There is a sentiment floating out there that I need to talk about. In this case, “talk” means “dispel immediately” and “cleanse with fire.”
As a bisexual person, I have been told more than once by smug pansexuals, “well, I’m pansexual because bisexuality implies a gender binary and discriminates against trans* folks.”
Note: not all pansexuals hold this opinion. A majority probably don’t. But every time I’ve been informed about my own sexuality in this way, it has been a smug pansexual looking to justify why their label is superior to mine.
Okay, first of all, that is a factually incorrect argument. Bisexual doesn’t mean only men and women. What it does mean is that you are attracted to people like yourself and also people different from yourself. Which means I am attracted to women (my own gender expression), AND other gender expressions. In other words, being bisexual in no way says that I am not attracted to trans*, genderless or genderfluid/genderqueer folks, you dig?
(Also, protip: trans* men and women are men and women, not some mysterious other gender. Yes, their experiences differ from the experiences of cis people. That still does not make them another gender category. Trans* men are men. Trans* women are women. Full stop. But if you ARE trans* and see yourself as a distinctly different gender expression, that is your right, because you get to self label how you choose.)
There may be folks out there of any orientation who claim they are not attracted to trans*, genderless, or genderfluid folks. Absolutely, those individuals exist. What I don’t fucking understand is why this is something that widely gets placed on the bisexual community, who largely respond with “wtf, no, that’s not right.”
Oh right, smug superiority. Got it.
It’s not enough that some straight people tell me I’m doing it for the attention. Or that a contingent of the lesbian community tells me flat out they won’t date me because I’ll leave them for a man. Or the stigma on both sides that bisexuals just can’t make up their minds and choose a team. And also that I’m just greedy and will absolutely cheat because I’ll ~never be satisfied. No, on top of all that, I have to be told by pansexuals that I’m contributing to the oppression of trans* folk and non-binary genders because of their faulty definition. Awesome.
(Ed: note— this is not me saying that bisexuals have it harder than any other part of the LGBT spectrum. But it is speaking honestly about the existing negative stereotypes about bisexuals.)
So what is the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality, you ask?
Well, I have a theory. This is just my theory. Discussion is welcome.
My theory is based on a widely-held pansexual catchphrase: “Hearts, not parts.” In my understanding, pansexual folks are attracted to people, and that person’s gender expression doesn’t ever enter into the equation as a factor. Which is a totally valid thing! If that’s you, that’s awesome. Just please don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s inherently better or more noble than any other way someone might be attracted to someone else.
My experience as a bisexual person and as someone who’s discussed this topic with several other bisexuals is that for us, gender expression does enter in as a factor. Which is to say that we have things that we look for in various gender expressions that are especially attractive for us. I tend to be attracted to certain traits in women (I like femme women, generally), others in men (I look for certain things in a man that I’m not so specific about otherwise, in other gender presentations, for certain reasons). I tend to be attracted to genderqueer/genderfluid people with a more androgynous presentation. It’s not a value judgement, it’s just what turns me on. And they’re not in-concrete rules, either. It’s about having types, I think, some of which may be gender-expression specific.
In the end: ID how you want. It’s up to you. But please don’t pit one group against another so you can feel superior. That’s a) self-delusion, and b) rude as hell. Also, don’t be the person who says to someone else, “well, you’re really [X orientation]…” Don’t be that person. Don’t be that person.
And while I’m on the topic of infuriating things people say about bisexuals:
"Ugh, you’re just going to end up with a guy anyway."
Hey, I did indeed marry a man! But was it a foregone conclusion? Fuck no. Did it magically make me straight? REALLY fuck no. It just means I chose a person to share my life with, as someone of any orientation does when they get married.
Here’s the thing: statistics. Say you’re a bisexual woman. That means for every 9 male potential partners (straight and bi/pan), there’s 1 potential female partner (lesbian or bi/pan). If we’re being more generous, let’s say the rift is 8/2. (ETA: I know I didn’t include genderless, genderfluid, and genderqueer people in this equation. But only because they are statistically rarer, and I was hoping for easy-to-parse whole numbers.) Already, that means the pool of potential partners is widely skewed towards men. And then look at the pool of lesbians who straight-up admit they won’t date a bi person, so that pool of women shrinks further.
Statistically: which gender are you more likely to end up with? It’s just math.
But no, I guess the only POSSIBLE explanation for why bi women tend to end up with men is that they’re not really into women, or not gutsy enough to date a woman publicly. That TOTALLY fucking makes sense. /bitter sarcasm
This post brought to you by the letters B, I, and the number 100- as in the % that Christina is totally fed up with this bullshit.
Damn right you’re iron, and do you know where iron comes from? Do you know how iron gets here? Let me tell you.
It does start with a star, but it’s not some dismal castoff from an eternal beauty, it’s so much more. Everything that makes our world came from stars, but nothing had as much effect on that star as iron.
See the sun burning in the sky? The light you see and the heat you feel are created when the sun fuses elements, the building blocks of our world, into new and heavier elements. The sun lives because more energy comes from that process than is needed to support it.
UNTIL IRON COMES ALONG.
Fusing iron — burning it to make a star shine — is nigh on impossible. Iron is strong and iron is heavy. Iron is so strong and so heavy that to make new elements from iron takes more energy than it produces. The star can’t keep up, it starts to die.
The iron that flows through your veins KILLED A STAR.
Those other metals that we so value, like gold, owe their existence to iron. As the star died it collapsed, crushing itself and making gold and platinum and other precious and powerful things. Then it exploded and scattered those metals throughout space.
Chief among them was iron. The iron whose formation was the death knell of the star. The iron whose intensity made other metals possible. The iron that was the last thing the living star could make.
Stars lived to make iron.
Stars died to make you.
— Rachel McKibbens, “Letter From My Brain To My Heart” (via wordsnquotes)
— Alan Watts (via lazyyogi)
And the problem with stereotypes about Strong Black Women. Or Strong Female Characters, in fiction. Or the assumption that strong men don’t ask for help, or show sorrow/pain.
Listen, Kate. I don’t want to get all life-coach on you but— You’re gonna miss each and every shot you can’t be bothered to take. That’s not living life— That’s just being a tourist. Take every shot, Kate. If it’s worth caring about, no matter how impossible you think it is— You take the shot.
Young Avengers Presents #6 - Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Fun fact: You can be a bright, positive person and still be angry about allll of the things in this world that merit anger.
1. Your skin may never be perfect, and that’s okay.
2. Life is too short not to have the underwear, the coffee, and the haircut you want.
3. Everyone (including your family, your coworkers, and your best friend) will talk about you behind your back, and you’ll talk about them too. It doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.
4. It’s okay to spend money on things that make you happy.
5. Sometimes without fault or reason, relationships deteriorate. It will happen when you’re six, it will happen when you’re sixty. That’s life."
— Five things I am trying very hard to accept. (via adrians)
Dear Faery Godparent, I need some of these. NEED. (But I won’t hate you if you get them, even if I don’t. These pieces need to be out in the world.)