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With Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) coming up next Wednesday November 20th 2013, I have always been amazed at TDOR Vigils by the apparent absence of people from the mainstream gay/lesbian community, their progressive allies and even sometimes cisgender people from my own bisexual community. After all, those of us who identify as transgender/gender variant also identify as lesbian, or straight, or gay, or bisexual, or simply as queer-identified.

So today, if no one has asked you to go to a TDOR Event, please let me invite you to come, listen and read our names, and honor the lives that we’ve lost in OUR Collective Communities.Collapse )

Find your local event here: TDoR Events and Locations 2013 list being updated up until November 20th

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Source: Bi Magazine

Says bisexual author and columnist AJ Walkley, "Recently my newsfeeds have been flooded with stories about attacks on trans* and non-binary individuals ... Fortunately, one trans*bisexual activist is taking charge of this problem, turning to Kickstarter in hopes of raising the funding to launch the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal. I sat down with New Jersey programmer and activist Allison Woolbert to discuss her campaign and what she hopes will come from it."

AJ Walkley: What is your connection to the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal?
Allison Woolbert: I am a concerned member of the community. I wanted to find a way to make sure that the violence against transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people is accurately documented and not swept under the carpet. I launched the Kickstarter project to make the vision of this project a reality. As CEO of a computer software development company, I am providing the programmers and technologies necessary to make this project successful.

Walkley: Why is a Transgender Violence Tracking Portal needed, in your opinion?
Woolbert: So often, the media and law enforcement are dismissive concerning the violence that is inflicted on transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people. In addition, hate incidents against transgender people are often not documented at all. Many of the cases that are reported are sensationalized, and the facts become muddled and disconnected.

Currently, there is no data repository that can validate and provide tangible evidence of the violence that has been inflicted on the transgender community ... With this project, the data will be available to be reported and queried against every day of the year. At any given point in time, we will have a website that can show the world what the picture of our community looks like and raise the awareness and the responsibility of law enforcement to protect our basic right to live ... The project will also enable us to allow interested groups and parties to sign up for email alerts when something in their community has happened and needs attention ...

Walkley: There are some very grim statistics when it comes to violence against transgender people. Can you share a few?
Woolbert: Sadly, we have some horrid statistics that exist about the violence toward our community. The Transgender Murder Monitoring Project estimates at this point that approximately every three days a transgender person is reported murdered throughout the world ... Virtually every few days, I hear about a transgender suicide or attempted suicide ... Of the assaults, we have yet to have any statistics available ...

Walkley: If your campaign is successful, what do you hope will come out of the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal? How will this site help?
Woolbert: There are so many capabilities that this portal will make available to the public. Just to list a few, I believe on some levels we will be able to track the numbers of the violent assaults and murders, as well as what the disposition of the crimes might be. In other words, is the case still open? Has anyone been charged? Were they found guilty, and did they get an appropriate sentence? Did a hate crime charge get pressed? Did the convictions get overturned? Did they use the "panic defense," and was it upheld or used to mitigate sentencing? Have the police conducted a thorough investigation? ...

Walkley: Should your campaign succeed, when can backers expect to see a completed portal site?
Woolbert: ... I would hope that by the first quarter of 2014, we will have the portal fully up and functioning, ready for data to start being entered by volunteers. We have already begun the process in recruiting and vetting international volunteers from the various nations to be reporting officials for their areas ...


On July 12, 2013, documentarian Ryan James Yezak is championing the first National Gay Blood Drive in order to combat the outdated and antiquated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance document that has banned men who have sex with men (MSM) – and women who have sex with men who have sex with men – from donating blood for life. Such stipulations mean bisexual individuals are greatly affected by this rule, as well as gay men and the partners of bisexuals, among others.

Bisexuals Speak Out
Bisexual activist and blogger Patrick RichardsFink is one individual this policy directly impacts. "It is utterly ridiculous that in the 21st Century, over 20 years after my last sexual experience with anyone other than my partner, that both she and I are banned from giving blood (or selling plasma, a common extra job for college students)," RichardsFink told Bi Magazine. "People have told us to just lie on the application, but all that does is force me back into the closet – and make her a criminal for loving a bi guy."

To that point, Yezak’s focus on gay and bisexual men in this campaign leaves out the countless women impacted by the ban as well. Bisexual activist Lisa Jacobs said, “The MSM exclusion also excludes women who’ve had sex with a MSM. When I first tried to give blood, I was denied because I had a bisexual boyfriend with whom I’d had sex in the past year. It was quite a shock to me at the time."

