Remembering the B in LGBT

Bisexuals are (real) people, too -- that was the message of a recent, and popular, get-together in New York.

BY Jonathan Vatner

July 26 2009 12:00 AM ET

In the push for LGBT rights, the most effective tactic seems to be getting more and more people to come out, to put faces to a supposedly recondite concept and to show straight people that lots of us exist and that we are nice people.

The Summit relied on a similar strategy. The main handout from the conference, the Media Guide to Bisexuality and Reporting on LGBT Issues, included a list of more than 300 "famous bisexuals in history," from Julius Caesar to Nell Carter, and the final panel discussion of the conference brought 11 people (admittedly, not all of them bisexual) up to the stage to speculate on the reasons why bisexuals are so often ignored.

From a numbers standpoint, the weekend was a success. Lambert estimated that 150 people attended the conference -- so many that extra chairs had to be brought in and more media guides had to be printed.

"I'm assuming we're all bi here?" asked one young male attendee in the back row, addressing the people sitting around him.

This reporter wasn't brave enough to contradict him.

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