famous or visible bi stars of recent years, including Alan Cumming, Drew Barrymore, Anne Heche, Angelina Jolie, Cynthia Nixon, and so on – although, to be fair, they didn’t necessarily always play “straight” roles; one COULD PRESUME or infer that some of their characters were bi, or PRETEND as much, since – as with real life – what isn’t said can be assumed to exist silently. Whatever…
(Musicians have it easier – they play instruments, not roles – and can be themselves more easily, especially because their love songs are often gender-neutral: “you” “you make me feel like a teenage…” “you, you’re the one…”: Christina Aguilera, Fergie, Lady Gaga…)
But am I saying actors SHOULDN’T come out as bi because it makes me work too hard to fight off their believability when they’re interpreting Shakespeare or Mamet?
Bi Social Network's I am Visible Campaign
No. Quite the opposite. The ones who have come out have knowingly put their careers in jeopardy for a higher cause: the truth and honesty about human sexuality, human behavior, open-mindedness, and progressiveness. They know the younger viewers don’t care and/or will applaud them for being so daring. The older fuddy-duddies like me just have to disenthrall ourselves by forgetting the outside world for a few short hours and remind ourselves that all the world is a stage, and that THAT really is Henry the VIII or Queen Victoria up there on the screen or trodding the boards.
So the next time you watch “True Blood” or “The Good Wife” or “Good Vibes,” or listen to a good song, thank your lucky bi self that a bi celeb had the courage to come out, stand tall, and bring truth to the masses – one role at a time, for all to see.
You got a problem with that? Then it’s YOUR problem.
Now, pass me the popcorn, turn up the volume, and turn down the lights.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bi Pride Weekend Los Angeles!

Help us celebrate Bisexuality Day on Friday, September 23rd at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center/ The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N. McCadden Place Los Angeles, CA It starts at 6:30 PM, but it is fine to arrive after 7:30 PM, if that is a problem for you.

A night to celebrate the music and art in our community. with performances by:

* The Hicksters
* Rachel Lynn Sebastian
and
* Astronomia novA

Show your support and have fun at the same time!

Thank you,
LA Bi Task Force Committee
http://www.facebook.com/groups/82212042524/

Go to our Facebook Page to sign up. Music, Entertainment, Nice People, etc.
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=216479945073107

Bi Pride Weekend Boston!

13th Annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day with the local Boston bi/pan/fluid community on Saturday, September 24, 7-10 pm

Downstairs at the Lir Pub, 903 Boylston Street, Boston (near the Hynes stop on the Green Line)http://www.lironboylston.com

Celebrate our tremendously diverse and creative bi culture. Come to CBD (Celebrate Bisexuality Day) and learn about bi writers, musicians, artists, actors, and much more! Honor our Unsung Heroes and Unsung Allies!

Enjoy lots of fun interactive activities and mix and mingle with other revelers. Fabulous raffle opportunities to win bi CDs, books, and DVDs!

Party with the BRC (Bisexual Resource Center) from 7-10 pm, then stay on and enjoy the atmosphere of the Lir Pub into the night!

http://biresource.net

Suggested donation at door, not required. Festive attire is encouraged. For info, email brc (at) biresource (dot) net

Download flyer here: http://biresource.net/CBDposter.pdf

Celebrate Bisexuality Day in San Diego!

In honor of International Celebrate Bisexuality Day on September 23, "Bi Any Name" (The San Diego LGBT Community Center's Discussion Group for those attracted to more than one gender) is having a Bi Outing in Hillcrest.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BiForumSD/

http://www.thecentersd.org
http://sandiego.sandiegoreader.com/Groups/bi-any-name/8056733
http://www.gay-sd.com/the-center-launches-bisexual-support-group/

Some people will be wearing Purple T-shirts that say Visi-Bi-Lity which will help you locate us as will the below outline of our schedule. So, put on your Purple (if you want), spread the word, bring your friends and come join us.

