Tag Archives: Bisexual

Manchester Pride: a parade for the privileged?

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It’s easy to see Manchester pride as a massive success: it’s one of the few Prides which is omnipresent throughout the city attracting people from across the UK and wider – amazing! But this year made us question whether Pride in and of itself is intrinsically valuable to the LGBT+ community.

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Are you the woman we’ve been looking for?

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Orange is the New Black Season 2: Episode 1. ‘Thirsty Bird’

Orange is the New Black is back. After binge watching Season Two as quickly as we could we thought we’d recap the episodes to hold on to it for a little bit longer.

Oh Orange.

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I went to Hamburg Pride 2013 and it was awesome!

Hello, rainbow friends!

As part of my summer holidays/travel shenanigans this year I went to Christopher Street Day Hamburg (or Pride for short) and I have lived to tell the tale! And show you lots of pictures, of course.

Let’s start with some stats: Hamburg is a city in Northern Germany and is known for having a big-ass harbour (one of the 20 biggest world-wide). Tourists tend to forget about Hamburg, because Berlin exists, even though it is Germany’s second biggest city as well as the biggest city in the EU that is not a capital. So yes, it does have a respectable gay scene. 😉

Another fun fact: Hamburg had a gay mayor from 2001 until 2010, Ole von Beust. He was outed in 2003 accidentally by his father, but he didn’t mind. And apparently it also didn’t harm his political career, as he was re-elected twice afterwards. He also participated in Hamburg Pride 2009!

But let’s move on to this year’s Pride, shall we?

This was actually the first proper Pride March I had ever been to! I have been to CSD Münster last year, buuut it was rather small affair, so I was pretty excited to see what a “real”, big Pride looks like. And what can I say… It was absolutely amazing! The weather was really nice (eventually), there were fantastic costumes, the music was great and people were dancing in the streets. I really don’t have much else to say, other than that I had a fantastic time and was really happy to see so many diverse, proud and politically active people.

So without further ado, why don’t you have a look at the pictures below to get a better impression? You could just scroll through them, but I also wrote some extra info in the captions and translated all the German signs and banners, so just click on the first photo to start a slideshow and learn a bit more about the event. Enjoy!

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Heteronormativity: The Invisibility Curse of the Bi Person

One of the things some people in the closet may not realise is that once you’re out, you have to keep coming out. All. The. Time.

Really, this is true of any sexual identity, even the 100% straight and the flamboyantly gay stereotype. And really, in the long term, it’s a good thing if everyone has to do it. It shows that we’re moving past our assumptions, like we are by asking people what pronoun they would like to be referred to by, or whether or not they like chocolate cake (you’d be surprised how often that’s an assumption).

Photo by: 'freakgirl': http://bit.ly/1bixI8t

Photo by: ‘freakgirl’: http://bit.ly/1bixI8t

And you know, heteronormativity isn’t just an inconvenience. It hurts. It hurts because the erasure of parts of your sexual identity shows on your friends’ faces; that they don’t recognise parts of you, like that part belongs to an imposter, or worse, a poser. I imagine this experience is not unique to me, and not unique to identifying as bisexual, but I’m just going to speak for the experience I’ve had.

Heteronormativity hurts all the more for the femme, bi woman. Or just that bi person who doesn’t dress towards the gay stereotype for their gender. Why? Because the ability to participate in society, in your family life, in your social life, as a person attracted to the traditionally opposed gender makes you (the real you) feel all the more invisible to those you love, all the more guilt ridden, all the more fake, all the more closeted, all the more sidelined in the event you make yourself explicit.

guilt

One of the symptoms of this, which many bi women I know suffer from, is Man-Guilt: the guilt you feel from seeing, dating or sleeping with someone who identifies as a man, because of the conviction of self-imposed erasure you place upon yourself. You feel like you are betraying all the effort you’ve put into coming out. Personally, I don’t suffer heavily from Man-Guilt thanks to the loving long-term relationship I’ve been blessed with, and all the support and security that has come with it. However, this is not a mild symptom; I have comforted some friends through seriously depressing periods of this guilt, which, coupled with the insecurity of externally imposed erasure, can come out pretty debilitating.

