Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s Hot New Bisexual Video

lady-gagaEveryone’s been talking about Lady Gaga’s new song and video Telephone, which features Beyonce and Heather Cassils. It’s been labeled risqué and “too hot to handle”, so much so, that there was even a rumor that MTV had banned it, which turned out not to be true. Of course the video is all over YouTube and other sites, and it’s full of bisexual, genderqueer, gay, and trans themes. Commenters all over are using the word bisexual to describe this video, and/or to describe Lady Gaga, who in interviews has talked about the themes in the video and what she wants them to mean. She herself says the words “queer”, “homosexual” and “transsexual” when talking about it. I wish she would say the word bisexual more, but if she isn’t, it’s good that so many others seem to be picking up on it. One of the main messages she was trying to get across in  the video was was that sexuality isn’t a choice , and that binaries of gender and sexuality need to be broken down more.  Encouraging people to think outside of the box can only be good for the bisexual community. There is also the added bonus of the visibility that an out bisexual performer brings. Lady Gaga has also did an interview where she said that both she and Beyonce “liked women”, so, naturally, now people are asking if Beyonce is bisexual (as nice as that would be, playing a character in one video doesn’t make you a different orientation!).

Telephone starts off where the video Paparazzi left off. In Paparazzi, Lady Gaga had poisoned her boyfriend, and Telephone starts with her being brought into jail for murder. The jail is full of women who very obviously straddle the gender line, including the guards who bring Lady Gaga in, both of whom seem to be trans. They undress her to find out if the rumors about her being intersex are true (they confirm they are not). Having previously had a boyfriend, Lady Gaga goes on to find herself a prison girlfriend, played by Heather Cassils, who in real life is a personal trainer who admits she straddles the gender line in both appearance and attitude. They share a kiss in the prison yard. The sequence is complete with several scantily clothed women, including Lady Gaga, and dancing.

Lady Gaga then gets a call from her girlfriend, Beyonce, who bails her out of jail. They go for a ride in a car called the Pussywagon (from the movie Kill Bill Volume 1 ). They drive to a diner where Lady Gaga is the cook and Beyonce meets up with what seems to be her boyfriend; she also appears to have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend. Lady Gaga and Beyonce proceed to poison everyone in the diner, including Beyonce’s boyfriend. There are a lot of genderqueer visibility and bisexual themes here as well, such as dating both men and women, and having a lot of people in the video straddle the gender line in appearance and attitude. The video ends with the police chasing Lady Gaga and Beyonce, who ride off together and promise each other they will never come back. At the very end there is a female power symbol.

One of the best qualities of the video, and probably what is making so many people both love it and hate it, is that it shows a wide range of human sexual behavior, orientation, identity, and expression, including bisexuality, and has them all come across as normal and accepted. Some artists do this just for shock value, but it seems that Lady Gaga really is trying to send a message and get people to think outside of the many preconceived notions that society has; the biggest being that sexuality and gender identity are somehow a choice.

Love it or hate it, Lady Gaga’s video Telephone has definitely pushed the envelope in entertainment and music, and opened some doors for sexual expression in popular culture. And of course-the song itself is pretty catchy!

Coming Out Bisexual On The Real World

real worldWhen I heard that the 23rd season of MTV’s The Real World was going to take place in my hometown of Washington DC, and was going to feature two out bisexuals, I had to tune in. The show has turned out to be quite interesting. The two bisexual characters are Emily Schromm, who is 21, and Mike Manning, who is 22. Both are newly out; Emily was raised strictly religious just had her first relationship with a woman; Mike was raised very religious as well and is struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexuality, and just came out and started exploring his sexuality right before he came to DC. He came out to his housemates at dinner in the first episode, and they all seemed okay with it. He said that while he doesn’t like labels overall, he would label himself as bisexual, and has dated both men and women.

Several articles were written about both characters on BLGT blogs around the time the show premiered last December, and most were positive. Yet only one episode had aired—and already the sirens were off in the form of pages of comments saying “he’s not really bi, he’s gay, there’s no such thing as bi in men”—going on and on about the “bi now, gay later” stereotype, and quoting that ridiculous and disproven J. Michael Bailey study (how many times does a study have to be discredited before it gets through to some people)?! The absolute worst ones were here and here.  Men from both the gay and the straight communities weighed in. It was nice to see that there were several comments defending Mike, more so than the last time a bisexual man came out, so that is progress, but unfortunately the negative ones outweighed the positive ones. It is truly amazing how many people want to decide someone else’s sexuality for them, including sadly, some of Mike and Emily’s roommates who think he’s  ”just confused and is really gay” and tell her that “it’s okay if you are a lesbian”.