* 7:00pm Nunzi's Café 1255 University
* 8:00pm to 8:30pm (approximately)Fiji Yogurt 1010 University
* For about an hour, we will wander from Fiji to Peet's and stop when the whim grabs us.
* 9:30pm Peet's Coffee 350 University Ave.
* 10:00pm (approximately)Urban Mo's 308 University Ave.

Bi Pride Weekend: St. Paul, USA


The Bisexual Organizing Project-BOP Invites all Bisexuals and their allies to celebrate with them on Friday, September 23rd 7PM - 11:30PM at the Chatterbox Pub located at 800 Cleveland Ave South, Saint Paul, MN 55116.

Chatterbox Pub

BOP will provide food and softdrinks for all who show up! And they will have board and card games. Come out and celebrate with us!

Facebook Event

Bisexual Organizing Project-BOP
*Main Page
*Facebook
*Yahoo Group

Bi Pride Weekend: Chicago, USA

DATE: Friday, September 23, 2011 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
LOCATION: Center on Halsted 3656 North Halsted
http://www.centeronhalsted.org
PRICE Seating is limited, First come - First Serve. Free event, all are welcome.

DESCRIPTION: Celebrate Bisexuality Day was first organized on September 23 in the late 1990's by Wendy Curry, Michael Page (creator of American Bisexual flag), and Gigi Raven Wilbur. The event is a reaction to the Bisexual Erasure that bisexual persons experience by both the straight and greater LGBT communities. The historic day continues to ensure Bi visibility and to emphasize the importance of equal inclusion of Bi individuals. Last year, Chicago hosted an awesome panel of Bi and Queer activists who inspired this year's happening.

Once again, Br. Michael Oboza, Founder of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago, is organizing this important day in Chicago's Bisexual Activism history. The one and only Karen McReady, Vice President of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago, is hosting a panel of Bisexual people as they share their coming out stories. Followed by a Q and A and Networking hour.

Meetup Event

Facebook


Chicago Bisexual Queer Meetup
Meetup
Twitter
Facebook

Bi Pride Weekend: Westchester County, NY, USA

Come enjoy Celebrate Bisexuality Day at The LOFT, the LGBTQ safe space on 252 Bryant Avenue in White Plains in Westchester County NY.

On Friday September 23rd starting at 7:30 PM, we will be showing the popular bisexual & lesbian themed romantic comedy "Rose By Any Other Name" by Kyle Schickner of FenceSitter Films.

Bisexual NYC

The film is a wry and witty view of biphobia in the lesbian/gay and straight communities.

The story follows the main characters Rose a comfortably out woman who identifies as lesbian and Anthony a decent progressive straight guy who serendipitously meet and then unexpectedly find themselves falling for each other. Rose has to navigate the reaction of her lesbian friends (they aren't thrilled!) while Anthony too has to deal with his equally confused straight buddies who are equally nonplussed.

So come have fun Celebrating Bisexuality Day, watch a bi film, and support a bi filmmaker and activist!!!

Rose By Any Other Name

FenceSitter Films


We are pleased to announce that Kyle Schickner himself will be there for a Q&A after the film:

Kyle Schickner


___________________________________
As always, those who cannot make it to the event or the regular Tuesday evening discussion groups are invited to join Bi Discussion, the private online group. There you can ask questions, chat, make some "net-friends" and keep up with what is happening in Westchester County and surrounding bisexual community.

Bi Discussion

Bi Pride Weekend: NYC, USA



Friday, September 23rd

When: Friday evening from 6PM - 9:30PM
What: PARTY! Evening Cocktails w/ Community Catering
Where: NYC's main LGBT Community Center on W 13th Street off or 7th Ave in the West Village

Come One, Come All!! Kick of Bi Pride Weekend in NYC! All Bi and Bi Friendly folk are all invited to Celebrate Bisexuality!!! Evening Cocktails & Potluck Admission is $10 sliding scale, OR enter for FREE when you bring a dish to share (enough to fill a small chafing dish) OR be a volunteer.

