g.l.o.w.
gay, lesbian, or whatever.
a safe space for queers and allies on the internet who want intelligent discourse, a mind-opening and accepting atmosphere, the desire and ability to educate and be educated, advice, support, friendship, love, and maybe a little bit more gay on your dash.

please read our faq/policies page before making submissions or posting messages.

to new followers: welcome! introduce yourself if you like. open to all who wish to listen, look, think, teach, or learn.



*** ask. submit. meet the mods. policies. faq. ***

whatshall-wediefor:

game of thrones + text posts

because i’m a meme-loving fuck

yamiyuugis:

tedaltmans:

since i already reblogged a post about mel gonzales (pictured right), i didnt want to pass by mentioning scarlett lenh (pictured left), a trans girl who won homecoming queen at her high school in colorado
link to article

tpoc YES

yamiyuugis:

tedaltmans:

since i already reblogged a post about mel gonzales (pictured right), i didnt want to pass by mentioning scarlett lenh (pictured left), a trans girl who won homecoming queen at her high school in colorado

link to article

tpoc YES

stuffimgoingtohellfor:

sogaysoalive:

Maryland has come up trumps as 18th state to ban discrimination against transgender people. Congrats! Let’s make this worldwide!

"This is an important group of people today who frankly we left out 11 years ago." 

stuffimgoingtohellfor:

sogaysoalive:

Maryland has come up trumps as 18th state to ban discrimination against transgender people. Congrats! Let’s make this worldwide!

"This is an important group of people today who frankly we left out 11 years ago." 

crystalqueer:

Photos and final product for Mq. & Mrs.’s amazing lgbtq coloring book for kids.

Model : Alicia Michele

A LGBTQ/Queer Jewish Reading List (in no particular order)

sparklingcleanlies:

This list doesn’t include all the memoirs, all the fiction short story collections. They’re mostly books I’ve read— some of them, like “Like Bread on a Seder Plate” and “Queer Jews” I grew up with, others, like “Torah Queeries” and “Keep Your Wives Away From Them” I read on my own time. They range from Orthodox to Reconstructionist to Reform, and encompass a variety of ways of tangling with Jewish tradition.

If you are curious about LGBTQ people in the Jewish tradition, I urge you read at least one if not more of these.

transjewry:

Transtorah has a lot of killer resources, but I’ve found this one to be particularly helpful for me as someone who’s going through a medical transition! I say the first blessing before and after getting my T injections. 

afterellen:

Martine Rothblatt rocks the cover of “New York Magazine”
This week’s New York magazine’s cover story focuses on the extraordinary life of multimillionaire, Martine Rothblatt and her wife, Bina. Rothblatt, who is currently the CEO of United Therapeutics, and founder of Sirius Radio, transitioned from male to female back in the mid-1990s. According to Lisa Miller of New York Magazine:
Martine prefers not to limit herself to available words: She’s suggested using “Pn.,” for “person,” in place of “Mr.” and “Ms.,” and “spice” to mean husband or wife. But “trans” is a prefix she likes a lot, for it contains her self-image as an explorer who crosses barriers into strange new lands. (When she feels a connection to a new acquaintance, she says that she “transcends.”) And these days Martine sees herself less as transgender and more as what is known as transhumanist, a particular kind of futurist who believes that technology can liberate humans from the limits of their biology—including infertility, cancer, and disease, but also, incredibly, death.
Martine and her wife Bina have been together for over three decades, and Bina doesn’t seem preoccupied with labels herself.
“Bina Aspen, the woman who married Martine 33 years ago, when Martine was a man, and remains her devoted wife, calls herself not straight or gay but “Martine-sexual”—as in the only person she wants to have sex with is Martine.”

afterellen:

Martine Rothblatt rocks the cover of “New York Magazine”

This week’s New York magazine’s cover story focuses on the extraordinary life of multimillionaire, Martine Rothblatt and her wife, Bina. Rothblatt, who is currently the CEO of United Therapeutics, and founder of Sirius Radio, transitioned from male to female back in the mid-1990s. According to Lisa Miller of New York Magazine:

Martine prefers not to limit herself to available words: She’s suggested using “Pn.,” for “person,” in place of “Mr.” and “Ms.,” and “spice” to mean husband or wife. But “trans” is a prefix she likes a lot, for it contains her self-image as an explorer who crosses barriers into strange new lands. (When she feels a connection to a new acquaintance, she says that she “transcends.”) And these days Martine sees herself less as transgender and more as what is known as transhumanist, a particular kind of futurist who believes that technology can liberate humans from the limits of their biology—including infertility, cancer, and disease, but also, incredibly, death.

Martine and her wife Bina have been together for over three decades, and Bina doesn’t seem preoccupied with labels herself.

“Bina Aspen, the woman who married Martine 33 years ago, when Martine was a man, and remains her devoted wife, calls herself not straight or gay but “Martine-sexual”—as in the only person she wants to have sex with is Martine.”

