LGBut No One Cares About Bisexuals

LGBut No one cares about the bisexuals

It's Pride Month, so let's talk about the minorities of the minorities!

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In an age of self-acceptance, activism, and identity-liberation, you would think that the concept of finding more than one gender sexually attractive to be an easy one to grasp and validate, and yet here we are.

Bisexuality, or the sexual/romantic interest in more than one gender, is still a victim of exclusion from the LGBTQIA community due to a societally-driven plethora of discrimination and ignorance. To remedy our culture's wrong-doings to the bisexual community, we must identify our communal flaws. These flaws fall into four categories: the perpetuation of bi-myths, the lack of media representation, the lack of sexual-education, and the innate want for a binary.

Now to crush the stigma around the bisexual community, let's first crush some myths.

Sexual-identity myths seem to specifically target bisexuals more than any other sexuality, and out of all the LGBTQIA communities, these myths are the hardest to bust because of society's mass, ignorant belief in them.

Some common myths about bisexuals include that they are: just not fully committed homosexuals, are greedy, are being curious/experimenting/in a phase, are more likely to cheat, and are not real.

While it might seem black and white to an individual that "a bi-person is simply in a phase," the unfairness of the statement can be realized by having said individual put their own identity into the context of the statement. (i.e. White people are just in a phase, they'll realize they're Chinese soon enough.) See? No makey the sensey.

Tragically, these myths are held as steadfast beliefs by some in our society. In Gregory Herek's article, "Heterosexuals' Attitudes Toward Bisexual Men and Women in the United States," an experiment is discussed where heterosexuals were asked to rate their favorability of various groups (based on politics, religions, sexualities, et al) and bisexuals were rated one of the lowest groups, only higher than drug users. This study highlights a tangible disdain towards the sexually fluid group, while also foreboding the consequences of that disdain within our current hetero-normative society.

The disdain does not end there, however, but surprisingly thrives in the gay community as well. Seeing as steadfast gays and lesbians fought decades for their rights, the idea that an individual could be "one foot out the closet, and one foot in" is inherently offensive, and thus evokes discrimination towards bisexuals. However, this ideal is once again a myth that brings about real unrest in the LGBTQIA community.

An over-arching tension between lesbians and bisexual women can be seen in Pauline Rust's article on the matter, "Neutralizing the Political Threat of the Marginal Woman: Lesbians' Beliefs About Bisexual Women." The paper states that of the lesbians interviewed for the study, a majority held the belief in the above myths.

Even in a community that truly understands sexual discrimination and the need for societal validation, still, a belief in and an active acting upon hateful bisexual myths continues in our twenty-first-century society.

It's not surprising how ingrained bisexual myths are when you look at how little the examples of true bisexuality were in media, up until the current decade - it was the only information available on the sexuality at the time.

The major lack of bisexual representation in media has raised many generations on the subconscious idea that bisexuals do not exist or plants gross misrepresentations of bisexuals in the viewer's heads.

In 2007, only five networks had reoccurring LGBTQIA characters making the staggering percentage of non-heterosexual representation on TV a little over one percent. Bisexuality had to share this one percent of non-heteronormative characters and plot lines with legitimately every other grouping in the LGBTQIA community, drastically lessening that measly one percent.

In Kenji Yoshino's work "The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure", his findings show the imbalance of representation of bisexuals in media and the actuality of people claiming the bisexual name or declaring sexual fluidity. While homosexuals get more media coverage, the numbers show that there are less pure homosexuals than bisexuals in the world. This upset in the audience to pop culture's portrayal ratio perpetuates a later topic, a demand for the binary, along with other negative outcomes of discrimination.

Within that imbalance of representation is anything but accurate portrayals of bisexuality. Bisexuals are used as punchlines, as a moment of sexual entertainment, as plot twists, and cinematic bisexuality rarely includes male bisexuals.

Also upsetting, according to GLAAD's annual report, bisexuality, unlike any other sexuality, is used as a metaphor for "moral flexibility." Negative tropes within the past decade use the sexuality to represent "untrustworthiness, immorality, and infidelity. The characters are seen to "…use sex as a means of manipulation… [and] are lacking the ability to form genuine relationships…" along with "associations with self-destructive behavior" which instill even deeper negative attitudes and beliefs about real bisexuals into audiences.

