Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance

Prayer for Transgender Day of Remembrance 
by Rabbi Reuben Zellman
(Thanks to Martin Rawlings-Fein and the Bay Area Bisexual Network for this prayer)

"God full of mercy, bless the souls of all who are in our hearts on this Transgender Day of Remembrance. We call to mind today young and old, of every race, faith, and gender experience, who have died by violence. We remember those who have died because they would not hide, or did not pass, or did pass, or stood too proud. Today we name them: the reluctant activist; the fiery hurler of heels; the warrior for quiet truth; the one whom no one really knew.

As many as we can name, there are thousands more whom we cannot, and for whom no Kaddish may have been said. We mourn their senseless deaths, and give thanks for their lives, for their teaching, and for the brief glow of each holy flame. We pray for the strength to carry on their legacy of vision, bravery, and love.

And as we remember them, we remember with them the thousands more who have taken their own lives. We pray for resolve to root out the injustice, ignorance, and cruelty that grow despair. And we pray, God, that all those who perpetrate hate and violence will speedily come to understand that Your creation has many faces, many genders, many holy expressions.

Blessed are they, who have allowed their divine image to shine in the world.
Blessed is God, in Whom no light is extinguished."


Regardless of religious background, this sentiment is a wonderful one to express the intent that one day all will be free to be our most authentic self.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy National Coming Out Day 2012!

We here at BiNet USA hope you had a safe and wonderful day!  If you'd like to meet even more bi/pan/fluid people head over to www.facebook.com/groups/binetusa to meet additional like minded folks.
REMEMBER YOU ARE LOVED, AND YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

Friday, October 05, 2012

BILICIOUS BOSTON THIS WEEKEND

3RD ANNUAL BILICIOUS BOSTON SHOW Saturday, October 6, 2012
Bilicious returns to Boston for its third annual bisexual-themed multi-media variety show, in association with the Bisexual Resource Center. Open to theater-goers of all persuasions, this thought-provoking evening playfully mixes serious issues with entertainment through comedy, poetry, music, dance, and film. Audience participation is encouraged during a Q&A discussion with the performers immediately after the performance.  For more info, please visit: http://www.biliciousproductions.com/Events.html

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Time: Doors 7pm; Show 7:30pm
Venue: Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston
Tickets: $15 advance-$20 door; $12 students/seniors
OVER 21 EVENT
BUY TICKETS NOW!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Bi Pride Day! Celebrate Bisexuality Today! Many thanks to Advocate.com for inviting me to write a piece on "Why I Celebrate Bisexual Pride":
Finding the bisexual community saved me, finding others like me online and off made me feel completely normal and finally capable of loving relationships with whomever I wanted who wanted me.  No one should need a permission slip to fall in love, and no one should have anyone else’s definitions define them.  This Bi Pride Day I celebrate the heroes who helped me get here, and all the people who work toward a world where none of us live without being able to love ourselves.  In a stunning letter from a person who’s loved more than one gender, Frank Ocean tells me “I was never alone, as much as I felt like it… as much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don't think I ever could be.”  Frank’s letter shot off into space, breaking barriers and embracing the kids on the street, people between sheets, and all the other lovers who had missed a beat. For there are still too many people waiting, watching, and wondering about the line of best fit; how they intersect, and if they’ll ever connect. - Read More at Advocate.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CELEBRATE BISEXUALITY DAY WORLDWIDE SEPT. 23


LOS ANGELES, CA, and ARLINGTON, VA, (September 18, 2012)—The 21st anniversary celebration of the global holiday now known as Celebrate Bisexuality Day (CBD) will once again be held Sept. 23. Originally founded in 1991 as Bi VisiBIlity Day and slated for Valentine's Day, it was relaunched as CBD in line with a number of concurrent events for Sept. 23, 1999. Since then, it has grown to become an international holiday celebrated by those who self-identify as bi, pansexual, fluid, or other, honoring and proudly owning their awareness of their capacity to love without regard to gender identity and more.  Free from monosexual thinking and inhibitions, bi-identified people -- and those who identify as bi-and-beyond, pansexual, fluid, polysexual, and so forth -- use CBD (also known as Bi Pride Day and Bi Visibility Day) as a vehicle to promote awareness of the vast array of sexual and gender identities that are the true hallmarks of being human.

