Have a High-Tech Halloween With Your Own Haunted Smart Home

The holiday season is in full swing, which means we’re all whipping out our decorations and decking our homes out for the festivities ahead. First up: Halloween. That means it’s time to get your spook on. Between monstrous masks that evoke the horror icons who haunt our nightmares (thanks, Chucky), and our favorite home decor (like dangling skeletons and that cobweb gunk you can never seem to fully scrape off), you’ve got plenty of ways to make your house the scariest on the block.

But it’s 2017, and you don’t need to pull out all your decorations just to get in the Halloween spirit. We’re living in the future, and all you need is a smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo and a few connected devices to transform any pad into a creepy crypt fit for the damned.

Spookify

Take your haunted house to the next level with some eerie tunes. Google Home and Alexa work with Spotify, so you can tell it “play my Halloween playlist” and it’ll start blasting your favorite frightful tunes. If you don’t have time to make your own playlist, Spotify has plenty to choose from. You can even hook up your Echo Dot to a few Sonos speakers to fill the whole house with a nice ominous vibe.

Give Your Crib a Creepy Hue

Ditch your old school bulbs, and install a couple of Philips’ color-changing LED lights to give your house a creepy vibe for your poppin’ Halloween party. Using Phillips Hue bulbs, you can paint any room in whatever spooky color your choose and tell your voice assistant of choice to change the lighting whenever you feel like scaring the neighbors. Plus, using apps like Sync My Lights and Hue Disco, your lights can sync to whatever scary movie or tune you’re enjoying. If you use Hue bulbs outdoors, you can give your home an ominous lighting scheme at the touch of a button.

Listener Beware, You’re in For a Scare

Once you’ve got your decoration situation all sorted out, take a seat, kick back, and have Alexa play your favorite horror audiobook from Audible. Might we suggest a bone-chilling collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories read by none other than Vincent Price?

Fright Night

Tired of having to grab the remote just to pick your favorite horror movie? If you have a Plex server set up, you can tell Alexa to play whatever movie you want, as long as it’s in your collection. Fire TV users can also use Alexa to play any movies from Prime Video. For the real thrill-seekers, we suggest last year’s unsettling The Witch. Spoiler alert: Alexa won’t pause the movie automatically if you suddenly cry out in terror.

Fog Me Up

Wanna impress your guests? Set up an automated fog machine to give your house a more ghostly vibe. Just cop a Wemo Insight Switch or two, plug ‘em in, and set up a voice trigger so your smart speaker can let some fog loose when those trick-or-treaters show up.

I Want Candy

Don’t be another sucker waiting in a long line just to fill your candy bowl with goodies for all the costume-clad kids. While you’re catching up on all your favorite horror movies, just tell Alexa to order a nice candy bag and kick back. Just make sure it gets there on time, or you’ll be the sucker.

Article is from: https://www.wired.com/story/have-a-high-tech-halloween-with-your-own-haunted-smart-home/

7 Very Real Struggles Of Online Dating As A Bi Woman

search a bi dating site

And two very real benefits…

1Threesome requests

At least 60% of your messages, if not more, are likely to consist of words to the effect of: “My girlfriend and I were very interested in your profile…” Even, that is, if you have said you are monogamous on your profile. Even, indeed, if you have expressed a specific interest in retreating to the top of the mountain with The One, a couple of pairs of Birkenstocks and 50 cats, and avoiding all other human company for the rest of eternity (not that I would ever write anything like that on a dating profile, ahem).

2. Other rude questions

“How can you like both?” “What do women do in bed?” Um, who the f**k are you? Do I know you? This isn’t how you politely introduce yourself to people. I am not won over. Sorry. I came here to find the love of my life, not engage in smutty chat about the way I like to play with boobs – unless, that is, the person I’m speaking to is wearing those boobs. Unsolicited comments from guys wanting to presumptuously perve over or pry into my desire for women are not welcome. The politeness rule goes for men messaging self-identified non-monogamous bi women, too. Especially for them, as they’re even more open to this kind of abuse than the rest of us.

3. The lesbian filter

Unfortunately a lot of lesbians seem to take advantage of any mechanism that will erase bi women from their search results. Even if they haven’t really thought it through. It’s easy to tick a box quickly when you’re running through a huge list of questions. So, how to find and meet bisexual women online? In some cases, it’s not even immediately clear that ticking said box has eliminated a huge swathe of women-loving women.

