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  • EsmeT 9:26 pm on August 2, 2013 Permalink  

    Talking about being bisexual with my parents – advice please! 

    I just had a majorly heated discussion in my kitchen with my parents and younger brother about my bisexuality.

    This is major in itself, because they don't have conversations about sex and gender - I even started telling them about the spectrums of sex/gender/sexuality/gender expression! Think that blew their minds a little.

    Anyway, my dad and I were the ones really going head to head. I was expressing my disappointment in him that he felt we needed to keep my bisexuality from his siblings and their kids - my aunts and uncles. He said he'd tell them when I had a girlfriend, because it was immaterial until then.

    He said that in three years since my coming out, there has never been a moment in conversation with his siblings when it seemed the right moment to just mention it casually. I don't believe him, but he's sticking with it.

    My brother then asked why I never came out to him. It was then that I really realised that, yes, what they were saying was true, it does feel like you're making a big deal out of it to tell people directly - but that's why coming out to your parents is a big deal, and that's why I was relying on them to pass it on in a less direct manner than a specifically convened time, like my coming out, to relevant family members, who they talk to relatively frequently.

    I told my brother, 'I suppose I expected them to tell you'. I eventually had the courage about a year after coming out to them to specifically bring it up with him by saying "you know I'm bisexual right?" and I was shocked to find out that he knew from reading it on my Twitter profile!

    Who is right? My father thinks it's none of their business, and even when I get a girlfriend, there's no need to specify, because one's sexuality is a private thing. If you do, you're ramming it down their throats and making a big deal.

    I think sure, some people don't want to be particularly open about being a minority and just get on with their lives, and fair play to them, I've got no problem with them doing that. But I don't feel like that about my life; I don't want people to think I'm straight when there's opportunity to correct their assumption, because it's untrue, the same way I don't want them to think I'm anything else that I'm not.

    And in my wider life, I want to enhance bi-visibility, and the way to do it in my intimate network of the family is be out and proud, which I don't think is shoving it down their throats. I don't think anyone is going to think my dad is making a big deal if, say, in conversation with his brother about my cousin's upcoming wedding, talk of my future wedding comes up, and he mentions that it might not be a man, and when his brother asks for clarification, dad tells him I'm bi.

    And I'm not saying make my grandparents' lives difficult by telling them, because there isn't much point. It'll get sticky when I do bring a girl home, and I'll probably have to fight them about telling the grandparents then, but that's not the issue. Am I right to be disappointed that my dad has kept it from my family?

    Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
     
  • EsmeT 6:06 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink  

    Is it worth it? 

    I promise this post is bisexuality-related, but let me lay out some context.

    On July 12th I finished my second year of my three year degree course in stage management. I went home, and spent a week working as the stage manager for a kid's holiday drama club. I then went to Bath for a few days to see my friend who's working at the university over the summer. The day after I got back, I drove across the country for an interview. I spent the entire of Sunday at church, working throughout for the Patronal festival.

    Monday, I started work on my graduation project.

    Apart from two weeks at the end of August when I'm working with the National Youth Theatre, I will be spending my entire rest of the holidays, and then the first six weeks of my term, working on this research project. My few days in Bath are pretty much the only true holiday I'm going to get, and that's fine. I think my project is worth putting that time in.

    So when I posted on a tech theatre forum here on the good ol' internet, asking for participants to be interviewed, I was hurt by the unexpected condemnation of several posters, telling me that my project was a waste of time, and that I must be a piss-poor stage manager to pursue it.

    The title of my project is "Can LGBT professionals be 'out and proud' in technical theatre?"

    Their claim was that backstage is free of any problems, no one cares as long as you do your job well. And I truly hope that by some miracle, that ends up being my conclusion. But it seems to be a reigning perception (I don't know whether my critics are straight/cisgendered or not), and it's shaken my faith.

    Is it worth interviewing LGBT and non-LGBT technicians about the attitudes towards and the experiences of LGBT techies just to prove that the myth is true that backstage theatre it's a refuge of non-discrimination? Will I have wasted my time if it turns out that there are no issues?

    On another note, seeing as I'm unlikely to give up and do something else even if it isn't worth it, if anyone reading this in Aug/Sept/Oct 2013 is or knows anyone working in technical theatre in the UK, tweet me @iamabisexual.
     