As much as I didn’t like the overflow of comments, there is actually progress. Much less has been said overall questioning Emily’s sexual identity, at least in the BLGT community—and I do remember a time when that was different, so it seems there is definitely a positive trend a somewhat growing acceptance for female bisexuality, though possibly not always for the reasons we would like. But it seems male bisexuality is one of the last and biggest barriers to more acceptance of bisexuals in general. What are some of the reasons for this? Let’s examine them through the adventures of Mike Manning on The Real World, and through some of the stereotypes that showed up over and over in the comments about him.

For starters there was the whole “I knew a bisexual man and he turned out to be gay”. Well, so he did. I stated in this article my opinion on what label people who are unsure when they come out should use. The actions of a few people who use the wrong label or really do go through a phase should not be used to label an entire community. I’ve actually seen a lot of the opposite: several bi men who do not want to use the bisexual label because of the negative connotation. Secondly, there was the whole “he doesn’t want to fully come out and wants to hold on to hetero-privilege”. Well, Mike Manning is totally out to his family, and came out again on national television no less. Being from a religious family myself, I can tell you that being bisexual isn’t any easier than being gay-neither one is considered good. Just ask Emily—her own sister rejected her after she came out to her on live TV. As for the hetero-privilege myth, this is my answer to that one.

A rather odd argument was that Mike has used the terms  gay  and  bi  interchangeably a few times, so that proves he is gay. I know very few bisexual and transgender people who don’t sometimes do that.  Gay has become a catchall term for BLGT, and since most of society doesn’t treat bisexuals very differently from gays, many of us feel comfortable interchanging the two sometimes.

Another argument was that rumors have said that overall by the end of the show, he had dated more guys than girls.  In the first two episodes, he made out with a girl and a guy. Why is anyone surprised by this? He just came out! He’s been suppressing the side of him that is attracted to men for years, and all those years he’s been able to act on his feelings for women, so naturally he’s going to want to explore the male attractions. When I first came out as bi, I was mainly into women for months. I’d had a 14 year head start on my attraction to men and had barely acted on my attraction to women-I wanted to make up for lost time. Once I got used to the idea of being out, I evened out. I’ve had several other bisexual people tell me they went through something similar, and I suspect that is what Mike went through. This really was not only the first time he was really out, but the first time he had access to a thriving gay community. I would have been surprised if he hadn’t chosen to explore it.

Also, Mike could “lean” more toward men, as being bisexual certainly doesn’t have to mean having a “50/50″ attraction (in fact most of us lean one way or the other).  But if he’s still attracted to both sexes-then he’s bi!  (See latest update below to learn more about this, apparently there was “creative editing” going on). Does someone’s “bi card” get revoked because their attractions aren’t always equal? Many people seem to think a “true bisexual” has to be 50/50. Most of us actually tend to lean one way or the other.

People have come up with other terms to describe which way they lean, such as “bi gay”, “bi straight”, “bi queer”, “homoflexible” and “heteroflexible”. While I don’t like to tell anyone how to label themselves, I do think people need to be less afraid to just use the term “bisexual” somewhere in their label. Words can be very powerful.  When the girl he kissed on the show (and apparently slept with behind the scenes) saw him kissing a guy, she was all grossed out and couldn’t believe she had been with a bi guy. I’m pretty sure that reactions like that from women are another reason male bisexuality isn’t popular—who wants to hear that?

Just recently Mike Manning himself gave two great interviews— one in Metro Weekly , the other in Realitywanted —both definite must reads, and most of the comments were positive!  Contrary to the rumors that he no longer identified as bisexual, he embraces the label (as much as someone who doesn’t like labels can), and talks about the biphobia in the gay community that he’s had to deal with. He also says that once guys he dates actually get to know him, they start to believe he really is bi. Personally I say thank you to Mike Manning for not bowing to pressure, for being true to who he is, and for openly embracing the label.

