Bisexuality and Pansexuality.

Because I suck at titles, I’m just going to go with that one.

I came out as bi at 14 in the middle of a family dinner.  I shouldn’t have come out that way, but I did.  We were eating dinner, and I was a freshman in high school, and I just had this secret I had been living with.  I wore the pride rainbow wristband I got at Twin Cities Pride that summer.  My gay uncle took me.  He asked me if I was an ally.  I said, everyone should be an ally.  But I hadn’t been able to say that I liked girls, and I liked boys.  This was before I knew anything about the trans* community.  This was September of 2005, and we didn’t really talk about queer issues in my house.  I didn’t see Boys Don’t Cry, my first glimpse of the transgender life, or know that it applied to me, that I was trans*, until a year later.  And when I did know, I was terrified.  But I think I’ve covered that enough, and today I don’t really want to talk about it.

Anyway, I didn’t know that there were more than two genders.  I didn’t know things like being FAAB (female assigned at birth) or that you could really be a man.  Or not.  Or both.  Or whatever your gender is.  I just knew I was a boy but I thought I was the only person like that on the planet.  Which, we know, I’m not.

But at 14 years old, I knew that bisexual meant that you were attracted to both genders, and I knew that was me.  I had started going to the support group in high school for queers.  They only had that support group my first year of high school.  But I went, and some of my friends went.   I had a crush on a girl.  She had been my really good friend for years.  She was also straight.  I was living as a female.  But anyway, I got to the point where I just felt like, I go to this support group.  I wear a pride bracelet.  So at dinner I just said, I like boys, but I like girls.

There, we’re done.  I’m out.

Not quite.

Then I got older, and I learned more about the transgender community, and pansexuality, and how bisexuality only covered the two traditional genders.  And I thought, no, I don’t care if someone is trans* or whatever, I like people and I don’t really care about their gender.  But as I came out, I realised that wasn’t right, either.  Also, the bisexuality community, I feel, has done a lot to erase that old definition.  We don’t want to be transphobic.  So now the bisexual community is being thrown under the bus.  Which we know, is pretty common.

A while back I wrote an essay on transphobia.  I could have also wrote one about the phobia I experience being attracted to more than one gender.  I hinted at it, but I could have done more.

I’ve been told things like, pick a gender. Be gay.  Or be straight. Don’t be both.

I can’t.  Just like I can’t live my life as a woman.

Believe me, things would be easier if I could.  But I’m not known for taking the easy road, and believe me, I tried being straight.  I can’t.  I also tried for twenty one years to be a woman, and we all know how well that worked out.

I think that the “fight” or argument, is probably a better term for this, between the identified bisexuals and the identified pansexuals is a fight that doesn’t really need to be happening?  I mean, all of us are attracted to more than one gender, and I think instead of fighting over a label, we should be working together. I think that being pan is under the bisexual umbrella, just like being a trans* guy is under the trans* umbrella.

As for the I don’t care about gender argument, which I am guilty of, before I was educated on myself, and on gender, and believe me, I still have a lot of education to go through, because people always evolve, I think it is flawed.

Hear me out.

I need people to care about my gender.  I need people to say Blake is a man.  For people to say that they don’t care about my gender hurts me.  Especially because I am in the early stages of my transition. I’ve only been on T for 4 months, and I have a long way to go. I have to still change my name and my gender and my birth certificate and a lot of things.  So for a potential partner to say that they don’t care, that hurts me.  And I don’t think people who say I don’t care about their gender are meaning to hurt people when they say that. I’ve said it.  I wasn’t meaning to harm anyone by saying that, but I think it did. Or it could have.

I tend to stay away from dating, but I could have really hurt someone by saying things that I’ve said.

I think my main point is, we need to stop throwing people under the bus.  Some bisexuals, I’m not going to speak for the entire community, that’s not appropriate, but some feel that the “standard” bisexual identity is transphobic, and they don’t want it to be.  They just want it to say that they are attracted to people, regardless of their gender identity.

