Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saying The B Word: A guide to coming out bi in the 21st century #giveout

Photo Caption/Credit: Image of B inside of heart, by Coloringbuddymike
By Aud Traher, BiNet USA Board Member

When I came out as bisexual 6+ years ago I dutifully paid a visit to my university's LGBTA center, a tiny room, ironically more of a closet then a real center, to borrow a book that would help me navigate coming out. They didn't have a book for Bi people, or any books,pamphlets or posters about bisexuality. The school library was no help either. So now after years of bisexual community activism and reading the books that came before it I'm working on my own book. "Saying The B Word: Coming out as Bi in the 21st century" a guide for people of the millennial generation, that touches on topics such as social media, online dating and cyber bullying.

Polling and statistics have shown that those who are on the Bi+ spectrum (Bisexual,Pansexual, Fluid,Queer,) actually make up the majority of the larger queer/lgbtq community. But bisexuals still are seen as non-existent, fickle and are not afforded the same resource's as their lesbian and gay (monosexual) conterparts.

While books on how to come out as lesbian or gay have enjoyed much popularity and support in recent years, these books barely touch on issues faced by bisexual people, if they are mentioned at all. Issues like “label wars”, finding bi community, romantic orientation, consent and resources and responses to biphobia, especially institutional biphobia are desperately needed.

Books take time to write and the need for a resource like this is immediate. That is why BiNet wants to print a 20 page brochure that covers these topics. This brochure would be available online and in print for health offices, lgbt resource centers and more.

To print 500 of them a total of 2,500 dollars needs to be raised. On this #giveout day I hope that you choose to donate to this and help further this important work.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

BiNet USA #giveout Wish List 2015

An entirely volunteer run organization, BiNet USA depends on your donations to keep hope alive.

DONATE TODAY: 

https://www.giveoutday.org/c/GO/a/binetusa


Photo of President Obama and BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham

BiNet USA Board Member Wish List for #giveout


 BiNet USA treasurer and co-founder, Gary North, pictured above with amBi Los Angeles and LA Bi Task Force co-founder Dr. Mimi Hoang.

Gary's #giveout Wish List item: 
Shared office and conference room space for BiNet USA board members to use at over 3,000 DaVinci Virtual locations.

($4,773 dollars/year).



Lynnette's #giveout Wish List item: 
Help Lynnette McFadzen and The BiCast attend a New Organizing Institute training so she can keep working for bisexual empowerment as a disabled retiree. She could also use a new computer! 

($800 for travel and training costs + $800 for a new computer and accessibility friendly monitor).



Dani's #giveout Wish List item
 One of BiNet USA’s newest board members, Dani Siragusa is the Development Events Manager for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Dani is working with BiNet USA, National Center for Lesbian Rights and The National LGBTQ Task Force to create space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer women to help shape an LGBT movement that truly reflects them. Help Dani attend next year’s Creating Change in Chicago so she can help kick off long lasting change for LGBTQ women. 

($800 for travel and hotel as well as printed resources to provide attendees)

 

BiNet USA board member Morgan Goode (far right) with BiNet USA co-founder and Bi Women Quarterly editor Robyn Ochs and her wife Peg Preble.
Morgan's #giveout Wish List item: Morgan recently recovered from knee surgery and has a heart for intersectional approaches to social justice. Help Morgan and other BiNet USA members create some online materials for disabled bi, pan, fluid and queer community members.

($800 for design and 100 copies to be mailed to disability and LGBT organizations)

 


BiNet USA Board member Peter Ruggiero pictured in middle with bisexual writers and editors Sheela Lambert (left) and Ron Suresha (right). Peter is a Senior Lecturer at Boston University and also volunteers as Social Media Coordinator for MaleSurvivor.org.
Peter's #giveout Wish List item: Help Peter and other BiNet USA volunteers like Estraven create the first ever Bisexual Lifeline to help bi+ community members survive suicidality, sexual assault, domestic violence and poor health. We’ll use the same technology Trans Lifeline uses to provide low-cost support to bi+ people everywhere.

($4,800/year for 3 phone numbers serving 3 different time zones, with each providing 1 hour of support per day)

 

A longtime BiNet USA Board member, Luigi Ferrer remains engaged on many fronts as a Latino, bilingual, bisexual HIV+ male and currently serves as the Program Director for Pridelines Youth Services.
Luigi's #giveout Wish List item: Luigi continues to support the South Florida Bisexual, Queer and Non-Monosexual Community and would love to launch Bisexual Awareness Week activities in South Florida. Donate today to help make it happen!

