This letter was sent by email last week, following a voicemail to Ms Carey. No response yet.
Open letter to Rea Carey, executive director, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Dear Ms Carey,
I have spoken with your predecessor Matt Foreman in person and by phone at length about the debilitated state of national bi activism since Dr Fritz Klein’s passing four years ago. The Bi Media Summit in NYC last month at which I spoke about this issue and about the (almost nonexistent) bi media was a start. As usual in the current state of bi activism there has been no followup to that landmark event, and so the time to build on that is passing.
Defining bisexuality as 2s, 3s & 4s on the 0–6 Kinsey Scale in his Stanford Law Review thesis, “The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure,” Yale law scholar Kenji Yoshino’s 2001 paper revealed that every major scientific sexuality study shows bisexuality to exist in equal or greater numbers than Kinsey 5 or 6 homosexuality. Bisexuals and bisexuality are unseen by the gay male and lesbian communities, and by heterosexuals, for separate yet overlapping reasons in a social process Yoshino terms “bisexual erasure.”
The American bisexual population is not merely the least understood among GLBT communities, it is also the most underserved politically.
As the owner of two geriatric dogs, I have come upon a truism about moving together as a group: You’re only as fast as the slowest dog.
In terms of GLBT political organizing, in other words, a movement comprised of many communities and subcultures is only as strong as its weakest link, and clearly the weakest link in the GLBT chain is the B.
In your most recent fundraising letter received, you assert that “We know that in order to create the change that will lead to equality, the Task Force must pump up the strength of local LGBT activism in rural enclaves, small towns and cities, as well as sprawling metropolises. … bolster grassroots activists, strengthen the infrastructure of local and state allies, and create public support for full equality for LGBT people.”
From my perspective the Task Force has yet to live up to its stated responsibility to “pump up” bisexual-specific activism , to ensure the formulation of a strategy for creating a national bisexual-focused agenda, and to institute a grassroots campaign to organize and train bisexual activists.
As far as I’m aware, no organization has cogently or systematically identified and engaged bi activists at local, regional, and national levels. Nor has one provided resources for development of bisexual organizations in any measure comparable to the level of organization around gay male, lesbian, even trans issues. Aside from recent notable efforts, national gay and lesbian leaders have attended to bi issues in disproportion to the actual size of the popumunity.
Gay male and lesbian leadership has ignored and discounted bi and trans activists’ standing as outspoken GLBT dissenters in the sexual minorities civil rights battle for far too long. Consider that from the hundreds of GLBTIQA activists invited to the White House, there was just one with a Bisexuality organizational affiliation, Robyn Ochs (an underutilized treasure for the national marriage equality activist talent pool) and one Transgender organization affiliation listing.
At present the number of national resources devoted to bi/poly grassroots organization activism is disproportionately small compared to the resource pool available for gay, lesbian, and transgendered causes and organizations.
Much more is needed to bring the B up to speed with the LG and T segments. National GLBTIQ organizations that want to support the Bisexual community must:
• add B and T if they use GL in their organization name, or rebrand some other way inclusive of bisexual people
• identify, recruit, train, and empower current and future bi leadership
• help fund and organize BiNet, AIB, and BRC into fully operational national resources and/or help coordinate their services
• designate in every national GBLTIQ organization office staff or a liaison to deal with bisexuality issues
• help fund a private venture for a major national bi-focused media outlet
• target more cross-sex-married / “Kinsey 3” bi activists
If the big dogs can let the slow one catch up, they can all run together faster, or at least, bark together louder.
Thanks for your time in considering these comments.
New London, CT 06320