Over a year in the making, ATM's latest issue focuses on a term the Religious Right has no monopoly on: family. This issue looks at the ways our families help shape who we are, the ways we all shape our own families, consciously or otherwise, and how this constant give-and-take is part of being human. Juba Kalamka gives us an inside look at his own family, and the tensions aroused in it by his own bisexuality and the Million Man March, in We Are Family?. Eve Diana, who was at the San Diego Pride Parade, tells us how a single assailant with a gas grenade drove her and the rest of her family to Tears. And Adam Wills' Knight Moves looks at the political and social ramifications of California's ominous Proposition 22 (opposition effort at http://www.NoOnKnight.org/ -- link will open in a new browser window).
Aside from looking at actual families, we also provide a pair of resources for building and protecting them: a collection of Resources for Bisexual Families, and Elizabeth F. Schwartz's article on Legal Protections for the Alternative Family.
Of course, the feature focus isn't the whole magazine. Our departing poetry editor, Jenny Bitner, leaves us with a pair of final poems: Insomnia and Night of the Bear. And Kathryn Page looks at the epidemic of transgender murders in America -- Brandon Teena was just the tip of the iceberg -- and urges us to remember the dead.
And we've got our usual array of reviews, our advice column, our report on global civil rights and censorship, and our ongoing soap opera. But this isn't everything you'd get in the dead tree edition -- why not get a subscription and find out what you're missing?
When we decided to do an issue on sex work and sex workers, we quickly found out that there's a lot more to it than the stereotyped view of "Pretty Woman" streetwalkers. From phone sex operators to exotic dancers to sex surrogates, the experiences of sex workers are varied and diverse, just like bisexuality itself. The situations range from being busted to making money to finding power in one's own sexiness, and far beyond. Though we couldn't possibly cover the entire subject in a single issue, we hope the articles in our feature focus this time around will broaden minds and give our readers a few new images to think about -- including the cover photo, showing Scarlot Harlot with an awfully friendly looking policeman.
We've also got a host of piquant articles, poems, stories and recollections to keep you going even when you're tired of sex work. Suzan Cooke makes the faces of runaway trans-teens real in "Not My Child". And Rob Lightner's Rete Mirabile puts a magical realist spin on an erotic encounter.
And in the dead tree version: Julia Trahan's "Queen of the Girls" tells how her sexuality kept her going after the accident that left her in a wheelchair. In "Standing on the In-Between", Adora gives us a very real coming-out story, showing that coming out doesn't begin at any one time, and it never really ends. And Patricia Kwon's photo essay, "Peace Within You", simply goes to the beach and has fun.
Coming out just after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, this issue examined queer rights, the onslaught against them by the Religious Right, and what we can do about it. This issue also debuted our response ad, produced in conjunction with the Bi Resource Center and BiNet USA. After the right's "ex-gay" thinly-disguised-as-love hate campaign and the HRC's assimilationist response -- neither of which even mentioned bisexuality -- this concerted bisexual reaction should be a breath of fresh air.
Of course, the issue wasn't completely given over to politics. We also ran Ganapati Sivananda Durgadas' fascinating account of how Hinduism's basically pansexual theology makes it a welcoming religion for an andogynous bisexual, Chris Lombardi's engrossing and ultimately thought-provoking story about the romance and reality of suicide -- of many different kinds, and a variety of pieces that can only be found in our dead tree edition: Johanne Blank's celebration of "men of size", Fred Schloemer's poignant story of how a hedonistic fling can bring pain and healing, and Gabi Wald's sultry erotica. Why not subscribe to the magazine and get all the content?
Incidentally, the basic design for the cover ("a couple of bisexuals actually sitting on a fence -- why haven't we done that visual pun already?") was planned months before Matthew Shepard's death. In its aftermath, though, we hope this image can be a way to reclaim the whole concept. Drink in the peacefulness of it, and enjoy.
Our feature focus for this issue was: "Forging a Bi-Trans Alliance", and included fantastic articles on the varieties of bi-trans interaction, from Shadow Morton's "ASAP's Fables" (a fiery rant decrying the influence of the "As Straight As Possible" crowd on queer politics) to Heather Franek's "talking about the iSsues no onE's eXpressing", a deep look into the intimate details of bi-trans relationship.
Our cover for this issue was shot by ATM's Art Director, Amy Conger. The cover model, Andrea Michaela Gonzalez, is active in the San Francisco political arena, agitating for sexual freedom, prostitutes' rights, and unionization of exotic dancers.
Issue #16 and Previous Issues
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