Suddenly her mom’s silence matched Jackie’s own. “Oh, my God,” she murmured in disbelief. “Are you gay?”

"Yeah," Jackie forced herself to say.

After what felt like an eternity, her mom finally responded. “I don’t know what we could have done for God to have given us a fag as a child,” she said before hanging up.

[…]

She got a call from her older brother. “He said, ‘Mom and Dad don’t want to talk to you, but I’m supposed to tell you what’s going to happen,’” Jackie recalls. “And he’s like, ‘All your cards are going to be shut off, and Mom and Dad want you to take the car and drop it off at this specific location. Your phone’s going to last for this much longer. They don’t want you coming to the house, and you’re not to contact them. You’re not going to get any money from them. Nothing. And if you don’t return the car, they’re going to report it stolen.’ And I’m just bawling. I hung up on him because I couldn’t handle it.” Her brother was so firm, so matter-of-fact, it was as if they already weren’t family.

—You should read this Rolling Stones piece on Queer kids getting kicked out by their religious parents. And remember it.  (via fuckyeahdiomedes)

(Source: feministbatwoman)

moyazb:

mindthefilth:

Poster reads:
"WE DON’T wanna MARRY, WE JUST wanna FUCK (and flame, freak out, flaunt it, fuck up, figure it out, figure it out again, and do something with our lives that isn’t just about property rights and patriarchy, OK?)"
by QACC (Queers Against Capitalist Crap)

GPOY

moyazb:

mindthefilth:

Poster reads:

"WE DON’T wanna MARRY, WE JUST wanna FUCK (and flame, freak out, flaunt it, fuck up, figure it out, figure it out again, and do something with our lives that isn’t just about property rights and patriarchy, OK?)"

by QACC (Queers Against Capitalist Crap)

GPOY

Tumblr for Trans Jews

transjewry:

Shalom, let me take a moment to introduce TransJewry — the TL;DR? A blog whose primary aim is transgender and non-binary Jews of all backgrounds, which posts resources and materials that are otherwise extremely difficult to find as a small community.

I talk more about myself and the blog here, but feel free to ask questions or share resources. I would love for this to be shared, so that this becomes an active and easily accessible resource for those who need it!

Mount Holyoke accepting trans women!!!

corrupter-of-words:

Pres. Pasquerella just announced that MHC will accept trans women!  Holla!!!  So proud of Femmepowered and Open Gates for leading the campaign in support of trans inclusion.  So proud of my alma mater for standing with trans women, regardless of legal sex.  Perfect announcement mid-Convocation.  Never fear / change, indeed.

Update: the new policy specifically welcomes applications from trans women, trans men, non-binary folks, and intersex people who ID as women.  Legally female trans men and intersex people were already accepted, but it’s great to have a formal, published policy that includes these myriad identities.

bidyke:

LOL, accurate

bidyke:

LOL, accurate

(Source: kimchicuddles)

unbitled:

Ten Things You Might Want to Say When Someone Tells You They Are Bisexual
(Read the companion post here.)
Congratulations! Your friend/family member/colleague just came out to you as bi! *
That’s awesome—you’re obviously a person they trust and value. You must be incredibly great for them to put themselves at such risk with you.
There are a lot of painful stereotypes and myths out there about bisexuals, and most people who are coming out as bi have heard them long before coming out, so they know that with a lot of other people they’re going to get the proverbial “whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid.” But not you.
They’re cool with you, and know, or at least hope, you’ll be cool with them.
You, um, don’t want to screw this up, right?
Of course not. You’re a good doobie. You wanna be down with the Bis as a Fierce Ally. Whether you identify as straight, gay, lesbian, pan, omni, asexual, or some other orientation, whether you’re cisgender or trans* or genderfluid/queer, you want to show you are worthy of this bisexual person’s trust in you.
So, here are some suggestions for things you might want to say to your bisexual confidant. Put these in your own words, of course, and most of all: think about how you’d feel hearing them if the situation were reversed. Only you know the full context of your relationship with this person, which should be your best guide to how to respond in a loving, caring, supportive, cool way.
Or just give a hug. Hugs are almost always good responses. Sometimes they’re the best ones.
*While some of what’s on here would apply in the situation where a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or other partner has just come out to you as bi, those are obviously different situations and probably deserve their own list, since your romantic and/or sexual relationship to that person may be directly involved. This list is really for those relationships that are only familial, professional, and platonic.
10. Thank you so much for telling me! I understand how scary it might have felt to do it, and I’m really honored by your trust in me. I promise to support you however I can. I’m so glad to know this important aspect of who you are.
Just start with the basics, folks: affirm them. And be grateful. It’s a huge, huge deal for most people to come out to someone. Don’t be blasé about it, even in an attempt to show how cool you are with it—that can backfire. You don’t need to weep and hug for hours, but don’t risk giving the impression of blowing it off, either.
9. I believe you, and I’m proud of you for claiming an identity that I know you’ve probably thought a long time about.
This is huge. Don’t question, don’t quibble, don’t debate definitions, don’t—at this point—talk about the Kinsey Scale or the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. Just take them at their word that they’re bi: because I guarantee you they’ve thought about it a lot more than you have, or ever will, in relation to themselves.
8. When did you first start to realize this part of who you are? Do you remember? There are no wrong answers—I just want to give you a chance to tell me your story if you want to.
Many people coming out of the closet haven’t have the chance to tell their “coming of age” stories in terms of figuring out who they were via early attractions, experiences, and/or relationships. Don’t press for details and don’t pry, but create an opening for your friend to start to tell these stories if they seem like they want to. It can be tremendously important to (finally) be able to tell them.
7. Do you want to tell me about how you feel your bisexuality “works”? I know some bisexuals feel more attracted physically or emotionally to one gender, some feel no real difference, some feel it changes over time, some don’t really think of it this way at all—what’s your experience with this so far? Don’t tell me anything you don’t want to, but only if you think it will help me understand.
As with the last one, tread carefully here, but create an open and safe space for these types of conversations. Some people think a lot about the varying nature of their attractions as bisexuals, others don’t really think about it at all. A common definition for bisexuality, formulated by Robyn Ochs, is that it means having the capacity to feel physical and/or emotional attraction to one’s own and other genders, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree. Let your friend begin to sketch out how their sexuality works in their life, if they seem like they want to—the same way you’d want to be able to explain yours to someone. No more, no less.
6. Are you safe at home, at work, at school, in your other relationships? Do you feel threatened or bullied by anyone because of being bisexual? We can get you help if you need it. It’s important to me that you are safe and healthy.
You actually might want to lead with this one pretty early on. People coming out can be under tremendous risk. Make sure your friend is safe, and get help if needed.
5. I understand this is about who you are, not just about whom you’re attracted to, whom you fall for, or whom you have sex with. But if you want to talk about any past or present relationships or experiences you’ve had that are important to you and that you felt you couldn’t talk about before coming out, you can tell me now. And you can trust me to keep your private life private.
For many people, the impetus to come out as bi comes from actually being in a significant non-monosexual relationship, sometimes for the first time, so be prepared to be introduced to someone important to your friend not long after they come out to you. Otherwise, as with the “when did you know?” line of discussion above, just be willing to let them tell their story, much of which they may have felt the need to keep hidden—often very painfully—until now. You may learn they’ve had great loves, and great heartaches, that you never knew about. Try not to feel betrayed or left out, as natural as that may seem to you, and remember how much pressure there is against being openly bisexual in both straight and gay/lesbian culture. They may really have thought they couldn’t possibly ever talk about some of these experiences for fear of being shunned.
4. Are you taking any steps to build a sense of belonging to the wider bisexual and/or LGBTQ community? There are a lot of resources out there for you, and it may be important for you not to feel isolated in this identity at some point.
Bisexuals are the largest proportion of the self-reporting LGBTQ community, but also the most closeted to friends and family and at work, and suffer disproportionately from a wide range of physical and mental health ills and socioeconomic challenges. Encouraging your friend to seek out positive connections to the bisexual and larger LGBTQ community could literally be a life-saving action.
3. If you’re sexually active, do you know how to do all you can to keep yourself safe(r), regardless of the gender of the people you may be with at any time? We can get some information together if you have questions.
Without falling prey to the stereotype that all bisexuals are promiscuous and automatically prone to higher rates of STIs (closeted people are, not bisexuals per se), definitely make sure your friend knows the basics of how to be safe. One of the risks of the closet is bad information leading to unsafe sex practices; do your part to help if given the chance.
2. Who else knows? I want to respect your privacy and safety and I will never, ever “out” you to anyone without your prior permission. But if there are people we know in common that you are also out to, and you’re comfortable with everyone who knows being casual about it in conversation, let me know. If you want my help with or advice about coming out to anyone else, you’ve got it—and it’s totally your call. We’ll all follow your lead.
You might be the only person they’re telling for now. You might be one of hundreds. It’s important to know just how and to what extent they’re coming out at this point. And it’s important to know who else knows. Not that you should ever out someone without their prior permission in any context, but mistakes happen, and you’ll want to know just where this person’s “safe zones” are going to be established. Don’t push them to come out to people they’re not ready to, but if they are asking for help—including having you there in a conversation—offer it gladly.
1. You’re my friend. I’m so lucky to have a bisexual friend, because you get to see the world in an amazing way and you’re going to help me understand a little of that. You’re awesome exactly the way you are.
Like #10, affirm, affirm, affirm. Make sure they know you are specifically glad to know they are bisexual and have told you, not merely that you’re “okay” with or “tolerant” of it—they need this identity to be supported and celebrated, not excused or tolerated. Just like you do, with yours.
And there ya have it, Followers and others. I hope this is helpful, just like I hope the companion piece is. That one has gathered more than 330 Notes as of this writing, which I’m thrilled about, so let’s see if we can signal boost this one along with it, okay? I’d like to have the “positive” messaging out there at least as much as the “negative” warnings.
Thanks for reading! And for those of you thinking about coming out: you can do it. It’ll be hard at times, but overall it’ll be the best thing, the healthiest thing, you can do for yourself, when you’re ready. And we’re here to help. If you have any questions, send along a note and I’ll do my best.
What do you think, Followers—anything else to add?

