Serena Gaia

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8 of 8 – BiTopia: Conclusion and Works Cited. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Conclusion

Last August at UEL a sense of hope and joy of coming together emanated from the mere simultaneous presence of so many bis with different interests, backgrounds and motivations for participating.  When BiCon 28, 10 ICB, and BiReCon converged, BiTopia came alive.  The sober walls of academe were made more spirited and effervescent by the concrete presence of such an imaginative congregation of folks from many countries, genders, queer subcultures, age groups, venues, and walks in life. 

The 26th was research day and at BiReCon one would find work that breaks new ground.  The research presented was informed and reliable yet wide-ranging enough to trade in paradigmatic issues.  It was free of media friendly sensationalism and ivory tower abstractions.  The very concept of bisexuality, with its multiple meanings and implications, offers a prism through which the semiotics that organize cultural constructions of love can be sorted out. The contents of that day have been elaborated into articles and organized in five clusters.  We are grateful to the authors who submitted to us and revised.  We hope to have orchestrated a volume that honors BiReCon’s momentous quality. 

In subsequent days, one would get a sense of the lore of bisexuality, how bi people like to dress, how they relate, what they talk about, the urban legends they trade.  Imaginativeness, creativity, playfulness, a certain taste for the odd, the eccentric, an inclination for the carnivalesque, the topsy-turvy, for the giggly excess, the performative, the subversive.  Different age groups met, who have experienced biphobia at different times and in different contexts, yet with the same sense that integration of perceived opposites is what dissipates the fears.  The festive atmosphere was traversed with a vibration that energized the intention to respond to the challenges that make bisexuality necessary as a transformative force for the new millennium.

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, February 20th, 2011
Works Cited and Consulted
Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena.  Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet.  Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.
Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena, ed.  Plural Loves: Designs for Bi and Poly Living.  New York: Routledge, 2005. 
Cantarella, Eva.  Bisexuality in the Ancient World.  Yale University Press, 1992.  (Original title: Secondo natura, “according to nature”.)
Chedgzoy, Kate.  “Two Loves I Have: Shakespeare and Bisexuality.”  In Bi Academic Intervention Eds, The Bisexual Imaginary: Representation, Identity and Desire.  London: Cassell, 1997.
Garber, Marjorie.  Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life.  New York: Routledge, 2000.
Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan.  Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution.  University of California Press, 1997.
______  .  Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
Marshall, Nowell.  “Refusing Butler’s Binary: Bisexuality and Performative Melancolia in Mrs. Dalloway.”  In Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio and Jonathan Alexander Eds, Bisexuality and Queer Theory.  New York: Routledge, 2010. 
Storr, Merl. Bisexuality: A Critical Reader.  London: Routledge, 1999.
Wikipedia: Docklands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Docklands

