BiNetUSA Comic Con & just a little Politics

 

 

CCILogo-R_LargeThe reason for my trip to San Diego for Comic-Con was sort of business in nature but not completely, it’s not often that I am given the ability to travel or go on vacation. That was an  opportunity was given to be because of BiNetUSA and the role I play as a member of their board and our newest project called The Bi Stories Project at the booth of Prism Comics.Prism Comic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) creators, stories, and readers in the comics industry. Incorporated in 2003, Prism Comics publishes the annual resource guide, Prism Comics: Your LGBT Guide to Comics.

PrismBlackLogoPrism Comic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) creators, stories, and readers in the comics industry. Incorporated in 2003, Prism Comics publishes the annual resource guide, Prism Comics: Your LGBT Guide to Comics.That was an  opportunity was given to be because of BiNetUSA and the role I play as a member of their board and our newest project called The Bi Stories Project at the booth of Prism Comics.

BiNetUSA is America’s advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified and unlabeled people. Bi NetUSA facilitates the development of a cohesive network of independent bisexual and bi-friendly communities; promotes bisexual and bi-inclusive visibility, and collects and distributes educational information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer (bi+) communities hope to acquaint comics readers with a wide range of creators who present good stories that readers can really relate to and that reflect their own experiences. We hope that more readers will sample the work of LGBT creators when they’re spending their money on comics and, as a result, demonstrate to more publishers that these books are truly worthwhile. We also hope to knit together a large LGBT comics community so that creators can feel more comfortable coming out of the comics closet and standing up as proud participants in an industry we all care about. Bi Stories T-shirt graphics_one color_FINAL_FINAL

I went on this trip to do further to progress and advancement of the Bi+ Community (give the definition of Bi+) especially among populations like those of us who identify as Bi+ in areas such as Comic Con where many other types of people and families go to enjoy themselves.

IMG_6608The Second Day of Comic-Con, I had a run in Congressmen John Lewis (GA-5) an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. Congressmen Lewis’s commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from the state of Alabama as a sharecropper’s farm to the hall of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American Presidents.

Why was a great American Leader and Civil Rights trailblazer at San Diego Comic Con? Graphic Novels, which he has 3 of now. They are titled ” March- Book One, March- Book Two, March Book Three”

It’s not every day, you attend the largest Comic Convention in the country and run into a US Congressmen who just recently had made the headlines again for staging a sit-in just before the Summer Break of Congress over the need for a national discussion and vote on Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation.
I had planned to try and have a “non-political” vacation. That didn’t go as planned because being the kind of always has a way of finding me. Day Three of the Con, while sitting at the Booth of Prism and BiNetUSA, I had the honor of meeting San Diego Commissioner and Queen of the Imperial Court Nicole M. Ramirez.

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Those were the unexpected parts of my trip, but I enjoyed them never the less and learned that even in the other part of my life politics is still a big part who I am in so many expects of my life. I am more than just a political nerd even if when its a label, that I have given to myself. Growing up my Dad brought me into the world of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Its where was always the most comfortable and it’s where we spent most of our time when my mother wasn’t around. We’d spend hours watching Star Trek Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and as I grew up I learned about who Ambassador Spock was before he was Ambassador Spock.

My Dad’s favorite superhero was Hal Jordan (Green Lantern). The Oath something he had committed to the memory of the years and then engraved in mine “In brightest day, in blackest night,No evil shall escape my sight.Let those who worship evil’s might,Beware my power…Green Lantern’s Light!” 

IMG_6631 (1) I went there with very little expectations, however when I found that Brent Spiner would be there to sign autographs and meet fans before the 50th Anniversary Panel in Hall H (which was called Hall Hell or Hall Heaven) depends on who speak too. I knew, because of my anxiety and other things that I’d never make it into Hall H.

However, Brent Spiner was signing autographs at a booth across the way from Prism Booth in the Large Exhibit Hall. That was something I know that I had to make happen. It would probably be a once in a little time opportunity. The next question that I had to figure out was. What would he sign? What would you say? These were the next things to figure out so naturally, I bought a 50th Anniversary Star Trek. Now to move on to what you say to a person who’s character made so much sense that even before I knew the word for who I existed. While Brent played Data an Android who aspired to be nothing more than human that is what always made me so intrigued by him. I spent all  those years of my life wanting nothing more than to be the person I knew I was.

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The night before you filled out a google doc, and the first 50 people get to meet the person. You were supposed to get an email by noon. I did my shift w/ BiNet & Prism table and waited for my email. Sadly the email never came, however, it had come to the attention of the organizers that my google form was on 51 on the list. The person in charge of the check-in gave me the bracelet and said “I seen, you’ve been working all weekend and haven’t probably gotten to meet all of the people or stand in many of the lines” That’s how I got to finally meet and speak with Brent Spiner and he signed my hat.  I told him that as much as Data aspired to human…I had spent the majority of my youth aspiring to the boy/man I knew I was. He smiled and look at me and said “than I guess he did his job and so did I”

IMG_6705  Moving on to the part of the Con that was what I was sent by BiNetUSA to do. The last day of the Convention. The “Bisexuality and Beyond” moderated by Faith Cheltenham. This panel was full of well-versed Bi,Pan, Fluid and Queer people. It included R.J Aguiar, Sarah Stumpf, Tara Avery, Steve Orlando, Bob Schreck & Mariss Lee. My assignment was to live tweet the panel. So those unable to attend the panel around the country and world.

