Thursday, December 28, 2006
- Participate in an anonymous survey addressing psychological issues and bisexual women of color
- Participate in an anonymous survey addressing sociological issues and bisexual women women of color
- Submit an essay, 3-5 pages long, in your own words, addressing your experience as a bisexual woman of color, including your relationships, self identity, role as a parent, etc.
The essay will be a short testimonial and journal addressing several areas. I will provide all contributors with a guide of areas to address, but it will ultimately be up to you on what you would like to say and how you express yourself; the final version will not be published without your approval.
I am encouraging all bi women of color and different ethnicities to participate. The overall goal of this book is to effectively increase our visibility, educate others about our lives, and allow us a space in which we can talk about what is important to us today, and what we are hoping for the future and the future of our children. I am looking for women ages 18 and over, and transgender women are strongly encouraged to participate as well.I look forward to hearing from you and working with you. Thank you.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Reading through the responses some posters are outright homophobic, most are amusing stating the obvious “duh!,” and one or two people got it right that Alice and her daughter, Rebecca Walker, are both bisexual – which led to some comments about queers breeding queers.
As the name of the blog suggests, it’s a bratty bitching session where not only the author spews her (I’m assuming the author is female due to the author’s only identification being “bitch”) thoughts and opinions about celebrities, especially their most embarrassing moments, and encourages others to respond. It reminds me of high school, but that’s the point of this blog as the author states, “What you'll get here is the stuff found written on bathroom walls.”
Not only did the author suddenly discover Alice’s and Rebecca’s women loving women ways – but mislabeled them as lesbians when they are bisexual women – but she tried to present old news, that has long been six feet under, about the schuffle between Rebecca and her mother’s former partner, singer Tracy Chapman, as “new” news. Talk about regifting 10 years later…it’s out of fashion and it’s not going to be recycled.
It interests me that this tidbit of dried up well reported on gossip that isn’t really gossip since neither Alice or Rebecca have ever hidden their relationships with men or women is circulating again. Right at the moment Alice is promoting her new book, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Light in a Time of Darkness, and Rebecca’s book Baby Love, about her reflections on becoming a parent and her first year with her son, will be out late March 2007. Is “lesbian” or shocker “bisexual” supposed to be harmful to one’s celebrity and career? Outing someone who is already out…well I don’t know how that can be gossip.
What interests me even more though is that people continue to insist on foisting a binary societal image upon bisexuals. In the process we are invisible until we come “out” creating a constant cycle of “outing” ourselves, because if we don’t come “out” assumptions will be made and we slip right back into the abyss of one community or the other. Once we come “out” suddenly many people are confused or angry and often remain that way. They stubbornly want to hang onto stereotypes and myths about bisexuals that just aren’t true.
To combat the invisibility and biphobia within the queer and straight communities bisexuals are simply standing up to be counted. With books and media showing positive images of bisexuals and the public asking for more (it doesn’t hurt to have Angelina Jolie, Margaret Cho, or Alice Walker in our corner), bisexuals have the power to push for more and better images to combat misperceptions and misunderstandings. Visibility provides bisexual people more power as we stand up for social justice as Angelina did a few weeks ago when she stated that until all people can get married Brad and she aren’t going to tie the knot.
The bells are ringing though. It is starting to look like 2007 will be bisexuals’ year. Nicole Kristal and Mike Szymanski kicked off the year early in November with their book, The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways, a hilarious must have read for queer, straight, and people questioning all things in this world, just in time for those stockings and other sparkling packages under the tree and for Hanukah. Jennifer Baumgardner’s Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics is scheduled for release around the same time Rebecca’s book hits the market.
Hmmm…things are quickly going to become more complicated in the bisexual image category. We are no longer lusting nymphos and sex addicts spreading diseases. No, we are having children and creating families. That’s right Jennifer is a mother too. The Christian Right and any other biphobes might as well run and duck for cover. These women are intelligent bisexual third wave feminists parents raising future socially intelligent men. Add a check mark next to the box that says, “this is what a bisexual looks like” just to begin creating that “bidar” so we don’t fall back into the shadows. It will be interesting what Jennifer and Rebecca have to say about being bisexual mothers raising boys and I’m sure this is exactly the image “W” and the Christian Right have when they tout “family values.” No worries though, Nicole and Mike will help ease the pain of the sting with their fun and witty ways.