Thanks for reading us.  We hope you have enjoyed.  Please leave a comment.  More exciting posts to follow on diverse topics in the near future!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!
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7 of 8 – BiTopia: Bisexual Cultural Productions, Interpretations, Reflections. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Cluster 5.  Bisexual Cultural Productions, Interpretations, Reflections
The imagination is the realm of human life out of which new visions emanate, with their powerful reverberations across space and time.  The fifth cluster includes contributions that discuss cultural constructions and interpretations of bisexuality in the social media, film, drama, and future life.  These articles, and the sources they discuss, help us imagine how the world beyond the homo/hetero divide—this wide open world without binaries–would feel, look, read, and perform like. 
“Blogging Bisexuals” is a social-media article that registers the experiences of two bloggers and their respondents to examine the role of blogging in the bloggers’ coming out process.  Sue George is known to the public for her work on bisexuality.  She also draws on her own experience as a blogger in this article.  The blogosphere is a new realm of the imagination where love is signified.  Its virtual character makes it more open to unconventional expressions and impulses.  Its accessibility makes it a natural resource for “coming out” of one’s asphyxiating monosexual lifestyle.  The two cases discussed show how the blogosphere served the purpose in different circumstances.
In “Bisexuality in the Cinema,” B.C. Roberts analyzes Anglophone film criticism discourse about bisexuality as mapped by critics who identify as bisexual.  Robert reviews a vast array of secondary sources ranging over a fairly inclusive body of films with prominent bisexual tropes.  Her claim is that this discourse has been shaped by dominant strategies for representing bisexuality.  Roberts suggests a focus on the medium itself as a way to eschew this dominant bias. 
Plays By Shakespare, Painting by Sir John Gilbert
On a more hopeful note, Kaye McLelland proposes bisexual readings for a significant range of Shakespeare’s works, including plays and poems, in her multivoiced article, “Toward a Bisexual Shakespeare.”  This is the kind of article any formally trained drama critic who honestly studies bisexuality would like to publish.  Since my early days as an English major in my undergraduate career at the University of Sassari, Italy, I thought English literature was fabulous because its centerpiece, its cultural icon, was bi.  That’s what really got me to continue in that field and specialize in drama!  “Two loves I have” (# 144) is the sonnet I typically use to start off my workshops on bisexuality.  The Bard declares he loves a “man right fair” and a “woman coloured ill,” I reason–who in the wide world could doubt he’s bi? 
The “Bard”
But obviously, my reasoning does not take into account the dynamics involved in the construction of national literary canons.  What if English children found out at a tender age that a whole literary tradition is built on someone so “unpromotable” and “unreliable”?  That’s where McLelland’s article helps out.  The only reason why I can think so freely–I realize–is that I’m not a subject of the British Crown!  McLelland enters the fray of this highly charged discussion with a gentle yet firm touch.  She claims that bisexual readings of Shakespeare are realistic and plausible, with the added bonus of being–to bisexual readers–highly desirable.  From her discussion, one gathers that the complexity and depth of understanding of bisexuality in Shakespeare’s oeuvre is such that it requires one to revisit all the meanings of bisexuality as they evolved in the modern era and became interrelated in culture and language. 
Oberon, Titania, Puck, in Midsummer Night’s Dream
In this article, we observe that as a side effect of the homo/hetero divide, Shakespeare has been monosexualized one way or the other.  McLelland’s discussion levels the playfield to where any actual bisexual interpretations of a specific work or set of works by the Bard will register as as legitimate as one based in any other sexual orientation.  When it comes to a cultural icon around which so much in the ways of maintaining the status quo is invested, that is to say a lot!  Last but not least, Hartmut Friedrichs’ “Politics Strategy: Bisexual or Queer” envisions transformative goals for bisexuality that affect a whole range of areas in human life, and discusses strategies that may be effective in timeframes ranging from the present to a whole century from now.

To be be continued: 8 of 8 – Conclusion.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
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6 of 8 – BiTopia: Bisexuality at Work. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceeding Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

Cluster 4. Bisexuality at Work

For people who work for a living, the expression of bisexuality is possible to the extent to which it is compatible with the way we make a living.  Research on bisexuality in the workplace featured prominently at BiReCon, providing evidence of a clear need to make the environments where people work more aware of bisexuality and its complexity.  Dispelling myths, educating people about differences, putting a human face on the ‘different,’ all of these areas of action are common with other queer subgroups.  But what is specific about bisexuality?  How do bis get constructed in public and professional spaces by those who don’t know us for who we are?  These were the foci of the “Workplace” BiReCon track. 
The three articles contributed to our cluster give evidence that more study is necessary.  Awareness of other non-normative sexualities that abide by the monosexual paradigm–including gay and lesbian sexualities–is by no means sufficient.  Indeed, it is precisely among these queer subgroups that the challenge to monosexuality bisexual people present is often met with most distrust.  Are bisexuals really “reliable”?  Or is some deep-seated distrust in the way of a fuller appreciation of our profession qualities?
Heidi Bruins Green, Nicholas Payne, and Jamison Green are a team of scholars who research the workplace experiences of bisexual people.  In “Working Bi” they present their preliminary findings based on an extensive questionnaire administered to over 800 respondents from five continents.  Helena See and Ruth Hunt also team up in “Bisexuality and Identity” to observe the experience of bisexuality in the UK, based on data compiled by Stonewall (a major LGBTI advocacy organization in the EU).  There is an uncanny resonance between the two accounts.  Both studies observe that bisexual people’s perceived “failure to choose” causes the perception that we are “less competent and reliable than [our] straight, lesbian or gay colleagues” (See, 7).  Green and her team directly correlate this construction with out-bisexuals being seen as “unpromotable by management and leaders” (Green, 15). 

Why does this sound familiar?  It’s another aspect of the homo/hetero divide–binary logic that clutters genuine perceptions of reality.  The perceived “failure to choose” makes the potential and talents of bisexual people largely invisible in the workplace.  Our talents get fewer chances to develop, to the potential detriment of society and the planet.  It’s time to reorganize discourses about sexuality!  Bisexual people choose!  Especially when we are out in the workplace–and any other areas of our lives–our choice is a very difficult one.  It is highly demanding of oneself.  Its price to society and the planet is yet to be assessed.  Gays and lesbians, who have suffered similar stigmatizations in the past, can now invoke the protection of monosexuality–with the affinity for monogamy that implies.[1]  More support from these sectors of the LGBTI community is desirable. 

