Anyway. I was seriously tempted to not go to this (dinner&panel), but I'm ultimately glad I did.
The speakers were uneven. The first guy said that media representation is important, and said that a lot, but really didn't have a focused mini-speech so I had to force myself not to zone out. Most of the other speakers were good, though. Bobbi Keppel is 73(?) year old UU who started doing bi activism oriented toward educating therapists ('cause she's a therapist) but has also become really active around issues of bisexuality and aging (first being asked to represent that contingent about twenty years ago -- "When I was much younger than I am now"). Luigi is a Puerto Rican HIV+ bisexual man. Lori is a trans and bisexual woman who decided to speak after Robyn Ochs had to cancel last minute due to illness. She talked about how bi and trans are complementary "not just because they're the letters at the end [of GLBT]" but because of fluidity. She was a bit hippie-dippie for me, but I also really liked her. There were one or two unmemorable speakers after that.
Apparently Transcending Boundaries this year is a joint conference with PFLAG's Northeast Regional Conference and is being held in Worcester (hi, Jonah). It's a Friday-Sunday (Oct. 27-29) and I don't think it would be a big deal to take that Friday off from work. I have really mixed feelings about going, though. It could be cool, but I'm really hesitant about workshops and am bad at socializing.
Sidenote: People often talked about a bisexual community, and I was a bit surprised to find myself feeling uncomfortable around the idea of being a part of that. I often find myself wanting a queerer community around me, so it's not that I have a deep antagonism toward identity politics. Though I think I am developing something of an antagonism toward that -- because while I want to be surrounded by queer people, I want that to be incidental to everything else. It occurs to me to to wonder if this is some sort of performance anxiety -- in that I feel like I don't have queer cred because I don't have past queer relationship/sex experience. (Yes, this elides the fact that my heterosexual experience is similarly nonexistent.) This occurred to me because I compare everything to WriterCon these days and I was thinking about how defining myself as a fan and inhabiting spaces focusing on that is both similar to and different from identifying as queer and inhabiting queer-specific spaces, and one thing I thought of re: WriterCon is the anxiety around identifying myself as a fan giving my relative lack of production/participation in any of the fannish venues (fanfic, meta, etc.).
I didn't really ping with any of the people I talked to, but I saw Ellyn, which I sense is going to become a theme (I last saw her at the MFA Gay&Lesbian Film Festival.) so I went to say hi afterward. I was pleased that she had seen me across the room and recognized me. She was talking to a woman Robin (age 26, BA in Linguistics, living in N. Quincy newly from Colorado, partnered with a biphobic woman, UU, grew up Catholic) and we had good conversation and will hopefully get together at some point. (She's getting a new phone number in the next day or two but took mine.) Oh, and Ellyn introduced me saying "Elizabeth was one of my interns a few years ago," which was said entirely innocently of course but just sounds so naughty when phrased quite that way.
Also, Robin wants to write. Ellyn said there are a lot of opportunities for that around Boston/Somerville, which Tim said to me recently as well. I didn't have a chance to ask for actual suggestions, though, unfortunately.
Speaking of bisexuals (and the in/visibility thereof):
"A recent study of more than 4,000 New York City men found that nearly 10 percent of participants who identified as straight admitted to having gay sex in the past year."
(link seen via kita, where there is plenty of discussion)