CITIZEN RADIO INTERVIEW: FEAR BOEING, NOT BISEXUALITY

I had a blast recording this interview with the incredible Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) and Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) of Citizen Radio. We talked about my Prospect piece on coming out as bisexual and my Dollars & Sense piece on why Boeing workers keep striking.

The episode also includes characteristically incisive and hilarious takes from Jamie and Alison on NYPD infiltrations and capes.

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AMBISEXTROUS


Here’s a piece I did for The Prospect sharing my experience coming out as bisexual six years ago:

One such study, released in 2005, came out a few months before I did. The New York Times headline blared, “Gay, Straight, or Lying?” I hadn’t told the person who showed me the article—or anyone else, for that matter—that I was wrestling with my own sexuality. I had promised myself that I would use my last year of college to figure out what my deal was. Seeing that article reinforced a fear that, however dishonest it may have been to portray myself as a gay-friendly straight guy, there was nothing I could say about my identity that would be both honest and perceived as such.

The piece discusses how suspicion of bisexuality is hurting the LGBT community. Check it out.

WHERE ARE THE BISEXUAL TV CHARACTERS?

My friend Alyssa Rosenberg has teamed up with Lux Alptraum to start a new site, Pop Culture Pen Pals, and they’ve kicked it off with a great exchange on the impoverished portrayals (or lack thereof) of bisexual or sexually fluid characters on TV. As Alyssa writes:

As long as studios are anxiously divining what audiences want, and audiences don’t know what they want from queer characters, no one’s going to pay attention to what realistic, deeply sketched queer characters themselves might actually want.


It’s a thought-provoking – and agitating – discussion, and I agree with most of what they each have to say. One dimension I’d be interested to hear them take on is gender. TV characters that aren’t exclusively hetero or homosexual are few and far between – but the ones that we do see tend to be women rather than men. In GLAAD’s survey of LGBT characters on Network TV, the LGBT male characters were all homosexual (14 to 0); the LGBT female characters were mostly bisexual (7 to 2). The number’s were more balanced on cable, but the pattern was the same.

Why is this? There are a lot of potential explanations. The (overlapping) ones I’m drawn to are all downers.

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