Bi Women – Voices of Youth Edition

Dearest Reader,

The theme of the new Spring 2012 issue is “Voices of Youth.” Because I leave on Tuesday morning for an extended speaking tour that will take me to Pennsylvania, Ohio Texas and New York, you are receiving Bi Women more than a week ahead of schedule.

For this issue, readers were asked:

“If you are 25 or under, here’s a chance to share your story. What is it like to be you? How did you come to identify as bi, pansexual or fluid? Where did you learn about bisexuality? Was there a Gay/Straight Alliance in your high school? Are your friends accepting of your identity? What about your family? Do you have any role models? Are you a role model? Where do you get support? Are you an activist? What advice would you give to other young people who think they might be bi, pansexual or fluid?”

We received a wide variety of submissions from writers ranging in age from 16 to just over the age limit (which we stretched just a bit). We received three submissions from outside the United States: one from India, one from Singapore and one from the United Kingdom. This issue includes pieces by Anna Chase, Ludi Valentine, Menon, Mel, Mel McConachie, Lyndsie Bennett and Jessica G.

Mel and Menon’s pieces comprise a double “Bi Women Around the World” feature. And there’s our Ask Tiggy advice column, News Briefs, Letters, a report about the Creating Change Conference from Bridget Siegel and, finally, our Calendar of Events for March, April and May.

Enjoy this newsletter, and please consider adding your voice and/or artwork to the next issue of Bi Women. In honor of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Boston Bisexual Women’s Network and Bi Women, our next issue will focus on transformation and the passage of time. Please feel free to decide for yourself the time frame in question (30 years, one month…) and the particular changes on which you wish to focus.

With pleasure, and about a week early, I present to you Bi Women, Volume 30, Number 2. Here is the link:

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Warm regards,
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WCC Newsletter for February 2012

The Women’s Cultural Collective (WCC) has released their latest newsletter!

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Concert at Plymouth Church


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Coffee and Connections Open House for The Center Sept 15th

Coffee and Connections Open House September 15th.

Come Join us as we showcase The Center’s new Business Cards, Brochures, and more.

We have FREE food, drinks and so much more.

Now is a great time to learn about The Center and we we do for the LGBT community and what we can do for you!

1300 Locust

Des Moines, Iowa 50309


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Iowa Voter Rights

As an Iowa citizen, you have the right to
1. Ask questions.
2. Request a ballot and vote if you are:
Registered to vote;
18 years of age or older;
A resident of Iowa;
A United States citizen.
3. Review a sample ballot before voting.
4. Vote in an accessible voting place.
Virtually all Iowa precincts are accessible. However, if you cannot get inside the polling place because it is not accessible, two precinct workers will bring a ballot to your vehicle. They may also help you mark the ballot, but only if you ask them. You may want to call ahead or bring someone with you to tell the precinct workers that you need to vote in your car.
5. Mark your ballot privately and free from coercion or intimidation.
6. Receive assistance with voting in a polling place, if needed.
If you need help marking your ballot because of a disability, literacy or language barrier, any person you choose may help you except your employer or your employer’s agent or an officer or agent of your union.  If you want help from the precinct workers, one person from each political party will help you. If precinct workers assist you, you will need to sign a form showing that you requested help.
7. Vote a provisional or special ballot if your name is not on the voter registration list or if
there is another question about your qualifications to vote.
8. Receive a ballot if you are in line at the time the polls close. Polls close at 9:00 p.m. in most elections.
9. Request a new ballot if you made a mistake and have not already cast your ballot. You may receive up to three ballots before casting your ballot.
10. Have your ballot count if you cast it legally and in a timely manner.

As an Iowa citizen, you have the responsibility to
1. Register to vote at least 10 days before the election.
2. Vote in the polling place for the precinct where you live.
3. Respect the privacy and voting rights of others.
4. Treat election workers and other voters with courtesy and respect.
5. Have a form of identification with you when you go to the polls.
6. Read and follow instructions.
7. Ask for assistance if you need it.
8. Be informed about the candidates and issues on the ballot.
9. Follow all federal and state voting laws.
10. Review your ballot before casting it to ensure it is complete and correct.