  • EsmeT 6:06 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink  

    Is it worth it? 

    I promise this post is bisexuality-related, but let me lay out some context.

    On July 12th I finished my second year of my three year degree course in stage management. I went home, and spent a week working as the stage manager for a kid's holiday drama club. I then went to Bath for a few days to see my friend who's working at the university over the summer. The day after I got back, I drove across the country for an interview. I spent the entire of Sunday at church, working throughout for the Patronal festival.

    Monday, I started work on my graduation project.

    Apart from two weeks at the end of August when I'm working with the National Youth Theatre, I will be spending my entire rest of the holidays, and then the first six weeks of my term, working on this research project. My few days in Bath are pretty much the only true holiday I'm going to get, and that's fine. I think my project is worth putting that time in.

    So when I posted on a tech theatre forum here on the good ol' internet, asking for participants to be interviewed, I was hurt by the unexpected condemnation of several posters, telling me that my project was a waste of time, and that I must be a piss-poor stage manager to pursue it.

    The title of my project is "Can LGBT professionals be 'out and proud' in technical theatre?"

    Their claim was that backstage is free of any problems, no one cares as long as you do your job well. And I truly hope that by some miracle, that ends up being my conclusion. But it seems to be a reigning perception (I don't know whether my critics are straight/cisgendered or not), and it's shaken my faith.

    Is it worth interviewing LGBT and non-LGBT technicians about the attitudes towards and the experiences of LGBT techies just to prove that the myth is true that backstage theatre it's a refuge of non-discrimination? Will I have wasted my time if it turns out that there are no issues?

    On another note, seeing as I'm unlikely to give up and do something else even if it isn't worth it, if anyone reading this in Aug/Sept/Oct 2013 is or knows anyone working in technical theatre in the UK, tweet me @iamabisexual.
     
  • EsmeT 12:43 pm on July 30, 2013 Permalink  

    SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND A PRINCE! 

    So news these past few weeks has been full of stuff I like! The same sex marriage bill finally got passed, making it all the way to the final stage when it got signed off by the Queen on 17th July, good ol' Liz. Yes, I am a fan of monarchy, for all sorts of reasons, like the fact that they make us a lot more money than they cost us, and really, I'm a real sentimental sort at heart. That's the reason I like the second big news, of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge - well, that and Cambridge is my hometown, which makes it more exciting.

    But this is not a monarchy or baby blog, so dear friends, we will concentrate on the bill, The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. As much as it is a huge success for gay and lesbian people to finally be able to get properly married, I feel it is much more of a victory for bisexuals. This is due to the civil partnerships being introduced way-back-when, because that at least was a step in the right direction for gays/lesbians, giving them some (though obviously not enough) legal support and recognition.

    Whereas it was almost worst for bisexuals - almost being the operative word, because, to be honest, it just added a new option to our unequal, combination lives; 'commit to an opposite sex person and get married, or commit to a same-sex person and sit in legal nothing', changed to 'commit to an opposite sex person and get married, or commit to a same-sex person and get a few legal concessions'.

    Those legal concessions did not make up for the fact that we still had to live out our lives differently depending on the gender of the person we ended up with. It is only with the passing of this bill that we can legally live how we feel - that the gender does not change the love and commitment in the relationship, and we can choose how to commit to them the way we want, rather than the way dictated by their gender.

    This difference in effects of this bill between us and the LGs makes me want to point out how it still hasn't sorted out all the legal issues for our T allies, the trans* community having stronger mutual links with us than the LGs, I feel. This bill doesn't change the already existing marriage law allowing husbands or wives to void marriages if their partner fails to reveal part of their gender history when they wed, nor does it rid marriage law of the option for a partner to have their marriage declared void if their spouse failed to disclose the fact that they possessed a GRC. And it adds the caveat that before obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, trans* individuals in a marriage must obtain the consent of their spouse. (Source: GayStarNews.com) So celebrate, but keep supporting our trans* friends and allies in their continuing battle with marriage law.

    And on a LGBT rights-related note, I wanted to share this video - The Riddle - if you haven't seen it already, from the UN human rights office, published back in May. I like it. Quotes that struck me were (paraphrasing) "Being LGBT exists in every corner of the world, existed in every country throughout history, but some people still consider it abnormal, it is illegal in 76 countries, and carries the death penalty in 7." The UK has given us same-sex marriage, but we are long way from a free and equal world.
     
