Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bi, Married and Proud by A.J. Walkley

It’s #BiWeek and today, September 23rd, is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. As a newly married person, I’ve never been more proud to proclaim my bisexuality as I am today – and part of that reason is because regardless of my past and present advocacy, it is all too easy to fall back into the invisibility of my closeted days.

Well-known to bisexuals, allies and LGBTQ+ community members, that damn closet is ever-present, sometimes most so for bisexuals who are in otherwise-seeming relationships, not to mention marriages. Once the ring is on the finger and the legal documents are signed, for a monogamous bisexual like me, if I am not loud and proud in my bisexuality, I will be seen as straight – I will be seen as someone I am not and never have been.

Making the decision to marry my partner last November was not difficult – they are the person who is always there for me, come hell or high water; the person who loves me unconditionally; the person who knows how to calm me down from a panic attack or lift me up from a wave of depression; the person who can make me laugh harder than just about anyone else. No, saying yes to their proposal was not difficult; the difficult part is the enduring need to come out on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day, to those who don’t know yet.

No matter if I’m draped in the bisexual pride flag (most people outside of the community wouldn’t recognize it anyway), unless I’m shaking your hand when we meet and identify as bisexual (which can be awkward), or I come out by describing my activism (which rarely comes up in conversation fluidly), or tell you what my book Queer Greer is about, you will assume I’m heterosexual.

There are some family members of mine who assumed that, since I am a married woman, my activism days were over – they truly didn’t understand why I needed to be vocal about being bisexual. “It’s not about me,” I have tried to explain, multiple times. “It’s about the kid I used to be and the kids out there now who don’t know who they are. The kids who are still being told they’re wrong, that there’s something wrong with them. It’s about them.”

It’s about all of the policies that need to reflect bisexuals; it’s about the staggering statistics of domestic violence and sexual assault against bisexuals; it’s about the poor health outcomes bisexuals experience; it’s about the harassment bisexuals receive in school and the workplace; it’s about the income inequality bisexuals face. There are so many reasons to advocate for my bisexual peers, I will cry bisexuality and the naturalness, the beauty of it, until I’m blue in the face and cold in the ground – for them and, truthfully, for myself, too. Because I am one of them, living in a society and a world that still discriminates, that continues to condemn.

And as my partner and I think about having children, they will be born into that society and world as well. I have the responsibility to teach them who I am, what the bisexual community means, what being LGBTQ+ is; I have the perspective to give them perspective and, hopefully, shape them into more empathetic, loving people as a result.

I believe that the haters hate what they don’t understand or what they see in themselves and cannot fathom. The more the activist community educates, the more people we can reach who see themselves in us, as well as those who have simply not had the chance to learn what being bisexual means – and what it doesn’t mean (let’s get past those negative stereotypes already, okay?). The wider the vast spectrum of bisexuality and all it entails is portrayed and advocated for (single bisexuals, polyamorous bisexuals, monogamous bisexuals, bisexuals of color, trans+ and genderqueer bisexuals…), the more acceptance can be had.

I am #stillbisexual. I am married. I am proud.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

#BiWeek 2015 Event Round-up

#BiWeek 2015 Round-Up

As #BiWeek 2015 gets started, there are a plethora of events across the United States taking place, perhaps right in your backyard. Here’s a glimpse:

