In the first episode of the freshoutofsomewhere podcast, we are joined by 2 special guests: Yama Marong and Hunter Lockett. Real people, real stories of students who attend The University of North Texas. We take a candid deep dive into sexual harassment, dating, and consent within college culture. content warning: strong language, and mild sexual themes“
“Do you feel safe on campus?” was the question posed to several students at UNT. After filming the podcast, I wanted to hear additional stories and perspectives on this topic. Pictured below are 3 young women who all have varying opinions on sexual harassment & safety on campus:
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:
Are you in the friend zone? Looking for a tell-tale sign to shoot your shot? Confused whether or not this person is feeling you on that level? Dating in the social media age is difficult. No one wants a relationship– instant gratification is the new black. Before you swipe right, ask yourself: Am I thinking with the right head? (this is a penis joke). If you’re looking for ways to approach women without the gaze of sexual harassment–Look no further, I gotchu. Here are 5 ways YOU can avoid getting #MeToo’d in 2019!
Beware of the DM’s:
Here’s a scenario: You’re scrolling through Instagram and see a cute girl. Casually, you slide into her DM’s not expecting anything in return. Boom, she replies. This is exciting, however, this is only a reply. Do not misconstrue simple conversation as interest. If you assume she likes you, and continue to pester, this could eventually blow up in your face. Sexual harassment comes in all shapes and sizes, and online harassment is one of them. If she doesn’t reply, leave it at that and move on. She’ll respect your maturity.
Do NOT assume:
To coincide with my 1st step, this step is a major key. Assumptions are deadly. If you fill in the blanks, you may just fill in a lawsuit. Humans are intriguing because they carry different personalities. That being said, being a nice person is not flirting. Being a friendly person is not flirting. Being a FLIRTY person is not flirting. Do not assume. Until verbal interest is established, do not assume nor make a move on someone who is just simply existing.
So let’s say you’ve reached a milestone and scored a date. The vibes are great and the chemistry is through the roof. It’s the perfect moment to go in for a kiss right? Wrong. If you go in for a kiss and sis is looking at you like:
You played yourself. Body language is tricky. Don’t let it deceive you. Do you want to know one trick that works 99.9% of the time? Consent! Yes, consent is the cheat code you need to survive dating in 2019. Harness it. Ask her “Can I kiss you?”, or if that’s too direct, make a statement: “I really want to kiss you right now.” Even if she says no, you asked and did not assume. No allegations can come from that date. Most importantly, she’ll respect the fact that you considered how she felt in this situation.
…Ain’t nobody tryna see all dat
Imma keep this one simple. Dick pics are not okay, the title says it all.
Do NOT assert yourself
Relax. What you see in movies and what other guys tell you is far from the truth. Masculinity does not have to be macho and overly assertive. If you’re trying to shoot your shot at a girl, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “How would I feel in her shoes?”. Be cognizant of the age we live in, and how everyone has a story. Some of these stories include traumatic experiences that impact every relationship, social interaction and day of their lives. Apart from the fear of being #MeToo’d, let’s just respect women.
Finally, you’re probably wondering what you can do to express interest in someone you like. The answer is simple: be yourself. Do not be a caricature of yourself, or how you think a desirable man would approach women. Be yourself, respect yourself, and do not touch anybody until it is clear that it’s wanted.
Part of being a human means having relationships. When you are with a group of friends, relationships will always occupy some portion of the conversation, if not the majority. Because of that, relationships have the ability to bring the greatest joys of life or the greatest hurts. The reason I wanted to write this blog post was not because I know everything there is to know about dating, but rather to share what has worked for me and what I have seen in successful, healthy relationships. I’ve seen first hand relationships fail. My parents were married for almost 30 years and recently divorced. Because of that I have watched successful relationships, sought wisdom and come up with 3 crucial components a relationship must do well in order to be healthy. Hopefully by sharing these, it will help to eliminate some of the heartache, anger, and strife that come from broken relationships.
Where gentleness is void a relationship crumbles. There is a difference between being close to someone and being close by someone. Being close to someone includes sharing the depth of your dreams, feelings, and fears where being close by someone revolves around duty and responsibility. If there is gentleness, it lays a foundation that sets the other person up for success. Each person will seek affection and gentleness no matter what, so you would rather it come from you than a co-worker, friend, or someone outside the relationship. Ultimately, gentleness leads to a deeper intimacy with one another.
In a relationship there has to be a “we” mentality, not an “I” mentality. Healthy relationships are more concerned with the other instead of yourself. For example, if you are more concerned with winning an argument than growing the relationship, then you might have a lot of wins under your belt but a very dissatisfied and frustrated partner. Being selfless means you treat the other lovingly no matter how they react or respond to you. Love is not contingent upon circumstance or emotion.
Sex is designed for marriage. This takes a lot of patience and self-control to implement but if you don’t have patience you will harm a healthy relationship or prolong an unhealthy one. Sex before marriage teaches couples to communicate on a surface level. Instead of talking and sharing intimately through words, sex teaches you to communicate without words. What happens when she is not attractive? What happens when he gets deployed? What happens when there is anger present? Sex is not meant to be the first step of communication, but rather the follow through of affection and love.