I came to know a similar mistake had been made, except that at that time, I didn’t have words to explain it. I learned to live a lie. Pretending to be what you’re not, hoping things will magically fix themselves, seems easier at times. But lies have consequences.
It is unfortunate that Coy’s school has not learned the lesson that so many other aspects of our culture have already acknowledged, that a person’s gender is more complicated than a body part or a chromosome.
Workplaces across this country are recognizing the challenges that their transgender workers face and are removing deeply embedded barriers to health care and wellness benefits. Organizations ranging from the National Collegiate Athletic Association to the Girl Scouts are accepting transyouth, sometimes under fire, treating children based on identify, not body parts.
Transwomen have openly competed in mainstream beauty pageants and have been featured in magazines such as Vogue. Transgender athletes, artists and writers, people in all fields, have shown there is a pathway to a happy, well-adjusted and fulfilling life — not as an “other,” but as the men and women we know ourselves to be.
Apparently none of this matters to the school that denies Coy the use of the girls’ bathroom or to the parents who demonize her and her family. Arguments to treat Coy with dignity often fall on deaf ears. Why? Because discussion of the topic quickly becomes emotional rather than rational.
Read the rest at CNN here.
My best friend gave me a blowjob and I don’t know what to do about it. It started off at some college party a few months ago. We got drunk and had to get a ride to my place. He stays far away in the boondocks and the designated driver didn’t want to drive that far so I told my best friend he can sleep by my house. While we were laying down and watching TV I told him about how my girlfriend gave me head for the first time last night. Next thing I know, he’s giving me an example of when his ex-girlfriend sucked him off and he starts nuzzling his nose in my pelvis area. One harmless example lead to another and my penis ended up in his mouth.
At the moment, I didn’t think much about how it will affect us. I just let him and he did it for a very long time. It was almost about a full half-hour when I came. He swallowed and everything. And then it hits me that my BEST FRIEND just gave me a blowjob. He went to the bathroom to wash his mouth and stuff and while he was doing that I just laid down and fell asleep in order to avoid talking about it.
When we woke up the next morning he was already awake and playing Playstation. We started laughing about how trashed we were last night and he sneaks in a question about how much I remember from last night. I told him not much and then I left it alone. I don’t think he believed me. Ever since then, it’s been extremely awkward between us. Whenever he comes over we never really talk about stuff like we used to and most times I’d find reasons to uninvite him. I even went as far as saying I have to walk my dog. There’s no way he can’t tell I’m purposely avoiding him.
Honestly, I can deal with the fact that he’s gay. I always wondered about him because he can never really keep a girlfriend and he seems more attached to his guy friends than his own flavor-of-the-week girlfriend. Speaking of his “girlfriends”, he’s recently been parading his heterosexuality around me. He’s supposedly having sex with different girls everyday. It’s not that hard to believe since the girls he mention are attracted to him and they’re also promiscuous. It’s just that he’s really starting to lose respect for me. I don’t know how to tell him that without him thinking I’m secretly crushing on him or something. I really do miss him. We’ve been best buds since 4th grade and now he’s a stranger in every sense of the word. I’m scared that if I force him to admit that he’s gay then he’s going to shut me out forever.
How should I confront him about our friendship and everything else that happened over the past few months?
Read the answer at Scarleteen here.
I’m 23 years old.
Depending on who you ask, I’m a single woman or a wife, “sex-crazy” or sex-positive, a slut or a virgin. Obviously, I can’t be all of these things… but just as obviously, the wide variety of people and institutions I interact with throughout my day-to-day life are defining these terms very differently than I do. So let me be more clear, and maybe help you clear up some of your own confusion about what labels you “have to” use, and what labels you want to proudly claim for your own.
About four and a half years ago, my girlfriend Katie and I had what we would have called our “first time.” Since we’re both women, we don’t have the ease of understanding of what “losing your virginity” that someone paired with another person of a different gender might have. After a lot of conversations, we came to the decision that we didn’t want to be completely naked together until we had a room where we had a right to close and lock the door without anyone questioning us- in other words, until I could travel to her dorm room at her college rather than just seeing each other when we were both on break in our hometown. It was sweet, sometimes awkward, incredibly meaningful, and overall a wonderful “first time.”
But that’s not the end of the story.
Read the rest of this reader-submitted, first-person story about discovering your own sexual identity and what, if anything, “virginity” means to you here.
Hi! I am a 15 year old female and I think I may be bisexual, I have talked to a couple friends (who are straight) that I trust, They either said “It’s just a phase don’t worry” Or “There is only one way to know and that is to have sex/kiss another female.” But I don’t know any lesbian girls to do that with! I’m pretty sure it’s NOT a phase but I need to know how to find out if I’m bi or not. My school/parents are not very accepting of lesbians, bi’s and gays, so I wouldn’t be able to talk to my parents. Another thing is I’m secretly sort of wanting to do something with a girl. Please help me!I feel so lost!Robin L. replies:
Have all of your straight friends had sex with a guy if they’re girls, or with a girl if they’re guys? If not, how do they know they’re straight?
