QTIPOC and Erotica
What does it mean to us when we have a skewed presence in erotic fiction? Too often we find ourselves squashed into specialist (and hard to access) publications, or we are simply made invisible. People of colour are rarely presented in erotic fiction; for QTIPOC the…
Transpose Halloween Edition.
I had the pleasure to perform at Transpose at their Hallowe’en edition. I felt right at home as soon as I walked across the sticky floors of the University of London’s Student Union bar. CN Lester had provided some sparkly vegan pumpkin cookies, which were yummy. I met up with Sandra Alland, who I hadn’t seen in years, and Kat Gupta who is always fun and full of energy (plus they had a brilliant werewolf tee-shirt!)
The event started with some wonderful songs from CN Lester.
I read a story about a singer who was born a woman but dresses like a man as part of their performance. When they start living as a man, they find little in the way of acceptance until they start to embrace the fluid nature of themselves.
There was also a story with a great take on a kelpie; a re-imagining of the Little Mermaid, and a film and poetry readings that were brilliant. Towards the end of the evening there was an auction to raise funds for TENI. I had to leave before the band finished it all off, but I had a fab time.
Transpose was a fantastic night, and I am already looking forward to the next one in February 2014.
My Bisexual Anthem for Bi Visibility Day
By Jacqueline Applebee
We’re not straight or gay.
Not a silent B
After this great day.
We’re out and proud,
Clothed in purple hues;
Smashing fences down
With our New Rocks boots.
Going all the way.
Neither straight or gay.
Let your voices shout.
Don’t dare leave us out!
The updated bingo card for hanging out with geeky/nerdy white folks. Still quite British, but now 20% more clueless, privileged and racist!
The original bingo card is here
I’m still bisexual. I’m still hanging around with geeky/nerdy white folks. I love my friends most of the time, but they also manage to piss me off on a regular basis. Hence the extended bingo card. It is still my major resource to surviving interactions with them with my brain intact. And without being incredibly lonely.
I’m going to concentrate on the centre four squares, because I actually have a job, and it ain’t this. No further explanations of the outer boxes will be given. Please don’t ask.
Game of Thrones
This show manages to tick every single box of what it is like to be on the outside of popular culture, watching horrified at the world around you. It manages to be racist, misogynistic and triggering to survivors of violence and/or abuse. http://smokeandstir.org/2013/06/22/game-of-thrones-racism-and-white-saviors/
So many white geeky/nerdy folks love this show, and will not shut the hell up about it. Dare you complain about any of this, and you will encounter the next square on the bingo card.
No other black people around
You’ll probably notice how alone you are if you try to speak up about anything. Not all white folks are racist, but the cluelessness and privelige that many have can leave you flummoxed. Get used to explaining why things are hurtful, insulting and racist, because that will be your major contribution, whether you like it or not.
Or what happened when Goths discovered the colour brown. Never mind that steampunk is a fictional concept, it’s a case of history repeating itself and ignoring people of colour. Do an internet search of “Steampunk images of people” and try to find more than three people who are black. Scroll down a good few pages. Go on, I’ll wait for you to come back. Not much luck? Yeah. I thought so.
I wish this wasn’t on here. I wish I didn’t have to encounter this in almost every conversation I have with white geeky/nerdy white folks. But I do. Some examples I’ve personally had to grit my teeth through…
“X isn’t racist, it’s artistic.”
“X isn’t racist, it’s an accurate portrayal of the time period (even if it’s set in the future)
“X isn’t racist, because Islam isn’t a race.” (seriously, do not get me started on this one)
“X isn’t racist, because Scottish/Welsh people get called names too. Nobody starts a riot about that.”
Things that didn’t make the card: Esperanto, Torture Garden club night, Richard Dawkins.
Things I removed from previous card: Slutwalk, Referencing the Guardian newspaper.
Bitcoin. Seriously? Everyone has way too much time on their hands.
I had a wonderful time at Nottinghamshire Pride. It was the first pride festival where I performed my work. I read my Biphobia story and my Personal Ad hell poem (I was asked to do non-smut!) on the Community stage. It was certainly daunting to look out at all the people having picnics on the grass as I read out loud.
This was only my second time at Nottinghamshire Pride. I got totally lost in Nottingham, but some friendly goths helped me find my way. I felt really welcomed the whole day, which was great.
I read my pieces in the afternoon, so I had a lot of time to enjoy all the other acts including a brililant dance troupe, soulful Single Bass, and some spoken word from Seattle’s El Dia, whose Dragon Lady tune blew me away. Maryam Bibi Din did a mythbusting piece on Queer Muslims that would have made the entire day worth it. There was just so much to enjoy!
UK Black Pride was just excellent! I had a wonderful time in an oasis of relaxation. I was joined by lots of queer and trans people of colour throughout the day. They brought energy, laughter and some good food too!
More photos can be seen on the Bi’s of Colour site:
Welcome to my life…
I came up with this bingo card as a way to keep sane whilst hanging out with white geeky folks. If you’re bisexual and you live in the U.K, hanging out with white geeky folks will be an unavoidable fact of life.
I’ve learned how to nod and look appreciative when people blather on about the focus of their lives, when their lives actively ignore anyone who is black, poor, not a programmer, or entrenched in a very specific range of British-isms. So instead of feeling sad, I can have fun shouting BINGO! at random moments during the evening.
This basic bingo card is very British-specific, so if you live elsewhere, go forth and make your own regional specialty.
P.S - Linux totally needs to go on the next expanded bingo card.
I almost forgot:
I no longer have a womb.
When I come crying out hard;
Swearing “Fuck!” to the ceiling,
My cunt tightens, implodes under my fingers.