($500 for food, entertainment, publicity and event space in South Florida for an event to be held during September’s Bisexual Awareness Week)

 


Bi+ Trans + Agender BiNet USA Board member Aud Traher had a great time attending the BECAUSE conference and is thrilled to have finished a book proposal for the book they’re currently writing, “Saying the B Word”, a coming out book for millennials.
Aud's #GiveOut Wish List: Books take time to write and the need for a resource like “Saying the B Word” is immediate. That is why BiNet USA wants to print a 20 page brochure that covers these topics. This brochure would be available online and in print for health offices, LGBT resource centers and more.

($2,500 for 500 copies of Aud’s 20 page brochure with tips for coming out as a bi+ millennial)

 

DONATE TODAY:

https://www.giveoutday.org/c/GO/a/binetusa

 


Systemic biphobia in action: FDA Blood Ban Revision


Thomas Leavitt, a longtime bi organizer in Santa Cruz, CA who hosts BiFriendly and is the co-chair of the GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz County, wrote us about the problematic language in the recent revision to the FDA's ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men. Thomas went directly to the FDA website to submit a comment suggesting new language that does less harm to bisexual community members and their partners. 

 

Thomas Leavitt's public comment at the FDA site:

While this recommendation represents progress of a sort, by lifting the "lifetime ban" on donation of blood by men who have had sex with men anytime since 1977, it doesn't resolve the basic absurdity of the existing "status based" ban on blood donations, and in fact, perpetuates the "lifetime" status of bisexual men as deferral triggers. Asking gay and bisexual men to not have sex with men for a year (including partners with whom they have a monogamous relationship), and asking the female partners of bisexual men to defer donating blood for a year after having sex with them, no matter how many years it has been since their partner has had sex with a man, is not fair, not reasonable, and not based on actual risk to the blood supply, but rather solely on their status as men who have sex with men, and as female partners of such men.

The absurdity of this policy is demonstrable by (a) the fact that married and monogamous gay or bisexual men in same-sex relationships trigger an immediate 12 month deferral period the moment they have sex with each other, even if they've been monogamous for the past decade plus, and (b) the fact that, should a bisexual man have sex with the male half of a male/female couple, he immediately triggers a 12 month deferral period for himself, the male half of the couple, and the female half of the couple the moment she has sex with her male partner... but should he have sex with the female half of a male/female couple, he triggers a deferral period for her, but not her male partner (even if her male partner has sex with her), or for himself. Under this scenario, FDA policy would result in the absurd situation of the woman being ineligible to donate blood, while both of her male partners remain eligible. How any of this makes sense to the FDA, or any rational individual, is beyond me.

Regards,
Thomas Leavitt

Please make your opinion heard and join Thomas in making a public comment to the FDA on this issue. 

Visit http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2015-D-1211-0002 to leave your comment, all comments must be received by July 15, 2015.



Friday, May 15, 2015

“Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out” with Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka'ahumanu




On May 28th, 2015 the long awaited reprint of “Bi AnyOther Name: Bisexual People Speak Out”an anthology edited by LoraineHutchins and LaniKa'ahumanu will be released. It will feature a new cover and an insightful new intro that sheds light on the bisexual experience.

Originally released in 1991 it contains over 70 contributions. It is as relevant today as it was 20+ years ago. It is interesting see how much has changed for our community. And what indeed, hasn't. 

This new edition will also be available in ebook and hard copy.

In the words of Lani Ka’ahumanu- 


“I want a book of bisexual stories that I can sit down and read to find myself.” 
 

You can listen to The BiCast interview with Lani and Loraine here.


You can also purchase the original version here at a very reasonable price.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Third Annual Bisexual Book Awards (NYC)

The Bi Writers Association presents: 

Third Annual Bisexual Book Awards  

A Multi-Arts Celebration of Bisexual Writing



Readings by finalists of the Bisexual Book Awards, live music and an art presentation capped off with the Bisexual Book Awards Ceremony and an after-party!

