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.

Bi Social Network is Back Online, New Products and Services

We-are-backIf you came around a few days ago, you might have seen Bi Social Network down for a few updates! Well, really it was mainly on the back-end of things—changing our old Web address www.bisocialnews.com to our new home at www.bisocialnetwork.com. As always, with any change comes a few headaches, but seems we got a handle on the major ones. Yeah!

Now, on the front-end of the site, you will start to see a few things that are new. Our new e-Shop. We have partnered with Amazon (online now!), and TLA Video; along with Bi Social Network Gifts & t-Shirts personal shop. (Coming soon). Our e-Shops will have a few things that our readers have been wanting—a one-stop shop of all things bisexual—gifts and products, even eBooks that we’ll produce.  Tell the world that you are a part of the bi community, and support bi products and services. We thank you in advance. As the best way to help us keep growing and giving more to our community is to shop with us! When you do, it helps in big and small ways! We can have more content, radio shows, events, and more!

Why did we change our name?

Speaking of events, we are on the road in bringing you move bi events, like workshops, conferences, date night, movie night, bi networking events and more! This is why we wanted to change the name—to focus on more sexuality, more sociability and more community! Where else can you find all things bisexual than at Bi Social Network, Your place for sociability and community.

Subscription Drive Now On…

Our subscription drive is on now, where you can donate a subscription to help us keep moving forward. A subscription of $20.00 dollars will help us support programs that we want to produce, like Bi Talk Radio. You also, will get a cool t-shirt for your commitment! You can also, give more if you want to become a sponsor. Contact us, and we can send you our sponsorship packages, that could even give you a change to go to theGay Games and win opening and closing ceremony tickets to Cologne Germany—as Bi Social Network is a proud media sponsor of the Gay Games—more on that later.

What next?

In the next few days, you will start to see even more changes on our site, all for the better. So if you have a comment or a question, stop at our “contact us” page, and send away. Bi Social Network loves feedback, positive and also info to help us improve for the better!

So start to rediscover Bi Social Network in a whole new way. Shop, read, comment, support, network, and discover an entirely new community, made just for you!

Bi Social Network is sexuality. sociability. community.

Adrienne Williams
Bi Social Network
Founder & Web Producer
sexuality. sociability. community.

April is STD Awareness Month

stdWe’ve all heard the statistics. We all know that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic. We all know that other STD’s are out there and that it’s dangerous. But let’s face it–sex feels good. Let’s get down to brass tacks, we’re not likely to stop having it–gay, straight, or bisexual, we’re always going to want the pleasure of sex. So, if in the face of diseases that can kill, we’re not going to stop having sex then what do we do? What and where is the balance?

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. To that end, April is STD Awareness month. And as part of the Get Yourself Tested campaign, the Centers for Disease control and prevention have launched a campaign to raise awareness of and to normalize routine STD testing. The STD Awareness microsite (linked above) is full of useful information and resources to raise awareness. Such as the fact that half of all new STD infections occur in 15-24 year olds, many of whom have no symptoms.

Living in a world where dedicating and entire month to STD awareness speaks to the need to spread the word–to let knowledge be the infection that we spread. It has to be about more than condoms and safe sex and all the rhetoric that we’ve all heard. It has to be about community and support. The BLGT community is one of the most vociferous groups in existence. It is my recommendation that voices become raised and knowledge becomes shared. I hope you’ll all join me in not only getting tested, but also supporting anyone in your circle of friends and anyone in your family that wants or needs to get tested.

Victory for Same-Sex Marriage as DOMA is Repealed

dojIt certainly has been a busy week in the BLGT community–specifically when it comes to the controversial topic of same sex marriage.  In a landmark ruling, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled as unconstitutional in Federal Court.  DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 and is known for establishing two things:

  1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state. (DOMA, Section 2)
  2. The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman. (DOMA, Section 3)

The Defense of Marriage Act has been controversial since it’s inception, and more recently was a campaigning point for President Clinton’s fellow Democrat and successor–President, Barack Obama.  President Obama was very vocal about the repeal of DOMA during his campaign, saying in an open letter on his website:

I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
– a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal
only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not
discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does.

