LGBTQ

Bisexuality and Pansexuality

First video in a while! (Get ready for a bunch more this holiday season) This video features our friend Ayesha and Arlie talking about the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality. We have both identified as each over the years, so we have a bit of insight about the implications of the labels, from the perspective of young cis women. Our main points we tried to fit into the video are:

  • “bisexual” and “pansexual” are both ways of describing attraction to people of more than one gender
  • “pansexual” implies but does not mean attraction to all genders, and has undertones of attraction regardless of gender
  • “bisexual” does NOT mean attraction to both or two genders, but rather attraction to people of your own gender and different genders
    • the term “bisexual” is not binarist, gender essentialist, transphobic, or trans exclusive
    • a personal interpretation of bisexuality is that it implies differential attraction to different genders or gender presentations – this isn’t true of all bisexuals!
  • bisexuals and pansexuals are often subject to some misfortunes
    • invisibility
    • stereotype of promiscuity
    • rejection by monosexuals
  • keep in mind that:
    • sexual orientation is not the same as sexual behaviour!
    • sexual orientation is not always the same as romantic orientation
  • you don’t need to label your sexual orientation if you feel it’s not helpful
    • if you want, you can use a more encompassing term, like “queer”

Things I want to stress if you’re figuring out your sexuality:

  • It’s ok to be confused!
  • It’s ok if your preferences change!
  • It’s ok if you want to change your labels!
  • It’s ok to “experiment”
  • It’s ok to be promiscuous if you want to be
  • You can still be bi or pan if you’ve only ever been with people of one gender
  • None of these things make your sexuality invalid

This website deals with most of the stuff we talked about, and gets a little more in-depth.

If you have any questions about anything we mention, Google is your friend! Also feel free to comment, ask us stuff, add your experiences, we want to hear what people are thinking about this topic!

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I Can’t Keep a Straight* Face

…while Alannah says cheesy things about love. Hence the jumpcuts. Damn her and her cute relationship. Spot her boyfriend in the video. World Pride 2014 was a really fun time. We spent most of the weekend out* on Church Street (Toronto’s gaybourhood), watching the free shows, catching up with old friends and making new ones. I’m so happy that so many of my friends came to support me. And I’m very happy to have seen Tegan and Sara live. We were pretty close to the stage but I would’ve loved to get a little bit closer*. The one thing I am not pleased with is the fact that I was hit on by men several times throughout the weekend. Seriously, don’t do that. I don’t care if it means missing out on a few of the thousands of straight girls who come to celebrate pride, if there’s one place queer girls should be able to avoid being hit on by dudes, it’s at Pride. Anyway, check out this cute video that points out that love is the same for gay people, straight people, and all the rest of us. – Arlie *heh geddit

I Feel Like A Child (Playing With Crayons)

This method of printing a T-shirt is a bit involved, but it’s also pretty permanent (washable in cold water, hang to dry) and after a couple washes it gets soft (unlike acrylics). Now that I’ve done it once, I’ll definitely be doing it again.

Materials

  • Anything you want to print onto – I buy plain T-shirts for $9.99 for 4 in Chinatown
  • Crayons in the colour you want your design to be – in the video I used about 1 crayon’s worth of shavings for the “HOT” on my shirt
  • A cheap pencil sharpener
  • A toothpick
  • Parchment paper
  • Newspaper
  • A craft knife
  • Paper and pen (or more crayons)
  • An iron

Instructions

  1. Peel the paper off of your crayons and use the pencil sharpener to shave the crayons down to a stub. Use the toothpick to unstick the sharpener when it inevitably gets jammed with wax.
  2. Draw the design or words you want to put on your shirt onto a piece of paper, and cut it out using the craft knife.
  3. Place the garment on a surface, and place a few sheets of newspaper inside it to prevent the wax from melting through to the back.
  4. Place the template on your garment. Sprinkle or arrange a single layer of crayon shavings over the holes in your template.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the garment, template, and crayon. Heat an iron and iron over the template, just long enough so that the crayon completely melts, just a few seconds. It will look like an utter mess and you’ll despair. But don’t give up.
  6. Leave the parchment paper on the garment for about a minute, until the crayon has cooled a bit. Then remove the parchment paper and template and behold your masterpiece!
  7. Allow the crayon to cool completely before removing the newspaper and trying on your garment.

The World is Not My Dancing Oyster

This video is pretty different from our last two, and because of that I’d like to make the post a little different (longer) as well.

Thirty years ago (and far before that), queer folks created their own spaces because they simply were not safe or accepted in mainstream spaces. The spaces were created out of necessity. If queer people had been allowed to be themselves in mainstream spaces, queer spaces would not have been necessary. With this segregation, a distinct culture emerged and these spaces became not only safe but also vibrant and positive spaces where people could revel in a common identity and be sure that the people around them shared certain experiences.

Nowadays, especially in Canada, queer people, especially gender-conforming gay and lesbian people, are usually relatively (physically) safe in mainstream spaces, although they are still subject to quite a bit of stigma and aggression. So queer spaces are not strictly necessary for safety reasons for those people. (Though I would point out that they are still necessary for a lot of queer folks who do experience a disproportionate amount of aggression, especially trans people.) But these spaces ARE necessary for social reasons – practical ones, like the fact that we’re a minority, so to find someone whose sexual orientation matches yours, it’s much easier if you concentrate yourselves in one area – and more abstract reasons. It’s extremely comforting knowing that the people around you share the same minority experiences as you. I feel perfectly safe around straight allies, but I do not have those shared experiences with them.

Please watch the video for our main points, but I wanted to give a bit of context and explanation to the video here. For a quick overview of the video, basically we say:

  • WORLDPRIDE TORONTO WOOOO
  • please go out to your local Pride Parade and support your LGBTQ+ friends!!!
  • but if you are straight please don’t take up too much space (physical, or in conversation) when in queer spaces, including at Pride!
  • tip: are you talking way more about your experiences than the queer people in your group are? Don’t!
  • tip: are you performing hetero PDA at a Pride event? Don’t….you can do that literally anywhere and we cannot.
  • if you’re going to a gay bar and you’re not accompanying an LGBTQ+ friend, please rethink it – don’t be a cultural tourist

Also, here is a nice list of guidelines from xojane.

– Arlie