Want to learn how to hit BIGGEST WOAH you could ever HIT?! Welcome to the HOW TO. Do you ever find yourself hitting the woah to laugh at your problems that happen in your everyday life? For example, getting the wrong order at a fast food restaurant– “WOAH”. Dropping your phone and the screen cracking– “WOAH”. Getting an STD from an ex who cheated on you– “WOAH XL”. There are people out there who face these exact problems, but are impacted 100 times more by it than the average person. And it’s because of the fear of who they are. Their minds are enslaved by the overall fact of their own existence. These people are members of the LGBTQ community, and they’ve definitely been hitting the BIGGEST WOAH since the beginning of time. How do they hit the biggest woah you ask? Well the next bullet points will tell you how…
- Facing a Stigma
- Dealing with Social Isolation
- A State of Poverty
- Major Health Disparities
- Hardships with Sexuality and Sexual Expression
- Barriers to Utilizing Existing Services
- Higher Chance of STDs, STIs, and HIV/AIDS
The bullet points represent all the WOAHS this community faces on the daily and it’s not just one day out of the year this is for their whole of lifetime. These are just a few of the issues people in this community face not to mention the legal aspects of our lives. Legally the LGBTQ community has been forced to be in hiding until 1967 when the SCOTUS ruled in favor of overturning homosexuality being illegal. Could you imagine doing that hiding who you are because it’s ILLEGAL,the outright A U D A C I T Y. Another huge WOAH that we as a country have overcome is the fact of letting same-sex marriage happen, in 2015 is when the SCOTUS allowed for this community of humans to have this fundamental right that we as Americans are granted. For 239 years heterosexual couples had this right and the LGBTQ community had to hold back and oppress themselves to avoid being persecuted. Can we say WOAH XXXXXXXL? Yes I think we can because imagine trying to hold in who you are the years of gut wrenching torture of not being able to love who you love. My respects to the activists and souls lost in this persecution of the LGBTQ community and their biggest expression of the WOAH CHALLENGE.
LGBTQ, it’s an acronym that by now we all should recognize. It represents the nearly 11 million Americans who do not conform to the hetero norms of society. While LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, and queer, a part of the community has been forgotten — bisexuals.
Bisexuality is when someone feels (at least some) attraction to both men and women. Though bisexuality has been prevalent and recognized in many cultures for centuries, there has been a growing trend in the past few years that has threatened millions of bisexuals across the world, bi-erasure. It is the deletion of bisexuality in society and the delegitimization of bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation. I identify as a bisexual woman, and unfortunately I have experienced bi-erasure first hand. In this blog I would like to explain what not to say to your bisexual friend.
- Do NOT tell them to “pick a side”
- This one is a classic! I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone tell me to “pick a side”. Not only is it offensive, but it implies that it is wrong to feel attraction for both men and women. I have heard this from straight people but also from people within the LGBTQ community.
From what I understand, straight people have said this to me because they fundamentally do not understand how bisexuality works and cannot wrap their heads around being attracted to both genders. But I expected more from those in the LGBTQ community that have spewed this bigotry. They have told me that I am “betraying the gay community” by choosing to be in a hetero relationship, instead of exclusively dating women. Nevermind the fact that would make me a lesbian if I did. When I hear this from people who are supposed to be my allies it makes me feel like there is no place for me in either the gay community or straight community. In an era of inclusiveness, why is it so hard to believe that someone can be attracted to multiple types of people?
- Do NOT tell them that it’s “just a phase”
- If you’re LGBTQ I’m sure you have had someone tell you that it’s “just a phase”. I heard it too, and it was just as infuriating. Being bi is not a pit stop on the road to your sexuality. It’s the destination. Being told that who you are is something you will grow out of or is a fad is incredibly damaging. These sentiments marginalize your identity and signal that it is wrong for you to be yourself. I had a (now former) friend tell me that I will eventually “grow out of” being bi and that I was just in denial about being gay. She was so certain that I was still in the closet. This permanently damaged our relationship, and eventually, I had to cut her out of my life. I had the same conversation years later with a boyfriend. He told me that I would eventually get over my attraction to women. Being told this by people who I loved and thought would support me was hard to hear, and resulted in broken relationships Every. Single. Time. If you would like to keep your bisexual friend in your life, then do NOT tell them that their identity is just a phase.
- Do NOT tell them they are only bisexual because they are hoe or a slut
- Sometimes I can’t believe that I need to tell people this, but unfortunately, I do. I have been told that I am bisexual only so that I can have a lot of sex. Right… sure. I believe this stems from a misconception that bisexuality = promiscuity. They think that just because I am attracted to both genders that means that I obviously want to sleep with everyone I see. There is also another common misconception that bisexual people are more likely to cheat on their spouses and more likely to catch STDs. But this is entirely untrue. Truth be told, I’m a serial monogamist. I date one person at a time; hookups, open relationships, and one night stands just aren’t my thing. And for a lot of other bisexual people, they date one person at a time too. In the same vein, there ARE polyamorous bisexual people, just are there are polyamorous gay people and polyamorous straight people. Being told that being bisexual makes you a hoe is offensive, disgusting, and just plain wrong. But it’s a reality that many of us face.
These bigoted sentiments are (thankfully) held by a minority. Most people don’t really care what you identify as these days. Most people are willing to learn about things they don’t understand. But there are some people out there that just don’t want to learn, or accept, or change. They are the main proponents of bi-erasure in society.