4. The male mailbox issue

As you might have guessed from the previous points, bi women get a lot of messages from men. And, as a general rule, we don’t tend to get many from women. It’s true that women don’t message first as much as men do on dating sites. I’ve heard from more than one straight male friend with an excellent profile that they almost never get any messages. However, I do think bi women have a particular problem: Filtered out by the lesbians, fetishized by the guys.

5. The lack of bi dating sites

There’s really not very much out there, alas. And what is out there is usually sparsely populated and not very well publicized. Plus subscribing to a specifically bisexual dating website then eliminates lesbians and straight men from your search and… argh! You’ve automatically shrunk the net yourself this time. Back to square one.

6. Dropping the ‘B-bomb’ straight away

Online dating means baring all on your profile right away. No agonizing about how the hot girl flirting with you in the bar might freak out if you tell her you like guys too. You can be yourself right from the start, from behind the relative safety of your computer screen. Much easier than a lot of “real life” coming out situations.

7. Meeting other bisexuals

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as getting a message from someone else bi who is going through the same aggro. Whilst online dating can be a real b***h for bis, it can also be a great way to find like-minded souls if you’re feeling like the only bi in the village. It’s a bonus, of course, if some of those souls are cute and smart. And they want to meet up.

The article is from: http://www.curvemag.com/Lifestyle/5-Very-Real-Struggles-Of-Online-Dating-As-A-Bi-Woman-1650/

Nigeria’s lesbians to challenge Act that prohibits same-sex marriage

same marriageBlackmail, excommunication, mob violence, torture and rape. These are the realities Nigeria’s lesbian and bisexual women face – and they have become progressively worse since the passing in 2014 of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA).

This is according to Akudo Oguaghamba, executive director of the Women’s Health and Equal Rights Initiative and co-chairperson of Pan-African International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

Oguaghamba cites examples. “Two women suspected of being in a relationship were forced by their supposed friends to have sex in public. Pictures were taken, some of which were posted online. We’ve had incidents where women were lured by hoodlums – who posed as women online – raped and pictures taken of their naked bodies. Others are robbed, raped and extorted. One family locked their young sister in the house for weeks, forcing her to proclaim that she is no longer attracted to women. During this time she was physically and verbally abused – even after she denounced her sexuality.”

In addition to the country’s women being “disproportionately affected by poverty, gender-based violence and sexual reproductive rights abuses”, Oguaghamba says “lesbian and bisexual women are often faced with the double stigma of being women and possessing a sexual orientation that is contrary to Nigerian societal norms, which are highly patriarchal, hyper-religious and conservative. So, apart from having to navigate patriarchy and sexism, we have to work and live around the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.”

Signed into law by then-president Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014, the Act ostensibly aims to prohibit same-sex marriage. In reality it goes much further: it not only prohibits same-sex cohabitation and any “public show” of a same-sex amorous relationship, but also imposes a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations” or “supports” the activities of such organisations.

A recently released report by Human Rights Watch, titled Tell Me Where I Can Be Safe, looked into the effects of the Act on the county’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The study found that, “while the colonial-era criminal and penal codes outlawed sexual acts between members of the same sex, the [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act ] effectively criminalises LGBT persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity”.

“Many LGBT individuals interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that, prior to the enactment of the [Act] in January 2014, the general public objected to homosexuality primarily on the basis of religious beliefs and perceptions of what constitutes African culture and tradition. The law has become a tool used by some police officers and members of the public to legitimise multiple human rights violations perpetrated against LGBT people.

“Human Rights Watch research indicates that, since January 2014, there have been rising incidents of mob violence, with groups of people gathering together and acting with a common intent of committing acts of violence against persons based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act]  contributes to a climate of impunity for crimes committed against LGBT people, including physical and sexual violence.”

Human Rights Watch’s Wendy Isaack is the author of the report. “The Nigerian Criminal Code Act of 1990 contains provisions dealing with Offences against Morality committed by men that carry terms of imprisonment of up to 14 years,” she wrote. “The Sharia Penal Code, adopted by several northern Nigerian states, prohibits and punishes sexual activities between persons of the same sex, with the maximum penalty for men being death by stoning, and for women, whipping and/or imprisonment. Our findings demonstrate that the [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act], in many ways, officially authorises abuses against LGBT people, effectively making a bad situation worse.”

Oguaghamba concurs with Isaack. “This law has been interpreted and misinterpreted by the police, landlords, family members, in schools and by employees. This has worsened the situation of lesbian women and drew a lot negative attention to masculine-presenting women.”

