getting my (semi-)professional queer on

Back when I was a shiny newly-out queer in college, I was all sorts of activist. I volunteered at the (then) LGBCC, spoke on dorm panels, agitated and protested and organized in response to anti-LGBT incidents on campus, helped edit, write for, and personally collected over 400 (out of the needed 1,000) student signatures in order to get Masque (A Journal of Queer Expression) funded and off the ground, gave impromptu sex-positivity and sexual health awareness lectures in the dorms, and was rather loudly myself.

Over the years, I’ve become quieter as the shiny has rubbed off. I’m more likely to write letters and checks nowadays. That, and being still pretty loudly myself–although that’s more complex nowadays, praise be. Mostly, my activism nowadays is the stealth activism of just being me, openly believing and acting like I have the right to be treated as a person, as I do.

So, I’m a little surprised at myself that I volunteered for two queer issues panels at WisCon this year.

But then, they’re kind of pet issues of mine: the construction of queerness, and bisexual invisibility.

What is Queerness?
What do we mean when we say we’re lesbian, gay, bi, queer, or any of the other terms we might use? How do we define these terms? What do they mean to us? What history do we have with them? What about those of us who don’t choose label ourselves? A lot of people at WisCon identify with one or more of these terms, but different generations and different groups construct their identities differently. Let’s start talking about it.
M: Allison Moon. Moondancer Drake, Carrie Tilton-Jones, Xakara, Alberto Yáñez
Senate B, Sun, 10:00–11:15 am

I’d Object, If I Weren’t Invisible
Bisexuals have unique problems in being out, because in any pairing, they look straight or gay. It is only if we say something that our status is known. Is it exhausting to try to come out all the time? Is it worth the effort? What good can we accomplish with our passing privilege? And how can those of us who are bisexual object effectively to being erased?
M: David D. Levine. Betsy Lundsten, Jennifer M. Nissen, Julia Rios, Alberto Yáñez
Senate A, Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm

The full schedule can be found here.

Other panels that I’m particularly looking forward to (listed mostly for my own benefit):

Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches, Oh My! (which has two friends of mine on it!)

SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL (again, friends, and should be hysterical)

Yearning from the Threshold: Magic Realism & Diaspora Literature

Postcolonial Steampunk: A Global Perspective

Class in SF: Who Gets It Right?

Whedonistas: Feminists Engage With the Worlds of Joss Whedon

Fatimah and Mary: Iconic Women in Patriarchal Religions

(Of course, who knows what I’ll actually go to. It’s all subject to change, never mind exhaustion.)

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