8:35 pm - Tue, Apr 8, 2014
426 notes
Bisexuality, Section 377, and India’s LGBT Movement
With this article we continue our coverage of LGBT issues in India with a particular focus on bisexuality. Bi Magazine launched this series in January 2014 with the article “India’s Stonewall”.
In the aftermath of Indian Supreme Court’s decision on Section 377, activists have implemented two major game plans: aggressive legal challenges and campaigns to change public perception and attitudes toward different forms of gender and sexual expression …

Across India a devastating sense of disappointment in the Supreme Court verdict is being channeled into social change efforts with renewed vigor. Sensitization events are being organized to dispel stereotypes and demystify LGBT identities and sexualities.

Section 377 pinpoints anal and oral sex as “unnatural” acts. Few people acknowledge that heterosexually identified couples would also be impacted by this narrow categorization. And even fewer know the distinction between “unnatural” acts and lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation. Bisexuals have a tough road ahead of them as they continue to fight misconceptions within the lesbian and gay communities and in the larger mainstream… .
“Bisexual behavior is so prevalent and so widespread in India that a lot of people think of it as something any person will engage in given an opportunity,” says bisexual activist Dr. L. Ramki Ramakrishnan. “We live in a gender segregated society so there are a lot of opportunities for same-sex encounters.”

Equally widespread is a misunderstanding that these encounters are non-consensual or coercive, an impression the general public has gathered from reports or personal experiences of non-consensual sexual advances from men in seminaries, hostels, the army or even while traveling in public transport. The huge pressure to marry and perpetuate the family line affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Gay men forced to marry often call themselves bi while seeking extra-marital same-sex encounters, further fuelling the stigma against those claiming the bi label for themselves.

Ramakrishnan has also noticed another trend that he finds troublesome. “There is this notion that biphobia is really homophobia, and that the discrimination and prejudice faced by people who are bisexual is solely because of their “gay” side. These are people who partition bisexual orientation into a gay orientation and a straight orientation. They imply that if there were no homophobia then there would be no biphobia. This is simply not true because the prejudice encountered by bisexuality is not just from the straight communities but within the queer ones.”
Click HERE to read the article including the full interview with Dr. Ramki Ramakrishnan.
Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

Bisexuality, Section 377, and India’s LGBT Movement

With this article we continue our coverage of LGBT issues in India with a particular focus on bisexuality. Bi Magazine launched this series in January 2014 with the article India’s Stonewall.

In the aftermath of Indian Supreme Court’s decision on Section 377, activists have implemented two major game plans: aggressive legal challenges and campaigns to change public perception and attitudes toward different forms of gender and sexual expression …

Across India a devastating sense of disappointment in the Supreme Court verdict is being channeled into social change efforts with renewed vigor. Sensitization events are being organized to dispel stereotypes and demystify LGBT identities and sexualities.

Section 377 pinpoints anal and oral sex as “unnatural” acts. Few people acknowledge that heterosexually identified couples would also be impacted by this narrow categorization. And even fewer know the distinction between “unnatural” acts and lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation. Bisexuals have a tough road ahead of them as they continue to fight misconceptions within the lesbian and gay communities and in the larger mainstream… .

“Bisexual behavior is so prevalent and so widespread in India that a lot of people think of it as something any person will engage in given an opportunity,” says bisexual activist Dr. L. Ramki Ramakrishnan. “We live in a gender segregated society so there are a lot of opportunities for same-sex encounters.”

Equally widespread is a misunderstanding that these encounters are non-consensual or coercive, an impression the general public has gathered from reports or personal experiences of non-consensual sexual advances from men in seminaries, hostels, the army or even while traveling in public transport. The huge pressure to marry and perpetuate the family line affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation. Gay men forced to marry often call themselves bi while seeking extra-marital same-sex encounters, further fuelling the stigma against those claiming the bi label for themselves.

Ramakrishnan has also noticed another trend that he finds troublesome. “There is this notion that biphobia is really homophobia, and that the discrimination and prejudice faced by people who are bisexual is solely because of their “gay” side. These are people who partition bisexual orientation into a gay orientation and a straight orientation. They imply that if there were no homophobia then there would be no biphobia. This is simply not true because the prejudice encountered by bisexuality is not just from the straight communities but within the queer ones.”

Click HERE to read the article including the full interview with Dr. Ramki Ramakrishnan.


Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

1:31 pm - Fri, Apr 4, 2014
243 notes

Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards: Bisexual Nonfiction

Looking for the very best in contemporary Bisexual Thought & Bisexual Culture? Look no further than the Eight Finalists in the Bisexual Categories of the Lambda Literary Foundation Awards.

Now in their Twenty-Sixth Year, the Lambda Literary Awards honor achievement in LGBTQ writing for books published in 2013. This year our community has a wonderful selection, with Five Books in the Bisexual Fiction Category and Three Books in the Bisexual Nonfiction Category.

Every one of them a winner and all well worth your time and attention!

Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in the category Bisexual Nonfiction are:

Click HERE to read the full article

12:37 pm
304 notes

Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards: Bisexual Fiction

Looking for the very best in contemporary Bisexual Thought & Bisexual Culture? Look no further than the Eight Finalists in the Bisexual Categories of the Lambda Literary Foundation Awards.

Now in their Twenty-Sixth Year, the Lambda Literary Awards honor achievement in LGBTQ writing for books published in 2013. This year our community has a wonderful selection, with Five Books in the Bisexual Fiction Category and Three Books in the Bisexual Nonfiction Category.

Every one of them a winner and all well worth your time and attention!

Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in the category Bisexual Fiction are:

Click HERE to read the full article

4:01 pm - Sun, Mar 30, 2014
103 notes
LOOKING … For a Bi Man in San Francisco: A review
HBO’s new series Looking, set in San Francisco, centers around the life of four gay friends: Patrick, a video game designer; his best friend Agustin, a struggling artist, and Agustin’s boyfriend, Frank, a musician; and Dom, a waiter with dreams of opening his own restaurant …
Noticeably, the show features multiracial characters and in just eight short episodes has already touched on ageism and classism with unapologetic frankness … What Looking is definitely not about is the L, B and T of our community … Among all the men running around on this show there is not a single bisexual man.
It begs the question, “What do queer themed television shows have against bisexual characters?” From Grey’s Anatomy to House and The Good Wife, some mainstream shows have accommodated bisexual storylines. So, why the absence of a bisexual character from a queer show based in San Francisco?
Is there only the hegemony of gay men and their infinitesimally narcissistic issues now glorified in Looking?
Click HERE to read Anil’s full review of HBO’s new 2014 TV Series "Looking"
Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

LOOKING … For a Bi Man in San Francisco: A review

HBO’s new series Looking, set in San Francisco, centers around the life of four gay friends: Patrick, a video game designer; his best friend Agustin, a struggling artist, and Agustin’s boyfriend, Frank, a musician; and Dom, a waiter with dreams of opening his own restaurant …

Noticeably, the show features multiracial characters and in just eight short episodes has already touched on ageism and classism with unapologetic frankness … What Looking is definitely not about is the L, B and T of our community … Among all the men running around on this show there is not a single bisexual man.

It begs the question, “What do queer themed television shows have against bisexual characters?” From Grey’s Anatomy to House and The Good Wife, some mainstream shows have accommodated bisexual storylines. So, why the absence of a bisexual character from a queer show based in San Francisco?

Is there only the hegemony of gay men and their infinitesimally narcissistic issues now glorified in Looking?

Click HERE to read Anil’s full review of HBO’s new 2014 TV Series "Looking"


Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

8:29 pm - Sat, Mar 22, 2014
1,060 notes

My Boyfriend (and I) Featured in The New York Times Sunday Magazine

Say popular bisexual author and columnist Mike Szymanski,

For much of the past two decades, my boyfriend John Sylla has taken a backseat to me in the "bisexual activism" world. He’s tagged along with me to bisexual conferences, he’s suffered through long and boring activist meetings, he was forced to edit The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe a book I co-wrote with my bi-friend and fellow writer Nicole Kristal.

Today that has all changed, and I couldn’t be more proud.

John Sylla, and the great work he has done with the American Institute of Bisexuality, is being featured in The New York Times Magazine of the weekend of March 23, 2014 and it is a big deal.

Not since the Newsweek cover declared: Bisexuality. Not Gay. Not Straight. A New Sexual Identity Emerges,” has there been such a positive portrayal of bisexuality in the mainstream media. And that was July 17, 1995. It took nearly two decades to get another story like this done!

