Sheela Lambert

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Sheela Lambert
Born 1956
New York City
Occupation Writer, bisexual rights activist
Nationality American
Period 1990s-present
Genre entertainment journalism, essays, media advocacy
Subject bisexuality, media, popular culture, LGBT
Website
http://biwriters.livejournal.com/ Biwriters.Livejournal.com

Sheela Lambert (born 1956 in New York City) is an American civil rights activist, and writer.[1] She is the founder of the Bi Writers Association, co-founder of Bi Women of All Colors and is active in a number of bisexual rights groups including BiNet USA. She is openly bisexual and writes about bisexuality and LGBT popular culture/entertainment issues in her national bisexual column for Examiner.com as well as articles for Curve,[2] The Huffington Post, The Advocate, AfterEllen and AfterElton, Bi Magazine, Lambda Literary Foundation and the America Today LGBTQ Encyclopedia and editing for various efforts including Biwriters.org.[3][4] She frequently presents information on bisexuality issues at universities, colleges, conferences, high schools and in-service trainings.[5] She also continues to advocate against bisexual erasure.[1][6]

Education[edit]

Lambert attended Beloit College. She received her B.S. degree in psychology from Empire State College in 1989 and is a graduate of a two-year Psychotherapy Training Program of the Hakomi Institute.[7] She is certified as an HIV Counselor by New York City and New York State.[8] She also received formal training in Family Therapy and Group Leadership Skills; studied Intensive Case Management at Hunter College; coursework in AIDS Training for Child Welfare Staff (Center for Development of Human Services of SUNY Buffalo and the New York State Department of Social Services); coursework in HIV Medical and Technical Information (Department of Health, Division of HIV Counseling and Testing, Training Unit).[citation needed]

Lambert has been a public speaker on the topic of bisexuality including: Understanding Bisexuality, Famous Bisexuals in History, Border Crossings, Activist Toolkit and Marriage Discrimination: Impact on the Bi Community. She has also appeared on a variety of televisionshows on the topic of bisexuality including Real Personal With Bob Berkowitz (CNBC), The Rolonda Show (syndicated), The Richard Bey Show (WWOR-TV) and others. Additionally Lambert has been quoted in various other media — including The Washington Blade, The New York Blade and Time Out New York — on issues related to bisexuality.

Personal[edit]

Lambert lives in New York City and has an adult son. She was married from 1982 to 1994, though separated from her husband beginning in 1984.[citation needed]

Lambert's work for bisexual rights[edit]

1990s[edit]

Lambert helped produce "Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Sharing Our Lives: A Forum on Bisexuality", a forum held in May 1992. The forum was co-sponsored by the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center (now the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Services Center), New York Area Bisexual Network and BiPAC. During the 1992-93 television season, Lambert was the on-air correspondent and producer of Out in the 90’s, a live New York City Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable tv channels news and information show for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.[9] In 1993, Lambert was the executive producer/host for Bisexual Network, the first television series by and for the bisexual community.[10] The series aired on New York City's public-access television. Lambert produced a bisexual health care report for the New York City Department of Health in 1993, examining barriers to service for bisexual people accessing health and mental health services. She was a member of the Educational Coalition on Lesbian and Gay Youth (ECoLaGY), 1992-94. Lambert ran a Women's Safer Sex Workshop series, for bisexual women and lesbians, that ran almost three years, from March 1992 through December 1995. The Workshops were co-sponsored by New York Area Bisexual Network; N.Y.C. Department of Health, Office of Lesbian and Gay Concerns, Lesbian Health Project; Gay Men's Health Crisis' Lesbian Health Project (LAP); Community Health Project (CHP, now the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center) Lesbian Health Program. In January 1993, Lambert ran a workshop — Sexual Orientation: Experience, Identity and Fantasy — with Fritz Klein at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in Manhattan. Friends, Allies, Community Members, Lovers, Bisexuals: A Part of Our Community, a program of song and poetry performance and panel and group discussion, was held in October 1993. This program was co-sponsored by the Mayor's Office for the Lesbian and Gay Community, BiPAC and Bisexual Women of Color. In 1996, Lambert joined Heritage of Pride, in which she was an active LGBT pride organizer for two years to promote the bi-inclusive agenda as a member.[9] In 2002 Heritage of Pride renamed New York City's Lesbian and Gay Pride events to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March, Rally, Festival and Dance.[9]

2000s[edit]

