As anyone who has spent 5 minutes in my company knows, I am the first (and most annoying?) person to rail on and on about supporting Bisexual artists in order to create a Bi Culture that has been missing for the past two decades, so the whole Crystal Bowersox/Michfestdustup is adding some shades of grey to my black & white stance about sticking by Bis. On the one hand I actually think it’s kind of a big deal for the festival to be embracing such an out and vocal woman who identifies as Bi and not a lesbian, so the progress there is encouraging.
That being said, I cannot agree with Crystal’s decision to still play.
This is the perfect chance for a stance to be made not only for Trans Folk, but also for Bisexual Women. There is an easy connection to be made regarding the historical open hostility towards Bi women at this festival in the past to what is going on now with the festival banning Trans women (and make no mistake, it’s a “ban” despite the festival organizers claiming they are simply “requesting that they not attend”).
On the other hand, this is a young woman who wasn’t even born when the seeds of the Bi Movement were being sown by Lani [Ka'ahumanu], Loraine [Hutchins] and the rest, so to expect her to know the history of our movement and it’s checkered past with this festival might be expecting a bit much from her. We cannot expect every Bisexual person to be all things for all of us. It’s not realistic nor fair.
However, what we can hope for are more people like Ms. Bowersox to be brave and outspoken and proud about being bisexual in a monosexual world. Let us not forget that she will be stepping up on that stage and there will no doubt be hundreds of closed minded women in the audience who will be openly hostile to someone who wears her Bisexuality so proudly. Crystal being there does move our movement forward.
So yeah, would I have liked her to have taken more of a stand? Sure. Will I stop supporting her and not buy her music? Never!
Kyle Schickner is an American film producer, writer, director, actor and a bisexual rights activist. He is the founder of FenceSitter Films, a Production company devoted to entertainment for women, and sexual and ethnic minorities
American Idol Contestant Is Coming Out For Christmas
This story may be a month or so old, but it helped me round four rather lovely Christmas stories up to the magic number of five.
Season Nine American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox came out as bisexual earlier this month on US chat show Good Day LA, when she was promoting her honest and wonderfully progressive Christmas single. The track, entitled Coming Out at Christmas, is about bringing home a same-sex partner for the first time in the holidays and includes a lyric that will likely speak to many LGBTQ people: “I will introduce my love as not just my friend”.
Sales from the single - the cover for which features a Christmas tree made up of ‘equals’ symbols - are going to The Trevor Project. At the time of writing, there are still a few hours left of Christmas 2013, so it’s still socially acceptable to download a Christmas song. Oh heck, it’s for a good cause. Download it anyway and save it for next Christmas.
“I don’t really consider myself an ‘Idol’ contestant,” she said while acknowledging her gratitude to the show. “I was a performer starting at ten years old and I played gigs all over. When I found out I was pregnant, I was playing $100 gigs. I had to find a way to do what I loved and provide for my family.”