Bisexuals Used as Scapegoat in Pro 8. California Case

bisexuals monogomousThe bisexual community can’t seem to catch a break in the year of  “blame bisexuals,” for all BLGT woes, as misleading testimony has been entered in trial of Perry v. Schwarzeneggeron Proposition 8—regarding bisexuals, possibility of being the cause for the threat to heterosexual marriage.

In court documents,“claimed that the evidence would show that Prop. 8 prevents a number of related harms because allowing same-sex couples to marry allegedly would: ….(4) “Increase the social acceptability of other alternative forms of intimate relationships, such as polyamory and polygamy”;

(5) Increase the likelihood that the recognition as marriages of other alternative forms of intimate relationships, such as polyamory and polygamy, will become a judicially enforceable legal entitlement…”

Facts: Are Bisexuals Polygamous in Nature?

No! In fact, having a polyamory lifestyle has nothing to do with being bisexual. Let’s find out what bisexual and polyamory really means!

Dictionary.com states that polyamory means, “participation in multiple and simultaneous loving or sexual relationships.” Which means, that heterosexual couples (married or not) could also be polyamorous. In fact, many straight couples are living the polygamous life style.

Now, dictionary.com also states the word ‘bisexual’ means, “sexually responsive to both sexes; ambisexual.” No were in this define group of words does it say, ‘group sex?’

In fact, It clearly states, [bisexuals] are attracted to both sexes—not together, not in a group or threesome—in clear terms, they like both sexes, period.

Why Do Straight and Gay Groups Alike, Confuse the Two Meanings?

To be clear, a lot of misinformation regarding bisexuals as a whole is out there, because straight, lesbians and gay groups do not understand how someone can be attracted to both sexes. It’s no difference than straights not understanding why gays and lesbians are attracted to same-sex parings. It’s called double standards or simple put, hypocritical at best.

Until both groups, heterosexual, and homosexuals come to the realization that everyone has a part to play in discrimination and acceptance of all groups. It’ll make your fight a little easier down the road, if the bisexual are accepted at face value, meaning we are real. If not, rights for all will be a long and painful process.

What is BSN’s Position on Pro 8?

Bi Social News (BSN) stands clear that we support rights to marry for all, but we also recognize that bisexuals everywhere have problems on both sides of the aisle. As a media outlet, will make no bones about exposing who they are—straight, gay or in between. If you want rights for yourself, figure out a way to be open to the rest of humanity and perhaps one day, the sea will part!

New Year’s Letter on Bisexality

Dear Readers,

As 2009 draws to a close and 2010 dawns, we are surrounded by a myriad of holidays: Hanukah, Ras as-Sana, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Ashura.  We are immersed in rebirth, miracle and thanksgiving.  I, for one, could not be happier for that.

fire in the skyWhile there is also suffering and bad news just as at any time of the year, tears and laughter are very much a part of life and how we chose to approach both shows a great deal about who we are.

So I am happy and grateful for a time of year that reminds me about the possibility of new beginnings, the nearness of wonder, and the importance of being appreciative.  I find it very important as the new year approaches to take time to evaluate what has happened over the past year to see what I have learned and what the big picture is.

I fully admit to being resolutely optimistic, something born of having been through the ringer more than a few times.  There are moments I have found where the choice is either to throw in the towel or keep on.  I have chosen to keep on.

In particular, I am grateful for the opportunity that writing this column has afforded me to reach out to other bisexuals, especially other bi men.  I have to admit though that I have been challenged by having to discuss myself in such a public way.  Don’t get me wrong, I fancy myself a raconteur.  However, opening myself up to a worldwide audience was not the first thing I had on my mind.  If I had thought about it too much, I might have been intimidated.  Well, I said that bisexual men needed to be more visible and I certainly won’t ask someone else to do what I won’t.  Voila, I found a vehicle to talk about the life of one bisexual man.

Further, I marvel at how my bisexuality has changed me.  I went from a state of confusion, curiosity and despair in my teens and early twenties to the present state of confidence I have, a confidence hard won.  First I was caught in the grip of heteronormativity, knowing there was something different about me.  Then I realized that really did like women too.  I felt as if I was at a tennis match-and I was the ball!  Let’s not forget that it often felt easier to join the Free Masons than to find other bisexuals.  There was a time that not much could be found in terms of information on bisexuality.    Yet, I knew who I was and I felt I had to be true to that in spite of what I heard in general and what was said to me specifically.

Bisexuality has also awakened me and made me go deeper into myself for answers.  For example, I have had to look at the various issues that I bring into relationships with women and men.  Since I don’t have the ability to say, “Well, I really don’t like men” or “Maybe, I really don’t like women,” I need to look at the heart of the matters that come up in relationships, something I used to be good at avoiding.  In my case, I have had to work on trust and intimacy.  This work has made me a new man through the exercise of honesty with myself.

As we move into the new year, I hope you will take some time to look back over the past year.  May you find something to marvel at and something to be thankful for.    May 2010 be a time of renewal and hope for you.  May you find new ways to embrace yourself and your bisexuality more fully.

Thank you for joining me on this journey,

Peter

Beyond Bisexuality

sunriseI assume that, like me, you have been following the news lately.  It seems that the past two weeks have brought a slew of major tragedy and change.  First there was the devastating earthquake in Haiti, then major civil unrest in central Nigeria.  Closer to home, there was what turned into an upset senatorial election in Massachusetts.

Because I have friends who are Haitian-American, the earthquake has turned into something that is far from merely images of the screen.  Likewise as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who had been stationed in West Africa, I have been following the tensions in Nigeria for years.  Needless to say, as Massachusetts resident, I was deep into the special election that many across the United States had thought was a shoe-in for the Democrats.

What was not particularly on mind was being bisexual.  In fact, over the past fourteen days, that part of my life has really taken a back seat because of issues that were more pressing as far as I was concerned.

Of course there are BLGT people in Haiti and Nigeria and the election results in Massachusetts are not what the BLGT community as whole is enthusiastic about.  But the events in question affect everyone in whole societies.  Yes, the BGLT community has special concerns that are often overlooked, but these events did not single it out in particular.  Death and injury visited Haiti and Nigeria without concern for sexual orientation.  Senator-elect Brown’s victory has people on both sides of the aisle asking, “What next for the country?”

Whether election, earthquake or civil unrest, these circumstances require collective reflection and collective action.  It is the human dimension that matters most, not individuals or smaller groups.  The question becomes how we can come together to improve conditions, rebuild and move forward.  In the case of the election, there are implications for how lawmaking will go forward, but go forward it must.

For me, this has been a good time to see how I fit into the larger picture and how I can act to make things better beyond my own little world.  I suggest that this is something that we bisexuals can do as well.  There is work to be done that relates to us all.  All Haitians need roofs over their heads and food to eat.  All the Nigerians of Plateau State need peace and stability.  All of us in the United States need to figure our how to move our nation forward.

Naturally, there will be a moment when we have to press forward on the bisexual community’s interests.  There will also be work to do to support BGLT Haitians and Nigerians.  However right now seems the moment to think about the whole and maybe we will keep the bigger picture in mind as we move forward.

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!

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.

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.