This year’s celebration is extremely special as BiNet USA and bisexuals around the globe continue to celebrate winning over Google in the recent bisexual search term dispute (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/09/13/google_blacklist_bisexual_banned_from_autocomplete_no_longer_.html).  Within a month of such groundbreaking news comes more excitement as the city of Berkeley, California becomes the first city in the nation to formally recognize the Bisexual Pride Day holiday (http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Berkeley-lawmakers-recognize-Bisexual-Pride-Day-3874797.php).

Festivities across the nation will continue to mark the holiday this week and weekend.  In Boston, the Bisexual Resource Center (http://www.biresource.net/) hosts its annual celebration with viewings of bisexual themed films and shorts from Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas) as well as Nicole Kristal, the Lambda Literary award-winning filmmaker. In Chicago, the Chicago Bisexual Queer Meetup has partnered with Bi Social Network (www.bisocialnetwork.com) to celebrate the bisexual community of Chicago with an event benefiting the LGBT Center on Halstead.  In Los Angeles, the LA Bi Task Force holds its annual Bi Arts Festival with performances in West Hollywood’s Plummer Park from Julie Cohen, Owen Edinger and Yazmin Monet Watkins among others.

For more news on Celebrate Bisexuality Day, check out the BiNet USA blog at www.binetusa.blogspot.com.

###
As America’s advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified and unlabeled people, BiNet USA facilitates the development of a cohesive network of independent bisexual and bi-friendly communities; promotes bisexual, pansexual, and bi-inclusive visibility; and collects and distributes educational information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on the bisexual, pansexual, and allied communities.
www.BiNetUSA.Org

Sunday, September 09, 2012

BiNet USA Wins Over Google in Search Term Dispute

After a campaign by BiNet USA and bisexuals worldwide, Google has removed "bisexual" from its list of banned words.

(Los Angeles, CA, September 4, 2012)--BiNet USA is pleased to confirm that Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has unblocked the term "bisexual" from its search algorithm. Now that "bisexual" is allowed, terms such as "bisexual quotes", "bisexual rights", and "bisexual parenting" are automatically suggested to Google users. "It's not every day one of the biggest companies in the world changes its mind, but we are thankful that Google now sees bisexual people just like everyone else," said BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham. "It will take time for bisexual search terms to be ranked as they were before the ban, but now bisexual people and their allies have a fighting chance to be seen, heard, and understood."

 Since late 2009, Google has had "bisexual" on a list of banned words; such words were de-prioritized by the Google search algorithm, leading to a drop in search rankings for all bisexual organizations and community resources. Since its search engine would not auto-suggest or auto-complete any term with the word "bisexual", Google made it harder for any user to find bisexual content, whether that be on coming out as bisexual or finding local support groups across the United States and elsewhere.

BiNet USA spearheaded a campaign to get Google to unblock the word and stop harming a deeply marginalized community even further. Along with allies and community members around the world, BiNet USA called on Google to stop exponentially increasing the bisexual invisibility field and start treating bisexual people just like gay and straight individuals ("Google's Bisexual Problem"). Said National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, "We thank Google for making the right call here and for acting as a responsive corporate citizen committed to dignity and equality."

BiNet USA and bisexuals around the world applaud Google for doing the right thing, just in time for the annual Global Bi Pride Day, "Celebrate Bisexuality Day" on September 23rd, 2012.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Survey on Bi Discrimination in the Workplace

Ahoy!

Here's a survey on the discrimination bi/pan/fluid individuals experience in employment spaces. Must be 18+ but not necessarily currently employed. Enjoy!

"Hello Everyone.

I'm conducting an online survey, with my co-author who is a psychology
professor, in order to find out more about bisexuals' experiences with employment discrimination. Please consider filling it out and also distributing the link. Both of us identify as bisexual. The survey is open to everyone over 18, regardless of geographic location.