Some of the most memorable tweets include “You run out of closets after a while” Bob Schreck

“Many shades of purple…purple does exist” RJ Aguiar “An everyday conversation…all the time”

These are just some of my experiences from Comic Con 2016 in San Diego. I also got to meet a friend of mine from a part of my past story of my coming out that did have a face. The ability to connect w/ Eric meant a lot to me, as much as it meant to the work I do for BiNet USA.

If you identify with the Bi+ community share your story with us by using this link  The Bi Stories Project.

 

 

 

 

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#AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #SayHisName

We cannot be silent.

If you are more outraged by people having control over their own reproductive health care than you are by black people being shot, you have a problem.

If you are more outraged by a private email server than by black people being shot, you have a problem.

If you are more outraged by a same-sex couple holding hands or a trans person using a bathroom than by black people being shot, you have a problem.

If you are more outraged by calls for respect and kindness than you are by black people being shot, you have a problem.

If you are not outraged by any of those former things but also aren’t outraged by black people being shot, you have a problem.

And if you are outraged by black people being shot, we still have a problem. This country still has a problem that must be named and addressed.

How can anyone deny that our society devalues the lives and worth of black people when its not only so clearly happening in front of us, but also such a defining aspect of our history?

‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

Police drag naked man off gay beach in NYC, as he screams, ‘Help me’

On July 4, police made sweeps and arrests at a gay beach in New York City, much to the surprise of beachgoers.

At the far corner of Jacob Riis Park—a gay beach that has been a notorious LGBT safe haven for decades and where women can go topless without being leered at—police descended unannounced.

One beachgoer, gay Brooklyn photographer Krys Fox, found himself the primary target of the holiday police sweep. Fox told the Daily Dot on Tuesday that he was photographing someone against the fence that borders the gay section of Riis, for an Instagram photo series he’s been working on all summer.

While shooting the photos, Fox stood with a towel wrapped around his waist. His shorts had gotten sandy in the waves, and were drying in the sun. Suddenly, the towel loosened and dropped. Before Fox could refasten it around his waist, he was tackled to the ground by a squad of police.
Fox told the Daily Dot that police had dominated the gay beach all day—”on horses, in uniform, undercover”—and were “everywhere.” But he didn’t expect to be arrested, he said, because he hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I just didn’t wrap my towel around my waist tight enough and it suddenly slipped down and I literally got sent to jail for it,” Fox said.

Riis is a National Park Service area rather than a city beach, meaning the rules are different and a casual legal status allows for more freedom. Alcohol is sold on the boardwalk, and nudity is common—so common that many in the LGBT community believe that it’s legal to go naked at the gay beach.

“I’d always heard that it was a clothing-optional beach,” said Fox. “I keep running it over and over in my head, and I can’t even begin to answer why they chose me. I wasn’t causing a scene, I was just shooting a photo of someone like I always do.”

Ironically, though, Fox said he is “shy” and “would never run around naked”—the towel slipping was an accident.

On social media, those who said they were at Riis yesterday noted that police targeted the gay section of the beach specifically, stating that there were no police on the rest of the beach. Many in New York’s LGBT community were livid, comparing the sudden police sweep to past raids of gay bars and bathhouses. One friend of the person who was arrested posted that “his naked body is seen as more dangerous than a gun.”

In multiple photos and videos shared by LGBT New Yorkers, other beachgoers appear stunned by the arrest in which around six uniformed officers and several undercover plainclothes officers carried Fox off the beach as he screamed, “Help me.” On the boardwalk, LGBT witnesses huddled together and cried out to the officers as they loaded Fox into one of the approximately seven patrol cars parked there.

Fox was taken to jail, where he says he spent about three hours in a cell wearing a hospital-style paper robe issued by the police. After receiving about five tickets for public nudity, interfering with the agency function, disorderly conduct, and disobeying an order, Fox was sent home. With no clothes—just the towel that we were arrested in.
On a Facebook page for Gay Riis Beach, locals commented on increasing patrols and tickets at the beach’s gay section—noting that arrests are usually not an issue.

Facebook users, like Savi Saber, were also quick to point out Riis gay beach historically draws working-class, black, and Latino populations, as well.

“I’ve often joked that it’s the socioeconomic group that can’t afford Fire Island,” Saber wrote. “It’s historic, we need to fight for it, keep our beach gay. These arrests are homophobic, there’s no doubt there.”

In a comment on one post regarding the incident, Facebook user Tom Leger wrote: “Today’s Riis beach raids = Yesterday’s gay bar raids.”

Fox told the Daily Dot that he has a court date approaching and that more than one attorney connected to New York’s LGBT community has stepped forward and offered help.