Having part of your identity placed as subordinate to it’s other half, in my opinion, is worse than having that whole aspect ignored completely. I would rather be viewed as a puritanical victorian prude woman (read: does not have a sexuality) than as simply straight with that extra bit that we don’t talk about (ssssssh).

So when you’re next faced with a heteronormative challenge, whether it’s coming out to whom feels like the millionth person, again, or having your family ask you when you’re going to bring a nice <insert traditionally opposed gender here> home, spare a thought for those who might have less certainty, less security than you in that same circumstance; I know I’m sparing a thought for you.

 

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Making our cake and eating it too!

Cake has feature heavily in the history of LGBT+ communities.

Firstly you have the idea that being bisexual is having your cake and eating it (with the implications sometimes being that bisexuals are indiscriminate, greedy or lazy) which while some bisexuals have embraced the cake idea, some, other have wanted to get the hell away from it.

The other group which has totally jumped on the cake wagon (nom…cake wagon…) is the online asexual community. AVEN welcomes new members with cake, even though no one is quite sure where it comes from it has become one of the symbols of asexuality.

well it does look a really good cake.

Also cake is just generally awesome. I don’t think I could love someone who didn’t love cake. So I pleaded to be allowed to post about baking on this blog, because it really should be part of our agenda if it is not already. And I have some recipes and ideas that may make it  more likely.

Numbero UNO: RAINBOW CAKE!!

Why hello ladies...I am a tasty cake.

Why hello ladies…I am a tasty cake.

Yes. A cake which is a rainbow. This has also been called “pride cake” or “mystery cake” (when covered in plain icing.) It is super simple and super tasty. It could also be really easily adapted for whatever pride flag or colours you like.

You will need:

  • 2 x 20cm cake pans (or different sizes but you may need to adjust timings)
  • Food colourings (paste or liquid) red, yellow, blue, purple (hard to mix), green and orange if you like but they come out ok when mixed.
  • Plain icing (packet or be fancy and do a frosting)
  • 200g each of: self raising flour, caster sugar, soft butter,
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
  • 4 eggs beaten

Make it:

  1. Turn oven to 190/gas mark 5 (slightly less for fan ovens)
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl. Beat until it is soft and smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 smaller bowls and add food colourings. The colours will be stronger when it is cooked but don’t make them too weak, unless you really like your pastels.
  4. Go wild! Splodge the mixture into pre-greased tins or silicone pans. Don’t worry about prettiness here.
  5. Pop in the oven on the middle shelf for 20 mins (check the first time you make it as it may take a little more or less time. Check by using a clean skewer, if it comes out clean it is done.)
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool on a cooking rack. Don’t eat it yet.
  7. If you are doing a double layer cake when it is cool, sandwich the two together with jam/buttercream/nutella/whatever you like.
  8. Otherwise, once it is cool cover it in your plain icing as a disguise and decorate as you wish.
  9. Serve it to your friends and allow your cake to “come out” and show its true colours!
  10. EAT.

I will be back again if people want be to be exploring my adventures making macarons in different flavours (more pictures next time!)

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Glasgow Pride: our top picks!

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Pride is always a fabulous day! Here are hots and nots from Glasgow Pride 2013

The top 5 hot topics of this Pride:

1. Equal Marriage: the discussion started almost two years ago now, yet it just hasn’t happened! Hurry up Mr. Salmond….

2. Russia: in light of new laws and various state endorsed (or at least ignored) atrocities Russia is featured on a number of placards to remind us that our queer struggle stretches across the world.

3. Independence: the all-round hot topic in Scotland. Both Yes Scotland and Better Together made their appearance, each presenting brighter futures for queers in Scotland.

4. Religion: whether it’s religions saying that they will accept queer members of the faith, or queers protesting religious intolerance: everyone has something to say about it!

5. Feminism: there were lots more placards displaying feminist messages this year – yay!

The top 5 ‘not for next years’:

1. Charity stalls:  I cannot see you for all the beer! In 2012 the charity stalls were right along the edge of the stage. There were dancing folk literally falling into charitable activities, and this is what I like. Next year, don’t hide them!

