Check out our 2016 Keynote Presenters for BECAUSE!
Dr. Herukhuti is a cultural studies scholar, sex researcher-educator, systems theorist, cultural worker and interdisciplinary social scientist whose work operates at the intersection of race, culture, sexuality and spirituality. He is also a human rights and social justice activist who has participated in the decolonization movement and intersectional politics for three decades. In addition to his grassroots activism, he has been an organizational leader including as founder and chief erotics officer (CEO) of the Center for Culture, Sexuality and Spirituality and editor-in-chief of its webjournal sacredsexualities.org.
In September 2013, as a member of a group of bisexual researchers, leaders and activists invited to a bisexual community issues and public policy roundtable at the White House, Dr. Herukhuti co-presented on the topic of HIV and bisexuals. In 2015, Dr. Herukhuti, a member of team of bi+ activists and organizational leaders, co-organized another bisexual public policy forum at the White House and co-authored policy briefs for that meeting.
A poet, playwright, performance artist and stage director; two of his plays have been performed at the New York International Fringe Theatre Festival. He has performed at the Bowery Poetry Cafe and, world famous spoken word incubator, Brooklyn Moon Cafe. His most recent play about Black bisexual men, My Brother’s a Keeper, was developed under fellowships funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Lambda Literary Foundation.
Dr. Herukhuti is author of Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality, Volume I (Vintage Entity Press). He is the award-winning co-editor of the Lambda Literary Award nonfiction finalist anthology and Bisexual Book Awards nonfiction and anthology winner Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men (Bisexual Resource Center) and Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectives (Routledge). A member of the editorial board of the Journal of Bisexuality--co-editor of the journal’s special double issue on spirituality--and the Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, he has written about and lectured on bisexuality particularly among people of African descent.
In 2015, Dr. Herukhuti was a Thought Leader for the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians, Camp Pride Educator-in-Residence, Lambda Literary Foundation Playwriting Fellow and Bisexual Book Awards Writer of the Year.
Owning her bisexual label since she was 19, Apphia has been a voice for the bisexual community ever since she came out. She founded an LGBTQ support group in her hometown in India, called Birds of a Feather that successfully ran for five years. She moderates and hosts an online group for Bisexuals in India, called BOZ and has contributed to 'Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals around the World'. A warrior, a survivor, the voice in the room reminding it to be bi-inclusive, a hugaholic, a poet who loves to sing, Apphia refuses to tip-toe around biphobia and bi erasure. Apphia is currently the Board Chair forSALGA-NYC, New York's largest South Asian LGBTQ organization.
She is the first known asylee who was granted asylum as an out bisexual and in addition to her work with SALGA-NYC, she is currently working on Immigration Issues through the Bisexual experience.
Elise Matthesen: beads, metal, words, music, friends, lovers, disabilities, award nominations, bisexuality, Catholicism, and so on. Lifelong U.S. Upper Midwesterner. One of the co-founders of BECAUSE. Contributor to the anthology Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out, published in 1991. Rabblerouser, whistleblower and working artist. Has a hearing impairment, fibromyalgia, arthritis, attitude, ingenuity, numerous publication credits, and many pairs of pliers.