When the playfield is leveled, when monosexualities are not considered intrinsically superior to bisexualities, that demanding choice will be a strong reason to consider bisexuals especially promotable and reliable.  In her brief article, Carola Towle outlines the progress of UNISON, a service trade union in the UK, toward outlining a policy appreciative of bisexuality.  Let’s hope that by the time this and other policies are implemented, the ignorance upon which this false sense of mono superiority relies is debunked. 

[1] For overlaps between polyamory (or responsible non-monogamy) and bisexuality, I refer to my edited collection Plural Loves (2005). 

To be be continued: 6 of 8 – Bisexual Cultural Productions, Interpretations, Reflections.  Includes comments on contributions by Sue George, B.C. Roberts, and Kaye McLelland.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!

 

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5 of 8 – BiTopia: Bisexuality Through the Lifespan. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon
Cluster 3. Bisexuality Through the Lifespan
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
While the effects of biphobia rage in many quarters, the discourse of bisexuality has expanded in others, including the meaningfulness of bisexuality through the human lifespan.  This is the focus of the third cluster. 
Jones’s Study: Bis Imaging Future
“Imagining Bisexual Futures” organizes data from past BiCon surveys and a workshop on aging at BiReCon 2010 called “When I Get Old” to explore how bisexual people imagine and wish to organize our late life.  Rebecca Jones, a Lecturer at the Open University in Buckinghamshire, proposes an ethnomethodological perspective to examine normativity as defined within a given subculture in its interfaces with scripts and expectations that evolve in mainstream culture.  In her view, in these subcultures, we observe a forging and re-forging of normativites that are in flux.  Her research implies the trust that imagining non-normative futures in a workshop can help to actualize them.  Being on the verge of designing the next chapter of my own life, I found this workshop very inspiring.  How can bis design chapters in our lives that reflect the way we want to be?  Can ‘normativity’ be redesigned to accommodate bisexual people’s dream late-life?  Or will old bis get to be ‘normalized’ and pushed back into the closet by assisted living and the medicalization of late-life?  Could old-age be the time when we bis get to finally fulfill our inclusive amorous fantasies?  Jones’ research maps these possibilities, since the imagination is where it all begins! 
Jones’s Study” Bis Imagining Future
In “There Has Been No Phase in My Life When I Wasn’t Somehow Bisexual,” Finnish anthropologist Jenny Kangasvuo provides some concrete examples of how the meaning of bisexuality can evolve in one’s life.  In 1999, Kangasvuo’s interviews with 40 bisexual-identified Finnish people opened her career.  Now she revisits a number of her subjects with follow-up questions designed to understand “what kind of meaning does the concept of bisexuality have in their lives” (7).  Informants evolved along different paths: Some had children, some formed a family with a same-gender partner, some with an other-gender partner, some married and divorced under the new Finnish laws for marriage equality.  Bisexuality remained significant in organizing meaning in their lives.

Jones’ s Study: Bis Imagining Future

To be be continued: 6 of 8 – Cluster 4: Bisexuality at Work.  Includes comments about contributions by Heidi Bruins Green, Helena See, and Carola Towle.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
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4 of 8 – BiTopia: Contexts for Biphobia and Bi-Negativity. Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance: Introduction to BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Cluster 2.  Contexts for Biphobia and Bi-Negativity

Freedom of sexual expression is often considered a fundamental human right.  In this context , we observe that when research projects are designed with the intent to respect this right, results for bisexuality are encouraging.  Even so, when we open up wider horizons, when we delve more deeply into human relatedness and its dynamics, we find that biphobia and bi-negativity are far from disappearing.  This is the focus of the second cluster.  Where does the fear of bisexuality make its appearance?  What are the contexts, dynamics, situations that trigger biphobia?  What deeper levels of disunity, denial, mistrust, does this fear manifest?  How are organizations, communities, families, relationships traversed by it?  How do biphobia and bi-negativity get symbolized?  What political, cultural, economic forces power its perpetuation and reproduction?  What are the costs to humanity in terms of personal and social life?  These and many related questions are addressed in the two articles in this section:  “Deconstructing Biphobia,” by Miguel Obradors-Campos, and “Shady Characters,” by Christian Klesse. 

