xakara: (True Neutral)

Greetings, Kittens!

I'm finally feeling myself again after a wonderful, but taxing, week away at the World's Leading Feminist Science Fiction (and Fantasy) Convention, also known as WisCon. I had a fabulous time from day one and was sorry to go on the last day, as ready as my body may have been for it all. I don't have panel write-ups for the convention, but may I suggest that you Go Here and fill up on all the summary goodness provided!

I was scheduled for four panels, but due to the absence of a panelist and the generosity of the moderator and remaining panelist, I got to sit on five. The panel I "crashed" was titled: Paranormal/Sci-fi Erotica: More Room for Feminist and Anti-Racist Discourse? First, the answer to that question is a resounding yes, it is. Second, this panel took place at 10:30 Friday night and set the course for the entire convention, for which I'm exceedingly grateful. I immediately felt back at home at WisCon and remembered why I keep going back.

I loved being on Slactivism, Fringe: How is Olivia Duhnam so Awesome? and Your Fandom is Okay, panels. I felt heard, I walked away with expanded views and I could have stayed in each room for hours beyond the time we had. So by no means is this a comparison when I say I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being on the What Is Queerness? panel! Between being on that panel and attending, I'd Object if I Weren't Invisible: Bisexual Visibility and Princess Boys: Is Male Femininity the Last Wave of Feminism? I have never felt more validated in a public space.

All three panels touched on the things I feel as an out Bisexual/Polysexual author who writes exclusively bisexual, polysexual and sexually fluid characters and worlds. I cannot remember such a sense of community in the last few years as I felt participating on or at those panels. More importantly, I saw what that sense of community and acceptance did for others struggling with where they belong on the spectrum of their own fluid sexuality and/or gender identity.

Comments made at the Queerness panel led to hours of conversation throughout the rest of the convention and online since I've returned home. I was incredibly honored to be a part of where everyone stood in their individual journies, on that given day, in that moment, and I feel blessed for those connections that have extended well beyond. Since moving cross-country, I'd forgotten how vital community can be to someone still finding their way and the convention safe space created by WisCon reminded me that regardless of how inactive it may be, I have a part to play in my local community.

Beyond the intense feeling of community and the desire for more of it, I had a few revelations about my health as well while at WisCon. I didn't take a brace with me due to last minute rushing and I limped, sometimes severely, throughout my entire time away. The issue wasn't merely with my knee but with the muscles surrounding the knee. My lower quad tightened so severely that I couldn't bend my leg and it only got worse as the days went on. I spent each night of the convention popping acetaminephen, crawling into bed and wishing I had something stronger so that I could do more. I missed well more than I thought I'd have to, but I don't regret a single moment. Missing out forced me to come to terms with a few things.

More years ago than I'll bother to count, I was diagnosed with CFS and part of that package is muscle and joint pain, especially centered around older injury sites. I've spent the last year blaming a minor twist and over-exercising as responsible for the, sometimes immobilizing, pain around my left leg, upper back and sciatic nerve. It's not inaccurate, but it's only 10% of the story.

I'm in a down-cycle of the CFS, I've known it for two years and I've ignored it. The energy issue has all been about the insomnia, the pain about this stumble or that fall, the depression related to my bloodsugar issues, there's always been something else to look at; but all of it is on the surface, riding a down-cycle wave of CFS, that I've left unattended. To look at it for what it was, would be to admit that I was no longer in remission and the honeymoon period of late 2006 to 2009 was well and truly over. Instead, during the up cycle in 2009, I worked and pushed too hard and by last year this time, I'd sparked the down-cycle. Every small rebound I treated like a recovery and over did it, only to spark another down-cycle worse than the one before. This particular cycle is the worst I've had since 1994, which ended in double-pneumonia. I kinda don't want to go there again.

So, there it is. I've said it aloud. I'm in a full down-cycle with the CFS and I can't sprint my way out of it as I've tried to time and again this last year. This, as always, is a crawl that will progress to a walk, that will become brisk and determined and end with sprinting somewhere on the horizon. Keeping that in mind and obeying the simple rules of dealing with my CFS the last five days, has led to my first (relatively) pain free movement in almost a full month. You don't get more "The Universe was trying to tell me", than that kind of immediate body feedback.