  • EsmeT 7:19 am on May 29, 2013 Permalink  

    Write to the Lords 

    With less than a week until the Lords begins to debate same-sex marriage, I used WriteToThem.com to write to a random Lord. I got given Lord Kalms, and here is the email I sent him.


    Dear Lord Kalms,
    Life is sometimes difficult. This is true for everyone, whether Lord or
    student, like you and I, or lover of Disney cartoons, secret collector
    of bookmarks, or simply obsessed with stationary. Okay, that's also
    like me too. But others will have those things in common with me, as
    well as other aspects of my character.
    Some people are like me because they have brown hair, or white skin,
    they want to own a horse, or find it difficult to remember to brush
    their teeth. Whether we are similar or distant, life is difficult for
    everyone else sometimes, and life is difficult for me sometimes.
    Enough beating around the bush, I want you to help pass the same-sex
    marriage bill that's going to go through the House of Lords soon. My
    life is made difficult by the inequality my country's law forces upon
    me.
    I'm a bisexual woman. You've met many us I'm sure, whether you knew at
    the time or not. Some of us have brown hair, and some of us will sing
    along to the Lion King with a little too much gay abandon (if you
    pardon my choice of words). And many of us want to get married. 
    I'm a twenty-one year old woman; of course I've thought about getting
    married. I want to be a wife, to live one life with the person I love
    and who loves me, to make the lives of the people in our life better,
    together, and to set an example of truth, faith, hope, loyalty, honour,
    and good, to those younger than us.
    I have the potential to fall in love with men and women. The one person
    I end up spending my life with could be either; where ever they may be
    (I'm still searching!). But I will only be able to marry them if
    they're a man. Society would not see my civil partnership with a woman
    the same way they would see my marriage to a man, even though that
    marriage would be all that I have already described, regardless of the
    gender of the person with whom I happened to meet, fall in love, and to
    whom I want to commit my life. I don't want that lower status.
    Pain and suffering. That's what this inequality causes, to bisexuals
    like me, gay people with brown hair, trans* people who collect
    bookmarks, and a great many others within our society, within our
    country, within our sixty-two million strong family.
    Our family needs your help. Make their lives a little less difficult.
    Think of me and my poor dental hygiene, and help pass the bill.
    Yours sincerely
     
  • EsmeT 10:37 am on May 15, 2013 Permalink  

    Will being bisexual affect my career? 

    This post is inspired by my last few weeks considering my third year (next year). It will be my last year of my vocational honours degree, and so comes with a few extra things on the to do list. A work placement, a 2500 words self-evaluation essay, and working on the college's in house productions as stage manager/deputy stage manager/costume supervisor/production electrician are three of the four necessary elements I need to pass to graduate.

    The fourth is a a graduation project. There are three options - production portfolio, creative project, or research project. The creative project is for students to put together a show or piece that indicates their skills eg a light show, a gig, a soundscape, a piece of furniture, a model, a six foot butterfly that flaps its wings whilst the lights in the wings change colour, a tutu, or a replica of a costume from Cats (all of which had been done). This is not for me; I am creative but not artistic, and whilst the only thing I can creative is stories, writing a piece of prose will sadly not be an acceptable submission.

    The production portfolio is often the choice for stage/costume management students, though techies who thrive at production management will sometimes do it as well. The idea is to work on one of your allocated productions as normal, but at the end of it, produce a folder that details every element and step in the production process for your department, with all the paperwork and accompanying explanation, to such a high standard that an entirely new team in that department on a revival of the show could produce exactly the same result. This is also not for me because, let's be honest, that sounds incredibly dull!

    So what? you cry. Get the bisexuality! All will be well friends, I am getting there.

    I wanted to explain the situation that leads this bisexual stage management student, whose degree has almost no similarities to traditional academic subjects, to writing an essay. My option is to do a research project, which is parading around as a dissertation, but is only allocated 6 weeks for a 6000 word document, rather than the longer amounts of time dedicated to true dissertations, which much larger word counts.