People at BiCon

In “Deconstructing Biphobia,” Miguel Obradors-Campos presents a non-essentialist theory of biphobia as a form of oppression that manifests within and without LGBT communities and is a direct result of the overarching binary that organizes knowledge about love in western cultures.  Obradors’ perspective is steeped in epistemology, ontology, and other significant aspects of the Western philosophical tradition, from the classics to Kant and beyond.  He brings his background in the Romance languages to bear on the complexity of the topic, showing how biphobia is a state of mind.  It is an honor to bring such complexity of Latinate lexicon and sentence structure into the multivoiced discourse of this volume.  Klesse shifts to the even more personal and unstable terrain of amorous relationships.  His reference point is heteronormativity, or the ‘normalization’ of heterosexuality that typifies essentialist discourses.  Can bisexuals really organize our amorous lives around a divide that denies us?  Both authors provide evidence of how prejudice, fear, ignorance, and confusion about bisexuality affect the lives of openly bisexual people very deeply, and keep bisexual cultures and communities from expanding as naturally and organically as they should in a healthy society.

To be be continued: 5 of 8 – Cluster 3: Bisexuality Through the Lifespan.   Includes comments about contributions by Rebecca Jones and Jenny Kangasvuo.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
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3 of 8 – BiTopia: Is Bisexuality Entering the Third Millenium? Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance:  An Introduction to BiTopia

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

Cluster 1. Bi Re(Con)Naissance: When Bisexuality Enters the Third Millennium
The first of five clusters in which this volume’s contributions have been organized includes introductory articles that also reflect and elaborate on the contents of plenary sessions.  “BiReCon: An International Academic Conference on Bisexuality” is a multivoiced narrative based on observation and a micro-historicist perspective that nimbly documents and captures the energy and movement of the event.  The team of authors, including Meg Barker, Christina Richards, Rebecca Jones, and Surya Monro, were also key agents for the convergence of three Bi events that made BiReCon momentous.  They warmly welcomed BiReCon research into the BiCon, ICB, BiTopian space.  Their contribution clearly outlines the background and social actors that made the convergence possible, and briefly highlights presentations and their significance.  The appended copy of the Conference Program orients readers as to the variety of topics and contributions, with a complete list that includes presentations not available in article form.
Subsequent contributions in this section memorialize the three keynotes of the day.  In “Why We Need to ‘Get Bi’,” long-time bi educator and activist Robyn Ochs explains why the binary that organizes current thinking about sexuality needs to be overcome, along with the oppositional logic that affects human thinking in all areas of life.  Ochs’ pragmatic voice powerfully outlines strategies for global action. 
In “Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving” yours truly takes this line of reasoning one step further to introduce the global ecology of bisexuality.  In a cosmos where matter and energy, mind and body, nature and humanity are aligned, bisexuality functions as a portal to a world beyond the hetero/homo divide, where the symbiotic energy of love is revered, the practice of love considered an art.  In this BiTopian world, Eros, the energy of love is recognized as the force that makes Gaia, the third planet Earth, alive. 

In a similar vein, the last contribution in this section comes from a perspective that honors erotophilia, or the love of love, rather than erotophobia, or the fear of love.  Its applied research is auspicated by AIB, the American Institute of Bisexuality.  Eric Anderson and his collaborators present significant in-progress findings on men and bisexuality, with a focus on secular cultures in today’s major metropolitan areas of the West.  The team includes Matthew Ripley, Adrian Adams, and Robin Pitts.  In “The Decreasing Significance of Stigma in the Lives of Bisexual Men” the authors document a cultural shift that empowers young men of our time to be more fluid about their sexuality and more relaxed about connecting physically and emotionally with one another, when compared to men who came of age on or before the AIDS era. 

The attention paid to gay cultures in the context of this epidemic has made gayness more acceptable to people who love love and respect erotophilia, or the human drive to make that love expressed.

