Tag Archives: bisexuality

Heads up!

17 May

Hey guys, it’s IDAHO, and there’s a Hop Against Homophobia and Trans*Phobia going on all this week. My post is in re biphobia (no one is shocked!), and I’m posting about it here because 1. possibly relevant to some of your interests and 2. giving away books, including KV Taylor stuff.

For All My Unicorns Out There

Just noticed every novel/novella I’ve had published as KV Taylor has a bisexual protag so yyyyyeah. Relevant!

See you there, and back with more rambles next week ♥

(Evidence that this is a necessary thing: the IDAHO website was just attacked, hence it temporarily redirecting to their facebook page. On the day. Spread the word, spread the love, please!)

A Rant-Free Bisexual Post

23 Sep

I just did a huge bisexuality rant last month, so I’ll spare y’all right now. If anyone has any interest in said rants, they are conveniently grouped under the bisexuality tag. But today is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Yay!

It’s been a weird year for LGBTQ types, I think we can all agree. From the frenzy over Dan Savage being all dismissive to the latest YA “make your characters straight and we’ll talk” nonsense… oh yeah, and the DADT repeal. Holy fuck. (Not to be a killjoy, because it’s awesome, but please let us remember that trans service-folk are still in the shit. This repeal is a step, not the end result.)

Anyhow, there’s a good rundown at the Bi Social Network, so I’ll just link there.

Now to get personal on you.

I kind of get the bi hate. I mean, I don’t get it as in feel it, obviously, but I see where it comes from. The fact is that we can pass sometimes — I pass every day. It’s not something I’m doing intentionally, I’m not trying to hide anything. But I’m walking down the street holding a dude’s hand and no one looks twice at me.

Well, they do, depending on where I am, because dude is brown. But not here in DC, and anyhow, that’s a completely separate issue.

That’s straight privilege on a very simple level, right there. There are so many other ways I feel the privilege, though. No one questions the legality of my tax return, no one argues when I go in the Indian line at customs in Chennai with Balaji, getting his US citizenship sorted was relatively simple — and that’s huge because it pretty much ensures we won’t suffer deportation issues. I didn’t realize what a weight off it would be until he got that passport and I just deflated.

So I get it. I get the bitterness, and I get the urge to take it out on people like me — not just people attracted to men and women (and therefore who supposedly have the choice to “pass” — again, separate issue, because like anyone ever had a choice about who they fall for…). But especially on people who end up in opposite sex relationships. I ain’t saying it’s right, cuz it’s both fucked up and infurating. I’m just saying that, as someone with a temper from hell, I understand the urge.

So this year, I’m going to make it a point to be more visible. My fiction, this blog, all that stuff, it’s totally visible — but I’ve talked all that into the ground. (Again, see the bisexuality tag.) I mean personally. It’s a weird thing for me because it’s deeply dyed in my wool that sex, family, and money are personal matters that ought to be safeguarded. Not just to spare others the discomfort, but because they’re mine, and no one else gets to have them. It’s no one’s goddamn business who I screw, want to screw, or screwed in the past. I’ll always believe that. And hell, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than being watched or looked at. I surround myself with people louder, smarter, and prettier than me just to avoid it.

But it’s not like I have to get into stuff that makes me uncomfortable just to be visible, and I was also raised to believe in Put Up or Shut Up. So bring on the rainbow-colored West Virignia shirt (I’ll do a picture on SCRIPPED release day — it’s the best shirt ever!) and bisexual visibility bracelets. Fuck, I might even buy a flag for the window or — gasp! — a bumper sticker for my truck. (Yeah, I don’t do bumper stickers, it’s true.)

You guys think of anything else I can do without looking like I’m actually going the opposite way (as in trying to get attention), let me know. I’m open to suggestion.

Food for thought: a bunch of biphobic quotes from around the world. Next time you hear someone say something like this, do me a favor and at least give ‘em a dirty look, please.

Out of the Closet, Under the Rug

30 Aug

I can’t decide if forces are conspiring to irritate me lately, or if I’m just being hypersensitive. It’s been a while since I did the Queer Rant thing, though, so I guess I’m due to say something of substance.

I wasn’t too bothered when Dan Savage did his “I’d take bisexuals more seriously if they weren’t all trying to pass for straight” thing. I mean, it’s annoying, but it’s Dan Savage. This is how he makes his living, by being supposedly edgy, like a thousand other pundits, reporters, and comedians. It’s cool. Plus, it’s not like every out bi person hasn’t heard this rant eight million times from various sources — doesn’t make it okay, but makes it pretty easy to ignore after the first few times.

