Thursday, February 17, 2011

20th Century Bi - Books and Links

Last Saturday (12th February) about 30 people came to Conway Hall in London for what was a really good bi history event. Sadly, Lindsay River was ill and so didn’t do her talk on creative women of the inter-war period, but Christian Klesse, Ian Watters and I were there. As well as the talk listed in the previous post, I did a personal memoir of the 70s. Nothing too personal...

Anyway, I said to people I would give a few links and notes about my talk Androgynous, Ambisextrous, or "enjoying all life's pleasures" - bisexuality before the sexual revolution - so here we are. I also have audio files of all the talks (from an Olympus voice recorder – won’t play on a Mac without some jiggery-pokery that I don't know about), plus printed versions of the talks that I did. Email me if you’d like them (my address is below my pic, on the right).

Books I mentioned
Queer London, by Matt Houlbrook: a truly excellent book about all sorts of man-man sexual behaviour from 1918-57.
The Secret World of Sex, by Steve Humphries: Oral histories of people in the UK before WW2, to accompany the 80s TV series of the same name.
Sex before the Sexual Revolution, by Simon Szreter and Kate Fisher: oral histories, plus analysis, of married couples in Britain who were sexually active before the 1960s. Recently out in paperback.
Fashioning Sapphism, by Laura Doan, looking at androgyny in the 1920s, and how the "masculine" fashions for women in the early part of that decade became connected with lesbianism after The Well of Loneliness prosecution.
Bisexual Love by Wilhelm Stekel. Originally published in 1922, this radical and almost unknown book has been digitally scanned and is available from Amazon!
Passionate Friendships, by Nerina Shute, in which she writes about her bisexuality and her relationships with women and men, was published in 1992. Nevertheless, it almost never appears on abebooks lists, or elsewhere on the second-hand market. I have only ever seen it in the British Library. Currently, there is one copy on Amazon for £29.50
There is more information about her in Shepperton Babylon, by Matthew Sweet – a great book for anyone interested in British cinema, bisexual or not.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

20th Century Bi - London's bisexual history event

February is LGBT history month in the UK and - as promised last year, and the year before - this year there WILL be a specifically bi history event (I think there may even be two. More details at the end of this post).

So... drum roll ... I am co-organising, and speaking at, an event in London called 20th century bi. (Great title, eh. Not my idea sadly, but that of my co-organiser Lisa Colledge.) Here's the details:

20th Century Bi
To mark the 30th anniversary of the bisexual community in the UK, this event will look at some of the big, bad, bold bis who made the 20th century great. A panel of speakers discusses 20th century bisexuals and bisexuality in Britain, as part of LGBT History Month.

Speakers are:

Sue George: Androgynous, ambisextrous, or “enjoying all life’s pleasures”: being bisexual before and after the sexual revolution

Christian Klesse: 'Re-writing the scripts of Love. The Critique of Monogamy, Polyamory and Bisexual Intimacies in the late 20th Century'

Lindsay River: Lesbian... or bisexual? The (mis)naming of creative women of the early 20th century

Ian Watters: Bisexuals at Pride: The somewhat partial story of bisexual involvement in the annual London Pride celebrations

Our individual talks will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

Everyone is welcome to this bi-positive event.

Saturday 12 February 2011
2.30 - 4.30 pm

Conway Hall (Bertrand Russell Room)
25 Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL
(nearest tube is Holborn)

Tickets £5 (£3 unwaged) from EventElephant here and at the door (all profits to BiCon Helping Hand Fund)

Wheelchair-accessible venue: for Conway Hall access details contact Carina on 0207 242 8032


There's also an event in Manchester on Feb 15th. It doesn't sound as specifically historical as ours, but nevertheless good stuff. This information is taken from Biphoria's website.

As part of LGBT History Month 2011, on Tuesday, 15 February we will have a special event to launch our new publication "Getting Bi in a Gay/Straight World". It will be at the Levenshulme Inspire centre, 747 Stockport Road, Levenshulme M19 3AR, from 7pm to 9pm. Come along, and if you have them, share your memories of bisexual Manchester.

Have a great LGBT History Month everyone, and I hope you will go to one of these events - bi or not - to celebrate our history.