Thursday, June 27, 2019

Those details indicating that you're bi

Those details indicating that you're bi

A little while ago, a reader asked me to write a post about those little details that should have told me I was bi back when I thought those were things straight people thought and did.
Many bisexual people know their orientation early on, but many of us don't find out until much later. That was my case.

Like I've said many times before, I come from a region of France that is highly heteronormalized, where queers are ostracized, and where bisexuals simply do not exist. Again...yes, we do exist. What I mean is we are so erased that we might as well be ghosts. Without mentioning all the homophobic comments that push us to repress that queer side of ourselves and bury it very deeply.

There were a few things that should have told me I was queer, yes, but I thought that was how all straight people thought and felt. 

1 - My first bisexual friend:
The first time I ever met someone actually out as a bisexual in real life, I was sixteen years old. It may seem strange to some people who are used to being around queers, but I had to wait sixteen years to meet a bisexual. 
She was a friend of mine. 
Though I didn't know I was bi at the time, I was fascinated with her. 
Little virgin me was fascinated with the fact that she had already slept with people of different genders. And what I believed to be awe back then was what I now realize to have been a crush. 
Had I known I was bi back then, I would have been tempted to dig further and see if we could be more than friends. Maybe...

2 - Women have better-looking bodies:
Back in my teens, I once told my mom that women looked better naked than men. Back then, I only thought in binary terms. I mean, what do you expect from a French girl who grew up in the middle of nowhere? Everything I know today, I learned on my own by educating myself. 
So back then, I was truly surprised when my mom reacted very strongly and negatively to what I had just said. 
I now think that all genders look beautiful, but back then, I firmly believed women were more beautiful.
My mom's reaction should have been an indication that my views of the world didn't match a straight woman's views. But I simply assumed she was weird and narrow-minded, ahah. 

3 - My fascination with some female singers:
Back when I was a teenager, there were some female singers and actresses I was fascinated with. Back then, I thought it was only admiration because I mostly wanted to be like those women. But the more I came to accept my orientation, the more I realized that I didn't feel the same kind of jealousy toward beautiful women that some straight women seem to experience. I guess because I don't see beautiful women as rivals, but more as potential lovers (even if I never act on those desires). And I now realize that what I took for fascination back then was probably a crush on those singers.

4 - My first time in the US:
Moving to the US is what opened my eyes to my orientation. It was the first time that I lived in a place that wasn't so heteronormalized that it crushed my true self. 
My first reaction when I met so many bisexuals was, "Is this a trend in this country or something?"
That shows you how repressed I was and how closeted queers (especially bisexuals) are in France. 

5 - My first real crush:
Moving to the US was the time I met my first female crush. I couldn't deny the truth anymore, though it took me a while to understand what was going on and accept it.
She was a friend of mine. She was bi. And she was Chinese American. 
I have to explain that I have a preference for women of color or white women with very dark hair. 
I truly believe my sexuality had never fully developed until then because I come from a very white area of France. 
There were two black students in my middle school, no Asians, and no one from the Middle East. 
It's a bit difficult to realize you're bi when your favorite type doesn't live in your area. 
I guess meeting my friend was the detonator I needed because she was exactly my type. 

6 - The goth community:
About half the people I know IRL are bisexual. I always say that I know they are bi because they are my friends, but everyone else would tell you they are straight or gay because they only factor the relationship the person is in at that moment. 
Now, a bunch of the people I know come from the goth community—an open-minded community filled with queers—a community that helped me open my mind even more.

7 - Betrayal from my best friend:
My ex-best friend is a bi woman. She and my husband both helped me tremendously on my bisexual journey. They helped me accept myself and be free.

She and I used to be closer than sisters, and I never saw her as anything else. I don't get physically attracted to people easily, and I was never attracted to her that way. 

It never crossed my mind that she may have been sexually attracted to me. Not until about a year ago when she sent nasty messages to my husband in which she called me all kinds of names. 
In those messages, she said that I was a prude and that she knew that for a fact because she had spent so much time trying to get in my pants. 

