Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts for Celebrate Bisexuality Day

This post was written for Raspberry Mousse for International Celebrate Bisexuality Day/Bi Pride Day, which was Sept. 23. If you'd like to read what other RM contributors had to say, read the full post here.

What am I going to be doing this Celebrate Bisexuality Day? I'll be celebrating with members and allies of Columbus, Ohio's bi community. We'll be eating, drinking, dancing, and generally having a blast all weekend long. Few people know it, but this Midwestern "cowtown" is home to a huge and diverse population of queers. This day offers a time to reflect on all the brave and fierce people I love who love more than one gender. I'll be thinking about the pansexuals who love roller derby, the bisexuals who have provided me with advice on navigating non-monogamy, the monogamous queers who are deeply commited to each other and whose love is inspiring to those around them. I'll be thinking about the fledgling student organization that I, with the help of several other dreamers, started at our local university for all of us who are attracted to more than one gender and our allies. I'm so excited to see our dream, having taken root, really start to blossom. I hope to see it continue to flourish. Our community-based group is growing, too. We are supporting each other, networking, making friends, and educating our city.

But life's not all great over here in bi-land. Along with the great things mentioned above, I'll also be thinking about how I remarked at a recent community meeting that it's 2010 and sometimes it feels like we are fighting the same battles over and over again. We continue to remain frighteningly invisible when the topic turns to "LGBT" issues in the media or scientific research or, hell, in mainstream gay organizing. On this day, I'll be keeping in mind the people I've talked to so far in my queer organizing work who can't come out, still, for fear of their parents - or children. Unfortunately, we continue to face hatred not only from our straight friends but from our gay and lesbian ones as well. I'll be thinking about how people who love more than one gender are still being scapegoated as disease-spreaders, as fence-sitters, as barsexuals, and worse. I could go on. Furthermore, my perception of where we stand as a community is deeply colored by my location. In other countries, we are still being put to death. Amir Hossein's supposed heterosexual privilege didn't protect him from government-sanctioned murder.

In the spirit of celebration and recognition, it's important to remember that despite having our work cut out for us, we have still come a long way. This day is a great time to remind ourselves of the famous people who have come out in the past few years as bi/pan/queer, increasing visibility internationally. It's also a great time to check out media projects by fellow bisexuals - like FenceSitter Films - that are working to change the rhetoric. Finally, it's a great time to brush up on our history. I'll be thinking about all my heroes, the people who came out as bi back when GLBT wasn't even an acronym, and how that period wasn't as long ago as it may seem to the younger generation. I'll be thinking about all the ones we lost to HIV/AIDS before we could even get Reagan to utter its name. I'll be picking up my copies of Bi Any Other Name and Getting Bi so I can once again study where we've been, how far we've actually come. We might not have this holiday at all if you hadn't been there to start it in the first place, and for that we are so grateful. My feet might not be dancing if it weren't for you. Thank you.

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