Then there was this study. This study proves that bisexuals exist.

Wow, man. Thanks for the update.

No, in all seriousness, it’s cool but… I saw someone on twitter saying something like “Oh thank you for proving that bi men exist. But what if they do one on bi women and disprove us? Will I disappear?” Yeah. Like that.

Again, shrug it off, shit happens, my friends and family know what’s up. In the meantime, I’m fighting the good fight for the rest. I got this.

Then  I was thinking about the romance trope known as “gay for you”. The basic idea being that a character who doesn’t identify bi or gay jumps the rainbow for their One True Love — and only them. My thoughts on the problems and possibilities of this trope could fill several epic-length blog posts, so I’ll spare you — but it’s not considered a value judgment. It’s just a theme category like “friends to lovers” “menage” “paranormal” etc.

But there’s a predictably large difference between “gay for you” and “my first same sex relationship”. And I got really depressed the other day over how easy it is for people to assume something’s “gay for you” when it’s actually a story about a bisexual dude’s first boyfriend or girl’s girlfriend. It’s not negative or intentional, it just feels like an indicator of some unconscious cultural sublimation of bisexuality that weirds me out.

(Please do not think that’s a personal complaint. I flip my shit if anyone tags my book with anything, like, “YAY, THEY LOOKED AT IT OMG!” Not talking about it from a writer point of view, just a hypersensitive bi kid point of view. I’m a delicate flower, okay?)

And then the cherry on top: the new Lambda Awards Guidelines dropped yesterday. So I’m merrily clicking through my RSS stuff in Thunderbird and I end up there and I’m like… wait. What… what the fuck is this?

LGBT authors will be recognized with three awards marking stages of a writer’s career: the Betty Berzon Debut Fiction Award (to one gay man and one lesbian), the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize (to one male-identified and one female-identified author), and the Pioneer Award (to one male-identified and one female-identified individual or group)

So again, my feelings are hurt. I’m like, but, but, but. What about the BT part of LGBT!? Sorry bi kids, we gave y’all your category — hell, we might even split it in two if there are enough of you! You too, trans folks. Have a nice day!

But I’m like, nah, Lambda is cool as hell. I’ve heard nothing but awesome about their writer’s retreat. They do a great job of raising awareness and community stuff. I’m just not understanding this properly. I read the rest of the updates to the guidelines and they’re actually really cool.

Awards for the remaining Lambda Literary Award categories will be based on literary merit and significant content relevant to LGBT lives. These awards will be open to all authors regardless of their sexual identity

Which is totally sweet, as you don’t have to be queer to make a contribution worthy of recognition, we all know. High five! Also, uh, the alternative is creepy.

All book award judges will be self-identified LGBT

That’s as it should be.

So okay, maybe I just read that first one wrong. Maybe those are some old school awards and they can’t change the rules due to endowment issues or… something. (That wouldn’t excuse it, but you know, I don’t know the history.)

Next in my RSS feeds, Zoe E. Whitten’s blog. She’s got a double-whammy smack in the face from that rule, plus she had a link to Rose Fox’s open letter on the subject at genreville. So, uh, no, I didn’t read that wrong, apparently. I headed to The Outer Alliance google group, suspecting I’d find responses there, and was not disappointed. Cheryl Morgan, Nicola Griffith, and Shaun Duke had already blogged about it. Julia Rios posted a thoughtful response (as usual) asking for opinions at the OA Blog today.

I don’t really have a point here. I’m just posting this because I genuinely feel I should — just like I feel I should make it a point to represent bisexual characters in my fiction, be open about my own sexuality (in socially appropriate and relevant situations), and just generally try not to suck. Maybe it’s bad timing, what with SCRIPPED coming up and being a big ol bisexual clusterfuck, but I can’t keep my trap shut.

No, wait. I do have a point: it’s lame* to make people feel like they don’t exist. There’s no conservation of realness, here — like if someone’s realness is somehow invalidated, it doesn’t go into the person who diminished it. I’m sure there’s already a novel or short story on the subject that mocks that very thing, or I’d write it myself. Well, I did the blog post, instead!

*ETA: Yeah, that was a bad word choice. See, I tried to be all “Don’t be mean to me!” and then I was mean to someone else. I apologize, I’m a jerk, just like the people I’m saying are jerks! But I will keep trying!