  • Saturday, September 19th, Washington, D.C.: BiNet USA President Faith Cheltenham speaks at #OOTH2015 National Black Justice Coalition Conference.
  • Sunday, September 20th, Portland, OR: Join the Portland Bisexual+ Community for Sunday Coffee @ the newly reopened LGBT cafe Triumph Café from 1-4pm with The Bi Brigade. For more information, visit
  • Tuesday, September 22nd, Washington, D.C.: Bi+ Community Health and Wellness Festival for #BiWeek 2015, with a reception and free HIV testing starting at 6:30pm; program begins at 7:15pm at the Equality Forum at HRC. The event will begin with a reception and an official proclamation of Bisexual Awareness Week from the DC Mayor’s office. The program will feature advocates, and health and wellness experts facilitating an interactive discussion on how Bi+ people can advocate for themselves in healthcare settings, and take charge of self-care and general wellness. Free on-site HIV testing will also be available during the reception from Whitman Walker Health. For more information join the Facebook event:
  • Wednesday, September 23rd, Los Angeles, CA: The Sixth Annual Bi Arts Festival With Bi Celebrities and News-Makers Panel hosted by L.A. Bi Task Force in conjunction With BiNet USA and GLAAD. Panelists include Ian Harvie, Tara Avery, R.J. Aguiar, Dr. Mimi Hoang, Connor Martin, Faith Cheltenham. With performances by KiNG, Lucy & La Mer, Reed, Kristina Wong and Yazmin Monet Watkins. For more information, visit the Facebook event:
  • Wednesday, September 23rd, San Francisco, CA: The San Francisco bi community will celebrate Bisexual Visibility with an evening variety show from 6-pm on El Rio’s back patio on Mission Street, featuring live music from Nina Jo Smith and Some of The Buds; moves by Three Sisters Bellydance; burlesque by Isis Starr; poetry by Jan Steckel, Carole Queen and Lani Ka’ahumanu; comedy by Ginorma Desmond; and food from the Voodoo Van. For more information, visit the Facebook event:
  • Thursday, September 24th, San Francisco, CA: San Francisco, CA-based non-profit the National Center for Lesbian Rights will launch a Twitterstorm to celebrate Bisexual Awareness Week and #biweek.
  • Friday, September 25th, Boston, MA: Celebrate Bisexuality Day with the Bisexual Resource Center and the Boston bi community at Club Café Boston at 7:00pm. They’ll be handing out their annual Unsung Hero and Bi Ally Awards, coupled with a dance party to celebrate 30 years of bi-tastic community building by the BRC. For more information, visit the Facebook event
  • Saturday, September 26th, New York, NY: Come to My Brother’s a Keeper – a stage reading and Bisexual Awareness Week Event – at 5:30pm, 244 Greene Street. For more information, visit:
  • Wednesday, September 30th, Minneapolis, MN: Bisexual Organizing Project is sponsoring a community social event with presentation of Community Recognition Awards from 6:30-9:30pm at Sidhe Brewing. For more information, visit:

There are plenty more being added continuously. Be sure to check out the #biweek hashtag on Twitter to find them all!

Friday, September 18, 2015

NLGJA Awards: Bisexual Winners

BiNet USA and the entire bisexual+ community congratulates four out and proud bisexual community members on their landmark NLGJA (National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association) Excellence in Journalism Awards.

And it's so great that there were lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender winners this year!

Sunnivie Brydum
News Director for The Advocate

"I’m honored to be a part of the Advocate team recognized by the NLGJA this year, especially for projects that were so collaborative in nature. Although she’s since moved on to, I loved conspiring with Michelle Garcia to find new, innovative ways to rejuvenate our annual 40 Under 40 feature, with an intentional focus on intersectional issues and the emerging voices fighting for change. The Day in LGBT America series represents the beautiful diversity of our community as we go about our everyday lives, and the recognition our team earned this year proves what good can happen when two radical queer ladies get the reins of a publication. With that being said, I also have to express my gratitude to our fearless leader, editorial director Lucas Grindley, who won second place in the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award. His confidence in our team — including naming Michelle, and subsequently myself, managing editor — helps empower us to dig for the important stories that aren’t being told. I’m thrilled to admit that we’ve only just begun." Sunnivie Brydum 
(Sunnivie self-identifies as a queer cis woman, though she takes no umbrage at being included in the “bi+” umbrella.)
 Excellence in Online Journalism Award third place 
 “40 Under 40: Emerging Voices” 
The Advocate


Diane Anderson-Minshall
American journalist and author best known for writing about lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender subjects. She is editor-at-large of The Advocate and editor-in-chief of HIV Plus Magazine

  "I’ve won a number of NLGJA awards for my work and it’s a thrill each time. This is has been a great year for me (my memoir just garnered me my first literary award too at the Golden Crown Lit Conference) and the two magazines where I serve as an editor (The Advocate and Plus) have just been similarly blessed with honors in 2015. But I have to give all the props this time to our current managing editor Sunnivie Brydum and our former managing editor Michelle Garcia who both really spearheaded this giant 40 Under 40 feature. Corralling contributions from 11 people, staff and freelancers, is like juggling drunk toddlers so it's really testament to their skills and our bitchin’ team that this series resonated with readers and the NLGJA judges." Diane Anderson-Minshall
“40 Under 40: Emerging Voices” 
The Advocate

Michelle Garcia
Identities editor at Mic
Past writer for 6 years at The Advocate

"This award, and the amount of teamwork that went into writing, editing and producing The Day in LGBT and the 40 Under 40 just goes to show how much the Advocate team trusts each other to work well and produce something that attempts to reflect LGBTQ Americans and the people who keep our community moving forward. My colleagues, who I consider to be (my weird, dysfunctional, shade-throwing, but immensely close and loving) family, are some of the best people in our business, and I would not be where I'm at today without them." Michelle Garcia
“40 Under 40: Emerging Voices”
The Advocate

Faith Cheltenham 

As president of BiNet USA -- the national non-profit advocacy organization for bisexual people -- guest blogger Faith Cheltenham co-organized the 2013 Bisexual Community Issues Roundtable at the White House. 
 Excellence in Blogging Award

Second Place