Bringing Back the ‘B’ in LGBT

Voice your opinion on changing up the “B” in LGBT to BLGT — Do you agree?

PrintAs we move forward with celebrating our bisexual selves, I begain to noticed that every year gay and lesbian media (print and online) change up the “L” for lesbian and “G” for gay, why? Do they feel they want to be top dog? Do they feel they are NOT being represented? Clearly, this is not the case, as there are hundreds upon hundreds of sites dedicated to gay and lesbian freedom – as it should – but some continue to not even mention bisexual or transgender on there very site, column or title.

We also have to come to grip, that all things are not equal in the land of rights for all in the LGBT community; in fact, I continuously try to find content regarding bisexual and transsexuals news – though transsexuals are getting more airtime of late – which we say “about time!”

This is why we have decided – being a bisexual and an activist, about all things bisexual — I’m a Bisexualist.  We are going to only use the coin phase for things LGBT to BTLG or BLGT. We have to understand this is needed to make a point, that we still have a long way to go regarding the separation of our community.

I live in Chicago and all too well, we see gays and lesbians not mixing, or sad to say white gays and black and Latino gays in different circles? Nani? (Japanese for What!) So, we at BSN are giving the bisexuals time on the top of the community! Google and Bing take note! We are now using BTLG for (Bisexual, Transsexual, Lesbian and Gay) content. We feel we must state this cause until more content is free flowing thought-out our community!

What are your thoughts on these issues? Will you come join us? We hope so! Do you think we are being to sensitive? Voice your opinion and comment on our site! We love positive and negative feedback, as long as it’s respectful.

The GLBT Community and Religion

catholic symbolToday I’m going to talk about something rather controversial — the wacky, love-hate relationship between religion and the GLBT community. Why do so many GLBT people leave religion, and how do those that don’t, make peace with it? From my experience, many of us leave religion because we are tired of feeling hated and hating ourselves. If you grow up in a conservative form in one of the Abrahamic religions, as I did (Catholic), you are taught that homosexuality and bisexuality are major sins, and ‘choices.’ If you discover when you are a teenager, that you are gay or bi or transgender, you feel a big feeling of shame — and then you try to hide, and step into the closet, where you can remain for years.

Some people can’t step out until after they loose their faith. Another reason is because so many religious leaders preach homophobia and do everything they can to block  GLBT rights, such as gay marriage and other equal protections under the law. They seem to somehow think that equal rights will lead to total decadence (like it has in Europe, oh wait, it hasn’t!) Others are just tired of the hypocrisy — for example the Catholic church (especially this latest pope) routinely preaches against GLBT people — yet it’s a not very well kept secret that there are many closeted homo[sexuals] and bisexual priests, as well as nuns, who also have been blamed for the pedophilia scandal. It’s somehow their fault that the church seems to have a hard time protecting children and prosecuting those that would harm them. This is true in many other religions as well.

How do those who manage to stay religious do it?

In my experience, they either go to religions that don’t have a problem with non-straight sexuality, such as Unitarians and Buddhists, or they form their own congregations and churches that are GLBT friendly, and throw out the homophobic parts of their religions. This is true for allies as well; I’ve met many straight people with GLBT friends who are liberally religious who just disregard [with] part of their religion. In some cases, certain sects of religions do evolve to accept GLBT people, as in Reform Judaism.

I think though, one of the main reasons is how many GLBT people are personally affected. Not that long ago, someone I dated and I broke up, and one of the main reasons was thate she feeling conflicted between her religion and her sexuality, she felt that “God did not approve of the relationship”. I asked her if she planned to stop being bi, and her response was “no, I can’t stop being it, but I can stop acting on it”. Oh, brother. This is something people in the GLBT community often hear-both from conflicted people they date and from many religions — “well, maybe science says this how you are born, but you don’t have to act on it, because it’s a sin.” I admit that part really doesn’t make sense to me. I can understand, even though I don’t agree with, right wing people who say it’s a choice, at least then it becomes a “sinful choice”, like lying or a lot of the other “no-no’s” in several of the major religions. What is hard to get is the faction of the religious population that believes you are born gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, yet insist you don’t act on it. Why would an all powerful and loving God make you one way, and then want you to be the complete opposite of who he (or she!) made you, cut off a part of yourself, and make yourself and possibly many other people miserable?