The space where my womb used to be
Becomes a vacuum.
Nature may hate it, but I don’t.
For every time I come I feel a spark:
A flicker of life in my innermost parts.
Something is growing. Something moves.
I squeeze my eyes shut. I imagine a bloom
Of pure energy.
Drawn out of pleasure,
A hopeful alien life reaches out.
A concept that nobody spoke of,
Until they took my cervix and my womb
To save my life;
To give me something new.
Life after a hysterectomy? Yes.
Sexual desire after a hysterectomy? Yes
Mind-altering orgasms after a hysterectomy? Hell Yes!
By Jacqueline Applebee
(Previously printed in Bisexual Community News. Free to repost with author credit)
Some people face biphobia at work; some at their local church, mosque or pub. The irrational fear and hatred of bisexuality is not a concept for me. Biphobia is real. It stands about seven feet tall with a red, blotchy face. Biphobia wears a shabby black cloak. He has an evil stare. Biphobia makes me feel very uncomfortable sometimes.
I wake up one day to find Biphobia sitting at the bottom of my bed, smoking a cigarette. “You managed to sleep with a woman yet?” he points to the mound beneath the covers.
My boyfriend groans, turns over and blinks at me. “Morning, love.”
Biphobia stubs the cigarette out inches from my leg. “Nobody will take you seriously if you only sleep with men,” Biphobia growls. “Find yourself a hot lesbian, and she’ll sort you out. Your neighbour, Paula will do.”
As if on cue, I hear a knock at the front door. I jump out of bed, pulling a long t-shirt over my head. Sure enough, Paula is outside holding a kitten in her arms.
“How sweet,” Biphobia drawls. “A lesbian with a cat—two for the price of one.”
“Can you keep Moxie for the morning?” Paula asks breathlessly. “My mum is coming around.”
“Is she allergic to cats?” I ask.
“Moxie’s allergic to her. Some people are just too straight, you know?”
I take the mewling cat. “No problem, Paula. I’m not due in until this afternoon. It will be fun to play with the little thing.”
Paula straightens her blouse, fingers the top button. “I was wondering, if you’ve got nothing else on, why not come over for lunch?” Paula smiles at me. “I’ve been thinking of you a lot, you know?”
At that moment, my boyfriend comes down the stairs wearing nothing but a towel draped around his hips.
Paula goes pale. “Oh, I see you’re busy.” She literally grabs the kitten from me.
“I can still look after Moxie,” I say to her retreating back.
“I don’t want her exposed to hetero-normative influences. She’s a sensitive creature, you know?”
Biphobia shuts the door. He glares at me for some time.
The bank I work for starts an LGBT networking group. I don’t quite believe it is real until I enter a room full of happy faces. Queer staff and their partners from all over the South-East have travelled to our Brighton head office to take part in the launch. Of course, Biphobia turns up to the event too. He sloshes down bottles of wine, and eats all the sausage rolls.
A senior cashier from Littlehampton corners me by the windows. “Did you bring your girlfriend with you?” she asks.
“I have a boyfriend,” I respond before I can stop myself. “He was busy.”
The cashier looks like I’ve slapped her. “This group is vitally important for gays and lesbians. It’s not for straights.”
“I’m bisexual.” I’m aware my voice is a whisper. I’m aware I don’t want anyone else to hear me. Biphobia slips an arm around my shoulder. I feel totally intimidated.
The cashier looks embarrassed. She says nothing as she turns and quickly walks away.
Arnold Rosbottom, the area manager, makes a speech. He is full of earnest words. Gays and lesbians are addressed in every single line. Transgender workers get a special mention toward the end. But he doesn’t say bisexual once.
I feel Biphobia’s arms wrap around my chest. He squeezes me so I can barely breathe. “You can end this right now,” Biphobia says. “Admit you’re really a lesbian. Hell, admit you’re really straight, and you won’t have to put up with any more of this crap.”
I feel absolutely terrified as another woman approaches me, even though she smiles as she speaks. “A group of us girls are going to the Candy Bar later. We can get away from all these horrid gay boys.”
Biphobia’s hand slides up to my throat. “Say yes,” he whispers. “Join them.”
My voice is a squeak when my mouth opens. “I’m bisexual. I don’t hate men.” Biphobia’s grip on my throat slackens as I continue. “I like people, period.”
The woman screws up her face. “You need to make up your mind.”
“Preach, sister!” Biphobia calls out. He stands beside her, but he looks somehow smaller.
“I have made up my mind,” I say with a new strength in my voice. “I’m leaving. I’m going to the Brighton Bothways meet-up instead.”
“What’s that?” she asks with a scowl. “Some fetish club?”
“It’s for social for bisexuals and their allies.”
A man standing nearby turns to me. “A bisexual meet up? Can I come too?” He tugs on another woman’s sleeve. “Betty, we’re not the only ones!”
Betty’s eyes light up. “Thank goodness. I feel invisible in this place.” She loops her arm through mine, leads me to the door.
Arnold Rosbottom catches my eye as we all exit. “Leaving already?”
“There’s nothing here for bisexuals,” I say. “You ought to fix that.”
I spot Biphobia slide up behind Arnold. He is about to put his hands on the manager’s shoulder when Arnold nods at me. “Of course you’re right. I should have made everyone feel welcome.”
Biphobia falls over in a heap, suddenly tiny. “Bloody half-gays!” he shouts. “Switch-hitters! Purple-wearing disease spreaders!”
I pay him no heed as I walk out of the room with my new friends. I leave Biphobia behind. And maybe he’ll pop up again tomorrow, but something has changed in me now. Biphobia doesn’t scare me anymore.