Biphobia and Bi Erasure

What do these two terms mean?

Male_and_female_sign.svgBiphobia is to bisexuals as homophobia is to homosexuals. Except people who identify as bisexual can also face homophobia. And homosexuals can be biphobic. Bisexual people face scrutiny from all ends of the spectrum of sexuality. Why? In many cases it’s because people believe that bisexuality doesn’t exist. Too often are bisexuals told that they’re being indecisive or that they’re going through a phase. This is considered bi erasure, a manifestation of biphobia. Homosexuals are just as likely to be guilty of bi erasure, and are sometimes more likely to be biphobic to reaffirm their own monosexual relationships. Bisexuals are often seen as promiscuous, tarnishing the gay and lesbian attempt to achieve heteronormative unions.

Even if this were the case, participation in polyamory should not be a reason to ex-communicate a group of people who have undergone similar oppression on the basis of their sexual orientation. More importantly, the myth that bisexual people are unable to love or commit in the same ways a homosexual or heterosexual can needs to be eliminated. Some bisexual people commit to long term monogamous relationships, some bisexual people enjoy short term sexual relations — the same happens for all sexual orientations and should not be a factor in determining the validity of one’s sexual identity. Bisexual people exist. It’s time to get over it.

March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is Mental Health. Don’t forget to let the bisexual people in your life know that you care — that you acknowledge and validate their identity. The fact of the matter is bisexual people are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide than both homosexuals and heterosexuals. We need to let bisexual people know that they are a part of the greater LGBT community.

Bisexual PoliticsStop by the LGBT Library to check out some of our resources.

Free counseling is also available. Contact to schedule an appointment.

For more information on bisexual health, check out:

Celebrate Halloween with Some Spooky Reads

halloweenGet ready for a fright, folks! I’ve gathered our some of our best spooky reads to get you in the spirit for Halloween!

1590212398.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Queer Hauntings: True Tales of Gay & Lesbian Ghosts
by Ken Summers
An exclusive collection of eerie locales worldwide with a queer bent. This guidebook combines historical fact and unearthly encounters from across the United States, as well as around the globe.
The stories range from the serious, from brutal murders in rural Georgia, to the light-hearted, including the male spirit who enjoys unzipping men’s trousers at a British pub. Ghosts of legendary celebrities intermingle with ordinary individuals. Along with these queer spirits are many businesses, either gay-owned or catering to a gay/lesbian clientele, experiencing hauntings.

1573440124.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_A Ghost in the Closet: A Nancy Clue and Hardly Boys Mystery
by Mabel Maney
With their fearless crime-fighting, good manners, and manly fashion sense, the Hardly boys are the pride of Feyport, Illinois. In A Ghost in the Closet, dark-haired, muscular Frank and his lovable kid brother Joe return from a gay trip to Europe to find that their parents — world-famous detective Fennel P. Hardly and his wife, Mrs. Hardly — have been kidnapped! Even worse, so have six poodles from the Lake Merrimen Dog Show! Pals Nancy Clue, Cherry Aimless, R.N., and Police Detective Jackie Jones help the Hardly boys track down the criminals — and in the meantime, pick up useful tips on fingerprinting, evidence retrieval, and the laundering of sporty twill slacks.

1551522519.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire
Edited by Amber Dawn
Fist of the Spider Woman is a revelatory anthology of horror stories by queer and transgressive women and others that disrupts reality as queer women know it, instilling both fear and arousal while turning traditional horror iconography on its head.
In this collection, horror (including gothic, noir, and speculative writing) is defined as that which both titillates and terrorizes, forcing readers to confront who they are.
Subversive, witty, sexy—and scary—Fist of the Spider Woman poses two questions: “What do queer women fear the most?” and “What do queer women desire the most?”

1555839746.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Triptych of Terror: Three Chilling Tales by the Masters of Gay Horror
by John Michael Curlovich, David Thomas Lord, and Michael Rowe
Combining the storytelling talents of three modern masters of gay horror, Triptych of Terror invites readers into a night of mystery and intrigue, the very time when the fabric of time and space separating the world of the living and the dead is forgotten. A night called Halloween.
The stories involve a televangelist who attempts to reclaim Halloween by banishing a closeted minister to a haunted church, a bullied teen who turns to the occult to protect him from harassment, and a man who’s Celtic background may not be enough to save him from the temptation of one of the fairy folk.

In the Beginning, There was a March

imageOn Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.  It is often referred to as “The Great March” and involved protests in front of the Internal Revenue Services Court, along with the unveiling of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  The demonstration results in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization.  Rob Eichberg, founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that The Great March to mark it.  National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was born. Logo_ncod_lg

This Saturday marks the 26th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day.  NCOD serves as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out.  According to Human Rights Campaign, one out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian, and for transgender people, that number is only one in ten.

Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, creating new advocates for equality.  I’ve gathered some materials and resources to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally.

1. Check out some of our favorite coming out books and movies, including:

Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories
Testimonies by Karen Barber
Testimonies by Karen Barber







2. The Human Rights Campaign celebrates National Coming Out Day on this YouTube video.

3. Check out R U Coming Out, a site dedicated to inspire, support, and unite those who are living their lives either completely, or partially in the closet.  The main focus of the site is the stories: people from all over their world share their own personal accounts of Coming Out.  The purpose of this site is not to encourage people to Come Out before they are ready or to make them feel under any pressure to do things in a particular way; it is simply a source of first hand accounts from people who have already been through, and are still going through, the process themselves.

4. Check out coming out guides and other resources provided by the Human Rights Campaign.

5. If you’re a straight ally, check out Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.

6. And finally, check out some of the more creative ways to come out of the closet courtesy of BuzzFeed: 24 Awesomely Creative Way to Come Out of the Closet. and 41 Awesome Ways to Come Out to Your Friends and Family

Asexual Resources

Sometimes called “A Fourth Orientation,” asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by a persistent lack of sexual attraction toward any gender. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy, as celibacy is a choice. Asexual people have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships.

We recently just acquired three new books on asexuality: a nonfiction introduction to the subject, a collection of short stories about asexual relationships, and a young adult novel featuring an asexual protagonist!

BookCoverBriefIntroAsexuality: A Brief Introduction
This book explores love, sex, and life, from the asexual point of view. This book is for anyone, regardless of orientation. Whether you’re asexual, think you might be, know someone who is, or just want to learn more about what asexuality is (and isn’t), there’s something inside for you. This is one of the first books exclusively dedicated to the subject of asexuality as a sexual orientation. Written by an asexual, it discusses the topic from the inside, debunking common misconceptions and myths about asexual individuals.



heartThe Heart of Aces
The heart of aces is where an anomaly lives, where love’s definition takes a deviation from the common rules.
These eleven stories dive into asexual relationships, where couples embrace differences, defy society’s expectations, and find romantic love. In this collection is a full spectrum of asexuality in all its classifications. From contemporary fiction to fantasy, from heteroromantic to homoromantic, join these unique characters on their journey to finding the person that speaks to their hearts.


quickQuicksilver by R.J. Anderson
Three months ago, perfect, popular seventeen year-old Tori Beaugrand disappeared into thin air. And then, just as inexplicably, Tori returns home, bloodied and beaten, but alive and whole. Tori’s disappearance is a mystery to the police and her friends, and she claims that she cannot remember anything of her abduction, or the weeks she was gone. More than anything, Tori wants everyone to forget, and to move on with her life as though nothing has happened.
Anderson does a great job of portraying Tori’s asexuality, without making this Tori’s sole defining characteristic.  Tori is a young woman who feels love, and rage, and loneliness–she’s not sexually attracted to anyone, but she feels and yearns for emotional connection.

Outside resources available online:

  • (A)Sexual (2013), a documentary by Angela TuckerFacing a sex obsessed culture, a mountain of stereotypes and misconceptions, as well as a lack of social or scientific research, asexuals struggle to claim their identity. A FilmBuff Presentation.
  • The Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN)
    AVEN hosts the world’s largest online asexual community as well as a large archive of resources on asexuality. AVEN strives to create open, honest discussion among sexual and asexual people alike.
  • Asexuality Archive
    The Asexuality Archive is a collection of all things Ace, striving to provide a comprehensive and uncensored look into what asexuality is, what it means to us and how it shapes our lives.  The intention is to provide information that is approachable and informative, whether or not you’re asexual.
  • Taking the Cake: An Illustrated Primer on Asexuality
    Maisha’s Taking the Cake zine is a beautifully illustrated COLORING BOOK on all-things asexual. Topics include a rundown on the various “flavors” of asexuality, the symbols of asexuality, a look at asexuality in how it pertains to the LGBTQ community, “Tips for Sexuals Dating Asexuals,” a piece on how to be an ally to asexuals, a resource library, and much more!
  • Asexuality Resources
    This blog aims to provide information showing people how and where to learn about asexuality. Whether it be definitions, websites, blog, videos, articles and more. This blog also helps support asexual vis/ed by creating sharable images with meaningful messages or infographs about asexuality to create a better understanding and visibility of this often invisible and misunderstood orientation.
  • Asexuality Awareness Week (October 26-November 1)


What is intersex?

Technically, intersex is defined as “congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system.” Intersex people are born with external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and/or endocrine system that are different from most other people. There is no single “intersex body;” it encompasses a wide variety of conditions that do not have anything in common except that they are deemed “abnormal” by the society. What makes intersex people similar is their experiences of medicalization, not biology. Generally speaking, intersex is not an identity category. While some intersex people do reclaim “intersex” as part of their identity, most regard it as a medical condition, or just a unique physical state. Most intersex people identify and live as ordinary men and women, and are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight.