Positively Queer

2 Apr

Some pretty screwed up stuff has gone on with the whole publishing biz this week, huh? Obviously there’s the whole Dorchester thing–which seems pretty clearcut, but it never is. There’s the continued Borders closings–I’ve got a post about that coming up, too. Oh man. All that stuff makes me mad for various reasons.

But the one that really, really pissed me off lately was the Wicked Pretty Things imbroglio. I’m linking to the original Jessica Verday post there, but I heard about it from Seanan McGuire’s blog, which I follow religiously because she’s awesome. Everyone knows about it by now, so in brief: a m/m couple was assumed to be inappropriate subject matter for YA by a clueless editor, and a bunch of writers pulled out of the project as a result.

One wonders if this editor has ever met a teenager. I really like Andrew Smith’s policy on this. This should be universal or something, I swear.

Anyhow, my point is that no matter how you want to look at it, that’s fucked up, man. I’ve waited this long to say anything about it apart from the odd retweet because I was so pissed off that I didn’t trust myself not to go batshit about it.

But going batshit is dumb. Not because it doesn’t effect me personally, because it does. It really, really does, it effects all of us, and not just the writers and readers whose brains are wired for queerness, either. I know y’all feel the same from the supportive retweets and comments all week long. And that’s why it’s dumb to get mad. Because people recognize that this is wrong, and in a huge way. That’s amazing.

So rather than say the same crap everyone else already said this week, I’m gonna talk about the publishers and editors I’ve worked with who never thought twice when I brought The Queer.

1. Morrigan BooksMark Deniz and Amanda Pillar. This one is bass-ackwards, because my first ever published short, “The Mirror”, is actually about two guys who are best friends. They’re sharing a hotel room and a bed, and Amanda and Mark both assumed there was more of a boyfriend thing than a friend thing going on. Later, before I knew Mark very well, Amanda suggested me for Scenes From the Second Storey (International version, not out yet!). Mark sent me the sweetest email I think I’ve ever had about how he liked my story. Which is about a gay kid.

It sounds weird to praise them because years later I now work for them. But I’m not gonna lie, it’s part of why I wanted to work for them.

2. Belfire Press – Jodi Lee didn’t bat an eyelash over Scripped. The first scene in that book is two dudes making out on a couch. True story. The MC, when he’s not getting his skin peeled off or having panic attacks or being kidnapped or something, screws around with both men and women in the course of the story. You don’t need to be queer to get it, just like you don’t need to be straight to get Jane Austen. (Not that it’s as good, but you see my point.)

Oh yeah, and “The Dubious Magic of Elliot Prince“. That, too.

3. Dagan Books – If you’ve seen Cthulhurotica it’s evident that Carrie Cuinn doesn’t care if it’s straight, gay, man, woman, (monster,) whatever. If it’s good, she’s in. That little novella I just puked up for our little project last week–totally bi. Not just the MC, either. I’m halfway convinced that the story itself is bi, because I’m screwing around with dynamics and expectations a lot in it. She saw that synopsis and was like “YES!”, and dude. The love.

4. Shout-outs also go to Blood Bound Books, who have two stories of mine that might be termed lesbian horrotica in upcoming anthos, and to Jennifer Brozek who never gave a negative thought to my bisexual hero, Cami, in “The Runner”.

There are more, so many more, but these are the ones I will quite literally fight to work with based on how they’ve treated me and my characters already. I’m just getting warmed up.

Silly of me to make a big deal out of their acceptance and encouragement? Maybe. It’d be great if we lived in a world where we could take goodness for granted, but we don’t, and I can’t. I really liked what Julia Rios said at the Outer Alliance blog last week: I don’t want vengeance. I want a better future. I want to live in a society where people don’t make these assumptions to begin with.

And this is how it starts. So thanks for being awesome, y’all.

—————-
Now playing: The Charlatans – Smash The System
via FoxyTunes

In spite of myself

26 Sep

First, let me point out that there was a Celebrating Bisexuality Post at the Outer Alliance this week. I’m in there, but check out the other links, because that’s some good stuff, seriously. And I’ll stop harping on that, now.

The last few days I was feeling extremely crap, and so wrote a 30k novella instead of editing like I should’ve done. Productivity in spite of myself. I’m almost proud, but not quite.

Also had The Charlatans’ “Your Pure Soul” on repeat. I can’t explain it, I just think it’s lovely. All I can find online–and US accessible–are live versions, which no one but fans ever enjoy. But if you want one, this one is good. Not from my show, but a few days after, anyhow–and it sounded pretty much like this the first time I heard it. Something awesome about hearing something for the first time live, isn’t there?

