My Sexuality Is Sexy?

My Sexuality Is Sexy?

Self-identification in the face of fetishization.

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When I was around 12, I watched The Hunger Games with my mom in my town's movie theater and realized that unlike most girls my age, I didn't want to be Jennifer Lawrence and I actually wanted to bed Jennifer Lawrence (as well as Josh Hutcherson, of course). This was the moment I realized I was bisexual.

In my junior year of high school, I made the choice to openly identify as bisexual. I wasn't too worried about how this information would be received as I was lucky enough to grow up with a family and in an area where there was little judgment and stigma attached to homosexuality. The first person I told was my mother and to my shock and horror the first thing she asked me was "Are you saying this because men find it attractive?".

At the time I was angry at her for thinking I would be dishonest about any part of myself for a man and felt incredibly invalidated. Once I explained that no, this was not the case, I was given only support and understanding. Looking back at this moment, while it wasn't appropriate for that to be her first question and assume that I would lie about my sexuality for a man, I now understand why she asked this.

In my dating experience every single man that I have been romantically seeing, upon telling him I identify as bisexual, has asked if I would have a threesome. While there is nothing wrong with polyamory, I persistently wondered why being attracted to two genders registered in men's minds as being synonymous with non-monogamy (I am a serial monogamist).

One cultural shift that has occurred in my lifetime is that sexual education is no longer sexual education and instead pornography is becoming sexual education. The vast exposure to all things sexual has expanded our understanding of what sex is and who wants to have sex with who and how. The voyeur is all of us and the object being viewed is most often female bodies. Bisexual woman are represented in porn almost singularly in context with both a male and female partner. What is then extrapolated from this is that bisexual women are loose with their sexuality and open to having sex with multiple partners. This a stereotype. Stereotypes can be true and often are but they are damaging because they generalize an entire population.

This stereotype has pervaded my dating experience so much that I've had to turn off viewing women on dating apps because their accounts are sometimes run by men inquiring about group sex with their female partner. These accounts are usually not forward about seeking this and somewhat assume that when they ask this will be met with equal enthusiasm as being with just the individual on the account. Again, non-monogamy is valid and no one should be apprehended for seeking polyamorous sex or relationships. However, when assumptions regarding sexual preference is attached to an individual's sexuality there is a problem.

Identity is highly individualistic and personal. When someone takes the leap to express theirs it is disheartening that they are met with fertilization. I encourage all of us to reflect on our judgments, assumptions and discourage us from projecting our wants onto others who do not reciprocate them.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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This Is Your Friendly Reminder That Coachella’s Profits Go To Anti-LGBT Organizations

And if you are planning on spending your paychecks on next weekend or next year's Coachella... you might want to think again.

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Coachella: the two weekends that make every person not participating in it ache with yearning. Where our social media feeds are filled with outrageous outfits from our favorite celebrities and influencers, clips of above and beyond performances, and commentary on just how much one would give to be at the acclaimed music festival. It is an event that has seemed to become a staple of our Gen-Z and millennial population.

But, just as things usually turn out to be, everything is not as perfect as it seems.

In 2016, The Washington Post reported, with the help of the Freedom for All Americans campaign, that the festival's founder, Philip Anschutz, is a raging homophobe. As the owner of entertainment conglomerate AEG and with a net worth of approximately $11.1 billion, Anschutz's contributions to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council is no small matter.

These organizations have specific goals to act against the rights of the LGBT community in the name of religion. The Family Research Council, for example, details on their website, "Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects," explaining further that they support legal amendments to prevent homosexuality from advancing in society. The National Christian Foundation was found to donate $56.1 million to various organizations, all identified as hate groups, according to a report from Sludge.

Many of these organizations support conversion therapy and linking pedophilia to homosexuality. Alliance Defending Freedom was one of those organizations, as well, literally labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for supporting recriminalization of homosexuality and state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad.

So, yeah. Not as perfect as we all thought it was.

But then, why do people still pay thousands of dollars for tickets to this music festival when it's just going into the pockets of anti-LGBT organizations, especially if they claim to be LGBT allies? Why do our favorite allied celebrities, including Ariana Grande, choose to perform even though the knowledge of Anschutz's monetary decisions is no secret?

It's not black-and-white. Artists like Mitski admit that walking away from a career-changing venue like Coachella would only damage their career more. Singer Lizzo, just this year, responded to an angry fan's comment, saying that most major organizations are owned by "bigoted millionaires that donate to bigoted organizations," then promising to utilize the platform to tell LGBT stories until she's big enough to dismantle homophobia.

Cara Delevingne, a sexually fluid female, commented on this, saying how she still refuses "to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun."

What if everyone acted on this mindset? Imagine if all the artists denied the opportunity to perform, or at least the celebrities big enough to afford it. Imagine if all of the influencers who claim LGBT+ solidarity actually acted on their words and refused to show to this festival and every other one AEG owned? Where would Anschutz get his millions to fund homophobia, then?

In response to all of the controversy, Anschutz and his organization swore that he "supports the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation" and would stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations. But still, he continued to donate to Super PACs and conservative politicians whose standpoints include opposition of same-sex marriage, pro-life and pro-gun initiatives.

What are we saying as a society as we continue to glamorize this festival and allow it to profit? Sure, deem this article and the protests of the LGBT+ community as sour-graping something fun and "turning everything liberal." But the reality is that this festival is profiting off of liberally outspoken artists, even including gay stars like James Charles, and the money is, paradoxically, being put in support of anti-LGBT initiatives, along with pro-gun and pro-life causes. Not only is the reality of this alarming, as it is currently the biggest music festival and profits are undoubtedly high, but also offers insight on the already known fallacy of our culture.

People, celebrities and influencers especially, will continue to advocate for liberal views and for the equality of those who are oppressed when it is convenient for them — when it will gain them clout and fans. But when they want to go to a music festival that essentially flexes that clout, their alliance with LGBT+ people and others affected by these conservative views seems to be forgotten.

The cure to all of this is awareness. It's important to continue to educate others on how we can better support those who face oppression daily. It's important to hold people accountable, especially when they have the power to influence an entire society. It's important to denounce homophobic people, and avoid contributing to their success.

And if you are planning on spending your paychecks on next weekend or next year's Coachella... you might want to think again.

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