Register to Vote

The Iowa Secretary of State has made the official voter registration available online in a pdf format. You may print this online form and fill it out by hand, please be sure to sign the form before you send it to your county auditor.

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FDA approves new HIV test

A recent Facebook post from a friend said, “I think I’m positive.” There was no need to ask what she meant. Since the virus that causes AIDS was discovered in 1985, the word ‘positive’ has come to have a double meaning that is anything but positive.

Despite huge breakthroughs in treatment, HIV remains incurable. Despite many years of prevention awareness and teaching, around 56,000 new cases are reported every year in this country alone.

This week the FDA approved a new HIV test that is far more sensitive than the current tests. Developed by Abbott Laboratories the test shows both HIV antigens and antibodies.  It shows positive results in the early “acute” infection, a stage when transmission is highest.  The new test is already being used in parts of Europe and will be available in the U.S. by next year.

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Teen Pride a Success!

This last Friday night as many as seventy five area youths gathered on the 1300 block between Locust and Grand for the Center’s first Teen Pride. The event included a drag show, a DJ and a potluck supper provided by the center volunteers. 2teenpride10

Area youths gather for Teen Pride (left)

“Teen pride is important,” says Center director Sandy Volpalka, “To create a safe place for the kids to gather away from the influence of drugs and alcohol. It also showcases how important the kids are to the Center and the Gay community.”

Many of the kids echo Sandy’s concerns. “There just isn’t anywhere to meet other gay kids,” one complained, “the bars aren’t open to anyone under eighteen. I know,  like four other gay kids at my school and that’s it.”

The event was a joint effort between the Center and the Rainbow & Allied Youth group, which meets at the Center every Sunday night for 8 pm until 10 pm. We thank everyone whose efforts made the night a success. Without all the help of the volunteers, young and old alike, the Center would not be able to host such events.

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Teen Pride

The CENTER is hosting the first ever TEEN PRIDE event on Friday, June 11,2010, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be a teen drag show, a special guest performance by Champagne Showers at 7 p.m., live music, games,spin art, and tons of fun! The CENTER is located at 1300 Locust Street….Please plan to stop by and support our teens!


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Fundraising drive

Help keep the Center open. We need money to pay for Rent, utilities and other basic operating costs. The center has a monthly budget of five thousand dollars a month. We are asking everyone who wants to keep the doors open to make a monthly donation of at least ten dollars. If we can find five hundred people willing to give this minimum amount we will be able to meet our goal.

Donations thru GuideStar – the Network for Good:


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On a Sunday night, at The Garden Nightclub in Des Moines, Iowa, over $1400 was raised for The Center, a resource center that serves the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender, Questioning and Inter-sex
(LGBTQI) community of Central Iowa.

January 31st was the date, and the evening involved over 3 hours of entertainment for local favorites from the LGBTQI community such as The Gay Men’s Chorus, Champagne Showers, Coco Cabernet, Crystal Frost, Chloe Chardonnay, Stephanie Steele, Stinketta Beaverhausen and Mike Scoonover. The event was emceed by local personality Mike Miller.

The Center also used the event to honor DART bus driver Sherrie Taha. Taha made a crucial 911 call while on duty that helped save a man who was trapped outside in frigid temperatures with no shoes, socks, or coat. The timeliness of Taha’s call helped prevent the man from amputation.
Approximately 100 people attended the event, including Des Moines Mayor Frank Cowniee.

The Center is a resource center whose mission statement reads “The Center will provide a voice and visibility to the underserved and under-served LGBTQI community, their supporters, and families in Central Iowa, to work with progressive, supportive, and allied groups to strengthen all of our work.”

The Center has a facility that is open for group meetings of all kinds within the LGBTQI community. Current organizations that meet there are Progress Coalition of Central Iowa (PCCI), Women’s Cultural Collective (WCC), Transformations Iowa (Transgender Group), LBGT Aging, Dykes of the Roundtable (Women of Color), Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), TABU (Gay men of color), and Rainbow Youth and Allies (25 yrs and under). The Center is a safe place for support groups in the areas of coming out, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, LGBTQ Elders, and grief support.

Volunteers are encouraged and appreciated to contribute their time, thoughts, and monetary contributions to The Center, located at 1300 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Ph. # 515-243-0313.,

The Center is a 501©3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

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