The Bisexuality letters are voluminous; including this testimonial from Kris Keyes. A letter such as this reaffirms that someone noticed your endeavors:
Dear Ms. Bowie,
As I watched Velvet Goldmine with my teenagers for the umpteenth time, I realized how much of the screenplay was lifted directly from Backstage Passes. I said, "You know, the world has really owed Angie Bowie a thank-you note for a long time." Since the world is notoriously slow about writing, I'll represent my little slice of it:
THANK YOU for being who you are and for being brave enough to let the world know it. Over and over, in many parts of the world, the most wonderful unconventional people have told me that they gained their lasting self-acceptance and courage during the glam era. Too often, it is forgotten that you made that era happen. The impact of that fabulous time was much deeper than its surface effects on music and fashion; for those who were paying attention, the world genuinely changed.
In my own case, the stir that you created reached even a teenager trapped in the Midwest. Mr. and Mrs. Bowie, in 1972, made it acceptable--even fashionable--to be eccentric and intelligent. This made it possible for me, and a great many of my friends, to get through school without harassment.
You also fostered an acceptance of bisexuality that affected countless lives. Closet cases came out in droves, and those of us who are straight encouraged their pride.
The memory of this time of freedom softened society's rigidity, and despite the regression of the 1980s, many people had their attitudes changed forever. My 15-year-old daughter felt free to come out as bisexual two years ago, to the world at large, and with a confidence and grace that I could not have imagined at that age. In defending her from the flak that she receives as a result, I have found allies in many unexpected places--and they turn out, quite often, to have been glitter critters, once upon a time. I can only hope that the neo-glam phase now ending will have the same effect on a younger group. Through Velvet Goldmine and the ensuing teen enthusiasms, your reach has been indirectly extended to another generation: you've restructured society TWICE. In a fair world, this would merit massive public recognition for Dame Angela. I'm sorry that it hasn't happened yet, and I hope that it does. History, at least, will understand the scope and power of your influence.
In visiting your website, I was shocked to discover that you seem to live in my Northeast Tucson neighborhood! In fact, my husband is one of those "nekkid" guys to be found at Tanque Verde Falls (if he was there when you were, he was the Navajo with no apparent derriere).
I was also impressed by your lecture on bisexuality. In a few months, my daughter plans to agitate for a GLBT organization as an official club at Sabino High. At that time, I will have her write to you for permission to quote from your lecture in the club's flyers.
Thanks again for all that you have done in the past, and best wishes for the success of your future projects.
With the highest regard for The Prettiest Star,
I thank you so much for writing to me. All things being equal, the POCKET ESSENTIAL on BISEXUALITY will be available in May 2002. Thank you again and kindest regards to you and your family.
Comments: Hi Angie,
Enjoyed your bisexual manifesto. In my opinion (based on personal observation, not scientific evidence), the number of bisexuals is much higher than the percentages quoted. Many men, and even more women enjoy homosexual experiences. Some in real life, many more in their imagination. Plus, many acts of affection expressed by theoretically heterosexual individuals toward same sex persons are often based on sexual attraction. It is also quite evident that many more people "liberate themselves" as social mores become more permissive. All you have to do is look around San Francisco to view the future. How is life in conservative Tucson? It was very uptight when I went to school there. Best wishes. Toki
Comments: hi angie, i just wanted to take a few moments
to say thank you for what you have done for me in my life. i read your
book, Backstage Passes, around the age of 14/15, right when most of us
begin dating and experiencing love/crushes for the first time. i'd always
had crushes on women AND men, but didn't always have the courage to admit
it. i wasn't raised in a homophobic family or environment, but then again,
no one came right out and said "it's okay to like women, too."
anyway, as i read your book, i became aware that i now had someone to relate to (not that i was having the sexual adventures you were describing, but i WAS experiencing significant feelings for a few other girls at school). you helped me to realize that it IS okay to have feelings for someone of the same gender, as well as the opposite.
thanks to you, i have lived without guilt or fear of being "abnormal." my mind and spirit are open to all things and ideas and ways of life, and they will continue to grow and expand as the years go by. thank you once again, Feather Rogers-Dayton
p.s. i am also in a book ;
i'd love for you to take a look at it...
it is put out by Teen People Magazine, and is called Love Stories: Stories of True Romance. it contains the story of the past 3 years of my life, with my wonderful "boyfriend" Ingmar (i hate to use that word, for he is so much more than just a boyfriend). he was involved in a car accident, and i moved to Berlin to be with him, and to help him recover.