Fellow bisexual activist witer & speaker Dr. Loraine Hutchins echoed Jacobs, saying, "It is not just men who have sex with men, it’s anyone who has sex with men who have sex with men; so many bi women and men are affected and always have been. I haven’t been able to give blood for years because I’ve had sex with gay and bi men, and they never asked if it was protected sex or not."

A Stigmatizing "Ban
What many may not realize is that this disallowance is not an actual “ban," per se. Lauren Beach, J.D. and HIV researcher, explained to Bi Magazine, "There is no federal statute in the USA banning MSM from donating blood. Rather, the source of the ban comes from [the aforementioned] FDA guidance document. Although they are not legally binding, FDA guidance documents often wind up having the ‘force of law,’ because no industry representatives want to go against them and face repercussions from the agency." 

Beach also noted that a single blood donation is usually split into multiple blood products that can span the nation in their distribution; that being the case, a single blood donation infected with HIV or any other blood borne transmittable disease could potentially infect not one, but many recipients.

This is a fraught issue, to say the least. On one side of the proverbial fence we have the need to stop stigmatizing a part of the population that has been decried for too long. Paul Nocera, a lead facilitator at BiRequest, a NYC Bisexual discussion group, added: "The blood donor screening practice is a long-standing policy that has stigmatized gay and bisexual men who are actually honest about their practices. These are most likely the same men who take extra safe precautions in the bedroom so that they keep a clear conscience. Meanwhile, we should really be worried about those who are less than truthful about their practices in the bedroom; living under a cloud of shame hurts every effort to be honest and communicative when it comes to keeping their bodies and their blood safe from infection. So aside from being a hurtful policy practice, it’s also hugely ineffectual."

Click HERE to read full article

If you are interested in taking part in the first National Gay Blood Drive on Friday, July 12, 2013, or to access more information about the "peaceful nation-wide demonstration," visit www.gayblooddrive.com.

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Every single review for Steven Soderbergh's new thriller 'Side Effects' has praised the film for three things: Soderbergh's knack for building suspense, great performances by the four lead actors (Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum), and the pulse-pounding impact of the final twenty minutes that reveal a surprise twist in the plot.

Every single review has also been tight-lipped about this 'surprise' because they don't want to "spoil the movie" for those who haven't seen it yet. While I agree with the first two assessments in these reviews,I am going to reveal the surprise as a public service favor and call for action to LGBT audiences, particularly bisexualsCollapse )

Source: Bi Magazine: The "Side Effects" of Hollywood Biphobia
Whenever (some) content providers are feeling lazy but need to (1) turn in some sort of promised work product on something ASAP and (2) want to up their hit-count without bothering to do anything original or useful there is nothing like dragging out the the old (completely false ... but who really cares? because do bisexual people even exist?) tired tropes about bisexuality.

Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPo: Bisexuality: Is It Fun, Non Committal or Just Plain Greedy? then We're Not Bicurious - We're Bifurious! + What Part Of 'Bisexual' Don't You Understand?,   LipstickLori: Bisexuality: Myths and lazy journalism,   Bi Radical, Whipping Girl, Eponymous Fliponymous,   Closets and Criticisms of LGBT Research (Part 1) (Part 2)

“If you say you’re gay, very few people say, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ Bisexuals have to come out every time they walk into a room . . . I get it from both communities. We like to joke that’s the one thing straights and gays agree on: They don’t understand bisexuals" . . .

When the bigotry comes from the straight community, it’s hurtful. But when it comes from the gay community, it’s worse—because they should understandCollapse )

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After a campaign by BiNet USA and bisexuals worldwide, Google has removed “bisexual” from its list of banned words.

Los Angeles CA, September 4th 2012 - BiNet USA is pleased to confirm that Google Inc. has unblocked the term bisexual from its search algorithm. Now that “bisexual” is allowed, terms such as bisexual quotes, bisexual rights, and bisexual parenting are automatically suggested to Google users.

Said National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, "We thank Google for making the right call here and for acting as a responsive corporate citizen committed to dignity and equality."Collapse )

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Source: BiNet USA, BiMagazine, BiMedia

A long-time out & active member of the LGBTQ community, Kyrsten Sinema is running for the US Congress in Arizona’s new Congressional District 9, based in Phoenix, Tempe and the East Valley. She had previously served in the Arizona State Legislature. First elected in 2004, she was re-elected in 2006 to continue serving central Phoenix in District 15. Having just won a hard fought Democratic Primary, Sinema will run against Vernon Parker, a local councilman and a rare African-American Republican candidate, in the general election .

Sinema has been endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, EMILY’s List and the Human Rights Campaign and has earned the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of "Red to Blue" racesCollapse )

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