That came as a shock to me. First, because I never viewed her that way and never considered she might like me as more than a friend. But also because back when I met her, I was slowly recovering from a depression that nearly took my life. 

I got very upset at the messages and told my husband that if I was still a virgin at age twenty-two, it was because when I was living in France, my sole focus was on trying to survive and that every single day was a fight to remain alive. I had no space in my life for anyone else. I didn't want anyone to carry the burden of my depression. So I didn't date anyone for over three years that I was in college. 

Only recently did my husband acknowledge that my ex-friend's bitterness toward me was strange. He said that from his point of view, she had been hoping to have a threesome with the two of us for years and grew bitter overtime when she saw it was never going to happen. 

Though her attitude felt like a stab, her toxicity had nothing to do with her orientation, but everything to do with her personality. I never belonged to her, and it was arrogant of her to think the only reason why I wouldn't sleep with her was because I'm a "prude." 
Just because I'm bi doesn't mean I'll have sex with you and everyone else around me... 

8 - Where am I now?
All those factors were part of my journey as a bisexual. 
I am now in a place where I have fully accepted myself and no longer hate myself.
I am not in a place where I would come out of the closet yet. And I will never be in that place with certain people around me. It's a basic survival instinct of not giving those people weapons they could use against me.
But that doesn't mean I'm not proud of who I am. Always remember that trying to survive isn't a lack of pride. 

Thank you for reading!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Why is the idea of Straight Pride so offensive?

I have seen quite a bunch of straight people around Twitter asking why the idea of a Straight Pride Parade is problematic and offensive. Many of those didn't seem to know what the problem was. Their questions seemed genuine, and the responses from the LGBTQ community weren't always kind, which is understandable. This is the only month we have, and bigots are doing their best to ruin it for us, so we are all a bit on edge. 

It has not even been one week into June, and straight bigots have already been rampant on social media threatening to shoot us, wishing us dead and making very real threats that we are taking very seriously because the anniversary of the Pulse shootings is approaching. 
Remember that Pulse happened on Pride Month. It didn't happen on a random month. It happened on Pride Month. A month when we are supposed to celebrate. A month when we now also mourn deeply. It is not a date we will ever forget, and receiving constant threats on Pride Month is putting us all on high alert. So if we seem aggressive or unwilling to communicate, it is because many of us are angry and scared and tired of the constant hatred. 

This year is especially important to us since it's the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Seeing people try to ruin that for us is simply infuriating. 

So I decided to write this post to explain matters in a calm way that could maybe help understand why a Straight Pride Parade is an offensive (and really bad) idea. 
Please note that these are my views only. I cannot speak for other queers, and I won't speak for other queers. I am simply trying to explain why, from my point of view, Straight Pride is an issue.

First of all, the idea came from the same people who want White Lives Matter marches.
The idea of a Straight Pride didn't come from a kind place. It didn't come from regular straight people who just wanted a chance to be themselves. It came from the alt-right. It stemmed from a very dark place of hatred for LGBTQ people. And that is the biggest root of the problem. In supporting the idea of a Straight Pride, you are supporting the anti-queer values of the alt-right, whether you are doing it knowingly or not. Think about the fact that this could be another Charlottesville...

What many non-queer people don't seem to realize is that the alt-right has been attacking us from the outside and the inside.
They create fake LGBTQ accounts on social media to promote pedophilia and soil our community's image.
They spread hateful propaganda against transgender people and come to our parades to attack transgender people, pretending to be LGBTQ so as to divide us and tear us apart.
The Straight Pride Parade is just another way for the alt-right to attack our community and show us hatred.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is prejudice within the community. Every queer person is aware of that.
We have to be vigilant and learn to tell when a person attacking us is truly LGBTQ or when the person is someone from the alt-right pretending to be LGBTQ to create issues from within. So when someone comes to us asking about Straight Pride, it is hard not to assume the worst.

Pride for queers isn’t about antagonizing others. It isn't about hurting anyone or rejecting anyone.
It started as riots because of the injustices and the violence constantly perpetrated against queer people. Today, it has become the one occasion for queers to be together in a safe environment once a year—a safe environment straight people do not need in the same way. (Well, Pride is almost safe because there are still bigots who come to Pride to beat us up for fun. It happens every year!)

