BECAUSE Conference 2014 - WORKSHOPS
BECAUSE Conference 2014 -
BECAUSE 2014 Workshops


Workshop Session One – 10:00 to 11:15am

Bisexuality 101 – Room 144
Presenters: Paul Nocera and Mary H Hoelscher, PhD
Description: Bisexuality 101, a training developed by the Bisexual Organizing Project, introduces “the basics” about bi* identities and communities. Together, we will learn about who we are (diverse and awesome), how to find us (yay, community), and what we call ourselves (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, unlabeled…). We will also review common challenges bisexual and other nonmonosexually identified people face in LGBTQIA and straight communities. Collectively, our group will learn tactics to interrupt biphobia in common situations and conversations that may arise at work, at school and in community. We envision that all workshop attendees – whether bi* identified or our allies – will leave our space feeling more knowledgable and empowered about bi* communities.
Rating: E (Everyone)

Bi on Film – Room 131A
Presenter: Raymond Rea
Description: As soon as positive Gay and Lesbian images appeared on the silver screen, a new archetype joined them: the Evil Bisexual. This workshop will look at portrayals of Bi characters in film historically and will end on a positive note with an example of Bi authorship.
Rating: M (Mature)

(Re)Imagining Paradise: Construction of Polynesian Gender and Sexuality – Room 123
Presenter: Patricia Poyer
Description: (Re)Imagining Paradise is a media-centered workshop that will examine the construction of gender and sexuality in Polynesia with an anti-colonial framework. As a group we will unpack our assumptions about Polynesian experience and culture, expose ourselves to alternative narratives and explore the possibilities of gender and sexuality that fall outside the Western imperialist framework. Come ready to watch videos, challenge yourself and discuss. This is a judgment-free workshop, open to folks of all knowledge levels.
Rating: E (Everyone)

The Relationship Between Monogamy and Biphobia – Room 117
Presenter: Mark Bentley Cohen
Description: Monogamy is the cornerstone of our civilization. Every book, song, movie, TV show and advertisement sells the idea of one man and one woman falling in love and living happily ever after. Our belief in monogamy is so strong that it's been able to overcome our opposition to homosexuality. Now that's powerful. Bisexuality, sexual fluidity, and in some cases sexuality in any form are seen as threats to the ideal of monogamy. Find out how biphobia and the pressure to identify as monosexual stem from a belief in monogamy.
Rating: M (Mature)

Navigotiating Our Boundationships: A Discussion – Room 121
Presenter: Patrick RichardsFink
Description: A facilitated group discussion about bisexual identity in monogamous relationships / Mixed Orientation Marriages. Talking about how we navigate and negotiate our boundaries and relationships.
Rating: M (Mature)

Caring for Those Who Care for Many: What health care providers (and everyone else) need to know about polyamory – Room 119
Presenter: Melia McCubbin
Description: This workshop challenges the commonly held biases against polyamory with insights from empirical research about relationships. In contrast, we will also discuss the realities of polyamory, including common struggles faced by polyamorous individuals and what is needed to be successful in navigating a relationship structure that doesn’t come with many role models or road maps.
Rating: M (Mature)

Being a "Bi Bridge" in LGBT Legal Developments – Room 131B
Presenter: Professor Nancy Marcus, Indiana Tech Law School
Description: This workshop will begin with a presentation on recent developments in LGBT rights, including and beyond same-sex marriage. Professor Marcus will give examples both of how the bi voice has been excluded from same-sex litigation, and also how bisexuals could play a critical role bridging issues, doctrines, and communities in the furtherance of equal rights for LGBT individuals.
Rating: E (Everyone)

Preliminary Findings on the Health of Bisexual Youth from the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey – Room 220
Presenters: Lauren Beach and John Salisbury
Description: The Minnesota Student Survey is a state-wide survey given every three years to selected K-12 students in Minnesota. For the first time in 2013, surveys given to high school students included questions about sexual orientation. This workshop presents the compiled survey responses from bisexually identified Minnesota high school students. This analysis represents the first statewide, large, representative data set ever reported about bisexually identified secondary students in the United States.
Rating: E (Everyone)


Workshop Session Two – 11:30am to 12:30pm

Bi/Trans* Identities and Spirituality: It’s Complicated (A Roundtable Discussion) – Room 123
Presenters: JamieAnn Meyers, Marge Charmoli, Anita Kozan
Description: The purpose of this roundtable discussion is to give us the space where we can explore together how our B/T and spiritual identities evolve and intersect with one another. Experiencing spirituality is a challenge for many of us who identify as bisexual, trans*, or both. We are frequently misunderstood and have been subject to biphobia, transphobia, marginalization, and hateful messages of rejection that often come from religion. Some of us who once defined ourselves as spiritual may lose that identity as our sexual and gender identities evolve. Others of us who once defined ourselves as non-spiritual may call upon spirituality as a source of strength as our whole selves begin to emerge from the closet.
Rating: T (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