Meetup -- Facebook


Saturday, September 24th

When: Saturday afternoon from 2PM - 5PM
What: POLITICAL ACTION bI-Q: BI-Quotient Survey: Street Visibility Action
Where: Street Action in NYC from Columbus Circle to Astor Place, right down Broadway

We are EMPOWERED by the recent Census of LGBT people which showed that the majority members of the rainbow consider themselves Bisexual... We are CELEBRATING our own Bisexuality by being out and visible and openly talking about that wonderful intersection between our affections and our attractions

Meetup -- Facebook

When: Saturday afternoon/evening 5:30PM - 9:00PM
What: Relax! Bi Tea
Where: Affaire NYC 50 Avenue B (between 3rd and 4th)

How do YOU take your tea? Come relax during NYC's celebration of Bi Pride Weekend and enjoy tea, pastries and drinks in the company of other Bisexual/Pansexual, Queer-identified and Bi-friendly people in the classy-but-decadent ambience of Affaire Bistro & Lounge. Admission is free, just pay for whatever you order.

Meetup -- Facebook

When: 9:00PM Saturday night until 1AM Sunday morning
What: Performance Night
Where: BAR 82, back room 136 2nd Ave (btwn St. Marks & 9th St)

Continue NYC's celebration of bisexuality with live performances by singer-songwriters rorie kelly and Robin Renée, comedienne Jessica Lovelace-Chandler and spoken word artist Geoff Kagan Trenchard! Doors open at 9pm. Admission $5. Artists' CDs will be available for sale.

Meetup -- Facebook


Sunday, September 25th

When: Sunday afternoon from 3PM - 8PM
What: FILM FESTIVAL! Bisexual Film & Flix Day Festival
Where: Cin-M-Art Space 43 43 Murray St (btwn W Broadway & Church) Downstairs space

How is bisexuality portrayed in the media?? How has the portrayal of Bi people changed with new media? What stereotypes are encouraged or dismantled? Three Films (Carravagio, Rose By Any Other Name & ShortBus) w/Q&A after each film plus Kyle Schickner, bisexual filmmaker/activist will take questions.

Admission Fee is $7.00/per person. Full service bar & restaurant, so feel free to dine while you take in the flix. Popcorn, coffee and tea will also be served.

Meetup -- Facebook

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florida Bi Pride Event Tomorrow!

Luigi Ferrer will be presenting a CBD Workshop with Dr Marilyn Volker at Florida International University, Wolfe University Center, room 159 on Thursday, September 22  1-2:30pm.

Bi Pride Event: Vancouver WA/Portland OR

Greater Portland area people, Friday can be a tough day to plan an event,especially during the day, but if you are in the area meet up at Tully's. Wear bi pride colors if you can, whether a bracelet or shirt, earrings, etc.

Friday, September 23rd from Noon to 1 PM Tully's Coffee (Hazel Dell) 7710 NE 5th Ave Suite 122 Vancouver, WA 

NYC BI PRIDE EVENT: LIVE MUSIC Saturday 9/24 9 PM

NYC BI PRIDE EVENT: LIVE MUSIC Saturday 9/24 9 PM
Continue the NYC celebration of bisexuality with live performances by singer-songwriters rorie kelly and Robin Renée, comedienne Jessica Lovelace-Chandler and spoken word artist Geoff Kagan Trenchard!

Saturday, September 24 at 9:00pm – September 25 at 1:00am
BAR 82
, back room.
136 2nd Avenue between St. Marks and 9th Streets, NYC.

Doors open at 9pm. Admission $5. Artists’ CDs will be available for sale.


