What Does It All Mean?

Have you watched television recently? Have you listened to any news? Have you seen the world shift?

I have.

Queer, Gay, Lesbian is all around us. There are rainbows everywhere in the North East.

There are rainbows outside of businesses, in commercials, in cartoons for children…being Gay is okay today.

Is it okay to be bisexual now too?

Well, that depends on what you classify bisexual as, who you’re asking, what gender presentation you have, what gender your partner is…and the list goes on.

Huh? I thought Bisexual meant Bisexual and that’s that if I say that’s what I am.

There have been new letters added to the standard LGBT…now there’s QAI.

Politicians, Organizations, Grants, Funding, Professionals have all focused the spotlight on LGBTQAI Rights. There’s been a long standing movement that has moved many things, and created today’s ‘Queer friendly’ America.

It’s okay to be Transgender, it’s okay to be a Trans Youth today. Those who share their experiences are heralded as heroes and brave souls.

Ten, twenty years ago men were publicly shamed for being  cross dressers. I was a teen when RuPaul came along and changed that perspective. Still her presence didn’t change societal perception at that time. From then to now it has been a journey for Trans Rights.

What does that mean to those of us who don’t live a lifestyle that includes all the changes the world has made?

What does that mean to those of us who could NEVER come out as anything other than straight, other than a mom, a teacher, a wife, a husband, a role model?

What does that mean when we’re surrounded by people who DO NOT accept the progression of the LGBTQAI movement in America?

What does all of this mean for those of us who don’t even know what LGBTQAI means!?!?

Well…

There is a movement of people who have chosen this field of work (LGBTQAI Rights/Advocacy) to advance efforts to balance injustices in society. Those who fought for the basic right to exist in our own skins without prejudice, discrimination, stigma & violence.

I was one of those people who fought for the right to hold my girlfriend…and boyfriend’s hand in public, at the same time, without fear.

I wasn’t sure if I was Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual. I didn’t know if I was a freak like most of society said I was or a sexual deviant like I  thought I was. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a boy or I was a boy trapped in a girl’s body because I liked girls and wearing boys clothes or if I was still a girl and just a tomboy! I wasn’t sure if one day I’d catch a ‘gay disease’ and God would send me into a pit of burning brimstones because I was an abomination or not.

There was a movement of people way back before my mom could figure out her sexual identity, who were helping people work these kinds of questions out. They figured out what to call sets of preferences and behaviors so they could gain understanding from people who oppressed those with ‘alternative sexualities’.

I learned from the people who taught the world about LGBT at a young age, from the 2nd/3rd generation of LGBT folks in NYC:

L stood for Lesbian. Girls who liked girls and didn’t like boys were Lesbians. G stood for Gay, that meant a boy who liked boys and not girls. Then there was Bisexual, they were nasty, confused, slutty and just liked to have sex with everyone because they had sex with boys and girls. T stood for Transgender which was a new word being implemented in replacement of Drag Queens & Cross Dressers. They were not really a presence but more so a known entity. They were men who dressed and emulated women. I didn’t see them around The Center much (where I learned all this), but I saw them coming and going to and from clubs in the West Village.

Society condemned Us all to hell fire and brimstones, considered us a risk to public health, the institution of family and saw us as a threat to future generations/human evolution and population.

This was back in the 90’s.

Since then, the culture has changed. More and more people joined the movement for equality and fair treatment, new generations became involved, schools of thought progressed, things began to change over time with lots of boots to the ground fighting for progression. In an effort to teach the world we are not the horrible creatures ‘Old Society’ made Us out to be We began to define things, make things clear to folks.

Over time, scholars of the LGBT lifestyles were born, they were the elders from and on the front lines who taught those of Us behind them about who and what we are.

Language changed, ‘clearly’ defined labels for each set of sexual behaviors were laid out for society to understand.

People were beginning to be labeled because they needed to be & wanted to be. We wanted to understand ourselves so we put ourselves into boxes that looked like what we felt like on the inside and sometimes that box would change for some. Sometimes they stay in one box.

In today’s climate defining who/what you are/labeling yourself is still as difficult as it was in the 90’s when an definition other than heterosexual was unacceptable. Now there’s so many labels how do I know which one fits me?

Why do I need a label? Why do I have to wear a title?

What if it’s all not that clear cut and easy for me?

Good question…why do you?

I’m not ‘The Powers That Be’ in LGBTQAI politics nor am I a major decision maker in policy for the National LGBTQAI Community.

I do know that labels are given importance in ways I’m not necessarily comfortable with.

What Gender Queer means to me, may mean Bisexual Tomboy to you, but Bisexual Tomboy may mean TransMale to someone else.

Huh you say again!?!?!

It’s all a bit much right?

Many of the visitors here are folks searching for others like themselves. Defining themselves, questioning themselves.

It’s hard to decide what box to get into. Sometimes labels make it harder.

Saying ‘ I’m Bisexual’ can be a loaded statement. What kind of bisexual?

IS IT FINALLY OKAY TO BE BISEXUAL TOO since society has ‘progressed’ so much?

Can we say that out loud without fear of prejudice, discrimination and violence as mothers, teachers, husband’s, wives, role models in today’s society…finally? Are GenderQueer, Queer, Pansexual, Fluid more acceptable labels/boxes than Bisexual and why? What’s the difference between all those and don’t they all mean the same thing? 

Uuuugh! So many questions!

BUT, there is a movement of people who work tirelessly to help figure out all this confusion within Us.

They are the tireless Advocates, the front liners, the behind the scenes folks that work hard to create diversity in labeling to bring clarity to those who may not understand who We are or who They are in themselves.

These Advocates helped build the society We live in today.

In a society filled with all kinds of so called ways to ‘fit in’ labels are another way of identifying who we are and where we belong-as is human/animal nature.

For the record LGBTQAI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual/Ally (heterosexual supporter) and Intersex (Someone who’s reproductive organs/sex organs are not categorized as exclusively male or exclusively female.).

So what does that mean to those of Us who don’t wave rainbow flags and show off who and what we are…?

What does all of this mean to those of Us who are still unsure of what box we fit into if any?

What does this stuff mean for those of Us who lead ‘straight’ lives and don’t feel we fit into ANY box?

What does all of this mean to those of Us who could care less about all this stuff?

I’m still trying to figure that out. (I am a flag waving Out Loud & Proud kinda chick…but most of you aren’t…)

 

Can you tell me how society’s progression has helped you feel more clarity surrounding your own life? 

Do you feel it’s okay to BE BISEXUAL and a human in a long term relationship in today’s society?

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW, I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK!

-Jay Dee, Founder