2. Parade: Pride is a protest. It’s here to remind everyone what we’re fighting for. Don’t call it a parade, because that makes people think of balloons and carnival queens… And makes others question the point. Which leads me onto another point…

3. Silence: or more accurately the sound of people chatting amongst themselves and I like to imagine wondering why they’re going on a really long, slow walk. The point of Pride is to be big, brave, loud: sending the clear message we’re here, we’re queer and we will not live in fear. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for poignant silences to remember those who have been victims of hate crime. But seriously the majority of the march was chitter chatter. Get your chant on!

4. Pervs: hi there I’m a person, I have thoughts and feelings and everything! You’re gawping. At my ass. No seriously, your mouth is open. Leave me alone. Now, my fellow queers, if you like a woman go up and chat to her, don’t just creep from a distance, it makes everyone really uncomfortable.

5. Queens of Pop in AXM: just gross.

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THE GAY AGENDA IS PROUD: CAITY

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

My name is Caity, or Caitlyn if you met me online before in the real world. I’m 22 in 2013 and I was born and raised predominantly in Australia, but am not very good at sitting still.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I got involved as I’m an avid blogger and love communicating with people through this medium. I thought my sexuality would be a new angle for my blogging, as my primary blog is about law and politics over at Stateless Diplomat. Plus, I hope I can add these angles in here.

What do you write about?

Law, politics and bisexuality. All of these are central to me 🙂

What do you do in real life?

I’m studying a joint honours MA in Law and International Relations, drinking f**k loads of tea and travelling.

Why is Pride important to you?

Pride as in the idea, not the event, is important to me because as someone whose sexuality can be easily erased or halved it’s something that keeps me sane, and gives me a feeling of belonging with the whole proud community. My pride keeps me secure in who I am, and is something I can share with my LGBT+ friends in a kind of mutually-refueling sort of way. I also think Pride as a protest is still hugely important to our social development, and a great experience for those who love it.

I’ve never been to a Pride parade, as I’m not one for loud street events. They scare me a little.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

Purple and Proud

What’s your Pride soundtrack?

Spice up your Life – The Spice Girls

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the little toe I have out of the closet, and all the anxiety and fear I’ve overcome to get the support I have. I’m proud of the UK moving forward on equality, and of Scotland leading the way.

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My Bisexual Closet

I have a problem. I have a very small room and sliiightly more clothes than I have storage space. I realised recently that I have this issue partly because I have hoarding problems, but mostly because like me, my wardrobe is bisexual.

I mean, everyone has different styles of dressing:  casual, smart, work, clothes you only wear around the house and maybe to the Co-op, clothes you will literally never wear again but have emotional significance and so you can’t throw them out (unless that’s just me, did I mention my hoarding issues?), summer/winter clothes, sports clothes etc etc, and onesies, of course.  But it somehow escaped my notice that since coming out, subconsciously, and sometimes not so subconsciously, I dress differently depending on the gayness of the situation.

Photo by Bill Keaggy: http://bit.ly/15KWEDy

Photo by Bill Keaggy: http://bit.ly/15KWEDy

I realised the extent of  these chameleon tendencies when I was trying to explain to someone (straight) how what is considered attractive is different on the scene than it is by straight people (which is a whollle other post!). I have clothes I always wear out on the scene and there are clothes I would pretty much only wear when going out to straight clubs, and go-to outfits for both situations. I dress differently when I’m with my straight pals or my gay pals. Sometimes very differently, like heels vs kicks, sometimes it’s just little things, like wearing a bracelet. This might make zero sense to a lot of you, but I hope it will for some of you, because in my typical cognitive dissonance style, I didn’t even realise I was doing it.

Sometimes dressing ‘straight’ is almost easier, actually. Hair down, put some make up on, and if I want to look fit wear heels and a dress. Simple. It’s almost like a uniform, in some ways.  I know what’s expected of me.  I know what the scale people will be judging me on and I know how to fit in.

On the other hand out on the scene there is such a variety of styles and gender expressions, it feels more personal. People really notice what you’re wearing.  You can fit in by standing out. Also shoes. If you have cool kicks out on the scene, you’re made!  Maybe it’s because the LGBT community is so important to me that I (over) think more about how I dress on the scene. All I know (and am trying to figure out why) is that although I sometimes love getting dressed up in heels and dresses, I’ve never really worn them out on the Scene. (That could just be because I like dancing like an idiot with my pals on the scene and heels are just impractical for jumping in).

