Here’s GAYRHS Episode 5! Be sure to listen live on Thursdays, 2-2:30 PM. Next week’s episode is an important one, but for now, listen to my rambling.
I actually ran out of content today because I talked way too fast. So I have the outline, but it’s missing the last part of the episode. But that’s okay, because the last part just went all over the place.
- YouTube is currently under fire for restricting all of its LGBT+ content. Google introduced ‘Restricted Mode’, a way to filter out NSFW content, but it considers queer media, inappropriate or not, to be content that needs to be restricted. This is a huge loss for the LGBT+ community because videos on helping people understand their identity, come out, and educate themselves are vital. Users can only view videos in Restricted Mode if they’re over 18. YouTube claims that these videos contain ‘sensitive material’, but most of these videos are PG. YouTube refuses to remove pornography from the website, and then pulls this. And further more, videos with titles like “I hate LGBT” are not restricted. The tag #YouTubeIsOverParty has trended worldwide. Sadly, boycotting YouTube is not an option, since it’s a global powerhouse. Hopefully YouTube will come around.
- North Carolina’s former governor says he’s had trouble finding a job, even part-time teaching positions (amid fear of student protest), because of backlash from legislation he signed involving transgender rights. The law he signed last year struck down local nondiscrimination ordinances and required transgender people to use public bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates. He says people are calling him a ‘bigot’ and that he’s not. Don’t listen to him. Pat McCrory is a transphobe. And are we supposed to feel sorry for him?
- Katy Perry accepted the National Equality Award at the Human Rights Campaign Gala on Saturday night. She said in her speech, “I speak my truths and I paint my fantasies into these little bite size pop songs. For instance, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it. Truth be told, I did more than that. However, how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? What I did know was I was curious and even then I knew sexuality wasn’t as black and white as this dress. And honestly, I haven’t always gotten it right but in 2008 when that song came out I knew that I started a conversation and a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along, too. Most of my unconscious adolescence, I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps. But then in the middle of it all, in a twist of events, I found my gift and my gift introduced me to people outside of my bubble. My bubble started to burst. These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met. They stimulated my mind and they filled my heart with joy and they freaking danced all the while doing it. These people are actually magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth.” It’s important to note that at the time of the song’s release, Katy’s career benefited massively from “I Kissed a Girl,” which left a bad taste in some people’s’ mouths. Critics of the song claimed that it was a way to appeal to the male gaze. Her debut album also featured the single “Ur So Gay,” which was rightfully called out for being homophobic. Since then, she’s come a long way, and has been actively working as an ally, in part with what she calls more “purposeful pop.” (Teen Vogue)
- The Alabama House advanced a bill this week that would allow faith-based adoption and foster care agencies to refuse service to same-sex families based on the agency’s religious beliefs. The deceptively named “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act” passed with a 60-14 vote Thursday. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Rich Wingo and seeks to protect the rights of state-funded and licensed adoption agencies to reject LGBT adoptive or foster parents on the grounds of religious freedom. The bill will now move on to a state senate committee hearing before going to a full vote on the senate floor. (Newnownext)
- The Trump Administration erased the LGBTQ community from The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants and the Annual Program Performance Report for Centers for Independent Living, key surveys that are used to help provide care to American seniors – including disability, transportation, and caregiver support needs. (GLAAD)
- Asia Kate Dillon is making history as the first gender non-binary character on a mainstream television show, Showtime’s “Billions.” The star also identifies as gender non-binary in real life. Taylor, Dillon’s character, is different from other cultural depictions of non-binary and gender nonconforming people in that the character’s storyline didn’t focus on coming out or rejection from their friends and family. Calling the role a “personal breakout,” they said. “Not only is Taylor different from anything we’ve seen on television before, but I am something new, too. I’m here to change the game.” (Huffington Post)
- A high school boy in Pennsylvania was humiliated and emotionally harmed by being forced to share a locker room and bathrooms with a transgender boy, according to a lawsuit filed by a top religious conservative group, which ripped an argument from the progressive playbook and turned it on its head. The suit says that Joel Doe, an anonymous name for the high school junior, was changing his outfit for a PE class last October when he noticed the transgender boy, whom the lawsuit refers to as female. “When he was standing in his underwear about to put his gym clothes on, he suddenly realized there was a member of the opposite sex changing with him in the locker room, who was at the time wearing nothing but shorts and a bra,” according to the complaint filed on Tuesday in US District Court. “Plaintiff has experienced embarrassment and humiliation, both in terms of being viewed and viewing a student of the opposite sex in a state of undress and because of the stigmatization and criticism he received from other students and adults,” the complaint continues, noting that he “also fears the future embarrassment of meeting students of the opposite sex in the bathroom when simply relieving himself.” By allowing the transgender student to share the facilities, the lawsuit alleges, the Boyertown Area School District has violated the boy’s civil and constitutional rights. (BuzzFeed)
I just want to comment as a transgender student, it’s obvious the kid’s parents are saying these things. This kid is nervous because a trans person is with him. He clearly has no clue what trans people are like. He has no clue what it’s like to be scared of a locker room and bathroom based off gender identity. Trans people are assaulted and murdered in these facilities at alarming rates. Cis people have nothing to fear from transgender presence in bathrooms. This case is arguing on the same basis Gavin Grimm is arguing. The difference is, Grimm actually knows what this discrimination is. This boy is a prop for his parents’ transphobic views.
