- 4:19 pm - Tue, Jun 18, 2013
- 46 notes
Arizona’s “Bathroom Bill”
Ever since I moved to Arizona a year and a half ago, the politics of my new home state have come to bother me more and more. I knew moving to a notorious red state would come with its difficulties for a diehard liberal like me, but lately the media seems to be reporting a plethora of reasons I either need to join a group that is tackling each of these issues head-on — or get the heck out of here.
The most recent has to do with bathrooms.
Back in March, my news feeds on all of my various social media sites started buzzing with the following headline: “Arizona bill would jail transgender people for using the ‘wrong’ bathroom”. The bill in question is SB1045, introduced by Representative John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills … Critics have also pointed out that the broad definition utilized in the bill’s language could make it possible to legally discriminate against a wide variety of people if passed: “An individual’s self-identification as male, female or something in between and includes an individual’s appearance, mannerisms or other characteristics only insofar as they relate to gender with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
Thus, simply wearing non-feminine clothing with a short-cropped haircut could prevent me from using the women’s room at an Arizona eatery, for instance, regardless of my personal identity. A cisgender male with long hair might be seen as not masculine enough to use the men’s room as well.
If such definitions in this bill went through, I would have been fined and potentially jailed for going into the men’s room at a hotel several weeks ago due to the fact that the line for the women’s room was ridiculously long and I had to pee. Regardless of the fact that I am a cisgender female, I find gender-specific bathrooms unnecessary and potentially discriminatory. Unless there is a unisex bathroom along with male- and female-only bathrooms (or dressing rooms, showers, etc.) at any given establishment, I become well-aware of the potential for someone who does not fit the so-called, antiquated “gender binary” to feel uncomfortable and discriminated against. It bothers me and I try to buck that outdated binary myself any chance I get.
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A.J. Walkley is a bisexual activist and the author of “Queer Greer” and “Choice”. She is currently writing her third novel, “Vuto”, inspired by her experience as a US Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Malawi East Africa. Walkley currently resides in Arizona, USA
- 11:58 pm - Mon, Jun 17, 2013
- 82 notes
Young, Wild and Boldly Bisexual: Must-see Films from Spain and Chile
“El Sexo de los ángeles” (Angels of Sex) by director Xavier Villaverde from Spain and “Joven y alocada” (Young and Wild) by director Marialy Rivas from Chile should be on the recommended watch list for all polyamorous people and lifestylers especially those who are bisexual. Both films depict bisexuality in a matter-of-fact approach rarely seen in movies. With fascinating female characters at the center of both films .
Both are fan favorites with many devoted followers. And “Joven y alocada” was the 2012 winner of the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Anil Vora reviews from the perspective of a queer man and a desi person of color. It helps him cut through a lot of bulls**t that movies try to spoon feed their audience. He 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.
- 4:44 pm
- 29 notes
American Institute of Bisexuality Participates in the 45th Annual AASECT Conference
The American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) attended the 45th Annual Conference of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) held in Miami FL from June 5th thru 9th 2013. AASECT is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary, professional organization that has a membership of approximately 2,000 professionals. In addition to sexuality educators, sex counselors and sex therapists, It’s members include physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals, clergy members, lawyers, sociologists, marriage and family counselors and therapists, family planning specialists and researchers, as well as students in relevant professional disciplines.
The American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) is an American charitable foundation founded by pioneering bisexual rights activist, author and sex researcher the late Dr. Fritz Klein to encourage, support and assists research and education about bisexuality, through programs likely to make a material difference and enhance public knowledge, awareness and understanding about bisexuality.
Once again this year the American Institute of Bisexuality had an exhibit booth at the conference featuring a wide variety of items about bisexuality. Prominently featured was the Journal of Bisexuality which is a professional quarterly publishing both professional articles and serious essays on bisexuality and its meaning for the individual, the community, and society. With its wide audience scope and the range of issues discussed, the Journal of Bisexuality is ideal for both academic and public libraries that want to offer their patrons the latest information on the topic of bisexuality and special thematic issues cover topics singularly.
- 12:53 am - Sun, Jun 16, 2013
- 26 notes
Members and supporters of the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) [L-R: Dennis Christopher, Denise Penn, John Sylla and Mike Szymanski] celebrated the renewed commitment to bisexual and transgender people and attended the GLAAD Media Awards, hosted by actress Drew Barrymore on April 20, 2013 at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles.