It’s a partially first-person story by the handsome journalist Benoit Denizet-Lewis and it details the dinner in West Hollywood that we had with him, and some of the things we discussed over lots of wine …

Yes, it’s surrounded in the story with people I knew before I ever met John. Regina Reinhardt, the therapist from San Diego, is pictured, so is Gary North. Robyn Ochs … is quoted in the article … In fact, the woman who inspired me to write The House that Bisexuality Built … my longtime friend [Ed Note: an American Institute of Bisexuality + Lambda Literary Board Member + editor of Bi Magazine] Denise Penn, is the reason why John and I met. She coaxed me to write that story that made the cover of the Orange County Blade that she was editing, (and for years I went on her public access TV show) and that is the reason John looked me up.

He left yellow tulips on my front doorstep with the note …“I would like to get involved in the bisexual movement, and I would like to meet you.”

Click HERE to read Mike’s full article


Mike Szymanski is a critically acclaimed journalist including two Hearst Awards for investigative reporting & feature writing; a film critic; and popular columnist who writes the widely read Bisexuality Examiner.

A bisexual activist since the early 1980s, he first came out as a gay writer but then found himself sneaking around with a girlfriend for a few years. So then he had to come out second time, this time as bisexual. He was previously a media coordinator for BiNet USA, and now teaches journalism at UCLA. He is also an award-winning author of several books with bisexual themes, including co-authoring the Lambda Award Winning Bisexuals Guide to the Universe.

4:58 pm - Sun, Mar 16, 2014
311 notes

bisexual-books:

image

Recently, I was looking for a copy of the Jan-March 2014 issue of The Journal of Bisexuality. I couldn’t access it online through my local university because of a database embargo (basically, the publisher won’t release it electronically until 18 months after publication) , so I decided to get a copy of the article I wanted through interlibrary loan

Folks, interlibrary loan is your secret best friend! Basically, you ask your library for a book, and they don’t have it themselves, they go and ask other libraries to send the book to them. Interlibrary loan is a great way to find bisexual books if your library doesn’t own any. If you are in the United States, most libraries will do this for free. I love interlibrary loan! I read tons of books on interlibrary loan.  One of the tools for interlibrary loan is WorldCat, a catalog of library holdings across the world, including both print and electronic holdings. And that’s when I discovered we have a problem:

There are exactly 60 libraries in the world that own the Journal of Bisexuality, and only 37 libraries in the United States.

This is a huge deal. The Journal of Bisexuality is the premiere journal for bisexuality studies, and only 60 libraries have it!

The Journal of Bisexuality has existed for over 10 years now. It’s the only peer reviewed journal that focuses on the study of bisexuality and bisexual people. It’s sponsored by the American Institute of Bisexuality and has an upstanding reputation, focusing on issues such as new research, therapy, media, politics, and bisexual differences from the heterosexual, gay, and lesbian communities.  Mainstream, hegemonic studies of sexuality regularly ignore or exclude bisexuals. But the Journal of Bisexuality has been one of the forerunners in establishing the respectful study of bisexual people as an academic field. If so many libraries are missing it, this is a real issue for researchers.

We’ll let public libraries off the hook for a minute – lots of public libraries don’t carry academic journals, because they are expensive and there isn’t as much demand. But college and university libraries are a different matter.  There are 4,495 Title IV-eligible degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States alone (2,774 of them traditional four-year institutions).  This means that if you are at a college or university and you want to read up on some bisexuality studies, there is only 0.8% chance that your university library has it.

Just to give you some context, approximately 683 libraries worldwide own the Journal of Homosexuality – which isn’t a great number, but it’s a darn sight better than 60.

I know not every library in the world can have every journal, and the Journal of Bisexuality is not appropriate for every collection development policy. It’s an expensive academic journal and wouldn’t be cost-effective for many small libraries. I myself work at a community college library, and we’ll never buy the Journal of Bisexuality because it doesn’t directly support our technical degree programs. And it’s also possible that some libraries simply don’t have listings for it. Community center libraries may have it, but not have the resources to catalog them. Certain archives don’t list their materials in World Cat at all.

But for major universities, most of which use WorldCat and most of which have a Genders Studies program, the Journal of Bisexuality should be a core part of the LGBT collection. Several of these universities also have LGBT/Queer Studies programs as well.   To have the Journal of Bisexuality missing from so many gender studies collections is a big disappointment.   Anyone who claims to be doing research in gender and sexuality should have access to this journal. 

Is there anything else the fills the need for bisexual studies? At this time, unfortunately, the answer is no; no other journal consistently fills the need for the study of non-monosexual identities.

