[Image: grunge-y bisexual flag background. In the middle of the picture there’s a black first with a sunburst spreading from its center. Upper text: “when we fight”. Lower text: “we’re fighting for our lives”.]
In this weeks webisode of EqualityTV’s always lively (dare we say controversial even?) Bi Weekly Show bisexual activist and filmmaker Kyle Schickner addresses the need for more UNITY in the COMMUNITY. Including both between the G & L and the B & T as well as inside the Bisexual Community itself.
Additionally Kyle gives a shout out to this year’s BECAUSE Conference happing June 7th - 9th 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA and other Bi Events.
That moment when my university offers ‘Ally’ training for people to speak out against LGBTTQ* discrimination, and I want to do it, but am terrified of possibly coming out publicly as a bisexual as a result of participating. I don’t feel like I could hide it if I did participate.
I read that…
I started crying because I’ve felt that fear before too and I can relate to your situation a lot. I’m also a bisexual cis-woman and I’ve been in a committed relationship with my cis-gender boyfriend for almost six years. Because of this, almost no one realized I was bi until I got the courage to come out.
Even though it’s geared towards allies, it’s still a great learning experience for anybody. You’re completely right about some LGBTQ* people also needing to be educated. The whole point of the training is to learn how to be more open and debunk myths and stereotypes, so I feel like the people there would be open to you coming out. If not, they’re completely missing the point of it. But the choice is yours, and you shouldn’t force yourself if you don’t feel comfortable or safe.
At my college, staff members who have gone through Safe Zone training have a rainbow upside-down triangle sticker on their door to show that anyone can come talk to them about LGBTQ* issues. If your university has something like that, maybe you can talk to one of the staff who is Safe Zone certified or an equivalent of that. I don’t know anything about your community or work, but if your university is providing LGBTQ* training, then that means there are plenty of people who will be accepting of you, even if you have not met them yet.
And of course your sexuality matters even after getting married. It is still a part of who you are. Hetero/homosexuals who are committed don’t suddenly lose attraction to anybody besides their partner, so why would it be different for someone who is bisexual? This is something I always have to explain to people who ask how I can be bisexual and only with one person. It can be disheartening, but it just gives you a chance to educate those people since they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about.
Maybe first try to build yourself a support system by coming out to a few people close to you who you think you can trust. I really admire you for what you have been going through and I hope that you can overcome your fears. You’re not alone.
thank you so much for this.
I admit, I didn’t sign up for the training - I don’t think I’m ready for that public involvement yet. I don’t think I’ve got that strength yet.
I told a gay colleague I work (and have trusted, we’ve done a lot of research together) with a few weeks ago with that I was bi (because I didn’t want her to feel alone in the department, I even went so far as to say, if you ever want to talk about gender issues and equality, please know I’ve got your back, I’ll stand there with you), and she made a ‘but you’re married to a man’ comment… and it left me feeling very defeated. She went on and on about the troubles and fears she had coming out, and about how people don’t think about what they say… and then said that to me.
I don’t know if she was joking or not, but it still makes my gut knot when I think back on it. She was one of the first people I came out to outside of the internet. If she’s like that, what will everyone else be like? And now I live in fear that she will tell other people, that they will know without me knowing, and I just feel… bleh.
I wish I were stronger.
Please PM us and we will try to help find you bisexual groups in your area, (privately if you wish). Even if for a while it’s just online, meeting other people just like you and hearing how they find ways to live their lives in an authentic fashion will help to start making it better.
Rebloggable by request:
Godamn, you were fucking hostile to me. The connection I made to bisexuality was the attraction to male and female’s. You as a person can be attracted to anything you want to be. Also here is how I feel, as someone who is Pansexual; I get told a lot that people who are “pansexual” are just people are are bisexual who want to be special little snowflakes which is not the case. I’m open to debate or people to help me open my mind, but godamn. Why so hostile?
Why am I so hostile? Because day after day we are told by other members of the queer community who we can and can’t be attracted to and why we’re exclusive to this group or that group or why our sexuality is problematic and erasing and it’s. Not. Right! The bisexual community has been around for DECADES. We have a history and our own definitions of our orientation and they should be respected.
Posts like the ones you made are harmful and toxic for the reasons that I listed in my response. Again, there are non-binary identified bisexuals who are very involved and passionate about our community (some who I consider friends of mine) and they should not be erased. I sincerely urge you to read the links that I gave you so that you can understand this more. That’s why I put them there.
And just for the record? I do not think pansexuals are bisexuals who are special snowflakes. Absolutely not. I completely respect anyone’s choice to identify as pan and I respect pansexuality as its OWN orientation that deserves equal treatment to all other sexual orientations! However, I do not at all believe that it should at the EXPENSE of bisexuality. As non-monosexuals we need to be ALLIES and not adding to the ignorant stances that monosexuals already have on us.
Stereotypes and misinformation is bad, bad, bad, and if I seem hostile about it it’s because I am PASSIONATE about this and rightfully so. It’s my identity and my orientation and I don’t believe that it’s okay to misdefine or misinform anyone about it! Because frankly if it was any other orientation that this was going around about? People would finding it a lot more problematic and that’s the sad truth of it.
This reply is perfect. Yeah, technically the “bi” in “bisexual” means two, but then, “lesbian” comes from “Lesbos” and you don’t have to be Greek to be one. I think a better, all-round definition (of course everyone will have slightly different individual definitions which should be respected) would be “attracted to two groups of genders” or “two or more genders”.
^^^^^ this right here.