Emily Schromm recently gave a great interview as well to the website AfterEllen, telling us a bit more about her and her background, and about how while her bisexuality was acknowledged on the show, it was downplayed as far as showing who she dated while on the show and living in the Real World DC house.  She embraced the label as well and I’m proud of her for not caving to pressure either.  My hope is that as more bisexual men like Mike Manning and bisexual women like Emily Schromm come out, more people in both the straight and BLGT communities will take the time to get to know them and try and see them for who they really are—not who they think they should be.

Latest Update as of March 2010:  It turns out that both Mike and Emily’s hookups with women were edited out of the show, but both are talked out in this aftershow video and this interview. Both were made to appear to be mostly attracted to men. Why was it done this way?  Maybe for ratings?  I’d like to hope it’s not due to biphobia, but I really have to wonder.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Bisexuality And The “Ex-Gay” Industry

Ex_Gay_SurvivorPretty much everyone in the BLGT community has heard of it, and most of us would like to pretend it doesn’t exist. For some it’s a joke, for others it represents a deeply painful experience they have actually lived through. It’s the “ex-gay” industry. And despite our living in one of the most democratic countries in the world, there are still plenty of people who are against equality for BLGT people; and these “ex-gay” industries are multimillion dollar businesses. Many are run by some sort of faith group, others claim to be based on science; still others are run byindividual people. Very often it’s families seeking to “cure” a loved one of same-sex attractions that encourage people to go to these programs; other times it’s BLGT people who honestly think that there is something horribly wrong with them that they need to fix. The techniques of the “therapy” seem to mostly center on “praying the gay away” and doing “gender specific activities”, which, as we’ve seen, are very often unsuccessful.

A question I’ve heard asked time and time again is: how do bisexuals figure into this whole “ex-gay” business? You almost never hear about bisexuality in regard to the “conversion” process. It’s all about being gay and going to straight. The“ex-gay” industry mostly acts like bisexuality doesn’t even exist (unfortunately not too different from the rest of society), and mostly talks about “gays and lesbians”. Every once in a while when bisexuality is brought up, it’s often used by both sides to bolster their arguments of “gay people can change” vs. “they can’t change”. I’ve also seen bisexuality mentioned one time when someone was writing about how they thought that some of the “success stories” presented by “ex-gay” organizations were actually bisexuals who just were not acting on their same-sex attractions. I had hoped this would be elaborated on, but that turned out to be the only thing mentioned about bisexuals.

How would paying attention to bisexuals change the face of the “ex-gay” industry? For starters, it would be interesting to know just how many of the people who go into these industries to seek help because they’ve been convinced that there is something wrong with them are actually bisexual. Perhaps if someone is bisexual but leans more toward same-sex attractions, they can classify themselves as gay and think they need reparative therapy. Also, if someone feels they have somehow “cured” themselves, could they just be bisexual but not acting on their same sex side (which as any closeted bisexual can tell you, is still horrible)? Are any of the examples of people that supposedly went from” gay to straight” that are touted by these organizations really bisexual?

We don’t know for sure about any of these questions, because bisexuality and bisexuals are pretty much ignored in this industry by both the straight and the gay communities. It would be very interesting if somehow a study could be done to determine some idea of the number of bisexuals that are involved in these “ex-gay” programs, how they influence the “success” rate, and how the programs affect their sexuality and sense of self. What would this mean for the BLGT community, and for the “ex-gay” industry? Most importantly, what would it mean for the bisexual community?

Stamping out Biphobia One ‘Bi Rant’ Article at a Time

female-gay-couplesChicago—Living in Chicago, seeing division is an everyday life occurrence. If you are straight, you only go to straight bars or events. If you’re gay, you only go to gay bars and events. If you’re lesbian, you only go to women only bars and events, and if you’re a gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender, who happens to be of color—you might only go to a place that has people of color at the event.

Round-and-around, we continue to want to separate ourselves to people like us—but is it a good thing? That’s a debate the BLGT community is starting to have. From black bisexual baseball players that just want to eh, play some ball. To bisexuals on the internet; speaking out on fitting into the gay and lesbian community, or not—and to the ‘new bisexual’ topics cropping up all over gay and lesbian publications? What’s going on that our own community is attacking the bisexual community who want to be seen, like everyone else?