Ngozi Nwosu-Juba is a board member of the Vision Springs Initiatives. Although the organisation initially focused its efforts on promoting and securing the rights of women and girls, Nwosu-Juba says: “Following our experiences, especially with the passing of the [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act], it became mandatory to build capacities of LGBT people, who were facing all forms of violations, hence our programming in that direction.”

Nwosu-Juba says this shift was largely a result of “organisations working with men who have sex with men are receiving most of the attention due to HIV prevalence, as this group is at high risk. So far, however, no one has committed to studying or researching some of the issues lesbian and bisexual women face.”

Although there might be scant research, there are organisations that, despite legislation prohibiting their work, are working – often with very little in the way of resources – to improve the lives of lesbian and bisexual women.

Atilola Owen is a sexual and reproductive rights activist, who heads the organisation Faith Initiative, “a group of young African feminists whose vision is to contribute to the national and global promotion of the human rights of vulnerable persons, especially women in Nigeria”.

“The [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act] is a very draconian law, which makes it difficult for us to render services property. Many community members don’t even know there are organisations such as ours that offer services that cater to them,” she says.

In addition to the organisation’s work to inform more LGBTI people about their rights, particularly in rural areas, it also initiated a two-week football competition, which brings together lesbian and bisexual women from the eastern parts of the country.

Says Owen: “We essentially use it as an opportunity to build their self-esteem and empower them, but also to bring them together and foster unity.”

The sports event also fosters unity between the women participating in it and the broader society. “The atmosphere is always cheerful. And the fact that the community attends and is supportive makes it a really great way to bridge divides.”

Julia Chukwu, who did not want to give her real name, is a Nigerian-based legal practitioner and executive committee member of the Coalition of African Lesbians.

“It is very difficult for organisations working with LGBT people in Nigeria to function, but there is a strong presence. They’re really trying, but what has been the impact on the community and larger society? It’s good to empower LGBTI people, but we need to change the mind-set of people.”

A study released in October 2015 shows that attitudes are shifting – slowly. Titled A Closer Look at Nigeria: Attitudes on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People, the study, put together by the Bisi Alimi Foundation, noted: “In 2015, 87% of Nigerians supported the [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act]. However, polling about this issue has been occurring since the law was in planning stages, starting in 2010, and measures of support have been steadily declining ever since. In 2010, 96% of respondents supported the [Act], 92% in 2013 and 87% in 2015.”

Chukwu says active steps are soon to be taken to challenge the constitutionality of the Act.

“A core group of activists are in the process of challenging clauses within the [Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act] they feel are unconstitutional. For example, the Constitution allows for the right to freedom of association, but the [Act] has stated in its provisions that [people] cannot have LGBTI clubs, groups or gatherings. This is affecting the work of organisations working within the community on, for example, HIV prevention and treatment.”

Whether this challenge yields the desired results remains to be seen. Until then, activists like Owen will continue their fight.

“You know, since this Act was passed in 2014, so many women I know want to leave Nigeria to find shelter somewhere else. But not everyone can leave Nigeria.”

“Besides,” she says, after a slight pause, “I don’t believe in running. If we all leave here, who is going to be left to conquer this? Who?”

Carl Collison is the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian

The article is from: http://mg.co.za/article/2016-11-23-00-nigerias-lesbians-to-challenge-act-that-prohibits-same-sex-marriage

Sean Hannity Gives Platform to Man Who Claims Hillary Is ‘Evil,’ Bisexual ‘Secret Sex Freak’

Before interviewing Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway on Monday night, the Fox News personality had an ‘EXCLUSIVE’ interview with Jeff Rovin, a man with a shocking ‘secret.’

On Monday night, unpaid Donald Trump adviser and current Fox News host Sean Hannity broadcasted his “EXCLUSIVE” interview with Jeff Rovin, novelist and self-identified “fixer” for Hillary and Bill Clinton. Rovin first told his story to supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer last week, opening up about his alleged past as a Clinton ally who would help the powerful couple manipulate the press and (also!) set up secret, extramarital sexual liaisons.

Hannity emphasized that Fox News could not “independently verify” Rovin’s story. He also noted that the Clinton presidential campaign—“shockingly”—did not respond to his team’s multiple requests seeking comment.

“I was fixing [for the Clintons], I really don’t like that term, but there it is,” Rovin told Hannity. “I was fixing something for an actor who was in their inner circle.”

