Coming Out: An Update

Wow. You all really showed up for my last post, huh? I mean, I post links to this blog all the time and I’ve never gotten the buzz that I did last week. A whopping ten people felt compelled to click and read what I had to say about JVN, but over one hundred of you wanted to get the details once it got super personal. I guess everyone wants in on the spilled T.

Let me just say that my parents are very understanding and open-minded people, and I never for one second thought that this was going to be an issue in my family. Truthfully, I was very much under the impression that they probably already knew. I had been playing with the idea of “coming out”, not even knowing if I felt the need to. This never felt like some deep dark secret to me, so I didn’t feel like I had to make some grand announcement.

Well, apparently that’s what I did last week.

When I wrote that post, I wasn’t thinking about who would read it – I know what my stats usually looked like, and there’s not often a lot of traffic. If anything, I thought it would just be helpful for me to write this out and maybe to collect my thoughts and figure out what I wanted exactly. Looking back, I’m regretful that I made that post public before talking to my parents. I think I was just trying to figure things out for myself, and I didn’t think it all the way through. Sitting someone down and telling them about my sexuality didn’t seem like the right thing for me personally to do, but maybe it’s also about who is on the other end of that conversation as well. I certainly didn’t mean for all these conversations to be had without me there.

That being said, I’ve had wonderful conversations with my parents and I feel really good about where things are right now. There was a lot of open dialogue that I knew would be there whenever I was ready to have it. And of course, there was a lot of love that will always be there to make me wildly uncomfortable when directly pointed my way.

So to anyone reaching out to my family members asking if they “are okay”, yeah they’re fucking great, thanks for asking.

To anyone who has reached out to me directly, thank you so much and please know that I really appreciated your words. It was very validating to hear from other bisexuals, and having that support means a lot.

I’ll try not to get on my soapbox about this, but it’s annoying that I had to “come out”. It’s annoying that the default is set to ‘straight’. It’s annoying that I have to tell everyone if it’s different. And it’s annoying that once I do, it’s a hot topic of conversation. I know I’m not a very private person, and I don’t really have secrets of my own. But being bisexual somehow by default gave me this secret that I never even wanted to keep in the first place. I will admit that while I usually love having all of the attention on me, I think I would do things just a little bit differently if I was given a second chance.

This whole experience was truly more than I signed up for. Without meaning to, I made myself feel exposed, uncomfortable, and embarrassed. But now, I also feel relieved, supported, and content. I’m out! And I’m totally done paying my gay dues for now.

bi3

Thanks for reading.

Bisexuality

Hi, I’m Gina and I am bisexual – this may or may not be the first time you are hearing this, but it is most definitely not the first time I have said this.

I’ve known that I was attracted to both men and women from a very young age, even if I didn’t have the terminology for it. I spent most of my youth under the presumption that people are either gay or straight, and there weren’t really any other options. I always liked boys and never had any trouble feeling comfortable around them, so in my head that meant I must be straight. Sure, when I was alone I spent time finding Tumblr videos of girls kissing, but I was kissing boys in real life, so come on I must be straight, right????

If you get super super technical, the first person I ever kissed was a girl. I don’t really consider this my “first kiss”, because we were just little girls playing stupid games and it wasn’t anything meaningful – I may not have even been 10 years old yet. In middle school I started kissing boys and having boyfriends, and I was always a little ahead of my friends in terms of “experience”.

In high school, I had a female friend who I got super close with, got drunk for the first time with, and had my first lesbian experience with. The experience itself was very PG, but this was the first time where I was kissing a girl who was kissing me back and it was intentional – even if heavily influenced by alcohol. After my straight guy friends learned about this, there was a lot of encouragement whenever we were drinking for me to make out with the other girls. I happily obliged of course, but I continued to date guys exclusively. By the end of high school, I had probably kissed just as many girls as I had guys, but I only had experience past that with the guys, and I had never been romantically involved with a girl.

This didn’t change much as I entered college and I continued to be involved with men romantically, but fantasizing about women in my alone time. I was still under the impression that I was straight, I just figured I was more sexually open than most people. I believed myself to be more open in general than most, so I didn’t put too much extra thought into my sexuality as a whole.

Enter the world of Tinder. Tinder became a thing sometime while I was still in college and it was common on my campus. As I set up my profile to start swiping, I was faced with filling out some preferences:

Are you interested in:
○ Men
○ Women
○ Both

Both? OMG. BOTH?! IS THAT AN OPTION?! CAN I DO THAT?!

Both. BOTH!

That’s when things clicked for me. That’s when I stopped thinking that I had to be on one side or the other, either gay or straight, and maybe I could actually sit somewhere on the fence.

I clicked both, and started swiping on both men and women.