Asexuality is a sexual orientation, like being straight or gay. When someone is straight, they’re interested in people of a different gender. When someone is gay, they’re into the same gender. But when someone is asexual, or “ace” as it’s called, they’re not really into anyone in that way. They simply don’t experience sexual attraction. Asexuality isn’t something that needs to be “fixed” or “cured”, it’s just a part of who you are.
You can be asexual even if you think someone is good looking. It’s possible to think that someone is cute or beautiful without being sexually attracted to them, in the same way it’s possible to think a puppy is cute or a painting is beautiful.
You can be asexual even if you’re dating. Romantic attraction is separate from sexual attraction. Many asexuals are interested in relationships, even if they’re not interested in sex.
You can be asexual even if you’ve kissed someone. Kissing can be an expression of affection, but it doesn’t have to be sexual in nature.
You can be asexual even if you’ve fallen in love. Love and sex are not the same thing. Being in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re interested in sex, as well.
You can be asexual even if you get aroused. Getting “wet” or getting “hard” is just your body doing what it’s supposed to do. Getting aroused doesn’t have to mean you’re sexually attracted to someone or something.
You can be asexual even if you touch yourself. Maybe you do it to relieve stress. Or maybe you do it because it feels good. Whatever the reason, masturbating does not mean that you can’t be asexual.
You can be asexual even if you’re curious about sex. Curiosity is not desire. Wondering what sex is like does not mean that you’re feeling sexual attraction.
You can be asexual even if you’ve had sex. I know, it sounds strange, but having sex doesn’t mean you can’t be asexual. Some aces are curious. Some aces think it’s what they’re supposed to do. And some aces even like it.
And you can be asexual even if you haven’t done any of those things. Some asexuals are aromantic, meaning they’re not interested in romantic relationships. Some asexuals don’t masturbate. Some asexuals never want to have sex.
“You’re too young!” No one objects when someone your age talks about who they like. You are old enough to know your sexual preference, even if that preference is “no”.
“That’s not what it means!” Many people think of single celled organisms when they hear the word “asexual” and they don’t know that there’s another meaning that applies to humans. Often, they forget that words can even have multiple meanings. Remind them that “straight” and “gay” have multiple meanings, too.
“You should try it first!” You don’t have to try something to know you’re not interested in it. Sex is no exception. Asexual people who have had sex still don’t experience sexual attraction afterwards.
“That’s just celibacy!” Some people think that asexuality is the same as celibacy or abstinence, because they mistakenly believe that asexuality is about not having sex. In reality, asexuality has nothing to do with an avoidance or even a dislike of sex. It’s about a lack of sexual attraction, and that’s all.
“It’s not real!” Asexuality is most certainly real. Just because someone hasn’t heard of it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. There are many well-respected researchers who recognize asexuality as a valid sexual orientation.
Some people feel that they are “almost asexual” or “asexual with an exception”. That is, they strongly identify with being asexual, except for a few limited or infrequent experiences of sexual attraction. Gray-asexual people fall in between asexuality and non-asexuality. In some cases, they experience sexual attraction only rarely. In others, they’re unsure if they’ve experienced it or don’t feel that they quite fit the definition of asexual in some way. Demisexual people are only capable of feeling sexual attraction after developing a strong emotional bond with someone. Demisexuality and gray-asexuality fall within what’s called the “asexual spectrum”.
Along with a sexual orientation, people have what’s called a romantic or affectional orientation that describes who that person might be romantically attracted to. In many people, the sexual and romantic orientations are aligned, so people tend not to think about them being separate concepts. It is not uncommon for asexuals to experience romantic attraction.
Romantic orientations are given names that parallel sexual orientations. For instance, a heteroromantic person is someone who experiences romantic attraction toward a different gender, homoromantic toward the same gender, and so on. A significant number of asexuals also identify as aromantic, which means that they do not experience romantic attraction.
Separating romantic and sexual attraction is not strictly limited to asexual people, however. For instance, it is possible for someone to be an aromantic heterosexual, or any other combination.