Let's talk about Logan Paul

We Need To Talk About Logan Paul (AGAIN)

The problematic Youtube star said he was "going gay" while people who actually belong to the LGBT community around the world have to fight for basic human rights every day of their lives.

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We all know Logan Paul. The Youtube star has become infamous for his controversial (and sometimes triggering and damaging) stunts. You would want to believe that the young star would have learned from his past mistakes, but he rang in the New Year by saying on a podcast that as part of his New Years Resolution, he was "going gay" for a month. The ramifications of this ridiculous statement came immediately as the internet (specifically Twitter) exploded in an understandable furry.

Most of the criticism Logan Paul received was around him implying that being gay is a choice. I don't know why this needs to be said so many times, but being gay is NOT a choice. There is actually some newer scientific research that links being LGBT with brain chemistry. People who transition actually have been found to have the same (if not similar) brain chemistry and brain make up of the gender they identify as rather than that of the gender they are assigned at birth. LGB people have also been seen to have unique brain make-ups which have been linked to their sexuality. By science, being gay or being transgender is not a choice.

There is also the criticism Logan Paul is facing that I truly want to address. His nonchalant approach to "going gay" has been taken extremely hard by those who have fought and struggled and suffered for people my age to have the right to marry whomever they love. Living in the United States, I am truly blessed to have this right. Despite this huge step forward, I, as a bisexual female, have been refused service because I walked into a restaurant with my girlfriend. I have been asked to leave stores because the owners did not want my business since I was open about my same-sex relationship. This is the next battle we in the LGBT community are fighting.

But, in Chechnya, LGBT folks are being rounded up and "relocated" into camps where they are tortured and (sometimes) killed. There are still countries where being LGBT is punishable by public execution. Engaging in same-sex intercourse is punishable by public whippings. There are countries where families of LGBT folk are ordered to disown their LGBT relative. The LGBT international community puts their own lives on the line every day (with no exaggeration) to secure rights that they know they will not see in their lifetime but in the hopes that the next generations can marry whom they please and can live their lives without worrying about being persecuted by grounds of who they are.

Logan Paul has since apologized but I do want to iterate (potentially reiterate) that the LGBT community does not have room to be taken as a joke. If you want to do something about the LGBT community, bring light to the atrocities that take place every day against men, women, and children of all sexualities and genders simply because they fall outside of the gender and sexuality norm. Logan Paul, despite his own truly horrific slip-ups, still has a huge base.

His support and his use of his reach to shed light on the truth of the LGBT community's struggles is what we deserve; not to be demeaned into a trend of sexuality. "Men Only March", Logan Paul? "Going Gay"? Absolutely not. I must say, as someone who screws up like this, again and again, I don't believe you deserve or have earned forgiveness. My sexuality and my struggles will not be your trend. Educate, inform, learn from your mistakes. Please and thank you.

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9 Queer Pride Flags That You Probably Didn't Know About

The rainbow flag is certainly the most recognizable, but it isn't the only Pride Flag there is.
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It's Pride Month yet again and fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies are celebrating. Normally around this time of year, we expect to see that all-too-familiar rainbow colored flag waving through the air, hanging from windows and sported on clothing of all types. Even when not strictly a flag, the colors of the rainbow are often displayed when showing support of the larger queer community. But what many people do not realize is that there are many, many pride flags for orientations of all kinds, so Natasha and I (Alana Stern) have created this handy guide to some others that you may not yet be familiar with:

1. L is for Lesbian and G is for Gay

The most recognizable letters of the entire acronym, L (Lesbian) and G (Gay), represent the homosexual people of the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is defined as being exclusively sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Again, although the rainbow Pride flag is easily the most iconic and recognizable, there is a Lesbian Pride Flag as well. Specifically for "Lipstick Lesbians," this flag was made to represent homosexual women who have a more feminine gender expression. Here are the Lesbian Pride Flag (left) and Gay Pride Flag with the meaning of each stripe (right).



2. B is for Bisexual

Bisexuality is defined as the romantic and/or sexual attraction towards both males and females. They often go unacknowledged by people who believe that they cannot possibly feel an attraction for both sexes and have been called greedy or shamed in many ways for being who they are, but not this month. This month we recognize everyone and their right to love. Here is the flag and symbol that represents the big B!


3. T is for Transgender (Umbrella)

Gender identities are just as diverse as sexual orientations. Transgender people are people whose gender does not necessarily fall in line with their biological sex. That is to say, someone who is born male may not feel that calling oneself a man is the best way to describe who they are as a person; the same can go for someone who is born female or intersex (we'll get to that in a bit). Someone born female may feel that they prefer to be referred to as a man. Someone born male may feel that they don't mind being referred to as either a man or a woman. And someone may feel that neither term really fits. Identities can range from having no gender, to multiple genders, to having a gender that falls outside of the typical gender binary of man/woman, to anything in between. The colors of the flag are blue (the traditional color for boys), pink (the traditional color for girls) and white (to represent those who are intersex, transitioning, or have a gender that is undefined).


Okay! Here's where we get into the lesser-known letters of the acronym. You may have heard of some of these before but didn't quite know what they meant or how they fit into the larger queer community, or you may not have heard of them at all. Either way, we'll do our best to explain them!

4. I is for Intersex

Intersex people are people who are have a mix of characteristics (whether sexual, physical, strictly genetic or some combination thereof) that would classify them as both a male and a female. This can include but is not limited to having both XX and XY chromosomes, having neither, being born with genitalia that does not fit within the usual guidelines for determining sex and appearing as one sex on the outside but another internally. It is possible for intersex people to display the characteristics from birth, but many can go years without realizing it until examining themselves further later in life. Here is an older version of the intersex flag which utilizes purple, white, blue and pink (left) and a more recent one that puts an emphasis on more gender-neutral colors, purple and yellow (right).


