Wednesday 31 March 2010

Stonewall General Election blooper

Stonewall have published their list of questions for candidates at the general election:

If you're elected at the next election, what will you do to ensure
homophobic bullying is tackled in our local schools? 
Hate Crime
Homophobic hate crimes are on the increase across the country. What will
you do to ensure lesbian and gay people can feel safe in their local area?

Equality Act
Will you - and your party  - commit to ensuring full implementation of
important measures in the forthcoming Equality Act, which would benefit
lesbian and gay people? 
Public Services
All too often, gay men and women face second class treatment by the public
services their taxes help to fund. What do you propose to do to address

What steps will your party take to ensure that those seeking asylum on the
grounds of their sexual orientation are assessed fairly and compassionately?

Will your party ensure that the UK continues to promote LGB equality
internationally through British embassies and High Commissions?

Civil Partnership Recognition
Will your party take steps to ensure recognition of UK civil partnerships
by other European states? 
Blood donation
Do you support the current life ban which bars all men who have ever had
sex with another man from donating blood?
That's quite a lot of "lesbian and gay" without any reference to bisexuals in the first few questions, so I've dropped them a note to enquire about the whys and wherefores.

Friday 19 March 2010

A bid for a second out bi MP

It's not often I quote the Daily Mail as an authoritative source, as I find it best not to trust them even just for checking what day of the week it is, but let's have a quote from them:

The first woman in Britain to direct adult films revealed yesterday, however, that her political colours are of a different hue. Anna Arrowsmith, hailed in some quarters as a champion of 'female-friendly porn', has been chosen as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the General Election. 

Gosh, an out-bisexual woman who admits to liking sex standing for Parliament, what is the world coming to?  Well, not the terrible state the Daily Mail's hate-mongering staffers would like to think as a strong showing of positive comments below the article reveals.  And as well as wanting to see more bis elected, I rather like the idea of there at last being someone legislating on porn who might admit to watching it in anything other than horror.

Total Politics does a little interview with her here, and there's a wikipedia page about her here

Monday 15 March 2010

Up and down like a cheap euphemism has been offline for most of the last three days and still isn't quite right.  Sorry about that.  It's a hosting problem on the servers of the company I get my webspace from, rather than me trying to be clever! I think the server is now fairly stable but the decision by the hosts to change the version of the PHP software underlying it all is causing technical wrinkles.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Following on

Blimey. There was a diversities fringe meeting at Liberal Democrat party conference this weekend, and they wanted speakers for the various diversity strands like trans, disability and so forth, to reflect on what has happened in recent years and our hopes for the coming parliament. Jen, can you...?  OK.  Then I find out that I've been picked as the first diversity strand speaker, right after a speech by Vince Cable, who for overseas readers is the Shadow Chancellor and probably the most popular figure from the party both within the Liberals and outside. Follow on from his speech - no pressure, eh!

But it all went well, people laughed in the right places rather than the wrong ones, there was very warm applause and I didn't fluff my lines.  The sheer panic kicked in about 20 minutes before I was due to speak and so I have absolutely no idea what Vince said, but it's great to have done it - now I can tell people about it without it being in my future and getting me worried about how it will go.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

What's useful?

I fear I'm trapped in a loop. That Stonewall report that quotes a Manchester City Council report that is in turn just quoting from my workshop notes? The city council just got in touch asking for another workshop or presentation, because they're planning the next conference in the sequence.

Now, last year I went with any old thing, as any time for workshop planning got eaten up by the European Elections. This year it's reasonable to expect that there will be about a month between the General Election and the conference itself so I can perhaps do some more planning work.

Now "any old thing" last year was actually:
- what do bis want?
- what's out there for bis?
- what do we mean by bi anyway?

But I wonder if there's a particular focus that might be useful this time. For bis, for the council, for bis in Manchester, for bis who work at the council, whatever.

I've asked the local uni LGBTers bi rep, and will run it past BiPhoria next month.  In the meanwhile your suggestions, dear reader, are only too welcome!

And now in colour

So here is the big thing that I've been working towards for several months. I didn't tell many people - I think! - so it will have come as a pleasant surprise to a lot of magazine subscribers. But the mag is landing on doormats across the country, so the cat's out of the bag.

We've got our first full-colour cover. This should be the pattern for future editions, at least for as long as subs levels remain at the kind of numbers they are now.

It means BCN has moved still further from the 'cheaply photocopied black-and-white rag' look, after last year's shift from 80gsm white paper and regular laser printing, to 130gsm gloss paper with full bleed.

I think this makes us unique among English language bi magazines. Bi Women and The Fence are entirely black-and-white printing, and Journal of Bisexuality is a bit peculiar being closer to a book than a magazine. It's a bit up my own ego perhaps, but I don't think there's been anything this 'pro' looking since Anything That Moves folded in 2002.

I'd like us to have full-colour inside pages too, but for that you all need to get your friends subscribing to BCN too so we can