The conference planning committee of the 8th International BiCon have announced the keynote speakers for this summer’s conference.

Makoto Hibino: Born in 1967 as a MtM, Makoto Hibino is now living as MtX transgender. Makoto has been a bi activist since 1995. In 1999 Makoto published To Be and/or Not to Be Bisexual which remains at the forfront of books on bisexuality in Japan. In 2002 Makoto joined the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Palestine in order to protest Israeli occupation. Makoto has discussed the State of Israel as typical of the minorities’ human rights movement’s mistakes, similar to the mistakes of the gay rights movement which has not fully taken bisexual and transgenered individuals into consideration. Makoto is now a staff member of the small mix group (projectQ) in Kyoto that advocates against the binary gender system.

Margaret C Charmoli, Ph.D. Dr. Charmoli has been a bisexual activist for over 25 years. As a member of the 1989 St. Paul Human Rights Commission, she authored and introduced an ordinance that protected people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The ordinance became law in 1990 and withstood a public referendum in 1991 making it the strongest human rights ordinance in the United States. This ordinance became the template for human rights legislation passed by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1993. Dr. Charmoli is a psychologist in private practice and has taught at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. She has extensive public speaking experience with lay and professional audiences at the local, regional and national levels. Her speaking engagements have included presentations on sexuality, sexual orientation, spirituality, mental health, addiction recovery, trauma, school violence, disaster preparedness/response and professional development.

Dr. Charmoli has appeared on radio and television to educate the general public about depression, stress, sexuality, disaster preparedness and human rights. She currently co-hosts Bi Cities, a Twin Cities cable television program about bisexuality, with her life partner, Dr. Anita Kozan. In addition to her private practice and speaking engagements, Dr. Charmoli serves as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on substance abuse treatment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. She is a past president of the Minnesota Psychological Association and has served on the governing bodies of several other professional and community organizations.

Luigi Ferrer Luigi Ferrer is a Latino, bilingual, bicultural, HIV+ bisexual. He is a nationally recognized AIDS activist and health care consultant, working with government, non-profit organizations and industry to design and implement services for people living with HIV. Luigi served as Executive Director of the Body Positive Resource Center and the Bisexual Foundation, and is a former Board Member of the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) and the AIDS Action Council in Washington, DC. He currently serves as Case Manager Supervisor at Unión Positiva, Miami’s Latino AIDS service organization in Little Havana and as Vice-president of BiNet USA. A former Marine Biologist and research scientist, Luigi also maintains a strong commitment to environmental issues.


This originally appeared in BCN issue 66, April 2004.