Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bisexual Alliance Victoria, Australia, Looking for Film Participants

Entitled Then & Now: Exploring the Experiences of Older LGBTI Australians, the Bisexual Alliance Victoria from Australia is searching for participants to take part in a short film project.

If you're over 65 and comfortable sharing your story on film, they would love to interview you for Then & Now. The group is producing five eight-minute films, with one that focuses specifically on the
experiences of older bisexual people in Australia.

The films will explore:

  • Past experiences that demonstrate the context that participants grew up in.
  • Experiences of significant social events or changes. 
  • Perceptions and experiences related to living as an older bisexual person.
  • Connections between past and present experiences.

Basically, what was it like for you then and what is it like for you now?

If you would like to be involved, please contact Anastasia of the Bisexual Alliance Victoria at 0424 584 303 or via email at info@ bi-alliance.org


Applications close June 30, 2014.

Friday, June 13, 2014

NYC Pride + Happy Bisexuals!

BiNet USA is pleased with the results of talks held between BiNet USA and NYC Pride volunteer staff on the topic of bisexual inclusion atNYC Pride, one of the largest LGBTQ events of the year. BiNet USA and the NewYork Area Bisexual Network, joined by leaders from NYC based organizations BiRequest and S.i.S.T.A.H, were successful in our efforts to communicate concerns.

Bust Biphobia: NYC Pride March
We feel like we've been heard. 

We have received a firm commitment from NYC Pride on its intention to be inclusive of bisexual communities and identities this year at Pride. We also feel confident that NYC Pride will welcome bisexual community participation in the planning stages for future NYC Pride events.

Thank you for signing our MoveOn petition if you took the time to support our campaign. We had 496 signers who believed that bi people deserve to be at an equality table they helped to build. 

NYC Pride has informed us that Larry Nelson, surviving partner of bisexual rights activist and important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement Brenda Howard, was the 1st group leader to sign up in this year's NYC Pride March. Nelson who continues to work as a coordinator for NYABN, a group which was co-founded by his partner Howard, annually registers the Bisexual Contingent that includes All Bisexual/Non-Monosexual Groups in the greater NYC Area, and is usually the first to register every year in honor of  "our Brenda". 


Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in coordinating a rally and then the Christopher Street Liberation Day March to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. She also originated the idea of a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June. Brenda passed away in 2005, but her memory still beats strong and fights on in each and every one of us working for unequivocal equality.  
NYC Tri-state Bisexual Contingent in LGBT Pride March

We thank NYC Pride for their willingness to move forward in a spirit that would see our whole community recognized with the bravery it deserves.

#FlagsUp,
Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President

Special Thanks:
Learn more about the history of bi-identified LGBTQ Right's Activist Brenda Howard

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#ALLY OP: BiNet USA supports J Mase III, #black #trans #queer poet, because names are important

When I read this post by J Mase III, I really wanted to cross-post it on the BiNet USA blog because his thoughts are an important part of the conversation that needs to keep happening for ALL cisgender, transgender, agender and gender nonconforming people. Let's keep creating opportunities to build bridges beyond boundaries, and through them. ~Faith

J Mase III
"This post is for my cis-LGBQA counterparts that are often gatekeepers within the LGBTQIA community and expect us to just accept whatever morsels of attention we are given. Fuck that. I am an adult, not a puppy, and I do not accept table scraps when I deserve to sit down to dinner. 
A few days ago, someone passed my contact information over to an openly gay cis writer named Richard Morgan, who was looking specifically for a trans poet to be interviewed in an article about queer artists of colour. (Let’s not even mention the fact that if he was truly part of an inclusive community in NYC, he would already know a trans person to interview.) So we set up a time to talk on the phone. Once on the phone I was asked what my name was. That’s a simple enough question. So I said, ‘Well, as [X] said in the email, my name is Mason and my writing/stage name is J Mase III.’
‘But what’s your driver’s license name?’
What? This can’t be real, right? Anyone writing about a trans person must know it is not okay to just ask someone in the first 30 seconds what their ‘real name’ is.
When I asked what relevance my legal name had in regards to an article about my art, the response I was given was that since many artists – like Diddy and Ke$ha – change their names, my government name was needed in order to keep a consistent record of ‘who I was’.
Clearly, as I shared over the phone, Diddy and I changed our names for very different reasons. And the whole conversation went downhill from there, as I explained that not only was my full government name not even something I get on my paychecks, but that 99% of people in my personal and public life wouldn’t recognize it.
It would be one thing if Mr. Morgan simply said, ‘Hey, I get that this is important to your identity – let’s just use the name you feel is most representative of you.’ However, when I inquired what happens when trans folks aren’t safe or comfortable sharing their legal name, the response was, ‘Well, those people don’t get written about.’
Seriously? This is how we show trans-allyship?
I encouraged Mr. Morgan to check in with any of the trans-led and/or inclusive organizations that exist in this massive city – like the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, or FIERCE, or anywhere else there was someone telling him why that was not appropriate – because, clearly, me saying that about my own experience wasn’t enough proof. I even sent him a section of GLAAD’s Media’s Reference Guide, which details why journalists should acknowledge trans folk’s names and why not doing so is disrespectful.
- Read More of J Mase III's important article on why you should respect his name, and names in general here.

