This Is The Truth About Being Gay In 2019

This Is The Truth About Being Gay In 2019

How recent events has got me thinking more and more about my sexuality.

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I really don't think about this topic a lot because being gay is just who you are and you should try to never let your sexuality define you but recently I have thought about it a lot.

In the past month, the conversation of sexuality has started to come into the forefront of today's news with the horrific alleged attack on African-American actor and singer Jussie Smollett, who is best known as Jamal Lyon from the Fox drama series Empire.

On January 29th, Smollett alleged that he was brutally attacked by two men who were yelling homophobic along with racial slurs at him, poured bleach on him, and even put a noose around his neck while they were yelling "This is MAGA Country".

So many emotions came to my head when this story came up on my Twitter feed like disgust, anger, sadness, etc. but my first thoughts that came to my head while reading about it may surprise some.

I'm not even surprised that this attack that allegedly happened.

Unfortunately, people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans community have to worry about this happening to them every single day. We worry if we act "too gay" in public. We worry if we are dressing "too out there" in public. We worry if we are holding hands with our significant other in public.

We have to worry about these things all the time because we don't want people to come up to us, make fun of us, and bully us for just being who we are.

I'm so thankful that incidents like the one that allegedly happened to Smollett has never happened to me but I'm just one of the lucky ones. I have incidents when I'm out at night either by myself or with friends when I have had people stare at me for what I am wearing and/or whisper things about me to the people around them.

I have even had one incident when a guy in a pickup truck will roll down their window just to yell the f word at me. Yes, that f word.

Hate speech and crime against the LGBT community is still very relevant in this country and all over the world. The alleged attack against Smollett is only one of the few that will be brought up in the national news because of the status of his career. Imagine if he wasn't a celebrity. We would never know about this horrific alleged attack.

I hope everyone reading this won't just make you feel sad for people like me and others in my community. I hope this will spark a fire in you to help support your brothers, sisters, friends, and many more people in the LBGT community. Stand up for those you are too scared to do it themselves. Educate yourself so you can be more proactive and help us fight for our rights.

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My Asexuality Is The Last Thing I Hate About Myself

Oh, by the way - mom and dad, I'm Ace!
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This week my fellow UCF Odyssey writer and asexual Chris Mari wrote an article explaining his asexuality and his complete detest for it. He goes into detail about how is sexual orientation developed, what it is, and how he feels about how it affects his relationships. It is a really insightful article about the accepting process of discovering your own sexuality.

However, I feel like Chris is taking this the wrong way. Being asexual, or any sexuality for that matter, is nothing to be ashamed of and you should never hate yourself for it. It took me a while to figure it out and it took me even longer to accept it. But once I did, my life, relationships, and my view on my asexuality got better. I don't see it as a curse or a disease. I see it as being a part of the awesome person I am (not to brag).

There are many things that I don't like about myself, but my sexuality is not one of them. I hate that I am messy, that I like to mix all of the fountain drinks into one cup, and that I am a terrible driver. I do not hate the fact that I am a five-foot-two asexual woman who eats a lot of pasta.

To be clear, like most sexualities asexuality has a spectrum with different attraction levels and variances between each individual. There are many types of asexuality and each type varies on sexual orientation, lack of sexual attraction, and romantic orientation, which is completely different from sexual orientation. At its core, being asexual means that you lack sexual attraction to others, have low sexual desire, and never initiate sexual activity.

Asexuality means many things to many different people. You can still be in a sexual relationship with someone and still consider yourself to be asexual. You can be attracted to others and still have romantic relationships and still be asexual. It does not have to confine you, your relationship, or you sex/non-sex life.

Unlike Chris, I figured out my asexuality as a teen. Around my senior year in high school, I noticed that I wasn't experiencing the same feelings towards sex and sexual desire as a lot of my friends. For a long time, I thought that there was something wrong with me. I blamed it on me being "too mature" for relationships in high school, and that "all the guys in my grade were unattractive." Which, by the way, was not true.

It wasn't until I started Googling these question I had that I found out what the issue was. I am asexual. And it wasn't until the first relationship I had that I realized I was more of a gray-asexual than strictly asexual. I sometimes feel sexual attraction to others, but only when a strong emotional connection is formed, and even then my sexual attraction is little to none.

Having sex does not mean having a relationship and having a relationship does not mean having sex. Trust me, I know. A romantic relationship is built on a strong emotional connection, respect, and intimacy, which does not necessarily mean sex. My past relationships were built on strong emotional connections and mutual respect. Sometimes there have been feeling of sexual attraction, but in a lot of cases, there weren't. If/when I am in a relationship, there is a lot of emotional intimacy, caring, and a lot more Netflix binging than in most non-asexual relationships.

Chris, it sounds like you are still dealing with the fact that you are asexual. And let me tell you, from my own experience, once you accept it your feelings towards it won't be so negative. There is an entire community of people like you and I that understand what you are going through. But this is something that you shouldn't hate yourself for.

Being asexual does not mean you are broken, have a disease, and are not capable of being in a relationship. If you surround yourself with accepting people, accept who you are as a person, and find that person who loves you for who you are and not your asexuality, then you will see how awesome it is to be who you are meant to be. Trust me, it's good to be part of the plus! We give it that extra credit!

Cover Image Credit: Jon Ly

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How I Came To The Realization That I Was Bi

Sometimes you don't always know who you are, but when you know, YOU KNOW.

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Growing up, I knew that I liked boys and I never had to question that. I remember my first crush, my teen heartthrobs, and even my odd obsession with Brendan Fraser. Maybe it was because I thought that was what I was "supposed" to feel. When you are a little girl, you are constantly asked what boy you had a crush on or if you had a boyfriend. It's like society is embedding in you at a young age that you have only one option.

It wasn't until I got to college that I started to question whether boys were my only choice. It started off like most cliche college movies do, with a party. I saw a girl kiss another girl and I was jealous. I wanted that to be me and I didn't know why. I always thought that girls were pretty but I never thought anything more of it. I never tried to think anything more of it, because I didn't think it was a possibility. Not until that night. You see, you never think something is possible for you until you see people like you doing that thing.

I found my eyes lingering on girls a little bit longer than usual and truly admiring them as I did boys before. At parties, I would make out with girls just for "fun," because that's what everyone did. That was until finally, I met a girl that seemed to really like me. I pursued her, thinking that she actually was interested in me. It was exciting and I was feeling a way that I never felt before. Then after a while, she told me she wasn't really gay and I felt heartbroken, betrayed even. I've never felt the sting of unrequited feelings from a girl before. I knew then that I was bi. I knew that what I felt was real and a few days later, I told my friends and then I told my mom. It felt as though I was finally sure of who I was and what was possible for me in life.

I still struggled with figuring out who I was after that and constantly found myself sliding up and down the sexuality spectrum. Though as a grew older, I realized that it's okay to be bi. It's okay to feel whatever I am feeling because that is me and I am just fine the way I am.

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