Monday 19 October 2009

There'd be some kind of jousting, clearly...

I keep an eye on LGBT and bi references in Hansard through the magic of Google alerts. One that only made it in through my general LGBT filter was this response to a question tabled recently:

"Baroness Royall of Blaisdon (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, House of Lords; Labour)

The Permanent Secretary and other members of the Northern Ireland Office's departmental board volunteered to be diversity champions for underrepresented groups in the NIO. This supports the NIO's strategic approach to improving diversity and equality in the department. There are board-level champions for lesbian, gay and transgender staff; black and ethnic-minority staff; disabled staff and staff with caring responsibilities. Two members of the board also co-chair the NIO's Diversity Steering Group."

Now, is that an inadvertently missing "b" word there, or has the NIO had problems recruiting a bisexual champion? I think we should be told - and that a champion bisexual for Northern Ireland clearly needs to be found!

Monday 12 October 2009

Strictly Homo Heroes?

Local LGB project Lesbian & Gay Foundation this summer launched an eyecatching (they have lots of money and people for image work) campaign to nominate "Homo Heroes" this summer. Despite the brandname we're invited to name our L,G,B,&/T hero and pose holding a sign with their name on for a photo gallery. After considering a range of possible nominees I joined in, waving a placard with Paddy Ashdown's name on it: straight, cis people can be LGBT community heroes too.

The project reaches its next stage today with a push for donations. It cites support from
"Beth Ditto, lead singer with The Gossip; Sir Ian McKellen, actor Lord of the Rings; Russell T Davies, producer and chief writer of Doctor Who".

So far as I'm aware that's two gay men and a lesbian: sadly this is not so surprising, but the lesbian voice is Beth Ditto. Beyond being a minor-league popster, Beth is probably most notable in LGBT politics for her biphobic comments about Angelina Jolie (to the effect that if you're not in a same-sex relationship, even if you have been so in the past, you're straight).

Come out, come out, and admire the guidance of this biphobic person as you do so? No thanks.

Saturday 10 October 2009


I'm skipping the bisexual activism weekend in Leicester this weekend as I'm a bit worn down and burned out still; so naturally I take time off by being interviewed for a documentary on being bisexual in Britain today. Funny the definitions of relaxation activism gives you :o) It helps that my interviewer is rather gorgeous, though I don't know that til they show up, so I really am doing it as a peculiar way to unwind.

Most of the questions are the usual kinds of things: how bi do you have to be to be bi, do you get more prejudice from the gay or straight worlds, and such. I start well and then become more waffly in the later questions: I need to do this stuff more often. One iussue which I hadn't pondered in a while was about it being harder for people to accept being bi - the situation of straight people saying "well, it'd be easier to understand if they were gay". I don't have a simple, sane answer for this one figured out yet and will have to work on it!

An hour of chatter and it's over, so naturally I'm bubbling with ideas for who else documentary makers ought to talk to for angles on bisexual life. Talking about this stuff from the basics up is actually a great way of stimulating your own interest and ideas too: I should line up an interviewer to quiz me ahead of each new BCN deadline to help with the creativity.