BiNet USA welcomes opportunities to promote all allies of the LGBTQIAA+ community. If you have a guest article or a post you'd like to see cross-posted please email us at press@binetusa.org with the Subject Line, #AllyOp!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

#BECAUSE2014 Live Tweets!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Alec Mapa Apologies With Grace and Humor

Alec Mapa Twitter: June 5th, 2014 2:21pm
From @AlecMapa:
"Apologies to my bi brothers and sisters. i bear no ill will. Some of my best exes are bisexual. I've experienced your magic first hand."
We're so thankful for the quick turn-around on this Alec Mapa!

Also, we completely agree about the magic.

Guest Blog: Bi Woman Reflects on Illinois Marriage Equality

Here’s to Illinois by Elizabeth Harrison

Elizabeth Harrison, http://lizadare.wordpress.com

I grew up in a closet.

I first came out as bisexual when I was in tenth grade. It is a little shocking to me that I even knew the word, with how little our media discusses bisexuality. I told a friend at a leadership retreat. She didn’t know any of my friends from back home. It was safe.

In the coming years I would convince myself that those words were some sort of fluke. Something that didn’t need to mean anything. Perhaps everyone said things like that from time to time. I put myself back in the closet and there I stayed.

And who could blame me? In Colorado Springs, Colorado, where reminders that same-sex attraction was a sin were a fact of daily life. Literally down the street from New Life Church and Focus on the Family, megacenters of “family”, “Christian” values telling me that same-sex love was inherently wrong.

The law agreed. My own country and government agreed. I grew up in a world where it was a simple fact of existence that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people could be denied basic civil rights because of who they loved. GLBT people could be fired from their jobs for being too “out”, they could not openly serve, and they certainly could not marry. I heard military members talking about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”- how GLBT people should just be quiet about it. I remember a 9th grade teacher’s homophobic rants in class, well-supported by the school and the parents. I remember military members saying that it was a problem for GLBT people to serve because “we just wouldn’t want to shower with one of them” or “it just wouldn’t be right to share a tent”.

This bothered me. As long as I can remember, this bothered me. I raged against it. In 9th grade, I remember a boy calling me an “angry, feminist liberal” in English class and other girls telling me to act less opinionated so boys would like me. I remember wanting to start a Gay Straight Alliance or some other GLBT club in my high school. I emailed the national GSA chapter and they strongly urged me to consider if starting such an organization on the north side of Colorado Springs would be safe. I didn’t come out. I didn’t create a group that would help others come out. Because we feared for our safety.

By high school I had noticed that I liked boys and girls. I liked one girl in particular, and friends were quick to call us lesbians. But I knew that I wasn’t a lesbian. I liked boys too. So I must be straight. Same-sex love was wrong, so I dated boys instead. I pretended it didn’t matter. It was just experimental. It wasn’t real. Things ended badly with her.

My male partner of 4 years eventually knew that I was bisexual, but I didn’t tell many others. After all, I was with a man, so I told myself it didn’t matter. With men, I could picture the white dress, the church wedding, the kids, the life. I knew I liked women, but I grew up in a world where a marriage to a woman would be a ceremony not respected by the law. It wouldn’t feel like a real marriage, because it would not be equal to a marriage with a man. It would be a scandal. I could lose my job.
I grew up in a world where my civil rights were denied so fully that it began to seem like a fact of life. I don’t know when it happened, and I hate that it happened, but at some point it began to seem normal. Society told me that same-sex love was less, that I was less worthy, that the bisexual part of me was deviant and wrong, and eventually a part of me believed it.

I didn’t realize how much I had accepted this utter violation of my rights until marriage was legalized in my current state of residence, Illinois. It didn’t feel real. I didn’t know what to do. It still doesn’t feel real. Now spending the rest of my life with a woman is just as viable an option as spending my life with a man. I can really, fully, love and marry who I want. I don’t know how to feel. I am finally equal (at least under the law), and I feel happy, I feel like jumping up and down, I feel like crying, I feel… more than a little scared that it will be taken away.

 

Read the rest of this poignant post over at Liz's blog: http://lizadare.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/heres-to-illinois/

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Biphobia Watch: Alec Mapa Bi Joke Bombs

Say it ain't so! Not you too, Alec!