Together with transgender activist Pauline Park, Lambert formed the Coalition for Unity and Inclusion in 2000. The Coalition was the lead group that successfully lobbied various New York City LGBT-related institutions to make their names more inclusive, including New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (formerly the NYC Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center) and the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival (formerly the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival).[9][11] In 2000 she co-chaired Community, Unity, Inclusion: The 4th Tri-State Bisexual Conference, held at New York University and co-sponsored by NYU's Office of LGBT Student Services. In 2005, in response to the misinformation put out by the academically disputed Bailey Study, Lambert worked as a senior member of a joint Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)/Bialogue task force that began to create information packets to provides facts about bisexuality, dispel myths and stereotypes, and educate the public about issues bisexuals face, as well as provides guidelines for various professionals. In 2006 Lambert founded the national groups the Bi Writers Association, the Bi Mental Health Professionals Association and co-founded the New York City group Bi Women of All Colors. In 2006, she led the successful campaign to convince Lambda Literary Foundation to add a bisexual award category to its literary awards, known as the "Lammys," which did not have a bisexual book category for its first 18 years of operation. She has served as a judge for the Lammy Awards ever since. She also founded the Bi Lines reading series, an annual multi-arts celebration of bisexual writing. In 2007, Lambert organized two major bi events. Bi Lines: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Music and Culture, held in conjunction with the 19th Annual Lambda Literary Awards events.[12] Bi Lines was co-sponsored by BiNet USA, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Services Center, et al. Lambert also organized the "Words on Wings" concert, a benefit for BWA, headlined by Rachael Sage and a lineup of out bi and lesbian musicians held at the New York LGBT Community Center.[citation needed] She conceived and was lead organizer for the National Summit on Putting the "B" in LGBT co-presented by the Bi Writers Association and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Services Center and co-sponsored by The New York Times Company GLBT & Allies Affinity Group, The Natl. Gay & Lesbian Task Force and Renna Communications and Bi Lines II: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Music and Theater both held Sat May 30, 2009.

She began a bisexuality column on Examiner.com in July, 2009 and has posted over 275 articles.

2010s[edit]

Lambert organized and hosted Bi Lines III: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Arts and Culture held May 28, 2010 on behalf of the Bi Writers Association, co-sponsored by BiRequest and Lambda Literary Foundation, held at NYC's LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.

Bi Lines IV: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Music and Culture was also organized by Lambert in 2011, and was made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Dept of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

In 2011, Lambert was one of only three bi activists invited to the White House LGBT Pride Month Reception, which she attended on June 29.

In 2012, Lambert organized a Celebrate Bisexuality Day event featuring a bisexual short film program in New York City on Sept 22.

In 2012, Lambert also organized and hosted Bi Lines V: A Multi-Arts Celebration of Bisexual Writing, a program of the Bi Writers Assoc. which was co-sponsored by and took place at Nuyorican Poets Cafe on June 3.

In 2013, Lambert created and organized the Bisexual Book Awards, the first anywhere in the world. Seven award categories were presented onstage as part of Bi Lines VI: A Multi-Arts Celebration of Bisexual Writing on June 2 at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, combining the two events. Bisexual Book Awards and Bi Lines are both programs of the Bi Writers Association.

Her first book, Best Bi Short Stories, an anthology of literary fiction short stories, written in multiple genres (of which she is the editor, as well as contributor of the story "Memory Lane") was published in 2014.[13] It is the first book of its type.[13]

Response to bisexual erasure[edit]

Lambert has helped in the response to Ruth Westheimer, popularly known as Doctor Ruth, and Joy Browne’s public incidents and uncovered history of bisexual erasure. In October 2005, Westheimer made statements in her nationally syndicated advice column that "everyone is either straight or gay" and there "is no such thing as being bisexual". In November, 2005, Browne, on her nationally syndicated radio show and Discovery Health Channel TV show, told a young woman regarding her attractions to women and men that she must decide between being gay or straight. According to BiNet USA's website Browne stated "saying that 'I’m bisexual' just means 'Do me!'".[14]

Working together with BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center (BRC) and Gay and Lesbian Association Against Defamation (GLAAD), Lambert led letter-writing campaigns to Westheimer and Browne and also designed a packet of books and educational materials on bisexuality which targeted the two doctor's mental health and psychology research-oriented backgrounds. It was paid for and forwarded by GLAAD. Their syndicated columns and TV shows have been monitored closely since the beginning of each campaign with no further incidences of bisexual erasure observed since they were contacted. "Bialogue/GLAAD Bisexuality Packet for Mental Health Professionals" is available on Bialogue’s website.[15]

Lambert also wrote and edited the Bi Writers Association Media Guide to Bisexuality and LGBT Reporting, which was made available on the BWA website.[citation needed]

Partial bibliography[edit]

Print[edit]

  • The Pain Management Handbook: Guided Imagery and Relaxation for Pain Management and Stress Relief. Self-published, 1988.[citation needed]

Journals

  • "Hakomi Therapy Supervision Verbatim." Hakomi Forum (professional journal of The Hakomi Institute), No. 7, Winter 1989.[16]

Magazines

  • Reviewed the film Running with Scissors, Go NYC Magazine, October 2006.
  • Reviewed independent films The Gymnast, GYPO and Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing and interviewed film directors Linda Thornburg (Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing), Katherine Brooks (Loving Annabelle), Lesli Klainberg (Fabulous!) and the actress and producer Dreya Weber (The Gymnast) for Curve, October, November and December 2006 issues.

Online[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]