Things I Call Biphobia: Dear Prudence 2016 Edition

Q. My wife insists on telling men she is bisexual: I am a woman in a relationship with another woman. We have been together for four years, married for one. Recently, I have noticed that oftentimes when people (and especially men) refer to her as a lesbian or us as a lesbian couple, she insists on correcting them: “Actually, I’m bisexual.” We end up having conversations with friends like, “Jenny, as a lesbian, what do you think of Hillary Clinton?” “Actually, I’m bisexual.” She says that she doesn’t want her bisexual identity erased and that there is nothing wrong with her wanting people to have a correct understanding of her sexuality. I think it’s weird that she mostly does this with men. It seems to me like she is putting it out there so she can in some sense remain an object of desire to these men. Plus, she married a woman—she should get used to people assuming she is in a lesbian relationship. Which of us is right in this situation?


She’s bisexual, and that’s important to her. Nothing you’ve told me suggests she neglects you or flirts with men in order to stoke your jealousy. I think you need to figure out why you feel so threatened by the fact that you married a bisexual woman. Were you hoping she’d change her mind or get over it? Why is it so important to you that she let other people assume she’s a lesbian? She’s with you. She married you. She’s out. She’s your wife. Nothing about your identity or your relationship is threatened by her sexuality in any way; it’s time for you to let go of this.

Dear Prudence: It’s Complicated, Prudie counsels a woman whose wife insists on identifying as bisexual. @ Slate

I think the advice given by the “new” Prudence (the column changed writers some months ago) is generally sound, but I have a bit of a personal reaction to the question.

I used to do LGBT speaker’s bureau volunteering on my campus. A question that almost never failed to come up was, “Why do you call yourself bisexual if you’re monogamous?” The question highlights that bi isn’t considered a real sexual identity on the same level as gay or lesbian. And it’s not just about the sex. It’s about how Bi Any Other Name was a pivotal book, I put in hours doing LGBT speaker’s bureau volunteering, and I Marched on Washington which was a key formative point of my life. It’s as much a part of my culture as people of my generation still talk about the time they first encountered Kurt Cobain.

“Bi,” for better or for worse, describes a set of relationships, with lovers, exes who were weird about it, family who grew less weird over time, religion, and the current politics of the day. It’s not just a matter of pedantic nitpicking to say that we’re bisexual. It’s a key description of who we are.

Emacs skeleton for hugo, updated

A followup to this post on emacs and hugo. One thing that bugged me about that script was that I couldn’t get the timestamp right. It turns out the reason is described by Xah in this post at ergoemacs.

Note, for the time zone offset, both the formats 「hhmm」 and 「hh:mm」 are valid ISO 8601. However, Atom Webfeed spec seems to require 「hh:mm」.

Here’s the correct timestamp function from Xah:

(defun current-date-time-string ()
  "Returns current date-time string in full ISO 8601 format.
Example: 「2012-04-05T21:08:24-07:00」.

Note, for the time zone offset, both the formats 「hhmm」 and 「hh:mm」 are valid ISO 8601. However, Atom Webfeed spec seems to require 「hh:mm」."
   (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%dT%T")
   ((lambda (ξx) (format "%s:%s" (substring ξx 0 3) (substring ξx 3 5))) (format-time-string "%z")) )

And the corrected skeleton:

(define-skeleton kjs/yaml-skeleton
title: \"\"
description: \"\"
date: \""
tags: []


Wishlist: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

On my wishlist for a while, now a next-payday purchase.

Twenty years ago, Aral and Oliver fell in love. We’ve known that Aral was bisexual throughout the series, but it was always something from his fairly distant past. Turns out that Aral, Oliver, and Cordelia formed an unconventional kind of marriage for two decades, an open secret among their closest colleagues, but still forbidden by the social norms of Barrayar. So yeah, that happened.

Time to try the Vorkosigan Saga—you’ve never read science fiction like this

Aral Vorkosigan has always been on my list of disappointments, largely because of Cordelia’s response “was bisexual, now he’s monogamous” in the second book of the series. Bujold moved on with other LGBT characters, including Bel Thorne as one of my favorites. But that was an unfortunate clunker of a line in an otherwise great series. Bujold had the same relationship style in the background o Chalion. It’s nice to revisit those themes again to see what she plans to do with them.

Short Fiction Reads: “The Shape of My Name”: by Nino Cipri

> illustration Richie Pope

A nice little piece about identity and time travel.

The year 2076 smells like antiseptic gauze and the lavender diffuser that Dara set up in my room. It has the bitter aftertaste of pills: probiotics and microphages and PPMOs. It feels like the itch of healing, the ache that’s settled on my pubic bone. It has the sound of a new name that’s fresh and yet familiar on my lips.

The future feels lighter than the past. I think I know why you chose it over me, Mama.

My bedroom has changed in the hundred-plus years that have passed since I slept there as a child. The floorboards have been carpeted over, torn up, replaced. The walls are thick with new layers of paint. The windows have been upgraded, the closet expanded. The oak tree that stood outside my window is gone, felled by a storm twenty years ago, I’m told. But the house still stands, and our family still lives here, with all our attendant ghosts. You and I are haunting each other, I think.

The Shape of My Name @

Thanks Trevor Project!

The Trevor Project had bisexual training.

Today, The Bisexual Resource Center and BiNet USA trained the staff of the Trevor Project in bisexual cultural competency and the needs of bi, pan, fluid, queer (bi+) youth.

As far as we know, this is one of the first times The Trevor Project has had a bi training for their entire staff! It’s great to see more and more LGBT organizations recognizing the need for training on different LGBTQIA communities, by the communities themselves!

BiNet USA Blog