Want to learn more about intersexed people?

Check out some of the resources we have on the subject! Click on the book or DVD’s image to find out more about each title.


Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) by Thea Hillman
Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) by Thea Hillman
Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes by Gerald N. Callahan PhD
Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes by Gerald N. Callahan PhD
Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self by Sharon E. Preves
Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self by Sharon E. Preves










Golden Boy: A Novel by Abigail Tarttelin
Golden Boy: A Novel by Abigail Tarttelin
Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
Annabel: A Novel by Kathleen Winter
Annabel: A Novel by Kathleen Winter









Harsh Beauty
Harsh Beauty







You can also easily find all of our resources related to intersex by browsing our tag “Intersexed people” in our catalog.

Looking for even more information? Check out some of these online resources:

History in the Making


LGBT History Month 2012

As LGBT history month draws to a close, we are reminded of those who pioneered the way for the freedoms we enjoy today, and that there is still much progress to be made. Equality Forum compiles a list of notable LGBT historical figures each year, and what is most remarkable about most of these individuals is not that they organized millions of people behind a cause or changed policies and laws single-handedly; what is remarkable about these individuals is that they were willing to stand out–and speak out–during times where to be anything but hetero-normative was a sentence for a lifetime as a societal outcast.

Pierre SeelPierre Seel (1923-2005) was imprisoned and tortured in a concentration camp during World War II because he was gay. After escaping from conscripted service in the German army and surrendering to the Allies, his imprisonment was not compensated or acknowledged by the French government. Neither were any of the others deported for their sexual orientation. In 1982, after having closeted himself for 37 years, he wrote an article for a French gay magazine in response to a prominent bishop’s anti-gay remarks. His memoir, “I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual” was published in 1994. And in 2003, he was finally recognized as a victim of the Holocaust.

Christine JorgensenChristine Jorgensen (1926-1989) was one of the first people to use hormone therapy to supplement her gender reassignment therapy. She was catapulted to fame when the New York Daily News intercepted a letter to her parents about her transformation and ran a story titled “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty.” She relocated to New York to speak out in support of transsexual and transgender people; Jorgensen moved into music and film, and toured the US speaking at colleges and universities about her story.



Tom Waddell's memoir, Gay OlympianTom Waddell (1937-1987) organized the Gay Games–an athletic event modeled on the Olympics that still takes place every 4 years, the most recent having been held in 2010. Waddell was part of the civil rights demonstrations in Alabama in the early 1960’s, and joined the army in 1966. He competed in the Olympics in 1968, after which he was a fellow at Stanford University. He came out to friends and family in the 1970’s, and inspired by a gay bowling league, he decided to create a unique sporting event where LGBT athletes could compete openly. Waddell lived to see the games become a great success, and died of AIDS-related complications in 1987.

Gloria AnzalduaGloria Anzaldua (1942-2004) “helped build a multicultural feminist movement and called for people of different races to move forward together.”  After teaching several courses in creative writing and Chicana studies & earning her master’s degree, she co-edited one of the most cited books in the history of feminist studies: This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. She refused to write in only one language, and her writings contain two variations of English & six of Spanish, and all manner of in-betweens. She died while working on her doctorate, and was posthumously awarded a PhD by the University of California, Santa Cruz for her scholarly contributions.

Although it is no longer a danger to speak out publicly in support of the LGBT community in most of Western society, many people still suffer harassment and exclusion in silence. October is also anti-bullying month. Bullying can be as simple as one child tormenting another, or an institutionalized hostility against hundreds of thousands of people. We have seen great steps taken in our society within our lifetimes, yet without continual individual effort, we cannot move forward. I am reminded of the children’s book “Horton Hears a Who,” where no-one can hear the voices of the tiny people living on a dandelion puff except an elephant with exceptional hearing. But when they combine their voices, they are able to make themselves heard by everyone in the larger world: “We are here!” So we need to remember: we may not think our voice counts or has any influence on our surroundings, but if we all speak up, we will be heard.


For more information on LGBT historical and modern figures, check out!

How is Your Health?

Photo courtesy of the World Association for Sexual Health

This past Tuesday, September 4th, was World Sexual Health Day. The World Association for Sexual Health (WASH) works toward creating an environment that is supportive of sexual health for everyone.



The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual rights as an integral part of basic human rights:

Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

  • The highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;
  • Seek, receive, and impart information in relation to sexuality;
  • Sexuality education;
  • Respect for bodily integrity,
  • Choice of partner;
  • Decide to be sexually active or not;
  • Consensual sexual relations;
  • Consensual marriage;
  • Decide whether or not, and when to have children; and
  • Pursue a satisfying, safe, and pleasurable sexual life (WHO 2002a, as cited in the Millennium Declaration by WASH).