On Monday night, unpaid Donald Trump adviser and current Fox News host Sean Hannity broadcasted his “EXCLUSIVE” interview with Jeff Rovin, novelist and self-identified “fixer” for Hillary and Bill Clinton. Rovin first told his story to supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer last week, opening up about his alleged past as a Clinton ally who would help the powerful couple manipulate the press and (also!) set up secret, extramarital sexual liaisons.

Hannity emphasized that Fox News could not “independently verify” Rovin’s story. He also noted that the Clinton presidential campaign—“shockingly”—did not respond to his team’s multiple requests seeking comment.

“I was fixing [for the Clintons], I really don’t like that term, but there it is,” Rovin told Hannity. “I was fixing something for an actor who was in their inner circle.”

Jeff Rovin also edited the Weekly World News tabloid for a time. As The Atlantic has noted, the publication “highlighted tabloid journalism’s thin line between fiction and nonfiction,” until its print edition folded in 2007. The tabloid pushed self-consciously outlandish stories, like the classic “BAT CHILD ESCAPES!” It also had its fair share of Hillary Clinton-related tall tales.

“BILL CATCHES HILLARY WITH SPACE ALIEN!” blared one headline.

“HILLARY ADOPTS ALIEN BABY,” read a 1993 cover.

When Rovin started editing the publication, he stressed the importance of its coverage of space aliens.

“National, international, and even interplanetary events are being suppressed,” he wrote in an editor’s note on May 2, 2005. “Newspapers, television, and the internet are feeding us what dolphins call ‘meep… meepahh… marp’—Literally, lies as deep as the ocean.”

“When the government tries to cover up visits from space aliens and time travelers, we’ll be there,” Rovin continued. “(Weekly World News will even tell you what investments, if any, people from the future are making in the stock market. You won’t find that in Forbes!)”

The Trump campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on whether Republican nominee sees any merit in this Enquirer story on his Democratic rival. However, the Enquirer (a Trump-endorsing tabloid long famous for printing unsubstantiated gossip and stories about space aliens and the Illuminati) and Hannity have become two of Trump’s most reliable allies in the media during this election—and sometimes in concert.

Hannity, for his part, has gone full-on conspiracy theorist during this presidential election, during which he has been doing everything in his power—including starring in an official Trump campaign ad—to get Trump elected president.

Earlier this year, when the Enquirer ran a baseless story suggesting that Ted Cruz’s dad, Rafael, was in New Orleans passing out pro-Castro pamphlets with Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Trump widely promoted the “news,” and got his allies in the mainstream media, including Hannity, to help him in the effort.

When Trump went on Hannity’s radio show in May, the host allowed Trump to give more oxygen to the Enquirer’s supposed JFK-Cruz scoop.

At the time, when asked by The Daily Beast if Hannity would comment further—and if he felt not pushing back bolstered criticism that he is too deferential to the GOP nominee—the host emailed back: “I was saying that photo was not verified.”

Asked if he believed the Enquirer is a reliable source, Hannity said, “If [you] want to interview me, contact Fox PR.” Hannity later emailed The Daily Beast, “So is the picture authentic or not? You don’t have a clue either. Lol.”

(Well, we do have a clue: Rafael Cruz did not play a role in JFK’s death, but Hannity and the Enquirer did their thing, regardless.)

And now Hannity is back at it again, elevating National Enquirer content, all in the service of targeting the Clintons and talking up Trump on national TV.

Hannity would not comment on the record for this story. Fox News public relations did not respond to emails seeking comment. The Clinton campaign similarly did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment, soWHAT ARE THEY HIDING???

Following the Rovin interview on Monday’s episode of Hannity, the Fox News personality interviewed Trump running mate Mike Pence and Team Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, two highly respected figures within the Republican Party who spent their Monday-night airtime talking about how great Trump is. Neither uttered one word about Rovin, the Enquirer’s story, or Hillary Clinton’s alleged past as a villainous sex freak.

Why would they, when they have a supermarket tabloid and Fox News to do their work for them?

The original article is here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/25/sean-hannity-gives-platform-to-man-who-claims-hillary-is-evil-bisexual-secret-sex-freak.html

The Bisexuals In Uganda

lgtbIn the past few months, so many of the BLGT blogs and organizations have been writing about the possible anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda. Proposed by an extremist religious group. There are also rumors that some homophobic politicians in the USA here have been supporting this group.  The bill makes any type of behavior that is not heterosexual a crime punishable by death, and it goes after anyone who in any way helps BLGT people—if you are a parent or a friend who knows someone who is queer and you don’t turn them into the state, you could be executed as well! It has been proposed supposedly to “protect children from homosexuals who recruit.” There has been much pressure from both domestic and international groups on the Ugandan government to drop the proposed bill, and many Ugandans of all orientations and political affiliations are against it as well. The most recent development is that instead of execution, BLGT people and their allies might face life imprisonment. Even more disturbing is that a chapter of the Kill the Gays movement is organizing in Newark, New Jersey.

