Arts & Culture

Activist Strips Off For Visibility

In a photoshoot with photographer Tom Dingley, new activist Lewis Oakley had words projected onto his torso reflecting the biphobic abuse and unreasonable questions bisexual people hear all the time.

 

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The photographer Dingley told The Gay UK, “These comments range from the absent minded questions to the more serious insults bisexuals are subjected to.The concept is really strong we’ve simply taken what is said verbally and projected it visually to highlight what bisexual men hear all the time.”

In fact the phrases used are frequently heard by bisexuals of all genders.

San Junipero: A Bisexual Character We Can Actually Admire

Black MirrorBisexual communities don’t have a lot of luck when it comes to our portrayal in films and on television. Often our bisexuality is no more than a plot point to be forgotten when it’s no longer convenient, or rendered in broad stereotypes and insulting cliches. When we find a great depiction of bisexuality in an unlikely place, that deserves celebrating, says Holly.

(I have tried to keep this article as spoiler-free as possible, but if you don’t want to read any hint of the plot, go and watch San Junipero (Black Mirror series 3, episode 4) on Netflix before reading any further!)

Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror is a show known for exploring the ways that technology might influence our future. The episodes are often dark, and happy endings are rare. I’ll be honest, it’s the last place I expected to find a beautifully nuanced, proudly bisexual character. But when I… Continue reading

Boy George Mocks Bisexuals

Boy George took to twitter today to mock bisexuality while also implying that George Michael’s recent death was a suicide.

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The tweet appears to suggest that people claiming a bisexual identity are lying.

In a grimly ironic twist,  George Michael, who had enjoyed sexual encounters with both men and women, made the decision not to label himself as bisexual because of biphobic remarks from his friends.
The former Culture Club frontman responded to disappointed fans on twitter by telling them their concerns are ‘steaming white rice’ and that they are ‘a bit dim’.

 

Only a few hours before his offensive outburst, the DJ and former pop star had tweeted that 2016 had taught him to ‘hold his tongue’.ss2017

Really?

There’s no “I’m Bi” Speech Bubble: Bisexuality in Comics

17615895The world of comics has long been a haven for stories that the rest of the literary world aren’t quite ready for. Perhaps that is why a whole raft of LGBT+ characters have found a home in this medium over the years.
The first comic book series I fell in love with was Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Amongst the characters in this epic series were gay faerie Cluracan, lesbians Judy, Donna and Hazel, trans character Wanda and the quite-literally-genderfluid Desire.

It’s fair to say that Sandman was ahead of its time in terms of queer representation. However even in such an inclusive comic, there were no overtly bisexual characters. Realising this got me thinking about some of my favourite modern comic books. Here, I examine three series’, to determine if bisexuality has yet found a place in the medium. (Please note the following discussions contain some minor, character-based… Continue reading

Emmerdale Demonstrates How to Get Bisexuality Right

emmerdale00031Last week rural soap Emmerdale broke an unwritten rule of primetime storytelling: you don’t say bisexual. Robron fan Charlie tells us what else they’re getting right.

Finding an on-screen bisexual is about ten times harder than finding one in real life. This is because films and TV shows seem to have an obsession with alternating a character’s sexuality depending on who they are with at that current moment – especially in soap operas. ITV soap Emmerdale, has been no stranger to this trend. 

Ali, who was on the show last year with her partner Ruby, was the butt of many lesbian jokes as she left her husband to be with her new girlfriend, yet it was never explored whether she was bisexual or gay. Earlier this year, a plotline involving Lawrence’s old lover returning did nothing but create confusion regarding his sexuality, since he had been in… Continue reading

Ofcom Rules on Biggins Big Brother Bigotry

christopher bigotOfcom has today ruled that the biphobic comments made by Christopher Biggins and broadcast on Channel Five’s Big Brother did not breach the regulators rules.

The incident, which saw Biggins booted off the show in August of this year, was investigated after Ofcom received 44 complaints.

Stalwart Pantomime Dame Biggins had said,  “The worst type though is, I’m afraid to say, the bisexuals… what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay.”

Ofcom said: “We investigated whether a discussion between Christopher Biggins and Renee Graziano about the sexual orientation of bisexual people was offensive.

“We accepted that these remarks made in Celebrity Big Brother were capable of causing offence, but they were likely to be within the audience’s expectations of this programme.”

 

 

Cultural Erasure: Where’s the B on Our TVs?

willowozA version of this post first appeared on Abigail’s blog, Experience Is To Be Believed.

About two years ago, I partook of some Netflix binges – re-watching all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and powering through the whole ofThe L Word were just too irresistible. Although I can’t deny I hugely enjoyed both of these binges, there was something I just couldn’t get past – the way bisexuality was treated in both.

Since then, I’ve kept them in my mind, and to be honest, I’ve yet to encounter any programmes made more recently which give bisexuality positive treatment, so let’s step back in time.

The year is 1997, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer has hit our screens. (I was only 6, so of course I wasn’t watching it then. But for reasons which will become clear, I feel hugely influenced by this programme, so indulge me.) We… Continue reading

Ofcom to Investigate Christopher Biggins Biphobic Big Brother Comments

christopher bigotAfter receiving 20 complaints, the television watchdog Ofcom has opened an investigation into the anti-bisexual comments made by pantomime actor Christopher Biggins this summer.

The complaints are believed to have been made under Section Three of the Broadcasting Code(.pdf) which states that, “Material which contains abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, must not be included in television and radio services except where it is justified by the context”.

“We’re investigating whether a contestant’s comments about bisexual people were offensive and breached generally accepted standards,” a spokesperson said. The initial investigation is expected to be completed within 15 days.

Should the complaints be upheld, Channel Five are unlikely to face any sanctions.

 

LGBT Poet Laureate Pens Poem for Bisexual Visibility

13552684_264711050572220_1621650479_n-672x372 The LGBT Poet Laureate  has shared a new poem that tackles biphobia.

LGBT Poet Laureate Trudy Howson has written a poem that asks the wider LGBT community to examine its prejudices. She told Biscuit that she had used the phrase “let us love freely whatever our gender” as prompt to create the poem, which was written to mark Bisexual Visibility Day.  Trudy will read the poem at INCITE!’s bisexuality themed event on 14th September, but you can read it here first.

Bisexual Visibility Day

Do or die, laugh or cry, why not?
Gay or Bi, bold or shy, let’s not
Pretend we haven’t been there.
Or tell ourselves we aren’t aware.

Lets not judge, just because we,
Haven’t experienced the possibility.
Let’s put our prejudice aside
Be Gay or Bi, no need to hide.

September is the month that we
Celebrate bisexuality.
It’s pretty cool to… Continue reading

Asteroid Named After Bisexual Icon Freddie Mercury

FreddieMercurySinging1977To mark what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday, an asteroid discovered in 1991, the year he died, has been renamed in his honour. Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury is around 3.5km in diameter and is a part of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, who also has an asteroid named for him, said,  “It’s a dark object – rather like a cinder in space.  Viewed from the Earth it is more than 10,000 times fainter than you can see by eye, so you need a fair-sized telescope to see it and that’s why it wasn’t discovered until 1991.”

The application to change the name of the asteroid was made by Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute. He said, “Even if you can’t see Freddiemercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he’s there.”

This week… Continue reading