To be be continued: 4 of 8 – Cluster 2: Contexts for Biphobia and Bi-Negativity.  Includes comments on contributions by Christian Klesse and Miguel Obradors-Campos.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:

© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!
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2 of 8 – BiTopia: Bisexuality’s Meanings and Contexts. Read Intro to BiReCon, Cont’d

Bi ReConNaissance:
An Introduction to BiTopia, Selected Proceedings from BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

Bisexuality: Meanings and Contexts
As public discourse manifests around bisexuality, the meanings of bisexuality gradually weave together into a multivoiced discourse where they become symbiotic with one another, as in a permaculture garden.  At the same time, the contexts, disciplinary and otherwise, where bisexuality manifests, become more diverse and widespread. 
In assessing the work of this volume, my wish is to interpret BiReCon as the portal to a BiTopia, a brave new world where loving love is fine and binaries do not apply.  When the meanings of bisexuality are memorialized, one finds how they defeat oppositional logic on many counts.  Is bisexuality about sex or love?  Is it about the potential or the act?  Does it divide or unite?  Is it about the body or the psyche?  When we introduce the trope of bisexuality in cultural discourse, we find that we cannot ask these simple questions innocently any more.  The questions bisexuality brings up simply correspond to the binary logic that binds modern thought to an old cultural paradigm.  It takes the work of many teams of interdisciplinary scholars and researchers to generate the energetic field of interconnected minds capable of debunking that binary.  A significant amount of that work is being accomplished in this volume and the convergence of events it refers to. 
@ BiReCon w/ Regina Reinhard & Robyn Ochs
Bisexuality is a modern word for expressions of the erotic among humans, expressions that are as old as human life in general.  The word is modern in the sense that it is based on the notion of sexuality.  This notion organizes what was known in antiquity as the arts of loving under a scientific aegis.  However, the practice of love among humans, and other species with a digametal, male/female system of reproduction, precedes the modern era, and transcends gender boundaries.  Love itself starts with unicellular life, where gender does not apply.[1]  As long as there is no evidence of the superiority of monosexuality, there is no reason to accept cultural constructions of “nature” that marginalize bisexuality.  In other words, bisexuality is “natural,” no matter what semiotic perspective applies.
This semiotic function of bisexuality as a hinge between eras and cultural paradigms, is what produces variance in the meaning of the word across space and time, and what grants its complexity a significant function.  For example, when referred to antiquity retroactively, the word indicates the fluctuations of erotic desire that were considered integral parts of a person’s development into adulthood.[2]  In classical Athens, one learned about the arts of love from older mentors of one’s gender, one practiced with other-gender partners.  When referred to early modernity, bisexuality indicated the performative aspects of gender that were typical of that era.  On the Elizabethan stage, for example, young men played women who played men, in a triple entendre that allowed to eschew the constraints of Christianity that labeled same-sex love unnatural.  This allowed Shakespearean actors, all men, to “play” with other men, on the stage, and–sometimes at least–behind the wings.[3]  In modernity, the b-word became associated with androgyny, a 19th century style of gender performance that enhanced the intertwined character of feminine and masculine traits in humanity.  Orlando, in Virginia Woolf’s novel by the same title, is a woman who is a man who is a woman–a transgender person as androgynous and bi as the author ever was.[4] 
It’s only in the 20th century that the current emphasis on desire became emphasized.[5]  Yet, when we see bisexuality as a portal to BiTopia–the brave new world where the energy of love circulates beyond gender binaries–we understand that the force of bisexuality in discourse is the complexity of all these meanings combined.  When we think of BiTopia as the energy of a global paradigm shift from binary to inclusive, from linear to complex, from erotophobic to erotophilic, we see that bisexuality functions as a portal, not a divide.  When we imagine the world beyond this portal, we appreciate this complexity as an asset.  Love, beyond that portal, is not a need or an instinct, but an art.  In this context, bisexuality is the subtext of a bouquet of imaginative styles of erotic expression that virtually live beyond the divide, including bi, trans, poly, swing, pan, omni, gay, lesbian, goth, BDSM, metro, eco, and many others. 

The venue that hosted the three combined events, UEL Dockland Campus, is a public university that serves many of the new populations of London’s extended metropolitan area.  The venue itself is significant in this context.  In England and the world today, the forces of democracy are defending public education as a foundation for the practice of democracy.  Yet basic human rights are continuously being violated precisely because not enough reliable knowledge is publicly accessible.  Sexual freedom is one of these basic rights.  In a world still dominated by the homo/hetero divide, bisexuality is an expression of sexual freedom whose significance is enhanced by the divide.  In hosting three Bi events combined, UEL accomplished its mission of auspicating democracy via public education.  The practice of bisexuality is a way that sexual freedom becomes expressed.  The study of bisexuality is a way to understand what this practice is in its multiple aspects.  When we memorialize BiReCon in this volume, we produce reliable knowledge about bisexuality and practice democracy in the form of making knowledge that is both academic and transformative accessible to the public.

