Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Legacy: Looking Back at the Queer/Bi Movement and the Road Ahead

via - By Gary North Co-founder, BiNet USA and the Bisexual-Pansexual-Fluid Organizing Institute at Creating Change

Bisexual activism has been taken up by newer generations in America and elsewhere, the latest examples being four bi leaders listed in The Advocate's "40 Under 40." That such a sometimes-stodgy/sometimes-surly frienemy of bi people (at least in the past) would now list a bi leader, let alone four, among a select few is itself a sign of progress -- and of the legacy of the bi movement to date. Another legacy, of course, is the seemingly inexorable (or so I hope/perceive) growing consensus of acceptance and enlightenment, epitomized recently by President Obama; perhaps we are arriving at a realization that we as a nation shouldn't be discriminating against anyone, including bi people.
(A reminder here: My use of the term "bi" is simply semi-lazy shorthand for the much broader concept of an all-encompassing sexual orientation that includes people who self-identify or exhibit traits of bisexuality, pansexuality, sexual fluidity, and a panoply of other attractions to other people of the same gender and other genders. "Bi," like "gay," is for me a convenient semantical bridge or ladder to that day when we discard use of such terms and just say "human" and "my own sexuality" and "romance" and so on without the need for labels. Perhaps one of our greatest legacies as a culture will be when the individual is prized, as Dr. King said, for the content of our character and not the color of our skin -- or the sense of our sexuality.)
The concept, let alone the intent, of leaving a social legacy never dawned on me in the "early" days of the bi movement, nor even earlier this year. It still feels alien to me to consider "legacy" as I pause to reflect on what has been achieved (and not) in the "bi movement," a movement for social justice and acceptance of bi people. "Legacy" is not something any of the bi activists were thinking about at the start (at least not that I know of); we were just trying to get something accomplished in the here-and-now.

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