What is the New Bisexual?
After just having a radio show talking about baseball and heckling the President of the United States, I wanted to relax at my favorite local restaurant (Heartland Café) and read the current BLGT publication of Chicago Free Press (CFP). As I often do, I like to check out what’s happening in our community, see if there’s any bisexual article, which mostly is far and few between, but low and behold there’s one called “The new bisexuals,” by my not to favorite opinion columnist Jennifer Vanasco. Every time I read anything dealing with bisexuality from her, she goes on topic of “bar bisexual,” or anything of that area when speaking to lesbians—about what it means to be a true bisexual, if at all

I wonder if those self-identifying girls call themselves bisexual because they’re actually attracted to women or because they think it’s sexier—and cooler—to calling  themselves bisexual and occasionally kiss girls for show.

What Does Biphobia Look Like?
This is straight from “Bisexual Resources Center, a great bisexual activist non-profit telling it like it is.

…”Thinking that people identify as bisexual because it ‘trendy.”

Now, the funny thing is is that this article was supposedly trying to get lesbians to see our point-of-view. Well, at the end of it, I found what Vanasco was trying to say, right at the last paragraph.

But what I do know is that: The LGBT community hasn’t always been great about welcoming and reaching out to and understanding supporting bisexuals. But if we want this flood of young women to support us, this has got to change. — Jennifer Vanasco

See my point? Vanasco doesn’t even understand that this very article is biphobic in the worse way. New bisexuals are just being “trendy. ’It talks all about ‘new bisexuals’ as if they are cropping out from the ground and becoming band new babies the BLGT community can love and take into the fold. You know, I now see you, that you might be real, just oh, a bit misguided and need help from the gay and lesbian community to set you on the right path. What the Fuck!

Vanasco listen. Because you go on trying to bridge gaps about what a new bisexuals really is or isn’t needs to be done in a better way. Why not contact one and get their perspective. Hey, use our Contact Us form above and interview Bi Social Network; we’re been around for over a year now. I welcome it! Ask for Adrienne Williams. Because right now, from the bisexuality perspective, there isn’t any new bisexual, you are now just looking at all the real facets of our community.

What Bi Social Network Wants to do!
As a social community site, we want to hear from you! Speak your mind and give use tips, if you see an article on the internet or in print where biphobic is loud and clear! We will feature it here! You can contact us, or go to our facebook account @bisocialnetwork or tweet us @bisocialnetwork! We want to know what you are seeing out there too!

To learn more about Bisexual Resource Center, check out their website for more tips on what biphobia really looks like! You’re might be surprised! www.biresource.org.

Bisexual Ball Players Sues Gay Sports League of Biphobia

ball-playerI’m in the middle of our Bi Talk show and I’m handed information in the form on an email on Advocate.com, about three bisexual ex-players (LaRon Charles, Steven Apilado and Jon Russ) who are suing the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) on the bases of not being gay [enough] from the other gay teams; or as they (The league) called them—three heterosexual men.

The sad thing is that the three men repeatedly stated they were ‘bisexual and not straight.’ When asked by (NAGAAA) officials, what sexual group they batted for, one player stated, “Both.” The victim decided not to reply after an off-putting response from NAGAAA.

“This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series.” North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) officials

Should Bisexuals Continue to Partner with Gays and Lesbian groups?
Talk about biphobia on the home team! So now, I again ask this question, should the bisexual community be apart of the gay and lesbian groups—who continue to want equal rights from the straight world, but will not recognize that bisexuals are real and alive in all society? Nor do they even understand the errors of calling bisexual men straight, as heated discussions are flying on Advocate.com, about being straight and not apart of the BLGT community.

Lindasusan states on Advocate.com:

Why do people keep characterizing these men as straight when they identify as BISEXUAL? (The heterosexual label was put on them by the NAGAAA panel.) As someone pointed out, NAGAAA’s own mission statement includes bisexuals — this is clearly a case of biphobia and bisexual erasure.

I say this, as I take a quote from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I will fight for gay and equal rights for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to get married, when they own up to the fact that bisexuals know who we are and exist in their world!

So much for the LGBT tag line!

Bi Social Network will be following this story as it develops.

Read the full article on advocate.com

Share your thoughts. What do you think of this story? Should Bisexuals continue to be apart of the gay and lesbian community? Are we beating a dead horse? We want to know!