LARKER Issue 2: Random Lights Flaring In Our Chests

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LARKER ANTHOLOGY Issue 2: Random Lights Flaring In Our Chests Edited by Patricia Silva www.larkeranthology.com Published by Shambalissima Editions New York, NY, September 23 2014 Cover: Stencil by Dani K O Flux. Cover: Discothéque Blondie, by Rodrigo Ferrari. This page: XXXV Marcha del Orgullo Lésbico, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Travesti, Transgénero e Intersexual by Razi Marysol Machay, June 2013.


“develop a feeling for abstract forms”

Shane

Phelan:

lesbian

communities

cannot understand their own histories without

acknowledging

the

existence

of “bisexuality,...at the center of lesbian experience,” not at the margin.

Hannah Höch, Self-Portrait with Raoul Hausmann, ca 1919. Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst.


Brenda Howard (1946-2005)


At one point I asked the activists representing supposed biinclusive groups to help and would anyone please take a vote as a bi representative. That was the only time that the entire room was completely silent. —Apphia Kumar

Bengaluru (Bangalore) Queer Pride Parade, June 2009. Photograph by Vinayak Das.


We are presumed not to exist, and any attempt to assert our existence is immediately thwarted by accusations that we are hiding, faking or simply confused. I would like to see us all stop pitting ourselves against one another, and instead work together to challenge all binaries and all forms of sexism. The political explanation that I gave for why I choose the bisexual label stems from the fact that societal monosexism invisibilizes bisexuality, and ensures that we can only ever be read in one of two ways, namely, as homosexual or heterosexual...the “bi” in bisexual does not merely refer to the types of people that I am sexual with, but to the fact that both the straight and queer worlds view me in two very different ways depending upon who I happen to be partnered with at any given moment. I admit that this is a relatively novel way of viewing the word bisexual, but it is one that I personally fancy, and it is consistent with the theme of challenging monosexism, bi-invisibility and the hetero/homo binary.

—Julia Serano, Excluded

Isadora Duncan, at the turn of the century. Photograph by Arnold Genthe.


Marlene Dietrich in Hollywood, 1931. Photographed by Edward Steichen.


The Hammer By Faith Cheltenham there is a door that shines upon my dark a knob waiting to be turned into and on my life secrets kept and whispers felt what is it, to not be loved? in all the wrong ways to never know the pages in the play to wish for death each and every day and have hesitation mark my skin? “if” in time I wish to tell to rise from the deepness of my well afeared and more afraid that truth will be the only answer to my tale to crushing corners, ever Charged emotional battery to terrors and trials rides in cop cars and case files up and down memory aisle to saving graces angelic faces just like his I dressed them, in long pants and jackets to cover up the lashes all of us in dark with only each other and mainly me to stave against his lark what is it, to love? secret and not so safe but “together” i held tight the terror for us and each in turn, we whispered: maybe we won’t, maybe we won’t have to hurt anymore again today tomorrow each answer claps in my head a growing wondrous nearly ready roar cracks cracking inside a shut door


“I do think that any outsider has something to teach, and in the black community, the bisexuals and homosexuals have been the outsiders. Look at what happened to James Baldwin—the oppression was so great he had to run. He didn’t leave here because he was black, he left here because he was a gay man. He went away where he could be accepted and loved.” —Sapphire

From an interview with Kelvin Christopher James for Bomb magazine, 2002.


“In my personal opinion, life is an organic abstraction. A symbiosis in its most simplistic form, meant to constantly evolve. I have been positive for 12 years, roughly. It is now the time to make dreams happen, make no excuses and make things go into overdrive if at all possible...and go forward with these new partners with a almost sun-like glow.” — James L. Sword Jr.


Kathy Acker at Wissenschaft, Künste + Alles Andere (Science, Arts + Everything Else) Symposium, Basel, 1990. Photograph by Ute Schendel.




Tangible History A selection of bisexual artifacts from the private collection of Robyn Ochs

The Boston Bisexual Women’s Network marches in a Boston pride march, mid-1980s. We founded this group in 1983, and we are now the longest-lasting bi women’s group in the world, and the publishers of Bi Women Quarterly, which I currently edit.

These bi stickers from San Francisco and Boston were produced in the 1990s and provided bi visibility during pride parades.


