Micah Kellner: New York’s Openly Bisexual Assemblyman

MicahKellnerLearn about Democratic Assemblyman Michal Kellner from the state of New York. Did we mention he’s a proud and out Bisexual? Read our exclusive interview.

Micah Kellner is a Democratic Assemblyman from the state of New York.  He is a disabilities and bisexual/GLBT advocate.  He is one of five GLBT members of the New York Legislature.

How did you get into politics?

I had actually gone to school for film and television. In 2000, I volunteered for Al Gore’s campaign, and I wound up interning at Senator Schumer’s office. I worked in his fundraising office and spent everyday fundraising, and that got me hooked into politics.

How much of an issue has your bisexuality been in your political career?

It’s an issue because people are always interested. Before running for office I thought of myself primarily as a disabilities advocate. When I ran, everyone was intrigued and had all sorts of questions so it’s something I’ve really embraced. It’s a label that’s going to be with me forever, whether I like it or not, so I try to make the most of it.

There is a real prejudice against bisexual men. How have you been treated by the gay and straight communities?

When I first ran for office, a group of my friends, mostly gay men, decided to sit down with me to determine “what Micah was going to be”, because he couldn’t be bi. They felt no one would ever accept a bisexual, so some said “say you’re straight”, and others said “say you’re gay”. Someone suggested that I should state to the Stonewall Democratic club that while I’ve had sex with men in the past, I just don’t identify as a member of the GLBT community, which I took to mean that I was openly on the “down low”, which made no sense.

We finally decided honesty was the best policy, but sadly, too often I’ve found as a public official that bisexuals are the last group that are easily held up to ridicule. That’s mostly because the gay and lesbian community allows it. There are too many people in it that perpetuate that bisexuality isn’t real and mock it, and by doing that they are allowing our straight allies to do the same thing.

Labels are either imposed on you or you impose them on yourself. Some parts of the lesbian and gay community basically say “it’s not cool to be bisexual, you will face ridicule”, so there are many bisexuals who choose to identify as being lesbian or gay. I feel sometimes like a bisexual confessional—people come up to me and say “Oh, I’m really bi, but it’s just easier to say I’m gay” or “well I’m probably bisexual but for political purposes I’m gay”. Until the L and G fully accept bisexuality, we are going to have a hard road up.

Is there a strong bisexual community where you live, and if so, how involved are you?

Recently I’ve gotten involved more in the bi community here. Up until I ran I was involved in a GLBT community that has been pretty supportive of me. The people at the Stonewall Democratic club, of which I’m a member, were my first and strongest supporters. I didn’t really feel a backlash for the bisexual label until I ran for office.

The gay and lesbian victory fund supported your campaign. Have you had a positive relationship with them and have they been supportive of your bisexuality?

Yes, they were terrific. They came in and offered financial support, strategic advice, and they had a great coordinator and organizer come and help me.

With everything that has happened in the past year, the political environment for GLBT people is constantly changing. What role do you feel the bi community is playing and can play in influencing GLBT politics in general?

The important thing is making sure that people understand what bisexuality is. Recently, during the marriage debate on the assembly floor, the leader of the Republicans got up and started asking “What about bisexuals? What if they want to marry a man and a woman?” He completely confused bisexuality with polygamy!

I happened to be the next speaker, and I commented on that coincidence (which got a chuckle out of all of us) and I explained the difference between bisexuality and polygamy, and that while I’ve dated both men and women, only one at a time, and that I’m sure that there are plenty of bisexuals who are in same-sex relationships who want to get married and have all those rights. We need people at the forefront who identify as bisexual whether it’s politically correct or not. Cynthia Nixon is a great example of this.

After the questions, he also added: I’ve worked with great GLBT advocates that have made sure to include the B and the T, especially in legislation, and I hope that the days where it was just the G and the L are slowly passing.

I’d like to thank Assemblyman Kellner for the interview, and to say “thanks for representing us!”

If you’d like to know more about Assemblyman Kellner, please visit: Micah Kellner Website

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Dating a Bisexual: Should Straights, Gays or Lesbians Go for It?

dating a bisexualMany in the straight, gay and lesbian community are afraid of the big “B” word—Bisexual. Would you date a bisexual? The biases might surprise you.

The hot topic of the moment—not withstanding, First Lady, Michelle Obama’s shorts dilemma—should straight women and lesbian women date a bisexual?

Being a bisexual myself, I find this topic of discussion very humorous. Really, the very same groups who say, ‘its love,’ rights for choice—wouldn’t this fall in line with dating anyone?

I hear it all the time on the streets of Chicago—from the BLGT community that they “tried’ it once, but just couldn’t get over the fact that bisexuals like the opposite sex. Granted, if you are not into it, it can be a hard sell—sort of like udon (Japan noodle) or sushi…I get it. But stop to think; is it really all that different?

In relationships, everyone has had a partner they dated and for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. Do you get upset because they dated someone before you? Of course not! It’s just apart of their past.

They Might Leave Me for Another Man
Well, sorry to state the obvious, but they can leave you for another woman too! Relationships are complicated all by themselves. The fear is internal—it has nothing to do with the person you are dating. If they really truly love you, it shouldn’t matter what partner they had in the past. It’s behind them—they are focusing on you.

They will Never be Satisfied with Just Me
I see a pattern here. Is this something you might be thinking for every relationship you are in—or just bisexuals? Reason, what motives do you think your partner isn’t happy with the relationship you have? It’s true, that there are open relationships popping up all around the world—but this has been since the beginning of time. We puritans (Americans), like to have the one partner—but lets say Japan, there is no divorce—you know why? Because, everyone is having it on the side! (Yes, I’ve lived there for two years—I know)

What Works for One, doesn’t Work For All Bi’s
Just think, some politicians are straight, but they seem to be acceptable to the open marriage rule. It’s only means that you and your partner need to decide what will or won’t work out for the two of you. Generalities don’t play in the whole scheme of the bisexual community. What works for one, may not work for all. Find that special person you can love with your whole heart and mind, and work from there. Love manages a way.