5. A is for Aro-Ace Spectrum

The A in the acronym is usually only defined as Asexual, which is a term used to describe people who experience a lack of sexual attraction to any sex, gender, or otherwise. People who are asexual can still engage in healthy romantic relationships, they just don't always feel the need or have the desire to have sex and are not physically attracted to other people. If that's confusing, think of it this way: you are attracted women, but not men. You may see a man and think, "He's kind of cute" or "That's a pretty good-looking guy," but you still would not feel any desire towards that person, because that's not what you're into. Asexual people generally feel that way about everyone. That's the "Ace" half of "Aro-Ace."

"Aro," or Aromantic, is a term used to describe people who do not experience romantic attraction. Aromantic people still have healthy platonic relationships, but have no inclination towards romantic love. The reason Asexual and Aromantic are together is because they are very heavily entwined and oftentimes can overlap. Underneath that spectrum are also other variations of asexuality (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are asexual but experience sexual attraction in very rare circumstances, or only after they have a romantic connection) and aromanticism (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are aromantic but experience romantic attraction in very rare circumstances).

Below are two versions of the Aromantic Pride Flag (top and middle) and the Asexual Pride Flag (bottom).





6. P and O are for Panseuxal and Omnisexual

Pansexual and omnisexual people are not limited by gender preferences. They are capable of loving someone for who they are and being sexually attracted to people despite what gender their partner identifies as. The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix "pan-", meaning all. Pansexuals or Omnisexuals will probably settle for whoever wins their heart regardless of that persons gender.


7. But what about the Q?!

The Q can be said to stand for Queer or Questioning, or both. "Queer" is more of a blanket term for people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community or who identify as something other than heterosexual or cisgender (a term that has come to describe people who feel that their gender does fall in line with their biological sex; i.e. someone born male feels that he is a man). It is also possible for someone to identify as queer, but avoid using it to refer to specific people unless you know they are okay with it; some people still consider it insulting. Questioning means exactly what it sounds like: it gives a nod to those who are unsure about their sexuality and/or gender identity or who are currently in the process of exploring it.

There's no one flag specifically for the letter Q, as all of the above sexualities and identities technically fall underneath this term.


This list is hardly comprehensive and there are a number of other flags, orientations and identities to explore. Pride Month is still going strong, and there's always more to learn about the ever-changing nature of sexuality as a whole and the way we understand it. It's a time for celebration, but also a time to educate and spread the word.

For a more in-depth description of different types of attraction and how they work, click here.

For more complete lists of gender identities throughout history, click here or here.

For a general list of commonly used words in the LGBTQ+ community and their definitions, click here.


Now go grab a flag and fly it high--you've got a ton to choose from!

Cover Image Credit: 6rang

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Pride Month And People’s Sexual Identity Are Not Marketing Ploys For Corporations To Pillage

What is feeding into these limited-edition rainbow products actually doing to help the LGBTQ+ community?

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You may have heard of pink or even green capitalism, but now, meet rainbow capitalism: the latest ploy from corporations to make you believe that they care about your cause!

Perhaps it was inevitable. As support for the LGBTQ+ community grew to the majority being in public support, corporations jumped at the opportunity to sink their claws into the movement for their own economic gains. It appears in the form of Adidas's "pride pack" rainbow merchandise, despite being one of the biggest sponsors in this year's World Cup in Russia, a country whose anti-LGBT laws make being apart of the community a dangerous thing.

It appears in companies changing their logos to that of rainbow colors, without actually doing literally anything to contribute to the LGBT+ community. It appears in the slacktivism of "allies" purchasing a rainbow product and feeling as though they have contributed to the cause.

To give context, Pride Month was created in honor of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, headed by LGBTQ people, predominantly of color, including black trans women Marsha P. Johnson, after being silenced by the police all throughout history. It garnered attention to the LGBTQ+ fight for equality by taking a step further than the polite and resigned protests.

So then why is our current Pride Month being defined by just that: movements for equality that are polite and resigned?

Here's the truth you may not want to hear: buying a 'love is love' mug or posting a picture of your rainbow Ikea bag is not really supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Sorry, not sorry.

Corporations are thriving off of people's willingness to accept the most minimal efforts as support. What is feeding into these limited-edition rainbow products actually doing to help the LGBTQ+ community? In most cases, nothing but exploiting the very real and very serious battle for equality to love who you want to. Even though the LGBTQ+ symbol of a rainbow can be found nearly everywhere during the month of June, its current use by corporations only works to silence the actual hardships and meanings behind the movement and its activists.

To mend this loss of focus is to raise awareness. Continue to educate yourself and other people on the real reasons for Pride, and the real reasons why companies may be using these symbols. Investigate the companies that you want to purchase LGBTQ+ products from: Are they donating to LGBTQ+ causes? Have they ever actively donated to anti-LGBTQ or other humanitarian causes? Are they only vocal when it comes to the month of June, and silent on anything gay-related after?

Pride Month was designed not only to celebrate the braveness of those LGBTQ+ activists who have come before us, but each and every single member of the community who continues to fight for equality. When corporations minimize that down to a rainbow-colored bottle of mouthwash, ask yourself: Are they supporting for the right reasons? Or is it just another contribution to the silencing of the LGBTQ+ community?

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