Will The Rainbow Wave Increase Bisexual Visibility? — My Latest for INTO

Last Tuesday’s midterm election was a watershed moment for many LGBTQ+ people running for office. The winners from the so-called Rainbow Wave include Jared Polis of Colorado, the first gay man elected governor; Sharice Davids, Kansas’ first Native American and gay congressperson; and Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker, two trans women elected to New Hampshire’s House of Representatives. The midterm election was also favorable to bisexuals such as Katie Hill of California, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, and Harrie Farrow, who was elected Justice of the Peace for Carroll County, AR. And Kyrsten Sinema just eked out a win for Arizona’s open Senate seat.

But will these successes increase bisexual visibility? Even in 2018, bisexual invisibility remains a huge problem among the LGBTQ population, despite bi+ people making up the majority of LGBTQ people. The results of bi invisibility are literally deadly; countless studies show that bi+ people have worse mental health than lesbians and gay men, and are at a high risk of suicide. Will the Rainbow Wave help, even if it’s just a little bit?

Farrow hopes so. “We need more out people to save the bi community from our health and mental health disparities,” she says. “But ironically, the best ways to get more out people is to have more out people. There has to be a sense that when you come out, you won’t be on your own being battered around by a lonely wind totally vulnerable to hate and discrimination; there has to be community and role models to embrace you when biphobes abandon and bully….Just as out and proud gay people shattered stereotypes, the same is desperately needed for bisexuals.”

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Bisexual People Aren’t Confused Or Closeted. We’re Tired Of Being Invisible. — My Latest for HuffPost

Through Pride Month celebrations, inclusive books, movies and TV shows, and out and proud politicians and public figures, LGBTQ life is slowly but surely becoming more welcome and mainstream, even despite attempts from the powers that be to silence us. However, the “B” in the middle of our LGBTQ rainbow is often forgotten, ignored or unfairly discriminated against.

Which is why we celebrate Bisexual Visibility Day.

In 1999, three bisexual activists ― Gigi Raven Wilbur, Michael Page, and Wendy Curry ― decided that Sept. 23 would be a day for bisexuals around the world to remind people that we exist, we’ve always been a part of the fight for queer liberation, and our sexuality is real and valid. Despite the fact that the woman known as the “mother of Pride,” Brenda Howard. was bisexual, or the fact that bisexuals make up the largest share of LGBTQ people in America, invisibility still plagues many bisexuals.

Many people, straight and gay alike, believe you can either be one or the other, and that anything in the middle is selfish, confused or fake ― in short, that bisexuality isn’t even real. That biphobia is causing real problems.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #162: Activism in West Virginia with Tricia Shepherd

My guest for today is Tricia Shepherd. She’s the author of several LGBTQ-centered e-books—including “The Geek and the Prom King” and “Loving John Watson”—and is an active member of the West Virginia chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign. We’ve been Facebook friends for a couple of years now, and now I have her on the show to tell us her story.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #162: Activism in West Virginia with Tricia Shepherd” on Spreaker.

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I Wish I Had Learned LGBTQ History In School — My Latest for HuffPost

Growing up, I was fortunate to learn about the rich history of men and women who made a difference in the world throughout the centuries. My school made sure to teach us about extraordinary women like Sally Ride, Florence Nightingale and Eleanor Roosevelt. I lived in Prince George’s County, a predominantly black area of Maryland, so I was lucky to learn about inspiring figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth and more in my formative years.

Unfortunately in the 1990s, when I grew up, American society was just starting to get the message that being gay was OK, so none of my teachers acknowledged LGBTQ history. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old, working part time at a public library and doing my own research that I found out writers like Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman and James Baldwin were gay. I had learned much about them in my English classes, but I guess my teachers decided to skip that detail.

LGBTQ people have existed throughout history and made tremendous contributions to American culture, yet no one talked about them in school, and there were hardly any books available highlighting the brave queer and trans people who paved the way for the rest of us. If I had known about them, I might not have suffered through years of alienation, confusion and self-hatred. I would have learned to love and embrace my true self sooner.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #144: Atheism, Bisexuality, and Activism with Amanda Scott

My guest for today is Amanda Scott. She’s a fellow bisexual atheist activist whose first foray into activism was speaking out against having an “In God We Trust” display being installed in a Mobile, Alabama government building. She’s currently a Georgetown University student studying government and American history, and continues to put her humanist values into action through political activism. Today I have her own the show to talk about her story and her activism.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #138: Queer Disbelief with Camille Beredjick

My guest for today is Camille Beredjick. She’s a journalist who blogs about LGBTQ rights on the blogs GayWrites and Friendly Atheist. She has a new book out called “Queer Disbelief” that explains why atheists should care about LGBTQ rights. Today we talk about her back story, her work, and the new book.

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I Can Only Take You So Far — My Latest for Splice Today

As a bisexual genderqueer person in a world where sexuality and gender are still seen as strict binaries of gay/straight and man/woman, I had some explaining to do when first coming out. I love educating people most of the time. That’s why I write about sexuality and gender for various websites, talk about those issues on my Bi Any Means Podcast, and did a presentation on non-binary gender identities at last year’s American Humanist Association conference. I lost count of how many people have walked up to me at conferences and sent messages thanking me for what I do, so apparently I’m doing something right.

However, sometimes people treat me as not just a source of information, but the ultimate source of all things LGBTQ rights. For example, a few years ago a Facebook friend messaged me and asked what I meant when I said I was genderqueer. I explained it to her, and she seemed to get it, but then she started asking about asexuality and pansexuality. It probably wasn’t her intention, but I got the impression that she expected me to educate her about all the letters in LGBTQIAA. I wanted to scream, “Google is free!”

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #136: Bisexual Activism with Miles Joyner

My guest for today is Miles Joyner. They are a twenty-something bisexual non-binary college student who runs the Miles the Bisexual Facebook page where they share memes, articles, and blog posts about bisexuality. Today we’re going to get to know Miles a bit more and all the stuff they do.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #136: Bisexual Activism with Miles Joyner” on Spreaker.

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My Silence Will Not Protect Me — My Latest for Splice Today

Puberty was not kind to my voice. Instead of growing deeper like all the other boys, I sounded like Steve Urkel, which made everything I said hilarious to my classmates. Someone would ask me for the time, and then laugh as I squeaked out “11:30.” I told them to stop, but that only made them laugh more, so I decided the best way to survive high school was to stay silent.

There was one problem: my silence wasn’t protecting me. Every day the other kids would laugh and yell “faggot” because they somehow knew I was queer and trans before I did. They saw my sashaying hips and limp wrist and appointed me the official school punching bag. I wore baggy clothes to hide the scars on my arm; bright red screams that expressed what I was too afraid to say. I didn’t have the language to express my worth and dignity as a human. The B in LGBT was just a footnote back then, and the T was only for people who wanted surgery, so I didn’t feel like I was queer or trans enough to come out.

Read the rest here.