Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 Hop Against Homophobia and Trans*phobia: For All My Unicorns Out There

Hello and welcome! Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is, of course, awesome. Cynics, step off; no one's saying today solves the problems. I'm just saying that talking about problems is where the solving starts and how it moves forward, and I love that this hop exists for that purpose. Thanks so much to Erica, K-Lee, NJ, Cherie, and Sasha for organizing it. You are amaze.

Last year I did an interview about the production of The Laramie Project -- the preparation and research it takes, the reactions it causes, and the awareness I've seen it raise. 

This year, I figured I'd go a little more personal and a touch lighter, if not completely. Heavy subject is heavy. 

I've done posts before about bisexuality and biphobia here, but lately I've been trying to let the stories do the talking. Lately, however, as I see more statistics, see bisexual and pansexual people struggling with identity and coming out issues, it's become even more worrying to me that a lot of people just don't know where to go when they need answers and support. 

I'm not gay. I'm not straight. No one believes me, no one wants me. Hence the joke about bisexual people being like unicorns. Mythical creatures. We don't even exist.

I sort of grew up in the beginning of the internet era, so I sometimes think I can blame that for not quite figuring my shit out early on. I was so conditioned towards not just a heterocentric worldview, but monosexism that I didn't even know it was possible. Adolescence sucks, but moreso when it seems like something's broken. Why am I not constantly interested in boys like my friends? Why do I stress out over that girl so much? Why do I remember the thing she gave me and obsess over it? Why do I wish she'd be my friend but closer than that and why do I just want to stare at her and feel fluttery? To have all these thoughts and never realize what they meant was a sign of some hardcore social conditioning.

Sounds rough, right? That's just the beginning. Statistics say something is very, very rough, obviously. But I'm not gonna focus on that, right now, because otherwise I'll be here all day linking articles about how biphobia is a rampant phenomenon that is causing serious destruction to a lot of people. (Okay, here's one more.)

But by the time I was 24, "I'm bisexual" was a first date conversation. Someone's reaction to that would tell me enough to know if date number two was going to be a thing. I was on my own, in a position to support myself, and the first of my family and friends to learn this fun fact about Katey were perfect about it--if not terribly surprised. I escaped with relatively (and oh, it is relative!) damage because of those circumstances. It would've been harder if it had happened earlier, without a doubt, though obviously I can't say how much.

I can say that I would've needed even more help than I do now. And I often do. So here are some helpful things from my bookmarks for bi people and allies:

Here's an excellent resource post by Maria on tumblr for people who need that or want to know more about bisexual issues. I love this list because it focuses on intersectionality, with sections specifically detailing resources on feminism, trans* issues, racism, and other issues that are all linked. Aka: not your old rich white guy list. There are also bisexual health statistics resources (like I said, this stuff can be extremely damaging), information on the defintion of "bisexual" (which is apparently very confusing to some), and relevant history, and bisexuality in the media (a favorite topic of mine, obvs).

You'll often hear talk of Robyn Ochs, and for good reason. Her definition of bisexuality is the one I've seen most often cited around the communities, and yes, I like it. She also has excellent resources on trans* and intersex issues.

There's also the Bisexual Resource Center, Bialogue (the tumblr is great), and Lani Ka'ahumanu--who I believe is also linked in the catch-all post above, but here's her Bi Any Other Name page, which is worth checking out for some seminal bisexual lit.

You totally exist, and there are people who believe you and want you and support you. I don't know, maybe you trail glitter too, but I'll bet you're not a unicorn, either. Next time someone makes you feel like you don't, or can't, or shouldn't have that, check out some of those places and see where they lead. It's a frustrating world, but there are a lot of people out there trying to make it better. Sometimes just knowing that helps.

Also, shout out to Kris for bringing that initial resource post to my attention via my tumblr dash. All the hearts.