While this day and age's media feels the most #PRIDE out of any other, there still is a veil of invisibility cast by that media on the bisexual community that has impacted generations of television and movie watchers on hurtful falsities about bisexuals.

Adding on to this veil that hides the bisexual community is the lack of education on the sexuality. The main sources for education on bisexuality come from grossly inaccurate portrayals of bisexuals such as the few times in movies/television, what they hear from friends and family, and the big one- porn.

One of the seemingly obvious places to start educating about fluid sexuality would be school sex-ed classes. However, only twenty-four states require that schools teach sexual education, leaving the majority of Americans to fend for themselves for information.

More disturbingly, only twenty of those states require the information taught is medically accurate! So, while some states are in fact teaching sex-ed, that education contains potentially harmful and inaccurate material.

With such little concern for the state of sexual education in America, what does that say about the education students are receiving about modern sex-ed necessities, like information on contraceptives, consent, and sexual fluidity? The damaging repercussions of this lack of proper education on bisexuality can be seen in McLean's article "Living life in the double closet: Bisexual youth speak out." She writes that the lack of information and resources out there for young bisexuals promotes a feeling of their sexuality being invalid while perpetuating harmful myths in non-bi youth and adults.

Just like with media representation, a good portion of the information on bisexuals comes from negative perspectives, once again illuminating the disdain society has for the sexuality. Case in point, while researching for this project, using several scholarly journal databases, most of the articles found on "Bisexuality" were in fact not on helpful information on the sexuality. No, instead, thousands of results came back for the "danger" of being bisexual (I.e. HIV/AIDS crises) along with hundreds of results on becoming an ally and true and fictional stories about bisexuals, with only a handful of meaningful informative articles scattered amongst all them.

We are creatures who shy from that which we do not know. So shouldn't it be time to accept our educational flaws and attempt a bettering of our society through its own education?

Finally, the humanistic obsession with the concept of "the binary" also invalidates and outcasts the bisexual community. Humans feel the need to demand others to conform while also forcing themselves into Category 1 or Category 2.

Within the past decade, a better understanding of the impossibility of such a request has begun to better society's acceptance of the none black nor white, but grayer individuals. Yet, the compliance with the division and need for finite self-identification in some societal members continue hurtful exclusion of bisexuals in both straight and gay communities.

In Pauline Rust's article from earlier, where lesbians confessed their true opinions on bisexuals, it was found that the lesbians who admitted to some heterosexual interests were not as judgmental towards the bisexual women. The fact that some of the lesbians could be comfortable enough with their sexuality to open up on some more fluid attitudes allowed for more acceptance of the fluid others. Those, however, who claimed to be sexually steadfast saw the bisexuals as traitors, as halfway committed, and as in a phase. This suffocating grip to conform to only the sexual attraction of one gender instills in society biphobia.

This damaging societal concept that says we all must conform to the binary, or in other words, you must be only gay or only straight, confines humans into unsatisfactory lives full of self-loathing, lying, secrets, discrimination, and a loss of potential happiness.

The cultural divide made by these acts of ignorant discrimination can be remedied through activism, understanding, and continual societal self- betterment. This day and age's uprising for individual liberties has sparked cultural re-improvement, but this battle for societal reformation does not end here. With an active effort from all to "be the change they wish to see in society", this could be the generation to end the "in or out" burden bisexuals face daily. The only question is now, "Are you in, or are you out," when it comes to creating a world of acceptance towards bisexuality?

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/salanki/3673713584

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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5 Reasons Why I Don't Want Kids

Procreating. It's not for everyone.

dambro64
dambro64
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My cousin had a baby last August. She's absolutely beautiful and I love her to death, but she doesn't change my mind when it comes to wanting kids when I'm older. Truth is, I don't want kids. I'm sure everyone says this at some point in their life, and maybe I will change my mind in the future, but kids kind of freak me out.

Maybe I'm just not the most maternal person, but here's why having kids, at least for now, isn't on my bucket list.