If I hadn't been forced to sit and think about it all at WisCon, who knows how long I'd have stayed in the self-defeating loop. So this is a thank you to everyone I spoke with, everyone that accomodated my limping and everyone dealing with their own limitations that helped me put mine into perspective. I'll never have the words to thank you, but may the Universe bless you tenfold for the blessings all of you were too me last month.

Namaste My Friends,

~X

xakara: (Default)

Greetings, Kittens!

I'm finally feeling myself again after a wonderful, but taxing, week away at the World's Leading Feminist Science Fiction (and Fantasy) Convention, also known as WisCon. I had a fabulous time from day one and was sorry to go on the last day, as ready as my body may have been for it all. I don't have panel write-ups for the convention, but may I suggest that you Go Here and fill up on all the summary goodness provided!

I was scheduled for four panels, but due to the absence of a panelist and the generosity of the moderator and remaining panelist, I got to sit on five. The panel I "crashed" was titled: Paranormal/Sci-fi Erotica: More Room for Feminist and Anti-Racist Discourse? First, the answer to that question is a resounding yes, it is. Second, this panel took place at 10:30 Friday night and set the course for the entire convention, for which I'm exceedingly grateful. I immediately felt back at home at WisCon and remembered why I keep going back.

I loved being on Slactivism, Fringe: How is Olivia Duhnam so Awesome? and Your Fandom is Okay, panels. I felt heard, I walked away with expanded views and I could have stayed in each room for hours beyond the time we had. So by no means is this a comparison when I say I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being on the What Is Queerness? panel! Between being on that panel and attending, I'd Object if I Weren't Invisible: Bisexual Visibility and Princess Boys: Is Male Femininity the Last Wave of Feminism? I have never felt more validated in a public space.

All three panels touched on the things I feel as an out Bisexual/Polysexual author who writes exclusively bisexual, polysexual and sexually fluid characters and worlds. I cannot remember such a sense of community in the last few years as I felt participating on or at those panels. More importantly, I saw what that sense of community and acceptance did for others struggling with where they belong on the spectrum of their own fluid sexuality and/or gender identity.

Comments made at the Queerness panel led to hours of conversation throughout the rest of the convention and online since I've returned home. I was incredibly honored to be a part of where everyone stood in their individual journies, on that given day, in that moment, and I feel blessed for those connections that have extended well beyond. Since moving cross-country, I'd forgotten how vital community can be to someone still finding their way and the convention safe space created by WisCon reminded me that regardless of how inactive it may be, I have a part to play in my local community.

Beyond the intense feeling of community and the desire for more of it, I had a few revelations about my health as well while at WisCon. I didn't take a brace with me due to last minute rushing and I limped, sometimes severely, throughout my entire time away. The issue wasn't merely with my knee but with the muscles surrounding the knee. My lower quad tightened so severely that I couldn't bend my leg and it only got worse as the days went on. I spent each night of the convention popping acetaminephen, crawling into bed and wishing I had something stronger so that I could do more. I missed well more than I thought I'd have to, but I don't regret a single moment. Missing out forced me to come to terms with a few things.

More years ago than I'll bother to count, I was diagnosed with CFS and part of that package is muscle and joint pain, especially centered around older injury sites. I've spent the last year blaming a minor twist and over-exercising as responsible for the, sometimes immobilizing, pain around my left leg, upper back and sciatic nerve. It's not inaccurate, but it's only 10% of the story.

I'm in a down-cycle of the CFS, I've known it for two years and I've ignored it. The energy issue has all been about the insomnia, the pain about this stumble or that fall, the depression related to my bloodsugar issues, there's always been something else to look at; but all of it is on the surface, riding a down-cycle wave of CFS, that I've left unattended. To look at it for what it was, would be to admit that I was no longer in remission and the honeymoon period of late 2006 to 2009 was well and truly over. Instead, during the up cycle in 2009, I worked and pushed too hard and by last year this time, I'd sparked the down-cycle. Every small rebound I treated like a recovery and over did it, only to spark another down-cycle worse than the one before. This particular cycle is the worst I've had since 1994, which ended in double-pneumonia. I kinda don't want to go there again.