My co-author, Karen Yescavage, is a psychology professor at Colorado
State University-Pueblo, and I'm a law professor at Hamline University in St. Paul. Karen and I put together this online survey to try to find out more about employment discrimination against bisexuals and others with fluid identities.

I got the idea for the survey after noticing that very few employment
discrimination cases alleging sexual orientation discrimination seem to be brought by bisexuals. I'm hoping that the survey will help explain why bisexuals don't seem to be pursuing cases and that it will ultimately add to society's understanding of the legal needs of bisexuals and other sexual minorities.

Please, please fill out the survey, whether or not you have ever
experienced employment discrimination. People who don't identify as bi are welcome to fill out the survey as well. We estimate that it will take about twenty to twenty-five minutes to fill out. The link is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LWJ93QJ. Also, please forward the link to anyone you think might be interested and also to people who may know others who could be interested.

If you would like a copy of the results of this study, please contact either Karen Yescavage at karen.yescavage@colostate-pueblo.edu or Ann Tweedy at atweedy01@hamline.edu. "

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sexual Minority Women Needed for Lehigh University Study

Hello everyone! Here's a survey looking for sexual minority women for their study.

"Hello! My name is Melanie Fann, and I am a third year graduate student
in the College of Education at Lehigh University. I am conducting a
study on the life experiences and well-being of sexual minority women.
It is my hope that with this study, I can contribute to the
understanding of the experiences of women who identify as lesbian,
bisexual, queer, or other sexual minority orientations. Your
participation is essential to achieving this goal, so I hope that you
will take part in this study.

In order to participate, you must identify as a woman, a sexual
minority person (e.g., lesbian, bisexual, queer, or other sexual
minority orientation), currently live in North America, and be 18
years of age or older. If you would like to participate in this study,
please click on the link below (or cut and paste it into your browser)
and you will be directed to the online survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HRTJZ2B

Thank you VERY much in advance for your time!  Please feel free to
pass on this link to other people who might be eligible. If you have
any questions about this study, please contact me at mef210@lehigh.edu
or my research supervisor, Dr. Cirleen DeBlaere, at
deblaere@lehigh.edu. This research has been approved by the Lehigh
University Institutional Review Board (#12/227).

Sincerely,

Melanie Fann, M.S."

Don't worry, I just finished the survey and it's very inclusive and might take 20-30 minutes of your time. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Survey: LGBT Self-Injury

Understanding factors involved in self-injury among LGBTQ individuals

Interested in helping with some important research?

We are looking for LGBTQ individuals between 18 and 25 years of age to participate in a research project looking at self-injury. You do not need to have a history of self-injury to participate. The study will take approximately one hour to complete and can be done ONLINE, from your own computer, on your own time. 

Participants will be eligible to win one of two $100 gift cards for Amazon.com. The draw will occur in Spring, 2013. Chances of winning will depend on the number of those who participate.

If interested please go to http://www.westresearch.ca/lgbtqstudy/ or email the graduate coordinator of this project, Jill St. Denis (j.stdenis@psy.uoguelph.ca).

This project has been reviewed and received clearance from the Research Ethics Board at the University of Guelph (REB#12FE001).

Special Note:
If you would like more information or resources about self-injury or issues relating to sexuality, please visit the following websites:

Self-Injury:

Self-injury Outreach & Support
http://www.sioutreach.org/
  
S.A.F.E. Alternatives
http://www.selfinjury.com/
 
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults
http://www.crpsib.com/default.asp
 
Recover Your Life
http://www.recoveryourlife.com/

To Write Love On Her Arms
http://www.twloha.com/
  

Saturday, July 07, 2012

BiNet USA Applauds Frank Ocean's Coming Out



We want to salute rapper Frank Ocean and praise his courage to share his experiences of sexual fluidity. This past Fourth of July, (The perfect day to liberate oneself!) the 24-year-old musician outed himself open letter style on his Tumblr:

"4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the days I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence..until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant, It was hopeless, There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling, no choice. It was my first love, it changed my life."