I’m a firm believer in the power of storytelling to change hearts and minds. And I know that I can’t speak for all bisexual people, so telling my own story—while valuable—is not One challenge facing bisexual

enough. That’s why I believe in the power

people is that you can’t recognize

of the anthology and of community-based

us just by looking. Therefore, visual

publications such as the Bi Women Quarterly.

representation takes on particular

We set the stage, and get as wide-ranging a

importance. Signs, t-shirts, pins,

collection of people as possible to step up

and posters help to make us

and share their experiences. Collectively,

visible and find each other.

we can help people to understand us.

In the days before most people had access to the internet, it was much harder to find each other, and to find resources. This book, with editions in 1995, 1997 and 1999, was an attempt to fill this gap. It consisted mostly of listings of bi or bi-welcoming groups around the world, accompanied by photos, interesting quotations, and a chapter called “Why Bi?” in which a couple dozen people explained why they used this label.

­—Robyn Ochs


Edna St. Vincent Millay at Mitchell Kennerley's house in Mamaroneck, New York. Arnold Genthe Collection.


“I stand before you as an unapologetic, outspoken, bisexual activist who has intimately loved women, men and transgender persons throughout my lifespan of 72 years... ...my Bi mentor, Dr Loraine Hutchins, for many years was the only out and unapologetic Bisexual I knew. She was the lone Super Woman in many of DC’s pride parades who did not hide behind the identity of Lesbian.” —ABilly S. Jones-Hennin’s Keynote at BECAUSE 2014

Garden path at Sissinghurst, a masterpiece of English horticulture designed collaboratively in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson. Photograph by Erika Hansen.


“I lost contact with friends and some promoters, and I wasn’t allowed to perform at different events after I came out.” —­I mani the Misfit­”


“Coming Out isn’t just coming out. It’s Coming In. Coming in from the cold. Coming In means joining the community that’s been waiting for you, the community that will be larger and stronger once you are openly a part of it.” Sylvia Rivera photographed by Robert GIrard

Patrick RichardsFink/fliponymous.wordpress.com


One form of bisexual desire in art history, found at the ancient roman frescos in Suburban Thermae (Pompeii). Photograph by Fer Filol, 2006.

Year 96, Thespiae, Greece. Young Bacchon of many male lovers wants to marry Ismenadora, a desirable widow. Bacchon’s most devoted male lover, Pisias, opposes this decision because she—older, artistocratic— will be the dominant one. (As if Bacchon hadn’t permitted himself to be kidnapped...) —from Plutarch’s Amatorious, 120 AD


While speaking about sexual liberation at a Columbia University panel discussion in 1970, a woman in the audience asked feminist social critic Kate Millet:

“Why don’t you

say you’re a lesbian, here, openly. You’ve said you were a lesbian in the past.” Millett’s response was that she was bisexual. Time magazine called her the “Mao TseTung of Women’s Liberation,” in its August 31, 1970, issue, which featured her on the cover. Kate Millet photographed by Diana Davies, 1970.

I think that this trouble around bisexuality for gay/LGBT+ movements, and around trans and non-binary genders for feminist movements, stems from the same place. Recognising this provides a way forward that will not only be more inclusive for B and T people, but will be better for everybody. ­— Meg Barker, Rewriting The Rules


Marie Laurencin and students, at Laurencin’s atélier in Paris,1939. Bibliothèque nationale de France.


I felt so blessed to be one of the 33 bi leaders that was invited to this bisexual community roundtable at the White House and as you probably know it was an off-the-record event so I can really only discuss what I did there, but my section of this three hour meeting was to present on bisexual mental health. ..bisexual people were really the worst compared to heterosexual and even gay and lesbian people. Not only do we face minority stress which I think in and of itself sometimes is underestimated, that bisexual people are minorities, we are marginalized, we don’t have that kind of privilege that a lot of people think we do, but not only that, they have a lot more averse life events which does affect our mental health. That’s a pretty intuitive thing but now we have the data to back it up. And study after study, I mean, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, this goes for adults, this goes for college students and it also goes for elders. So elders also faced poorer mental health and higher risk of depression than gay and lesbian elders. A lot of elders already are facing a lot of lacks of resources and social isolation and things like that so that’s definitely a high risk group. With suicidality also stats were really, really disturbing. Common knowledge is that LGBT folks face higher risk of suicidality and suicide risk and attempts than heterosexual people but if you break it down between gay, bi, and lesbian, bisexual people face an even higher risk of lifetime suicidality. The goal of the roundtable was really to prevent this information, to garner interest from White House officials and to hopefully get that dialogue going so we can make some systemic change.