@AlecMapa Twitter Account, June 4th, 2014 5:17 PM
Time to re-visit Wendy Bostwick's BiNet USA guest blog post on Bisexual Microaggressions:
Seven (7) bisexual-specific microaggressions that emerged from our focus groups. Including those mentioned above, which we termed hostility, denial/dismissal, and unintelligibility, we also identified microaggressions related to hypersexuality, dating exclusion, pressure to change, and LGBT legitimacy. Probably the most common microaggression had to do with the women’s place within the larger “LGBT” community. A number of women talked about how they felt a requirement to prove they were “gay enough” to legitimately be a member of a community that, at least in name, included them. Others told of how even at events that were labeled as LGBT, there were unwelcoming, or even hostile comments about bisexuality. 
So which "Bisexual Microaggression" fits best? Hostility? Denial/Dismissal? Pressure to change? Or is it possible this is a bisexual affirming joke to Alec Mapa? You know, the kind of joke we should be happy about because the word bisexual is mentioned at all?

The gluten free bisexuals are really gonna be pissed, as they should be . . .

*Apologies that we originally misspelled Alec Mapa, he's an Alec not an Alex.*

University of California announces LGBT Advisory Group, bisexuals included!

FROM ADVOCATE.COM:
"...University of California President Janet Napolitano Tuesday announced the formation of an advisory group to offer guidance on how to make the UC system more LGBT-friendly and inclusive.
The President's Advisory Group on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues will work to realize the recommendations of the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion, made Friday after the task force spent two years researching the campus climate for LGBT people. 
That task force made eight recommendations to the president, including the creation of a special subcommittee to convene on issues concerning bisexuals of the UC system." - Read more at Advocate.com
Members of the UC LGBT Task Force, May 30th 2014. Photo Credit: Barbara J. French

Members of the UC  LGBT Task Force, as pictured above (from left to right): 

Robert Anderson, Director, UC Berkeley Center for Risk Management Research

Raja Bhattar, Director, LGBT Resource Center, UCLA

Judy Sakaki, UC Vice President

Rodolfo John Alaniz, Doctoral student, UC San Diego

Juana María Rodríguez, Professor, Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley

Ralph Hexter, UC Davis Provost and executive vice chancellor

George Zamora, Policy and Program Analyst, University of California Office of the President

Beth Schneider, Professor of sociology, UC Santa Barbara

Onar Primitivo, Office of Student, Life UC Merced

Sheri Atkinson, Director, LGBT Resource Center, UC Davis

Theresa Sparks, Executive Director, San Francisco Human Rights Commission

Herbie Lee, Vice Provost, UC Santa Cruz

Barbara French, UCSF Vice Chancellor

Guy Kachur, Undergraduate student, UC Merced

Faith Cheltenham, BiNet USA President

Susan Carlson, UC Vice Provost

Other members of the UC LGBT Task Force, not pictured above:

Toi Thibodeaux, Program Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center at UC Riverside

Shannon Minter, Legal director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Bradley Sears, Executive director, The Williams Institute

Damion Harriman, Undergraduate student, UC Merced

Mallory Sepler-King, Law student, UC Irvine

Dwaine Duckett, UC Vice President

More Speeches and Footage from Biconic Flashpoints




In this video:
  • Don Romesburg, GLBT History Museum curator
  • Lani Ka'ahumanu, a BiPOL founding organizer, co-editor of Bi Any Other Name, activist, poet, educator, performer and visionary grandmother.
  • Emily Drennen, an outspoken bisexual and sustainable transportation advocate who loves spending time with her wife, Lindasusan, and their foster-adopt son.
  • Lindasusan Ulrich is a writer, musician, activist, and future Unitarian Universalist minister dedicated to a vision of radical welcome.
  • Martin Rawlings-Fein, a published author, bisexual and trans* activist, filmmaker, and Jewish educator studying to become a rabbi.
  • BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham

 *Footage courtesy of Faith Cheltenham, editing and compilation courtesy of Lynnette McFadzen, The BiCast

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

SPEECH: BiNet USA Prez Faith Cheltenham at Biconic Flashpoints History Exhibit in SF

Last week, BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham was honored* to speak at the opening of the GLBT History Museum exhibit: "Biconic Flashpoints: 4 Decades of Bay Area Bisexual Politics".

More audio, video, photos and transcripts to come soon!


*More like overcome with joy and gratefulness to bear witness to the work of Lani Ka'ahumanu, Emily Drennen, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Lindasusan Ulrich and Don Romesburg in curating this historic exhibit! Massive thanks to the GLBT History Museum for acknowledging the rich history of bisexual politics in the Bay Area!