This is a big moment for hip-hop and it's relationship with the LGBT community. He has already received lots of  support from both the hip-hop as well as the LGBT communities, though there are still some mixed reactions to his announcement according to the Washington Post:

"But fans and celebrities alike responded on Twitter and Facebook. Not surprisingly, reactions to Ocean’s statement have been mixed. According to Twitter Counter, a site that tracks statistics for users of the social media network, the singer gained more than 15,000 followers in the day following his Tumblr post.

Rapper Tyler The Creator, who along with Ocean is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, voiced his support for Ocean in a (caution: strongly-worded) tweet..." Read more.

We hope that his coming out and the support that he is getting will start a trend in the hip-hop community for more LGBT-acceptance.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bi/Pan/Fluid Activists Painting the White House Pink, Purple and Blue!

Hello everyone!

I'm still settling in, back home to DFW from a wonderful time at the Annual White House LGBT Pride Month Reception (a mouthful!). It was very exciting, I am so happy to have been able to experience such an awesome excursion, it was just AMAZING.

President Obama giving his speech, photo credit: Morgan Goode


Taken from Lorain Hutchins website: "At the 2012 White Pride reception bisexuals were represented by a married couple, Emily Drennen and LindaSusan Ulrich, from San Francisco with their eight-week-old foster son;  two current BiNet USA board members, Chiquita Violette and Morgan Goode; BOP co-chair, Lauren Beach; Westchester County NY bi discussion group leader, Estraven; and two longtime southern California bi activists from the board of the American Institute of Bisexuality; Denise Penn and Regina Reinhardt."

L-R: Regina Reinhardt, Morgan Goode, Emily Drennen, LindaSusan Ulrich holding RJ, Lauren Beach, Chiquita Violette, Estraven, Denise Penn, photo credit: Morgan Goode


The first event I attended was the Briefing on Issues Impacting LGBTQ Youth. There are many issues they face, not limited to but including: substance abuse, mental health, child welfare and education and bullying. Very informative and comforting to see that our government is doing something to improve the lives of our LGBT youth. The panel was very passionate about their cause and each were working together, in different organizations but still interconnected and working for the same cause: bettering the lives of our youth, not just LGBT youth, but all American youth.


 
Robert and I after Obama's speech, photo credit: Robert Camina
While I was at the briefing, I encountered Ms. Nicole Maines, a transgender youth that I first read about not too long ago on Huffington Post written by her dad. His articles can be found here.  When the briefing opened up for Q&A, her father, Wayne Maines, was one of the first inquiring about the issues transgendered children face in school and how to reach the parents of students to educate them. When I got the chance later on to speak with Nicole, she was very lovely and nice. I told her that I read about her story and how moved I was. She smiled, nodded but still had this sad look on her face. So I asked her if she needed a hug. She nodded. I gave her a hug and a pat on the back. It was very sweet. We didn't speak long but I wanted to express and show her that people outside her family care about her and her cause and issues.I also ran into fellow Dallas activist and film maker Robert Camina who did the documentary on the Rainbow Lounge Raid. A happy surprise to catch up with him!

After the briefing, we (Emily and her wife Lindasusan, Morgan and I) headed downstairs to the Uncommon Cafe in the Eisenhower building for lunch with one of the panelists, David Mineta of ONDCP. What a treat to get up close and personal. He is very passionate about the nation's youth, especially when it comes to substance and alcohol abuse. Next we checked out the gift shop before starting on our way to the reception.

By the time we reached the entrance to White House and were cleared to get in, we had caught up with Estraven and Lauren. There was nothing like walking into the White House. Everyone was so polite. "Welcome to the White House." at every turn. We explored as many rooms as possible, pausing in the ladies room for a mini photo-shoot, before heading upstairs where the reception was being held. What a sight! Music, champagne, wines and other beverages were being served along with delicious hors d'oeuvres.

After filling up on the White House delights, we headed to the room in which the President would make his speech. It was filing up quickly so we ran up to get as close to the front as possible while an ocean of people began to fill the room. I was able to get close enough to the front to get a video (albeit shaky with background noises and commentary) of the President's speech.