So, there it is. I've said it aloud. I'm in a full down-cycle with the CFS and I can't sprint my way out of it as I've tried to time and again this last year. This, as always, is a crawl that will progress to a walk, that will become brisk and determined and end with sprinting somewhere on the horizon. Keeping that in mind and obeying the simple rules of dealing with my CFS the last five days, has led to my first (relatively) pain free movement in almost a full month. You don't get more "The Universe was trying to tell me", than that kind of immediate body feedback.

If I hadn't been forced to sit and think about it all at WisCon, who knows how long I'd have stayed in the self-defeating loop. So this is a thank you to everyone I spoke with, everyone that accomodated my limping and everyone dealing with their own limitations that helped me put mine into perspective. I'll never have the words to thank you, but may the Universe bless you tenfold for the blessings all of you were too me last month.

Namaste My Friends,

~X
xakara: (Rainbow Face)
By Michael Cole Aug. 4th, 4:49pm

In a historic decision for equal marriage, today a federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples — to be unconsitutional. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, declared that the amendment to the California Constitution adopted in November 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The real heroes here are the plaintiff couples Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo & Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier. These two committed couples decided they would not be silent while Proposition 8 declared their relationships unworthy of a marriage license.

HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

“After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8, Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case moves forward on appeal.  The battle for marriage equality continues, and we must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”       

In response to a 2008 decision by the California Supreme Court ending marriage discrimination in the state, anti-equality forces succeeded in placing a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.  Despite over 18,000 same-sex couples having married, California voters adopted the amendment, known as Proposition 8.  After the California Supreme Court determined in 2009 that the adoption of Prop 8 did not itself violate the California Constitution, two plaintiff couples — Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo – filed suit against the State of California in federal court, represented by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.  The proponents of Prop 8 intervened in the case to defend the constitutionality of the amendment.  Judge Walker held a historic trial in January, in which the plaintiffs presented substantial testimony and evidence to show that Prop 8’s only purpose is to discriminate against same-sex couples.  Both sides have previously indicated that they would appeal Judge Walker’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the case may ultimately be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Original Post


xakara: (Default)

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
March 2, 2010 5:46 p.m. EST


Washington (CNN)

-- The District of Columbia's same-sex marriage law will go into effect as scheduled this week, after the Supreme Court refused to stop its enforcement.


Chief Justice John Roberts issued a three-page order Tuesday, a day before the law becomes official. He concluded the high court should defer to local matters in the federal district of Washington. And he said a separate ballot initiative to overturn the law would give voters a chance to weigh in on the question.

A group of Washington residents had objected to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act, which expands the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Those opponents had argued city residents should have been given a chance to vote on the high-profile issue before the city council passed the measure. They still seek to force a ballot initiative after the law takes effect. Local courts had turned down various lawsuits to block it.

The district's marriage bureau says same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses Wednesday. However, by law, "three full days must pass between the day of application to the day that the license can be issued," the bureau, part of the district's superior court system, says on its Web site, so no marriages would be held this week.

A $35 application fee is waived for couples who are registered domestic partners, although a $10 fee for the license is not, the bureau said.

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a measure recognizing same-sex marriages as legal in December, after the city council overwhelming passed it. It then had to go through a review period during which Congress had an opportunity to intervene.

The district joins Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa in allowing same-sex couples to marry.

xakara: (True Neutral)

February 19th, 2010

Michael Cole

On Monday, February 22, the Minnesota legislature will hold a historic hearing to consider a same-sex marriage bill. If signed into law, the Marriage and Family Protection Act would render Minnesota marriages gender neutral. At the hearing, the House Civil Justice Committee will discuss the marriage act, as well as one bill proposing civil unions and another bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. The latter bill is significant, because same-sex marriages are now legal in five states, including neighboring Iowa. Washington D.C. may begin performing same-sex marriages as early as March.