About the artists:
Geoff Kagan Trenchard’s poems have been published in numerous journals including Word Riot, The Nervous Breakdown, The Worcester Review, SOFTBLOW and Pemmican. He has received endowments from the National Performance Network, Dance Theater Workshop, The Zellerbach Family Foundation and the City of Oakland to produce original theatrical work. As a mentor for Urban Word NYC, he taught weekly poetry workshops in the foster care center at Bellevue as well as in Rikers Island with Columbia University’s “Youth Voices on Lockdown” program. He is a recipient of a fellowship from the Riggio Writing and Democracy program at the New School and the first ever louderARTS Writing Fellowship. He has performed poetry on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, at universities throughout the United States, and in theaters internationally as a member of the performance poetry troupe The Suicide Kings. He lives in Brooklyn and can be found at kagantrenchard.com.

Robin Renée is Mantra-Pop! Conscious and melodic with an edge, think of blending the voices of Chrissie Hynde and Joan Armatrading with thewordsmith intelligence of Elvis Costello and the mystical passion of Indian chant. The Courier News calls her “one of the Garden State’s finest singer-songwriters” and the San Francisco Spectrum says “Her smooth delivery… deliver(s) wonderful post-modern soul to the masses.”
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Jessica Lovelace-Chandler is a stand-up comic as well as a sketch writer. She was previously a member of the famous ACME Comedy Theater in Hollywood. She has performed with Larry Miller, Natasha Leggero, Reggie Lee, Mayim Bialik, Walt Willey, and Keith Coogan just to name a few.

rorie kelly is a small redheaded tornado of sound. First-time listeners often comment, “I can’t believe that voice came out of that body.” rorie writes catchy, melodic rock songs that she plays with enough passion to break guitar strings–and go right on playing without batting an eye. The singer/songwriter has been compared to artists ranging from Fiona Apple to Janis Joplin to Liz Phair. She has opened for Alix Olsen and Jen Chapin, and was named one of Long Island’s “Top Ten Indie Artists You’ve Never Heard Of” by Pulse Magazine.

Full details at www.bifinetwork.com | twitter @bifihotspot | http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=245995202105129

NYC BI PRIDE EVENT: Bi Tea, Saturday 9/24 5:30 PM

Bi Tea, Saturday 9/24 5:30 PM
How do YOU take your tea? Come enjoy tea, pastries and drinks in the company of other Bi and Bi-friendly men and women in the classy-but-decadent ambiance of Affaire Bistro & Lounge.

Saturday, September 24 · 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Affaire NYC 50 Avenue B between 3rd and 4th Streets New York, NY
Admission is FREE! 
Full details at www.bifinetwork.com | twitter @bifihotspot
| facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=257447344289803

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Real To Everyone: Bisexual Study Sponsored by AIB Makes The News

Just this week, the journal of Biological Psychology published a Northwestern University study that contradicted 2005 research questioning whether male bisexuality even existed. It was the second of two such papers that finds that it does.

"Bisexuality is an orientation among men, just like heterosexuality and homosexuality," said Allen Rosenthal, a doctoral student in the university's psychology department and lead author of the study.
Read More At: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/male-bisexuals-ridiculed-gays-straights-find-comfort-study/story?id=14372385

Many congrats to AIB, and all the brave folks who were in this study. Many congrats to the all the bi folks who are speaking from their experience with their friends, family and others about this amazing orientation spectrum so many of us call home! We all have lots of different ways of expressing ourselves and our sexuality. While it can be a lil abrasive to be called "real", one is reminded of the Velveteen Rabbit -- what makes us real is our love, and those who love us. Each and every one deserves that kind of reality I think!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dan Savage Tells It How It IS

Nicely done, Dan.  

"You should also head to bisexual websites and online forums for insight, advice, and support. A good place to start is www.binetusa.org. There are lots of bi folks out there who've come out to their conservative families, who've overcome their fear of being rejected for being bi, and who know that bisexuality is something that can—if a person is open about it—attract the right kinds of partners, i.e., partners who view bisexuality as a plus. Talking with other bi folks will help." - Read the whole piece at http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=9435660

Kudos to the many Bi and LGBT activists who have been working very hard to educate and enlighten Dan Savage so that he in turn can support the many bi/pan/fluid folk who come to him for advice. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Host A Scrabble Night and Fund Raise For Your Bi/Pan/Fluid Org!

How We Staged a Successful Game Night/Fundraiser

Objective: We wanted to raise money for the organization and provide a great social event for our
members.

Solution: We decided to stage a “Scrabble Night and Silent Auction” at which we raised $700.

Key Organizational Elements: The following are all things to consider when you decide to stage
something like this:
  • We were able to have the event in GLBT friendly church basement (one of our members is a member of the church), so they didn’t charge us anything.
  • We bought some soft drinks in bulk, but had Board members bring pot luck type items – things like chili, chips, baked goods, etc were the norm. We didn’t try to provide an actual meal, just some snacks.
  • We advertised on our website, listserv, and Facebook. Definitely encouraged people to bring a friend or ally.
  • Two people we specifically in charge of going to local businesses and asking for donations to the silent auction. Note: it generally does not work for people to donate their own personal possession, unless it is of obvious value. Donating to a silent auction is not the opportunity to clean out your basement. Having said that, others on the Board and in the organization were encouraged to go to business they patronize and ask for donations.
  • We focused on Scrabble and had a mini-tournament, but we brought other board and card games. To be honest, the tournament aspect of the evening faded away and people just enjoyed playing. I would recommend that you just have games and table set up and let people get together and play. If you do a tournament you have to have time limits, keep scores, etc. The 2 or 3 ace, Type A players will be disappointed, but everyone else will enjoy it more.
  • At the entry point, have a table set up where you “check in” folks. Checking in entails getting their email address if they want to join the listserv, giving them a name tag and asking them to contribute the “suggested giving” amount (we went with $10).
  • We made periodic announcements about bidding on the silent auction items.
  • Areas to assign someone to be responsible for the event: Publicity, Silent Auction, games, food, set up and clean up.
Thanks to Jim Larsen and the Bisexual Organizing Project for providing details on a great and FUN fundrasing tool!  Just in time for Celebrate Bisexuality Day planning!

A Guide to Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Etiquette


 Creating Change 2012 is coming up!  If you're interested in attending visit the Facebook page to meet other bi/pan/fluid folk excited to make change!  

The guide to bi/pan/fluid etiquette developed for last year's Creating Change conference was a major hit so check it out below and share with a friend!

A Guide to Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Etiquette

The bisexual identity speaks more to the existence of attraction to people of any gender, rather than merely a statement of past or current relationships and/or sexual activities. Bisexual, pansexual, fluid and folks who choose to remain “unlabeled” are part of the LGBT community and need you as an ally just as much as they remain your strong partner in the fight for equality. To that end, we offer a few notes on bisexual/pansexual/fluid communities.

Common misconceptions about bisexual/pansexual/fluid communities include: There’s no such thing as bisexuality; bisexuality is just a phase; bisexual people have multiple partners and/or can’t have monogamous relationships; bisexuality itself reinforces the gender binary; bisexual people spread sexually transmitted diseases; and bisexual people face less discrimination than gay, lesbian and transgender people. 

We have all had moments in our lives where we have been misperceived and misunderstood, we hope everyone will draw from their own experiences to create a space in which we can all be our full selves during the conference.

Each individual may have a different definition of bisexuality.  Contrary to common misconceptions, bisexuality is not exclusively a transitional phase between heterosexuality and homosexuality. No single pattern exists among bisexuals. Many people declare their bisexuality to claim their personal history. They don’t want to erase previous loves or parts of themselves to buy acceptance.  Because one’s definition does not fit another does not make it any less valid. Please respect each person’s power and ability to define themselves. 