After his speech, he went down the rope and shook hands with eagerly extended hands. I got my handshake in while I quickly mentioned the ENDA and DREAM Act and their importance. We went out the the reception area for more drinks and appetizers to socialize, take photos and to really let the whole experience soak in. Shortly afterward, I heard cheers and clapping,  people were forming a circle around someone on a bended knee making a proposal, it was pretty amazing! We lingered a little while longer for more White House exploration and photos before we headed to dinner at Rasoi Indian Kitchen.
Dinner after the White House, photo credit: Estraven
We met up with fellow activists Loraine Hutchins, Matthew Le Grant and John Craig to celebrate our experiences at the White House, the issues we face as bi/pan/fluid individuals and new ideas to help address these problems. All in all, it was a extremely awesome day, full of allure and excitement so much so that the feeling of elation was almost overwhelming. I wouldn't trade these experiences and memories for the world!

WWTDG Features Faith Cheltenham and BiNet USA

 Check out this HelloGiggles.com article on our very own Faith Cheltenham!

"When thirty-two year old Faith was growing up in San Luis Obispo, California, there was less than one percent of African Americans in the city.  To top it off, she was constantly bullied for being perceivably queer.  Although Faith preferred playing basketball and handball with the boys over wearing dresses and doing her hair like most girls at her school, she wasn’t out or aware of her orientation in those early years.  In high school, Faith had an attraction to girls, but didn’t think she was a lesbian because she also had an attraction to boys.  From kindergarten to high school, a bully always seemed to find Faith walking home from school, going to church, or at recess, and it was because of this bullying solely based on her appearance and mannerisms, as well as the fact that her “butchness” was counter to what was acceptable in her African American and Pentecostal cultures, that Faith was drawn to activism in college."

LA Pride in 2010


"While at UCLA, Faith worked on LGBT outreach to the African American community.  She helped develop the student organization BLAQUE for African American Queer youth, as well as the Queer Black Youth Office, where she also programmed speakers like Clinton Fellow and black gay activist Keith Boykins, as well as National Black Justice Coalition’s Dr. Sylvia Rhue to speak to college and junior high students.  Starting as a member of the listserve, then as a volunteer, fundraiser, activist, and blogger for BiNet USA six years ago, Faith worked her way up to co-organizing the Bisexual Organizing Institute’s National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference, where more than a hundred bisexual activists from across the country talk about strategies for inclusion and fundraising yearly. Specifically during the No on Prop 8 campaign..." Read full article here.

From the Hello Giggle's website: "Women Working to Do Good is a series that Hello Giggles and the White House have been collaborating on...Each story will be featured on the White House blog, and we are working together to bring more strong female role models to the forefront."

Friday, June 01, 2012

University of Florida is doing a Study on Stress and Sexual Minorities

Folks take a gander at this survey for sexual minorities and how we cope and deal with stress. This survey will also donate to HRC if enough people partake in it. :) So get to it!

"Hello!
My name is Delphia Grandoit, and I am a doctoral student in the Psychology Department at the University of Florida. I am currently conducting a study under the guidance of Dr. Carolyn M. Tucker. The study has been approved by the Insitutional Review Board at the University of Florida (UFIRB # 2012-U-539). The purpose of this study is to examine how stress related to one’s sexual identity affects physical health problems and engagement in a health-promoting lifestyle. Additionally, this study examines what coping styles may adequately address stress in sexual minority adults. It is our hope that this study can inform psychologists and healthcare providers about the influences of stress and coping in the lives of sexual minorities in order to establish more culturally sensitive physical and mental healthcare initiatives for sexual minorities.Your participation is essential to achieving this goal, so we hope that you will take part in our study. 
In order to participate, you must identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or as some other sexual minority; be able to read English; and be 18 years of age or older. If you would like to participate in our study, please click on the link below and you will be directed to the online survey: 
Please note that Facebook, Yahoo groups, or other online servers may record and use your online activity for other purposes.