I have also seen genuine questions as to how queers have been oppressed through history and are still oppressed today, so here are but a few examples:

- During WWII, gay men were put in concentration camps and forced-castrated by the Nazis.
Imagine having people forcing an innocent man to lose his balls, literally. How horrific that would be for any cis man out there!

- When AIDS broke out, young gay men were left to die because nobody cared. They only started to care when the disease started affecting straight people. Bigots were actually wishing for that horrible disease to take down innocent men who hadn't hurt anyone. How cruel can people be?

- LGBTQ kids get kicked out of their houses for being queer constantly.

- Many churches do not open their doors to LGBTQ people (including kids in need of shelter). Some churches refuse to help homeless people if they are LGBT.

- Transgender people are no longer allowed to serve in the army because they are transgender.
- LGBTQ people cannot hold hands or kiss in public without getting harassed or insulted by bigots.

- In Chechnya and many countries around the world, LGBT people are put in camps, tortured, and killed just because they are queer.

And that is just a tiny portion of how LGBTQ people are discriminated against every single day.
ALL those actions were and are perpetrated by straight bigots. ALL of them.

Now, I know some straight people also get killed and harassed and can get discriminated against, BUT it is NOT because they are straight. And that's the difference. And because LGBTQ people are put through intense suffering because of straight bigots, it feels like hatred when straight people want a parade. It basically tells LGBTQ people that straight people are proud of the way they have been treating the LGBTQ community.

As a cis woman who is married to a cis man, I know how privileged I am to be allowed to show him affection in the open without ever fearing to get harassed, insulted, or killed for it.

Just think about it this way: LGBTQ people get killed for kissing the person they love. They get beaten up for holding hands.

As a cis straight person, do you ever fear for your life because you kissed your partner or spouse in public? No.
The next time you do kiss your loved one in public or hold their hand or simply hug them, imagine doing so with absolute fear in your heart that someone could hurt you or your loved one for it. Imagine kissing your loved one and having a random stranger attack your loved one and beat them up to the point of landing them into a hospital or a casket. That's a reality for queer people every single day, and it is not an exaggeration.

Straight Pride is not an issue in and of itself. There is nothing wrong with people wanting something special for themselves. The issue comes from the fact that it was an idea created by and promoted by people who absolutely hate LGBTQ people. The problem is that Pride for queers came from a place of genuine pain that has never, not once in history, been inflicted upon straight people because they were straight.

Instead of doing a Straight Pride and focusing on themselves, maybe straight people could ask how they can help better the difficult lives of LGBTQ people.
That’s what a kind, considerate, and caring person would do. They wouldn’t make Pride Month about themselves when their orientation has never been a cause for suffering in any way.
This is a month when straight people can learn, not only about queer history, but also about our trials, about the beauty of our community, and about the various ways our community has been hurt over the past centuries.

I hope this answered your questions. LGBTQ people need allies. Demanding a Straight Pride is not the right way to be an ally. It is, however, the perfect way to play into the hands of the alt-right.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

You're biphophic...and other nice attacks I am receiving during Pride Month!

I would usually just let this go and not say anything, but someone emailed me calling me biphobic because of my book REWIND... Someone who is slandering me and my work, calling me and my book biphobic. 

Hating a book is one thing, but calling an own voices author biphobic and spreading lies just because you didn't like that book is something completely different.

I'm a bit puzzled... You do realize that I am bi, right? You also do realize that my characters being biphobic does not make me or my book biphobic, right?

Yes, there are quite a bunch of biphobic characters in that book. The point is to show that bisexual people can thrive and be happy no matter how nasty ignorant assholes can get.
Yes, one of those biphobic characters belongs to the LGBT community.

I hate to break it to you, but many LGT people are indeed biphobic. Also, characters grow, and having an LGT character be biphobic allows me to explore that angle in future books.