unbitled:

Ten Things You Might Want to Say When Someone Tells You They Are Bisexual

(Read the companion post here.)

Congratulations! Your friend/family member/colleague just came out to you as bi! *

That’s awesome—you’re obviously a person they trust and value. You must be incredibly great for them to put themselves at such risk with you.

There are a lot of painful stereotypes and myths out there about bisexuals, and most people who are coming out as bi have heard them long before coming out, so they know that with a lot of other people they’re going to get the proverbial “whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid.” But not you.

They’re cool with you, and know, or at least hope, you’ll be cool with them.

You, um, don’t want to screw this up, right?

Of course not. You’re a good doobie. You wanna be down with the Bis as a Fierce Ally. Whether you identify as straight, gay, lesbian, pan, omni, asexual, or some other orientation, whether you’re cisgender or trans* or genderfluid/queer, you want to show you are worthy of this bisexual person’s trust in you.

So, here are some suggestions for things you might want to say to your bisexual confidant. Put these in your own words, of course, and most of all: think about how you’d feel hearing them if the situation were reversed. Only you know the full context of your relationship with this person, which should be your best guide to how to respond in a loving, caring, supportive, cool way.

Or just give a hug. Hugs are almost always good responses. Sometimes they’re the best ones.

*While some of what’s on here would apply in the situation where a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or other partner has just come out to you as bi, those are obviously different situations and probably deserve their own list, since your romantic and/or sexual relationship to that person may be directly involved. This list is really for those relationships that are only familial, professional, and platonic.

10. Thank you so much for telling me! I understand how scary it might have felt to do it, and I’m really honored by your trust in me. I promise to support you however I can. I’m so glad to know this important aspect of who you are.

Just start with the basics, folks: affirm them. And be grateful. It’s a huge, huge deal for most people to come out to someone. Don’t be blasé about it, even in an attempt to show how cool you are with it—that can backfire. You don’t need to weep and hug for hours, but don’t risk giving the impression of blowing it off, either.

9. I believe you, and I’m proud of you for claiming an identity that I know you’ve probably thought a long time about.

This is huge. Don’t question, don’t quibble, don’t debate definitions, don’t—at this point—talk about the Kinsey Scale or the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. Just take them at their word that they’re bi: because I guarantee you they’ve thought about it a lot more than you have, or ever will, in relation to themselves.

8. When did you first start to realize this part of who you are? Do you remember? There are no wrong answers—I just want to give you a chance to tell me your story if you want to.

Many people coming out of the closet haven’t have the chance to tell their “coming of age” stories in terms of figuring out who they were via early attractions, experiences, and/or relationships. Don’t press for details and don’t pry, but create an opening for your friend to start to tell these stories if they seem like they want to. It can be tremendously important to (finally) be able to tell them.

7. Do you want to tell me about how you feel your bisexuality “works”? I know some bisexuals feel more attracted physically or emotionally to one gender, some feel no real difference, some feel it changes over time, some don’t really think of it this way at all—what’s your experience with this so far? Don’t tell me anything you don’t want to, but only if you think it will help me understand.

As with the last one, tread carefully here, but create an open and safe space for these types of conversations. Some people think a lot about the varying nature of their attractions as bisexuals, others don’t really think about it at all. A common definition for bisexuality, formulated by Robyn Ochs, is that it means having the capacity to feel physical and/or emotional attraction to one’s own and other genders, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree. Let your friend begin to sketch out how their sexuality works in their life, if they seem like they want to—the same way you’d want to be able to explain yours to someone. No more, no less.

6. Are you safe at home, at work, at school, in your other relationships? Do you feel threatened or bullied by anyone because of being bisexual? We can get you help if you need it. It’s important to me that you are safe and healthy.

You actually might want to lead with this one pretty early on. People coming out can be under tremendous risk. Make sure your friend is safe, and get help if needed.

5. I understand this is about who you are, not just about whom you’re attracted to, whom you fall for, or whom you have sex with. But if you want to talk about any past or present relationships or experiences you’ve had that are important to you and that you felt you couldn’t talk about before coming out, you can tell me now. And you can trust me to keep your private life private.

