Archive for the 'bi events' Category

23
Jun
09

Bi Lines II: Erika Kate McDonald’s “Fluid”

Following the Putting the “B” in LGBT Summit was Bi Lines II, an evening of readings and performances by bi writers, musicians, and one playwrite. It was a pretty well-put-together evening, it was neat to see Edmund White read, and I’ve decided I like bi songwriter Rorie Kelly and would like to check out more of her work. But the highlight of the evening was the excerpt from Erika Kate McDonald‘s one-woman show, Fluid. In fact, Erika Kate herself was one of the highlights of the Summit. She’s great company, and I was delighted to learn she lives in Brooklyn.

I first saw Fluid over a year and a half ago on a date with Girlfriend, Esq. In fact, when I started this blog I was disappointed that it had been so long that I didn’t feel I remembered it well enough to write about it. So it was great to get to see a bit of it again — my favorite part, no less! Play-by-play after the cut, with pictures. I apologize for the quality of the pictures; I took them on my phone on the spur of the moment. Continue reading ‘Bi Lines II: Erika Kate McDonald’s “Fluid”’

17
Jun
09

Putting the “B” in LGBT

I’ve spent the past…oh…6 hours of my weekly writing date (it’s not usually that long, but work was canceled today due to lack of work) chatting with my friends, eating two meals, discussing linguistics and how stupid men who believe women aren’t really funny are, reading comics, joining Twitter, and generally doing everything but writing. Maybe I should try to actually get some work done before I give up and go home? No, never mind, it sounds like my friend’s new gentleman friend is coming by and I’ll get to meet him. You all don’t care if I never post again because I have the attention span of a gnat, do you?

Right. Um. Trying again on Thursday. I’m on a train to Philadelphia (Yay Trans Health Conference!) so there’s no internet and really very little to distract me. [Aaaand now the PTHC is in the past, and I failed to give you all a heads up that I’d be there so anyone else who would be could say hello. Oops. Next year.]

I spent Saturday May 30th at the Bi Writers’ Association and NYC’s LGBT Community Center‘s Putting the “B” in LGBT Summit. It was an interesting day. The organizers clearly tried to pack a weekend conference into one day, and the experience suffered for it — everything ran over and got increasingly behind schedule, and all of the panels had too many people in too short a time slot to effectively have a conversation. Nevertheless, there was lots of good networking, and some very interesting things were said. And while the opening plenary was made up entirely of people of the same race and within the same age range, that did change somewhat as the day went on — not as much as I’d have liked, but some. It was clear someone was trying.

Robyn Ochs gave the keynote. I’d never seen her speak before, and I was very impressed. She’s smart and engaging and funny and seems to have good queer, gender, etc. politics. I’m happy to have her representing my movement — which is good, because, um, she does. There are very few bigger names in bi activism out there. So I’m delighted she’s so on the ball.

For example, she made me very happy by acknowledging that the LGBT movement has lots of inclusion problems, and that we’d be focusing on the way bisexuals are often marginalized because it was the topic of this particular summit, not because it was the only or most important marginalization happening within the community. Yay.

She talked about how the ways to be visible (to most people) as bisexual at all mirror the most common stereotypes about bisexuals, thus reinforcing them, and how that and the way the existing language supports binaries leads to a lack of positive images of bi folk. She talked about the importance of choosing a wide range of messages and spokespeople, rather than only “easily digestible” ones. And I got a moment of being quite pleased with myself when she suggested that we think about the kind of resources we want to see out there and then go out and make them.

The first panel was “Bisexuality: Exploding the Myths,” and the only thing I really remember about it at this point is that Ignacio Rivera was on it and as brilliant as always. My notes remind me that I’m always amused when people say things like “You can’t have it both ways” in contexts like this. On the “Bi Community Panel: Telling Our Stories,” people talked about the ways DADT, job discrimination, immigration, etc. impacted their lives. We’ve all heard these stories before, and they’re touching and enraging every time.

During “Crafting the Message: Putting the ‘B’ in LGBT,” people talked about news stories about queer issues, and how important it us to quote bisexuals as well as just teh gays about how they’re affected. Particularly of note was Joshua Lynsen of the Washington Blade saying that he makes a point of contacting bisexuals for comments. He gave out his card so anyone present who wanted to could add hirself to his contact list. (Although now that I actually look up what’s he’s written for the Blade, I’m not so sure I want to plug him…”Black Opposition to Gay Marriage Remains Strong?” I’m so over that meme. And what ever happened to not calling it “gay” marriage, anyway?)

The closing plenary discussion was less a panel and more a whole bunch of people each getting to speak once — that’s what you get when you put something like two dozen people on a panel. Someone made the irritating assertion that the trans community is pulling ahead of the bi community in the race to our rights, which is problematic on any number of levels. (Can we just agree never to ever say again that anything is the last acceptable prejudice? Please? And “bi inclusion is the unnoticed stepchild of trans inclusion?” For fuck’s sake. I wish I’d written down who actually said that.) I don’t remember most of what was said but bisexual and New York State Assembly Member Micah Kellner was there, and seemed pretty decent for a politician. And you know, he was open about his bisexuality during the campaign, and that’s pretty awesome.

