Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bis thriving in Australia

Often, I worry that I come across as a bit miserabilist. Well – not this time. Because thanks to a commenter on my last post, I’ve been reading Thriving as a Bisexual or Queer Woman: Tips on how to flourish.

A great antidote to all the (sadly true) stuff about bis having bad mental health etc, this booklet does exactly what it says on the cover and tells you how a range of Australian women who identify as bi or queer are thoroughly enjoying life.
According to the 20 women interviewed by Mary Heath and Ea Mulligan, having a network of close, bi-accepting open-minded friends, involvement in bi groups and organisations, involvement in a bi community, coming out, personal strength and honesty, living passionately, and (for most) having a sense of spirituality, were important to thriving. Makes sense, really.

Elsewhere in the world?
I did propose to a publisher once that I write a book called something like How To Be a Happy Bisexual. She “wasn’t sure how it would work” (different, yet somehow similar, to “there isn’t a market for it”). Not enough money to be made, no doubt.
This, though, is original research that seems to have been funded by the Australian Lesbian Medical Association (Wow! Do similar associations exist elsewhere in the world? That can give funding?) and Flinders university in Adelaide. You can download it as a pdf and it doesn’t cost you a penny. In its layout and design, it looks bright and positive too, so you get the message that way as well.
Lucky, lucky Aussies. I think perhaps it is a society where the things enabling you to thrive are easier to get than they are elsewhere. But I’m sure those of us in the rest of the world (and those who aren’t women too) can learn a lot from this. Download it, it really is inspirational.


Anonymous said...

Damn, once again, the ladies get all the goodies. I can count the number of bi-guy resources on my nose.

Good on 'ya!

Sue George said...

Yes - and those bi-guy resources probably have HIV-prevention written all over them. Not that HIV-prevention isn't essential, but what about, say, how to thrive as a happy bi guy? Dollars to doughnuts, there's no money to research that one.

Anonymous said...

The bis have been thriving in Australia for years. Another bi group with such a long life is Bi'cause in Paris.
The bi Aussies and the bi Parisians share a common interest along the line of "drink and be merry" that is more often than not frown upon by the American bi groups.
Net result: The "Social Drinks & Eat" of Bi NSW in Sydney and the Dinners and Bienvenue of Bi'cause in Paris are the longest running bi social anywhere in the world that I know of. American bi groups tend to focus on serious stuff which does not attract, and keep, much of a crowd these days. Exception to be noted of AMBI in Los Angeles which has "fun" events monthly.

Jen said...

Coo, that's very shiny! (fx: bookmarks to steal ideas from later)

Australia is also the only place I've heard of bis getting their muscle together enough to have a local bi group with membership cards that entitle people to discounts in gay saunas, bookshops and suchlike.