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Posts tagged "identity"

outforhealth:

Oh, did you not know you wanted to read this interview with a non-binary transmasculine roller derby player named Smacktivist today? WELL NOW YOU DO.

"Unlike some of my trans friends, I did not always know that I was trans (which is also totally normal!). My gender and body dysphoria originally presented themselves to me in ways that were not so obvious, such as an eating disorder. I really felt like I didn’t fit anywhere for most of my life and I always felt like I had a hard time relating to others. I would try so hard to fit into molds that I thought I was supposed to, based on what I thought would make me more like-able and make it easier for me to relate to others. But that usually ended up back-firing and making me really hate myself, which fed into a lot of my disorders. It wasn’t until the last year and a half of my life that I started putting a lot of the pieces together,  in regards to understanding my gender and sexuality. And I started realizing how that affected my younger years and what it means for me now.

I started to figure this stuff out when I started reading about other people’s experiences regarding their gender identities, went back to therapy, and began eating disorder recovery. It has been really comforting to see that other people feel the way I do and have been able to give that a name and build community around that. It took me a really long time to figure everything out and I feel like I am still learning so much about myself and my identity, but finally knowing that I am not alone and that there is a name and a reason for everything has been an enormous comfort. Always growing!”

Sexuality, too, is fluid, and many people seem to struggle with this, to the point of being actively repulsed and confused by the idea that sexual orientation does not necessarily remain consistent throughout someone’s life. This attitude is harmful for those who do experience shifts in their sexual orientations, but it also stifles conversation and exploration, as people who may be confused about their sexuality who receive this kind of messaging may experience harm that takes years to undo—and in some cases, they may never recover, because they are never given an opportunity to learn who they are and be themselves.

Take, for example, the heterosexual woman who later develops an attraction to women, and begins to identify as bisexual or lesbian. She may have experienced this attraction throughout her life and not picked up on it—perhaps she didn’t meet the right woman, or she was living in a repressive environment where homosexuality was not accepted. Or maybe her sexual orientation actively shifted. The attitudes of those around her will be dismissive and unpleasant, as people attempt to erase both her past as a heterosexual and her present as a gay or bi woman.

Though her sexuality has shifted, she remains fundamentally the same woman. Her past history doesn’t magically vanish, and she may even look back on it with fondness or gratitude for the relationships she had. Likewise, people may move through other sexual orientations depending on circumstances, their current stage of life, and other factors; the asexual who later realizes he’s gay, the lesbian woman who develops a bisexual attraction.

Because here’s the thing about realizing you’re into girls. Hardly anyone I know has ever said, “Am I gay?” in the same way they say, “Hey, do you know what the weather’s supposed to be like tomorrow?” Like they just need to figure out how to dress for the occasion. No, when most people ask, “Am I gay?” they ask it with the kind of urgency they would usually reserve for things like, “Do I strap this parachute to my back and jump from this free falling airplane or do I nose dive into the ocean and hope the sharks don’t eat my remains? SINK OR SWIM? LIVE OR DIE? QUENCH THE FIRE OR BURN ALIVE?” It feels so urgent, and the reason it feels so urgent is because you’re probably not just asking, “Hey, do I want to make out with other girls?”

You’re also probably asking: What the hell are my parents going to say when I tell them I want to kiss other girls? And my friends and my co-workers and my classmates and everyone at my family reunion? And what’s that girl going to say when I tell her I want to kiss her? And how is my life ever going to be OK, and how can I go on being the same, and am I the same, and what else do I not know about what’s alive inside me? And who will still love me and who will start hating me, and is God involved, or the government maybe, and what if it’s only one girl I want to kiss, and how do I label myself and must I label myself, and what if I change my mind and, really, what if I do burn alive?

Heather Hogan (via cathrin3)

(via flatbear)

I need to under­score that nam­ing ourselves and ‘being’ is more than a fash­ion state­ment or a research topic. Rather, it is a polit­ical conscious­ness that we do not have a choice about. To be black, lesbian and African is by its very nature polit­ical in a world that is still overwhelm­ingly heterosexual.

today-is-joy:

There is truth to stereotypes, but this does not mean that somebody should feel pressured to follow one because it’s what society says they should do. A christian gay does not have to become agnostic. A femme does not have to become butch just to be seen as a lesbian (an issue known as Femme Invisibility). A masculine straight girl should not have to prove that she is straight by becoming feminine!

Stereotypes are not a tool for you to find out somebody’s sexuality or gender identity. 

(via bemusedlybespectacled)

arscharis:

College Final Major Project

These are posters I created for my final major project at the end of my 2-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Graphic Design.

I decided to create an information pack for schools and colleges providing resources for them to share with students about LGBT+ issues.

Created in Illustrator.

You are welcome to print these for your own personal use or to put up in LGBT+ safe spaces/societies/clubs/etc.

"Inside Out" is a fictional campaign.

(via killjoyfeminist)

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.

Sexuality is a lot like an ecosystem: one change to one part of the system usually impacts other parts of it, and one tiny shift in one place can sometimes change the whole thing quite radically. And just like with ecosystems, the same shift in one system won’t always have the same impact as it would in a different one: the great diversity of people, our lives and experiences — and all of those pieces we’ve been talking about — means that sexuality is also greatly diverse.