As I’ve been reading about this bill, I’ve wondered where the bisexuals in Uganda stand in all of this. Obviously many of them face the same threat as the gay Ugandans, but they may or may not experience threats unique to them as well—and are they even out as bisexuals and visible in this fight for human rights? If some of them are married to opposite sex partners, and could possibly hide—dare they risk coming out and fighting alongside their queer brothers and sisters, even though they risk imprisonment, torture, and death? The answer turns out to be a resounding yes.

I got invited to this face book group, and I started researching more about bisexual organizations in Uganda and what they are doing to combat the bill. I found a blog and a listing about Bisexual Movement Uganda. On a list of BLGT organizations on Wikipedia, this group is listed as “a group of university students fighting for a livable environment for all LGBTs in Uganda.” Their website says: “The vision of Bisexual Movement Uganda is to have a well organized Bisexual Movement in Uganda which is aware and capable of advocating and defending for their fundamental Human Rights.” It goes on to list some great goals and objectives, enumerate the many problems facing all BLGT people in Uganda, and explain how Bisexual Movement Uganda is working with other Ugandan BLGT groups to try and change social attitudes and fight for equality.

Bisexual Movement Uganda fights against the bill and for the rights of all BLGT people in Uganda, while affirming and contributing to a positive and visible bisexual identity, and giving bisexual people in Uganda a place to turn to that reaffirms their needs and identity. The overall message is one of empowerment and unity, and a courageous way for Uganda’s bisexual community to show that they are not afraid to speak up and stand by their BLGTQ brothers and sisters.

Here in our own bisexual community, as we also join in the fight to help all BLGT people in Uganda, let’s especially remember to do what we can to help out  Bisexual Movement Uganda, as well as other organizations fighting for BLGTQ rights in Uganda, by spreading the word about its existence, giving donations, and any other way we can.

Bisexual Veteran Talks About DADT and Community

bisexual-prideCliff Arnesen is the president of the New England Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Veterans, Inc., and a bisexual veteran who has worked tirelessly to help end the destructive military policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell(DADT).  His organization lobbies on behalf of BLGT vets and service members, and also provides services to those who have been discharged under DADT, as well as those who have to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, poverty, homelessness, and several other issues.  This past week Arnesen was kind enough to answer some interview questions.

Interview is from an email Q & A Session

Bi Social Network—Maria: How has Don’t Ask Don’t Tell affected you personally and how do you think it affects the bisexual community?

Cliff Arnesen: I know several service members who have been discharged under DADT. Some were discharged because they admitted their orientation, as they could not stand to live their lives as a lie; and others on hearsay; that has now been changed by Secretary of Defense Gates. The DADT policy specifically includes language in the Dept. Of Defense to discharge bisexual service members, along with gays and lesbians.

The Department of Defense Regulations Regarding DADT Policy State that if you make “Homosexual statements” you are suspect:

“You make a statement that demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts. This may include language or behavior that a reasonable person would believe intends to convey the statement that you are a homosexual or bisexual.

U.S. military regulations say this about bisexuals in the military:

“Bisexual means a person who engages in, desires to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual AND heterosexual acts.” “A member [of the Armed Forces] shall be separated if the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual; unless there is a further finding that the member is not a homosexual or bisexual.”

Bi Social Network—Maria: Can you tell us a little bit about your organization and what you all do?

Cliff: Here is our mission as stated on our site:

The New England Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Veterans, Inc., is a not-for-profit, membership based, support organization for homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered and heterosexual, active duty, reserve and veteran members of the United States Armed Forces, their families, friends and supporters.

Priorities include: providing assistance with upgrades of all less-than-honorable military discharges based upon GLBT sexual orientation(s), VA benefits awareness, and advocating on behalf of GLBT veterans who suffer from AIDS, Homelessness, PTSD, Gulf War Syndrome, Blindness, Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Institutionalized discrimination, and other problems.

Also, to the extent permitted by law, the organization morally opposes the inhumane “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and all sodomy laws of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which are arbitrarily applied against homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered service members; and encourages our own members, as well as other groups in a position to do so, and to support their repeal.

