Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bisexuals at Creating Change with BQAC!

Photo Courtesy of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago (BQAC)
Photo Caption: Captain Bisexual with Bisexual Justice flag at Chicago Pride in 2012 
Photo Credit: Chuck Kramer

BISEXUAL HOSPITALITY SUITE ON 20th FLOOR!

Bi and all allied folks! Make sure to join us in the official Bisexual Hospitality Suite somewhere on the 20th floor of the Hilton if you are attending Creating Change this year. Follow along with the new Facebook page, Bisexual/non-Monosexual Community at Creating Change 2016

This year's Bisexuality Hospitality Suite is sponsored by Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago, the bi non-profit located in Chicago. This year's suite is intended to be a laid back experience with spontaneous programming and the opportunity for people to relax amid the busy conference. Many huge thanks to Jasmine Marshall, Chris Pierce, and the whole team over at Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago for their amazing hard work so far! 
Learn more about the mission and work of BQAC: http://bqachicago.org/

#CC2016 SCHEDULE 
(tentative, and possibly prone to change, let's stay fluid!)

THURSDAY
The Bi+ Institute on Thursday focuses on self-care and intersecting identities. The day long Institute is presented by Heather Benjamin and Kate Estrop from the Bisexual Resource Center along with Aud Traher, Lynnette McFadzen and Faith Cheltenham from BiNet USA. Join us for discussions of monosexism and intersectionality and plan to leave refreshed, recharged and ready to dismantle every 'ism. 

SUITE LUNCH (FRIDAY and possibly Thurs, gotta check again with Jasmine)
Lunches will be co-sponsored by The Task Force and Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago (among other donors). Lunch will be held in the Suite during the lunch break from 12:15-1pm. Lunch options will include vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free and will be first come, first served. Supplemental breakfast will also be offered each day depending on supplies, so if you're hungry please check in at the Suite.

SUITE ENTERTAINMENT
#stillbisexual Video Screenings: Meet the community of Chicago via the intimate storytelling social media campaign, #stillbisexual. Learn more about #stillbisexual at www.stillbisexual.comA local arts troupe will do a 1 act play for the Suite and you won't want to miss it!

SATURDAY
Some of the veterans of the Chicago bi movement will visit Creating Change, including Captain Bisexual! Bi Suite attendees will have the chance to take photos with Captain Bisexual and others bisexuality themed characters.
Keep visiting the Facebook page for the latest news, photos, and video from Creating Change 2016!

Please respond here with other opportunities for bi community to connect at Creating Change, whether it's your awesome workshop or panel, please let us know where to show up and be visible with you at Creating Change.

You can also join in on Twitter by using the hashtags #CC2016 and #BQAC if you are looking to connect on the ground.

Captain Bisexual Wishes You Safe Bi Travels!
Photo Courtesy of Bisexual Queer Alliance Chicago (BQAC)
Photo Caption: Captain Bisexual with Bisexual Justice flag at Chicago Pride in 2012 
 Photo Credit: Chuck Kramer

Friday, January 08, 2016

Year's End for the bisexual activist looks like --

Year's End for the bisexual activist looks like --
by Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President, 12/31/15


1) Every LGBT newspaper and magazine will sum up the year for the lesbian, gay and transgender community, because bisexuals only exist for one week in September and even that will be forgotten = BIPHOBIA

2)The White House will look back and relish the day gay and lesbian couples won the right to marry, making it clear once more that if you're in a bisexual couple, your rights matter less or not at all (which might be why so many bi folks lose custody of their children to their different sex OR same sex partner) = BIPHOBIA

3) As we remember the suicides that sparked compassion from this year, bi+ teens won't be remembered because there is little to no compassion for them. Their lives and deaths go unspoken, unremembered and unrecalled by gay and straight alike = BIPHOBIA

SO THIS IS AS GOOD A TIME AS ANY TO LET YOU ALL KNOW I AM RENEWING MY COMMITMENT TO BINET USA AND WILL CONTINUE AS SELF-DESCRIBED "PRESIDENT OF THE BISEXUALS" WITH Aud Traher AS MY VICE PRESIDENT.

After a "minor crisis of Faith" this year, I came to terms with my love for working with bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) communities. I took a long hard look at whether I want to be doing this work and happily agreed that I did. Ending 2015 with $34k in grants for Binet USA projects certainly helped indicate the tide is beginning to turn for bi people, and I'm ready to keep going for more!

I have, and continue to, make life+ work+balance changes, in particular changing how much I work (no more 19hr days) and who I work with most often and most closely. I remain super committed to having a lot of laughs while working (with Heather Benjamin especially, that girl can make ya laugh).

I am very grateful for the elders I have in my circle, for without them it truly would feel that the mountain I am walking had no beginning or end.

