Fortnightly Round-Up?

Thanks for hanging in there with me all these months while I figure out how this blogging thing works. I hope to have it figured out and everything running smoothly by the time this blog is a year old, which gives me until next summer. In the meantime, a round-up of all of the news I haven’t had a chance to read, let alone write about, since the last round-up. (I was so right to ask for an Eee for Chanukah. Bus rides to DC are one of my major sources of blogging time, these days.)

Julia Serano has a call out for anecdotes from trans women about being objectified or hypersexualized in ways that relate to their being trans. She’s planning to use them in an upcoming article highlighting and speaking out against such misbehavior. Bi-Furious! would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Julia Serano is awesome and inspiring (as far as I’m concerned the saddest thing about me missing the Femme Conference was not getting to introduce myself), and you should read her book Whipping Girl.

We were asked ages ago to post this call for submissions to Chroma, and I am a flaky airhead. Sophie emails us to say, “Chroma is the UK’s premier queer literary magazine. We pay $50 per accepted piece and we can accept email submissions from overseas contributors — but please get in touch first and let us know what you’d like to send along! Issue 11 has the theme Utopia, and we are looking for great science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, horror writing, comics and art…The deadline is 15 June 2009, so there’s lots of time to imagine beautiful machines and fabulous planets…”
Submission guidelines here, more information here. And I think our very own Sarah is planning to submit a piece!

Yet another call for submissions, this time from QueeredFiction, a queer genre publisher, for an anthology on queer futures. The deadline for that one is February 28th.

The 6th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was on Wednesday. Check out the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s information packet, which includes their demands and an open letter to President-Elect Barack Obama.

Speaking of President-Elect Obama…he chose Rick Warren to give the Invocation at the inauguration? Rick “same sex mariage intrudes on my freedom of speech” Warren? Really? He defends the choice here. I’m not ready to join the hordes of LGBT activists declaring that this does not bode well for queer issues during Obama’s presidency, but I must say it makes me cautious. I realize that you can never please everyone, but who exactly did he hope to please with this move?
Actually, let’s take a closer look at Warren’s fascinating argument against same sex marriage. “And the reason I supported Proposition 8, is really a free speech issue. Because first the court overrode the will of the people, but second there were all kinds of threats that if that did not pass then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships, and that would be hate speech.” My eloquent counter-argument is: huh? Where are you even getting this? Legalizing civil marriages doesn’t mean that clergy have to perform them, let alone condone them. This conflation of two unrelated things (without any explanation of how the speaker got from A to B)  is a favorite tactic for bigots justifying their bigotry, but unless I’m sorely mistaken, there was nothing in the phrasing of Prop 8 that would have made religious disapproval of homosexual practice hate speech had it failed.

Ironically, a study in British Columbia suggests that pregnancy rates are higher among gay and bisexual teens than among straight teens. The suggestion is that queer teens engage in heterosexual sex as camouflage in an attempt to avoid harrassment and discrimination. I also want to take issue with the phrasing “7.3 per cent of lesbians and 10.6 per cent of girls who said they were bisexual” – what’s that distinction about? Maybe they trust lesbian teens to know their own minds, but suspect some girls identifying as bisexual might be confused?

I kinda want to see this documentary chronicling a long-term triad. Bisexual and polyamorous relationships get so little positive exposure, I’m intrigued at the thought that this might have been done well. Pity I don’t get HBO. (Who does and wants to invite me over to watch it?)

Health insurance company Aetna has formed an LGBT advisory council. Good for them! I have no idea how it’s working out in practice, but they seem pretty committed to recognizing and addressing LGBT-specific health needs, and in general to “eliminating inequalities in health care.” That’s definitely a goal I can get behind. And speaking of inequalities in health care…I think in my last post I glossed over the main point about the study showing that queers are less healthy than straight people. What I found most interesting about it is that, while there’s a health disparity between gays and lesbians and straight folks, there’s a markedly bigger disparity between straight folks and bisexuals. Why should this be? What does it say about the near-universal assumption that bisexuals are better off because we have access to straight pivilege? Is it possible that instead, it’s even more stressful and unhealthy to be caught between two worlds, neither of which really wants you? Gay men and lesbians at least have a subculture that fully embraces them, while it sometimes condemns and excludes bisexuals; bi culture and activism is much newer and smaller. I don’t have answers, but boy, I have questions.

Apparently, this month marks the two-year anniversary of the Conservative Jewish movement deciding that being gay or bisexual is not a violation of Jewish law. I enjoyed this piece by a gay Conservative Jew about the intersections of minority experience in being gay and Jewish. I don’t necessarily think it’s helpful to compare being gay to being Jewish, but do think it’s useful to explore how being both colors one’s experience.

“Not everyone is bisexual” pins! I doubt I’d wear one of these, but they amused me. And the arguments she makes in explaining why she made them sound awfully familiar. I also found an interesting piece on bi identity when I went poking around that site. It’s a good take on a lot of the stereotypes bi folks run into out in the world.

Oklahoma State Senator Sally Kern’s husband calls on the courts to put homosexuals in mandatory treatment centers like those for drug abuse and anger management. Scary stuff. (Question: would this be spontaneous, or — like the examples he cites — only in response to a crime? ‘Cause it seems like he’s implying the former, and how exactly does he expect that to work? Oh, right, probably making gay sex a crime again. ) Sally Kern, remember, is the one who was recorded saying all kinds of hateful, homophobic things.

Applications are open for the Point Foundations 2009 scholarships for LGBT students. Apparently, they’re particularly looking for bisexual applicants. I know some of our lovely readers should be applying. (Come to think of it, when I get around to going back to school, I should be applying.)

And, um, I have lots more emails full of news to read, but no more time today. Maybe instead of spending the weekend trying to figure out what my next post should be about, I’ll wrap this up on the bus home on Monday.

4 Responses to “Fortnightly Round-Up?”

  1. 1 gsupernova
    23 December 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Just stoppin’ in to tell you that I love the round-ups. And apparently Melissa Etheridge kinda likes Rick Warren now:


    How bizarre.

  2. 25 December 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I have HBO. Want me to tape it?

  3. 3 Aviva
    25 December 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Yes, please! That would be lovely.

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