Do librarians believe bisexuality is not an essential part of gender and sexuality studies? Or do they assume that bisexuality is subsumed under the study of gay men and lesbians? Both answers are possibilities, both are incorrect, and both are equally damaging.

~Ellie

PS: I’d also like to add that anyone who still thinks this isn’t a problem should read/listen to this first - Sarah

Please request that your library subscribe to the Journal of Bisexuality

3:46 pm - Fri, Mar 14, 2014
710 notes
Bisexual - A person whose enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction is to other people of various sexes and/or gender identities. Individuals may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime.
7:35 pm - Tue, Feb 25, 2014
113 notes
Bi Magazine Presents Our 2013 Fantasy Oscar Picks for This Year’s Best LGBT Films
In which Bi Magazine’s intrepid International Movie Maven Anil Vora tells us all who should have Really won the 86th Academy Awards!
Dallas Buyers Club is a well-made film,  but the main character was controversially reimagined as a homophobe who used queer people as a niche market … As for its critique of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the  medical establishment, watch the far superior documentary How to Survive a Plague (2012) by David  France.
Philomena is a much better  film with an exquisite performance by Dame Judi Dench … Kill Your  Darlings by openly gay director John Krokidas did not get any love this  awards season … Blue is the Warmest Color has already  generated enough debate to leave everyone in an exhausted heap … If we had an  Academy Award for LGBT films, the following would easily qualify for a Best  Picture nomination:
Bruno & Earlene Go to  Vegas
The Happy Sad
The Last Match
Pit Stop
Stranger By The  Lake
More than  anything, 2013 was filled with some of the most intriguing, provocative, and  entertaining documentaries on LGBT themes like Al  Nisa: Black Muslim Women in Atlanta’s Gay Mecca about a group of  Atlanta-based women on being black, female, Muslim, and lesbian; Big  Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (bisexual content) about artist,  activist, and filmmaker Broughton; Born This Way about the challenges  faced by LGBT people in Cameroon; I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of  Wakefield Poole (bisexual content) about accomplished Broadway dancer  and choreographer Poole pushing boundaries of art, sexuality, and musical  comedy; Lesbiana: A Parallel Movement about  the feminist movement of the 1970s of writers, philosophers, and activists who  chose community with only other women; Mr.  Angel about an extremely controversial transgender advocate, educator, and porn pioneer Buck Angel; and The  New Black about how some people felt the same-sex marriage debate divided  African-Americans during Maryland’s ballot initiative campaign in 2012.
My pick for Best Documentary and Best Costume Design is One  Zero One: The Story of Cybersissy & BayBJane. A bizarre, fascinating, and gorgeous  exploration of friendship between two drag queens totally opposite in character  and desire
Click HERE to read the full article
Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

Bi Magazine Presents Our 2013 Fantasy Oscar Picks for This Year’s Best LGBT Films

In which Bi Magazine’s intrepid International Movie Maven Anil Vora tells us all who should have Really won the 86th Academy Awards!

Dallas Buyers Club is a well-made film, but the main character was controversially reimagined as a homophobe who used queer people as a niche market … As for its critique of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the medical establishment, watch the far superior documentary How to Survive a Plague (2012) by David France.

Philomena is a much better film with an exquisite performance by Dame Judi Dench … Kill Your Darlings by openly gay director John Krokidas did not get any love this awards season … Blue is the Warmest Color has already generated enough debate to leave everyone in an exhausted heap … If we had an Academy Award for LGBT films, the following would easily qualify for a Best Picture nomination:

More than anything, 2013 was filled with some of the most intriguing, provocative, and entertaining documentaries on LGBT themes like Al Nisa: Black Muslim Women in Atlanta’s Gay Mecca about a group of Atlanta-based women on being black, female, Muslim, and lesbian; Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (bisexual content) about artist, activist, and filmmaker Broughton; Born This Way about the challenges faced by LGBT people in Cameroon; I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole (bisexual content) about accomplished Broadway dancer and choreographer Poole pushing boundaries of art, sexuality, and musical comedy; Lesbiana: A Parallel Movement about the feminist movement of the 1970s of writers, philosophers, and activists who chose community with only other women; Mr. Angel about an extremely controversial transgender advocate, educator, and porn pioneer Buck Angel; and The New Black about how some people felt the same-sex marriage debate divided African-Americans during Maryland’s ballot initiative campaign in 2012.