For many people, the impetus to come out as bi comes from actually being in a significant non-monosexual relationship, sometimes for the first time, so be prepared to be introduced to someone important to your friend not long after they come out to you. Otherwise, as with the “when did you know?” line of discussion above, just be willing to let them tell their story, much of which they may have felt the need to keep hidden—often very painfully—until now. You may learn they’ve had great loves, and great heartaches, that you never knew about. Try not to feel betrayed or left out, as natural as that may seem to you, and remember how much pressure there is against being openly bisexual in both straight and gay/lesbian culture. They may really have thought they couldn’t possibly ever talk about some of these experiences for fear of being shunned.

4. Are you taking any steps to build a sense of belonging to the wider bisexual and/or LGBTQ community? There are a lot of resources out there for you, and it may be important for you not to feel isolated in this identity at some point.

Bisexuals are the largest proportion of the self-reporting LGBTQ community, but also the most closeted to friends and family and at work, and suffer disproportionately from a wide range of physical and mental health ills and socioeconomic challenges. Encouraging your friend to seek out positive connections to the bisexual and larger LGBTQ community could literally be a life-saving action.

3. If you’re sexually active, do you know how to do all you can to keep yourself safe(r), regardless of the gender of the people you may be with at any time? We can get some information together if you have questions.

Without falling prey to the stereotype that all bisexuals are promiscuous and automatically prone to higher rates of STIs (closeted people are, not bisexuals per se), definitely make sure your friend knows the basics of how to be safe. One of the risks of the closet is bad information leading to unsafe sex practices; do your part to help if given the chance.

2. Who else knows? I want to respect your privacy and safety and I will never, ever “out” you to anyone without your prior permission. But if there are people we know in common that you are also out to, and you’re comfortable with everyone who knows being casual about it in conversation, let me know. If you want my help with or advice about coming out to anyone else, you’ve got it—and it’s totally your call. We’ll all follow your lead.

You might be the only person they’re telling for now. You might be one of hundreds. It’s important to know just how and to what extent they’re coming out at this point. And it’s important to know who else knows. Not that you should ever out someone without their prior permission in any context, but mistakes happen, and you’ll want to know just where this person’s “safe zones” are going to be established. Don’t push them to come out to people they’re not ready to, but if they are asking for help—including having you there in a conversation—offer it gladly.

1. You’re my friend. I’m so lucky to have a bisexual friend, because you get to see the world in an amazing way and you’re going to help me understand a little of that. You’re awesome exactly the way you are.

Like #10, affirm, affirm, affirm. Make sure they know you are specifically glad to know they are bisexual and have told you, not merely that you’re “okay” with or “tolerant” of it—they need this identity to be supported and celebrated, not excused or tolerated. Just like you do, with yours.

And there ya have it, Followers and others. I hope this is helpful, just like I hope the companion piece is. That one has gathered more than 330 Notes as of this writing, which I’m thrilled about, so let’s see if we can signal boost this one along with it, okay? I’d like to have the “positive” messaging out there at least as much as the “negative” warnings.

Thanks for reading! And for those of you thinking about coming out: you can do it. It’ll be hard at times, but overall it’ll be the best thing, the healthiest thing, you can do for yourself, when you’re ready. And we’re here to help. If you have any questions, send along a note and I’ll do my best.

What do you think, Followers—anything else to add?

fuckyeahbiguys:

unbitled:

Ten Things To Think Really Carefully About Before Saying When Someone Tells You They Are Bisexual
Congratulations! Your friend/family member/colleague just came out to you as bi! *
That’s awesome—you’re obviously a person they trust and value, one they expect to treat them with care and respect in responding to this information, which in some contexts can cause people to lose their jobs and income and health insurance, or be at risk of physical and/or emotional violence, or be cut off from other friends and family and faith and community members. You must be incredibly great for them to put themselves at such risk with you.
There are a lot of painful stereotypes and myths out there about bisexuals, and most people who are coming out as bi have heard them long before coming out, so they know that with a lot of other people they’re going to get the proverbial “whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid.” But not you.
They’re cool with you, and know, or at least hope, you’ll be cool with them.
You, um, don’t want to screw this up, right?
Of course not. You’re a good doobie. You wanna be down with the Bis as a Fierce Ally. Whether you identify as straight, gay, lesbian, pan, omni, asexual, or some other orientation, whether you’re cisgender or trans* or genderfluid/queer, you want to show you are worthy of this bisexual person’s trust in you.
So, if you’re thinking of saying one of the following phrases, or something close to one of them**, you might want to pause, take a breath, consider the context, think how you’d feel hearing it if the roles were reversed, and maybe, just maybe, say something else.
Or just give a hug. Hugs are almost always good responses. Sometimes they’re the best ones.
*While some of what’s on here would apply in the situation where a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or other partner has just come out to you as bi, those are obviously different situations and probably deserve their own list, since your romantic and/or sexual relationship to that person may be directly involved. This list is really for those relationships that are only familial, professional, and platonic.
** Every single phrase here, or something very close to it, has been said to me or to bi friends during their coming out processes, by people they regarded as close, trustworthy friends, family members, or colleagues.
10. Why are you telling me? I don’t care who you sleep with or what you do in your bedroom or private life. It’s no one’s business/it doesn’t matter that you’re bisexual.
Easy there, Privacy Patty: they’re telling you because it does matter, to them, that people know—or at least that you know—who they are as a whole person; don’t go confusing that with what they do, or don’t do, in their personal sex life. A lot of non-bi people try to over-sexualize bisexuality this way by making statements suggesting it’s all, always, and only about sexual activity, rather than about sexual orientation. If you’re straight or gay, think about how you’d feel if someone said something so important to who you are as a person was unimportant or no one’s business.
9. Oh, everyone’s a little bit bisexual. (Translation: Oh, I don’t think anyone’s really bisexual.)
Good for you, you know your Kinsey Scale; here’s your gold star. Now: shut up.
Please don’t ever, ever let this first phrase pass your lips in earshot of a bi person, particularly one who’s coming out to you. Because it actually, logically and emotionally, means the second phrase. If everyone’s “bisexual” no one is. And this person is telling you, usually after a long and sometimes painful process of figuring shit out, that they are. Please don’t let your response invalidate the very identity they’re fighting to claim and be proud of. Bisexuals exist. Deal with it. And deal with us with respect, not suspicion about our existence.
8. What happened to make you this way? When did you decide? How do you really know you’re bi if you haven’t been with w amount of x gender(s) y number of times and performed z sexual activities?
Life. Same as you. They didn’t. Same as you. (They might be able to talk about when they first knew, and might want to, and if you’re gay or lesbian you might be able to identify with that experience, so go ahead and ask that.) Sexuality isn’t a formula or a certification course: you don’t solve it with the right integers, nor do you earn or achieve it with the right prerequisites or courses. It just: is. Just like your sexuality, their bisexuality isn’t dependent upon what they’ve done with whom, how much, how often, or in what variations. You’re smart. You can do this. This isn’t that tough: just think of your own experience and analogize.
7. So, do you sleep with both men and women and others and how does that work? So you’re non-monogamous? So, you’re monogamous anyway?
Bisexuality doesn’t equal non-monogamy, ethical or otherwise. Bisexuality doesn’t equal monogamy, coerced or otherwise. Just like every other sexuality. People’s individual relationship statuses are informed by, but not determined by, their sexuality, just like yours is. Do we assume all straight people are non-monogamous? (Statistics would suggest most actually are, over their lifetimes, but “most” isn’t “all.”)  Or that all lesbians are monogamous? Why? Don’t ask these questions unless you’re a close enough friend to be in a conversation about relationship issues, rather than sexuality itself. Even then think really carefully about it: the coming out moment probably isn’t the time, unless the bi person coming out to you invites the discussion. And be prepared to discuss your own relationship decisions, if so.
6. What STDs do you have?
Show your papers first, idiot. And it’s “STIs” these days, for “Sexually Transmitted Infections,” and out bisexuals are no more intrinsically at risk for contracting or transmitting them than anyone else. (Closeted people are.)
5. So, it’s just like a physical thing, right?
Yes. Just like your sexual orientation. Oh, wait…what’s that? Fact is: bisexuals feel a whole host of different ways about their sexual/romantic/emotional attractions to people: just like people of other orientations do. These things can even shift over time, from person to person, from relationship to relationship, and within relationships. Just like everyone else. If you’re gay, are you attracted to all men equally? Sexually and emotionally? If you’re straight, do you feel the same exact way about the hot model on the magazine cover as you do about your gorgeous spouse? If you’re a lesbian, have you had a crush on someone you wouldn’t want to actually be in a relationship with, or even have sex with? Yeah? Good, then. You’ve passed Human Sexuality 101, and need no additional knowledge to understand the nature of bisexual attractions.
4. That’s great, but being bisexual isn’t nearly as hard as being X or Y.
Don’t. Just don’t play the Oppression Olympics. No one wins. There’s too much that divides all of us already from our common humanity; engaging in round after round of “Who’s suffered more?” does nothing to alleviate anyone’s suffering or bring us any closer together. And it’s exactly what those who enjoy our suffering want and expect us to do. Knock it off.
3. I can’t believe you’re reinforcing the gender binary.
History check: you know who was on the front lines at Stonewall? Bisexuals and trans* people. Etymology check: do you know what the Latin route of “bi” really means in “bisexual” as bisexuals themselves have defined it? Two, as in “one’s own and other genders.” Note the plural.
(Did you also know that not all lesbians come from a tiny Greek island? And that not all gays are happy and carefree? Words change meaning. Bis are here, we’re queer, and we’ve been *trans-inclusive and *trans-friendly since before most people making the *transphobic accusations against us now were born.)
Definition check: Bisexuality means having the capacity to be sexually, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to members of one’s own and other genders, not necessarily in the same way, not necessarily at the same time, and not necessarily to the same degree. Nothing in there about reinforcing gender binarism or being trans*phobic. (Refer to Number 4 for another take on why it’s important to drive the stake through the heart of this emerging stereotype about bisexuals.)
2. Who have you slept with? Who else is bi?
Seriously? SMH. They maybe should drop you as a trustworthy friend or stay away from you as a family member or colleague if your response to their coming out is to ask for a sexual dossier and “dirt” on other people.
1. You’re still my friend. I don’t care what you are. You could be blue, purple, or green. I love you no matter what.
This one’s tough, because it’s so common, and so understandable. You want to be supportive, so you come out with something like this. But please refer back to Number 10 and realize that this is just a kinder, less blunt version of it, at best.
And, at worst, it equates bisexuality with something to be ashamed of, something that has to be forgiven or overlooked.
When you tell someone, “I don’t care what you are, I love you anyway!” you’re telling them two things: 1. You’re not listening: they want you to love them as that thing. That’s why they’re telling you. That’s who and what they are, and they want you to care about it. Because they do; 2. What they are is something they should feel awkward over, and that you’re rising above. They don’t want you to. They want to be themselves with you, and they’re not apologizing for it—so don’t forgive them.
Hope that helps you navigate your way through these very important conversations, BiAllies and Would-be Bi Allies! Questions and comments welcome. Do you find these useful if you imagine someone coming out to you? If you’ve come out to someone, do you wish they’d read something like this first?