Although no vote will be taken, OutFront Minnesota is lauding the hearing as a historic step towards marriage equality. However, Doug Benson, the citizen author of the Marriage and Family Protection Act, is writing off the hearing as a “show” to assuage same-sex marriage proponents.

Same-sex marriage is currently outlawed by Minnesota statute, but there is no such ban in the state constitution. In 1971, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the statute limiting marriage to heterosexual couples does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The case, Baker v. Nelson, was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Required to hear the case under an earlier system of appellate review, the Court dismissed the appeal in a terse, one-sentence decision.

The hearing will be held at 4:30pm on Monday, February 22 in State Office Building Room 10

HRC Backstory Blog
xakara: (yinyang pride)

February 9, 2010 2:04PM
Michael Cole

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that he is recommending Daniel Alter to President Barack Obama to serve as a judge in the Southern District federal court of New York. Alter will be the first openly gay man to be nominated for the federal court in American history. Sen. Schumer shared his intention to nominate Alter at the Greater New York Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner on Saturday and officially recommended Alter to the President earlier this week.

Said HRC President Joe Solmonese:

“Daniel Alter is eminently qualified for a position on the federal bench. America is taking a step forward towards equality by evaluating an individual based on his accomplishments and without regard to his sexual orientation. We commend Senator Schumer for his historic recommendation, and look forward to the President’s nomination.”

The Human Rights Campaign has advocated on behalf of Alter’s nomination since December 2008, when Joe Solmonese sent a letter to the Obama Transition Team strongly endorsing Alter’s candidacy for the federal bench. His experience, knowledge and temperament make him ideally suited for a federal judgeship.

Alter is a graduate of Columbia College and Yale Law School. As a young lawyer, he clerked for the Hon. John M. Walker and the Hon. Guido Calabresi, who both served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Alter served for six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, specializing in first amendment matters and terrorism issues.

Alter is not only a legal expert in terrorism and security; he is a strong advocate for civil rights. As the National Director of the Civil Rights Division of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), he led ADL’s charge against hate crimes, both at home and abroad.

Furthermore, Alter has a firm grasp of the legal issues affecting the business community. He has been a partner at the law firm of Hogan & Harston, LLP, and a principle at Alter & Alter, LLP, specializing in media and communications work, appellate litigation and complicated commercial cases. He has extensive experience with complex litigation and currently serves as a Director at Credit Suisse, where he is responsible for deploying $100 million on behalf of the Litigation Risk Strategies Group.


xakara: (I Do Both)

Gates: Repeal military's 'Don't Ask, Don’t Tell' gay policy by year’s end

Nathan Hurst / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he wants Congress to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by the end of the year.

Gates' statement came during the first hearing on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in 17 years. The hearing is before the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit.

Gates said the policy, enacted in 1993, is unfair toward gays and lesbians and should be removed. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" mandates discharge for any servicemen and women who reveal publicly that they're gay.

Since Congress and former President Bill Clinton enacted the law, more than 14,000 discharges have resulted.

 

Ramble on... )

xakara: (Default)

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, under growing criticism for not seeking to end the ban on openly gay men and women in the military, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

Obama plans to announce his decision on Wednesday in the Oval Office, a White House official said Tuesday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president hadn't yet signed the presidential memorandum.

The official said Obama would release more details on Wednesday.

 

Read more... )
xakara: (Gay Day)
(whoops, thought I posted this Wednesday)

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) - New Hampshire on Wednesday became the sixth U.S. state to authorize gay marriage, deepening a New England niche for same-sex weddings and the spending that comes with them.

New Hampshire's Democratic-controlled House of Representatives endorsed gay marriage in a 198-176 vote, hours after the state Senate approved the legislation 14-10 along party lines, making the state the fourth this year to back gay marriage in the United States.

Governor John Lynch, a Democrat, signed the bill, which goes into effect on January 1.

"Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities, and respect, under New Hampshire law," Lynch said in a statement.

The law also recognizes out-of-state gay marriages and civil unions, which are legal in just a handful of U.S. states including New Hampshire. Same-sex couples who have civil unions in New Hampshire will automatically be married January 1, 2011.

