By Robyn Ochs
Preserving Our Bi-story
The GLBT Historical Society & The GLBT History Museum in San Francisco debuted an exhibit this past June of four decades of the Bay Area’s bisexual political history. The exhibit was curated by local bi activists, including Lani Ka’ahumanu, founder of the political advocacy organization BiPol and co-editor of Bi Any Other Name; and Bay Area bi superstars Emily Drennen, Lindasusan Ulrich and Martin Rawlings-Fein. The exhibit is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Bi Around the World
Bisexual activists involved with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association [ILGA] have sought for several years to establish a Bisexual Secretariat (seat on ILGA’s governing board). This initiative involved bi activists from several countries and was led by Manodiversa, a Bolivian organization. The position was finally approved at ILGA’s World Conference in Mexico City from October 27-31. The Secretariat will start its duties in 2016 in the next world conference in Thailand. Thanks to all those who were involved in this process. Learn more about ILGA at ilga.org. Bi on the Boob Tube The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued their 19th annual report, “Where We Are on TV” tracking LGBT representation on the idiot box. They found that bisexual women make up 20 percent of LGBT characters on cable and bisexual men make up 10 percent compared to 15 percent for women and 6 percent for men last year. Overall, 3.9 percent of series regulars are LGBT, down from a peak of 4.4 percent in 2012. Shows with bi characters include Mom (Chef Rudy); Jane the Virgin (Luisa); Parenthood (Haddie); Witches of East End (Joanna and Alex); Masters of Sex (Betty); Black Sails (Eleanor and Max); Backstrom (Gregory); Gotham (Barbara); Orange is the New Black (Piper and others); Scream (Amy and Aubrey); Crossbones (Rose); Lost Girl (Bo Dennis); and House of Cards (Frank).
30 Under 30 Awards
Back in June, Windy City Times presented its 15th “30 Under 30 Awards.” The event was co-sponsored by the Center at Halstead, Center, Chicago House and AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The 30, between 16 and 30 years old, represent a wide diversity of interests, backgrounds and identities. Among those were at least a few who identified in the middle sexualities. Here are profiles of two of these:
Em Vanderlinden, 23, identifies as “queer, within the bi spectrum,” and worked at Chicago’s Center on Halsted in Community and Cultural Programs. Xe now attends Northeastern University School of Law. Em wrote, “Gender nonconformity is such a wide field, with so much room for exploration and possibility. The gender binary is a divisive tool that is prescriptive and ultimately harmful. It is definitely harmful to anyone exhibiting gender variance, but I also think it is harmful to those who unquestioningly sit on either side of the constructed seesaw. … While trans people are getting more recognition, non-binary identities are still relatively new concepts. … My identity means that I identify with neither, and furthermore see the classification of genders and sexes as problematic. By living outside of the gender binary, I reject the limitations of biological determinism and societal gendered norms. In my work as a future attorney, I want to both represent and be representative of the trans community.”
Anna Rose, 29, hails from Houston, TX. She fell in love with Chicago while attending the National High School Institute Cherub program at Northwestern and soon after attended DePaul Theater School and Columbia College Chicago, where she received her BFA in Acting with a minor in Directing. She has directed, performed or produced over 20 new plays with Nothing Without a Company, where she is a founding member and the Artistic Director. Anna Rose is also a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) focusing on energy work and body awareness. Anna Rose started identifying as bisexual at the age of 22. At the age of 23 she identified as lesbian for about six months. She continued to identify as bisexual until the age of 29, when she came out as an omnisexual woman who happened to be married to a lesbian woman.
And about marriage…
In the past three months the number of US states with marriage equality has jumped to 33, plus the District of Columbia.