—Mimi Hoang in conversation with Lynette McFadzen and John Clark of the BiCast, 2014


The Man with the Camera (Excerpt) by Harrie Farrow “Crank up the Hendrix,” Bonnie instructed as she exhaled a plume of smoke. Mary stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at her childhood friend. “Tell me that story,” Bonnie said, handing the joint to Mary. She looked quizzically at the giant doobie now between her fingers. “What story?” Bonnie gestured with a point of her chin for Mary to partake in the dope. While Mary inhaled, Bonnie said, “You know, the story about how we shouldn’t have sex because we’ve been friends for so long. Or... you could tell the one about how you don’t want to have sex with me because I’m not really into chicks.” Mary held the smoke in until her eyes started to bug out, then let it all go in a coughing burst, through which she choked out, “You’re not really into chicks.” “There you go.” As she sucked on what Ivan had called a spliff, Bonnie looked cross-eyed at the glowing red tip. “That’s a good start.” Then she added after releasing the smoke, “You remember the next part, right? How I’m just messed up in the head, because you said you were into pussy?” “I never said those words, never put it that way!” “Good, go ahead and tell it your way.” “You’re just fucked up Bonnie. Anyone could tell you that.” “But you put it so eloquently. I’m fucked up, and you dig going down on babes.” “Jesus, where’d you get this thing?” Mary asked, after another round of coughing. “Some crazy Caribbean dude my dad gave a ride to.” “Your dad?” “He popped back into my life again, long enough to get me connected to this dope, and long enough to bring me into contact with a lovely lezzie hippie. She knew she could have her way with me, without me even having to hint at it.” Mary’s mouth dropped open. “Yeah, so you can’t tell me that other story anymore. You know, the one where we can’t have sex because gay-wise I’m still a virgin. God,” she tapped ashes into Mary’s potted begonia, “your stories are so full of shit.” After taking another toke, she stubbed the joint out in the dirt and jumped up. Pulling Mary off the couch, she enveloped her in an embrace. Messing one hand through the springy curls on her friend’s head, Bonnie closed her eyes, and swayed their bodies to Hendrix as he coaxed his guitar to obscene levels of abandon. “Ohhh,” Bonnie whispered, at the feel of Mary’s soft curls. “Ummm,” she hummed, noting the softness of Mary’s large breasts against hers. “You’re so bad Bonnie,” Mary murmured. “Hush,” Bonnie said, Hendrix backing her up with, “And the wind whispered, Mary.” “You broke Ashe’s heart.” Bonnie was filled with a desire to slap Mary, but shooed this urge away, realizing that it might be counterproductive to getting Mary to have sex with her, so she said instead, “You broke his heart first.” “That was different. Ashe loved you.” “Bonnie pulled back a bit to look Mary in the eyes. Then she kissed her full on the lips, Hendrix declaring, “And the wind cried, Mary.” “Bonnie…” Mary seemed to attempting a protest, but it came out more like a moan. Jimi sang on, “And the wind begins to howl,” as Bonnie moved her hands down across Mary’s shoulders, along the length of her arms, folded her fingers into Mary’s. With her grasp full of command and power, and the trembling of lust, she brought Mary’s hands up, placed them on her breasts, then placed her own on Mary’s.


Memorial to Leslie Cheung in Hong Kong, on the first anniversary of his death. Photograph taken April 1, 2004.


Genesis Breyer P-Orridge by Seth Tisue.


The Duelist: Julie-Émilie d’Aubigny Educated as a royal page, 17th century opera star. The inspiration for Théophile Gautier’s Mademoiselle de Maupin in 1835: “Where is the model, the type, the inward pattern which affords us the standard of comparison?— for beauty is not an absolute idea, and it can be estimated only by contrast.”


ISSUE 2: RANDOM LIGHTS FLARING IN OUR CHESTS