This. All of this. 

fuckyeahbiguys:

unbitled:

Ten Things To Think Really Carefully About Before Saying When Someone Tells You They Are Bisexual

Congratulations! Your friend/family member/colleague just came out to you as bi! *

That’s awesome—you’re obviously a person they trust and value, one they expect to treat them with care and respect in responding to this information, which in some contexts can cause people to lose their jobs and income and health insurance, or be at risk of physical and/or emotional violence, or be cut off from other friends and family and faith and community members. You must be incredibly great for them to put themselves at such risk with you.

There are a lot of painful stereotypes and myths out there about bisexuals, and most people who are coming out as bi have heard them long before coming out, so they know that with a lot of other people they’re going to get the proverbial “whole lotta ugly from a never-ending parade of stupid.” But not you.

They’re cool with you, and know, or at least hope, you’ll be cool with them.

You, um, don’t want to screw this up, right?

Of course not. You’re a good doobie. You wanna be down with the Bis as a Fierce Ally. Whether you identify as straight, gay, lesbian, pan, omni, asexual, or some other orientation, whether you’re cisgender or trans* or genderfluid/queer, you want to show you are worthy of this bisexual person’s trust in you.

So, if you’re thinking of saying one of the following phrases, or something close to one of them**, you might want to pause, take a breath, consider the context, think how you’d feel hearing it if the roles were reversed, and maybe, just maybe, say something else.

Or just give a hug. Hugs are almost always good responses. Sometimes they’re the best ones.

*While some of what’s on here would apply in the situation where a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or other partner has just come out to you as bi, those are obviously different situations and probably deserve their own list, since your romantic and/or sexual relationship to that person may be directly involved. This list is really for those relationships that are only familial, professional, and platonic.

** Every single phrase here, or something very close to it, has been said to me or to bi friends during their coming out processes, by people they regarded as close, trustworthy friends, family members, or colleagues.

10. Why are you telling me? I don’t care who you sleep with or what you do in your bedroom or private life. It’s no one’s business/it doesn’t matter that you’re bisexual.

Easy there, Privacy Patty: they’re telling you because it does matter, to them, that people know—or at least that you know—who they are as a whole person; don’t go confusing that with what they do, or don’t do, in their personal sex life. A lot of non-bi people try to over-sexualize bisexuality this way by making statements suggesting it’s all, always, and only about sexual activity, rather than about sexual orientation. If you’re straight or gay, think about how you’d feel if someone said something so important to who you are as a person was unimportant or no one’s business.

9. Oh, everyone’s a little bit bisexual. (Translation: Oh, I don’t think anyone’s really bisexual.)

Good for you, you know your Kinsey Scale; here’s your gold star. Now: shut up.

Please don’t ever, ever let this first phrase pass your lips in earshot of a bi person, particularly one who’s coming out to you. Because it actually, logically and emotionally, means the second phrase. If everyone’s “bisexual” no one is. And this person is telling you, usually after a long and sometimes painful process of figuring shit out, that they are. Please don’t let your response invalidate the very identity they’re fighting to claim and be proud of. Bisexuals exist. Deal with it. And deal with us with respect, not suspicion about our existence.

8. What happened to make you this way? When did you decide? How do you really know you’re bi if you haven’t been with w amount of x gender(s) y number of times and performed z sexual activities?