Bi Social Network—Maria: What kind of opposition have you faced with regards to your work and where has it come from? Are most anti-DADT organizations you’ve encountered inclusive of bisexual people?

Cliff: Personally, I wish we as human beings did not have to label our sexual orientation(s). But, as is the case in the U.S. Military where bisexuality is “specifically” encoded as a basis for discharge, I must “speak up” when it is not fully integrated in the equation of the generic “gays” in the military,”  that is espoused by many gay organizations.  The same is true for both the gay and straight media – whether intentional or unintentional.

Therefore, in order to secure human and civil rights—not special rights—and win the battle against the military and gain acceptance within society, I submit that all GLBT people must have, and maintain the mindset that “we are family.”

Otherwise, we are shooting each other in the foot!  So, to the “family” I state that bisexuality is NOT a counterfeit behavior. It is a true “sexual orientation.” The fear lies within the mindset of people that oppose the concept of bisexual people as having “heterosexual privilege.”

To those folks I state that people have lived and died without ever having found love in this world. So, love is where one finds it. Thus, no love by anyone of a specific sexual orientation or gender identification or expression should be judged by others! We GLBT people must remember that we are all children of God. We need each other to fight the real enemies: the religious right; perverted organized religions [and] cults; fundamentalists; conservatives; white supremacists; and so many others who hate GLBT people and use the Holy Bible as a means and tool to try and justify their sick hatred of us—collectively.

We must ALL band together to fight the injustice of the aforementioned dark forces of evil. Otherwise, we defeat the very purpose of trying to secure human and civil rights for each other—which is the ultimate injustice!

To this effect, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

So, I rest secure in the knowledge that [all] GLBT people have a rightful place in the universe and within our society, as we are God’s children, and God does not make mistakes!

As for myself, I have learned in my painful journey through life that “love is where one finds it.”

Bi Social Network—Maria: Do you think Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be overturned?

Cliff: Yes! But, I pray it will happen before the November mid term elections. Many Americans are angry at President Obama and Democrats about the healthcare bill, and the backlash will be felt far and wide.

Bi Social Network—Maria: What can we in the bisexual community do to support your work?

All my bisexual brothers and sisters need to be “visible” in terms of writing or calling President Obama and members of Congress to let them know that YOU are BISEXUAL and want the policy repealed. Ditto, for [all] [g]ay newspapers and media which “omit” the term [and] name bisexual in their respective articles.

And lastly, here is a letter which our board wrote to President Obama; as well as a photo of my testimony before Congress.

“As a bisexual in the military, there is no distinction in terms of punishment,
no refuge in being bisexual. You get the same consequences; you don’t get half a discharge.”
–Cliff Arnesen Quote from Lesbian News: October 2001

Bi Social Network—Maria: Thank you so much for your valuable input!

Sunday’s Rainbow “Torch Run” from San Francisco to Cologne

Germany, Will Launch World’s Largest Gay Sports Event

Symbolic “Rainbow Run” will travel to New York, Vancouver, Sydney, Amsterdam and Chicago before heading to Germany for this summer’s Gay Games

eventsSan Francisco, CA – Less than 10 days after the Olympic flame was lit at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the LGBT sporting world will begin its own countdown to the 2010 Gay Games that take place later this year in Cologne, Germany. The International Rainbow Memorial Run (IRMR) gets underway on Sunday, 21 February, 2010 at 10:00 am in the San Francisco National AIDS Memorial Grove.

Every four years, the Rainbow Run helps the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) celebrate the lives of those who have graced the Gay Games movement and served or participated in the Games. “In many ways, this is our own ‘torch’ run,” said Brent Nicholson Earle, founder and organizer of the IRMR, “and we begin by renewing our connection with San Francisco, ‘our Athens,’ the city of our birth.”

San Francisco Celebration

On Sunday, 21 February 2010, the FGG will launch the official countdown to the Cologne Gay Games with a press conference and quilt ceremony at San Francisco’s National AIDS Memorial Grove. Led by event creator, New York activist Brent Nicholson Earle, the event celebrates friends of the Gay Games lost to AIDS and other diseases, including US Olympian and Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell.

After performances by Cheer San Francisco and remarks by California State Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty the special Memorial Rainbow Flag will be carried on a symbolic run to San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium, the founding stadium of both the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, and the home of the Gay Games I (1982) and Gay Games II (1986) Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The AIDS Memorial Grove is located at Middle Drive E at Bowling Green Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Kezar Stadium is at 334-670 Kezar Drive, at the SE corner of Golden Gate Park. The event gets underway at 10 a.m.