Bisexuality itself, presents another conundrum for the whole issue — it’s been used by both sides both to prove same-sex attraction is a choice and to prove it isn’t. It drives me nuts when I hear some religious leader say “if you like both sexes, it’s a choice, and you should only act on one”. And unfortunately, some gay and lesbian people sometimes believe that too, and then say bisexuality doesn’t exist because otherwise it would mean homosexuality is a choice. Neither is true!

It’s my hope that eventually the right wing religious groups can live and let live. I am seeing a bit more tolerance, so that is hopeful, and more laws being passed to protect GLBT people. I think a good way to help start the process is if, you are a parent — don’t expose your kids to homo, bi and transphobia in the name of religion. Teaching about God’s love is one thing-but please, leave the ancient ideas in the past, where they belong, and hopefully this can add to breaking the cycle of self-hate and coming out that many GLBT people experience. Maybe one day, the GLBT community and the religious communities can coexist more peacefully. Now that’s something I could definitely pray for.

A Bisexual Space to Call Our Own

bisexual clubA Bisexual Club?

People have commented about the “bisexual community”, some praising how it has acted together to combat the latest round of biphobia, others wondering why there isn’t more of a community. I’ve wondered, what exactly constitutes the bisexual community, and how is it different from the gay, lesbian, and transgender community?

Since I’ve been out, I’ve read and researched this. Although I live in a pretty liberal area where I was welcomed into the larger BGLT community, I kept hearing about other bisexuals who were not so lucky in different parts of the country and world. I figured, “well, don’t they have a bisexual community to fall back on?” The answer, not always.

A large portion of the bisexual community seems to have started and still is online. I’ve read many articles that said that if [it] hadn’t been for the rise of the Internet in the 1990’s, it definitely would have been harder for bisexuals to organize, and I agree. If you are in a small town, and both gay and straight people tell you “it’s just you”, it can be pretty discouraging. But if you go on the Internet, in a very short while you’ll see that there are bisexual groups all over the world, and many Websites and organizations devoted to the cause.

The Internet has really helped us find groups and create a sense of community. However, we need more non-internet information.

In many big cities, including where I live, there are bisexual groups, and these tend to be very accepting and welcome most people. Groups like BiNet USA, and the New York Bisexual Network (I wish there was an “official” network for my city, all we have is one women’s group, though it’s a great group!) What I and others have noticed that both gays and straights have, that we seem to lack, are recreational places for us to hang out. Basically: bisexual bars-why aren’t there any? Where are the “bisexual sections of town” the way there are “gay sections?” A friend and I had a great discussion imagining how an ideal bisexual bar would be-all kinds couples dancing together, all kinds of people meeting and getting to know one another-no one getting a dirty look for being the “wrong” orientation or gender. I could bring both my straight and gay friends and no one would be “suspicious” because they were from the “other side” (I know it’s ridiculous, but I’ve encountered both scenarios). Of course pansexuals, transsexuals, intersex people, asexuals, and others would be welcomed too. So how come there hasn’t been an attempt to start one? Certainly there are gay and straight bars that are bi friendly, but how come we don’t have one of our own? We could call it a “bi/trans/pan” type place. I seriously think that if someone started this in a big city where there are a lot of us, it would become popular very quickly.

We also need more of a presence in pride parades  — I know this isn’t always easy, especially when encountering resistance. In New York, where there is a thriving bi network, a big section of it marches in the parade every year. It’s basically a numbers game — the more bisexual, pansexual, fluid people who are active in the movement, the more of a separate bi presence there is. Where I live, that doesn’t happen enough.

Our woman’s group has a booth at the pride street festival-but there aren’t enough of us who are active to have a separate marching block. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of us-there are many people who are active online but not active in non-online groups. I just found out that there’s supposed to be a “bi/fluid” pride march coming up in California in June! That’s great! I hope we have many more!

Transgender people have done a great job of taking their cause from just the internet to the real world. Often in pride parades you will see a separate block for transgender pride, even if there are only a few people in it, the same with BGLT conferences and pride seminars. They have gotten really good at making themselves visible and making their cause heard even when the larger BGLT movement tries to ignore them. Definitely something to emulate. So to make a long story short, I hope that more of us (who are able to safely be out) can take that energy and passion from the internet and spread it out as far as we can — making ourselves more visible, more heard, and more of a force to be reckoned with. I know we have the numbers — now we just need the voice and the organization. Who knows, maybe one day there will even be a bisexual bar. One can hope, anyway.

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.