Friday, October 27, 2006



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.

Be creative.

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

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The GLBT National Help Center received a $200,000 gift from K-Y Brand. To learn more read my article “GLBT help center gets outreach grant” in this week's Bay Area Reporter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Uncomfortable Existence of Bisexuality

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

Where’s the B Oprah?

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.