The original link for those who want to read at the source. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE5526NV20090603

Ramble On..... )
xakara: (Rainbow Face)

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

xakara: (I Do Both)
(edit: It appears on my page that the lj cut is only working for the picture. If it's showing up on your friends page uncut I apologize, but nothing is working to make it take the entire entry)


Greetings Kittens,

With new readers about I thought I'd go back and bring forth an informative fave from the past, slightly updated and expanded. So today we explore the world of the ever growing sexuality and gender acronym. As I said before, it seems to gather more and more letters every day, and even some of the people writing them out can be confused. To straighten some of it out we venture beyond LGBTQ to LGBTIPPAQQA_2S_SA_SSL_SF_DG. (No, I'm not kidding; and yes, it's 16 not 13). Come along Kittens, and I'll take you through the Rainbow Alphabet of human sexuality. And trust me when I say it barely scratches the surface.

Enjoy
TT Ahead... )
First, let us establish the standard definition of sexual developement and gender being used in the explanations to follow. There's much we are still discovering on sexual developement and sexual identity, but what we do know is that sexuality is most likely genetic and that certain genetic switches are flipped due to either being dominant or being sensitive to conditions in the womb enviroment. By that I mean the hormonal cascade that takes a fetal body from the default female template to become a fully viable female or viable male based on the chromosome makeup. It is under this definition of development and the sexual definitions below that the following opinions on evolutionary placement are offered. You need not take anything as gospel. I'm mean "dammit Spock, I'm a researching writer and sexual activist, not a doctor!"

1. Lesbian ~ Defined as a woman who is sexually and romatically attracted only to other women. I don't know how I feel about the only, I'd prefer to say "predominanty", but I don't make the rules...yet.

By the above standard definition, a woman--despite how feminine she personally feels--would have been "masculinized" during development and sexualized as more male than female.

I don't believe this is an accident or mistake in this case, nor when it happens in reverse. "Homosexuality" happens too consistantly in a population not to serve a evolutionary purpose. Most likely, same-sex attraction assures a segment of the population is always available to help ensure viable offspring reach maturity, without necessarily having personal biological offspring in direct competition. A biological nudge toward the "village to raise a child" mentality if you will, since the number of same-sex couples with children prove that same-sex attraction does not nullify maternal/paternal instinct.

Yes, of course, we have same-sex couples having their own biological children more and more. Modern science and ingenuity doesn't mean that evolution was inefficent in choosing this method of ensuring offspring survival.

2. Gay ~ Defined as a man who is sexually and romantically attracted only (again I say predominantly) to other men. Again, by the above definition this would result from a man--regardless of how masculine he personally feels--being feminized during development and seuxalizing as more female than male. More does not mean solely; which is why same-sex attracted individuals run the spectrum of gender mannerisms and cannot be stereo-typed regardless of how hard the media tries.

3. Bisexual ~ Romantic and/or sexual attraction to both genders (social distinction) or sexes (biological distinction). In these cases, the genetic triggers are "equally" sensitive to the hormonal cascade and the brain is sexualized in both a feminine and masculine manner. The attraction to men and women itself is not equal and runs a spectrum of personal preference.

The evolutionary advantage would allow a segment of the population to be able to create extended families both platonically and romantically/sexually. This places extra adults and therefore extra resources into a family unit which gives greater security that offspring will reach maturity.

See Also: Polyamorous, Androgynous, Two-Spirited

4. Transgender ~ Unlike the first three, this is not a sexual orientation. During development the hormonal cascade that signals for a fetal body to begin developing genitalia of one sex or another, for some reason sexualizes the brain completely to be a different gender. This causes the person to "feel" (read, "know") they are one gender while they posses the biological sex of the other.

There are those who can reconcile this opposition and don't self-identify as transgendered. For those who can't, it can lead to severe Body Dysmorphic Disorder and there is a high rate of suicides among transgendered youth. Surgery can alleviate the BDD and those allowed to transition in a loving environment often overcome years of darker thoughts from adolescence. Unfortunately the number who get that loving environment are rare. There is also a high rate of hate crimes against transgendered individuals living as the gender they're transitioning to.

