Monday, 24 September 2012

Gay marriage - again

By now you've heard my thoughts on same-sex marriage. As a subject, it's been about in the LGBT community a lot.

Now this video itself has nothing new in it, but I would recommend looking at the comments. It's an interesting discussion, because I put this one up as a response to a well-viewed Youtuber and therefore his nice audience has deigned to spare attention on me.

Feel free to comment on it yourself!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

You shouldn't have to prove that you're bisexual

The only explanation I will give for posting this video is a quote from the comments on it.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Society update

We have a place! We have a time! We have a plan!

(Unfortunately, I will be an hour late to the first social get-together of the LGBT+ society, because I'm focusing lights on a theatre show, but apart from that...)

I found a perfect place; it's open til ten, it is primarily a cafe so lots of coffee, but also hot meals and alcohol should people want that. Plus it's really near the drama school, so we know everyone can get to the area.

We've just been told we can have a society email account on the school network - win! I've spent my breaks today with my fellow founder making up posters to advertise the event, and my lovely mate who's very visually creative and good with technology is whipping us up something to show on the screens in the foyer on the loop of school announcements.

I've also contacted NUS LGBT Campaign to see if we can get their support.

It's crazy and I'm so excited about it all. I really hope we can make an impact on people's lives and really do something with this entity we're creating. I've got so many ideas, like fancy dress parties, club nights, pub quizzes, talks, events, just stuff stuff stuff!

Anyone got any other tips on what to do, or where to get resources?

Monday, 10 September 2012

How to run an LGBT society

News: I am collaborating with a friend to start my university's first LGBT society.

Question: ANY TIPS?? I feel a little worried I'm going to mess it up, so, dear blogosphere, help an ol' pal out. What can we do to make it not shit?

I've not run an lgbt society before, and it means a lot to me as a wannabe activist to get it right. I want it to be fun, celebrating being different, as well as social and gettingtoknowyou, as well as an opportunity to talk and discuss lgbt topics and issues, and even somewhere to go when there are problems, questions, and difficulties.

It feels like a huge ambition, and I want to make sure it runs smoothly, everyone enjoys themselves, and we can possibly make a difference. We are a smallish college, only about 800 students, 18yr olds to mature students, all on vocational degree/post-grad/MA courses for careers in music and drama. It's a talented, and mixed group from all round the world.

We're starting this Fresher's Week with a stall, and next week with a social get-together for people to find out about us. We're hoping to meet regularly and possibly have events and speakers. Hm, and we might organise club nights, and theatre trips, and other such relevant things...

What are the pitfalls to avoid, what is necessary, and what is likely to mean people like it and it continues? Any help would be much appreciated.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Guide to the Universe

HuffPost Gay Voices has posted an extract from the book I REALLY REALLY WANT but for years never dared to buy because my parents might find it around the house.

(OOH there's a good marketing idea, versions of The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe with different covers, like Dickens or something.)

Anyway, if you don't know of this book, look it up, it looks amazing (see the extract linked above - it's so true!). I'd forgotten all about it, so now that HPGV have reminded me, I may be about to open a tab and click on Amazon...

Also, follow HuffPost Gay Voices on FB or Twitter, it's great for all LGBT news.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Doctor Who - 'Just a phase' is not just a phrase

"First boy I ever fancied was called Rory...Actually she was called Nina. I was going through a phase. Just flirting to keep you cheerful."

^This is what we've got a problem with. This line.

My thoughts:

Whether Moffat meant to be flippant or not does not stop the line being harmful. The gag of calling Rory 'Nina' for the rest of the episode would have held if written differently without the 'phase' bit. It doesn't do us any good towards debunking the myth that all bisexuality is just a phase if a major show portrays the issue as such, and so casually, for a gag no less.

We're not in a place for it to be used comically yet, with bisexuality being misunderstood with lots of negative stereotypes by a wide portion of both straight and gay populations. We're not there yet, whilst bisexuals still have the highest rate of depression and suicide in LGB.

My dad is a liberal inclusive person who has no problem with non-heteronormative sexualities or genderqueer identities, but even he as a middle class straight white man felt obliged to tell me it was fine if it was just a phase when I came out to him as bisexual. He should not have felt he needed to say that, and it is because the culture still marries the two things together (bisexuality and going through a phase) that my own father made me cry by saying the one thing I was shit scared about my parents saying in response to finding out about my bisexuality, which he never intended to do; he was shocked and upset at my reaction, never having intended to be negative. We are fighting everyday ignorance like this.

I am no longer scared by that response, simply because I know it to be false with no shadow of a doubt - my bisexuality is not a phase. But other young people, like I was before I was completely out, are growing up like I did, surrounded by this misconception that straight and gay people hold that bisexuals are just going through a phase and will end up on a 'side' at some point.

This is generally not the case, and the assumption that it is is damaging for people who are bi and uninformed except for these culturally accepted perceptions. It's not a surprise that lots of bi's get depressed and suicidal if their culture, supported by popular media, tells them that what they are feeling is not possible, or true, and is definitely going to change.

I assume Moffat was just trying to be funny, but he cannot go around using queerness in his writing without being properly informed on the impact of how he is writing it. Ignorance of the baggage behind 'just a phase' does not excuse him from the damage it does by perpetuating the misconception. It may not seem like a big deal to those who do not have to face a society telling them that what they identify as does not actually exist, but 'just a phase' is not just a phrase. It is a hurtful, harmful weapon that should not be tolerated in popular media until we're in a very different place culturally. In today's campaign for understanding and acceptance of bisexuality, it is the equivalent of 'it's unnatural' or 'it's perverted' was in late 20th century campaign for the understanding and acceptance for homosexuality.

Homosexuality was seen as a social problem that encouraged promiscuity, and now that has shifted to bisexuality. Homosexuality was seen as something that could be cured, and now bisexuality is also seen as something transient.

We are at the third stage of our battle for equality - first G, then L, now  B, and once bisexuality is as easily accepted as homosexuality, the T's will come to the fore. But for the moment, it is our turn. And Moffat is supporting the opposing side, even if it is unwittingly.


Further to my thoughts, here are some of my favourite quotes I've found around the web:

"It is a phrase with a shit ton of baggage and someone thinking they can get away with saying it on one of the most widely viewed shows (a family show nonetheless) in the world is rather disgusting."

"reinforcing about every parent's mindset that their gay/bi/pan child is just “going through a phase” isn't good."

"do you think it was added in so that bisexual young people could be reassured that what they’re feeling is legitimate and normal? Nope! It’s added in so that she has that saucy bit of forbidden naughtiness in her past that in no way affects her sexuality now."

"that kind of writing treats bi/pan-sexuality like a joke, like a funny little quip, like "oh look we're so progressive this character had a fling with someone of the same gender, they're so quirky and cool," and it trivialises something that is actually kind of a big deal for a lot of people."

"she says it to rory, to flirt with him. cause girl on girl is only a tool to turn guys on right?"