That’s all I got, considering that I spent the last few days wanting to find a hole in the ground and move in permanently. I do feel better, though. In celebration, more questions from the 30 Days of Writing collection!

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?
Always. I have soundtracks (both iTunes playlists and burned onto CDs that I keep in the car) for almost all of my novel projects. I even made one for that little thing I was writing for the last few days, if you can believe it.

Sometimes I even do them for characters. Aldo’s are always the best. That kid has some good taste. (He’s very into The Clash. Every time I hear “Hateful” I think of him, and that’s just for starters.)

8. What’s your favorite genre to write? To read?
Fantasy. Pretty much any subgenre of fantasy will do it for me. Straight up.

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.
…oh my gosh, I don’t even know. I’ve had a few that were directly inspired by quotes or real people in some way–like today I wrote my best friend and asked if she’d care if I used something awesome about her for a character. I have another character who’s a lot like my brother when he was a kid, except, you know. Not.

But for the most part it feels like they just turn up and announce themselves. I’m sure there’s a process, but I don’t think of it much. I probably should.

Shit, I’m going to have to make more lists, aren’t I? (Wait, that’s a good thing. I love lists!)

—————-
Now playing: The Charlatans Uk – Your Pure Soul
via FoxyTunes

Yay for bisexuality!

23 Sep

Apparently it’s celebrate bisexuality day. In the spirit of this holiday, allow me to examine some hilarious stereotypes in fiction:

1. The bi character is always a cheater!
I’m not sure why “bisexual” must equal “commitment-phobic”–or just “asshole with no understanding of honesty and/or loyalty”. Maybe it’s that whole “playing for both teams” euphemism, makes it sound very underhanded, on the level of people who fix World Series games?

I mean, I’m not saying bi characters can’t be cheaters–I have one who ends up cheating, myself. I’m just saying that if they do cheat, it’s not because they’re bi. It’s because they’re assholes. And yeah, there is a difference, and it’s not that hard to make it clear, thanks.

2. The bi character is actually gay, but too repressed to admit it!
We’ve all seen it and rolled our eyes. Yeah, okay, human sexuality is in a constant state of development and flux for each individual. Believe me, I am all about it, or I’d never have anything to write about.

But guess what? You can be attracted to both. In fact, Kinsey proved that a decent percentage of people are. Also, that we’re in a state of flux, as mentioned above.

And yeah, sometimes the whole same sex attraction does get repressed until the person is mature enough to deal with it–or just forced to because they, god forbid, fall in love. Which, by the way, makes for good fiction. But they’re still attracted to both. It’s a real thing. Not self-delusion, and for the love of sweet little kittens and butterflies and all things lovable, please don’t call it indecision. Ever.

3. Bi characters always end up with the opposite sex in the end.
Okay, I’ve not really run into this one in fiction that much, but apparently it’s a big deal. (All my bi characters, and as you might imagine I have quite a few, actually end up going same sex if and when they commit. Hm, hadn’t thought of that before…)

I have seen this fear in real life, though–as in don’t date the bi girl, because she’s just gonna leave you for a cock in the end. Maybe I’m no one to complain about that, as I’m married to a dude. But if I’m taking a sample of people I know, it seems about evenly split. Which, you know, might be expected.

4. Bi characters are total sluts!
Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes they like threesomes. Sometimes they’re insanely committed to one individual–in a codependent and unhealthy way. Sometimes they’re into kinky shit. Sometimes they save it for marriage. Sometimes they fairly earn the nickname “firecrotch”.

But hey, so do straight characters. And gay characters. (Okay, this stereotype might be even worse for gay men. But wait, it’s not their day!)

Also, real people.

I could go on forever, but I’ll leave it at that. Wasn’t that fun?

And in closing, please enjoy these upcoming tales from me featuring bisexual protagonists. You can see “The Runner” in Beauty Has Her Way this fall (check the cool Heavy Metal inspired cover at editor Jennifer Brozek’s LJ), and, please let us not forget, Scripped, my very first novel, coming up from Belfire Press next year. Jonah has some issues, but guess what? Not because he likes both girls and boys.

Poor guy, that’s the least of his concerns.

Woo, see how I started out with a mock-PSA then made it all about me? Yeah, I’m starting to get the hang of this shameless author thing. Please don’t hate me, even if I deserve it. <3

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Now playing: Kaiser Chiefs – My Kind Of Guy
via FoxyTunes