Although President Obama’s administration has been quiet on the DOMA ruling and is still reviewing the rulings, there have been other developments that have given a strong indication of the American Peoples’ opinions regarding the union of same sex couples . . . .

Elsewhere in the country, Manhattan’s Borough President, Scott Stringer made a decision regarding his own marriage.   A decision that–in and of itself–has made very clear, his opinion regarding same sex marriage. Stringer is a staunch supporter of everything “New York” from buying his coffee at the local coffee shop to rooting for the Jets. In a move considered by some to be highly unusual for someone that takes such pride in the place where they live, Stringer and his fiancee (Elyse Buxbaum) have decided not to have their upcoming wedding in New York–opting instead to get married in Connecticut, a state where same sex unions are legal. Mr. Stringer has been quoted as saying:

If enough people who have somewhat of a profile–not just politicians, but artists and business leaders–start going into Massachusetts or Connecticut and show New York how embarassing it is that you can’t get a marriage license for same-sex couples, then we will change things.

It would seem that as DOMA’s repeal has put the decision back in the hands of the states, that Stringer’s move makes it known that the leaders of our states are listening to the opinions of the BLGT demographic. Showing us all what a difference the voices of a few can make.

Isolation, Health, And The Bisexual Community

Isolation_StreetAt the beginning of June, a study came out about the health differences of BLGT people versus straight people. When I heard about it I figured it would show something similar to what previous studies with the same idea have shown: that overall BLGT people have worse health, more depression and higher suicide rates than straight people. Considering the hurdles so many have to face, such results are unfortunately not surprising.

However, this study was different in two ways: first, its sample was from one entire state, Massachusetts, and second, a major difference was noticed and pointed out about bisexuals and how they compare to both straight people and gay and lesbian people. The ultimate finding: bisexuals, especially bisexual women, have the worst health of all of the groups that were studied.

This quote sums up some of the more alarming findings: “Compared to heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals were more likely to say their health was worse on 16 of 22 measures. They were more likely to be tense or worried, to smoke, have asthma, abuse drugs, or be victims of sexual abuse. Bisexual men and women were also more likely than heterosexuals to say they faced barriers to getting health care, had higher cardiovascular risk, felt sad, and had contemplated suicide in the past year. Binge drinking was more common among bisexual women than heterosexuals. Bisexuals, but not gays or lesbians, were more likely than heterosexuals to be poor. Bisexual women were the most likely to report having been sexually assaulted. ‘All told, bisexual women had the worst health,’ Conron [the scientist who did the study] said in an interview. ‘We were surprised that there were such differences for bisexual people compared to gay and lesbian people.’ Although the study didn’t investigate the causes for the gaps among people with different sexual orientations, Conron said she hopes further research will look at the social stigma bisexual people may face not only from heterosexuals, but also from gay men and lesbians. ‘Bisexual people may feel in between the two and may not necessarily be fully accepted by either group,’ she said. ‘I think it merits further investigation. We know isolation is bad for health.’ ”

I have to admit, it was nice to see the researcher of a study come right out and admit that isolation is a big problem for many bisexuals instead of trying to make the usual excuses. Of course, this is not good news. But as much as I hate to say it, is it really surprising? Bisexuals face some of the worst ostracism of any sexual minority group. Often we are rejected by the straight world, and contrary to popular belief, this can happen even if we are in an opposite-gender relationship if we admit to being bisexual. We start to hope there is an accepting community out there for us, and hearing the letters BLGT gives us hope.

However, too often, we face ridicule, exclusion, and social pressure, as well as being told we don’t exist, and being blatantly made fun of in some cases. Who wouldn’t have issues when their existence in constantly questioned? The very first comment under the article that totally misses the point of it illustrates how far we still have to go: “They may have the poorest health, but they get to play for both teams. So they have their perks.”