Male Bisexuality: Exploring Masculinities – Room 144
Presenters: Paul Nocera and Jim Larsen
Description: "Male Bisexuality" is a phrase loaded with implications for the expression of and the stigma of possibly losing one's masculinity. Masculinity in turn is a rather slippery term, as its expression can take many forms. Yet the experiences of men as bisexual are unique in the way they experience biphobia, in the way they experience passing, and in the experience of privilege from being male in a traditionally patriarchal society. We will focus our attention at this intersection of gender and sexuality in our own personal lives. This workshop is designed to tease out the ways bisexuality, privilege and stigma play out for both cismen and transmen alike. Participant sharing and exploration will be expected, encouraged, and supported. [Female identified persons are also encouraged to attend this higher level, safe discussion; the sole expectation is that we all keep focus to the understanding of masculinity, it's construction, and the varieties of it's expression.]
Rating: E (Everyone)

"Hello! My Sexual Orientation Is _________": GREYSCALE and Labels in the Bi* Community – Room 117
Presenter: Carrie Nelson
Description: Filmmaker Carrie Nelson is currently working on GREYSCALE, an interactive documentary about sexuality and language. She will discuss what she has learned about the thorny issue of labels throughout production and screen interview clips related to labels used by people on the bi* spectrum (such as bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, straight-ish, bicurious, etc). There will also be ample time for an open group discussion, so please come prepared to discuss YOUR labels and, most importantly, the significance of your chosen language.
Rating: T (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

Orientation for the Uninitiated – Room 121
Presenter: MzStiX
Description: This whirlwind introduction to BDSM/kink will cover terminology, roles, finding local groups, and online resources. The simply curious as well as the potentially kinky are welcome. There will be time for questions and we'll talk about some easy ways to get started and find out what you enjoy.
Rating: AO (Adults Only)

Poly Q & A Panel – Room 220
Presenters: Members of MNPoly
Description: This workshop is an open discussion between the audience and members of the local polyamory community. We will do a brief overview of some basic poly concepts and then open the floor to any questions you may have. If you've been to this workshop in past years, you're more than welcome to come back! New people on the panel bring different experiences and insight, and every time we get together to discuss this topic, someone poses a question we haven't answered before.
Rating: M (Mature)

Creating Bi+ Inclusive Spaces for School-Aged Youth – Room 131A
Presenter: Mary H Hoelscher, PhD
Description: Bi+ identified youth are the most numerous and most marginalized in K-12 learning environments. This facilitated workshop will engage educators and youth workers as they develop understanding about bi+ youth and share ideas for serving bi+ youth better. Inclusion for non-monogamous youth will also be discussed.
Rating: E (Everyone)

Bisexual Health Awareness Month: Assessing This Year’s Launch and Strategizing Future Plans – Room 131B
Presenters: Ellyn Ruthstrom and Julia Canfield
Description: The Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) piloted the first Bisexual Health Awareness Month in March 2014. Now we’d like to take it out to the community and get feedback and build strategies for larger participation. Let’s be creative and explore what our next steps would be to make next year’s awareness month even more successful!
Rating: M (Mature)

Another Divide: Bisexuality in U.S. Politics – Room 119
Presenters: Victor Raymond, PhD, and Wallace Swan, DPA
Description: Victor Raymond will speak in detail about his chapter "Another Divide: Bisexuality in U.S. Politics" in the forthcoming book Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Civil Rights: A Public Policy Agenda for Uniting a Divided America. Wallace Swan will present an overview of the book Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Civil Rights: A Public Policy Agenda for Uniting a Divided America, including demographics on the national Bisexual community.
Rating: E (Everyone)


Workshop Session Three – 2:45 to 4:00pm

Intimacy, Sensuality and the Erotic: An Experiential Journey – Room 144
Presenter: Dr. Herukhuti
Description: In this experiential workshop, participants will have an opportunity to explore their physical and sexual selves through play. Games, exercises and activities will be shared that participants can use in their own lives to get better acquainted with themselves, friends and lovers. Participants will examine the ways they define and perform intimacy and the impact these definitions have on their relationships. Come prepared to move around, talk honestly and engage others. This session is open to people of any relationship status (single, a monogamous couple, polyamorous individuals or groups).
Rating: AO (Adults Only)

Safer Sex: What's New with You? - Room 117
Presenters: Rob Yaeger and Sarah Weaver
Description: Okay, we've heard about condoms but what else is new in HIV & STD prevention? New materials, harm reduction, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), new testing technologies and a back-to-basics review will be included and your questions answered. Appropriate for anyone who has sex, had sex, wants sex or may, some day, perhaps, have sex.
Rating: T (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

Bisexuality as the 'Invisible' Identity – Room 121
Presenter: Linda Baughman
Description: This is a true workshop, we will gather together and discuss as a collective the variety of ways we become invisible, as bisexuals. How this identity disappears in the gay community, how it is often villainized in the media (think Sharon Stone), how it is difficult to maintain this identity inside committed relationships. Hopefully, listening to one another, we will leave with ideas about how to live more visible lives.
Rating: T (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