Due to how often it leads to death and the fact that it requires a radical surgery to reconcile, this is one of three on the list that many professionals feel qualifies as a birth defect.

See Also: Genderqueer, Androgynous

5. Intersexed ~ This is defined as a person whose sex chromosomes, genitalia, and/or secondary sexual characteristics are neither exclusively male or female. Often the first clue of this condition is ambiguous gentalia. When the gentalia is classifiable, the secondary sexual characteristics at puberty signal the condition. And of course, chromosomal profiles have revealed a variation beyond the XX and XY we're used to.

This condition has been classified as a birth defect or birth disorder. But let me be clear; if the gentialia and chormosomal makeup allows for the production of viable offspring then being intersexed does not qualify as a defect. It's simply a variant development and doesn't need to be "fixed". Surgery on intersexed infants with ambiguous genitalia to give them a "normal" appearance should be pulled from common practice and such things should wait until a child reaches puberty or later so they can give informed consent should they find surgery necessary. (And the patient advocate in me shall surrender the soapbox)

It is possible that the same hormonal cascade and genetic sensitivity that creates a bisexual brain, in this case, effects the body instead, masculizing and feminizing the fetal body as best it can.

See Also: Androgynous

6. Pansexual ~ Defined as the aesthetic attraction, romantic love, and/or sexual desire for people regardless of gender indentity or biological sex. Bisexuality falls within Pansexuality, but Pansexual does away with the binary system of gender implied by "Bi", and includes those of all gender variance.

This development may be due to either inability to distinquish the sexual hormones during development, or hyper-sensitivity that allows for imprinting on the entire hormonal spectrum. In turn, it would keep socialization from defining a single gender as the object of affection, and further create an inability to imprint on gender as a defining trait in sexual attraction. It is secondary because any combination of gender traits is enough to trigger the hardwiring of a pansexual brain.

Of course pansexuality can be a part of fluid sexual development where sexual orientation expands to include greater definitions of gender and sex than the social norm.

7. Polyamorous ~ Defined as the desire, practice or acceptance of having more than one loving and intimate relationship with full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Polyamory is not limited to any singular sexual orientation, but it may be a natural inborn inclination just like sexual orientation.

Many cultures around the world practice polyamory in different forms from polyfidelity, to polygamy to group marriage. And yes, there are polygamous cultures where women have multiple husbands so it's not solely the misognistic and abusive circumstance seen in modern Mormon and other Christian cults. (Not saying the Mormons are a cult across the board, but that the poly-wife communities have been named cults by the Mormons themselves).

As with bisexuality and pansexuality, polyamory makes evolutionary sense in that it offers more resources to existing offspring. If the sexuality of those involved are varied, it limits the number of children(without medical intervention) and lowers the adult to child ratio, further ensuring viability.

8. Androgynous ~ This is defined as an individual who has both male and female characteristics or neither male nor female characteristics. There are several options for this particular development. Sometimes it is a purposeful social construct, but this often stems from an internal desire to express blended traits because the person feels they are both genders or a third gender.

Some Androgynous individuals are trangender and reconcile their physical gender and mental gender by refusing to conform to either. Others are intersexed and are physically androgynous due to their hormonal and chromosomal makeup. As with being intersexed, it's likely that the same hormonal sensitivity that results in bisexuality in the brain hits certain chemical receptors and creates a bigender separate from sexual orientation.

9. Queer ~ This is a controversial term in some circles as it was once derogatory and is still found offensive by some in the LGBT community. For those who are younger in the community, it's reclamation by social activist has made it an emerging favorite for its inclusivity. At its most inclusive it can refer to all non-mainstream sexual expression straight, gay or inbetween.

Many who reject traditional gender roles and sexual identities feel that the term Queer (or genderqueer) allows them to be who they are without restrictive definitions of lesbian, gay, bi or straight. This often leads to a feeling of freedom from heteronormative oppression which is why it has such sociopolitical clout among queer activist.

It is the "Q" I'm personally referring in LGBTQ any time you see it in my writing.

