Tag Archives: Canada

Bisexuality

If you’re bi you’re most likely well aware of all the trouble that comes with bisexuality and the common myths around it. Part of the reason for the latter is that research into bisexuality is beset by problems: unexamined assumptions, scientific incompetence, the politicization of sexual identity, you name it. The Nerve recounts a history of dud studies.

In 2011, Northwestern University came back and apologized for the six years it had rejected the validity of an entire sexual orientation and bisexual men’s experience. Their 2005 study had mainly sourced participants from gay mags, but this time around, the researchers found subjects who identified as bisexual and who had both sexual and romantic relationships with both men and women. While watching videos of female and male same-sex encounters, the bisexual men doing the study were aroused all around. All combinations of videos gave them boners. Meaning, bisexual men were just what they said they were: bisexual men.

Meanwhile this week two new studies were released. The first is called Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans. The result of a collaboration between the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), BiNet USA, and the Bisexual Resource Center, the report is an overview of the health, safety, and economic disparities experienced by bisexual Americans. It also includes policy recommendations to address these disparities. From the press release:

While more than half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community identifies as bisexual, bisexual people are vulnerable to poverty, discrimination, and poor physical and mental health outcomes–often at rates higher than their lesbian and gay peers…

"Despite comprising the largest population within the LGBT community, bisexual people are among the most invisible," said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of the Movement Advancement Project. "The failure to account for bisexual lives and experiences compounds a lack of social support and keeps bisexual people in the closet."

"Bisexual people often face pervasive stereotypes and myths surrounding bisexuality," said Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center. "The fear of being stereotyped manifests itself in a real way: bisexual people are six times more likely than gay men and lesbians to be closeted. This impacts the emotional well-being of many bisexual people and is a contributing factor to the community’s higher rates of poor physical and mental health."

Bisexual_by_DevilsLittleSister from DeviantART

The second report, released yesterday focused on bisexual youth: Tthe Human Rights Campaign Foundation, in partnership with the Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet USA, and the Bisexual Organizing Project, published Supporting and Caring For Our Bisexual Youth, a report based on one of the largest-ever surveys of LGBT youth in America. More than 40 percent of the 10,000 LGBT youth surveyed identify as bisexual, and those youth report that they face greater challenges coming out and being accepted than their peers who are gay or lesbian.

The survey found:

  • Only five percent of bisexual youth reported being "very happy," compared to 21 percent of non-LGBT youth surveyed separately to provide a point of comparison.
  • Nearly a third of bisexual young people said they had been "frequently or often" harassed or called names at school, compared to nine percent of non-LGBT youth who reported similar mistreatment.
  • When asked if they have an adult family member they can turn to, 44 percent of bisexual youth said they did, compared to 79 percent of non-LGBT youth who reported having a supportive adult at home.

HRC’s Liz Halloran adds:

Many of the young people surveyed expressed the potential to be attracted to more than one gender, but rejected the term "bisexual" when describing their sexual orientation. Instead, they wrote their own descriptions, including "queer" and "pansexual."

The findings, released on the 15th annual Celebrate Bisexuality Day, also show that bisexual youth in America are overwhelmingly female, and confront broad skepticism and misunderstanding about their sexual identities.

"It hurts deeply when young people are told they are not legitimate, and, unfortunately, that is what many bisexual youth are hearing from their family and friends," says Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program. "This report will help bust the myths and misunderstandings associated with bisexuality, and create a space for young people to be more open, and to find the support they deserve."

Via Boing Boing & Bilerico

  

Coming Out Simulator 2014

For a young queer person, coming out in North America can be really hard. Everyone has a different experience, but inevitably, it changes your life and it changes your relationships. It can also be a horrible nightmare. Kids are routinely bullied, not accepted by their families and even kicked out of their homes for being queer. The statistics are depressing, and the reality of the situation is that it’s scary for many, whether their parents, loved ones and friends ultimately accept them or not. But it’s also the only way forward for most queer people, since the alternative is to live a lie.

Coming Out Simulator 2014, by indie developer Nicky Case, is a deeply personal adventure game that details precisely that struggle with humour and gut-punching emotional honesty. It allows the player to join them, and in fact, play as them, as they come out to their parents. Case’ game is inspired by real-life events, they call it "emotionally authentic, factually inaccurate."

"The main arc of the story, coming out to my parent and it ending in me having to break up with my boyfriend, is true," Case told me in an email. "More or less. A lot of the dialogue [consists of] things my mother actually said, such as ‘Don’t let the gays recruit you’ or ‘Which one of you is the woman in the relationship?’ My father did punch me, as he does in one ending of the game, but he didn’t hit me when I came out, since he left the family long before."

"And his violent tendencies [were] partially why my mother divorced him."

Case made the game partially as an enrichment exercise — they wanted to experiment with a narrative-heavy game, and work on story writing skills. The Nar8 game jam — which Coming Out Simulator 2014 debuted at — gave Case "an excuse and a deadline." But the primary reason was an opportunity to explore a traumatic, life-changing event.

I finally feel secure enough to … basically … broadcast my personal story

"Four years after my messy coming out experience, I finally, finally feel secure enough in my emotions and identity to … basically … broadcast my personal story to tens of thousands of players worldwide. Y’all get to see my dirty laundry now."

via polygon

  

Periodical Political Post *189

Queer News

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Periodical Political Post *184

Queer News

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Periodical Political Post *181

Queer News

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Back to School

When 11-year-old Wren Kauffman goes back to school this week, he won’t be hiding the fact that he’s actually a girl. Teachers, friends and other students at his Edmonton school know the truth — that he’s a girl on the outside but feels like a boy on the inside. And that’s why, even at such a young age, he has chosen to live in the world as the opposite sex, and not keep it a secret.

“If you’re not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing,” says the freckle-faced kid with short-cropped hair. “I’m glad that I told everybody.” Read on…

Submitted by Mark Elliot