The diversity Nicole, Mike, Jennifer, and Rebecca represent for our community in terms of the way bisexuals live is only the beginning. Sexologist and bi femme activist Amy André is pushing Frame Line, which hosts the annual International LGBT Film Festival in San Francisco, to include more films with positive bisexual images (see October for “call for films”). The lovely women at AfterEllen.com have been tracking hot sassy intelligent bi women in media for several years and continue to fabulously represent us. And of course, yours truly is bringing more visibility to the Bay Area Reporter and all of the publications I write for. I’m also continuing to seek a publisher to move forward with the bisexual women anthology to demonstrate the beautiful simple complexity of our lives and how we navigate hard and shifting lines between social ideology and reality.
So, a tip for Bitch at Rhymes with Snitch, if you’re going to cover celebrity gossip first of all do a fact check, it will save you some embarrassment and will validate your efforts so you don’t cover ancient news and try to “out” someone who is already very much open about their sexuality and sexual orientation. Second don’t assume that commenting about romantic and familial relationship troubles or “outing” someone is good celebrity gossip journalism – it’s just so Star and Enquirer tacky. Third if you aren’t willing to be out in the open about your identity and take the heat you’re trying to dish – that’s just cowardly.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Some of you might be aware that I am a book slut. You just can't take me into a bookstore without a) having to get a search and rescue team to find me and b) getting out alive without a minimum of one to two books being rescued and adopted by me.
I have gotten better though. I don't buy on the spot as much as I used to: I take down the information I need for future purchases. I've also gotten better about not hanging onto my books once I've read them...they provide a nice bit of change for my mochas.
So, thanks to other book sluts, geeky girls I love, and other publishing sites I thought it might be fun to post a few sexy hot book-lusting women blogs for your page turning entertainment:
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 24th at 7pm
Celebrate the release of We Don’t Need Anther Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, with editor and writers Melody Berger, Elizabeth Latty, and Joshua Russell plus special guests Cindy Emch, Luna Maia, Sherilyn Connelly, Rose Miller and Lauren Wheeler. Friday, November 24th at 7pm. AK Press Warehouse, 674-A 23rd. St Oakland, CA b/t MLK and San Pablo - near 19th St. BART and West Grand Exit of 80/980. For more info contact: AK Press at 510.208.1700, email@example.com.
Saturday, Nov. 25. At 7pm
Celebrate the release of We Don’t Need Anther Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, with editor and writers Melody Berger, Elizabeth Latty, and Joshua Russell plus special guests Cindy Emch, Luna Maia, Sherilyn Connelly, Rose Miller and Lauren Wheeler, Lynn Breedlove, Daphne Gottlieb, and Meliza Benales. Saturday, Nov. 25. At 7pm. Femina Potens, 465 So. Van Ess @ 16th St., San Francisco. For more info contact: Femina Potens at (415) 217-9340, www.feminapotens.com.
The book's webpage --> www.myspace.com/waveybabies
A few months ago, I spoke with the folks at Frameline about the possibility of curating a show at the 2007 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival! The show would feature a bi film or films. So... I'm on the look-out! If you are or know of a bi filmmaker, please let me know.
They do not have to be making films with a bi theme. Also, if you have seen a bi film that you
think would fit my wish list (below), please let me know that too. Thanks so much! I can't wait to hear from you.