Bi+ Stories Training – Room 131A
Presenters: Mary Hoelscher, PhD, Brianna McMichael, MPH, Jim Larsen
Description: A workshop to train volunteer participants on the protocol for assisting with data collection for BOP at 2014 Midwest Pride events. The data collection will be a quantitative survey and some qualitative data in the form of video. Participants should be willing to sign up for 2-hour shifts throughout the summer and fall to assist BOP with this data collection.
Rating: AO (Adults Only)

Trans* Identities: What Do YOU Want To Know – Room 123
Presenters: JamieAnn Meyers and Nolan Martin
Description: Today’s workshop is your space and will focus on what YOU want to know about trans* people and the trans* community: Do you have questions about the words to describe us? Do you want to know what “transition” means? Do you want to know about struggles we face? Do you want to know about joys we experience? We will begin by doing two short exercises that focus on your own gender identity, briefly discuss the meaning of gender identity in the context of sex, gender and sexual orientation, then focus on YOUR questions about the complexity and diversity of trans* identities in a lively Q and A session.
Rating: (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

D/s: The Centre of BDSM – Room 119
Presenters: Sergeant Major, slave Riches
Description: All social interactions and relationships demonstrate a domination and submission dynamic at different times and to different degrees. The reality is we either dominate or submit in our various daily lives. With regard to daily interactions and vanilla relationships there is no open acknowledgement of this dynamic. In our sex positive lives we acknowledge and accept the fact that this occurs and we nurture it.
Rating: AO (Adults Only)

Bi Support Groups: Dynamics and Strategies for Success – Room 131B
Presenters: Ellyn Ruthstrom and Paul Nocera
Description: Bisexual support groups save lives and we wish there were more of them. Most of our community support groups are run by peers. We will discuss how these support groups function for our community, common themes and issues that come up in the space, and review some best practices for managing these spaces, the various dynamics that are at play, and share ways to deal with negative situations that sometimes arise.
Rating: M (Mature)


Workshop Session Four – 4:15 to 5:30pm

Connect with the Bisexual Organizing Project – Room 131A
Presenter: Camille Holthaus
Description: Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP) is a busy group! Camille Holthaus, chair of BOP, will present about the organization and take questions. Come learn about BOP and BOP's plans for significant growth over the next 5 years. Find out how to attend more BOP activities or how to get involved as a volunteer. Questions or concerns? Suggestions or critiques? Camille is here to listen and respond. BOP is growing, come be a part of shaping what's to come!
Rating: E (Everyone)

Bisexuality and People of Color – Room 117
Presenters: Mary Anne Mohanraj and Victor Raymond, PhD
Description:A facilitated group discussion about the intersections of race and sexual orientation.
Rating: E (Everyone)

Bi & Trans: Communities in Common Cause – Room 144
Presenter: Paul Nocera
Description: The wide range of lived experiences of both Bi* and Trans* people notwithstanding, living beyond binaries is our shared lot. In this session we will explore the way non-binary sexuality(-ies) and non-binary gender(s) can be understood alongside each other, further expanding the human expression(s) of a both/and (vs. either/or) ethic and understanding of the world. Participants will be challenged to explore the presence of false dichotomies in their daily experiences, and develop strategies for managing the strong social forces that make such dichotomies the default. The format of this workshop is designed to provide support skills to help mend fences between and among bi and trans community members.
Rating: E (Everyone)

Rape & Sexual Assault: How Bi-Erasure Hurts & How to Fight Against Rape Culture – Room 121
Presenter: Kimberia Sherva
Description: Kimberia will talk about how bi erasure is damaging to those who've been through rape and/or sexual assault. Also, zie will explore the myths of rape culture and how important it is to advocate for change. Zie will open the floor for discussion at the end of the presentation.
Rating: T (Teen, suitable for ages 13 and up)

Bi Elders Speak – Room 123
Presenters: ABilly Jones-Hennin, Loraine Hutchins, JamieAnn Meyers
Description: With age comes wisdom? At least with age comes experience! What have we learned, and what do we think other people can learn from our mistakes?
Rating: E (Everyone)

The Enemy Within: Are there barbarians at the gates? - Room 119
Presenters: Sergeant Major, slave Riches
Description: Has our open acceptance of anyone who attends a munch or any of our events created a situation which can lead to personal, social and political problems? Is there a need to create a system for validating the claims of people who show up to become members of our groups? Do we need to reassess our thinking with regard to acceptance to ensure that our openness regarding kinks does not cause us to allow destructive behaviors?
Rating: AO (Adults Only)

Successful Consensual Non-Monogamous Relationships – Room 131B
Presenter: Todd Berntson, MA, LPC
Description: We are all wired for connection. People may be very different from one another, but in our hearts, we all want the same thing — loving partners who offers us comfort and connection so that life’s joys can be savored and hurts can be healed. In this workshop, you will learn key concepts to forming sustainable and stable emotional bonds, and how to structure successful non-traditional relationships.
Rating: E (Everyone)


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