Thursday 31 May 2007

Making a journal of record...

The amazing thing about BCN is how much bloody stuff is in it.

I've caught a few moaning minnies in the past complaining that it's only 12 pages long most issues. But we notch up the best part of 1,000 words a page, perhap 8-9,000 an issue. The g3's and Diva's of this world would spread that out over many more pages, and fill a lot of the difference with advertising (cynics would say this then leaves them in hock to their advertisers so they can't always say what needs to be said about the gay scene).

Wednesday 30 May 2007

Stonewall are at it again

Stonewall's newly published "Living Together" report into British attitudes to lesbians and gay men is drawing lots of flak on one of the LGBT email lists I read, due to the lack of trans inclusion in their research.

Now, Stonewall are an LGB organisation not LGBT so to my mind it's quite right that covering trans in their reports, except incidentally, is not something any of us should expect. However, just as with their "Tuned Out" report last year, this is not an LGB document; it's a lesbian and gay one. The "b" word appears twice in one paragraph and that is all, which seems to me a missed opportunity given that (I suspect) perceptions of and attitudes towards bisexual people may well be different than those toward lesbians and gay men, and in particular may show marked gender differences.

Tuned Out at least noted in passing that Stonewall's media monitoring did not spot any representation of bisexuality at all. "Living Together" doesn't go that far, and just as with Tuned Out, in this report the recommendations are entirely in terms of lesbians and gay men.

Stonewall has developed a reputation in bi circles over many years as only including the "B" on the bit where they ask you for money. That's not entirely true: lobbying work from the bi community has got some bi content onto their website recently for example -- but they do seem to lapse back into LG terribly often.

Monday 28 May 2007

The Joy of Interviews

A while ago I was interviewed about bi activism for the British Psychological Society Lesbian & Gay Journal. It was a rollicking long thing, about seven pages of their magazine got filled with it.

Then today I got interviewed again, this time by a student journalist doing coursework which may yet get into print somewhere.

Those encounters reminded me somewhat of when I was first coming out. Back then I started - somewhat sarkily - to compile a mental checklist of replies to the usual questions. The idea being you could tell someone you were bi and hand them a crib sheet with the answers to the inevitable questions pre-prepared, possibly even in order.

No, I don't fancy you.
Yes, you are attractive, but no, I don't fancy you.
Since I was about eleven.
Slightly more into girls right now but that's not what it's about, and it kind of varies over time.
Cider, thanks.
He might be, but I hope he isn't.
I don't know.

The thing is, behind the sarky plan for a reply, something rather useful was going on. The first few people I told, I was actually telling myself as well as them. They would ask questions which I had edged around inside my own head but could always duck away from, but confronted with someone else asking, had to come to an answer. Even if later I worked out that answer had been wrong, it pushed me to stop faffing about and act like I had some kind of idea.

Interviews now are a bit like that. Why did you get involved, what motivated you, what keeps you doing it now. When you've been doing something long enough it's easy to get so close up to the cliff face that you forget to step back and remind yourself what it is all about.

Hopefully the act of stepping back and blogging about it will help to throw some of the "why" into relief. Heck, that might prove interesting for the reader, too.