Date: Sat May 30

Location: Westbeth Community Room (in the West Village), 55 Bethune just W. of Washington St. in NYC

Schedule: 6:30pm book signings, 7-10pm stage program, 10-10:30pm more book signings, 10:30-1 after-party

Tickets: $15 in advance or at the door

Program
Host: Sheela Lambert, Director, Bi Writers Association

Author Readings: 
Geer Austin & Ann Herendeen / Best Bi Short Stories: Bisexual Fiction - General Fiction anthology
Courtney Moreno / In Case of Emergency - General Fiction
Herukhuti / Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men - Non-fiction anthology
Nora Olsen / Frenemy of the People - Teen/Young Adult Fiction
Vivek Shraya / She of the Mountains - General Fiction
Laura Foley / Joy Street - Poetry
Shari Slade / One Kiss with a Rock Star - Romance
A.R. Fiano / Book of Joel - Mystery

Art Presentations: Gymnos Alitheia, Vivek Shraya & Herukhuti

Bisexual Book Awards Ceremony: Presentation of Awards

After-party: Malaparte Restaurant, 753 Washington St. @ Bethune-no entrance fee cash bar/food

RSVP: on Facebook or Bi Meetup

More performer details on Bisexual Examiner
Directions to Westbeth Community Room:
Option 1-Take A train to 14 St. Walk west to Washington Street. Turn L on Washington and walk down to Bethune. Make R on Bethune.  
Option 2-Take #1 train to Christopher St../Sheridan Sq. Walk west on Christopher to Washington St. Make R on Washington and walk up to Bethune. Turn L on Bethune.
Questions? Email: fuscialadybug (at) netzero (dot) com  Cell: 917-583-1897

Monday, May 04, 2015

BiNet USA and Our Tomorrow



BiNet USA has teamed up with Our Tomorrow—a grassroots and digital campaign to engage LGBTQ people across the country in a conversation about their hopes, fears and ideas for the future of the movement.

This is an historic moment for our movement. We’ve made a lot of progress on important issues like marriage equality, but we still have a long way to go,” said Faith Cheltenham. ”Our Tomorrow is an opportunity for each of us to make our voices heard in a national conversation about the future of the LGBTQ movement.”

The Our Tomorrow campaign invites anyone interested in participating to visit www.shareourtomorrow.org and share their hopes, fears and ideas. Posts will be featured on the Our Tomorrow website, where anyone interested in the future of the movement can learn about issues on the minds of LGBTQ people across the country.

Our Tomorrow represents the first time a major social movement has initiated a national public dialogue to generate inspiration, information and ideas for its future,” said Our Tomorrow campaign manager Lee Swislow. “This conversation will help create a shared, movement-wide vision for a bigger, bolder, more inclusive movement that speaks to the hopes and needs of the full diversity of the LGBTQ community.”

Insights and ideas from Our Tomorrow will also be shared with more than 70 nonprofit organizations and foundations that have sponsored the campaign. To see a full list of Our Tomorrow partners, visit www.shareourtomorrow.org/partners.

BiNetUSA has pledged to play an active role by by hosting events and collecting surveys from our bisexual+ community. We have so many ideas on how to improve the bisexual movement and experience. Let's make our voices heard!

Follow the link below to add your bisexual+ voice to this campaign. It is a way that you can be an activist and help change the future for our community.

Custom Link for BiNet USA: http://bit.ly/ourtomorrow60


About BiNet USA:

As an umbrella organization and voice for bisexual people, BiNet USA will facilitate the development of bisexual communities, promote bisexual visibility, advocate for bisexual community interests and collect and distribute educational information regarding bisexuality. To accomplish these goals, BiNet USA helps facilitate the development and growth of bisexual organizations and individuals across the United States, and encourages participation and organizing on local, regional and national levels.


For more information on this campaign and join in got to:

Share your voice. Shape our future.
Twitter:@ourtmrw
Instagram: @ourtmrw

Twitter: Join the conversation. Share your hopes, fears & ideas for the future of the #LGBTQ community. http://bit.ly/ourtomorrow60. #OurTomorrowFacebook: Join the conversation. Share your hopes, fears and ideas for the future of our community. #OurTomorrow

Make your voice heard. Visit 
http://bit.ly/ourtomorrow60.Instagram: Join the conversation. Share your hopes, fears and ideas for the future of the #LGBT community. http://bit.ly/ourtomorrow60. #OurTomorrow