I don't mind you hating the book. That is your right, and it's completely fine, especially if you spent money on it or took some of your personal time reading it. I am definitely sorry you didn't enjoy it and wasted your time. Time is precious to us all.

But contacting me with attacks and spreading lies calling me and my book biphobic is drawing the line. Especially if you are not bi and biphobia never even affected you in real life. Please do tell me, what do you personally know about biphobia?

Pride Month is supposed to be our month, and yet, we're receiving attacks from all over the place, but you want to come into my space and attack me and call me biphobic because the antagonists in my book reflect that same hatred?
Wake up and smell the coffee! Life might be sweet and cozy on your side of it, but for us queers, it's a completely different story.

So next time you want to contact me to call me or my book biphobic, I would ask you to kindly do research on the author who wrote the book and to maybe read the rest of my blog, because having a biphobic narrator who reflects the author's views is completely different than having biphobic antagonists or side characters challenging the main character.

There are many things I let slide, but this is where I draw the line because it is a bit too personal for me to ignore.

Every day, I receive messages from people thanking me for what I do for our community. I work my ass off to help my community online as much as I can.
Writing this blog alone takes hours of my time.

But please, do tell me, what do YOU do to help the bisexual community? Besides emailing an own voices author to attack her and spreading lies about her?

Pride Month has already been very difficult, to see people online threaten to shoot our people and wishing us all dead, but this is the last drop for me.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Questions about Pride

I found this on an online friend's Twitter profile. 
It was too long to answer on Twitter so I decided to answer it all on my blog. 

Happy Pride!!!!

1 - What is your sexuality?

2 - What gender do you identify as?
Cis female (though if I had a magic wand, I wouldn't mind being a cis man for a couple of days. Not gonna lie, it'd be purely sexual, ahahah).

3 - How long have you been aware of your sexuality/gender? 
For about 15 years.

4 - Do you have any preferences?
I think I lean more toward men. 

5 - Share a positive memory about coming out!
I don't think I ever came out to anyone in person. I mean, either they can read through the lines or they don't. I don't get out of my way to prove them otherwise if they ask.

6 - How do you feel about Pride Month?
The best month besides October ('cause Halloween).

7 - Do you participate in any pride event? 
Definitely. I advise all queers do the same. There is nothing like being around fellow queers. :-)

8 - How do you feel about LGBTQ roles in media? 
*sigh* There are not enough mainstream movies about queers, and when there are, the roles are almost always given to cis straight actors. The problem with that is that queers need people they can look up to. It's fine to see a queer character played by a cis straight actor, but when the movie ends, the queer audience still doesn't have a real person to look up to and guide them or speak for them. 

9 - Do you feel pride in who you are?
It's a complicated question. I have stopped feeling ashamed of who I am (I think). But I don't easily go out as openly queer. It doesn't mean I'm not proud. It just means I want to be safe.

10 - Who have been your supportive idols in your self-discovery?
Mmmm I don't think I'd call them my supportive idols because they are not queer or my idols, but Jessica Biel, Nolwenn Leroy, and Katy Perry are my major crushes. So they've definitely helped me accept who I am. I mean, I don't have a choice. When I see them, I just know. =p

11 - Tell us about your first crush?
The first non-queer crush that I can remember was a white boy in my class when I was in elementary school. He had blue eyes, was a bad boy, and I was crushing hard.
My first queer crush was a Chinese-American girl when I was in college. Still my crush... ;-)

12 - What sort of advice do you have for LGBTQ teens?
STAY SAFE! If your family is closed-minded, do not come out. There is nothing wrong with protecting yourself until you are independent. They gave you life, it is THEIR JOB to take care of you until you can do it yourself, whether they like it or not. It's okay to lie by omission to make sure they take care of you as is their responsibility. You never owe it to anyone to come out to them if you feel unsafe. 

And don't hate yourself. You are marvelous. You might just not fully be the person you are meant to be yet. But it will come.

13 - Have you come out to friends and family?
Friends, yes. 

14 - How do you feel about the term "coming out"?
I just wish queers didn't have to "come out." I wish queers could just be without having to hide or come out.  