The more these disgusting beliefs spread, the more damage it does to bisexuals everywhere. It is KEY to remember: bisexual people are born this way. They don’t choose to be bi, they just are. If you want to help bisexual culture it’s easy. If your friend comes out as bisexual then all you have to do is support them and accept them for who they are. Defend people for being who they are and loving who they love. Or at the end of the day, accept and move on. In short: don’t be a dick.
You’re never alone, here are some resources for those who need it:
- The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/, 1-866-488-7386
- LGBT National Help Center: https://www.glbthotline.org/, 1-888-843-4564
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/, 1-800-273-8255
- Bisexual Resource Center: https://biresource.org/
- Fenway Health LGBT Helpline and Peer Listening: https://fenwayhealth.org/care/wellness-resources/help-lines/
Preventing HIV in four easy steps
Ready in: 20 minutes
- PrEP (brand name Truvada)
- Step one: Knowledge
- The most important thing to remember is that HIV is no longer the deadly disease it once was. Now of course if left untreated HIV can have devastating effects upon the body. But if you’re smart, careful and conscious of the risks then you will be fine.
- Step two: Always, always, always use a condom or dental dam and never share needles
- Now I know you’ve probably heard this a million times, and there’s a reason for that, Condoms and Dental Dams work. 99% of all transmissions of HIV come from either unprotected sex or the sharing of needles
- Do note that lambskin Condoms are NOT effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. Only latex condoms are proven effective at preventing HIV transmission.
- Step three: Protecting yourself with medication
- If you are in exceptional danger of contracting HIV, whether by being in a long-term relationship with an HIV+ person or through some other means talk to your doctor about PrEP
- PrEP is short for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. Which is pharmaceutical speech for it’ll stop HIV from transmitting to you.
- PrEP is highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV ONLY when taken consistently and as prescribed.
- Step four: What to do if all else fails?
- Firstly, do not panic, if you suspect you have been exposed to HIV within 72 hours go to the emergency room and ask about PEP
- PEP stands for Post-exposure Prophylaxis and it has been shown to be highly effective at stopping HIV from taking hold within the body as long as the medication is started within 72 hours of exposure and continuously taken.
While this was a bit of a silly format for such a serious topic. Preventing HIV really is as easy as making a pie or cake. It is no longer the death sentence it once was. If you take all of the precautions you can there is a negligible risk of transmission.
The symptoms of HIV are hard to distinguish from those of the Flu. The symptoms include night sweats, fever, muscle aches, rashes, sore throat, and general fatigue. As well as being very similar to Flu symptoms HIV symptoms do not always manifest in everyone.
If you are worried that you have contracted HIV all STD clinics have a quick test that detects HIV in as little as a minute.
Most importantly if you even suspect that you have been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours go to the emergency room and ask about PEP do not wait.
Never use a needle that was previously used by someone I don’t care if it was your uncle Jacob’s insulin needle DON’T DO IT.
“America, the land of the free.” But are you really free if you are not legally allowed to adopt children as a same-sex couple? If you live in Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Utah, or North Carolina hopefully you don’t want kids. Yeah, in those five states same-sex couples are prohibited by law from adopting children together. Of course, the topic of gay marriage is always floating around in every media outlet, but here are some other gross fun fact anti-gay laws that still exist today:
Alabama – along with 8 other states, has “no promo homo” laws, which means school districts are prohibited from discussing and teaching about gay and transgender issues on any level, including sexual health and HIV/AIDS awareness. In Alabama, homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.
Arizona – “No promo homo” state #2, no education should include the promotion of homosexual lifestyle, any portrayals of homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style, or any suggestions that methods of sex are safe methods of gay sex.
Texas – “No promo homo” state #3, even though sodomy laws were outlawed by the Supreme Court over a decade ago, they are still a part of this state’s sex education policy. There is an emphasis on sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage as the expected standard in terms of public health and these are the most effective ways to prevent HIV infection, STDs, and unwanted pregnancies. The laws also state that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.
Missouri and South Dakota – forbid school districts from prohibiting bullying based on sexual orientation; these are the only two states that proscribe schools from creating their own bans on anti-gay bullying. Isn’t that lovely, LGBTQ youth can be bullied aka harassed and it’s totally tolerated.
Michigan – In this state an individual can be sent to prison…that’s right PRISON, for 5 years for attempting to seduce someone of the same sex. In Section 338 of the Michigan Penal Code it states that: “any male person who, in public or provide, commits or is a party to the commission of or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of any act of gross indecency” can be sent to PRISON.
Indiana – religious freedom laws give business owners a stronger legal defense if they refuse to serve LGBTQ customers and want to us their faith as justification for their actions.
*Other states with “No Promo Homo” laws are Oklahoma, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
*The FDA prohibits MSM (men who have sex with men, aka gay men) from donating blood or tissue. What I don’t get about this is that even if they are HIV negative and completely clean of STDs…still can’t donate.
People believe that America is this freedom land where you can be whoever you want and do whatever you want. In reality America is the exact opposite. Being gay in the United States means being denied freedom. It is so gross to me that society views being gay as a “lifestyle” which is insulting. People don’t refer to heterosexual relationships as a “lifestyle.” Being vegan, being a nudist or living off the grid, those are lifestyles.
In reality, in this country and especially in the South, it’s still not okay to be gay because if it was then these oppressive laws would not exist. Why does it all even matter though? We are all on this earth doing the same thing (or at least trying to): breath, eat, work, sex, eat, sleep, repeat. We are all the same. We are all earthlings.