See how silly that is? Hopefully they will, too. It’s not sound to make orientation something anyone needs to “prove” with sex for a whole lot of reasons. Not only does that add something pretty dehumanizing to people’s intimacies, sexual orientation is about feelings, not actions. It’s about what sexual or romantic feelings we have with or about people in terms of their gender. If we do or don’t have sex with those people — or do with people outside any given gender group we feel attraction towards — doesn’t prove or disprove anything about our or anyone else’s orientation.
A bisexual person is usually defined and self-defined as either someone who can be or is attracted to men and women alike, or to someone of any gender, though not always at the same time. Sometimes people think that bisexuality means being attracted to everyone at once, or just everyone, period, and feel fear and mistrust of bisexuals because of that. While there certainly wouldn’t be any reason to be fearful or judgmental of someone who earnestly was attracted to the whole wide world (what’s so scary about someone who thinks everyone is loveable and sexy, anyway?), for most bisexuals, just like for most of everyone else, attractions to people of any given gender are usually about more than their gender, and attraction to a given gender usually means to some people of that gender, not all people.
A bisexual person also isn’t always attracted to each gender equally or in the same way. For example, a woman might be attracted to women most of the time, but occasionally find men attractive or experience an attraction towards a specific man. Or, a bisexual guy might find that he feels stronger or more frequent emotional or romantic feelings towards men, but stronger or more frequent sexual attraction to women.
It is frustrating that people dismiss things that they don’t like or believe in, or that are inconvenient for them (or that they feel scared of) as being “just a phase”. That said, your bisexuality could be just a phase, but not in the way that your friends mean. And the same is true of your friend’s heterosexuality. The same is true of any aspect of sexuality for anyone, not just our orientation.
Sexuality is what we call fluid. Think about water, how it’s always moving, changing form based on the temperature around it and other factors like wind.
Sexuality is kind of like that. It can change based on where we are in life, what’s going on with us, or random factors that we can’t really figure out. So, if a type of sexuality is a phase for one person, it’s a phase for everyone. If bisexuality can be a phase (and it can), so can heterosexuality. That sexual fluidity applies just as much to people who identify and live as straight. I’d say, though, that your friends saying this is a phase probably isn’t so much about them understanding all of this as it’s about biphobia—a fear of bisexuality or bisexual people—or heteronormativity, which is a giant word that basically means the belief that everyone is inherently straight and the action that society being set up for straight people as a default.
Read the rest of this great answer from Scarleteen volunteer Robin here.
Since I was 19 I’ve had an annual PAP smear done. Never, until this year, has it been abnormal. I went in January of 2011 and then held off because since then I have had an IUD put in, Gardasil, and lost my health insurance. Once I had saved up enough to get my pap test this year it was May. About a week later my doctor called to make an appointment to discuss results. I made another appointment and went in and needed a colposcopy. Another week later she called again. And then I knew then something wasn’t right, I’ve never had a doctor call me about results.
Then a week later my doctor called me to have me come in that day and I couldn’t wait 4 more days to discuss it. She told me that I had high risk HPV and she suggested a cone biopsy or LEEP procedure. I then went to see the specialist who said I had some stage 3 dysplasia. Then last week I had the LEEP procedure done since I didn’t want to risk cancer by waiting. I am glad to have it over with, but I’m left confused and with some questions.
I am under the assumption that by now my husband has it as well and that there is no tests to affirm or deny this. Is it possible to get re-infected after being cleared of HPV? How common is miscarriage after this kind of procedure? How can I approach sex in a positive way without worrying about the HPV the whole time?
Bisexuality is sometimes looked on with confusion from both the heterosexual and homosexual communities. Researchers from Indiana University conducted a series of studies recently to explore how the stigma and stereotypes of behaviorally bisexual individuals stands up to reality, and how these men and women are actually living out their sexual lives.
Through a web-based survey, Vanessa Schick—assistant research scientist at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at IU Bloomington—said that her team was able to reach 4,000 women respondents. Using that data set, the researchers were able to examine several questions about behaviorally bisexual women. Schick said the core question she set out to answer was “What sort of diversity exists in the sexual repertoire between women?”
Schick said the findings could help medical practitioners and clinicians in talking with and treating patients.
“I want, ideally, medical practitioners and clinicians to consider the diversity in their sexual repertoires when asking women whether they’ve engaged in sexual behavior with other women,” she said. “Oftentimes there’s this assumption that women don’t need to be asked about whether they’re engaging in sexual behavior with other women.
“There’s an assumption that that behavior would not necessarily put women at an increased risk for any sexual health outcomes, but what we found is that there is a wider diversity in sexual behaviors that could perhaps, we don’t know, may put women at an increased risk.”
Schick suggested that medical professionals should consider being more specific in the questions that they ask patients. Rather than asking one general question about whether a woman has engaged in sex with another woman, a doctor might ask a series of questions targeting specific sexual behaviors.
In addition to sexual activities that women engage in with other women, Schick also studied the labels that women use to identify themselves. According to study results, “Women who identified themselves as bisexual or lesbian reported the best health when their sexual identity matched their recent sexual history.”
Read the rest here.