Olympic Charter

“As the world celebrates the Vancouver Winter Olympics, most don’t know that the Olympic Charter does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or health status,” said Kurt Dahl and Emy Ritt, FGG co-presidents. “The International Rainbow Memorial Run not only launches the quadrennial Gay Games, but also helps to remind us of the relevance of our movement in a world that still makes it difficult to compete and be openly gay, [bisexual, transgendered] or lesbian.”

World Tour

The Rainbow flag will travel to each of the former Host Cities of the Gay Games with symbolic or 5K runs held in each city. The flag will travel to Vancouver, Canada (Gay Games III, 1990), New York, USA (Gay Games IV, 1994), Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Gay Games V, 1998), Sydney, Australia (Gay Games VI, 2020), and Chicago, USA (Gay Games VII, 2006) before traveling to Cologne, Germany, host of Gay Games VIII, 31 July to August 7, 2010. Similar events are being held throughout Germany in cooperation with local AIDS service organizations.

Cologne 2010 Opening Ceremony

The International Rainbow Memorial Run will make its way to Cologne after a tour through Germany in late July. On the morning of Saturday, 31 July, a special ceremony will be followed by the official International Memorial (5K) Rainbow Run. The flag and flag bearers will enter RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne’s famous soccer stadium, that evening during Gay Games VIII Opening Ceremony leading the parade of athletes.

To learn more about the history of the Gay Games movement, or to learn about an upcoming stop by the International Rainbow Memorial Flag, visit www.gaygames.com. For information about the 2010 Gay Games, visit www.games-cologne.com (English) or www.games-cologne.de (German).

About the Gay Games:

The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event’s founding principles of “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best”™. The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games were held in San Francisco (1986 – 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990 – 7,300 participants), New York (1994 – 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998 – 13,000 participants), Sydney (2002 – 11,000 participants), and Chicago (2006 – 11,700 participants). Gay Games VIII will be held in Cologne, Germany on 31 July-7 August 2010 and information is available at www.games-cologne.com.

“Gay Games,” “Federation of Gay Games,” the interlocking circles device, and the phrase “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best” are trademarks of the Federation of Gay Games, Inc. Trade marks are registered in the USA, Canada, Benelux, the UK, Germany and Australia.

BSN Starts New Format with ‘Bi Talk’ Radio

If you  missed our first co-hosted radio show called “Bi Talk,” don’t despair—it goes into podcast mode after 15 minutes of our live programming, where you can catch all the hot bi topics and dish that was discussed!

Peter Ruggiero and Adrienne Williams are the new bi duo—along with Maria who will be following all the action via chat, to answer your most heated questions and comments!

This is the beginning of a whole new Bi Social News! Why not get in on the action and let your bi voice be heard!

You can also go to iTunes and download our podcast under Bi Social News.

Catch the latest podcast streaming audio right now!

Gay Games VIII: Cologne 2010, Call for Volunteers

volunteer group hands togetherPack Your Bags and Book Your Trip to Germany – Be A Part of It!

Cologne, Germany – Even if you can’t spike a volleyball, play the trumpet, or get a “perfect 10” off the high dive, the 2010 Gay Games has a way for you to “Be A Part Of It!” Gay Games VIII, 31 July to 7 August 2010 in Cologne, Germany, is recruiting volunteers from around the world to be part of the globe’s largest LGBT sports & cultural event.

“At the heart of the Gay Games are the approximately three thousand volunteers who make the Gay Games run like clockwork,” said Emy Ritt, Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games. “Volunteers are the ones who are ‘backstage’ organizing, managing, supporting and assisting at the sports and cultural events all week long. Gay Games volunteers get to meet people from all over the world, and gain valuable experience at this week-long festival. It’s truly a great cultural experience!”

Volunteers are needed in all areas, including:

  • Medical care for athletes
  • Supervising facilities
  • Ushering spectators and guests
  • Officials and referees
  • Hospitality services for VIPs
  • Support cultural events
  • Official photographers
  • Language interpretation
  • Accreditation staff
  • Support for the Opening Ceremony

Up to 12,000 artists and athletes from more than 70 countries are expected at Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 Sports & Cultural Festival. To volunteer, visit www.games-cologne.com, click “Take Part” and then “Volunteer” to enter the online volunteer sign-up portal. (In Deutsch, www.games-cologne.de, Mitmachen, und Volunteers.)

Volunteer Benefits

“If you’re lucky enough to experience freedom and equality in your home town, volunteer work is a great opportunity to help others experience this freedom in Cologne,” said Annette Wachter, CEO of Games Cologne. “Your help can also have a hand in showing the world that there is more to LGBT life than parties and parades.”

