Friday, May 01, 2015

Bi+ People of Color at the #lgbtqpocsummit #bipoc #qpoc

BiNet USA will be among the organizations present for the first ever National LGBT Leaders of Color summit this weekend.

BiNet USA has worked to facilitate the attendance of important bisexual people of color thought leaders. Some of the bisexual community advocates joining Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President at this year's summit:

Penelope Williams
Photo Credit/Caption: Penelope Williams
Afro-latina, bisexual, differently abled, Penelope works as Domestic Violence Advocate with predominantly Latina and undocumented Womyn. Williams spoke at the 2009 National Equality March in Washington D.C. and introduced fellow bisexual Lady Gaga to the stage. Williams also co-coordinated the first Bi People of Color summit (held in 2003 at the North American Conference on Bisexuality). Check more important moments in bi+ history here.


Apphia Kumar

Apphia is a bisexual advocate and the co-founder of Birds of a Feather, the first support system for LGBT youth in Pune, India. She ran a magazine for Queer Indian Women called Jiah and currently is a board member of SALGA-NYC, an organization dedicated to improving the awareness and acceptance of South Asian LGBT people in New York City.
Bi Magazine profile of Apphia
Desi-Queering Harvard: Apphia Kumar on building youth leadership
“My experience as an advocate for the Indian LGBT community is something that came about by way of necessity and I have had to learn on the job. Like almost every other young LGBT person my age, I grew up thinking that I was the only queer in the country. I grew up in a predominantly South Indian and very Christian home and in a city with no visible LGBT community, support system or allies. In the small world around me, no one was queer as far as I knew, we didn’t talk about sex or sexual orientation and when I tried asking my parents to send me to a therapist because I thought there was something wrong with me, they refused.
It took me over four years, a South African roommate in Malaysia, four seasons of The L Word, a lot of articles, a few emails from Robyn Ochs – an amazing bi activist from Boston – an online conversation with Siddharth Narrain and the courage to show up at a meetup by ‘Good as You, Bangalore’ where I met him and a group of men who didn’t identify as straight either, for the first time in my life. Soon after that, Bangalore had its first Pride and at it, I – like many others – experienced a profound sense of liberation and empowerment. So I was being called a lesbian… that made me even more determined to correct people and create a space for me as a bisexual. If you were going to give me a label, give me the right one. It finally felt like it was okay to be exactly who I am.
- See more at: http://orinam.net/apphia-kumar-at-harvard/#sthash.MNAo86v8.dpuf

Dr. Herukhuti 
Photo Credit/Caption: Dr. Herukhuti image from SacredSexualities.org. Says:" When you love someone, you become a lover. When you love people, you become a revolutionary." - Dr. Herukhuti (Sexual Freedom Summit 2014 #SFS14)

Dr. Herukhuti (H. Sharif Williams, PhD., M.Ed.) is a cultural studies scholar, sex researcher-educator, systems theorist, cultural worker and interdisciplinary social scientist whose work operates at the intersection of race, culture, sexuality and spirituality.
Read Dr. Herukhuti on Bilerico.com: "Bi Erasure Is Psychic Murder: The Quest for Bi Culture"
Listen to the BiCast podcast with Dr. H discussing "Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men" which he co-edited with gender and sexuality expert, Robyn Ochs. 
“My experience as an advocate for the Indian LGBT community is something that came about by way of necessity and I have had to learn on the job. Like almost every other young LGBT person my age, I grew up thinking that I was the only queer in the country. I grew up in a predominantly South Indian and very Christian home and in a city with no visible LGBT community, support system or allies. In the small world around me, no one was queer as far as I knew, we didn’t talk about sex or sexual orientation and when I tried asking my parents to send me to a therapist because I thought there was something wrong with me, they refused.
It took me over four years, a South African roommate in Malaysia, four seasons of The L Word, a lot of articles, a few emails from Robyn Ochs – an amazing bi activist from Boston – an online conversation with Siddharth Narrain and the courage to show up at a meetup by ‘Good as You, Bangalore’ where I met him and a group of men who didn’t identify as straight either, for the first time in my life. Soon after that, Bangalore had its first Pride and at it, I – like many others – experienced a profound sense of liberation and empowerment. So I was being called a lesbian… that made me even more determined to correct people and create a space for me as a bisexual. If you were going to give me a label, give me the right one. It finally felt like it was okay to be exactly who I am.
- See more at: http://orinam.net/apphia-kumar-at-harvard/#sthash.MNAo86v8.dpuf

In addition to building connections and mapping joint work with other LGBTQ people of color leaders, we'll be live-tweeting as much as we can. Please follow @BiNet USA on Twitter and follow along with the hashtag #lgbtqpocsummit. Below are the latest tweets!

Are you part of the B in LGBTQ?
Are you also a person of color? 
Join the new BiNet USA mailing list, bipoc!