So, what can we in the bisexual community do about this? Fighting for acceptance is the first step, and not backing down about it. If we are excluded from something, we should do what the transgender community does (and possibly team up with them!) and have our own version of the event. We also need to reach out to newly out bisexuals or people who may be about to come out as bisexual; they need to know that there is a community that supports them. Secondly, there need to be health programs specifically aimed at bisexuals to help us deal with our unique set of problems, something other than just lumping us in with “BLGT.”

I’ve read that more health programs aimed at bisexuals are popping at BLGT centers, so that is a good place to start. Bisexual organizations need to strongly encourage such programs. Thirdly, there need to be more studies like this one done that take the unique experiences of bisexuals into account; hopefully more such studies will lead to a dialogue between the straight, bisexual, and gay and lesbian communities. I hope this study and others like it will get peoples’ attention and eventually lead to some gains, understanding, and acceptance for the bisexual community.

Challenging the Myth of the Bisexual Man

coupleA man enters a coffee shop, dressed casually but still looking somewhat pristine. Waiting in line, he shifts back and forth on his feet, nervously. He orders a Chai tea Latte, vaguely wondering if the drink choice is “too obvious” for what has brought him to the coffee shop. Taking a seat at a table near the back of the coffee shop, but close to a window, he waits, watching intently. And he waits. And he waits. After what seems like an eternity, but in reality is little more than an hour, he leaves, wondering a bit why he’s been stood up. He replays the events leading up to the coffee shop meeting in his mind’s eye. It had been a simple enough, if somewhat clichéd setup. He’d placed a personal ad on a bisexual men’s site. The man that had answered it had seemed somewhat similar to himself, though he’d been married. That in and of itself hadn’t been an issue though, because it was just a cup of coffee—wasn’t it? Now, latte in hand, he just wondered why? Why is it that finding another like-minded bisexual man is so hard?

A bisexual male can find themselves asking why a lot. If straight is normal, homosexual is increasingly tolerated and bisexual women are vociferously approved by both genders—why is the bisexual male such an outlaw? If a man admits he is bisexual—why is he subject to such ridicule by the straight and homosexual population? Perhaps most of all is, if a man is openly bisexual—why is it so hard to meet another openly bisexual man?

Studies have been done, books written and surveys taken. Alfred Kinsey’s original report onSexual Behavior in the Human Male suggests that 3 out of 10 men will have a same sex encounter in their lives. A recent Gallup Poll shows that over 50 percent of men and women in America consider lesbian and gay relationships to be “morally acceptable”—though the poll says nothing about bisexuality. Perhaps this is amongst the reasons that many bisexual men still live comfortably “in the closet.” A quick search of the craigslist.org personals in the “men seeking men” category reveals that there are just short of 300 ads in a 24 hour period and that roughly 10 percent of those are from men proclaiming to be bisexual married men. Perhaps this lends itself to many of the myths about the bisexual man. It would seem—if one listens to the myths—that the monogamous, non-promiscuous, committed bisexual man is as rare as a unicorn. Men like Robert Winn challenge this opinion.

Robert, 40, has been bisexual since he met his wife Christine, 41, when the two were college. The couple’s nearly 18 years of monogamous marriage would seem to challenge the myth that bisexuality is “just a phase” as Robert has been openly monogamous for that entire 18 years. Robert is not immune to scrutiny and ridicule, however:

“There is a whole list of assumptions of what my life might be like, that somehow she is some sort of front for me because I’m not willing to accept I’m gay. People are confused by bisexuality. There’s just not a lot of support for people who fall in the middle like me.”

Bisexual men do ask why a lot. Perhaps a shift in the paradigm is needed—perhaps it isn’t a question of why the bisexual man is such an outlaw. The question that seems more suitable would seem to be—why are so many people confused by a person that is willing to love so indiscriminately?

