Sexual Coalition Building For Fun & Liberty
On June 25, 2005 approximately 25 people crowded around a series of dining tables pushed together at a Portland area Village Inn restaurant. The goal was to share a meal, some conversation, and some friendship. Just a bunch of guys and a very few gals sitting around a long table, talking about growing up, looking for love, dealing with facial hair, and hoping for self awareness and enlightenment. What could be more innocent, more wholesome, more all-American?
The deeper demographics of that supper crowd would probably have surprised the waitress and other restaurant patrons. Black, white, barely drinking age, well beyond the need for being carded, plump, slim… these were all obvious to the naked eye – but it would have taken a trained eye to have discerned more. Of those assembled, the vast majority was bisexual to some degree or other, some were monogamous and some not, some Christian, some Jewish, some other – and nearly all of the men had been born female.
We’d gathered for our mea after spending two hours at the local university with female-to-male transsexual porn star Buck Angel and his professional piercer wife. The two of them, with me as moderator, had participated in a question and answer presentation called “Love and Lust During Time of Transition.” Since the multiply tattooed trans man was feeling under the weather, I decided that perhaps a more relaxed environment might be a better place for us to complete the day. Since there was a play party in Buck’s honor that evening, we had to pace ourselves carefully and a laid back meal with informal conversation seemed like the ideal compromise. Although he was ultimately unable to attend the party, the decision to eat and socialize was a good one and resulted in new friendships and a greater sense mutual understanding and fellowship being forged.
I sat at the table during our meal and quietly scanned the faces. Somehow we had gathered 25 strikingly different people into one small space and found common ground. The one thing that we all agreed on was that there is more to sexuality and humanity than has been dreamed of in conservative philosophies.
Sasha Owen, the mind’s eye behind Bear Films turned to me near the end of our meal, looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, “Coalition builder.”
If he thought that our late lunch was a positive manifestation of diversity he must have loved the night before, when our Meet & Greet had included not only bisexual trans men and women, as well as members of the BDSM community, but also swingers, polyamorists, monogamists, lesbians, pagans, atheists, Humanists, Wiccans, and more. The party held after the university presentation and dinner just reinforced the diverse community theme.
Although there are times when it makes perfect sense for members of more narrowly focused lifestyle communities to spend time with “their own,” there are times when they grow stronger by banding together with people outside of their specific circle. In addition to having the potential to be a great deal of fun, in today’s political climate, the words of Benjamin Franklin, the most bawdy and sexually active of the Founding Fathers, rings loud and true: ‘We must surely hang together, or we will hang separately.”
— Originally published in Playtime Magazine —