Bi Film wish list:
- No biphobic content, or at least none that goes unchallenged or unexamined bi _characters_, not stereotypes (ie., cheater, liar, bad guy, confused, indecisive, commitment-phobic, heart-breaker, traitor to LGBT community, etc.);
- Bisexuality is not used as a plot device (ie., the bisexual character cheats on someone of one gender with someone of another gender; the bisexual character breaks hearts or is villainous, bisexuality is the cause of conflict in the film for the characters who are not bisexual); and/or
- Bisexuality is portrayed in a respectful manner, as a normal (not necessarily normative), celebratory (not just tolerated) sexual identity.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Yes, that's right. On Friday, November 3, 2006 I was offered the position and I happily accepted to be the bigirlfriday for our wonderful Bay Area paper...so continue to check out the Bay Area Reporter every Thursday.
I'm looking for women between the ages of 18 and 40 who identify as bisexual—whatever "bisexual" means to you—for "The Road Best Straddled: Dispatches from our Bisexual Revolution"--a memoir/non-fiction book I'm writing about the great bisexual future for modern girls.
I need a diverse group of women to clue me in to what's happening outside of myself, my friends, this city, and what I read and what I see on the Internet. I need your personal opinion, and I need it bad.
It's simple.Go to: The Bi-Girl SurveyHYPERLINK "http://s-m9co1-1680.sgizmo.com/" \n and fill out the online survey. Be sure to give me your e-mail address so I can reach you to keep you updated on the publication process and possibly to be contacted for a follow-up interview if there's more stuff I want to ask you—there's a magazine article in the works and if I want to use you for that, I'll get in touch with you for your permission and additional questions before moving forward.
Feel free to check me out at marielynbernard.com to assure you that I'm not like, some creepy myspace guy with fake photos who wants bi girls to tell him all their secrets. My agent is Cameron McClure at the Donald Maass Literary Agency, which you can check out at www.maassagency.com.
P.S. I'm fairly focused on a particular generation, thus the seemingly age-ist bent of the sample size for this survey---I do intend to interview many women over 40 (like my Bisexual Mom!), but this is where I'm starting from now.
Survey for Queer People of Color
Seeking lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of color
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?
- African American/Black, Native American/American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, Middle Eastern, Latina/Latino/Hispanic, biracial or multiracial?
- Age 18 or older?
If this sounds like you, then we invite you to participate in a study focusing on your life experiences as an LGBT person of color, the challenges you have faced, and how you deal with these challenges.
Participants will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for one of three cash prizes of $100.
The goal of the Rainbow Project is to better understand and promote the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults. Results of this study will be used to improve our survey questions, better understand the links between LGBT-specific experiences and health outcomes, and to develop culturally-sensitive programs to promote health among LGBT people.
We are especially interested in hearing the diverse voices within our communities.
This is an anonymous, web-based study run through the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. For more information, please go to: http://depts.washington.edu/rainbow2/survey.html or contact the Rainbow Project office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 543-9862. Please remember that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by email.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
"BEST BI SHORT STORIES"
What is a bi short story?
We are seeking stories that illuminate something about the experience of being bi. Stories can focus on relationships, romance, dating and sex, of course but we’d like to see more than that. We’d like to see stories about relationships with parents, relatives or children…Passover Seder anyone? We’d like a bi military story, a bi same-sex marriage story, a job discrimination or acceptance story, a story about a bisexual pet…from the pet’s point of view. We want to see bi athletes, bi cowboys at Gay Rodeo, bi action-heros, spys, super-heros and vampires. Bi friends go to a movie, bump into their exes who dumped them, and hold hands; pretending to be on a date. A bi artist struggles to finish a painting. A bi senior citizen in a nursing home looks out the window as the Pride March is passing by and reflects on all the protest marches she went to when she was young. A bi person having a spiritual vision, a bi transsexual teacher who leaves for summer vacation as Don and comes back on the first day of school as Donna.
All genres such as fantasy, science-fiction, romance, historical, mystery, western, vampires, etc. as well as contemporary fiction are encouraged. Sex scenes in the context of a story are fine but erotica not accepted.
We are so tired of the overused bisexual plot: bi person cheats on lover, causing pain to everyone. A couple of these have been accepted because they were well written, and contained something unexpected. If you’ve already written one, send it in and it will be reviewed. If you are starting something new, please come up with something more original.
