LGBTQ Agenda: 'Are Bisexuals Just Greedy?' answers tough questions with a smile
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A bisexual filmmaker is trying her hand at writing with a new illustrated book meant to address misconceptions about the LGBTQ community in a light-hearted but educational way.
Fiona Dawson, best known for the award-winning documentary film "TransMilitary," is the author of "Are Bisexuals Just Greedy? And 20 Other Rather Direct Questions Asked of the LGBTQ+ Community."
The release of the book has pushed back to January 11, due to supply-chain issues, Dawson stated to the Bay Area Reporter November 8, adding that while pre-orders were supposed to start November 9, this was again delayed. People who want to be notified about when they can pre-order the book can sign up for an email here. The book is published by Publish Your Purpose Press, which is a self-described hybrid between traditional and self-publishing.
"It's an extremely personal book," Dawson, 44, told the B.A.R. in a recent phone interview, saying that the title came from a question she remembered her father asking when she was a teenager and the two were watching something on TV.
"My dad said 'I can understand men being gay and women being lesbian, but aren't bisexual people just greedy?'" Dawson recalled. "I didn't know what he meant."
Some other questions include "what's the difference between being 'cisgender' and 'transgender?'" and "why can't I love the sinner and hate the sin?"
Cisgender is defined as a person's sense of personal identity and gender corresponding to their birth sex, whereas people who are transgender have a personal identity and gender that does not. The answer to the latter question addresses how anti-LGBTQ Christians don't take the whole Bible literally when they fail to love their neighbors and themselves.
Dawson, who is originally from the United Kingdom and now lives in Texas, came to the United States in 2000 and subsequently came out as a lesbian in 2004. She said that she experienced similar attitudes as a member of the LGBTQ community, and when she came out as bisexual in 2012, "it was harder to come out as bisexual than as a lesbian."
But the book isn't limited to addressing bi erasure.
"As a member of the LGBTQ community, I'm often asked these questions," Dawson said.
In an effort to answer questions coming from ignorance or preconceived prejudices, Dawson decided to write the book.
"I wanted to create a book that looks like a children's book," Dawson said, but "it's written for people old enough to swear and talk about sex."
Dawson added that people might want to bring it to a family gathering and use it as a reference when people, such as the stereotypical uncle, ask questions about the LGBTQ community that might be difficult to answer easily.
Syd Cordoba, a Virginia-based nonbinary artist, provided "beautiful illustrations for the book," Dawson said. Cordoba did not respond to a request for comment by press time. The illustrations include depictions of Dawson's mother and dog, who are both deceased.
Dawson said that she included a warning for her father: "For Dad — please just skip the parts talking about blowjobs."
Nevertheless, Dawson's father, Peter Dawson, wrote the afterword to the book.
"It['s] ... fair to say that having Fiona as a daughter has been an education in itself," the elder Dawson stated to the B.A.R. "I realize that one of Fiona's long-held ambitions has been to write a book and so when she first floated the idea, I naturally felt supportive; when I understood that she was dedicating the book to me I felt extremely flattered and then honored when she asked me to write the afterword."
Peter Dawson stated that he is "very impressed" with the book, and is proud that his daughter is "an enemy of injustice and discrimination and a champion for those who have been marginalized and unrecognized.
"The book is well-written in a concise but amusing style and works well as a series of explainers; I hope and believe that it will reach a wide audience," he stated. "Understandably, perhaps, I do not agree with all of Fiona's views expressed in the book, but this doesn't lessen my pride and admiration for her achievement."
For her part, Fiona Dawson said that after coming out her parents were supportive. "I was never questioned and I was supported even when I was not understood," she said.
Peter Dawson, answering his old question, said that "are bisexuals greedy? Possibly — but no more than the rest of us."
LGBTQ Agenda is an online column that appears weekly. Got a tip on queer news? Contact John Ferrannini at firstname.lastname@example.org
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