Things I was less thrilled with: It always strikes me as unfortunate when people say things like “In this movement, bisexual men and woman fall through the cracks.” So many people fall through the cracks of that statement. And a surprising number of people who did talk about gender in non-binary terms and even spoke explicitly about bisexuals and trans folks as allies to each other then turned around and used phrases like “opposite sex.” But all in all, I’m very glad I went. If they have it again next year I’ll go again.

Next up: That night’s Bi Lines II performance! (Or at least my favorite segment of it.) Tomorrow’s writing date day again…

01
Apr
09

Bi Visibility Weekend in NYC

The Bi Writers Association is hosting a Bi Visibility Weekend in NYC May 30th and 31st, including a Putting the “B” in LGBT Summit, with a pretty awesome lineup. There’s also a dinner and a reading afterward, and a brunch the next day. I can’t promise you’ll see me there — I’ve had other plans for weeks, and I’m trying to decide what to do and lamenting the fact that I can’t be in two places at once (that’s such a problem this spring!) — but it looks like a very worthwhile way to spend a day or weekend.

The email they sent me, complete with details: Continue reading ‘Bi Visibility Weekend in NYC’

24
Sep
08

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Happy Celebrate Bisexuality Day, everyone! (Even though it’s over now because I can never finish anything until after midnight.) I wasn’t able to track down any events in my area, but I hope you did in yours.

I have a lot of issues, politically, with the idea of MFF threesomes. Especially in the case of M/F couples cruising for another woman to share their bed, and that I’ve written about here before – but in other situations, too. The whole thing strikes me as a display of female sexuality for male gratification, it just plays into the “every man’s fantasy is two be with two chicks” cliche while ignoring female pleasure and desire, and gives me the creeps.
So I was surprised, in retrospect, to realize I didn’t feel preyed upon or squicked out when Girlfriend, Esquire and I were propositioned for one last weekend. I was too busy feeling flattered and intrigued and turned on, figuring out whether everyone involved was interested and the timing could be worked out, to turn a political eye to the situation.

This was probably a good reminder for me that not all situations exist specifically the same way I generalize them to analyze them. In this particular case, Girlfriend, Esq. and I met a very attractive, charming, and flirtatious boy at a party. Despite classic California good looks, he was hardly your average straight guy – he was wearing more glitter than I was (and that’s saying something), and I’ve seen him in some pretty queer situations. And my Kinsey 6 girlfriend was the first one to express attraction. Kissing ensued in short order, and to quote her, “So here I was, me and my girlfriend both making out with a guy – sorry, whose hetero porn did I stumble into?” And yet, as she went on to note, that’s not how it felt at all. Instead it was sweet and hot and exciting. When he suggested that we try to find some time before the weekend ended to pounce each other, I was pleased, not offended. And while it never quite came together, I’d have liked it to.

And of course there were mitigating factors there that were very specific to me and my needs. Girlfriend, Esq. and I were both attracted to him before he made a move on either of us (and actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that we made a move on him). He’s awfully queer, which is pretty much a requirement for me these days, and takes away from the ooky acting-out-a-straight-boy’s-fantasy feeling. His interest felt specific to us as individuals, rather than as a girl-girl couple. And even so it’s easier for me to understand people who are attracted to Girlfriend, Esq. and I as a unit than people who ooh and ah at the very idea of two feminine lesbians, since even I can ackowledge that the two of us have very appealing chemistry that others notice a mile away. And we were in the kind of lovely queer-positive, sex-positive space where no one was going to assume anything about us based on what they saw, and I felt particularly open to anything that might happen and be pleasurable.  All of these things are very specific to me and my preferences, but I’m trying to not see this as a perfectly acceptable exception to a generally creepy trend. I’m trying instead to let it remind me that nearly all sexual situations can feel good and not icky depending on the specifics and the people involved. It was probably about time for that reminder, and good for me to be in and enjoy a situation that I usually dismiss as an unexamined catering to male pleasure. Because of course the truth is that it doesn’t have to be for male gratification – it can be for everyone’s gratification, and probably usually is.

I’m still creeped out by couples looking for any girl to share their bed, and straight boys who fantasize about two girls together in a way that makes who those girls are and what they want irrelevant. But I remember now that these aren’t the only ways that particular type of group sex happens. Sometimes three people are just all attracted to each other and want to act on it. That can be a lovely thing. It’s really not something I should go around judging and applying my politics to, especially when it’s unclear from outside the situation that anything I would actually find off-putting is happening.

Every day is a learning experience, huh?

In unrelated news, the first secret in this week’s PostSecret was “I’m bipolar and straight. But when my meds are off, I become bisexual.” I’m fascinated by that construction. I imagine that if this were my secret, it would be phrased “I’m bipolar and bisexual, but my meds make me straight.” And I’d be pissed about it, too.

Also, for the New Yorkers among us, on Thursday, October 23rd at 7 there’s a program on bisexual film at the LGBT center. I’m sure I’ll be writing about it here afterward. It doesn’t appear to be on the Center’s calendar yet, but I’ll try to remember to post a link when it is.