The theme of this issue is “Allies.” Th is topic is very important to me. Thinking back to the “bad old days” when out bisexuals were even fewer than today, and we were subjected to relentless biphobia, having our identities, our commitment to the LGBT movement— and sometimes our very existence—challenged, I remember how much it meant to me to when a lesbian or gay man would speak up against biphobia.
I’d like to give specific thanks to my friends Warren Blumenfeld and Leah Fygetakis, two oases in the desert. Warren, a gay man, initiated SpeakOut’s name change in which “The Lesbian and Gay Speakers Bureau” became “The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Speakers Bureau.” I still remember the day when he came up to me and said that he thought it was time to change the name. I nodded and agreed, but inside I was thinking, “You’re crazy. That will never happen.” Well, I was wrong. It did. And I think it really helped that a gay man (rather than a bisexual person) initiated this change, which, after much process, ended up being passed by a large majority of votes. My friend Leah, who identifies as lesbian, was so upset by the biphobia she witnessed that she suggested we organize and facilitate dialogues between lesbian and bi women, which we did.
I’m delighted to offer you a range of articles on the subject. From a bi perspective, Ellyn Ruthstrom gives advice about how to be an ally to bi folks. Rea Carey, Cathy Renna, Gina Siesing and Jenn offer lesbian perspectives on being allies to bi women. Dave Herman, a straight man, talks about being partnered with a bi woman, and Lindsay Maddox Pratt offers a genderqueer perspective on the meaning of being an ally. Faith Cheltenham brings in issues of race in the context of the
Prop 8 debate and broadens the discussion. I also want to emphasize that being an ally is a two-way street. Stand up for others as you would like them to stand up for you. If you live in Massachusetts, please consider getting involved in the movement to get “gender identity” added to the Commonwealth’s nondiscrimination laws. Contact MassEquality (massequality.org) or the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (mtpc.org) for more information and to get involved.
In addition to our articles on the theme of “allies,” we include a new poem by Lindsay Maddox Pratt, and our regular features: our Bi Woman of the Month, news briefs, local bi coverage, including our events calendar and info about local nightlife for women. Our Bis Around the World column takes us this time to Eva Lee in China.
Remember, ladies: this is YOUR newsletter. Please consider supporting us with your dollars (if you have any), and please consider writing something for the next issue!
Bi for now,