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 glbtcoun@indiana.edu to schedule an appointment.

For more information on bisexual health, check out: https://bihealthmonth.wordpress.com/

Bisexual Awareness Week

1455941_1483483695210181_1806438782_nIn celebration of the 15th anniversary of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, or Bisexual Visibility Day, held every September 23rd GLAAD, BiNet USA, and other bisexual organizations are launching Bisexual Awareness Week. Bisexual Awareness Week (#biweek) aims to draw attention to public policy concerns and also celebrate what makes bisexuality and bisexual great.

I’ll admit I’m a little late in my post, and that Bisexual Awareness Week is halfway over, but there is still time to celebrate and honor Bisexual Awareness Week! I’ve gathered a couple of things to explore in celebration!

1. Check out the data about bisexualitybisexmonth-and-oew-site

2. Read and share books about bisexuality. Here are some of our favorites:

Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins
Bi America: myths, truths, and struggles of an invisible community by William E. Burleson
Bi America: myths, truths, and struggles of an invisible community by William E. Burleson
Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio
Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Watch and share movies about bisexuality. Here’s our favorites:

Kissing Jessica Stein
Kissing Jessica Stein
Bi the way: A Documentary About the Whatever Generation
Bi the way: A Documentary About the Whatever Generation
Henry & June
Henry & June

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Engage with people online about bisexuality by using the hashtag #biweek. BiNet has a series of other hashtags for the week focusing on history, culture, community, and current policy priorities that you can use to join the conversation as well! You can find their themes and hashtags for the week on their site.

5. Discover and share some fun memes about bisexuality.

6. Check out the beautiful faces of proud bisexual people: 28 celebrities who are bisexual!

For more information about everything happening this week, head to the official Bisexual Awareness Week site.

Christmas in July: New Books!

new books

Picture it: yesterday afternoon. A big box is delivered full of bright, shiny, new materials for the library.  They all had the new smelling book smell. You know that smell? It was like Christmas came early. At least, I thought so; I might have done a little happy dance in celebration, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of some of the new books I’m most excited about.

InIn One Person by John Irving
Winner of a 2013 Lambda Literary Award, New York Times bestselling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity. In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of One Person, tells the tragicomic story of his life as a “sexual suspect.” In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself worthwhile.

 

fairylandFairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.  Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.
Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.

silhouetteSilhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin
In the summer of 1926, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson is sent to a lake resort to escape the polio epidemic. She dreams of indulging in ornithology and a visit to an amusement park—a summer of fun before she returns to a last year of high school, marriage, and middle-class homemaking. But in the country, Garnet finds herself under supervision of oppressive guardians. Only a job in a hat shop, an intense, secret relationship with a beautiful flapper, and a deep faith in her own heart can save her from the suffocation of traditional femininity. It is the tale of a young woman’s discovery of the science of risk and the art of rebellion, and, of course, the power of unexpected love.

And because I love graphic novels so much…

batwomanBatwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka
A new era begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat emblem, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. In this first tale, Batwoman battles a madwoman known only as Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable extras! Also, witness the origin of Batwoman in the shocking and tragic story “Go,” in which young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate’s life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same!

 

And the book I’m most excited about…

beyond Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
by Susan Kuklin
Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

All of these new materials and more are on display now in the GLBT office, stop by and see what else we got for Christmas in July!

DVD of the Week – Plan B

Plan BA small, quiet, slice-of-life indie film from Argentine director Marco Berger, Plan B follows two young men–Bruno and Pablo–as their relationship moves from friendship to romance.  The title concerns the conceit of the film: Bruno seeks revenge on the girl that dumped him by befriending her new boyfriend–Pablo–hoping to force a wedge between them somehow.  However, his devious schemes to break up the new couple go awry when he begins to fall for Pablo himself.  The plot sounds like the makings of a screwball comedy, but the action here is very gentle and honest.  The film thoughtfully explores the ways both men grapple with their sexuality and make sense of a situation they did not expect to find themselves in.

Book of the Week – Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian

Rainbow Flag

It’s Pride month! A time when festivals, parades, and rainbow-themed events are happening in almost every city in the US.

But what do LGBTQIA* individuals have to be proud about? You mean besides the fact that they embraced their identity despite the current social climate and the possibility of discrimination? Well you might want to take a look at Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian, then.

Gay Pride Book Cover

From the ancient Greeks to San Francisco, from Alan Turing to the LGBT ally next door, this book sings the praises of the queer pioneers, past and present, who have made the world a braver, bolder, and better place–for everyone!

Book of the Week – About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It’s time to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have served in our military, especially those who have lost their lives during service.

In light of this holiday, our featured book this week is About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights by James E. Kennedy.

about face cover

Written in 1995, this book predates the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a huge step forward in equal rights for our military. It contains the personal account of the author – a former captain and lawyer in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (and a closeted gay man) who prosecuted and discharged LGBT soldiers. The book details his journey from closet to resignation and coming-out, to his work in the Clinton administration striving to change the military’s discriminatory policies.