Sunday 24 August 2008

Stealth counts more than gender

At Manchester Pride the easiest flyer to get people to take from the stall is the Love Counts More Than Gender ones I've produced. They're little more than a reprint of a 2005 bi flyer which promoted that year's BiCon, but the rainbow lettered slogan on a black background seems to get snapped up by people regardless of orientation, despite its implied bi-superiority connotations (to me at least, and perhaps I've over-thought the issue). The back tells you about national resources and events - BiFest, BCN etc, the usual things - rather than about Worcester BiCon 2005 which would look just a tad dated now.

In its great pickup rate across the Kinsey scale, I think this flyer may count as Stealth Bi Propaganda.

Monday 11 August 2008

Katy Perry: hero or villain?

Topping the charts in the USA and UK this week, Katy Perry’s single I Kissed A Girl has set the queer blogosphere alight in a way not seen since, er, gosh weren't T.a.T.u the last popsters to cause such "it's faux lesbianism to turn on 15 year old boys" delight in the tabloids and outrage in the pink press?

With lines like “I kissed a girl and I liked it… I hope my boyfriend won’t mind it… It felt so wrong, it felt so right” it might be an anthem for the bi-curious girlie. But then singing “No, I don’t even know your name. It doesn’t matter, You’re my experimental game” and a video of lipstick lesbian titillation will reinforce every gay scene stereotype of bisexuals as tourists who run back to the safety of mixed-gender relationships. Hell, at the end of the video, she even wakes up from all the soft-focus girlies to find herself in bed with her boy. And Perry’s track record with a previous single about how her insufficiently macho boyfriend is “so gay” doesn’t leave me wanting to give Perry the benefit of the doubt on her sexual politics.

But perhaps I’m getting overly excited about a pop single: the main market is teenagers and who knows how many bi and lesbian girls may find it gives them an excuse to make that first step out of line from heterosexuality.

Now, the real way that “I Kissed A Girl” could pioneer for bisexual credibility is if we can get Torchwood star John Barrowman to cover it on one of his innumerable BBC appearances. Or perhaps we might get Ben Summerskill to do it for a charity single. How about it Ben - split the proceeds between Stonewall and - oh, wait, we don’t have a bisexual charity. We’ll get back to you.