This is Part 2, and it deals with some of the cultural teachings I absorbed or was actively taught that harmed me. Part 1 is here but it carries a content note for descriptions of sexual assault.
The first teaching regarded the fate of your “heart” if you had sex before marriage. I was specifically told that if/when you had sex, you gave a part of your heart away which you could never get back. You were broken if you had sex (outside of marriage) and you were a sinner if you “fornicated”. That word that confused the hell out of me for years. Listed alongside adultery, theft and murder in the New Testament as things you should never ever do, none of the adults I asked would ever give me a straight answer as to what it even was, like the “no heavy petting” sign at the swimming pool. Eventually I figured it must be all the sexy things that weren’t Capital-S Sex. Continue reading
Aoife O’Riordan has written one of the best things I’ve ever read about being bisexual and the political importance of the word. Go read it – it’s a must.
My own reactions to the post are:
1/ That I don’t associate myself with the words queer and pan, and haven’t encountered much of those communities at all and thus haven’t seen the hatred against the term bisexual from that angle.
2/ That I’ve not exclusively attributed the meaning “falling for both men and women exclusively”, where men and women are assumed to be cis, to the term bisexual. My knowledge of trans* issues, while far from perfect and complete, ’cause yes, I’ve fucked up around this before, has grown alongside my feminism and my bisexual identity. So I see no reason why the label bisexual would exclude falling for a trans* or genderqueer person, assuming the person concerned has recognised and begun to deal with their transphobia.
3/ Regarding the phrase “I don’t see gender” – yes it’s highly obnoxious. Aoife compares it to saying “I don’t see race”. That’s a phrase I’ve only ever seen used online but from the context I assume it’s really common state-side from people that think they’re being progressive. I’ve read it instinctively as “I *refuse* to acknowledge that I certainly carry racist ideas and stereotypes in my head and act accordingly”. You don’t get to exist in our (UK/USA/White European-derived) societies without carrying racist stereotypes and ideas. It makes me uncomfortable every time I realise I’ve just run into another racist stereotype in my mind, but there it is. You don’t make it go away by pretending it’s not happening. Instead, you note it and challenge it and do your best to act as if you thought otherwise. I also strongly encourage reading about subconscious stereotypes and stereotype threat – learning about these things opened my eyes.
“the idea that physical attraction is somehow less valid than, or exclusive of, attraction to someone as a person is the height of sex-shaming. There is nothing shallow or meaningless about being physically attracted to people. And being physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean for a second that you can’t fancy the hell out of their brains as well.”
Gold. Pure gold. Continue reading
Well, the internet tells me it’s BiVisibility Day. I feel like I should be excited but I’m not. I’m not out to many of the people in my life, and I certainly can’t post about it on FB, sooo, this will have to do.
I reckon I’m not at all visible as a bisexual person. I don’t dress stereotypically queer and I’m not involved in any offline LGBT communities. I’m probably reasonably out as an “ally” in that I post quite a lot of things about LGBT rights on FB and am often quite vocal in conversation when people decide queer-bashing is ok, but whether most people put two and two together, I don’t know. Continue reading
In writing the first chapter of my Thesis I decided it would be a good idea to read a few books about how to write a good thesis. A lot of the books cover only the basics – IMRAD structure, how to produce informative clear graphs, how to do a literature review etc. Now I could improve in all these things but none of them were new concepts. Apart from one new idea in one book, “Surviving Your Dissertation” (2nd Ed. Rudeston and Newton) which concerned authorship, Voice and their importance to the writing process.
So what are they and why are they important?
Authorship is the confident ownership of your written words. Voice meanwhile is Continue reading
My mate Jupiter bullied me into going essentially. Up to about a year and a half ago I was quite involved in the BDSM public scene. I had folks I played with at events and my two girlies, Jupiter and Freyja, whom I still play with privately. Then I moved cities and fell into a relationship with my current partner. Suddenly, what with Jiu Jitsu and general life things, I had a lot less time and inclination to be out on the scene. I went to a few munches in the new place but didn’t really click with the different groups, and I drifted away. Jupiter insisted that the SM Dykes Conference would be amazing, as it was for her the last couple of years, and she needed the moral support to cope with facing an ex, so I went.
And actually, it was pretty good.
I went to five different workshops over the two days with topics on ways of using words for effect, different play styles, and flogging with emotion. There was an excellent speed-meeting event that led to lots of great conversations. Ooo, and there were two hands-on sessions, a rope workshop and a latex hoods drop-in, that I really enjoyed. Sessions I didn’t get to go to that I wish I had included a boot/shoe fetish one, a discussion on feminism and kink and a discussion about penises and cocks from a trans* and dom(me) point of view.
The event was open to women and people with links to the female community, so there were genderqueer people, transmen, transwomen, people in transition, people who want to transition but cannot yet for whatever reason and those who are only out in certain situations. It was a crash-course for me in pronoun usage, and it was an eye-opener for me for the kinds of difficulties trans* people face. The best thing though was seeing and hearing the joy and confidence they gained from being in a safe space, where they can be exactly who they are, without fear. Continue reading
I had the good fortune to attend a conference this weekend for lesbian, bi, and transgender folk (MTF and FTM) of the kinky persuasion. Fun was had, new friends made and interesting insights gained but feelings were stirred and it was difficult.
I know I’m bisexual, I’ve known it for several years, but this weekend? I felt too straight. I realised I feel like a trespasser every time I walk through the Gay Village. I know my crushes on women are just as important to me as my crushes on men, and I know that if I met the right woman at the right time, I would date her. But in the face of that many queer folk whose relationships and gender presentations put them in the path of significant social stigma, I felt like I didn’t have the right to my voice.
Best T-shirt I saw all weekend!