    When this was all laid out before me, and I came to the conclusion that research it must be, and I started thinking about what the f*** I was going to research, I resolved to find something that did not bore me to tears. This proved to be difficult, because the only caveat for this option is that the subject must be related to your studies and career. Good grief, I thought, what on earth could I research about stage management? Previous projects from techies had been on the surge is use of LEDs, and the affect on pre-recording on sound in live entertainment. Kill me now. Effective lighting cue notation? The gender divide? Where to buy the best stationary? Backstage footwear? I couldn't bear the thought.

    What were my interests? How could I wrangle the criteria to suit my need to do something exciting? I remembered a similar situation back when I was 17, and found I didn't want to take up another subject when I dropped Drama at A2. But I had to take up something for my Upper 6th year, and the only viable option seemed the Extended Project (essentially a practice in research for uni). I had free rein over that choice of subject, so I took the opportunity to look into something that bothered me about Christianity that my RS lessons hadn't covered. Homosexuality. Just why on earth did so many Christians think their faith did not marry up with acceptance of homosexuality? I wanted to know their reasoning, and see if my personal thoughts on the matter held in the face of their claims. Using my love of RS and the personal effect on my faith and sexuality, I devised a research project. In that case I was lucky enough that I didn't even have to write the 5000 word essay. I could write 2000 words and do an 'artefact' instead. What was my artefact? A story, of a young woman coming to terms with her faith and her sexuality. Prose was at option at that point.

    So, what could I learn from this experience? I needed to feel personally involved in the subject, and feel like it was a worthwhile line of inquiry. And I came to the answer; not my sexuality and my faith, but my sexuality and my career - LGBT theatre technicians. Are there lots? Are they out? Do they feel comfortable at work? Are their colleagues positive or negative about their orientation? Does it affect their employability? Is there support available?

    I realised when brainstorming the idea that whilst I was kind of interested in the situation at large, I really just wanted an answer to the title of this blog. Will being bisexual affect my career? Am I right to assume that I am going into an industry that is a refuge from the troubles of the wider working world? Or will being an out bisexual cause problems? Will I have to fight for equality in opportunity and treatment by others? Will I find solidarity, or will I be a lone voice?

    I worry. I worry because I am open and unapologetic. And as much as in my last post I reported that this quality is something others admire, I can't help thinking that I'm doing myself a disservice and making things harder for myself when it would be easier to keep quiet. Making things harder for my career seems a shot in the foot - I'm sure my parents would think so - so I want to find out if it will be harder, if it will mean fighting, because I know I will do it. I know I will carry on being open and unapologetic. This project is my recon mission, my scouting ahead, looking into the industry with an eye on whether it meets my standards. Because I don't want to give up on the career that I know I'll be good at, that I will enjoy, that I've dedicated much time and many resources toward gaining; I don't want to give up that career just because the industry is against me.

    But I will save myself the suffering if I find that is the case. I could hope that I would be strong to deal with the problems and negative experiences, but really, I don't know if I'm that brave. A part of my is shouting out that someone needs to be brave, someone needs to barge into any industry that harbours LGBT suffering and fight for success, visibility, and change. But am I that person?

    I may not need to be. I may find that being in backstage theatre is a great environment to work for an out LGBT technician. All I can do is go out and see.
     
  • EsmeT 10:37 am on May 15, 2013 Permalink  

    Will being bisexual affect my career? 

    This post is inspired by my last few weeks considering my third year (next year). It will be my last year of my vocational honours degree, and so comes with a few extra things on the to do list. A work placement, a 2500 words self-evaluation essay, and working on the college's in house productions as stage manager/deputy stage manager/costume supervisor/production electrician are three of the four necessary elements I need to pass to graduate.

    The fourth is a a graduation project. There are three options - production portfolio, creative project, or research project. The creative project is for students to put together a show or piece that indicates their skills eg a light show, a gig, a soundscape, a piece of furniture, a model, a six foot butterfly that flaps its wings whilst the lights in the wings change colour, a tutu, or a replica of a costume from Cats (all of which had been done). This is not for me; I am creative but not artistic, and whilst the only thing I can creative is stories, writing a piece of prose will sadly not be an acceptable submission.

    The production portfolio is often the choice for stage/costume management students, though techies who thrive at production management will sometimes do it as well. The idea is to work on one of your allocated productions as normal, but at the end of it, produce a folder that details every element and step in the production process for your department, with all the paperwork and accompanying explanation, to such a high standard that an entirely new team in that department on a revival of the show could produce exactly the same result. This is also not for me because, let's be honest, that sounds incredibly dull!

    So what? you cry. Get the bisexuality! All will be well friends, I am getting there.

    I wanted to explain the situation that leads this bisexual stage management student, whose degree has almost no similarities to traditional academic subjects, to writing an essay. My option is to do a research project, which is parading around as a dissertation, but is only allocated 6 weeks for a 6000 word document, rather than the longer amounts of time dedicated to true dissertations, which much larger word counts.

    When this was all laid out before me, and I came to the conclusion that research it must be, and I started thinking about what the f*** I was going to research, I resolved to find something that did not bore me to tears. This proved to be difficult, because the only caveat for this option is that the subject must be related to your studies and career. Good grief, I thought, what on earth could I research about stage management? Previous projects from techies had been on the surge is use of LEDs, and the affect on pre-recording on sound in live entertainment. Kill me now. Effective lighting cue notation? The gender divide? Where to buy the best stationary? Backstage footwear? I couldn't bear the thought.

    What were my interests? How could I wrangle the criteria to suit my need to do something exciting? I remembered a similar situation back when I was 17, and found I didn't want to take up another subject when I dropped Drama at A2. But I had to take up something for my Upper 6th year, and the only viable option seemed the Extended Project (essentially a practice in research for uni). I had free rein over that choice of subject, so I took the opportunity to look into something that bothered me about Christianity that my RS lessons hadn't covered. Homosexuality. Just why on earth did so many Christians think their faith did not marry up with acceptance of homosexuality? I wanted to know their reasoning, and see if my personal thoughts on the matter held in the face of their claims. Using my love of RS and the personal effect on my faith and sexuality, I devised a research project. In that case I was lucky enough that I didn't even have to write the 5000 word essay. I could write 2000 words and do an 'artefact' instead. What was my artefact? A story, of a young woman coming to terms with her faith and her sexuality. Prose was at option at that point.

    So, what could I learn from this experience? I needed to feel personally involved in the subject, and feel like it was a worthwhile line of inquiry. And I came to the answer; not my sexuality and my faith, but my sexuality and my career - LGBT theatre technicians. Are there lots? Are they out? Do they feel comfortable at work? Are their colleagues positive or negative about their orientation? Does it affect their employability? Is there support available?

    I realised when brainstorming the idea that whilst I was kind of interested in the situation at large, I really just wanted an answer to the title of this blog. Will being bisexual affect my career? Am I right to assume that I am going into an industry that is a refuge from the troubles of the wider working world? Or will being an out bisexual cause problems? Will I have to fight for equality in opportunity and treatment by others? Will I find solidarity, or will I be a lone voice?

    I worry. I worry because I am open and unapologetic. And as much as in my last post I reported that this quality is something others admire, I can't help thinking that I'm doing myself a disservice and making things harder for myself when it would be easier to keep quiet. Making things harder for my career seems a shot in the foot - I'm sure my parents would think so - so I want to find out if it will be harder, if it will mean fighting, because I know I will do it. I know I will carry on being open and unapologetic. This project is my recon mission, my scouting ahead, looking into the industry with an eye on whether it meets my standards. Because I don't want to give up on the career that I know I'll be good at, that I will enjoy, that I've dedicated much time and many resources toward gaining; I don't want to give up that career just because the industry is against me.

    But I will save myself the suffering if I find that is the case. I could hope that I would be strong to deal with the problems and negative experiences, but really, I don't know if I'm that brave. A part of my is shouting out that someone needs to be brave, someone needs to barge into any industry that harbours LGBT suffering and fight for success, visibility, and change. But am I that person?

    I may not need to be. I may find that being in backstage theatre is a great environment to work for an out LGBT technician. All I can do is go out and see.
     
  • EsmeT 7:24 pm on May 12, 2013 Permalink  

    Jessie J the bisexual 

    "I've never denied it. They say how my sexuality isn’t “exclusive”, but I’ve never hidden it – even in the early days. I’m not afraid to say I’m very comfortable with who I am and I love who I love.’ Whoopie doo guys, yes, I've dated girls and I've dated boys – get over it. It’s the person, not the genitals. The frustrating thing is that if I was with a guy right now, I’d be [considered] straight. But if I was with a girl, I’d be “gay.” When I was with my ex-girlfriend, I used to take her around and say, “This is my girlfriend.” People would be comfortable with it because I was. That’s what annoys me about the media. The bisexual label irritates me. They'd never write 'Adele – the straight singer', but that's how the world works. I don’t drink or smoke, so this is what people like to talk about. I’ve never tried to make [my sexuality] something that’s going to put me in newspapers or magazines. I’m never, ever going to let it be something that sells my music. Sexuality shouldn’t define you. It should be part of who you are."
    - Jesse J.

    For me, she and Anna Paquin are my favourite popular culture bisexual role models. They have different stories - Jesse never came out to the public as such, she just was, whereas Paquin did a public announcement in support of an LGBT equality campaign - but there's something about their breeziness about their sexuality, and their candour, that I really like.

    By not making a big deal, by getting exasperated at the media's obsession with it, by being entirely honest and unapologetic about who they, by being successful as themselves, and by claiming the right in their public presence to be a full member of society as a whole, rather than sticking with being only a queer public presence, they are what pop culture needs, what we need in pop culture, to elbow our way to normalising bisexuality.

    They are my role models, and I was honoured enough to be told today that I'm like a role model to a woman thirty years older than me, for exactly the same reasons - how casual, unapologetic, comfortable, and open I am about who I am and who I fall in love with. But I can't take all the credit - it would be harder if I wasn't encouraged by the examples of those bisexual celebrities who are not exactly Out & Proud bisexuals, but Out & So What? bisexuals. More please, popular culture.
     
  • EsmeT 10:26 am on April 24, 2013 Permalink  

    LGBT glossary 

    This glossary is from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission LGBT Advisory Committee Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations report (http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19907257/bi%20invisibility%20-%20FULL%20final%20for%20HRC.pdf) which I 'reviewed' in an earlier post. It's just such a good glossary.


    Biphobia
    Fear or hatred of bisexuals, sometimes manifesting in discrimination, isolation, harassment, or violence. Often biphobia is based on inaccurate stereotypes, including associations with infidelity, promiscuity, and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. See also homophobia, transphobia
    Bisexual
    An individual who’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to people of more than one sex/gender. While some people call themselves pansexual or omnisexual, these terms should be avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies that way.
    VARIATIONS: Fluid, ambisexual, pansexual
    AVOID: Bi-sexual, fence sitters, switch hitters, “try”-sexual
    Cisgendered
    Describes people who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. See also gender-variant
    Closeted
    Describes people who are not open about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Note, though, that for a transgender person, being closeted is different from passing as one’s preferred gender, which does not have the negative connotation of hiding something (see passing below).
    Cross-Dresser, Transvestite
    An individual who occasionally wears clothes traditionally associated with people of a different sex.
    Cross-dressers are usually comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth and do not wish to change it. “Cross-dresser” should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as a different sex, or who intends to do so in the future. Some people prefer to use the term transvestite to describe themselves, but it is not universally accepted and should be avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies that way. See also gender expression
    Different-Sex Couple
    A romantic pairing involving two people of different sexes. The individuals involved may identify with any sexual orientation.
    AVOID: Opposite-sex couple, straight couple, heterosexual couple
    Drag Queen, Drag King
    An individual who wears clothes traditionally associated with people of a different sex primarily as a costume or persona, usually in the context of a public event or performance. The outfits of drag queens/kings often include elements that are exaggerated or over the top, such as elaborate gowns or fake facial hair. See also gender expression
    Dyke
    Traditionally a pejorative term, dyke has been reclaimed by many lesbian and bisexual women to describe themselves. Some value the term for its defiance. Nevertheless, it is not universally accepted and should be avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies that way.
    VARIATIONS: Bi dyke
    Gay
    An individual who’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to people of the same sex. The term usually applies specifically to men. In contemporary contexts, lesbian is often a preferred term for women, though some women of colour, working-class women, and older women still describe themselves as gay. Avoid using gay as a collective adjective when LGBT would be more accurate (for example, LGBT movement rather than gay movement).
    VARIATIONS: Man-loving man
    AVOID: Homosexual, fag
    Gender Identity
    One’s internal, personal sense of being male, female, or third-gender. For transgender and thirdgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.
    Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
    A controversial DSM-IV diagnosis given to transgender and other gender-variant people. Because it labels people as “disordered,” gender identity disorder is often considered offensive. Replaces the outdated term gender dysphoria.
    Gender Expression
    External manifestation of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through “masculine,” “feminine,” or gender-variant behaviour (including interests and mannerisms), clothing, haircut, voice, or body characteristics.
    Gender-variant
    Refers to anyone whose gender identity varies from the male/female binary, including transgender and third-gender people.
    Heteronormativity
    The set of power relations that normalize and regiment sexuality, marginalizing everything outside the ideals of heterosexuality, monogamy, and gender conformity.
    Heterosexism; Heterosexual Privilege
    Heterosexism is the attitude that heterosexuality is the only valid sexual orientation. It often takes the form of ignoring bisexuals, gay men, and lesbians. Heterosexual privilege refers to the benefits granted automatically to heterosexual people that are denied to bisexuals, gay men, and lesbians.
    Bisexuals are sometimes accused of hiding behind “heterosexual” privilege when they are in different-sex couples.
    Heterosexual
    An individual who’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to people of a different sex.
    VARIATIONS: Straight
    Homophobia
    Fear or hatred of lesbians and gay men, sometimes manifesting in discrimination, isolation, harassment, or violence. Prejudice is usually a more accurate description of hatred or antipathy toward LGBT people. See also biphobia, transphobia
    Intersex; Person with Intersex
    Describes a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal, or anatomical variations that can make a person’s sex ambiguous (such as Klinefelter Syndrome or adrenal hyperplasia).
    VARIATIONS: Disorder of sex development; person with an intersex condition
    AVOID: Hermaphroditism; hermaphrodite
    Lesbian
    A woman who’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction is to other women.
    VARIATIONS: Woman-loving woman
    AVOID: Homosexual
    LGBT
    Acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.” LGBT and/or GLBT are often used because they are more inclusive of the diversity of the community.
    VARIATIONS: GLBT, BGLT, LGBTQ (queer), LGBTQQ (queer, questioning), LGBTQQI (queer, questioning, intersex)
    Marriage Equality
    Access to civil marriage regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. If necessary to distinguish between different types of rights, benefits, etc., use same-sex marriage and different-sex marriage. However, because same-sex couples are seeking access to an existing structure rather than trying to create a new one, it is preferable to refer to marriage equality whenever possible.
    AVOID: Gay marriage
    MSM
    Men who have sex with men. This term is used, particularly in research, to describe sexual behaviour as distinct from sexual orientation.
    MSMW
    Men who have sex with men and women. This term is used, particularly in research, to describe sexual behaviour as distinct from sexual orientation.
    Openly Bisexual/Gay/Lesbian/Transgender
    Describes people who self-identify as bisexual/gay/lesbian/transgender in their public and/or professional lives. Unless the openness is important in context, it is preferable simply to describe the person as bisexual, gay, lesbian, or transgender.
    Out/Coming Out/Outing
    Being out describes a person who is open about being bisexual, gay, lesbian, or transgender. Coming out is a lifelong process of self-acceptance of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. People forge an identity first for themselves and then may reveal it to others. Publicly identifying one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity may or may not be part of coming out. Outing is the act of publicly declaring or revealing another person’s sexual orientation (sometimes based on rumour and/or speculation) without that person’s consent; it is considered inappropriate by a large portion of the LGBT community.
    Passing
    When applied to a transgender person, describes someone living as her/his preferred gender without (or rarely) being questioned. However, when applied to a bisexual, gay, or lesbian person, the word takes on a negative connotation (see also closeted).
    Queer
    Traditionally a pejorative term, queer has been appropriated by some LGBT people to describe themselves; some value the term for its defiance and because it can be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. Nevertheless, it is not universally accepted even within the LGBT community and should be avoided unless quoting someone who self-identifies that way.
    Questioning
    Refers to people who are uncertain as to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They are often seeking information and support during this stage of their identity development.
    Same-Sex Couple
    A romantic pairing involving two people of the same sex. The individuals involved may identify with any sexual orientation.
    AVOID: Gay couple, lesbian couple, homosexual couple
    Sex
    The classification of people as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on a combination of bodily characteristics, including chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitals. See also intersex
    Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)
    Refers to surgical alteration for transgender people (see transition). Not all transgender people choose to or can afford to have SRS.
    AVOID: Sex change operation
    Sexual Orientation
    The scientifically accurate term for an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction to members of the same and/or different sex, including bisexual, gay, heterosexual, and lesbian orientations. Also note that gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same; transgender people may be bisexual, gay, heterosexual, or lesbian.
    AVOID: Lifestyle, sexual preference
    Third-Gender, Genderqueer
    Refers to people who identify their gender as not conforming to the traditional western model of gender as binary. They may identify their gender as combining aspects of women and men or as being neither women nor men.
    VARIATIONS: Androgynous, androgyne, polygender
    Transgender; Transgender Person
    An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically. The term may include but is not limited to transsexuals, thirdgender/genderqueer people, cross-dressers, and other gender-variant people. Use the descriptive terms (transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, female-to-male [FTM], trans man, male-to-female
    [MTF], trans woman) and pronouns preferred by the individual.
    AVOID: She-male, he-she, it, trannie, tranny, gender-bender
    Transition
    The multi-step process of altering one’s birth sex over a long period of time. The cultural, legal, and medical adjustments made as part of transitioning may include telling one’s family, friends, and/or co-workers; using different pronouns to describe oneself; changing one’s name and/or sex on legal documents; beginning hormone therapy; and/or possibly (though not always) undergoing some form of surgical alteration.
    AVOID: Sex change; pre-operative, post-operative
    Transphobia
    Fear or hatred of transgender people, sometimes manifesting in discrimination, isolation, harassment, or violence. See also biphobia, homophobia
    Transsexual
    An older term which originated in the medical and psychological communities. Many transgender people prefer the term “transgender” to “transsexual.” Some transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe themselves. However, unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term, and many transgender people do not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.
    VARIATIONS: Transexual
    Two-Spirit
    A term often used in Native American/First Nation cultures to describe people whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity falls beyond binary definitions. Historically, these individuals crossed gender boundaries and were accepted (sometimes revered) by Native/First Nation cultures.
    WSMW
    Women who have sex with men and women. This term is used, particularly in research, to describe sexual behaviour as distinct from sexual orientation.
    WSW
    Women who have sex with women. This term is used, particularly in research, to describe sexual behaviour as distinct from sexual orientation.
     
  • EsmeT 10:24 am on April 24, 2013 Permalink  

    Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations 


    San Francisco Human Right Commission LGBT Advisory Committee published a report called Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Recommendations and this I suppose this is my 'review' of the document. You can find the PDF here: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19907257/bi%20invisibility%20-%20FULL%20final%20for%20HRC.pdf

    First, it has a really well-written note on language, which I think reflects the overall thinking on the term 'bisexual' and its alternatives. Then it shows great references to published resources in its footnotes. For the number crunchers, there are some interesting figures regarding percentage in the population, indicating it is more likely for younger generations to identify as bi as opposed to gay, which isn't a surprise given the inch-by-inch progress of bi activists in the last couple of decades. It seems very in line with current thinking that I read in blogs and other resources, acknowledging "behaviour is distinct from identity", and the frustration and stupidity of lumping bi's in with gay and lesbian.

    It's interesting how bi men and women differ, or at least that's what the research suggests, and I can identify with the historic narrative of trans and bisexuals having to band together.

    What would be useful with the nice entries of testimonies is a clue at the start of each as to whether it is a bi man or woman, because otherwise it gets confusing if it's not clear.

    I find it very interesting (and infuriating) to read about the exclusion of bi's from organisations that claim our name in their title or mission statement - how often have we all been there, right? What's bizarre is the fact it is LGBT opponents, not supporters, who are more inclusive in their language. And it's shocking to see the figures for how few grants go towards bisexual needs.

    Then comes the most comprehensive list of common biphobia I've ever seen.

    I always have trouble reading about the health implications. It hits me in the gut, that because I fall in love with both men and women, society is set up with such pressures and resistance to me that I am more likely to be at risk of health problems. It's horrific. I also find it difficult to connect with research on bisexuality and race/ethnicity, because it's harder to relate to being Caucasian.

    The report ends with recommendations, as is the way with reports, and a very good glossary, which I will put up in a separate post.
     
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