Life. Same as you. They didn’t. Same as you. (They might be able to talk about when they first knew, and might want to, and if you’re gay or lesbian you might be able to identify with that experience, so go ahead and ask that.) Sexuality isn’t a formula or a certification course: you don’t solve it with the right integers, nor do you earn or achieve it with the right prerequisites or courses. It just: is. Just like your sexuality, their bisexuality isn’t dependent upon what they’ve done with whom, how much, how often, or in what variations. You’re smart. You can do this. This isn’t that tough: just think of your own experience and analogize.

7. So, do you sleep with both men and women and others and how does that work? So you’re non-monogamous? So, you’re monogamous anyway?

Bisexuality doesn’t equal non-monogamy, ethical or otherwise. Bisexuality doesn’t equal monogamy, coerced or otherwise. Just like every other sexuality. People’s individual relationship statuses are informed by, but not determined by, their sexuality, just like yours is. Do we assume all straight people are non-monogamous? (Statistics would suggest most actually are, over their lifetimes, but “most” isn’t “all.”)  Or that all lesbians are monogamous? Why? Don’t ask these questions unless you’re a close enough friend to be in a conversation about relationship issues, rather than sexuality itself. Even then think really carefully about it: the coming out moment probably isn’t the time, unless the bi person coming out to you invites the discussion. And be prepared to discuss your own relationship decisions, if so.

6. What STDs do you have?

Show your papers first, idiot. And it’s “STIs” these days, for “Sexually Transmitted Infections,” and out bisexuals are no more intrinsically at risk for contracting or transmitting them than anyone else. (Closeted people are.)

5. So, it’s just like a physical thing, right?

Yes. Just like your sexual orientation. Oh, wait…what’s that? Fact is: bisexuals feel a whole host of different ways about their sexual/romantic/emotional attractions to people: just like people of other orientations do. These things can even shift over time, from person to person, from relationship to relationship, and within relationships. Just like everyone else. If you’re gay, are you attracted to all men equally? Sexually and emotionally? If you’re straight, do you feel the same exact way about the hot model on the magazine cover as you do about your gorgeous spouse? If you’re a lesbian, have you had a crush on someone you wouldn’t want to actually be in a relationship with, or even have sex with? Yeah? Good, then. You’ve passed Human Sexuality 101, and need no additional knowledge to understand the nature of bisexual attractions.

4. That’s great, but being bisexual isn’t nearly as hard as being X or Y.

Don’t. Just don’t play the Oppression Olympics. No one wins. There’s too much that divides all of us already from our common humanity; engaging in round after round of “Who’s suffered more?” does nothing to alleviate anyone’s suffering or bring us any closer together. And it’s exactly what those who enjoy our suffering want and expect us to do. Knock it off.

3. I can’t believe you’re reinforcing the gender binary.

History check: you know who was on the front lines at Stonewall? Bisexuals and trans* people. Etymology check: do you know what the Latin route of “bi” really means in “bisexual” as bisexuals themselves have defined it? Two, as in “one’s own and other genders.” Note the plural.

(Did you also know that not all lesbians come from a tiny Greek island? And that not all gays are happy and carefree? Words change meaning. Bis are here, we’re queer, and we’ve been *trans-inclusive and *trans-friendly since before most people making the *transphobic accusations against us now were born.)

Definition check: Bisexuality means having the capacity to be sexually, romantically, and/or emotionally attracted to members of one’s own and other genders, not necessarily in the same way, not necessarily at the same time, and not necessarily to the same degree. Nothing in there about reinforcing gender binarism or being trans*phobic. (Refer to Number 4 for another take on why it’s important to drive the stake through the heart of this emerging stereotype about bisexuals.)

2. Who have you slept with? Who else is bi?

Seriously? SMH. They maybe should drop you as a trustworthy friend or stay away from you as a family member or colleague if your response to their coming out is to ask for a sexual dossier and “dirt” on other people.

1. You’re still my friend. I don’t care what you are. You could be blue, purple, or green. I love you no matter what.

This one’s tough, because it’s so common, and so understandable. You want to be supportive, so you come out with something like this. But please refer back to Number 10 and realize that this is just a kinder, less blunt version of it, at best.

And, at worst, it equates bisexuality with something to be ashamed of, something that has to be forgiven or overlooked.

When you tell someone, “I don’t care what you are, I love you anyway!” you’re telling them two things: 1. You’re not listening: they want you to love them as that thing. That’s why they’re telling you. That’s who and what they are, and they want you to care about it. Because they do; 2. What they are is something they should feel awkward over, and that you’re rising above. They don’t want you to. They want to be themselves with you, and they’re not apologizing for it—so don’t forgive them.

Hope that helps you navigate your way through these very important conversations, BiAllies and Would-be Bi Allies! Questions and comments welcome. Do you find these useful if you imagine someone coming out to you? If you’ve come out to someone, do you wish they’d read something like this first?

This. All of this.