And now comes my contribution to the giveaway frenzy. Wee! Well, I'd offer some bi pride stuff, but that's not everyone's bag even if they do identify that way. So whoever wins can pick any eBook of mine they want (from either pen-name)... with a bisexual protag*. Also, last year we did a 3-pack of Matthew Shepard Foundation ERASE HATE bracelets, so let's do that again too. Make it a tradition :D

To win: Drop your email address (or twitter, or goodreads username, or something where I can get hold of you if you win) in a comment on this post. On May 27, I'll let random.org choose a winner!

*Current options: Equilibrium, By the River, Fairy Compacts (all of them, incl the still-to-come third and final installation), Inedible Sins, Liam, or Scripped. Or, if you're willing to wait, my next one will count too ;)



Hop to the next participant!:



21 comments:

ravenm said...

*applause* To all of this. I'm so glad you are who you are and that I have the privilege of knowing you. (Mushy friends are mushy.)

Angela said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! You're amazing.


Angela

Angela@angelastone.ca
http://www.angelastone.ca/blog-3

Megan Derr said...

Awesome post!

I told a guy I was bi once, after he'd asked if the office rumors I was a lesbian were true. His reply was 'I always wanted to sleep with a bi woman' -_- I reminded him he had a wife and kids. It's really depressing that reactions to bi are either 'faker!' or 'yay threesome!'

KimberlyFDR said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop!

kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of bi-erasure and bi-phobia. It took me many years to figure out (or acknowledge) I'm bi, even though in hindsight it was so incredibly obvious. Thanks so much for sharing your story and links!

-Jess

jeayci AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

I don't get why sexuality and gender are still so binary in so many people's eyes in the 21st century.

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

simplelyric said...

I'm appreciative whenever anyone discusses bisexuality in a realistic way. Anymore I identify more as omnisexual or simply queer. I'm out to most of my family and friends as bisexual, though, because that seemed simpler (ha!) -- and even that still causes some confusion. When I was dating a woman, a couple family members said, "So, you're gay now, right?" And, when I was recently telling a friend about a man to whom I was attracted, the friend presumed it meant I was "over that whole bisexuality thing." Argh.

- Kim, simplelyric [at] aim [dot] com

Karl said...

Please count me in.

Thanks
Karl
slats5663(at)shaw(dot)ca

JPadawan11 said...

That was such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your story. I would also love to win one of your books. Thanks again for participating in the hop!

Beth
JPadawan11@gmail.com

Sophie Bonaste said...

Thank you so much for your post and participating in this amazing hop!

sophiebonaste@gmail.com

nancy said...

Thanks for hopping and sharing.

ocanana@gmail.com

J.A. Rock said...

Woohoo! Ok, you know how I feel about the mythical unicorn bis. I mean, I love feeling like a unicorn--so pretty! But I'm totally real. So thanks for another amazing post about us crazy/faking/slutty/confused bisexuals. Refreshing, after the morning I spent reading about how Cynthia Nixon would rather say she chose to be gay than use the B-word "because nobody likes the bisexuals."

Crissy Morris said...

Love this! All of it...true and inspiring...and I love the informational links...love it!

morris.crissy@gmail.com

Lena Grey said...

Hi Katey! I'd love to win one of your books! Thanks for the great post.

lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

H.B. said...

Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and for joining in this hop.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

Erica Pike said...

Thanks so much for your personal story and the links. I'm checking them out as I write this.

Erica
eripike at gmail dot com

Juliana said...

So many people seem to forget the 'B' in LGBT! Thanks so much for your post in this blog hop and for sharing your own story! Such an important subject.
OceanAkers @ aol.com

Sherry said...

Great post! Thank you for taking part in the hop!
sstrode at scrtc dot com

Peggy said...

Thank you for the post.

peggy1984 at live dot com

Shadow said...

Hi! Wonderful post! Thanks for being apart of this fantastic hop! Its sad how some people are. Im happy to say, im glad were all different! I think being brave enough to say you love someone, no matter the sex, is amazing! People should find there happiness. Who cares what others think. The only people that matter, are the ones in the relationship. Too many people in this world are simple minded. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful night!
shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

Emily said...

Great post Katey. I've had something similar, except mine is that I'm asexual. I've started mentioning that on the first date too, in order to find out if it'll work out with them. Thanks a bunch for sharing and participating!

tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com