Imagine if you will, nine college students sat in a room together. They all look very different from each other. They’re all studying different things for different reasons. They all come from different backgrounds and all have different faiths. Then, these nine students are asked to come up with a list of commandments. A list of things that they all agreed were universally true of how people ought to live. This is exactly the task posed at the “Gay and Spiritual” meeting last night. The members of the group were gay, straight, bi, Catholic, Wiccan, agnostic, and beyond. There were no two people who I could say were the same. I’d even hesitate to say that any two people were similar. As one can imagine, writing commandments wasn’t as easy a task as it sounds.
Everyone had different ideas about right and wrong and how vague or specific the commandments should be. There was debate over whether or not we had the right to tell anyone how to live on a personal level or if we could only say how people should interact with others. Words had to be chosen carefully and concepts chosen had to be something that everyone agreed on. The commandments weren’t chosen by majority, they were chosen by consensus.
I would not have been surprised if the group only came up with one or two things that we all agreed on. In the end, we came up with a list of six commandments that all nine of us agreed are a good set of general rules for life. (more…)
So today I want to talk about something that seems to be coming up in conversation a lot recently: bisexuality. More so the misconceptions about it.
From my experience, a lot of people (both outside and inside of the LGBTQ community) see bisexuality as something that doesn’t really exist. They see it as either the last stepping stone toward becoming gay, a gay person trying to stay in denial, or a straight person looking for attention or acceptance. Well, I’ve identified as bisexual since eighth grade and I can tell you that none of these are true. Believe it or not, it is possible for someone to be attracted to two genders. Trust me; I’m not the only one.
That’s another thing most people get confused about with bisexuality. Being bisexual doesn’t necessarily mean that you are attracted strictly to males and females. (more…)
Almost all writers have heard the phrase “write what you know.” It’s the kind of common sense advice that is too soon disregarded; not that we are to be limited by our experience, but that we should let that experience inform and guide our writing. And if a certain topic lies outside our realm of experience, it is usually possible to expand our realm of knowledge – after all, what else is the internet good for? (Actually, don’t answer that.)
The point is, it can be difficult for writers to force a perspective to which they cannot relate, and stories ought to be at least as varied and diverse as the authors who wrote them.
Unfortunately, that is often not the case.
[Note: For those confused by any of the terminology used in this post (and I don’t blame you; it’s confusing), here is a good glossary for all things LGBTetc., compiled by Charlie the Unicorn, who runs a quality blog here: http://unicornsareace.wordpress.com/ Any additional questions are, of course, welcome in the comments.]
The LGBTetc community is a big part of my life – and it’s no small wonder, considering how many of the letters in the (rather too long to post here) initialism I can claim as my own. I take a T or two for transgender/transmasculine, a G for gay, another for genderqueer, a couple of A’s for asexual and aromantic, and a P for pan-attractional,1 because why not?
It should be obvious then why it is that LGBTetc issues are a rather primary concern in my life; not only are they dealing with what I perceive to be basic human rights and dignity, but every battle, every court case, every news story involving the queer community has the potential to directly affect me or someone I love. That being said, it’s possible that I’m going to find myself writing about queer issues a lot, so I thought that I might use my first proper post to address some of the basics of queer identity as I see them, for the benefit of the uninitiated: