Midwest Bi* Activist


Rob Yaeger (MN HIV/AIDS Providers’ Oral History Project): The Minnesota HIV/AIDS Providers Oral History Project is conducting oral history interviews with health care providers about the disease and people affected by it. Excerpts of interviews are available online; complete interview materials will be housed at the Tretter Collection (the GLBT archives at University of Minnesota Libraries) and will be available for researchers and community members to use. 

Says Bisexual Organizing Project's Martha Hardy, "Here’s an excerpt from the interview with with longtime bisexual activist and HIV/AIDS educator Rob Yaeger. I’m really pleased they interviewed Rob because LGBT history includes bi history, including the history of HIV/AIDs.”


"Sissy Man Blues" performed (and possibly composed or at least adapted) by American blues musician Kokomo Arnold (1901 – 1968), this version being from 1934/1935.

A left-handed slide guitarist, Arnold had an intense slide style of playing and rapid-fire vocal style that set him apart from his contemporaries. He was born as James Arnold in Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia. He learned to play the guitar from his cousin, John Wiggs. Arnold got his nickname in 1934 after releasing "Old Original Kokomo Blues" a cover of the Scrapper Blackwell blues song about the city of Kokomo, Indiana.

He began playing professionally in the early 1920s while still taking side jobs to support himself including as a farmhand in Buffalo NY; a steelworker in Pittsburgh PA and in 1929 he moved to Chicago and set up a bootlegging business, an activity he continued until Prohibition ended in 1933.

Kansas Joe McCoy heard him and introduced him to Mayo Williams who was producing records for Decca. From his first recording for Decca on September 10, 1934, until his last on May 12, 1938, Arnold made 88 sides, seven of which remain lost. Arnold, Peetie Wheatstraw and Bumble Bee Slim were dominant figures in Chicago blues circles of that time. Peetie Wheatstraw & Arnold in particular were also major influences upon musical contemporary seminal delta blues artist Robert Johnson and thus modern music as a whole.

In either 1934 or 1935 he record the "Sissy Man Blues" with its openly bisexual lyrics, including the line, "Lord, if you can’t send me no woman, please send me some sissy man." Versions of this song all retaining the bisexual lyrics went on to also be recorded by other blues musicians of the era including Josh White (Pinewood Tom), George Noble and Connie McLean’s Rhythm Kings.

Bisexual Organiing Project (BOP)Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP) Board Member Martha Hardy got together with Board Chair Camille Holthaus and Co-Chair Lou Hoffman to chat about Twin Cities Prides, past and present.

Martha: I hear BOP has big plans for the Ashley Rukes Pride Parade this year. What should people expect? And how can they participate?

Lou: We’ve got a nice big 45-foot-long bi flag that people can help carry, and we are giving marchers free t-shirts with our new BOP logo.

Martha: You are going to need lots of people to carry a 45-foot-long flag!

Camille: Yes, we will! With the flag we are encouraging people to come line up with us on 3rd Street South between Marquette and 2nd Avenue at 10:00 am on Sunday so we can get started off right; however, we always welcome people to jump in with us when we get to where they are watching the parade and jump out when they get tired! We’ll have people working the crowd, inviting people to join us. The t-shirts are in a wagon we bring along so we’ll be handing them out all the way down the parade route.

Martha: The Pride Festival in Loring Park in Minneapolis runs all day Saturday and Sunday. What will be going on at the BOP booth, where is it, and how can people help?

Lou: We will give out lots and lots of free stickers. You can pick up a Bi Pride button, a copy of BOP’s new brochure, or a new BOP t-shirt, as well as some great new bi bling. Please come talk to us to learn all about the Bisexual Organizing Project.

We’re also excited to kick off our brand new Bi+ Story Project. Bi+ Story Project aims to collect and share the stories bisexual, pansexual, fluid, unlabeled, and queer (bi+) people in order to increase our visibility, contribute to greater understanding of our resiliency, and communicate the specific needs of our communities. We invite you to come visit the booth to share your stories with trained volunteers and to learn more about this exciting project.

Camille: Besides picking up information on BOP and bi pride stickers and buttons, our booths also serve as an informal gathering place for people to hang out. It’s a big part of Pride for a lot of us. Our booth numbers are B53 & B55 on the south side of the lake (towards Dunn Brothers).

CLICK HERE to read full interview

March in the Pride Parade with BOP
When: Sunday, June 29, 2014 10:00 AM 
Where: Assemble on 3rd Street South between Marquette Ave and 2nd Avenue 250 2nd Ave S

March with BOP in the parade on Sunday, June 29th down Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis! This year we have a 45’ bi flag to carry and we need your help! Line up with us on 3rd Street South between Marquette Ave and 2nd Avenue by 10:00am. We are unit 42 between the BiCities truck and the roller girls. Don’t expect to park close by so give yourself plenty of time to walk over.