Someone Thinks Bisexuals Are Lying-Again

biRecently for me there’s been some good news and some bad news; the good news is I haven’t run out of or had to look far for topics to write about for several weeks now.  The bad news is it’s because there’s been so much biphobia going around I’ve been kept busy answering it all!  The culprit this time is a site I honestly thought was more open minded; BiPeopleMeet.com.  Having not only used the site myself but having had several friends on it, I’ve always found it to be a welcoming place for bisexuals, as well as for BLGT people and straight people.

So imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago this page began circulating on the internet: The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating.  About halfway down the page, the fourth “lie” said this: “‘I’m bisexual.’ REALITY: 80 percent of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender. BiPeopleMeet is a gay- and bi-friendly place and it’s not our intention here to call into question anyone’s sexual identity. But when we looked into messaging trends by sexuality, we were very surprised at what we found. People who describe themselves as bisexual overwhelmingly message either one sex or the other, not both as you might expect.” If you want to see just this itself without the other “lies” expanded out, check out this page by Raspberry mousse: BiPeopleMeet believes that bisexuality is one of online dating’s “biggest lies.”

It seems that bi people meet tries to say it’s not trying to question sexual identity, and then proceeds to do just that.  Nowhere in the “argument” is there even a hint as to other reasons why these so called “trends” might be true (one obvious reason is that men tend to message back much more than women on any dating site, so it makes sense one gender would message more, and there are many other reasons as well) or try to look at this in any way besides implying that the people who say they are bisexual on the site must mostly be lying.  What’s also sad is that when I posted this, even some so called “allies” tried to say it wasn’t that big a deal, that it was just “data”.  I asked if it would be just “data” if the same thing was posted about black people or gay people; for some odd reason I didn’t get a response.  Of course it wouldn’t be; it only seems to be acceptable when it’s about bisexuals.

So, what is the best reaction?  Some people have chosen to boycott Okcupid.  I thought about it at first, but others from the bisexual community thought it would be best to use this as a reason to start a dialogue; and several have written emails to Bi People Meet, as did I.  In my opinion that is the best way to deal with something like this; to write polite but firm emails explaining why such posts are unacceptable when they negate the existence of an entire group.  One way is to use the comments section at the bottom of the “lies” page on Bi People Meet; from what I understand they do actually read their comments.  Another way is on the main site, in the lower right corner; there is an “about us” section that will lead you to the contact page.

One good thing that has come out of all the biphobia in recent weeks: I’ve seen the bisexual community more united than I’ve ever seen it before.  Biphobia is quickly recognized and responses are swift; and there is more and more dialogue between different parts of the community. I sincerely hope that all of this adversity will help us to step up, unite, and find our voices.  Let the dawn of our awakening begin.

What Does The Removal Of Proposition 8 Mean For The Bisexual Community?

communityWith all the depressing headlines lately, last week when I heard that Prop 8 had been overturned in California,at first I thought it was either a joke or I had to be dreaming. I admit I had stopped following the progress of the anti-Prop 8 fight, having lost faith in CA ever giving BLGT people back their rights after they voted in Prop 8 in 2008. I never thought they would strike it down so quickly (within two years).

Naturally what followed was a lot of celebrating in the BLGT community (especially in CA!) and then the sober realization that Prop 8 or something like it could very easily be reinstated; within 24 hours anti-equality groups had already filed an appeal, and hateful articles and quotes have sprung up all over the internet.

In the aftermath of everything, an interesting question popped up: what does the overturning of Prop 8 mean for the bisexual community, and how will it affect us? For starters, many of us remember it was only a few months ago that we were being brought up as a scapegoat reason not to get rid of Prop 8! Some cynically said that’s the only time we’ve been mentioned in the whole Prop 8 saga; and unfortunately there is some truth to that. It seems that one thing the celebrations have shown is that we’re still barely being acknowledged as even being part of the fight for same-sex rights; at least not when there’s good news.