The combined events were a unique opportunity to get a sense of what bisexuality is today, of its transformative potential as the third millennium comes into full swing.  Nobody knows what the future brings, and yet, we do know that the future of bisexuality is in the hands of those with the ability to think together about a third millennium where oppositional reason gives way to symbiotic reason. Symbiotic reason integrates both elements in a binary and honors the infinite diversity of the in-between, the infinite complexity of life that loves itself and sustains itself.[6]  This future will be ushered by those with the ability to respect the experience of bisexuality as a source of knowledge.  They/we have affirmed this identity and transformed it into an epistemic portal to a future without binaries.
To be continued: 3 of 8 – Cluster 1: When Bisexuality Enters the Third Millennium.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!  Includes comments on keynotes by Robyn Ochs, Serena Anderlini, Eric Anderson, and on event’s genesis by Meg Barker and other organizers. 

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!


[1] My sources are Margulis and Sagan (1991 and 1997), passim.
[2] My source is Cantarella (1992), passim.
[3] Significant sources include Chedgzoy (1997), and Garber (2000), passim.
[4] For bisexual paths to an interpretation of Woolf’s fiction, I refer to Marshall (2010).
[5] For more on the history of the word bisexuality, I refer to Storr (1999).
[6] I discuss this at length in Gaia and the New Politics of Love (2009) often also seen as a manifesto for ecosexuality. 
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1 of 8 – BiTopia: Is Bi ReConNaissance Happening Now? Read Introduction to BiReCon 2010’s Proceedings Volume

Bi ReConNaissance:
An Introduction to BiTopia, Selected Proceedings from BiReCon
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Preamble
We decided to call BiTopia this volume of the Journal of Bisexuality.  What is BiTopia?  It’s the utopian space where bisexuality is real and present, and also where it is the vanishing point for all the imaginative forms of amorous, erotic, and sexual expression that make life healthy, creative, and fun.  BiTopia is also an appropriate way to memorialize the bi utopian space created by the convergence of three Bi university events in the East Dockland area, site of London’s traditional harbor.  The historic wharfs of the world capital of modern coloniality are being redeveloped as financial districts.[1]  Public universities serve the children of new migrants.  Bisexuality produces knowledge that is transformative and academic at the same time.  This introduction is meant as a recognizance tour of that BiTopian space, with Bi Renaissance as its wish and double entendre. 
Bisexual communities in the UK and nearby regions have come together annually for almost three decades in a stream of conferences known as BiCon.  2010 saw the 28th edition of this event, simultaneously with 10 ICB, the international bi conference.  They took place on August 27-30 at the University of East London, Dockland Campus.  BiReCon 2010, an international day bisexuality research, inaugurated the convergence of bi energies and minds, on the 26th.  This momentous combination, with the added bonus of travel and research funding from the American Institute of Bisexuality, the welcome of BiCon’s well-tuned organizational team, the proactive work of a cluster of UK-based bi researchers (including Meg Barker, Christina Richards, and others), and the congenial public university venue, made BiReCon 2010 a really unique and historic event. 
@ BiReCon w/ Regina Reinhardt & Robyn Ochs
It is an honor to be introducing one more special-topics issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  This issue is dedicated to providing access to the knowledge production generated by BiReCon 2010 and making the spectrum of research projects, areas, and finding related to bisexuality accessible to the public.  As a speaker at the event, a contributor to the volume, and guest editor who originated the idea for this project, I am proud to introduce its contents.  There is always a major difference between flesh-and-bones events and their memorialization on paper.  Regardless of one’s efforts, there is no hope for a proceedings volume to offer anything anywhere nearly the intensity, momentum, and excitement of the conference itself, or even the memory in one’s mind.  However, the intent of this volume is to offer what is possible in that way, with the added bonus of the cognitive and epistemic reflections that turned presentations into contributed articles.  I am indebted to Brian Zamboni, Editor-in-Chef of the Journal of Bisexuality, for his valuable collaborator as a peer-reviewer in this project.  His offer to share the effort is really appreciated. 

To be be continued: 2 of 8 – Bisexuality: Meanings and Contexts.  Watch out for this exciting section in a few days!

Copyright and Prepublication Notice:
© Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, transferred to Taylor & Francis for upcoming publication in BiReCon, a selected proceedings issue of the Journal of Bisexuality.  Prepublished here courtesy of T & F.  Stay tuned for volume and buy it online!
Read the Journal of Bisexuality online, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of all aspects on bisexuality.   Check out our latest: a provocative special-topics issue on Bisexuality and Queer Theory!


[1] For more on the history of the Docklands, I refer to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Docklands
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
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