Bi/Pan Phobia Is Silently Exists In The LGBTQ+ Community And It Shouldn't

Bi/Pan Phobia Silently Exists In The LGBTQ+ Community And It Shouldn't

You should not be prejudice against people fighting your same battle.

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"Just choose one," "You're lucky you have so many options," "Oh yeah I used to be bi, too," "You're basically half straight," "You're greedy," "You don't fully understand what it is like to be gay,"

If you are bisexual or pansexual, I'm sure you've heard these statements and countless others before. Negative things like this just come with the territory of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Homophobic and transphobic people exist and that is just something you have to live with. But one thing I have never understood was when the prejudice I was receiving was coming from fellow members of the community.

There is a huge stigma around bisexual and pansexual individuals. We receive hate for a variety of reasons, and some of that hate comes from people who are very similar to us. Being bi or pan doesn't make someone any less "gay" or any less of a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Bi and pan individuals still struggled coming to terms with their sexuality, they still had to come out, they are still subject to homophobia, and their sexuality is just as valid as someone who is gay or lesbian. It is not that bi/pan people can't "choose." They are legitimately attracted to men and women or all genders.They are also definitely not "half straight." Can they be in traditional, heterosexual relationships? Sure! But it makes no sense to label them as straight because of that.

As I mentioned, bi/pansexual people face a lot of the same discrimination and struggles that many members of the LGBTQ+ community faces. However, there are many forms of bi/pan phobia that bi and pan people see on a daily basis that come from other members of the LGBTQ+ community. People may think they just haven't made up their minds, that bi/pansexuality is just a phase, assuming that people are choosing to identify has bi or pansexual because it is "trendy," thinking that all bi or pansexual individuals are promiscuous, and (in my opinion) the absolute worst: assuming bisexuality or pansexuality is just a stepping stone until someone reaches their "true" lesbian or gay identity.

The LGBTQ+ community has a "plus" on the end for a reason. There are so many different identities that someone can have and people should be able to freely identify as what they feel they are. This community was built on love. So why would you add hate into the equation against your fellow queers? Although we are all fighting our own battle, many parts of our stories are the same. We all want equal rights, we all want to be able to express ourselves in ways that make us feel beautiful, confident, and happy, and we all want to be able to love whoever the fuck we want with out the judgement of others. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you see queer on queer hate take place, please speak up! Say something, start a conversation, educate yourself and others, and protect and fight for your fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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12 Signs You're From Jackman Maine

You know you're from Jackman just by these few things.
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1. You never lock the doors

The entire parking lot at the store is filled with running cars, all of them with the keys still in the ignition. All are so easy to steal and yet no one touches them.

2. You almost never miss a sports game

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you almost never miss a game. Either you go to watch a friend play or to hang out, there are very few games that you have missed.

3. The cold doesn't bother you

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out in 20 degree weather in a t-shirt to do chores, or have shoveled off the deck in bare feet. Almost rarely the cold seems to be a bother.

4. You own either a snowmobile or ATV

Because what else is there to do in town? Seriously?

5. You've walked down the street all night

And you know that after 5, the road is silent. Unless it's on the weekends when everyone from Quebec is driving through.

6. You go to Old Mill and not the Town Park

Let the tourists go to the park and enjoy it, we'll just enjoy our sandy little b each.

7. You LOVE going to Slidedown

If you don't love the falls, are you even from around here? How can you not love going to Slidedown?

8. The tourists are hilarious

Now we won't say that to any of them because Jackman is a tourist town and needs to have the tourism, but some of the things that people say or do are laugh worthy.

9. Everyone has seen a moose in their backyard

And I mean everyone. I've seen one walk around in the Post Office parking lot, if they're wandering around there, they will be everywhere.

10. Hunting is a way of life

So is fishing. I don't think I know anyone in town who doesn't hunt or fish.

11. Everyone is shocked at your graduating class number

Every time I tell people I graduated in a class of 11, people stare at me like I just grew horns out of my head.

12. You know everyone

Self-explanatory.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Jarvis

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If You Think Belly Dancing Is Sexual, You're Missing The Whole Point

Believe it or not, exposed stomachs aren't inherently sexual.

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What we know as belly dancing here in America started in the middle east as a way for mothers to teach their daughters how to isolate certain muscles that they would use in childbirth, thus making the process an easier one when it was their time to go through it.

This cultural dance began with mothers teaching daughters behind closed doors where men weren't allowed to watch. It's possible that this fact helped cause some of the negative stigmas behind it by people who do not know its true origin.

Long story short (because I'm not looking to place false facts in this article), belly dancing moved over to America after a while and it wasn't necessarily accepted at first. Today, there is a multitude of belly dancing styles, including belly dance fusion which combines more traditional dancing with modern takes on it by blending multiple cultures or dancing styles.

You're probably wondering why a white girl such as myself is trying to educate you on something that clearly isn't a part of my own culture. Well, for those of you who don't know (or who couldn't recognize me from the cover photo), I belly dance at my university as part of an extracurricular club.

This club is easily one that I am most passionate about. I joined the club in my first semester as a freshman and have stuck with it for the past six semesters, and plan to stick with it for my last two. I came into the club with little previous dance experience and no previous belly dance experience, much like almost everyone else I've seen come and go.

I've heard of professors at my school who said they wouldn't go to our shows because it "made him uncomfortable." Why? Because our stomachs are out and we're moving our hips? That doesn't make our dancing inherently sexual.

We have a rule within our club that if any of us go out to parties, we cannot use belly dancing moves to try to woo guys or girls. Because guess what? That's not the point of belly dancing.

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