Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bi The Way comes to London

Bi The Way, a US documentary looking at attitudes to bisexuality in America, is finally coming to the UK. It will be at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on March 30th and April 3rd. Online booking opens next Monday March 3rd, unless you are a BFI member when you can book by post now.

Now, no doubt this discussion will be very old news to people reading this who live in the US, where it has been blogged about ad nauseam – so what are your thoughts? Have you seen this film?

Because, although there is very little in the way of bi films out there (the first-ever bi doco at the LLGF as far as I can remember), this one doesn’t sound particularly entrancing.

Of course, any film/book/TV programme that is meant to represent an almost entirely unrepresented (in the sense of analysis, rather than 'phwoar') group can’t possibly win completely. But my hackles do rise when I read: "is bisexuality having a media fad or is the 'whatever' generation having its own sexual revolution"?

But, more than anything, it was the comprehensive shredding on it by the thoughtful blog Bi-Furious that makes me wary.

Anyway, ticket provision willing, I’ll be seeing it and reporting back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Falling in love with love

I had the first inklings that I was bisexual when I was about 10. My parents had gone to a school meeting and I had refused to go next door to be babysat.

Anyway, I was lying on my stomach watching one of the 1930s films you could see on the TV then. It was an operetta-style musical: it might have been Rose-Marie, or perhaps Maytime. But in any event it starred Jeanette MacDonald.

Oh I thought. Oh… that lady is so beautiful.

It was something to do with the way she sang, the way she held her head back and half-closed her eyes. Her eyelids were luminescent. Shiny eyeshadow, I imagine, although I didn’t know that then.

I thought there was something magic about her, transcendent, utterly unobtainable. And that was what I was looking for. That was what I felt for a little boy I had loved (silently) before. She cast a spell on me, with her eyelids and that clear, high voice. There was, too, the way she stared mysteriously at someone or something the audience couldn't see.

I saw another film of hers on the big screen a few months ago: Love Me Tonight. Damn, I thought, I was right. Jeanette MacDonald really was that gorgeous.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is there a ‘bisexual’ in LGBT history month?

Well no, probably not. This February's UK-based yearly event is, as in all other years, probably entirely “b” free.

A trawl through the website (10% of the 367 events anyway, before I got bored) indicates nothing specifically bi. There are lots of events where bi people could well be included among all-encompassing “gay” events. But nothing to imply that bisexuality might have a history in and of itself.

Anyone who might think it does could do worse than look at the links to this blog’s history posts. I have listed them on the right of this page. History is my thing, you see (well one of them! I am bi, I have lots!).

The ever-active Jen Yockney posted on bimedia.org that there was just one event with a bi speaker. This happened last week – but on a Tuesday morning!

Who do I blame?
Well, not the organisers. They publicise the events, it seems, they don’t arrange or commission them. This is a great “month” to put on, regardless.

A society that thinks that bi people in the past were really gay? So therefore to see bi people separately is simply wrong? Possibly.

A bi community that has shrivelled away, so that putting on any events is asking a lot of a very small number of people? Not really.

It’s true, too, that lesbian and gay history (particularly gay men) is much more documented than bi history. It can (and often does, and certainly used to) take in anyone interested in same-sex.

So I am left with no one to vent my frustration on. Ideas, anyone?

Moving on
I kind of think this shouldn’t happen next year. There ought to be at least a few more events on bisexuality throughout the ages. So who would run it? Get money for speakers’ expenses? Any ideas? It would be interesting, no?

At any rate, I promise to do a few more bi history posts on here this month. I do, I really do.

PS I went on a work-sponsored “writing for the web” course today. And I am tailoring this piece accordingly. Can you tell the difference between this and what I have written before, dearest regular readers? This piece seems very tabloidesque to me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bisexuals on YouTube

Of course – I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before: bisexual videos on YouTube. I mean, everything else is there: high school productions of Carousel; salsa bands from the early 70s; women showing you how to put your hair up in a retro style (although I failed to follow her instructions properly and ended up with a frizz); the new make-up correspondent for the Guardian; and lectures on this, that and the other.

So, naturally enough, there’s bi stuff. There are 36 bi “manifestos” - this, for instance.

Then there’s “the bisexual kid” who has posted a whole series of videos (maybe dozens) about being a bisexual teenager. This one’s about coming out. I am a bit nervous for The Kid – he’s clearly very young, and thousands of people have seen his YouTube vids. This one has 533 comments. Still, what he is doing is, I’m sure, really valuable for isolated kids his age. I just hope the creeps/psychos/homophobes don’t track him down.

What do you think? Is he too young to be doing this? Brave, or foolhardy? I feel kind of uncomfortable when I see the still from his video posted below.

At a rather different point in the age-range, a woman asked if she was “too old to come out at 46”. This seems to be a TV advice programme: Sound Advice with Marcia and Dr Rick.

Actually, I rather fancy doing a series of videos myself… We’ll see,