Requirements & Publishing Info:
Short stories should be max length 15,000 words/30 pages and preferably in Word. Deadline has not yet been imposed but we cant wait to see your work! We plan to submit to traditional publishers: therefore we need to gather some material for the proposal. However if all else fails we will self-publish.
Title page of manuscript should have in the upper left corner or centered on top : Story title & author's pen name (or legal name if the same) on first line, then author's legal name, email address, street address and phone number. If story has been published anywhere before please state when and where. Submit as attachment along with bio pasted at end of story to: Sheela Lambert at email@example.com.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Lesbians are still very uncomfortable with us bisexual women. I thought I was sitting down to read a positive article about bisexuality “Riding a Bi-cycle” by Michele Fisher published in Curve Magazine, but despite the author’s struggle to accept bisexual women I am gagging in disgust.
The article begins with Michele writing about a co-worker confessing to her that her daughter might be a lesbian. This is immediately ruled out through the discussion and opens up to the possibility that the women’s daughter might be bisexual. Both the mother and Michele, per her description, were uncomfortable with this possibility. Further into the article, Michele invalidates the fact that bisexuality is an actual sexual orientation when she writes, “I assured her that her girl would most likely end up on one side of the fence or the other…” despite her endorsement that “there was nothing wrong with loving both genders.” Michele continues to defend bisexuals, but ends the article with the women confessing that her daughter was only trying to get back at her boyfriend where Michele writes, “Goddamned bisexuals.”
It’s difficult to applaud Michele for her efforts to open up and accept bisexuals for who we are when she immediately backstabs us by suggesting that once again the bi-way is just a stop on the way to being gay-all-the-way or just your average straight. She’s not the only one who has this problem. Both the gay and straight communities have a very difficult time with us bisexuals and it becomes even more personal when it’s someone your dating or a family member who just doesn’t understand.
For example, recently the guy I’ve been dating made a comment that if I was with a straight guy for a long time that would make me straight. Immediately, I told him that just because I’m in an exclusive long-term relationship with a man does not change my sexual orientation, I may get heterosexual privilege until I come out (which I do). Even if I was in an exclusive long-term relationship with a woman that wouldn’t necessarily give me my lesbian card and I wouldn’t want it. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a bisexual woman who is monogamous. He recently corrected his original statement and we have moved on in our relationship.
Michele states in the article that it’s a good thing that teens feel more comfortable to explore their sexuality by experimenting, a benefit of the GLBTQ movement and the media exposure since the 90s. I agree that it’s healthy to explore sexuality, but also Michele tries to downplay how personal sexuality is, but it’s clear how she ended the article that sexuality is very personal.
Granted, the teenager in question that the discussion in this article is based around was, well, acting like a teenage girl who is upset with her boyfriend. I don’t condone this behavior, even though it is a part of adolescence, but it doesn’t make her bisexual. It is an indication that, because the girl’s friends had “tried girls,” the success of the GLBTQ movement and media attention that this younger set is more open to experiment with their sexuality, but not at the cost of hurting other people and definitely not oneself. Bisexuals are not perfect, but negative and positive ethical behavior by anyone is what should be considered, not the sexual orientation.
Michele is correct by stating that sexuality is a continuum with many varieties in between. Alfred Kinsey discovered just how fluid and diverse human sexuality is during the 40s and 50s. Unfortunately she, like a majority of people in the gay and straight communities slips back into the polarized belief that people are either gay or straight in the end.
The fact is that love and sexuality are more expandable than people want to think or believe. The bisexual community is very diverse with people expressing the way they love and are sexual in a plethora of ways throughout their lives, just like anyone else. There are bisexuals who are in polyamourous relationships, there are bisexuals who are monogamous, there are bisexuals who are celibate, there are bisexuals who are married and have kids, there are bisexuals who date women for long periods of time and then date men for long periods of time or simply just non-monogamous and date both and are comfortable with that. This frightens and confuses a great many people because relationships in themselves can be and are experiences that often are risky and exhilarating simultaneously.