Every September 23rd is Celebrate Bisexuality Day, And every year on September 23rd, I do two things: First I wish my mother a happy birthday, and second I take a moment to pray for the bisexual activists, community organizers, and advocates past, present, and future.
I say a blessing for all those we lost this year, to suicide and disease since there are always too many. After I send some good thoughts out to the world. On Bi Pride Day, I celebrate that I am able to exist and am still happy to do so.
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.
BiNet USA Wins Over Google in Search Term Dispute
Los Angeles CA 4 September 2012 - BiNet USA is pleased to confirm that Google Inc. 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.
As a black bisexual female, I live the lovely life of the multiple minority. I grew up in the Christian fundamentalist world in a small town in California. I told my dad first. When I said I was dating a woman, he said, “Oh, so you’re a lesbian.” I said no. Then he kind of wiggled his hand and said, “So you’re kind of like this, huh?” He understood.
I came out to my mom because another family member knew and thought I should tell her so she could get her prayer on. Her response was that I couldn’t be a lesbian because there had been all these boys I liked. I was like, “I know, I’m bisexual.” She just said, “At least that means there’s a chance.” That’s a huge stressor for bisexuals when it comes to relationships — that there’d be a negative association with some of the people you could fall in love with.
Transcending Boundaries Conference (TBC) is a weekend long Conference/Event where we discuss issues around gender, sex, sexuality and relationships, specifically those that don’t fit into conventional cisgender heteronormativity categories. The focus of the conference is our ever-evolving communities, including bisexual/other non-monosexual identities, queer, trans*, genderqueer, intersex, polyamorous, asexual and kinky persons and those who prefer not to use labels, as well as allies, families and partners.
Transcending Boundaries grew out of a project of BiNet USA, the national bisexual organization. Throughout the 1990’s, BiNet USA helped bisexual activists around the country organize on a local level. In the New England & New York Tri-State Region (Connecticut, New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, Capitol District/Lower Hudson Valley and New York City) they helped activists sponsor regional conferences. In 2000 the Conference voted to continue the independently; by 2001 the group that ran the conferences formally became a 501(c)3 whose mission is to to run the Northeast regional conference for bisexual, trans* and intersex people and our allies; in 2009, this focus was expanded to include the polyamorous community as well.
At this time of year we get so busy with planning that we forget to tell you all what’s happening! Let’s catch up.
- Tomorrow (Sunday September 9) at 1 PM is our monthly organizers meeting. Attending an organizers meeting is a great way to get involved with the conference and you can attend from anywhere worldwide via skype. E-mail email@example.com if you want to join the skype conference call.
- Immediately before, at noon, the content committee will meet to finalize this years workshop offerings. If you’re curious what we’ve got so far, check out Our Workshops Page
- This indiegogo campaign is near and dear to our hearts (for obvious reasons!) These guys are coming a long way to be with us!
- We’re looking for intersex voices to contribute to our Intersex Awareness Day event at 11 AM on October 26 through speaking live, recording their thoughts to be played, or writing thoughts to be read at the event. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Registration rates go up on October 1 so if you haven’t registered, now is the time! As our hotel block last year sold out, we also recommend booking your rooms at the Sheraton as soon as possible
I think that for monosexuals , they may tend to view bisexuality as like ‘having two monosexualities’ hence they imagine a bi person can never be content with just one other person.
Once a year, a couple of hundred people gather somewhere in the UK for a weekend of discussion, socialising, and workshops known as Bicon. I spent last weekend at Bicon 2012, and when Kate asked me to write about it for this site, I wasn’t sure where to start at first. But then I realised that when I’ve said where I’ve been, I often get the same few questions: what? how? And, perhaps most often – why? So I’ll do my best – newbie to the scene that I am – to answer them. Not necessarily in any particular order mind you…
The most straightforward is probably the ‘what?’ As the name might suggest, it’s largely a place for bisexuals. But the event is not exclusive – as the main website explains
The basic structure looks like this: the first day is an academic conference - Birecon. Registering for this part is optional, but free if you go to Bicon. Then comes the opening of Bicon, with a large plenary. Each day sees several workshops, and social events. While I was there I went to session on learning to flirt with women; talking about privilege; a long bike ride along a local canal, and a trip out to get curry – and that’s a tiny portion of what’s on offer. All bookended by evenings of socialising. There are also large sessions where decisions on how Bicon should be run take place – everyone there can shape the future of the event and community.
The event takes place in a different part of the UK each year, and always involves a weekend at a venue that offers space for socialising, a range of workshops, large plenaries, as well as on-site accommodation – usually a university campus. There will be various social events, about 20-30 workshops a day, and full-time first aid and listening services available …
Bicon has evolved over the years. Last weekend marked its 30th anniversary, and there has been a lot of evolution over that time. There’s a great article that gives a sense of some of the changes that have happened over three decades …
Which brings me neatly on to the question of ‘why?’ Despite being actively involved in the LGBT movement from a relatively early age, I didn’t spend much time, if any, in exclusively bi spaces. Despite the fact that I’ve written about biphobia for both lesbian and hetero magazines, I didn’t think to look for a bi-specific space. And then I spent a weekend at Bicon and it changed my mind …
What Bicon, and the other events that flow out from it into the long year between cons, do is to claim that community and build it in a positive way. One of the organisers gave a short speech to this effect at the closing plenary that made me choke up slightly. There isn’t much of a bi community out there – most of the time. And then you go to Bicon, and there is …
I loved it. I’m coming back. Join me next year in Edinburgh: Bicon 2013