(what a shameless plug!)
hello Angela, My name is Deepak from Denver Colorado.
I was reading your essay on bisexuality and was so engrossed in the fact that it aligned very close to my feelings too.
I don’t know what I am for sure. I have had male lovers and fantasize about women all the time. But the most satisfaction is when I am with my boyfriends. I do believe that I will marry a woman in future but what confuses me is how I am to maintain my other relationships. Anyway your article was beautiful and very interesting. If you are in the Denver area look me up and we can talk over coffee. thanks Deepak
Dear Deepak, Thank you for taking the time to write to me. You are sweet. Maintaining other relationships once a contract has been put into place is a matter of timing and communication. Maybe it’s better to remain single if one wants to pursue multiple dreams. But in this age of monogamy as a health precaution you may want to re-evaluate the purpose of sexual activity. I thought the whole point of multiple partners was to learn as much as you could so that when you met the right person you’d be really good at sex! But then I am a simple creature. I have so many things I want to accomplish that sex is just something else that has to be satisfied like another project that needs to be completed. I don’t put that much store in anything I can’t control. I like to be master of my domain. The idea of getting married and then regretting not being able to participate in other relationships sounds daunting unless parents, social mores and tradition are speaking into this knowledge that you someday marry!
Still that’s just the musings of a new friend! Love Angie
Comments: I think this is absolutely exciting. I am
a bisexual mother of one child and in a rocky marriage, to a man. My husband
is straight. He knew I was bisexual coming into our marriage, in fact I
told him I was 70% attracted to women, and 30% to men. He considers my
being with a female lover out of the question, and yet we only have sex
perhaps once a month (I am 25, he is 28). I've known I've been bisexual
since I was 12, when I'd be turned on looking at my stepfather’s Playboy
magazines, and often wind up masturbating over them.
My husband fears I am a closet lesbian, I think, for he won't let me have any female lovers. Which is pretty cruel in light of our lack of sex life. Anyways, before him I was either fooling around with girls in my teens, and boys, having the usual orgies with cute boys, and that was all great. I dated one girl, we were 16, and it was nice, 4 months, but it didn't get that steamy, just a lot of kissing and groping and sex once. After that I met a man who liked Menage A Trois, so we did that too, and I could pick the girls, so I was very thankful. But when I met one he didn't like (and all I'd done was kiss her and rub her thigh in stockings) called me a "closet lesbian" and nearly broke up with me. He later decided that he was possibly bisexual, kissed a man, decided it was gross, and so that was pretty odd.
I've asked my husband if I could take female lovers, since we have so little sex, and I know some beautiful willing women (whom he thinks are all ugly because of the media perpetuation of the artificially bodies women, like Pamela Anderson, Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Carmen Elektra... I'm surprised he likes me!) But he said that would be cheating on him. I disagree. I wouldn't be cheating on him! I'd feel like I was if I were with another man, but women suit me just fine for exploits. I almost wish I'd had a real bisexual relationship with a woman for the experience. Interestingly about the two-sided thing, I am very much the whole kit and caboodle. I am an artist. I am somewhat androgynous depending on how I dress. People call me eccentric even though I am not mentally ill, or a bad mother or anything. I like to write poetry and read, and sit outdoors in the sun. I believe funny little things, usually culled from books about religion, medicine, astrology, science, folklore, etc...
With my son I paint his toenails when he wants them painted, and the doctor said that was fine. My husband was concerned. I don't care if my son is gay, bisexual, or straight, but of course I want grandchildren... so maybe I will have to have another child, as backup, lol...I just wish I knew how to help educate my husband about my bisexuality in a way which he could understand, and the implications of a marriage between a bisexual person and someone straight. When I tell him I want a female lover, he retorts with, cool, then I want one too! To ME that's not legitimate at all... that's a cheap pot shot. Guess I should have married a bisexual man. Wonderful site, thanks for letting me vent.
Dear Sakina! Thank you very much for taking the time to write to me. What a beautiful name! People are always just people and you know sometimes when we think the world is passing us by; it gives us time to reflect and decide whether we really want to change the status quo. But if a change is going to come, there's not much we can do about it, the change will come, that whole subconscious part of our minds, that shrinks and doctors know nothing about, the determining voices that shape our future; your life will become what you want it to be and as an artist, I am sure your androgyny and the desires that come from that will manifest themselves. Being eccentric is the greatest gift, don't worry about the small stuff like painting toenails; worry about the big stuff. You can't expect to take a lover and laugh at your husband when he says he wants one too! Come on, you got'ta be fair here! I am so glad you enjoyed the site but take a long look at what you want and what behavior you are expecting in return. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You are so cherished he does not want to share you with anyone else! But note your reaction: when he said he was going to take a lover you got your feathers ruffled.......What does this mean?