Expanding the experience of love and sex beyond one person or beyond one gender disrupts people’s ideas of what they’ve been taught about what love and sex is. It awakens our insecurity and knowledge of uncertainty, because the world is uncertain, when we strive for safety and security. As Eve Ensler points out with her new book, Insecure At Last: Losing it in Our Security Obsessed World, striving for security insolates, closes us off, and creates more problems – it does the opposite of what we are striving for because we aren’t open to new experiences, new and fresh ways of perceiving the situations and the world we live in, or that it’s even OK to have multiple ways of doing, believing, and thinking of things. Bisexuality signals movement, which leads to uncertainty and means people can’t simply check off a box. It encompasses the vast grey area of our world, puts it out in front in the most intimate way, and forces open the doors to the expansion of ourselves. As E.M. Forster wrote in Maurice, “For he sees the flesh educating the spirit, as his has never been educated, and developing the sluggish heart and the slack mind against their will.”
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Oh, Monday, October 2, 2006 was a tame, tame day on Oprah despite the hyped episode “Gay Wives.” It was so not the “down low,” about married men and their secret men on men affairs, nor was it any one of the gender switching episodes from sex changes to spouses dealing with their transgender partners’ transition. That circus left town, which was in many ways a relief. Monday’s Oprah was more like a tea party: quite polite, suburban, and so attractive and appealing with one thing, the B-word, that was ignored.
Only once throughout the show was the possibility or the option of bisexuality mentioned and in an odd way, if I will say so, when one of the ex-husbands stated that he knew his ex-wife was a little bit bisexual when they first started dating. But when the first woman interviewed on the show, whose husband came out four years after she came out, adamantly stated that she liked having sex with her now gay ex-husband (Oprah asked her twice) and she responded with eager glee and a breathless, “Yes, I liked having sex with my husband!”
Hmmm…let me get this straight…oh wait let me get the right bent on this, what is a “little bit bisexual” and what would you call liking having sex with your ex-husband? I’ll say it, because I was called out several years ago when oops! some long ignored sexual tension was released when I had a fabulous night of sex with a male friend of mine who I was deeply emotionally attached to. Suddenly, the bisexual herald was calling and well, leave it to my dear close friends to bluntly correct me while I was struggling to identify as a lesbian with an occasional appetite and taste for men, “Honey, you’re bisexual not a lesbian.” That night, being identified, and friends I assumed were lesbian coming out to me as bi finally brought me to my current straight forward deal with it bisexual identity.
So in an authentic (because that was the illusional thread strung through out the show), but not so composed state screaming at the TV: “You’re bisexual!”...“Hello! You liked having sex with your husband.”..."What does a little bit mean? Two, three, oh four is getting too close to being really bisexual on the Kinsey Scale," and a final breathless rally cry at the end of the hour, “What about bisexuality?” May be I’m missing something, but I would like to think right when the statement, “Oh, no, I liked having sex with my husband,” blazed in a blushed, unashamed giggle from the guest that Oprah would have said something about the possibility of bisexuality rather than being shocked by this phenomenon. But the B-word wasn’t on her radar.
Oprah admitted that until October 2, 2006 she didn’t know that the Kinsey Scale existed or what it was. She was so confused and uncertain about what the scale means that she couldn’t recognize that perhaps the correct theme for the show might have been "Bi Wives" or would that not be as dramatic as “Gay Wives”? That’s a new twist, bisexuals not thrown into the media circus and used as fodder for ratings. Or was Oprah just playing dumb insisting that in Oprah's world you are either gay as a daisy or straight as a nail, there's no fence sitting that just isn't an option because you know you're gay from a very early age, you go one way or the other -- not the bi way.
So, can Oprah be forgiven for her ignorance, or her staff’s failure to brief her properly on the Kinsey Scale and bisexuality, or is bisexuality too edgy and hot to handle for afternoon tea with Oprah? Enquiring minds will have to wait and see if Oprah picks up the forthcoming The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways by Nicole Kristal and Mike Szymanski (Alyson Books 2007) and Jennifer Baumgardner’s (former Oprah guest representing third wave feminism) Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux 2007). Stay tuned.