I will always work on multiple fronts for justice as a Black bi queer woman and will work to amplify communities that intersect my own. In the coming year I'd like to see launched a collective space for bi, intersex, trans and asexual communities (BITA? BAIT?) as we continue to see our communities forgotten in the long march for equality. {SIDE NOTE}
Sara Beth Brooks (Asexual Awareness Week co-founder) and Pidge Pagonis (Intersex Awareness Day co-founder) should totally know each other!

OTHER HOPES AND BI DREAMS:

Dictionary.comurbandictionary.com, OED, and all others start to meet the Ochs standard when defining "bisexual", so we stop seeing bisexuals discriminated against on the basis of a binary that doesn't exist for us, but does exist against us

☆Moderating a Bisexuality and Pop Culture panel at Comic Con with Alan Cumming, Anna Paquin, Sarah Paulson, Minna LeeTara Madison Avery and Eliel Cruz

☆Funding for training of all LGBTQIA service providers in the world so they know what a bisexual looks like, what their life experiences are and how to care for bisexuals in the wild

☆Overhaul of resources pages for LGBTQIA youth serving organizations, many of whom serve majority bisexual populations without educating those same bisexual populations about bi history, bi culture, bi health disparities, bi suicide, bi murder, bi rape or bi bullying

☆HIV prevention and education work that is fully inclusive of bi community. At the time of this writing, neither I nor Mark S. King (HIV expert and author) can find a single service provider who currently works to target bisexual populations for HIV education, prevention or care. Not a single person in the whole world. This is extraordinarily important to change, in particular for communities of color disproportionately affected by HIV.

☆Broader and deeper work for bi+ people of color, bi+ disability, bi+ mental health, bi+ youth, bi+ rape survivors, and bi+ elders.

☆A Google Glass grant so we can launch The Bi-Face Project to highlight the micro aggressions bi people face daily when disclosing their sexual orientation.

☆BiNet USA PSA's about biphobia, bi discrimination and lived narratives of bi, pan, fluid, queer folks, and maybe Nyle DiMarco could join us and help us put out some ASL signs that we still need like panromantic and biromantic!

☆A Bi/Pan Roundtable with Persephone Olson and other critical leaders in bi and pan communities, so that it is more widely known that we as a community believe all sexually fluid persons are valid and worthy of having their lives saved.

☆More bisexuals of every background at the White House for substantive, impact driven meetings that include them without them having to shout their name. Biiiisexxxxuuuuaaaaalllll!

☆More marches, rallies and direct actions targeting biphobia, bisexual erasure and/or any organization that isn't working yet to end the discrimination, appropriation, rape, murder and violence against bi+ women, men, and gender nonconforming individuals.

If you are not saying our name, you're killing us.

If you're not remembering us, you contribute to our assaults, rapes and violent ends.

If you keep forgetting us, we will help you remember.

☆And finally, my last hope and dream, and it's major, is to get operating and capacity building funding for BiNet USA so we can continue to serve a critical role in advocating, networking and connecting the bi community with itself, as well as to services that will save lives and keep them safe. No bisexual community advocacy organization has had such funding since 1996, but in 2016 let's change that!

May you have a happy and safe 2016, may the Force be with you, and may the BiNet stay strong,

Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President

Image Caption: Faith Cheltenham in front of the White House with bisexual pride flag and anti-LGBT protesters. 


Image Credit: Dr. Scout

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

BiNet USA supports Tangerine Oscars campaign

Last night BiNet USA President, Faith Cheltenham, had the pleasure of attending a screening of Tangerine, hosted by Caitlyn Jenner and featuring a talk by Tangerine actress Mya Taylor. For the first time, a trans actress has the opportunity to be nominated for an Academy Award for the portrayal of a trans person!

It was an important event, even more so considering the recent criticism of Caitlyn Jenner by trans community members, and we hope to see more support from Ms. Jenner of grassroots transgender organizers and advocates, particularly those that are trans people of color, like Monica Roberts, Jennicet Gutierrez and Bamby Salcedo. It was incredibly encouraging to see authentic, funny and honest portrayals of trans people in one great film and we can only hope such representation will continue to increase for all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) community.

With that goal in mind, Faith invited Ms. Gutierrez, Ms. Salcedo, bi/trans cartoonist Tara M. Avery, trans journalist and advocate.com's Dawn Ennis and others to join her at the screening in hopes of drawing more support for the Oscar campaign for Tangerine. Many thanks to Brigade Marketing, Magnolia Pictures and Caitlyn Jenner for hosting the event at The Landmark in Los Angeles, CA.

TransLatin@ Coalition co-founder Bamby Salcedo speaking with Tangerine actress Mya Taylor

Tangerine actress Mya Taylor with Jennicet Gutierrez of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Tangerine producers Mark and Jay Duplass look on as Caitlyn Jenner introduces Mya Taylor

Mya Taylor and Caitlyn Jenner
And no screening is complete without Mr. Bradley Whitford.
Mr. Whitford and Faith met late last year at the LGBT Champions of Change event at The White House where the show he currently stars on, Transparent, was screened.

Happy New Year!