GLAAD recently announced that the organization has formally dropped the words ‘Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’ from its name and will be known going forward as simply GLAAD, the LGBT media advocacy organization. Accompanying the change is a renewed commitment to incorporate bisexual and transgender people as well as allies from diverse backgrounds in GLAAD’s work to shape the media narrative and build public support for LGBT people.
“It is a natural progression that reflects the work GLAAD’s staff is already leading,” said GLAAD’s spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “We respect and honor the full name that the organization was founded with, but GLAAD’s work has expanded beyond fighting defamation to changing the culture. Our commitment to marriage equality, employment nondiscrimination, and other LGBT issues is stronger than ever. The enemies of the LGBT community have gotten louder and more desperate,” said Cruz.
GLAAD will continue a broad range of important media work, from holding the media accountable for coverage of LGBT issues, to elevating the important LGBT stories that become primetime news, headlines and ultimately change the conversations at dinner tables, in boardrooms, and schools. GLAAD also reaffirmed its commitment to combating the misinformation and hateful rhetoric.
With the change, GLAAD’s formal name now more accurately reflects the work that has been the organization’s focus for many years. Whether out in front of an issue or incident, or working behind the scenes to inform and empower media and community members, GLAAD’s “alliance” is now a much bigger tent than it was in 1985.
- 9:24 am - Sat, Apr 27, 2013
- 101 notes
The Lambda Literary Foundation describes LGBT Studies as scholarly work oriented toward academia, libraries, cultural professionals, and the more academic reader.
Bi Magazine reviewer Anil Vora would argue that one doesn’t have to be a geek to read and appreciate these books. On the contrary, books on LGBT studies provide history and context on queer movements worldwide, movements from which we can draw inspiration and energy to drive our own continued struggle for equality. These books are also some of the most successful in articulating a vision of hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Vora’s review includes three nominated books: Acts of Gaiety: LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure by Sara Warner, The Invention of Heterosexual Culture (L’Invention de la culture hétérosexuelle) by Louis-Georges Tin, and South Africa and the Dream of Love to Come: Queer Sexuality and the Struggle for Freedom by Brenna Munro. Also included is J. Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, which was submitted for Lammy consideration but did not make the final list.
- 6:44 pm - Fri, Apr 12, 2013
- 184 notes
Anya Callahan from Campus Progress asks Where’s the ‘B’ in LGBT?
According to a study released by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, bisexuals actually represent a slight majority within the LGB community but bisexual activists and individuals still often feel their sexual identity isn’t seen as legitimate in our culture, and even experience discrimination within queer communities.
Asking LGBTQ College Students and Bisexual Activists including BiNet USA’s Faith Cheltenham and the American Institute of Bisexuality’s Denise Penn, “why do people find it too hard to come out as bisexual and choose to stay in the gay closet instead”, reporter Anya Callahan has set about finding the missing “B” in LGBT for the on-line magazine of Campus Progress.
“I came out of the closet 15 years ago and have been a part of the queer community. I happened to fall in love with a guy, and I don’t want to be kicked out of my culture,” explained BiNet USA president Faith Cheltenham.
Denise Penn, MSW a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) told Campus Progress she believes that our culture hasn’t made as much progress accepting bisexuality as it has accepting gays and lesbians. “The LGBT community has worked hard educating and advocating for their rights…what people don’t understand is that some of those activists have been bisexual and many of them haven’t been out.”
Often when bisexual people do come out, they come out as gay or lesbian first. “There are people who are closeted bisexuals in the gay community…If you want to belong to a group, there are still so many negative connotations of bisexuality, sometimes it’s easier to stay in the gay closet.” All of the students that Campus Progress spoke with requested their real last names not be published for fear of the same discrimination of which they spoke.
Through all of her work in the bi community Penn has noticed that bisexuals tend to be very introspective and “examine themselves and who they are and what life is about, rather than pushing away certain feelings and thinking ‘this isn’t who I’m supposed to be.’”
“The biggest benefit of being a bisexual individual is you don’t have to pay attention to ‘gender’ in the slightest bit,” Scott Clark, a student at University of Puget Sound, told Campus Progress, “You get to pick people based entirely on what makes them a worthwhile person, and the only thing their sex affects is how you rub your wiggly bits together in the middle of the night.”
And one of the biggest components to alleviating bisexual discrimination will be “the dissolution of the idea of ‘binary genders.’ The idea that humanity is separated into two completely separate types of individual based on the type of organs in their pelvic bowl is a little ridiculous.”