10. Questioning ~ This is nicely self-explanatory. It is the one part of sexual development that is nearly universal. Most of us will, or have, gone through it during adolescence and post adolescence. And some return to the questioning stage time and again throughout their entire lives.

11. Asexual ~ This is the third and last on the list that some professionals qualify as a birth defect. It is defined as someone without sexual attraction. And as I'm sure you're way ahead of me on, the birth defect argument is based on the fact that the lack of sexual attraction leads to a lack of sexual conduct and thus no possibility of sexual reproduction. Further more there is no sexual bonding which could lead to caring for the offspring of others giving dispute to this as a natural evolutionary development.

It is thought that about 1% of the population identifies as asexual. It appears that during the sexualization of the brain and body, the body develops normally but the brain is resistant to the hormones and no sexualization occurs.

Asexuals can experience romantic attraction and fantasies but have no inclination to sexually explore the affections. Because of this romantic attraction there are many asexuals who further identify as gay, bi, or straight depending on who they develop romantic feelings towards.

12. Two-Spirited ~ A third gender recognized by American Indians and Canadian First Nations groups, this is defined as both a male and female spirits living in one body. Within the context of the tribes that recognized such persons, specific roles were assigned from healer to diplomat, and dress was a blend of traditional male and female.

It is currently adopted by many LGBTQ Native Americans to define themselves within the larger community. Because of its concept of legitimate dual gender, many bisexuals, pansexuals and genderqueered individuals of every nationality have also taken to the term Two-Spirited.

13. Straight Allies ~ Another nicely self-explanatory term. This of course includes any heterosexual identified person who is supportive of the LGBTQ community, many of whom are activist in such organizations as The Gay-Straight Alliance and PFLAG.
 
Bonus Round

14. Same-Sex Loving ~ Popular in the African-American community, SSL primarily replaces the terms gay and lesbian, acknowledging same-sex attraction, while not allowing it to define the individual with the connotations gay and lesbian carry in the African-American community. As with Two Spirited, Same-Sex Loving has grown beyond one community into many.

See also: Sexual Fluidity/Fluid Sexuality

15. Sexual Fluidity/Fluid Sexuality ~ Thought more common in women, Fluid sexuality is the ability to flow from attraction to one gender (social context) to another and one sex (biological context) to another without conforming to the binary social construct of straight or gay, or in most cases, straight or lesbian. In use, the term fluid is most associated with Bisexuality but does not carry with it the Biphobia experienced by out bisexuals, making it popular among Queer youth. By definition, fluid is most related to pansexual, where a single or dual system of gender and an identity based upon it are rejected in order to explore the entire spectrum of gender and sexuality including asexual identity.

As with both Bisexuality and Pansexuality, Sexual Fluidity makes evolutionary sense, allowing for the maximum number of partners and ultimate resiliance when circumstance or disease limited available mates by gender. Intimate and extended family units could be formed and  viable offspring produced with all roles filled.

16. Dual Gendered ~ As with Two-Spirited and Bisexual, a dual gendered brain was both "masculinized" and "feminized" during fetal development. How this presents itself is often dependent upon the culture in which the dual gendered individual is raised. It is as subtle or overt as the social construct defining the dual gendered child.

In the Western World, beyond just the tomboy or "sissy" stereotype, dual gendered children often draw a line in the social gendered sands, choosing activities, dress, or personal expression of the differing gender to partner with those of their apparent gender. This often expresses itself in adulthood with a sexual identity that is Bisexual, Pansexual, or Fluid, carrying all the evolutionary benefits of each. Because viable offspring and fulfilled lives can be had with this dual development, it is also not a birth defect but a variable development. 

Once more, everything after the definitions is my opinion based on my and interpretation of the research to date. As always you are welcome to agree or disagree and I'm open to anyone who falls under any of these definitions who would like to talk about their experience and the way they self-define. As I said at the beginning, this is just the tip of the iceberg and all sorts of research and studies are avaible on most of the above terms. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All I ever ask is that you keep an open mind when you do so.