Thank you very much in advance for your time! Please feel free to pass on this link to other people who might be eligible. If 250 individuals participate, $250 will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that works to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. If you have any question about this study, please feel free to contact me at dflenar@ufl.edu.

Sincerely, 
                                                 
Delphia Grandoit, M.S.
Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology, University of Florida"

Friday, May 25, 2012

Faith Cheltenham to be on University of California's LGBT Task Force

Many congratulations to Faith on her appointment to University of California's Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion! It's very wonderful that University of California is being so inclusive! Take a look at her official letter of appointment! Just click on the images to enlarge:























Go Faith go! :D

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Thank You Mr. President!

BiNet USA salutes President Obama's statement of support for same sex marriage.

FROM ABC NEWS:
"You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and, frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
Roberts asked the president whether first lady Michelle Obama was involved in his decision. Obama said she was, and he talked specifically about his own faith.
“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and, hopefully, the better I’ll be as president.”

Monday, April 09, 2012

A Very Fluid Conference: Creating Change is a-Changin'

Better late than never! Here is a summary of my Creating Change 2012 experiences. First things first, I have to say that Baltimore was a very interesting place. The weather was very nice and warmer than I had expected, this climate seemed to match that of the conference atmosphere. I checked in right on schedule and after a rest and sight-seeing, attended the opening plenary where NAACP President Benjamin Jealous took a stand for LGBT persons, in the same way that he stood up for his transgendered sibling. His full speech can be viewed on The Task Force's YouTube Channel, as well as a full transcript on their blog.


Now onto Bi/Pan/Fluid juicy goodness! Starting with Thursday's Bi/Pan/Fluid institute, I would say that there were about 30 to maybe 45 attendees, perhaps even more than that so it was a really good turnout! There were five co-facilitators: Ellyn Ruthstrom of Bisexual Resource Center, Robyn Ochs of BBWN, editor of the Bi Women's Newsletter and Getting Bi, Paul Nocera of BiRequest, writer and Huffington Post contributor, Amy Andre and myself of course repping BiNet USA.

From left to right: myself, Paul, Robyn, Amy and Ellyn.

Ellyn and I opened up with the welcoming and the BINGO icebreaker respectively. This activity was a great way of us to meet, greet and find out our other commonalities and differences. Next Paul, who also hosted at the Bi/Pan/Fluid Hospitality Suite, led the introductions of the room and helped us all lay out some of the ground rules, discover each other's backgrounds and preferred pronouns and find out why everyone came to the institute. Next tackled the question, "What's in a name?" discussing our identities, what they mean to our intersectionalities and us.
After a short break, Robyn gave us a lesson on biphobia with ways of recognizing different forms of biphobia such as a lack of information, what she termed "pull of the binaries" and "erotophobia" and how to combat it. She also taught us a new word, "Bi*" pronounced "Bi-star" as a way to include the pan, fluid, and unlabeled aspects of the more "flexible" sexual orientation. Ellyn and I went over how to keep the B visible, using “A Guide to Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Etiquette” (FYI, the Creating Change booklet included a Trans etiquette guide!) as an example as well as learning how to create bi-specific activities and awareness without separatism.

After lunch, I initiated a short activity to get us all back into Institute mode in which I would make a statement and those who have done or felt these things would come into the center of the room, another way for us to see how similar and different we are.
We talked about resources for the bi/pan/fluid communities such as the Bisexual Organizing Project, American Institute of Bisexuality and the Trevor Project as well as Facebook. We also shared examples of campaigns for Bi* awareness such as It Gets Better, I Am Visible and the Support Molli Response to find what are effective ways of gaining visibility. Also, if you're not familiar with Molli, check out her video about her bullying experience.

One of the most exciting parts of the Institute was the creation of some new media messages for the Bi/Pan/Fluid communities. Take a gander!
Myths about Bisexuality
Qualifying as an Authentic Bisexual
(The second one features yours truly portraying a cruel character which cannot seem to talk without moving her hands!)
Note: Appearance in these videos and/or photos is NOT an indication that any one identifies as bisexual/pan/fluid/queer or non-heteronormative.

