Published in the paper's 'Open Space' section, this was my reintroduction to the UK's bi community.
At the end of August 1981, I had just arrived as a new student at Reading University for the start of 'freshers week'. Browsing – rather than buying! – a copy of London listings magazine Time Out in the Student Union's shop, I noticed that the lesbian and gay section included a mention that the first meeting of the London Bisexual Group would be at gay nightclub 'Heaven' on Tuesday, 1st September. Read more
Chronos was one of the many names of the company that published lesbian and gay newspapers and magazines such as Boyz and, between buying it from its original founders in the early 90s and later selling it to the 'publishers of Gay Times and owners of an adult shop' Millivres in 2005, the Pink Paper.
After the failure of Pride Events UK, the bunch of chancers that tried to run a commercial Pride event in London in July 1998, Chronos's Kelvin Sollis and possibly its co-owner, David Brindle, did the same maths that PEUK had done and discovered that running a commercial Pride event could be very profitable. Read more
The research on behaviourally bisexual men commissioned by Health Education Authority in 1994, completed in 1995, and eventually published in 1996, was largely ignored.
In part, that's because the HEA leaked the findings – there are a lot of bisexual men! – months earlier, so by the time it was properly published, it was no longer 'news'.
But at least one paper noticed enough to refer to it a year later…
.. even if they didn't read it properly. The estimate of 12% of men being behaviourally bisexual – that is, being sexual with more than one gender – is informed largely by a 1982 survey of Playboy readers in the US and..
While exact rates are impossible accurately to quantify it seems reasonable to assert that the lifetime figure lies somewhere in the region of 5-15%. Our best guess would be closer to the 12% of Lever et al. (1989; 1992) than the 3-7% of Johnson et al. (1994). However, with little direct evidence, estimates of the proportion of adult men that have had sex with both males and females in the last five years are too hazardous to even attempt.
The "in the last five years" came from the predictions of the person who commissioned it that they'd find hardly any bisexual men and so they needed to make the criteria for being included fairly broad. In fact, it turned out that the average number of partners was three men and three women per year.
The article was prompted by an episode on bisexuality that was part of Channel 4's Seven Sins series, entitled 'Greed', sigh. Read more
A three line history of bisexual men in the news:
1987 – There are "7 to 10 million" bisexual men in the USA
2005 – "Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited"
2020 – .. we've looked again at that study, and bisexual men do exist!
What's particularly interesting about the first one is that at least three of the men quoted – Richard Isay, Bruce Voeller, and Laud Humphreys – were all married to women for years, with all having children with their wives. Clearly, they were all bisexual by behaviour and to at least some degree by attraction, before deciding to identify as gay.
What won't be surprising to anyone who was a bisexual man in the 1980s is the 'bisexual men give women Aids' angle… Read more
Outright was a free community newspaper in the East Midlands – it started life in February 1990 as 'Outright: Gay Freesheet for the East Midlands', and became '.. For Gays and Lesbians in Central England' by November 1992.
By issue 43 in November 1993, it was '.. For Gays Lesbians and Bisexuals in Central England' and in the same issue carried the following story about the recent BiCon 11 in Nottingham: Read more
The mention of the Revolting Sexologists from Hell in Bi-Issues #1 got me doing a search for them. Before today, Google knew of one usage, in a Bay Area Reporter article on the first US 'national bisexual conference' in 1990. (And it should have been the 'Radical Revolting Sexologists from Hell'!)
I didn't go to the conference – too poor, amongst other things – but several people from the UK did. I do have a couple of the brochures from it – one as a result of Robyn bringing some to the 1990 BiCon two months later, and one from being married to someone who did go.
That BiCon is probably where I got one of the event's t-shirts from… Read more