As September is viewed as Bisexuality month and the 23rd to be exact as Bisexuality Day in most sections of the world with particular emphasis in the United States probably with the exception of the United Kingdom that incorporates bisexual issues in the LGBT history month of February while outside in the rest of the LGBT history is reviewed in October the “B” in the seemingly overused coinage LGBT to represent a farcically unified front seems missing in the agitations around the globe for gay marriage rights, buggery law challenges and or repulsions and basic recognitions for same gender loving visibility and respect but what about fluidity and freedoms of sexual expressions?. The cry even from more established territories on same sex matters is also loud as bisexual activists complain of invisibility or oversight by the more cemented and vocal gay and lesbian advocates that inadvertently put their issues infront of the other groups including transgender and intersex persons as well.
Are these gay and lesbian groups guilty including our local one JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays of bi-phobia by default by simply overlooking (bi-invisibility) the “B” in our supposed alliance when confronting the opposing mainstream mob who are bent on cementing their view of morality on the world?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES in my book but as a concerned gay activist and blogger that tries to incorporate the groups on two of my three blogs it would be presumptuous to think I can speak for bisexuals and their issues definitively and forthrightly when they are quiet as well or feel they won’t be heard or acknowledged by us as our agenda is tantamount to theirs. The best I can do is to encourage the discourse while sharing facts on that side of the fence and how some of their issues cross cut with ours. There is a feeling that bisexuals can simply morph into the heterosexual mainstream and rid themselves of the stigmatization that exclusively same gender loving folks face barring the effeminate or masculine behaviours and aesthetics presented via the respective opposite sexes. The views in the few places where the issues relating to bisexuality and how the gay community relate to our double gender loving brothers and sisters have come up for mention show some serious backlash with all kinds of presuppositions about them, everything from them being disease carriers to wanting too much or having their cake and eating it too. The deep mistrust issues that abound are disturbing to me and with some issues stereotyped as gay issues to include the downlown or clandestine homosexuality as gays hiding as straight individuals when they very well could be naturally attracted to both sexes. The gay versus straight debate takes up so much time in the public domain that we forget that there is a link to our bi folk who have their own sets of issues to contend chief among them our stigma towards them.
JFLAG certainly over the thirteen years of its existence has not tackled or represented this group under their “Allsexuals” umbrella but if we can’t get engaging, frontline and a democratically developed solutions in moving forward then what are we to expect from them? Bisexuals are going to have to speak up and loudly for us and by extension the mainstream to hear and this is sad. Groups like JFLAG ought to realise that it has to step up to the plate and do what is says it’s here to do or don’t bother at all but when others try to branch out and diversify the work the politics of the day and the incestuous systems obstructs the attempts so our advocates are also our impediment as well. Sad.
Some of the most famous and accomplished black bisexual people in history as suggested by a writer from the UK paper the Examiner. Everyone who made the list has had an impact on society in their respective field to include our very own Grace Jones although she does not like to be categorised.
1. Alvin Ailey – choreographer/dancer (autobio Revelations)
2. Josephine Baker – singer, actress, dancer (bio by Baker & Chase)
3. Countee Cullen — poet (library named after him in Harlem, Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)
4. Lee Daniels — director/producer of Precious and producer of Monster’s Ball (out, NY Times Magazine Oct 25, 2009)
5. Michael Jackson – singer/songwriter (bio by Ian Halperin)
6. Grace Jones – singer (out)
7. June Jordan – writer, activist (out)
8. Orlando Jordan – pro wrestler (out)
9. Hattie McDaniel – actress (“Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. Bio of lover Tallulah Bankhead by David Bret, bio of Paul Newman by Porter.)
10. Me’shelle Ndegeochello — singer/songwriter (out, former relationships with father of her son and bi writer Rebecca Walker, daughter of bi writer Alice Walker)
11. Prince – singer/songwriter/producer (most likely: see lyrics to Controversy, Sexuality, and Jack U Off)
12. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey – singer (Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)
13. Little Richard – singer/musician (out, autobio)
14. Roy Simmons – pro football player (out, Out Jan 2006, autobio)
15. Bessie Smith – singer (bio by Chris Albertson)
16. Alice Walker – writer/activist, The Color Purple (out)
17. Rebecca Walker – writer, daughter of Alice Walker (out
There are certainly a few other local personalities that come to mind but for now let us stick to Grace Jones as she has hinted to it on a few occasions publicly here is Grace subtly addressing bisexuality on an Australian current affairs program “Day by Day” in 1985.
Here is my two cents on the issue in audio format:
see more on sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger: Bisexuality Day is September 23 ….
Let us hope in the near future something can be done about that either by them despite the insulation or some other group, organization or individuals. Celebrate yourselves anyway my BI-FRIENDS.
“Bisexuality erodes the border between homo- and hetero-sexuality, but it is a boundary that society is heavily invested in maintaining” — Stephanie Fairyington “Bisexuality and the Case Against Dualism” The Gay & Lesbian Review, Summer 2005
Peace and tolerance