A few other ways to embrace the bisexual/pansexual/fluid communities:
·         Use inclusive language, instead of “gay rights” or “gay marriage” try “equal rights” and “marriage equality”.
·         Question the negativity associated with bisexual stereotypes.
·         Check in with someone about what term(s) they prefer – Remember that no one person represents a community; no two people are the same and definitions may vary.
·         Recognize that bisexuality is often invisibilized/ delegitimized, so bi/pan/fluid people usually have to come out over and over.
·         Respect people’s privacy and boundaries. Take a moment before asking questions and look into the assumptions behind them.
·         Recognize that bisexual people often face similar discrimination and obstacles as gays and lesbians with regard to job security, healthcare, marriage, custody, visitation and adoption of children.
·         Recognize the way that specific relationships function is entirely independent of sexual orientation. Be positive about all relationships –monogamous, polyamorous, or anything else.
·         Accept you might never fully understand someone else’s sexuality, and that it’s okay not to.

Thank you for respecting all the ways we can love each other!  Enjoy the conference!

Compiled by 2011 Creating Change Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Organizing Institute Co-coordinators, Becky Saltzman and Faith Cheltenham.   


- The National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change 2011 Conference Program
http://www.thetaskforce.org/cc11/downloads/cc11_program.pdf

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Online study for Gay, Bi and Same-Sex Attracted Men!

Seeking Gay/Bisexual/Same-Sex Attracted Men For An Interactive Online Study (and a chance to win an Amazon.com Gift Certificate)

Greetings all!
 I am a graduate student in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am currently looking for men who are attracted to men to participate in my dissertation study.  Your responses are anonymous and the purpose of this study is to examine the effect of an interactive online intervention in improving the psychological well-being of same-sex attracted men.

In order to be eligible to participate,
- You must be 18 years old or older
- You must live in the United States
- You must self-identify as male
- You must have some attraction to men

Please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7P5MF3C

You will not be asked for any identifying information and your responses are anonymous. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. This study should take between 35-50 minutes to complete. Participants will have a 1-in-4 chance to win one Amazon.com® gift card.

The faculty advisor for this study is Tania Israel, Ph.D. (tisrael@education.ucsb.edu). This study has been reviewed and approved by the UCSB Institutional Review Board.
Again thank you for your support. Your responses are greatly appreciated.

Yen-jui (Ray) Lin, MA, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology
University of California, Santa Barbara
Contact: ylin@education.ucsb.edu
If you know others who may be eligible and interested in participating, please pass on the link.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

BiNet USA Joins Out & Equal Bisexual Advisory Committee

 
Out & Equal™ Workplace Advocates, see here, is the largest and most effective national, nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving workplace equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees and professionals.

Out & Equal runs several successful programs for and about the LGBT community including the world renowned Workplace Summit, Executive Forum, LGBT training and education, Town Call series, Regional Affiliate Program and LGBTCareerLink.com - building successful organizations by helping them value all employees, customers and communities.

BiNet USA Officers Luigi Ferrer and Gary North are pleased to be taking part in a new Out & Equal venture, the Out & Equal Bisexual Advisory Committee and would like to let the bi / pan / fluid community know about the upcoming 2011 Out & Equal Summit.  Please visit here to submit a workshop proposal.  For more insight, check out the 2010 Out & Equal Summit Program book here

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CNN's Showbiz Tonight Covers "Flexisexuality" Today!




2pm PT/5pm ET and 11pm PT/ET


Flexisexuality?  What's that?  Find out more about this emerging term which seems to be a new way of describing sexual fluidity. "It refers to people who have a sexual preference but refuse to be bound by it" said the UK's Daily Mail in late 2010. Read more...

CNN asked Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA's new president to come down and speak on the issue.  Let's see what happens on Showbiz Tonight!

The "flexisexuality" segment will air during the 2pm PT/5pm ET news hour and again at 11pm PT/ET.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Report on Bi Invisibility!



The San Francisco Human Rights Commission unanimously adopted a groundbreaking report examining the consequences of rendering bisexuals "invisible" at its meeting last week...

