Latin lovers: The South American bi scene

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 13.35.40Biscuit interviews Dani Furtado, founder of South American bi site www.bisides.com

About the site:

“In 2010, almost five years ago now, we launched BiSides. We’re more active than ever and have about 40 writers, as well as a Facebook group where people are talking about lots of stuff and coming up with new subjects – it inspires me to write more! My friends help organise events and I’m working on translations from Spanish to Portuguese and Portuguese to Spanish. I want all of Latin America to be involved.”

The site’s mission:

“I want to be a resource where people go when they need and for closet bi people to find it. We have two main aims:

1. Talking with bi people, those who are already out of the closet, giving them information, talking about theories, and getting them politically involved to challenge biphobia.

2. To take in those who are in the closet, those who are not well received by the LGBT community or elsewhere. We want to be a place for them to find and feel good about themselves, happy in the reality of their sexuality.

The future:

“I would like to have a network like the UK’s BiCon; we have nothing like that in South America. I dream of bringing that stuff to our world.”

Bisexuals in mainstream media:

“In Brazil there is a lot of coverage: two big soap operas are showing bisexual people right now! They’ve even mentioned the word bisexual in their episodes! The first homosexual kiss on a Brazilian soap opera (between a lesbian and bi girl) happened recently. It was explained really well and done so positively. The character doesn’t say she’s bisexual but another character uses the word to explain her feelings. The two girls married at the end of the story! Another features a couple, a woman and guy where the guy is bisexual and they have an open relationship. She knows he’s bi and that he sees other guys and they openly discuss it. They’re showing the guy with the other guy, and also with his wife. Television has finally got it!”

Out stars:

“Most of those who are out are really visible. People know them and people will say ‘Oh, that singer, she’s totally lesbian’ but she’s actually bisexual and says so openly. Another singer said in a magazine interview that she’s bisexual, but that she won’t fight for anything or hold the homosexual flag because she doesn’t feel it’s necessary. It’s really stupid. This mag is a really big important one and had her on the cover with the quote: ‘I’m bisexual so what?’ Alessandra Maestrini, an actress, let a gossip mag use extracts from her diary as her way of coming out this August. She said ‘I’m not only bisexual, I’m a girl who likes singing and dancing; I am an entire person who happens to be bisexual.’ That was really beautiful and says a lot for those still in the closet. Of course, there were many biphobic comments online but there was also lots of positivity. The media made a lots of fuss about Alessandra; I like it when they make noise, it feels like we’re winning. People still tend to see bisexual women as lesbians, but we’re getting there.”

Her path:

“I eventually want to work with LGBT youth. My biggest dream is to participate in the creation of an education system that teaches school children to be sex and body positive. Also, I want to meet bi people from all over the world, to know what bisexual life is like for people everywhere, and to be able to share what’s happening in South America.”

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Charlotte Dingle

Charlotte 'Lottie' Dingle is Biscuit's founding editor. When she's not running freelancing for a diverse bunch of clients ranging from Cosmo to Occupy, she enjoys teaching life drawing, discussing life/the universe/everything with her beloved (but smelly) 22-year-old cat, writing flash fiction for her MA course, getting pretentious tattoos, listening to folk music, creating surrealist art, trying to change the world and drinking red wine. Oh, and My Little Pony. Don't forget My Little Pony. Her favourite biscuits are cream crackers (do they count as biscuits?).

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