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From Phyllida's Desk

Reading and Performance, April 6, 2014

New York City offers amazing opportunities for writers and artists, even as prices are forcing many of us out and as bookstores are closing. A new queer bookstore opened earlier this year with the tongue-in-cheek name of Bureau of General Services--Queer Division. Located on the real Lower East Side of Manhattan, at 83A Hester St., BGSQD shares its space with a performance group called CAGE.

The two generous young men who manage BGSQD, Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton, are open to performances and readings by artists and writers who can't guarantee book sales or a big audience, and who may not even have a new release to publicize (like me). As long as the theme is queer-related and entertaining, BGSQD will consider hosting an event.

Now I have an entire hour, on Sunday, April 6, at 3 PM, to talk about the evolution of my writing and read short selections from my novels and stories. While I am--honestly--working (slowly) on another novel, I believe I have some interesting things to say about my existing work. The subjects of my writing have always been: bisexual romance, polyamorous relationships, men who have sex with men (MSM), and women who like MSM. These ideas seem more relevant than ever in a time of changing ideas of gender and sexuality, and of women's quest for social and sexual equality.

Monogamy and the concept of "two sexes" are so 20th century. Yet many people still identify as "men" or "women," as "gay" or "heterosexual," and some are in monogamous relationships by choice. The meaning of the word "bisexual" has been changing ever since it was coined in the 19th century and is still being debated, while some people still deny that bisexual men exist! Women openly appreciate male beauty even as we no longer put up with being sexually objectified. M/m romance is increasingly popular with women readers, and gay-male is the no. 1 choice for women of all sexual orientations who enjoy watching porn.

Not all gay and bisexual men welcome the, um ... attention. And that's my "woman's point of view": evolution works through antagonism and conflict, and relationships among the sexes and orientations are no different. We can't go back to the world of ancient Greece, where male bisexuality was the established norm while women were non-persons. Whatever our relationships look like over the course of the next century (and millennium) they will be shaped by women's desires and choices, not in spite of them.

Should anyone feel a very un-New-York-City desire to buy, there will be copies of my novels Phyllida and Pride/Prejudice for sale, along with the Gay City anthology At Second Glance that includes my short story "A Charming Ménage." I will bring some CDs with a story or two from my e-book series, "Lady Amalie's memoirs."

Beer and wine will be available for a $5 donation.

I hope some of you are free and in the neighborhood on April 6. What I have to say might surprise you!

Here's the link to the event on BGSQD's website:

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