Friday, May 23, 2008

Call for essays in 2nd edition of Getting Bi

http://www.robynochs.com/Getting_Bi_CFE.html

"CALL FOR ESSAYS:
Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World, 2nd edition

--Do you have something to say about being bisexual?

--Do you have a story about coming out as bi?

--Do you feel you could identify as bisexual but choose not to?

--Do you find connections (or conflicts) between your bisexuality and other parts of your identity or life?

--Do you have something to say about desire? About relationships? About religion? About community? About politics? About the position of bisexuals in the place or community you call home?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we want to publish you!
We seek short personal essays or poems (200-1000 words) by bisexuals from Central or South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, or Africa. We seek Muslim voices from anywhere in the world.

If you don’t want your name in print, you can write under a pseudonym. If you think you’re not a “real” writer and would like to be included in this anthology, we want you. If you’re not comfortable writing, we can interview you. If you are not comfortable writing in English, write in your native language and we will translate your essay.

Essays will be published in the second edition of Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. The new anthology will be published in 2009, in dual editions (English and Spanish).

The first (2005) edition includes personal narratives by people from 32 different countries, on 6 continents, ranging in age from 15-79. Please help us make this amazing collection even broader in scope!

Send submissions to Robyn Ochs (robyn@robynochs.com) by June 30, 2008.

Thank you!

Robyn Ochs (www.robynochs.com) & Sarah E. Rowley, Editors

Getting Bi is one of the most important recent contributions to the global struggle for human rights. By enriching our understanding of bisexuality within so many cultural and geographic contexts, this anthology serves as a magnificent tool for building support and respect for the sexual rights of each one of us.
--Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Where did your username come from?

A year ago I posted a blog on my myspace about a biphobic Craigslist personal ad I'd seen. I sent its author an e-mail telling her I had a problem with her post, and we exchanged a few e-mails back and forth.

In the comments to my blog post, a friend wrote:

first: ""No bisexuals" is like the lesbian equivalent of "No fatties."" made me choke on my own spit it was so funny. lesbians are starting to bug me more and more, mainly because in addition to "no bisexuals" there is a hidden "oh, and no trans-freaks either." i understand your frustration and i admire that you have the balls to tell people like it is. i wish i could do the same more often, but i'm usually politely rejected or dumped and left to lick my wounds quietly in the corner. biphobia is thick in the LGBT community, and it scares me that it's spreading even more into the trans-community. there are haters out there who don't seem to realize that their ignorance and intolerance is further marginalizing us as a community. the more we spread hate about other queer individuals, the more we invite those in the straight community who are already intolerant to continue on their narrow-minded viewpoints and spread more ignorance.

as a trans individual who understands your anger and frustration: "you go girl!" i'm going to start thinking of you as the "bi-avenger"!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

On marriage equality

There's a discussion going on in BiNet USA's listserv about marriage eqality that's bothering me. Some people say we shouldn't care about calling it marriage or a civil union as long as we have all the same rights. I disagree with this argument in a big way.

Here's the response I sent:

First of all, there's a great article here: http://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/cu-vs-marriage.pdf that offers a rundown to why we should fight for civil marriage over civil unions, including specific legal rights in which the terminology does make a difference.

Language is a powerful thing. It's my opinion that all states should grant "civil unions" to any couple regardless of the sex of the two people, and marriage should be left up to individual couples and religious institutions. That is not, however, how most states conduct marriage. If a state is willing to give a man and a woman a marriage, they should grant that same exact right to same-sex couples as well. It does matter what you call it. I think there is a mentality behind calling it a civil union - like, "okay, we'll give you these rights - we'll even give you all the same rights - but you still can't have that word marriage. It's reserved for 'straight' couples only! Sorry!" The statistics I've seen seem to show that more people are willing to support civil unions than who support full marriage equality. What does that say about how those people view same-sex couples? It says that they are not the same. It says that marriage is a special term that same-sex couples just don't have a right to have.

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But there are plenty of people for whom the terminology makes a huge difference. I think it's important that bisexuals and the greater LGBTQ community come together to support full, equal rights - not only in the rights granted but in language as well. A civil union is not the same thing as a marriage. And I think having the "civil union" terminology in place will continue to perpetuate society's views of same-sex couples as "different." Do you really want that?

To me, the argument that what you call it doesn't matter as long as we have the same rights under the law is the same sort of argument as those *cough*HRC*cough* that say we should be satisfied with the version of ENDA that doesn't include pretecting gender identity as well as sexual orientation. Aside from the fact that many not-straight people don't conform to gender norms anyway when it comes to appearance or identity and are thus still at risk even though their orientation would be protected... it's absolutely settling for less. I know that there are probably people here that disagree with me on the ENDA issue, and that's troubling. We can't just sit back and say we are satisfied with a little progress and "trans people will get their rights someday."

Sorry, but separate but equal just isn't good for me when it comes to any civil rights issue. And my opinion about the terms would be the same even if there were no legal differences between civil unions and marriage (which there are).

There are lots more resources here if you'd like to read more about the issue: http://www.glad.org/marriage/



***Edited to add: Here is a GREAT resource from NOW about the issue!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California's Supreme Court overturnes CA's same-sex marriage ban, press and HRC continue to perpetuate bi invisibility

California ban on same-sex marriage struck down. As it and all other bans on same sex marriage should be. Equal rights for all.

I also want to say that I appreciate CNN's consistent use of inclusive language (using the term "same-sex marriage" instead of "gay marriage") in both the headline and the article! Unsurprisingly, Fox News has said CA overturned the "gay marriage ban" and, unfortunately, so has the BBC and (MS)NBC and ABC and CBS and 365gay.com and Yahoo! News and Reuters and the Associated Press (note the AP link will bring you to a different AP News-using site each time) and the New York Times and the Washington Post and NPR...
Apparently in their eyes only gays and lesbians want to get married. Or they just don't really think at all about how they phrase it...

THIS is what we're talking about when we talk about bi invisibility!!!

You can send positive feedback to CNN here.


Edited to add: My friend just received an e-mail from the HRC listserv, written by Joe Solmonese (the president of HRC!) that started like this:

"Same-sex couples win the right to marry in California! Today, California's highest court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional, granting loving, committed gay and lesbian couples the dignity and support their relationships have so long been denied."

Come ON, HRC! You are supposed to be a supportive LGBT organization! You could at least sort of try. This sort of crap is exactly why I am not a fan of HRC. Ugh.

Second edit, to add: GLAAD is guilty too... ugh. "The court's ruling on the cases... extended marriage to gay and lesbian couples in the Golden State... committed couples, gay and straight, should not be denied the duties, obligations and protections of marriage..." Etc., etc.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

10 Things Your Congregation Can Do To Welcome People Who...

This is a great page! It's written for churches, but many of the tips can be adapted and used by any organization that wants to include everyone that is attracted to more than one gender. Religious organizations and houses of worship that wish to be inclusive should definitely be following these suggestions as well. 10 Things Your Congregation Can Do To Welcome People Who Are Attracted To People Of More Than One Gender

From headings in the page:
"People who identify as bisexual, omnisexual, pansexual, pansensual, etc., may be uneasy until they know they are welcome. You can make this clear without their having to ask... Little things are often the most important. What will really make people feel welcome, and what will make them want to return to your church, is intentional inclusion in all aspects of church life... Most people have lots of misinformation about people who are attracted to people of more than one gender. Address this directly in your congregation... Advertise your welcome outside of your congregation."