My pick for Best Documentary and Best Costume Design is One Zero One: The Story of Cybersissy & BayBJane. A bizarre, fascinating, and gorgeous exploration of friendship between two drag queens totally opposite in character and desire

Click HERE to read the full article


Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

11:54 pm - Fri, Feb 21, 2014
743 notes

India’s Stonewall

This is a first in a series of articles about LGBT activism and a look at bisexuality in India.

On a sweltering day in July 2009 the Delhi high court, in a landmark decision, struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 is an archaic anti-sodomy law imposed by the British but one that remains in force in several former British Colonies around the world. LGBT activists in India had worked tirelessly for more than a decade to facilitate this legal victory.

It was relatively short-lived, however, as the Supreme Court of India decided last month to reverse the Delhi High Court’s decision and reinstate section 377…

People across the world have expressed outrage at the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling. Rallies and protests were held in several major cities worldwide in a Global Day of Rage. Local activists are calling this ruling the Stonewall of India’s LGBT rights movement and have already launched major initiatives in their continued fight for equality.

Homophobia is not the genetic encoding of the people of India. If the colonizers implemented laws restricting freedom of gender and sexual expression, what was it like before they arrived?

I decided to ask Ruth Vanita, Ph.D., one of the preeminent scholars on same-sex issues in Indian culture and society. Dr. Vanita is an Indian academic, activist and author who specializes in lesbian and gay studies, gender studies, British and South Asian literary history. She is the author of several books including the Lambda Literary Award finalist Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History that she co-edited with Saleem Kidwai. Her latest book Gender, Sex and the City explores the representation in Urdu of polyamorous male and female bisexuality in precolonial Lucknow. She is now a professor at the University of Montana in the Liberal Studies Program.

Click HERE to read the article including the full interview with Professor Vanita.


Anil Vora is a principal partner at Indian Tiger Films, a film production company spotlighting films about LGBTQ people of color. A self-confessed geek, VORAcious in his consumption of books and films, Anil is also an actor and playwright, and teaches private classes on the history, symbolism, and appreciation of Bollywood films.

3:24 pm - Sat, Jan 25, 2014
339 notes

Ready for Creating Change 2014 – The Bisexual Institute

The Bisexual/Non-Monosexual Organizing Institute at Creating Change 2014 will have a lot of innovative elements this year. A Twitter version of the institute will occur simultaneous to the activities in the room using the hashtag #BiCC14. People who can’t be physically present can participate in a twitter conversation with each other and the institute participants using that hashtag.

M’Kali-Hashiki will tweet and lead the twitter conversation. To our knowledge, this is a first for an institute at Creating Change.

In addition to the Twitter conversation, we will be using Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) techniques in the institute. TO is a process of social analysis, critique and change that incorporates games and activities from the theatre. I’ve been training in and practicing TO since the late 1990s and am excited to bring this resource to the discussion of bisexual organizing in the institute. We will warm up to the TO activities with Breath Work facilitated by M’Kali-Hashiki, Small Group Discussions organized by Paul, and an adaptation of a Life Mapping Exercise I facilitate with my students each semester at Goddard College. BiNet USA provided financial support for some of the life mapping materials.

Paul, M’Kali-Hashiki and I really want to make sure that the institute engages the personal as political and a holistic understanding of social justice organizing. We hope our efforts pay off in the experiences of everyone involved and the impact the institute has on their work …

The Institute which is open to ALL non-monosexual queer folks and allies who are deeply committed to supporting us through their actions, resources, access and/or privilege. takes place at Creating Change Houston 2014 on Thursday, January 30th, from 9am-6pm Central Time at the Hilton-Americas Houston TX USA, and through #BiCC14 on Twitter. We also look forward to seeing all you at in the Suite Bi + Bi” the official Bisexual Hospitality Center during the 5 day event.

Click HERE to read the full article about the 2014 Organizing Institute


Dr. Herukhuti is a clinical sociologist, cultural studies scholar, performance artist, and neotraditional African shaman who focuses on sexuality, gender, and spirituality themes within Africa and the Diaspora. His is the author of Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality, co-editor of Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Panexual and Polysexual Perspectives.

He is currently co-editing an Anthology of works by Bisexual/Non-monosexual Queer Men with Robyn Ochs and is a co-organizer of the Bisexual Institute at the 2014 Creating Change Conference in January 2014 in Houston TX and is working on the development on a website for conversation, e-learning, and community building related to sexuality and spirituality.

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