I kept hearing and reading last week about the rights of “gays and lesbians” to marry and how this will affect them marrying in California. Occasionally someone said or wrote all four BLGT letters, I think I actually saw the word bisexual written out once. You’d think after being listed as a reason not to take away Prop 8, we’d at least get more than that!

That being said, this also presents several positive opportunities for the bisexual community; to celebrate with the rest of our BLGT brothers and sisters, to be more vocal and visible, and to remind people that as bisexuals, this is a victory and a right for us too. A big part of the victory is that bisexual men and women living in CA will now be able to marry their same sex partners, and for some in the closet, it may mean finally coming out.

It’s also a new opportunity to put ourselves in the spotlight more as out bisexuals and help in the fight to keep Prop 8 (and other laws like it around the country) from coming back and/or from being passed. This can be accomplished both by working with other BLGT people and by focusing on the unique needs of our own community. If we step back and get discouraged, things will never change.

Bisexual Men, Women and Couples Needed for PSA Campaign

man-with-cameraBi Social Network is looking for attractive | sexy | geeky | cool | shy | tattooed, and anything in between men, women and couples who would like to join a movement of bi-visibility. If you want to help us showcase a world where bisexuals exist in all age groups, colors and walks of life—please contact us and share your stories.

Who are Needed?
You must be over 18 years-old or older. We are looking for any age group, race and nationality—famous or non to join this campaign. Individuals must be bisexual to be apart of this campaign.

If you are a couple, one person must be bisexual. We are looking for all types of couples, interracial, opposite-sex and same-sex men and women. The campaign will be a year long effort (2010-11) to showcase bi-visibility.

Do We Pay?
It depends on membership/sponsorship, right now we are looking for volunteers. If you want to volunteer for this cause, the persons selected will get a nice Bi Social Network t-shirt, a meal (If you live in Chicago) and recognition. We will also use any models for future paid adverts and campaigns, if selected.

What sort of campaign will this be?
This will be a campaign in two or three phases; photography, storytelling and/or video.

Where will this take place?
The head office is in Chicago, but if you know a photographer and can submit images as directed, you can join in this campaign. Also, you will be featured for an interview and on our Website.

Photographers or Inspired Video Gods
If you want a cause to join, why not come on board and lend a hand to this movement. We will feature you on Bi Social Network (Bi Talk Radio) and get your name out there. Help us help you! Together we can make a different in the lives of young and old alike.

Please join us and tell a friend to join this cause, together we can make a different in the lives of all bisexuals who feel invisible. Stay-tuned for more information.

BBC: Gay Study Born That Way, What About Bisexuals?

estadanteInteresting clip I found on the brain waves preformed on gender and sexual orientation between men and women. Seems the data is in—that gay men test very high in the areas of where straight women do well overall. This study also suggested that gays and lesbians are in fact born with their attraction for the same-sex before birth. As always, this got me thinking? What about bisexuals?

I watched the video with John Barrowman (Star of Torchwood/Doctor Who) as I held my breath waiting for the term ‘bisexual’ to be added to the mix of the study, but alas it wasn’t to come. But again, this took me back to the days of my youth. As a bisexual, who’s pretty much 50/50 on the Kinsey scale, I wondered what my score would look like, if I took the test.

Childhood Memories
I was equally a lover of dolls as I was with trains, if fact, I so wanted a train set when I was 12 years old. When my brother received his expected male toy, and it was frown upon to even ask—I cried myself to sleep because my father told me “girls don’t play with train sets” Even when I wanted a particular doll, my father told me “you are too old to play with dolls—I was 11. Seems a bisexual kid can’t catch a break.

So, take a look at this video and share your thoughts, do you test or think like the opposite sex, the same or both? Bisexual minds want to know!

Also, check out this very nice video, that’s sort of fitting by John Barrowman called, “What about Us” Oh, I truly have a Brit sense of humor. I say we claim this song for our upcoming Bisexual PSA Campaign—more to come.