Rio: Have you sent any erasers to journalists yet?
Nicole: I just got them yesterday, so no. I actually received so much demand for the erasers via Facebook and Twitter that I am focusing on a way to make them available to the general public. We are trying to set up #StillBisexual campaign video shoots across the country. The one in NYC cost $71, so I am hoping if I sell the erasers to fund the campaign I will be able to set up video shoots around the country and not have to pay for them out of my own pocket. But we are not yet a 501c3, so I will probably just charge tax and sell them like ordinary items until we are an official non-profit.
Rio: Can you give us an example or two of journalists you’ve contacted in the past whose bi-erasure inspired you to make these erasers?
Nicole: Absolutely. The editor-in-chief of Entertainment Weekly Henry Goldblatt published a lengthly letter from the editor, boasting about how their all inclusive gay issue featured the best in gay and transgender entertainment. Faith Cheltenham pointed this out to me. A bunch of us wrote him and Entertainment Weekly about it and how many bi roles there are on television but received no response. And really any article that erases someone’s bisexuality and refers to them as gay when it’s clearly inaccurate…they will be receiving erasers.
Nicole Kristal and Bi.org writer Mike Szymanski at the White House Policy Briefing on Bisexuality, Sept 21st 2015
Rio: Do you think the interns or assistants who vet letters for journalists are more likely to forward your letter along due to it being accompanied by one of these erasers?
Nicole: Well, as a former journalist, I know that if a package is sent to someone, usually the person it’s addressed to opens it because they like receiving free schwag. Or is it swag? You know what I mean.
Rio: Seems like it could be an effective strategy then. Is there a website or another way for people to purchase these erasers from you? Can they just contact you?
Nicole: They are available for purchase through our campaign website: www.stillbisexual.com.
Rio: For those who don’t know yet, can you describe your #StillBisexual campaign?
Nicole: We are a confessional-style social media and video campaign aimed at dispelling the misconception that bisexuals don’t stay bisexual. We do so through filming #StillBisexual videos in which bisexuals tell their stories via handwritten cards, flipping them silently. The cards outline how they came to identify as bisexual, the biphobia they encountered and how they came to realize their bisexuality was here to stay. Each video ends with a card that reads #StillBisexual. People also have tweeted photos that say #StillBisexual. People can participate however they feel most comfortable. Gay folks and partners of bisexuals can also make videos as allies. Larry Nelson, Brenda Howard‘s widower, did this.
Rio: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Nicole: Two things: if you see something biphobic in the media, tell me so I can send that person/publication an eraser. Second, if you buy an eraser, it would be awesome if you’d take a selfie with it and tweet or post it on Facebook for the campaign. We are also currently organizing #StillBisexual campaign video shoots in Chicago, Atlanta and Boston so please let us know if you’d like to participate.