Recent studies have found that bisexuals are the largest population in the LGB community. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2010, 3.1 percent of individuals self-identify as bisexual, compared to 2.5 percent as gay or lesbian. Yet, Ulrich pointed out bisexuals had poor health outcomes, lived in poverty, faced discrimination from both mainstream society and gay and lesbian, and weren't being served by queer organizations that have "B" in the name. Bisexuals "weren't considered at all" in funding for services or bisexual organizations or even mentioned in annual agency reports, she said.

Read all about it on the Bay Area Reporter! and download the full report today!

Many Congrats to Lindsasusan Ulrich for her hard work in preparing the report!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lisa Jacobs Given Brenda Howard Award

Lisa Jacobs, creator of the Transcending Boundaries Conference, was honored
at the 18th Annual PFLAG-Queens awards luncheon today by being given the
2010 Brenda Howard Memorial Award. She was introduced by Estraven,
Secretary of BiNET USA, with these words:

"The human race is infinitely variable. People can be all sizes, shapes, and colors, and come in a rainbow of gender identities and sexual orientations. For the wonderful people in this room, and thank you all for being here, human variation is something to be celebrated and appreciated.

Unfortunately, as we know, this is not true for everyone, and queer people are often marginalized and oppressed. Therefore, the big LGBT conferences such as Creating Change feel wonderful, as they are an opportunity to be around other LGBT people in 'queer space.' However, bisexual and transgender people can be marginalized and ignored, if not actually erased, at gay and Lesbian events, intentionally or unintentionally. What Lisa Jacobs has done is to create a conference, Transcending Boundaries, for those of us who live in the closet within a closet, bisexuals, trans people, and others of alternate sexualities.

As a gender-variant bisexual person, when I went to my first Transcending Boundaries conference I felt that I was coming home. To be in a hotel full of people freely expressing their gender variance, using gender-free bathrooms, learning from all the wonderful talks (did you know that there are 146 different ways that a person can be intersex?) was an experience that helped to liberate me from my remaining narrow ways of thinking about gender. Of all the conferences I’ve ever gone to, Transcending Boundaries is closest to my heart.

And this, among other things, is the creation of Lisa Jacobs. She designed her own Social Justice major in college, and social justice has been a focus of her life ever since. Indeed, that is how Transcending Boundaries came to be. Lisa volunteered to help plan the BiNet Tri-State Bisexual Conference that was slated to be in New Haven, CT in 2001. She saw an opportunity for expansion beyond the tri-state area. Vincent Cangiano had the idea to include transgender as a focus, and she thought it was a weird and radical idea and supported it. And then she learned about intersex and decided to include that too. The connections between the communities seemed obvious to her...we were all outcasts among outcasts. And since that's how she has felt all her life, she wanted to find a way to turn that difference, that 'outcast' feeling, into strength.

When she later wrote up the incorporation and 501c3 papers, she tried to list as many 'outcast' sexual, gender and relationship groups as she could think of, and leave it open to include more groups than bi, trans and intersex. She did so because she felt the queer movement is one that constantly grows and changes, and she wanted Transcending Boundaries to be on the cutting edge of that change, to be a home and vanguard for those who don't fit into more mainstream movements. As one who has felt that she does not fit for her whole life, I would like to take this opportunity to offer her my personal thanks, and to say that this exemplar of the new young rising tide of the Bisexual Movement certainly embodies the values of Brenda Howard."


Previous winners of the Brenda Howard Memorial Award:

2005 - Lawrence Nelson
2006 - Tom Limoncelli
2007 - Wendy Moscow
2008 - Wendy Curry
2009 - New York State Assemblymember Micah Z. Kellner

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bisexuals in the White House Pics!






On June 16th, 2010 BiNet USA Board Member Faith Cheltenham and Bisexual Resource Center's Ellyn Ruthstrom went to the White House for the LGBT Pride Reception.  During I was able to have a good conversation with White House officials and ended up sending a list of over 60 individual bi/pan/fluid orgs to the White House.  We hope these lists will encourage the administration to invite more bi folks to the table for future policy discussions.  ~Faith