What I shall do this post is share important news about bisexual and overall LGBTI issues.
Firstly and most pressingly, within 24 hours the Ugandan parliament will vote on what is being called the “Kill the Gays” bill. I have written about the situation in Uganda for “kuchu” people before (Bisexevil: Uganda, Hate in Focus). It’s important to make all of our voices heard on this issue, putting pressure wherever we can (on our own governments regarding aid and loans, and directly on the Ugandan government via petitions and media).
Full human rights must be afforded to all Ugandan citizens, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. This petition is taking signatures now – very short and simple, making it easy to do the right thing!
UPDATE: less than 12 hours to go to the parliamentary vote.
Here is another petition that is aiming to reach 1 million signatures:
“To President Museveni of Uganda, Members of the Review Committee, Parliament, and donor governments:
We stand with citizens across Uganda who are calling on their government to withdraw the Anti-Homosexual Bill, and to protect the universal human rights embodied in the Ugandan constitution. We urge Uganda’s leaders and donors to join us in rejecting persecution and upholding values of justice and tolerance.”
☮ ☯ ☮
Also, there is a brilliant article distributed via the Associated Press highlighting the bisexual struggle for respect and recognition. It finally brings to wide public attention key issues facing bisexuals in nations in North America and Europe specifically, but also in other parts of the world. The article begins by focusing on the marriage of two bisexual women:
"For the last 13 years, Lindasusan Ulrich has been in a committed relationship with the same woman. The couple have married three times, twice before it was legal in California and once while it briefly was. But if acquaintances were to assume Ulrich and her wife, Emily Drennen, are lesbians, they would be wrong. They identify as bisexuals and are proud of it.
“This doesn't mean their sexual orientation hasn't presented challenges. Even in a do-as-you-like city such as San Francisco, the women have found bisexuals to be a misunderstood and often overlooked minority. During the state's 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriages, they forcefully reminded gay rights leaders -- in the form of a cake decorated with the words Having Our Cake and Eating It Too! Bisexuals Exist! -- that political advertising and fundraising appeals referring only to gay and lesbian couples did not encompass their imperilled union.
It's a unique identity as opposed to half one and half the other
…said Ulrich, a 41-year-old writer and musician who recently authored a report on ‘bisexual invisibility’ for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
“The commission unanimously adopted the report, and that could prove a significant step, said Denise Penn, director of the American Institute of Bisexuality.
“Because San Francisco takes its commitment to gay and lesbian rights so seriously, shining a spotlight on the hostility bisexuals sometimes encounter from gay men and lesbians could help ease one of the most painful aspects of having a bisexual identity, Penn said.
"’People don't trust bisexuals, and I've heard some really, really nasty stuff’, Penn said. ‘Oh, you are going to just go back and hide in your straight world.' Bisexuals are (seen as) tourists in the community, opportunists’."
“As gay, lesbian and transgender people have succeeded in putting their fight for equality front and centre in American politics, bisexuals -- the often forgotten B in the LGBT rainbow -- have been waging their own fight for recognition. From adopting a bisexual pride flag and commemorating Sept. 23 as bisexual pride day to urging researchers and government agencies to treat bisexuality as a distinct category, activists who acknowledge their attractions to both men and women say they want to assert their existence.
More Americans identify as bisexual than as gay or lesbian
“In promoting their not-insignificant ranks, activists point out that a UCLA demographer estimated last month that slightly more Americans self-identify as bisexual than as gay or lesbian. But the activist argue their task is complicated by stereotypes of bisexuals as fickle sex fiends, the difficulty in pinning down who counts as bisexual, and discrimination from both the straight and gay communities.
“‘Even people who would not feel comfortable saying bad things about gay or lesbian people feel comfortable trashing bi people,’ said Robyn Ochs, a veteran bisexual activist in Boston [who married long-time partner, Peg Preble, on the first day same-sex marriage was allowed in Massachusetts, May 17, 2004].
“Johnny Fesenko, 42, a computer programmer in San Francisco, said that contrary to popular belief and jokes about male fantasies involving threesomes, living as a bisexual can sometimes feel like the worst of all worlds instead of the best of both. Gay friends and potential partners tell him his interest in women is just a phase. He's had straight women refuse to date him because he's not ‘a real man’. He once was punched in the face while walking with a boyfriend in Manhattan, he said.
"’It's almost like being called an atheist -- you would rather call yourself agnostic because there is such a stigma associated with it,’ Fesenko said.
“Despite the inherent obstacles, activists point to signs of progress. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, one of the nation's largest gay rights groups, a few years ago started holding bisexual-specific meetings and panels. Students at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota have established groups for bisexuals. Out & Equal, a San Francisco-based organization that advocates for workplace rights for gays, last year sponsored an international survey aimed at uncovering on-the-job issues that bisexuals face.“