Though it may seem restrictive, far better to know that you are valued and your freedom curtailed through his pride and desire.
Tell him to liven up your sex life because your libido is suffering and you are not prepared to suffer. It's a good idea to give someone the opportunity of proving their pride and possessiveness before one makes any radical changes. He may not be aware that you just want to get more active in the physical department; once a month is not very cuddly, is it?
Anyway, I appreciate your letter, I hope I said something that sparks your imagination to make a wonderful life even more satisfying.
What kind of artistic work is it that you do?
Speaking of that I better get back to work! Have a wonderful weekend! Love Angie
Comments: Hi, I found your article on Bisexuality very
intriguing. I have always known of my attraction to both sexes. My partner
or wife, if you would care to call her that, has also found her attraction
to the same sex. We find it very relaxing to be able to enjoy either or
both. We find it very normal and perhaps those that find it objectionable
are just denying their own feelings. I think your suggestion about Christianity
and their teaching highlights the real fear of this group losing control
masses. Keep up the excellent work. Tony & Starr
Comments: Chere Angie, Thank you for such an amazing and insightful resource. I enjoyed reading your lecture on bisexuality, and found it very affirming. The idea of being 'Two-spirited' has really hit home with me, and gave me a new insight and perception about my own sexuality. I notice you have a bitch about labeling - I'd just like to say that while labeling is something that I personally do not agree with, NAMING is a completely different concept. I choose to identify my sexuality with the name bisexual, because that gives me a basis for understanding it, and a power over it. There are many cultures who associate names with power, and this is a sound basis for naming one's sexuality in order to more fully integrate it into one's complete being. I have recently embraced my bisexuality, and am enjoying the possibilities that are now present in my life. I interact with a social group where bisexuality is accepted; however it is plagued by 'fashionable bisexuals'. They're willing to make out with someone of the same sex just to get attention, and, sadly, it usually works. The downside of this is that people that are truly bisexual are also viewed this way, and therefore are being denied a significant part of their range of social interaction. Not to mention the fear of being ridiculed for coming out as bisexual. (I've been laughed at by a close friend when coming out to him for exactly this reason) Here's to more honesty, and for being who we truly are. You've become a real role model for me, and inspired so many others. If I could have one wish come true for me, it would be that I, too, could bring inspiration, affirmation, and light into the lives of others. Au revoir ma chere, et je vous aime. ~Lilith
Lilith, Thank you for taking the time to write me. Je vous aime aussi! Maintenant, parlons de la substance de votre letter…..
“I notice you have a bitch about labeling - I'd just like to say that while labeling is something that I personally do not agree with, NAMING is a completely different concept. I choose to identify my sexuality with the name bisexual, because that gives me a basis for understanding it, and a power over it. There are many cultures who associate names with power, and this is a sound basis for naming one's sexuality in order to more fully integrate it into one's complete being. I have recently embraced my bisexuality, and am enjoying the possibilities that are now present in my life.”
I agree! But seeing as how naming is subjective and labeling is objective we have no control over the descriptions or intellectual copyright of others. Thus labeling becomes profiling and profiling as we have seen in our discussions in marketing is a power tool and it can be brandished to provoke a response or it can be held in abeyance and used as an ace to bring about change. I may call myself bisexual thus allowing everyone else to name me as bisexual.
This will probably be the shortest e-mail I have ever
written, which is odd, being as most fourteen year old girls spend half
their time on e-mail. I only wanted to say that I respect you so much that
the more I learn about you, the more I am geared to follow the best ideas
that come into my head. You have given me this confidence because it seems
that in whatever you do,
no matter how you are feeling, you do it to the best of your ability, and that takes a lot of strength and courage. Thank you.