And I don’t want to speak for pansexuals, either.  But some feel that the bisexual identity doesn’t fit them, and they like being pan.  And that is one hundred percent okay.  Because no one should tell you what you identify as, or don’t.  I’m just saying that I think the two communities should unite and be under the same umbrella so we can combat all the people that throw us under the bus.

If we could stop focusing on the “argument” between the two communities, I think we could fight it better.  Because both communities are definitely left out of the LG and sometimes T community.  And both of us, I feel, have been told, hey, pick one.  Pick a sexuality.  But we have.  We just happened to pick one you don’t think exists, or shouldn’t exist.

I’m sorry, I’ve drank a lot of coffee, and I seem to be rambling.

How about we stop throwing members of the LGBT*QIA community under the bus?  How about we stop throwing people under the bus?

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Why You Shouldn’t Use The Word Tranny (part 2).

Sometimes I’m not the most eloquent person in the world.  And given that that guy responded several more times, and called me things like a harpie and said I thought I was the Queen of Sheba, let’s try this again.

I don’t think that this guy will get it.  But if there is someone out there who stops by and listens to what I have to say, if this blog helps just one person, if this makes the world a little bit brighter, I will definitely keep writing. I  refuse to be silenced.

Dear people of the world, please do not use the word tranny.  Me asking you to stop using a hate word should just be enough.  Me asking you to be respectful of who I am should be enough.  Sadly, it isn’t.  And this is another reason I feel I identify so much with feminists.  Yes, I was born a girl, and I think that fits in, but mostly, I feel that a lot of our struggles are the same.  You see, long before trans* people were fighting for our rights to be seen as human, many people thought that women were less than human, also.

Women weren’t even given the right to vote until 1920 in America.  Land of the free, are we really? They were told to shut up.  Jokes like get back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich are STILL being told all of the time.  They were told that their opinions and voices didn’t mater, that they weren’t educated enough, or smart enough, or important enough.

They were told they are less than human.

Which is exactly what you do when you call someone a tranny, or any other hate word.  You are telling me that I am less than human, less than worthy of my right to be the person I am.  You are telling me that I don’t matter.  Me asking you to stop saying those things is not me being rude.  It is saying stop telling me I’m not human.

When I was in high school, I tried to kill myself.  This was several years before I came out. There was one morning in particular. I was getting ready for school.  I was in the shower, and I just laid down and let the water wash over me. I thought about every bad word people had said to me.  I had been called a dyke, and a freak, and a year before a kid actually hit me because he thought I was a lesbian.  Every word that someone had said to me that could be used to destroy someone echoed.  That’s enough to make anyone drown, or want to drown themselves in the shower, at fifteen years old.

Thankfully, I didn’t.  But it started years before I was fourteen when that kid hit me and my Dad had to be called into the school.  I was so embarassed because I knew I was different, and I felt like, if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have had kids hit me.  But it didn’t start with the kid hitting me.  In first grade, I dressed masculine.  I always have unless I was forced not to, or trying to live a lie.  People didn’t want to be my friend.  People called me Patricia the Boy.  I wasn’t upset that people were calling me a boy. I felt like a boy.  I was upset that people treated my like crap.  People used words to make me feel less than human.

And it continued for a good seven years before someone hit me.  And even then, it continued. In ninth grade, I was kicked out of my gym class for being a homo. I was out as bi to a few friends.  I also had severe gender dysphoria going on and couldn’t really word that.  So I changed in the bathroom.  Instead of dealing with the girls in my class who had a problem with me, the solution was for me to move gym classes.  Again, that sent the message that I was the one with the problem.

Because this says it more eloquently than I could, and if this is what you are going to take away from today, let it be this:   “Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step for justifying violence against that person.”- Jean Kilbourne.

That is what words like tranny do.  They turn me into a thing.  First you are calling me a boy, or a dyke, then you are hitting me.  If people hadn’t stepped in, I wonder if the kid would have hit me more than once.  So, please, stop turning me into a thing.  Stop tolerating hate because it often does lead to violence, and that can make anyone drown.