Lastly, Amy led us in sharing our experiences with the process of making the videos as well as to cover the topic of Bi* health. As we wrapped up, we stood in a circle and tossed about the appropriately colored pink, purple and blue yarn to one another as we shared our experiences and feelings about the Bi* Institute. We each snipped a piece the yarn as a reminder of our interconnectedness and of the memories that we will always have from this awesome experience.

The Bi/Pan/Fluid Institute was not the only thing for our community to enjoy outside of the Bi/Pan/Fluid Hospitality Suite, nicknamed, "Bi&Bi." On Friday, Amy co-facilitated the workshop, Bi Compared to Mono, which had a focus on bi/pan/fluid health disparities and what can be done. Saturday, Robyn facilitated both Make the Invisible Visible and Beyond Binaries, a workshop on becoming more familiar with the bi community and an interactive survey on our diversity, respectively. Ellyn covered the Bi/Pan/Fluid Caucus and I peeked on in this one, also assisted her a little bit on sharing some ideas on visibility, combating some of the other issues faced by the bi* community such as funding and coming up with creative ideas for resources.

I also checked out the session, What Are You? Living at Intersections: Power, Privilege and Oppression as Mixed Race People co-facilitated by none other than Morgan Goode, BiNet USA's treasurer and Ryan Li Dahlstrom. This was the first ever of such a space designated for biracial and multiracial persons to come together to address our issues, the room was packed I tell you. There were so many people that time ran out to address all of the issues that we as mix people of color face especially when the LGBT element is added to the intersectionality mix. The experience was overwhelming. This session in the end demanded extended in another room, which eventually led to the group dining at Baltimore's local eateries to further the discussion. Amy Andre, another bi face I spotted in the room, later interviews Morgan about the workshop. I hope this type of workshop develops into a much longer session if not its own Day Long Institute in the future of the Creating Change Conference. Hint, hint, Task Force. :)


Sunday at brunch, I listened to Maryland's Governor, Martin O'Malley came to the Charm City to give a speech on the right things to do such as passing a law that protects transgendered Marylanders from discrimination in the workplace, housing and credit industries.
Finally, I was in amazement as actor and singer Wilson Cruz closed out the conference with a performance, "Love, Child..." working it through technical difficulties, even for a bit a cappella, to some good old jams like rock star. I danced and skipped out of the conference with good feelings about the Creating Change and the change within it, about people, community, progress and the future.

Chiquita Violette~

P.S. I wanted to share some of the Bi/Pan/Fluid themed literature that was donated to the Bi* Hospitality Suite and Paul was so kind enough to make a short video of the "Essential Bi Reading List" for those looking for more works about or by our community. Check it out! Another volunteer, our own Stacey Langely also contributed Unite and Conquer by Kyrsten Sinema and Getting Bi. More humorous and male-centric titled books included: Ask Me Anything, another from Marty Klein, How to Live with a Huge Penis, by Dr. Richard Jacob and Rev Owen Thomas, and Talking Cock, by Richard Herring (described to me as a male version of the Vagina Monologues). I personally would suggest reading the lighthearted Bisexual's Guide to the Universe as well as the groundbreaking, Bi Any Other Name if you have not heard of or had the chance to read them.

P.P.S. I want to thank you all in bearing with me in the delay of this report, while I was dealing with the loss of a very close loved one.
Thanks for the time and support!
xoxo

University of Michigan is Conducting Research, Seeks Bisexual Women for Survey

Forwarding the word! :)

Hello!

My name is Andrew, and I am a research assistant for Dr. Terri Conley at the University of Michigan. We conduct social psychology research about sexual attitudes and behaviors, and inter-group relations. Our research is conducted from a feminist perspective, and we focus on gender, sexuality, and stigma.

For our research, it is important that we have the input of diverse populations, which is why we are contacting your group. We hope you will consider encouraging your group members to participate in our study!