Comments: ...I still do not understand peoples fear of "labels" and what-not. Growing up in and around the influx of Brit-pop in the mid-nineties I found that most "sexually ambiguous" chaps and chicks were actually as dull as copper, and wouldn't dream of saying boo to the same sex's goose, but they used the infamous "I don't believe in labels, I find them offensive" line to increase their mystique and improve their (utterly hetero) pulling powers. If labels are so meaningless, if they are so irrelevant, then *why* get so "offended" when they are applied...? Yes, it is tiresome to see every new "acceptable" iota of humanity segmented and wrapped as soon as it appears but not half as tiresome as sitting listening to a stunted penguin (er...ewe wouldn't know him...;Â) and his dead finks blether on about nothing, committing to nothing....SAYING nothing of interest at all....sigh
Comments: Ang, comments: I read your lecture on bisexuality and it made me feel so warm and relieved. Finally, someone with intelligence and confidence is able to come out and speak about this subject. I have been with my boyfriend of a year and have never thought about sexuality except that I am a sexual person. I was raised by hetero parents who believed in the fact that sex whatever package was a good thing. I have always been attracted to men but also appreciated women's beauty. I have never acted on that because truthfully, I have never met a woman who might interest me. As it turns out, my boyfriend is bisexual. He hasn't really acted out any behavior except for a drunken kiss with a man on a bet. However, as we have progressed in our relationship, honesty has revealed that while we love each other and are attracted to each other, we can also be attracted to a member of the opposite sex. I believe that ALL humans possess some bisexual qualities. I think our society deems it necessary for men to only show their feelings toward each other in violent or aggressive behavior. While women can be, I think especially today, more open. My girlfriends can hug, cuddle, even kiss and no one thinks different for our displays of affection. I think my boyfriend, who is a naturally touchy-feely kind of person is so left out of this. I see a lot of younger people being more open with their sexuality and it makes me happy. I believe, like many other friends of mine, that the soul and the spirit of the person matters the most and not the body. Other bisexuals may disagree about the sex but for me, a monogamous person , it's the person's spirit that captures me.
Comments: Angie, Great to read such an article of balance
and essence, that shows the reality of the human spirit : I am a DB fan
but I have also been keen to learn something of what I believe to be a
great woman. I am a 29yo good looking (and sensitive) guy who sleeps and
has relationships with guys...at the moment (CLASSIFIED GAY) but I love
and appreciate women. My reason for not sleeping with a woman is simply...I
am scared...never done it. I have been running a design business in Australia
for 3 yrs with my boyfriend and in the last six months it all fell to pieces
with him having a nervous breakdown. I am now trying to rebuild my life
and hopefully leave Australia and try and work in the United States or
Europe .I am exceptionally creative and hope to one day do something with
it either film or writing or photography...
Once I get my life sorted out. Anyway, check out our website if you get a chance:
All the best,: Ben
Comments: I am engaging in my first female relationship,
all of my friends that know about this seem to think that the reason I
turned to women is because I was verbally abused by my last boyfriend and
for this I feel safer with a girl. I still love that person who verbally
abused me, I still love him dearly. But this closeness with my "friend"
is so much more emotionally and spiritually. What do you think about this?
Good Question. Verbal abuse is too cruel. At what times were you verbally abused? As a result of drinking or drugs or just in general? I think removing yourself from the sphere of influence of someone negative is a good thing but don’t replace one villain with another: be it same sex or a giraffe! Sometimes it is more important to work on one’s own character than get bogged down in another relationship. Lack of self-esteem often triggers name-calling and verbal abuse plus the required penitent forgiveness-seeking. That’s nauseating behavior. Anyone who has to apologize more than once every 6 months for saying something hurtful should be negated in terms of one’s interest or time spending. That’s what I think in answer to your question!
comments: Dear Angie,
My name is crystal and I am seventeen.
I also know you have heard this 2 million times over again but you are a wonderful, caring, down to earth lady! I read your book Backstage Passes and realized after I had finished that I was bisexual. Well, I wanted to act on my feelings however my family is very against gay people in general, even though one of my cousins is gay! So I wrote a very private note to a close friend telling her about my new discovery. My parents found it when they went through my purse. Why they did that I don’t know! Then they looked on line on my history and found bisexual information! Not embarrassed they began poking fun at me, cruel things were said I sat in my room and cried. I have all these feelings and can’t get them out because if my family can’t accept it. Will my friends know? They make fun of gay people all the time, what should I do? I tried being true to myself but I need more. I don’t really get much freedom, (its not like I’m a bad kid, I’ve never been in any trouble) and I get no privacy or support. When I told them I wanted to be an actress/ singer they laughed at me. (my music teacher loves my voice, so I must have talent). I don’t mean to sound sorry for myself but I guess I needed to get it all off my chest! Well, if you have any advice please email me. P.S I only have one more year till college so ill be out of here soon! peace and love always! crystal~
I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live at home at 17 years of age. The positive and supportive thing for me to say is that you should feel cherished that your parents care enough to bother to look and investigate. Being17 is no bed of roses. Trust me on this. It wouldn’t be any better if you had your own apt. or shared it with friends or were already at college. A series of crises afflict one at 17; who shall I be? What gender am I? God, I love politics! OOO, shall I be a martyr or a nun? Or the deep depression of a nihilist’s disinterest of everything particularly household chores!