1. Giving birth.

I know, I know, it's a beautiful thing, the miracle of life or whatever, but go watch a birthing video and then come tell me how beautiful it really is. Everything from a woman's water breaking, to actually giving birth just grosses me out, to be honest.

The thought of having to push something the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon is just absolutely terrifying. I have a pretty average to above average pain tolerance, but no matter how well you can deal with pain, that shit is obviously not a pleasant experience.

2. The responsibility.

You have to do everything for babies, literally everything. Feed it, dress it, wash it, change it, put it to sleep, and you have to know what a baby wants when it wants it. If I had a baby and it started to cry, I would have no idea what to do. I know plenty of people say that once you have the baby, you automatically know which type of crying is for what need, but that makes no sense to me.

Do babies have different types of cries? How do you know which is which?

I consider myself a pretty responsible person when it comes time to be accountable for myself, but to be accountable for another life form?

I'll put it this way. I have two pet turtles. We got them when I was about twelve or so years old, and I remember being obsessed with them. That lasted for like maybe two weeks, and then I got bored with them, which meant I didn't take care of them. My parents did. Not the best analogy for obvious reasons, but I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to say. In other words, if I can barely take care of a pet, how would I ever be able to take care of a small human?

3. Kids are messy and loud.

Look, I'm not like a total clean freak or anything like that, but my mother definitely is. She used to disinfect sticks so my sister and I could roast marshmallows when we went camping for Girl Scouts. My point is, it's been drilled into my brain that everything has to be wiped down clean, and germs are not my friends.

I hate being around sick people; they freak me out, especially since I get sick so easily. If my baby or child were to get sick, I'd obviously still have to take care of it, which means wiping snot, cleaning vomit, and getting coughed on. I guarantee you, as soon as my child were to get better, I'd get sick.

Don't even get me started on changing dirty diapers.

Also, if there's anything I've learned from my cousin's baby thus far, it's that babies put everything in their mouths. Any object on the ground, their hands, and feet; nothing is safe. Babies don't understand sanitation, so it's not their fault, but I just know that if I had a kid, it would be in a plastic bubble so it could remain as clean as possible.

Babies are also very loud. Back when I worked at a diner, we used to have customers with little kids and babies all the time. If the kid was unhappy for any reason, that child would scream its head off. I never understood how such a big noise could come from such a small human.

4. Kids are expensive AF.

Kids are not cheap. They have an entire laundry list of stuff that needs to be bought for them, and they run out of supplies frequently. I can't imagine how much money people spend on things like diapers, formula, and clothes. Speaking of clothes, babies grow out things quickly. You get one or two good uses of an outfit and that's it. They outgrow it, and they can no longer use it.

Then, as they get older, you've got to think about school, eventually college, and extracurricular activities that they want to do, gifts for Christmas and other holidays. I say all of this, realizing how much my own parents have spent on me and my siblings (thanks, Mom and Dad).

5. Raising kids looks hard.

Knowing how much my sisters and I were pains in the asses for my parents, I can't imagine having to deal with that crap myself. The whole idea of shaping a child into a fully functioning member of society with good morals and conscience sounds like a lot of work.

There have been so many times where I would be at work and I'd have to deal with customers that have their kids with them, and these children are the biggest brats I've ever seen. Rude, disrespectful, obnoxious or disruptive; just the opposite of how kids should act in any public setting.

A big part of the reason I wouldn't want kids is that I see other people's kids and the way they act. It makes me just want to yell at the parents. At least I know that if I do ever decide to have kids, they'll be raised the way I want them to be and they'll behave the way they're supposed to. Appropriately.

In the big picture of things, whether or not you want kids is up to you. It's not meant for everyone and that's not the end of the world. I always get told that I don't mean it when I say I don't want kids, which isn't that big of a deal, but it can get annoying. In my opinion, if a person says they don't want kids, it's not because they think kids are like some evil being or anything like that. It's because they know their limits.

Growing a family is an amazing thing, but it's also different for everyone. No one should be judged for not liking or wanting to have kids. Everyone has different opinions. This one is just mine.

dambro64
dambro64

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