Participation is voluntary and confidential, as we do not know the identities of our participants.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at umsexualitylab@gmail.com. Answers to some of your questions might be found on Dr. Conley's professional website (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/psych/people/directory/profiles/faculty/?uniquename=conleyt).


Here is the link to our current survey.

You are being recruited by ANDREW (please note this when you take the survey). To participate, you must be 18+ years old and identify as a BISEXUAL WOMAN; this survey takes most participants less than 10 minutes to complete.

Link (if unable to click, please copy and paste it into your browser): http://umichpsych.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0UFqbCbOkyFTKra

Thank you so much for your time! We hope that your group members will consider participating in our research!

Monday, February 27, 2012

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FROM FORMER OR CURRENT BI CATHOLICS FROM DIGNITY USA

We have an upcoming issue that will be highlighting minority groups within the GLBT Catholic community, of which bisexuals are a part. I am writing to inquire if any of your members would be interested in submitting a piece for publication. The parameters are pretty open. We would like to hear from a bisexual Catholic (current or former), on what it’s like to be bisexual and religious, or how they incorporate both parts of themselves into their lives. Basically, we want to hear their story—their triumphs or struggles, their questioning or assurance—anything they’d like to speak about in relation to their sexual orientation and their spirituality. As an example, I am attaching a piece that I recently wrote for publication in one of our issues.

Stories are typically 2-3 typed pages in length but can vary. Authors can remain anonymous is they wish to do so. We are looking at a possible publication in July, so would like to pieces by the end of June.

Would you be able to pass this email along to your members or anyone you think might be interested? Anyone interested in submitting a piece for publication can contact me at lauramonroe57@gmail.com with any questions.


Celebrating the wholeness and holiness of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Catholics
Check out http://dignityusa.org/ for more info on Dignity USA

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Out Magazine features bisexual couple Neal Boulton and Claire Davis

Check out the funny, cute and damn near adorable bisexual couple plus kids in Out Magazine's 26 Love Stories...
Photograph by Martien Mulder

Says, Claire Davis: "I don’t care about ratios or any of that stuff. People find lots of different ways to define themselves, and bisexuality is one of them. For me, that’s sort of my home base. For others, it might just be a comfortable place while you’re figuring it out." - read more from, "How I Met Your Mother" over at Out.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Daughter of Farmworker Becomes SF's First Out Bisexual Supervisor

(Photo: Rick Gerharter at Bay Area Reporter)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Mayor Ed Lee appointed Planning Commission President Christina Olague as the new supervisor for District 5, replacing Ross Mirkarimi who was elected sheriff. Olague, 50, is the daughter of a Latino farmworker, reports El Mensajero. She is also San Francisco's first out bisexual supervisor, reports the Bay Area Reporter. She is expected to seek a full four-year term in the November election...Read More Over On New American Media

Sunday, January 08, 2012

2012 Creating Change Bi Pan Fluid Organizing Institute

2012 Creating Change Bi Pan Fluid Organizing Institute

When: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Where: Hilton Baltimore: 24th Annual Creating Change Conference, 401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD
Connect with the Institute on Facebook!

***TO VOLUNTEER AND GET FREE PASSES VISIT: http://creatingchange.org/volunteer.php***
***FOR FREE HOUSING VISIT: http://creatingchange.org/housing.php***
Says BiNet USA's Gary North:  [it] would please me as a longtime accidental activist who's no longer a spring chicken and wants to see more activists come forward -- and a helluva lot more people openly parade their sexuality daily (if congenially) as bi-pan-fluid-whatever (bpfw... naw, doesn't work as an acronym). I'm not suggesting that you/we/me do so with chips on our shoulders or with anger at past or current rejection (that attitude never works at changing minds) but in friendly, casual, but consistent, everyday ways -- and to help bridge the world's divides, to be agents of subtle acceptance and change.Ah, but how to do that? Well, now, that's a subject for a future blog entry, isn't it?
But a good place to start to get such tips is at the BPF Institute at Creating Change. So we'll see you in Baltimore -- and the neighborhood store, the schoolyard, the city council meeting, the workplace... - Gary North on HuffingtonPost.com