In addition to the good will and great experience, benefits for volunteers include reduced price admissions, special uniforms, surprise events and parties, and certificates for participation. Some companies provide for release time and credit for volunteer work, so check with your employer for additional benefits. All travel and lodging costs must be borne by the volunteer, though volunteers can apply for hosted housing. (Hosted housing priority is given to participants.)

Volunteer Requirements

Since the duties of volunteers are varied, people must complete an online profile so that they can be assigned to a job most suited to their skills. All volunteers must be 16 years of age at the time of the 2010 Games. “The same principles that apply to the Gay Games apply to volunteers,” said Wachter. “Everybody is welcome, whether male or female, old or young, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or straight.”

Register as a volunteer today at www.games-cologne.com, selecting “Take Part” and then “Volunteer.”

About the Gay Games:

The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event’s founding principles of “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best”™. The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games were held in San Francisco (1986 – 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990 – 7,300 participants), New York (1994 – 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998 – 13,000 participants), Sydney (2002 – 11,000 participants), and Chicago (2006 – 11,700 participants). Gay Games VIII will be held in Cologne, Germany on 31 July-7 August 2010 and information is available at www.games-cologne.com.

“Gay Games,” “Federation of Gay Games,” the interlocking circles device, and the phrase “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best” are trademarks of the Federation of Gay Games, Inc. Trade marks are registered in the USA, Canada, Benelux, the UK, Germany and Australia.

 

Press Release: Bi Social News Becomes a Global Network

BSN Has Officially Become ‘Bi Social Network’
sexuality. sociability. Community

Chicago, March 24, 2010—As we start to move into social media, connecting with communities and working across national and international lines, I began to think about long term strategies and what I wanted this company to be about. I knew that we were clearly a social media outlet—focusing on entertainment, events locally and nationally; along with personal stories. Yet, moving forward with the bi community, I felt we still haven’t touched on the idea of social community in the form of who we truly are. Yes, we have many activism sites for bisexuality, and we so need this. But to be clear, I wanted more of a community where we can get together online as well as offline. Support each other, support businesses that support us, and yet do more in the lines of sharing ideas, thoughts, stories and fun.

So in keeping in line with this though process, an idea was formed. Make Bi Social News become more! We are happy to announce that Bi Social News has changed its name to Bi Social Network.

sexuality. sociability. community.

In the upcoming days, weeks and months, our members and readers will start to see some changes in what we do. We’ll begin to redirect all our sites with the branding of Bi Social Network, first with our website. Presently, www.bisocialnews.com will now become www.bisocialnetwork.com. Yes, the current site will still exist until everyone is use to the change, but it will be redirected to the new Website. But this notice is to officially have you type in the new Web address starting April 1, 2010 or soon, depending when the changes take place! (I will keep you informed).

What’s our goal?

Well, to be truthfully, we want Bi Social Network to be the hub of all things bisexual. Whether it’s social fun, events, storytelling and purchasing great products—like e-books, merchandise to wear (coming soon) and sharing ideas across the community. We’ll focus on our bi radio show (Bi Talk), have workshops, social gatherings and even networking events. This is the direction that Bi Social Network will move into. We hope you continue to join us!

So sit back, enjoy the upgrades as we make everything official. If something is down for an hour of two, it’s because we are making it better for you! It will be very temporary! We hope you will continue to support us—as we continue to think of great ways to make this company even better!

Bi Social Network is all about sexuality. sociability and community—a great place to start!

If you have great ideas you want to share with us, please contact us and let us know your thoughts. If you want to get great updated information or social events as it happens, there are two ways! Articles on our site—just enter your email address  on the home page and you will be added to our list, where articles will be sent straight to your inbox.

and/or, our mailing list, where we’ll share special events information. Join one or both.

About Bi Social Network:

Bi Social Network (www.bisocialnetwork.com) is the first interactive bisexual Blog and talk radio show (www.blogtalkradio.com/bisocialnews) dealing with sexuality, social events and community. We are particularly focusing on bisexual men, women, teens and social issues surrounding the myths (biphobia) of bisexuality in the gay, lesbian and straight communities. Topics will range in the area of social, entertainment (pop culture) and social events and community, regarding our sexuality in an informational, educational and enriching way.

We also will be the hub of bisexual events across the nation in the form of workshops, networking events and social entertainment.

sexuality. sociability. community. is Bi Social Network.