LGBTQ and More Ramble Done

~X

 

 
xakara: (Rainbow Face)

Greetings Kittens,

It's been a long time coming, but I'm back. In celebration of the wonderful decisions in Iowa and Vermont, (and because I'm me), I'm putting the B in LGBTQ and bringing you 13 Flavors of Bisexuality. The Kinsey report Sexual Behaivor in the Human Male turned 60 last year and the Kinsey Scale is one often sited but rarely understood. Too often bisexual is defined as "Equal attraction to both males and females". I'm not equally attracted to brunettes and blonds, talk about complicated when you throw in sex and gender (no, they aren't the same thing).

Nurse and counselor Kathy Labriola breaks down bisexuality wonderfully at her site HERE. It was a Thursday Thirteen just waiting to happen and so I bring it to you. Read on and learn a bit about yourself and others or refresh what you already knew. And anyone willing to buy me a shirt from HERE for my birthday in June, by all means I'm happy to have it. :) I'll take a three in a large. *grin*

TT Ahead... )
1. Alternating bisexuals:
may have a relationship with a man, and then after that relationship ends, may choose a female partner for a subsequent relationship, and many go back to a male partner next.

2. Circumstantial bisexuals:
primarily heterosexual, but will choose same sex partners only in situations where they have no access to other-sex partners, such as when in jail, in the military, or in a gender-segregated school.

3. Concurrent relationship bisexuals:
have primary relationship with one gender only but have other casual or secondary relationships with people of another gender at the same time.

4. Conditional bisexuals:
either straight or gay/lesbian, but will switch to a relationship with another gender for financial or career gain or for a specific purpose, such as young straight males who become gay prostitutes or lesbians who get married to men in order to gain acceptance from family members or to have children.

5. Emotional bisexuals:
have intimate emotional relationships with both men and women, but only have sexual relationships with one gender.

6. Integrated bisexuals:
have more than one primary relationship at the same time, one with a man and one with a woman.

7. Exploratory bisexuals:
either straight or gay/lesbian, but have sex with another gender just to satisfy curiosity or “see what it’s like.”

8. Hedonistic bisexuals:
primarily straight or gay/lesbian but will sometimes have sex with another gender primarily for fun or purely sexual satisfaction.

9. Recreational bisexuals:
primarily heterosexual but engage in gay or lesbian sex only when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

10. Isolated bisexuals:
100% straight or gay/lesbian now but has had at one or more sexual experience with another gender in the past.

11. Latent bisexuals:
completely straight or gay lesbian in behavior but have strong desire for sex with another gender, but have never acted on it.

12. Motivational bisexuals:
straight women who have sex with other women only because a male partner insists on it to titillate him.

13. Transitional bisexuals:
temporarily identify as bisexual while in the process of moving from being straight to being gay or lesbian, or going from being gay or lesbian to being heterosexual.

 
xakara: (Gay Day)

The Good News Just Keeps Coming! 

 

Yayness Ahead... )
xakara: (Gay Day)

Iowa Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage
 

Artical Ahead.... )
xakara: (Rainbow Face)
Greetings Kittens,

Welcome to the TT that nearly wasn't. Fortunately, a little rest has done wonders and the lure of Thursday Thirteen was able to pull me full back to its side. Continuing on from last week's theme, we're moving beyond the Rainbow Alphabet of the LGBTQ movement and into its symbols, both modern and ancient. Some you'll know, others may be new, and all show the search for solidarity we each seek when something about us differs from the preceived majority and we are left to fend for ourselves, with those seeming few like ourselves.

On to 13 Symbols of the LGBTQ Movement. Enjoy.



xakara: (Rainbow Face)
Greetings Kittens,

Today we go back to sexuality--as you knew we eventually would--and explore the world of the sexual acronym. It seems that in the rightful reach for inclusion we end up with more and more letters by the day, and even some of the people writing them out can be confused. So today we venture beyond LGBT to LGBTIPPAQQA_2S_SA. No, I'm not kidding. Come along Kittens, and I'll take you through the Rainbow Alphabet of human sexuality. And trust me when I say it barely scratches the surface.

Enjoy


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