FREE SHIRTS with our new logo for all the people marching! Bi, pan, fluid, queer, unlabled and our allies are all welcome! We want to reflect the entire spectrum of our community!

Not sure you can/want to walk the whole parade route? Find a seat near the start of the parade and watch units 1-41, then jump in with us when we get to your spot. March as long as you want then hop out and watch the rest of the parade!


Chicago Bisexual / Queer Community Pride Parade 2014!!!
Sunday, June 29, 2014 11:00 AM
Parade Lineup - Broadway & Montrose (1056 W Montrose Ave)

The Bi Queer Alliance Chicago (BQAC) and Chicago’s Bisexual/Queer Community are looking for people to join their contingent at the Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 29, 2014.

Joining the contingent is a great way to create positive bisexual visibility. And it’s super fun - who wouldn’t love the opportunity to show bi pride alongside bisexual superheroes? To join in, RSVP on Facebook, or on Meetup (more discrete) or Just Show Up and Join In the Fun!

Margaret Cho in Concert! at Orchestra Hall for Twin Cities Pride 2014 (photos courtesy Brooke Ross Photography for the Rebecca Jean Lawrence Photography team)


Recently I had the amazing privilege of going to the BECAUSE Conference in Minnesota. 3 days of nothing but Bi Activism, Bi Workshops, Performance and Food (we had a Bi Colored Cake and if you thought far too hard my sandwich was kinda Bi Colors too).

I have been in my fair share of LG BT spaces, I have given my time, my money, my spirit, my spoons and energy to those spaces and organizations.

And you know what?

Unless they can provide for me as a Bi Trans Person the welcome and acceptance BECAUSE did?

I’m out of there.

I’ve spent hours working my ass off in LG/GGGG spaces only to when it came down to it, feel like I was barely tolerated. That I wasn’t as valuable as a cis queer nor as pandered and wanted as a cis straight ally. That I was worth less. That I had to or had “picked a side”.

I’ve sat in meetings and in one-on-ones with others who privately confessed that they too are bisexual, but coming out would damage their credibility and they didn’t want to lose that. To end up like me and other out Bi People in the org or space, tirelessly working for them or their cause only to be ignored and shuffled off later.

No more.

I am done jumping through hoops.

At first the bar was so low, as long as I wasn’t being physically assaulted I was OK and I jumped it.

But it was always me and other bi’s jumping. Over and through hoops just for the mere chance, the possibility that we might be tolerated. Not welcome. Not valued. Tolerated.

I have seen online and in person what bisexual community can do, can create.

Welcome, acceptance, friendship, support. All the things were are supposed to be getting out of LG/GGGG spaces. That we so often don’t.

For me BECAUSE raised the bar. I won’t be giving time,money, spoons or spirit to places, orgs and people that can’t jump that bar.

This is me saying

The bar has been raised. NO YOU jump


Tretter GLBT Collection University of Minnesota Libraries
The Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, part of the University of Minnesota Libraries is actively seeking materials from the Bisexual Community and Individuals.

Curator Lisa Vecoli is making this top priority! So, you are encourage you to think about what items you might be able to donate. Tretter Board Member Martha Hardy says,

"We have a huge Legacy grant from the state to process materials and create finding aids over the next year and Lisa has promised to prioritize processing of bisexual and trans materials. So, if you donate now, your stuff will not only be preserved, but also findable, which means it will be used. We collect local, national, and international materials.

I’m happy to arrange for any interested folks to tour the archives, including the neato cool caverns, and to sit down to talk with Lisa.”

Our history is important. Help create a collection that will be used by researchers for generations.

[Minneapolis, MN, USA]: Photomontage taken at BECAUSE 2014 “Bisexual Empowerment Conference: A Uniting, Supportive Experience”. The conference organized by the Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP) and the University of Minnesota GLBTA Programs Office ran from Friday, June 6 to Sunday June 8, 2014,



We’re Here! We’re Queer! And Bi! And Pan! And Fluid! And Ace! We’re Here and we are PROUD to be who we are! 

Yes, friends, it is time for the annual PRIDE MARCH. And while the 1 to 5 Club does not have a booth at this year’s festival, we hope to be well represented in the Parade.

We are still waiting on a few details (like place, time, gathering space, etc) but we can tell you that it is on Sunday, June 8th! We will be marching just in front of the Trans Group, who are FANTASTIC allies for our cause and it would be great to see us march in solidarity. 

So please! Give us part of your morning on June 8th. Come wave your pink, purple, and blue. Stand tall and walk (or roll) with Pride. Help us continue to create a positive space for the bi community here in Salt Lake City.

More information CLICK HERE!

Our beloved 1 to 5 Marchers! Here is your last reminder until tomorrow morning - we are meeting in front of the car wash on 300 East between 200 South and 300 South. The Parade organizers have asked that we be ready to go by 9:30, so try to be there around 9:15. Look for the 1 -5 Banner. Thanks guys!