Don’t fret the privacy issue. If you want to be a singer and therefore a public person, thus a celebrity, you might as well get used to having no privacy .It may cause you to consider your professional calling. Just digest the information. There’s no rush. Dwell on it. Give it some thought. Plenty of time to worry about it when you fall in love with somebody. There are only laughing at you because you are discussing options that are not even in play yet. I think their interest testifies to their caring. Their mode of showing it is clumsy. That is the only fault I can find.
Comments: Hi Angie! I'm so worried 'bout my dear sister...
You see, I'm still a child (13) and my sister is 16. Her name is Lisa.
She's sure she's a bi. She had an e-mail buddy from Sweden for some time
(me and my sister are both from Estonia), a little older than Lisa, who
really WAS a bi. A real one. But my sister... Well, her greatest
dream was to get her first kiss from a woman and she did. And she got it
from a Bowie fan, Sasha, whom she met in a music shop looking at David's
CD's. They had a relationship for some time but my sister said she didn't
love Sasha, she just wanted her. Lisa is suffering all the time. Heard
her talking once on a phone with Sasha and she was really crying...Lisa
has always been on the gay's and bi's side. But I'm afraid she is still
too young to go through all these problems.
Please, PLEASE tell me what to do. I put all my teeny weeny hopes on you. Salty winds from the sea and a sweet kiss from a confuzed mermaid, Love, Goldberry
SEE CRYSTAL ABOVME RESPONSE
Comments: I have realized in the last year that I am bisexual. I have not yet acted on this yet, but I would like to someday. Thank you for your article. It was very informative and interesting.
Comments: what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a bi?
Comments: High, I'm a 22 year-old bisexual male and I get really annoyed by the double standard associated with it. I think you might know the one I'm talking about. The attitude that it's okay for two women to "get together" but disgusting if two men do. This attitude is most prevalent among my straight male friends, but I've also found women who feel the same way, even ones who are bisexual! For example, I know this one women who is bisexual, who has two kids. When I was talking to her I found that she justified her sexual identity but in the next sentence said that if she ever found out that her son was gay or bi she would disown him. Whenever I confront straight males with this paradox (who goggle at the thought of two women) they simple say, "Two guys...that's disgusting!" or "It's not the same thing!" or they'll be like this one person who I thought was a friend of mine and blatantly contradict themselves. Though he "drooled" over the idea of two women and proceeded to tell me about it. He later called me a faggot when I was joking around with another male friend of mine (who's a homosexual) in front of him. He then proceeded to tell me that he thought that I was coming out of that (being bisexual). I guess he figured since I wasn't "fully gay yet" there was still hope for me. But he's such a hypocrite. At least I think. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject
Comments: Thank you for the eye-opening and detailed essay. It gives me lots to reflect on. I am bi, and am comfortable with it to myself. However, to tell my conventional spouse, and my two younger children ( i am 46 married, etc ), is the biggest obstacle i face right now. What to do? so I continue to live a life of quiet desparation.
Your website is very interesting indeed! I am a writer
and member of the Los Angeles Press Club. My articles to date have been
about "Special Interest Politics," except doing an interview several months
ago of a Russian born "Playmate of Month" who was very impressive. Another
story I'd like to write about is woman to woman love and sex. I bought
some books and videos on the subject, and find it quite novel for a guy
like me to think about. Some years ago I dated and partied with some ladies
who were bi-sexual and found them to be great friends and lots of fun too.
There's something missing in many relationships when it comes to satisfaction
of sexuality! Exploring lesbian sex has shed a lot of light on this for
me, and I am wondering if I should write a story about it??? What do you
Comments: dear angela, i thought your writing was superb.
how refreshing to come home from a rigid day of social work, providing
therapy and other case management with my clients. i wish bisexuality came
easier to people. i wish that life was better for everybody. i appreciate
your love and pleasure in peace and love. people seem more afraid than
anything. i think depression is often misunderstood and denied fear. people
would much rather do or say anything than admit their scared. i never understood
why and still don't, it's more truthful. i hope i'm making sense and again
i appreciate what you've said. love, ken