The goals laid out by the World Association for Sexual Health in the Millennium Declaration describe actions needed to achieve the ideal of sexual health and equality for all people: ideals that can be realized only with support from individuals as well as organizations throughout the population.

Read the Millennium Declaration here:

Listed below are the eight goals of the World Association for Sexual Health, and some resources from our library that can help elaborate on these ideas.

1. Recognize, promote, ensure and protect sexual rights for all:

Sexual Justice, by Morris Kaplan
Sexual Justice, by Morris Kaplan









2. Advance toward gender equality and equity:

Myths of Gender: Biological Theories about Women and Men, by Anne Fausto-Sterling









3. Condemn, combat, and reduce all forms of sexuality related violence:

Boys Don’t Cry, based on the true story of Brandon Teena









4. Provide universal access to comprehensive sexuality education and information:

Activist Educators, edited by Catherine Marshall and Amy Anderson



5. Ensure that reproductive health programs recognize the centrality of sexual health 5

Women’s Health: Missing from US Medicine, by Sue Rosse




6. Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STI):


Against the Odds: The Story of AIDS Drug Development, Politics and Profits









7. Identify, address and treat sexual concerns, dysfunctions and disorders:


Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes










8. Achieve recognition of sexual pleasure as a component of holistic health and well-being


The Care of the Self: The History of Sexuality, Volume 3, by Michel Foucault














WHO. (2002a) Working Definitions.


GLBT Children’s Literature

rainbow with broad strokes
Photo credit: Flickr user oceandesetoiles

Many of us grew up reading children’s books by gay authors and didn’t even know it, like Tomie DePaola (author of Strega Nona and Bill & Pete), Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are), Hans Christian Anderson (The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling), James Howe (Bunnicula series), and Louise Fitzhugh (Harriet the Spy).

Today, there are plenty of books that are “out of the closet,” provide positive role models, and are affirming for children who have GLBT family members, do not conform to gender roles, or simply have caretakers who wish to educate them in diversity.

Here are a few places you can go to find resources on GLBT literature for children:

And–you guessed it–here are some children’s books you can find right here in the GLBT Library!

 Heather has Two Mommies
by Leslea Newman
[5.806 NEWhe 2000]
 Saturday is Patty Day
by Leslea Newman
[5.806 NEWsa 1993]
 Uncle What-Is-It is Coming to Visit!
by Michael Willhoite
[5.806 WILun 1992]
 And Tango Makes Three
by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
[5.804 RICan 2005]
 Daddy’s Roommate
by Michael Willhoite
[5.804 WILda 1990]
 King & King
by Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland
[5.804 HAAki 2000]
 Gloria Goes to Gay Pride
by Leslea Newman
[5.800 NEWgl 1991]
 The Boy Who Cried Fabulous
by Lesléa Newman; illustrated by Peter Ferguson
[5.800 NEWbo 2004]
 My Princess Boy
by Cheryl Kilodavis; illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone
[5.800 KILmy 2011]
 The Sissy Duckling
by Harvey Fierstein, illustrated by Henry Cole
[5.800 FIEsi 2002]
 10,000 Dresses
by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Rex Ray
[5.800 EWE10 2008]
 Be Who You Are!
by Jennifer Carr, illustrated by Ben Rumback
[5.800 CARbe 2010]



The early morning hours of June 28 will mark the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall riots.  Police raided a popular gay bar and the GLBT community banded together and fought back, resulting in riots that lasted for quite a few days after.  This rebellion, which took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village, was by no means the first or only of its kind, but it has become one of the most  famous turning points in the fight for LGBT rights.

LGBT celebrities discuss the importance of Stonewall in OURSceneTV’s 2009 video below.

Interested in learning more? The following resources are available in either the library’s collection or online.


Stonewall   [4.2101 DUBst 1993]




Stonewall: the riots that sparked the revolution   [4.2101 CARst 2004]



The Stonewall Archives Volume 1 : The Before Stonewall Interviews – This film covers American LGBT history from the 1920’s up to the 1969 Stonewall riot.    [DOC STON 2006]


 Street Theater  – The author, Doric Wilson, participated in the Stonewall riot and wrote this play with the purpose of capturing the essence of the atmosphere and people of Greenwich Village on the night of the riot rather than reenacting the exact event.  [9.304 WILst 1969]


Stonewall Uprising – This website gives a good general description and contains  a transcript of a PBS program featuring Stonewall.  Also included are links to interviews with  participants and Ed Koch, mayor of New York in 1969.   Primary resource articles from The New York Daily News and the Village Voice are also accessible from this page.