Interview with Meg Barker at BECAUSE

Bi Cities has put up the interview they did with Meg Barker when they were over at the first US BiReCon, and BECAUSE conference, earlier this summer.

Meg talks about BiReCon, The Bisexuality Report, mental health, and more.

http://blip.tv/bicities/235-dr-meg-barker-because-2013-6626420

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Bisexuality in UK news

This week bisexuality has been in the UK news as conservative MP, Daniel Kawczynski has come out as bisexual. Interestingly, for the first time it seems, Daniel himself came out to his association rather than being outed by the press having previously claimed a different identity. Also, the media reporting – and the response of his political party – have been positive, and have used the word ‘bisexuality’ rather than slipping into assuming this means that he is gay – as in the case of past media reporting of bisexual politicians.

Following the story, Radio 4 interviewed BiUK member, Edward Lord, about his own experience of being a bisexual public and political figure. You can read his blog about this, and follow links to the story and radio interview, here.

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On Monday this week, I accepted an invitation to be interviewed by Eddie Mair on Radio 4′s PM programme (minutes 46-52) to give a response to the decision of Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski to come out as bisexual.

I guess I was asked to appear because I, like Mr Kawczynski, am also an elected public official who happens to be bi, and who was profiled by Stonewall last year along with sixteen other lesbian, gay and bisexual people as a role model (see pages 26 and 27). Read more…

 

 

Intersections of bisexuality and race

Nice article in Ebony (despite the title!) about black bisexual men’s experiences.

http://www.ebony.com/love-sex/talk-like-sex-is-male-bisexuality-really-real-304

Media reporting of bisexuality

Meg has written about media reporting of bisexuality over on Rewriting the Rules.

This weekend I was contacted by a programme-maker with the following request regarding a series on sexuality. They said that they were putting together their bisexual episode and wanted me to contribute to the discussion of whether ‘there really is such as thing as being bisexual’. Read more…

 

Google furthers bi invisibility

There’s a very useful article over on The Huffington Post about Google’s block on the word bisexual. Unlike the words lesbian, gay or trans, Google has blocked bisexual from its auto complete and instant search features. This means that if you type the word into a Google search you don’t see the other words which people have commonly searched for alongside bisexual, and you don’t get an instant sense of the million of web pages related to  bisexuality, bisexual communities and bisexual resources.

This has very real impacts, for example the article mentions one man who searched on Google to find out whether anyone was in his situation (by looking to see whether anyone had searched for bisexual and suicide). Finding nothing he assumed he must be alone.

Well done to BiMedia for noticing the blockage of bisexuality a year ago, and to BiNet USA for picking up on it now.

The president of BiNet USA, Faith Cheltenham, writes a fascinating analysis of this situation, in relation to bisexual invisibility, and calls on Google to change their policy. BiUK certainly support this call, and the research summarised in The Bisexuality Report would suggest that this is exactly the kind of area where we need to increase bisexual visibility.

New youtube on bisexuality

Nice youtube on one person’s bisexual experience, challenging myths of bisexuality and media depictions of people going from gay to straight.

Radio 4 programme on bisexuality

Radio 4 programme on bisexuality and sexual fluidity. BiUK mentioned on website! Nice one The Bisexual Index.

Listen again available for a week or so:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jhdgl

Responses to the programme are being compiled here:

http://bisexualftw.tumblr.com/post/24559242078/reaction-to-bbc-radio4s-a-straight-question

Stereotypes bad for bi people

From the Academic Bi mailing list

Researchers publishing in the The Journal of Bisexuality say a variety of unfounded assumptions often driven by the media contribute to a culture of Biphobia that affects all bisexual people. The studies show that the Bisexual community is diverse and subject to discrimination from gay/lesbian and straight people alike, which negatively impacts the health and social lives of people who identify as bisexual.

Denise Penn, a director with the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB), spoke with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) about her thoughts on these recent studies, and how to end stereotypes about bi people in the media.

Penn, who says that bisexuality “is sometimes forgotten” by the public, is very pleased with the increasing diversity of LGBT characters in the media, but notes “there’s still a lot of progress to be made.” Often when a character is portrayed as bisexual, “the stereotype lingers that it’s a person who is confused, or someone who has a man and a woman on the side, or who has a woman and a man on the side.”

Read Full Article Here:
http://www.glaad.org/blog/study-shows-stereotypes-about-bisexuality-are-harmful

Hot bi babes: Stereotypes of bi women

Following the previous post on Jessie J, a new blog post is out today on radicalbi about media depictions of bisexual women. Here is a quote and a link to the rest of the article.

“In an article called Curiouser and Curiouser: the Strange ‘Disappearance’ of Male Bisexuality, British gay journalist Mark Simpson writes about biphobia against bi men, and compares their status to that of bisexual women. “It’s unques­tion­able,” he argues, “that female bisexuality is today much more socially acceptable than male bisexuality, and in fact frequently positively encouraged, both by many voyeuristic men and an equally voyeuristic pop culture.”… In this section, I would like to look a bit deeper into this “positive encouragement” and to question whether it really is so positive.

Simpson, of course, is right. Female bisexuality truly is encouraged by voyeuristic men, as well as by voyeuristic (male dominated) media. Spelling out media presumptions, Simpson writes that as opposed to male bisexuality, female bisexuality is considered “almost universal. It’s as natural and as true as it is wonderful and real and… hot!” And indeed, it seems that the main context in which female bisexuality appears in mainstream media is that of “hotness.”

In this section…, I want to be looking at media representations of female bisexuality in attempt to show the ways in which it is depicted, and the terms under which it is allowed to appear in mainstream culture. I wish to argue that while female bisexuality seems to be ‘encouraged’ on the surface, this encouragement applies to only one form thereof: that palatable to straight men. Bisexual women are presented in hypersexualized* contexts, as sexual objects for the hegemonic** straight male gaze, while directly or covertly appealing to a quasi-pornographic fantasy of a (2 females and 1 male) threesome, and while also reassuring us that these women are not really bisexual, but are rather simply behaving so for the satisfaction of the presumed male spectator.”

Read more…

Jessie J and bisexuality

Interesting article in The Independent on Sunday yesterday by Jane Czyzselska about Jessie J and the problems with bisexual and lesbian representations in the media.

Jane Czyzselska: Jessie J gets the Rock Hudson treatment

Poor Jessie J. The ridiculously successful “Do It Like a Dude” singer speaks openly as a proud bisexual, sings a song about being true to yourself, then someone comes along and ruins it all by claiming she’s a fake.

According to a new, unauthorised biography, Who’s Laughing Now? The Story of Jessie J, not only is The Voice star allegedly a lesbian, she’s also had the thumbscrews put on her by her record company, Universal, who apparently forced her to hide her Sapphic ways in favour of a bisexual image or risk her contract.

Read more…