News Briefs: Then and Now

Aug 1, 2012 | 2012 Summer - Then and Now, News Briefs

By Robyn Ochs

Sixth International Workplace Pride Conference Holds First-Ever Workshop on Bisexuality

On Friday, June 15th, 2012 the Workplace Pride’s annual conference takes place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For the first time in history the conference’s program includes a workshop on bisexuals at the workplace “Creating a Safe Workplace for Bisexual Employees: Leading the Way to Greater Understanding. 70% of bisexual employees feel that they can’t be themselves at work because the workplace is being experienced as unsafe. How can employers create and maintain a safe workplace for bisexual employees?” The workshop will explore the unique experiences and challenges faced by bisexuals in the workplace. Expected facilitators are: Wilma Ruis (moderator), Erwin Heyl, Ronete Cohen and Bi Women contributor Hilde Vossen.

Bisexual First-Year Student Takes on Chick-fil-A

Hillary Dworkoski, an out bi woman who just finished her first-year at NYU, is leading a campaign on Change. org to get the fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A removed from her campus. She says supporting a company that funds anti-gay groups undermines NYU’s diverse campus community and is inconsistent with the university’s values. Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, donated almost $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009 alone, the most recent year for which public records are available. This money has supported anti-LGBT groups including Focus on the Family, Exodus International and the Family Research Council which have worked against marriage equality, against the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in hate crime laws, and for “reparative” therapy to “cure” LGBT people.

Dwokoski says the support she has received on campus has been overwhelming, though some make the argument that Chick-fil-A has freedom of speech. To this she replies: “Imagine that Chik-fil-A had been donating to racist organizations. No one would make this argument.” And to the few she has encountered who disagree simply because they like Chick-fil-A’s food: “I typically just ask those people what’s more important to them: waffle fries or human rights.”

“True Blood” star Anna Paquin…

…who came out publicly last year as bisexual still has to put up with ignorant people who deny her bisexuality. In an interview in Zooey Magazine, she responded: “I’m sure for some people, saying they’re bisexual feels less scary than making a statement that they’re gay. For me, it’s not really an issue because I’m someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. It’s not made up. It’s not a lack of decision. It’s not being greedy or numerous other ignorant things I’ve heard at this point. For a bisexual, it’s not about gender. That’s not the deciding factor for who they’re attracted to.”

And “X-Files” Star Gillian Anderson…

… tells Out magazine (3/13/12) that she has a bi history including a girlfriend when she was in high school and numerous subsequent relationships with women, though she says they were the exception rather than the rule. She is quoted in Out as saying: “If I had thought I was 100 percent gay, would it have been a different experience for me? Would it have been a bigger deal if shame had been attached to it and all those things that become huge life-altering issues for youngsters in that situation? It’s possible that my attitude around it came, on some level, from knowing that I still liked boys.”

Lambda Literary Awards: Bi Books

The following books are finalists for awards in the Bisexual Fiction and Bisexual Nonfiction categories. Winners will be announced at the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in New York City on Monday, June 4, 2012.

Bisexual Nonfiction:

  • Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir, by Susie Bright, Seal Press
  • Bisexuality and Queer Theory: Intersections, Connections and Challenges, edited by Jonathan Alexander & Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Routledge
  • The Horizontal Poet, by Jan Steckel, Zeitgeist Press
  • Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature, edited by Qwo-Li Driskill, Daniel Heath Justice, Deborah Miranda, and Lisa Tatonetti, University of Arizona Press
  • Surviving Steven: A True Story, by Ven Rey, Ven Rey

Bisexual Fiction:

  • Boyfriends With Girlfriends, by Alex Sanchez, Simon & Schuster
  • The Correspondence Artist, by Barbara Browning, Two Dollar Radio
  • Have You Seen Me, by Katherine Scott Nelson, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
  • Triptych, by J.M. Frey, Dragon Moon Press
  • The Two Krishnas, by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla, Magnus Books

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