Monday, October 27, 2008

comBIne applies for official organization status at OSU

comBIne's official status is in the works!

Our purpose statement:

comBIne is an organization for people who are attracted to more than one gender and their allies. The group’s main purposes are to provide a safe social space, to provide education and outreach, and to collaborate with campus and Central Ohio organizations on issues of importance to the bisexual community. The group will foster social activism among its members.

Our organization information page (including our constitution) is here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Repugnant Party Says, "Not All Ohio Families Deserve to Exist"

I have not frequently posted about my political affiliations here. I consider myself an independent. HOWEVER, because I *actually* support liberty and justice for all, I frequently find myself coming up against Republican/conservative beliefs. I usually hold my nose and vote Democrat, unless there's a good third party candidate. Were there ever to be a Republican who stood for most of what I believe in over all other candidates, I would consider voting for them - although I think the chances of that happening are slim to none. I don't necessarily want to alienate readers... but considering the Republicans' general stance on LGBTQ rights as well as the following campaign, I find no reason to keep silent about politics in a blog devoted to dealing with bisexual/queer issues.

The Republican Party's recent campaign against Ray Pryor is disgusting.

click to view larger image

You can tell these idiots just how wrong they are by visiting this address and sending the Ohio Rethug chairman a letter:

I am tired of seeing the incorrect and disgusting rhetoric surrounding which families are and aren't "acceptable." For those of you who may not consider yourselves part of the LGBTQIA community, this is not just a queer issue - it relates to everyone.

Personal notes are often more effective in these situations than the form one provided. So, using just a little from the form, I let them hear it:

Dear Chairman Bennett:
Your campaign is insulting and unacceptable not only to LGBT Ohioans but to Ohio's families in general. The negative portrayal of families that fall outside the nuclear family model is not just an LGBT issue. There are many of us who were raised by single mothers, grandparents, and other "non-traditional" families who had a happy childhood and have gone on to thrive as adults. The idea the only successful parenting model is an upbringing by a mother and a father is a fallacy. Using Ohio's children and families as a desperate political ploy to sway voters is morally despicable as well as factually incorrect - and it represents the type of negative campaigning that Ohio voters are tired of.
Stop using Ohio's innocent children as a backdrop to your distorted and dishonest campaign messages. Enough is enough.

You should write them too.

More Bisexual Characters on TV!

From GLAAD's study of LGBT television characters during the 2008-2009 season:

Increase in Bisexual Representation on Broadcast Television

While an overwhelming number of LGBT characters on broadcast television are white gay men, now there are a greater number of bisexual characters on scripted shows. On Fox's House, Thirteen (played by Olivia Wilde, who previously portrayed bisexual character Alex on Fox's The OC) was revealed to be bisexual during the 2007-2008 season. Angela, an existing character on Fox's Bones, has been announced by the network as being bisexual this season amidst rumors of an ex-girlfriend returning to the picture. At the end of last season, ABC's Grey's Anatomy showed Callie and Erica in the early stages of mutual attraction, suggesting a potential relationship that would be the only romance between female series regulars currently on broadcast television. On NBC, Knight Rider's Carrie was romantically involved with a woman in the television special upon which the series is based, though it remains to be seen if that aspect of her character will be explored in the series. There is only one male character on broadcast television counted as bisexual: Roger the Alien on Fox's animated series American Dad!

This news is good to hear. I was excited when 13 was outed on House and thrilled to hear about Grey's. A positive portrayal of bisexual and queer characters in the media is so important. It not only raises visibility, but counters the many negative potrayals of bisexuality on TV and in movies, even in queer shows (read: Queer as Folk, the L Word...)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) is biphobic and transphobic

Though Senator Norm Coleman has no problem with gays and lesbians (they are apparently just born that way), he believes bisexuals and transgendered people "choose their lifestyle." This is the man that Al Franken (who has the endorsement of the Stonewall DFL Caucus) is running against, by the way.

From Joshua Lynsen, News Editor at the Washington Blade:

I have to apologize to my fellow Minnesotans. It seems that I’m partly to blame for St. Paul not celebrating Pride month when Norm Coleman was mayor.

Apparently, bisexuals such as myself unnerve Coleman, who’s now a U.S. senator. Bisexuality unnerves him so much that during his eight years as mayor, he refused to sign a proclamation celebrating Pride month because it would recognize bisexuals.

Minnesota’s leading newspaper, the Star Tribune, noted in May 1994 that Coleman had no problem with gays and lesbians. But he wouldn’t put his signature on a Pride proclamation that might be seen as promoting people who are bisexual or transgender.

“I see [being bisexual or having a sex change] as lifestyle issues,” Coleman said in the article. He noted that gays and lesbians, by comparison, have legal status as “protected-class” citizens because of their sexual orientation.

So I offer my apologies, Minnesota. Mea culpa.

Of course, it might be worth noting that I didn’t choose to be bisexual any more than Coleman chose to be heterosexual. And that 1.8 percent of American men and 2.8 percent of American women ages 18 to 44 identify as bisexual. And that two of Coleman’s predecessors and both of his successors signed the proclamation.

I contacted Coleman’s campaign this week to see if he’s changed his views since he was quoted 14 years ago. I didn’t get a response. It would seem that I continue to unnerve him.

But I suppose it’s OK that I unnerve him, because his ignorant and stubborn attitude unnerves me. And if he couldn’t bring himself to recognize bisexuals as recently as eight years ago, I see no reason for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Minnesotans to recognize him Nov. 4 in the voting booth.

I first saw this article posted on the BiNet USA listserv. One person sent a response with more info about Coleman and the situation:

Just wanted to point out that Sen. Coleman was the mayor of St. Paul, not Minneapolis. During his 8 years in office he refused to sign the Pride proclamation because (this is a paraphrase) 'while gays and lesbians can't help it, bisexuality and transgenderism are lifestyle choices'. The St. Paul city council issued a Pride proclamation each year. Sen. Coleman refused to do so. Sen. Coleman's refusal to sign the proclamation did not affect any of the Twin City Pride events that went on during his tenure.

(Oddly enough, a good friend of his family and a staff member of his for years, including his years as mayor, was an out bi and trans woman.)

His actions actually helped bisexuals be accepted by the gays and lesbians in Minnesota. A number of the 'old guard' had resisted the inclusion of bis (this was just a few short years after we successfully campaigned to get the Bs and Ts included in the Pride name). One of their arguments was that bis weren't discriminated against because they were bi, but because they were 'part gay'. A number of these people came up to me later and said that they changed their mind on inclusion of bisexuals since we did get discriminated against for being bi as opposed to being 'part gay'. So thank you Sen. Coleman!

Also wanted to let everyone know that Sen. Norm Coleman (GOP) is in no way related to the current mayor of St. Paul, Chris Coleman, who is very GLBT supportive. Mayor Chris Coleman (DFL) celebrated the reopening of a GLBT bar in St. Paul tonight by tending bar there for a half hour or so!

Lou Hoffman

The race between Coleman and Franken is close. You can donate to Franken's campaign here.