These are excellent shoes.... Photo by Anna Fischer: http://bit.ly/13DC48G

These are excellent shoes….

Photo by Anna Fischer: http://bit.ly/13DC48G

The last two proper nights out I’ve had in the last 6 weeks (as opposed to my regular post work I-hate-my-job-drinking)  I’ve worn

a) a dress, heels, and a leather jacket

b) coloured skinny jeans, Nike kicks, a t-shirt, denim shirt and a hoody

And I feel exactly like me in both of these, and I love it.  And that’s just it. I’m not really dressing differently for other people, I’m dressing differently for me. For how I feel in each situation.  And yet it is to do with other people. Because as I typed that I realised that of course, this chameleon-ness is all about other people. It’s about acceptance and fitting in and being recognised and of course that affects how I feel.  And although it annoys me to admit it (because of the patriarchy), I do dress more stereotypically ‘feminine’ in straight clubs or if going somewhere with a boy.  And I probably lean more ‘tomboy- ish’ out on the scene (side note I also could write about twelve million words about how much I hate how clothes are prescribed  gender). But it’s all ridiculous, because for starters, I don’t feel any more or less ‘feminine’ in either of those outfits. It’s just all fairly instinctive and I just feel like me. And besides, I look the same underneath, whatever I wear.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Brittany

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride, we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

Brittany – I was born and raised in Devon, UK. I’m half German and also I’m part Scottish/English and I’m 19.

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I love to write, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to write about something I feel really strongly about. I want to become more involved within the LGBT+ community as I was never able to before having grown up in a somewhat homophobic area.

What do you write about?

For the Gay Agenda, I tend to write about gender and sexuality, however, I am more than happy to widen that to include art, music and religion, as I am pretty involved with all of that.

What do you do in real life?

I am an artist pretending to be a scientist. I am studying Developmental Biology/Biochemistry. I work in a museum, I write for the Gay Agenda as well as short stories and novellas. I’m an artist and I do take commissions for virtually anything and I’m an archer and I compete for the University of Edinburgh. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with this life, but I’m going to keep as many options open as I can. I’m just trying to make my way in the world and stay as far away from the past as I possibly can.

She really is an artist, look!

She really is an artist, look!

Why is Pride important to you?

Having never been to a Pride, the following questions aren’t as easy to answer, however, I’d say that the meaning behind it is particularly important – the message that we should be proud, or at least happy, with being who we are and not having to hold back or hide ourselves from the world. It would be idealistic to be able to not have any worries about not being straight and I only hope that Pride and anything to do with that will help us move in that direction, as I’m sure we all know, we are far from that. I think Pride is potentially a fantastic way of allowing people to accept themselves for whom they are and what they want to do – or at least, that’s what I’d love to get out of a Pride.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

I’d say that the best thing I’d like to get out of going to Pride would be to meet more people of varying sexualities, I don’t know how I’ve managed to do this, but I literally do not know anyone that isn’t straight. It would be so refreshing to meet some people that I can relate to, especially in regard to actually coming out (I haven’t really come out to anyone and so I’m still trying to figure out how to go about that.) I’m sure just being able to not have any walls up around other people would be lovely as I have never been able to let my guard down too much. The worst thing about a Pride? I can imagine that you can come across some people that are narrow minded about being something other than completely gay and that would worry me, as I identify as one of the many sexualities in the middle. I’m sure they’re relatively few, but I have known of (at least) in the past a few people that are “straight/bi/pan-phobic”.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

I’d definitely say that I’d like to have either a camera or a sketchpad and graphite. I’d love to keep photos of whatever happens as I’m sure it’d be such an amazing time, but if that doesn’t work out, if it doesn’t irritate too many people – I’d sit there and sketch people as they’re having a drink (or several).

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

I’d have to really think about that; all I know is that I’d have to include “Never be defeated” in there.

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Roses – Poets of the Fall, it may seem a little random, but it is one of my favourite songs (and bands) and it’s always managed to brighten up my day.

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

We’ll see soon, I hope!

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