15 - Do you believe there's a closet to "come out" of?
Sadly yes, and I believe cis straight people need to take full responsibility for it. They built that closet, and they forced us into it. 
That's why real allies are essential. It gets exhausting for queers to fight on their own.

16 - Any tips on coming out?
That would be hypocrite of me because I never came out to anyone in real life. They just knew. 
The only people I came out to were online friends or readers who asked me how I got the bisexual rep so accurately in my books. 

17 - What's your biggest pet peeves when it comes to LGBTQ characterization in the media?
When it comes to bisexuals, I am sick and tired of the psychopathic cheats. I am tired of the characters who are really bi but call themselves gay for whatever reason (I'm sure you know which character I mean...). It's exhausting. 

18 - What's your favorite part of LGBTQ characterization in the media?
I like movies about real queers. I think mostly because it's difficult to make caricatures out of real people, so those movies, at least, usually represent the community as it is in real life. 

19 - What did your teachers say about LGBTQ people in school?
I come from France... We don't talk about things like that in school. We don't talk about religion, we don't talk about orientation, we don't talk about race. 
They teach biology and reproduction, but they don't teach you about the real mechanics of sex, straight or otherwise. But that was a while ago.  I don't know how it is in school now.

20 - Do you practice safe sex with the same gender?
I believe safe sex should be practiced with ALL genders. Straight people who think safe sex isn't for them are wrong. Those are not people I would agree to sleep with...ever!

21 - What's an absolute turn off in the opposite/same gender?
In any gender, big turn offs would be racism, xenophobia, misogyny, narcissism, and people who are shallow. If you can't hold a conversation and the only thing interesting you is your appearance, it's just not going to work.

22 - What is an absolute turn on in the opposite/same gender?
If the person is kind.

23 - How do you feel about LGBTQ clubs/apps/websites?
I've been to LGBTQ clubs. It's always fun. 
The thing that worries me about apps and such is that it's too easy to track LGBTQ people. As someone coming from a country once invaded by the Nazis, I am always wary about those matters and privacy. 

24 - How do you feel about the term "queer?"
I love it. 

25 - How does your country feel about the LGBTQ community?
If you mean France, it's very heteronormative. It is hard to be queer and actually be seen there. It's not a deep kind of hatred (usually). It's mostly a complete erasure of the queer population and their right to be seen. Or little ignorant or mean comments. 

I feel I'm more able to be myself in the US than in France, even if there's religious bigotry. 

In France, I can't imagine myself having rainbow flags all over my house, for example...

26 - Favorite LGBTQ actor or actress?
Probably Sarah Paulson and Cody Fern.

27 - Any tips for heterosexuals and/or cisgender people on how to handle LGBTQ events/news?
Well, obviously, if you go to Pride, don't be a hater, don't harass people. 
Treat Pride like a party where you are a guest. You are welcome and invited, but if you behave poorly, you won't be invited again... 
Also, if you wear rainbow attire, please do remember that people might identify you as queer. That means that anything you do can be used against our community. So when you harbor colors that are not yours, please be respectful and don't make us all look like douches. 

As far as the news goes, help if you see anything bad going on. 
I'm afraid you can't choose who you get to help in the community. You can't help gay men but be disgusted by lesbians. You can't be in favor of bisexuals but not care about transgender people, and so on. I mean, you can...but that does not make you an ally. That makes you a bigot just like any other bigot.

Family means family. You either support us all or you don't. 

28 - What's the most annoying question you've ever gotten?
"Did you marry your husband so you could pass as straight?" 

It wasn't exactly like that, but I don't want to go into the details. It was offensive, and it came from a queer.

No, I married my husband because he's my best friend, my lover, and my family. 
There, that good enough of a reason for a human being to marry another human being?

29 - How do you feel about receiving questions about your sexuality/gender?
I don't mind at all. I mean, that's why I have this blog. 
If your question is rude though, expect something mildly sarcastic that could make you feel like a real prick. Don't ask questions you don't want a real answer to, that's all. 

Ah this was fun!