For a while, this was just an internal thought. I hadn’t fully identified with the word “bisexual” yet, even if I had rolled it around in my head a few times. Even though I was matching with and talking to girls on Tinder, I wasn’t meeting up with any of them in real life and was instead still spending my time involved with men. I even started dating someone towards the end of college, and I would think to myself, “I’ll explore girls more if/when we break up.” In my head, I had put my sexuality on hold (even though I was still swiping and talking with girls here and there when my boyfriend was being a dick).

By the time we broke up, I was sure that this was something I wanted to explore. I had had plenty of experiences with men, and I wanted to bring my female experiences up to par. I started hooking up with a girl that I had a crush on who was sort of in my friend group and identified as a lesbian. When our friends first got wind that we were a thing, they asked me if I was a lesbian also. This was the first time I said the words out loud: “Nope, I’m bi.”

* Insert fireworks and celebration sound effects here *

Since then, I’ve dated both men and women openly and happily. I spent over a year in a relationship with a man, and now that I am single again I would like to focus more on being with women. I believe my sexuality will always be fluid and I will always pride myself in having an open mind and an open heart.

That’s as much of a “coming out” story as I have so far. My friends have kind of organically learned about it over the past several years as I told them about my involvement with different people. I’m open about it with new people I meet and become involved with. My coworkers all know I am openly bisexual and I even indicated this in my voluntary demographics.

However, I never had that serious sit down with my parents (if you’re reading this – sorry, Mom and Dad!) where I look them in the eye and tell this deep dark secret that I’ve been hiding for years and wait to see if I still have their approval. It’s not like that for me – it wasn’t something I was ever “hiding”, it was something I was still figuring out. I also don’t need anyone’s approval about it, not that I think anyone would really have an issue. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about telling them in some way that was maybe more casual, but it’s been hard for me to conceptualize the right words. There’s a lot of stigma that comes with the word “bisexual” (watch the Hulu show, The Bisexual), and I think this could be potentially difficult to navigate with my parents. That being said, I want to be open and honest with my family. I would also feel bad if they were to learn about it from someone that wasn’t me, making them feel sad that I wasn’t the one to tell them. Maybe I’m dealing with having some feelings of guilt or something, that’s for my therapist to figure out. The point is that I have gotten to a place now where I would like them to know.

So, instead of coming out in some formal way, I’ve been passive aggressively reposting outwardly bisexual things to my Instagram story and allowing my family to view them. Not kidding – my parents both have Instagrams and see everything that I post and I’ve just been making it semi/extremely obvious:

 

b1b2b3b4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I being too subtle?

So yeah, that’s my experience so far. To be honest, I feel pretty good about it overall. And I’m excited about what is to come in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Podcast Favorites #4

podcast  ANOTHER round of my current favorite podcast suggestions! (#1, #2, #3)

UPDATES:

This is Love podcast

This Is Love – New episodes are finally available! I’m not sure what the reason was for the gap, but new episodes are now actively being released. My favorite will always be the episode about the swimmer who saved the baby whale, but this podcast continues to explore the word “love” and all it entails.

the news

BuzzFeed News Reporting To You

Reporting to you / The News by Buzzfeed News – I guess there is something going on at Buzzfeed, because both of these shows have taken a hiatus. Reporting to you actually announced this on the show as a way to let everyone know, so I am hoping that means that they will be back up and running after some time and planning.

ITSAGGGGP

It’s A Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Podcast – Wow, so.. a lot going on here. First of all, this is the one and only podcast for which I have joined the Patreon page! I’m such a big fan of Fagsy Malone and when he wavered with whether or not to keep the podcast, I was quick to sign up for his Patreon. If you are a die-hard fan of any podcast that has a Patreon option, I highly recommend. It’s a great way to get the chance to interact with the podcast host, as they are posting things that allow you to like and comment directly. You also get early access to episodes plus some content that is saved just for members. I wouldn’t do that for everyone, but definitely this podcast. ALSO, the fire that devastated Malibu has also greatly affected this podcast, as Fagsy lost his home in the fire. His whole podcast was dedicated to the creatures of Malibu, so this is certainly not an easy time for him or the podcast. If you would like to make a donation to help, the Go Fund Me page can be found here.

LGBTQ:

LGBT StoriesLGBT Stories – These stories are really powerful. There are tons of things ranging from coming out stories, to transphobic experiences, and lots of obstacles that were overcome. People are generous enough to share their personal journey and what they have seen as a result of being a part of the LGBTQ community. Each story is personal and individual to the person sharing, and people have been very willing to open up. There is a lot of heartbreaking material here, as people talk about the lack of acceptance that they experienced within their life, but there’s also so much to learn and grow from as well. These stories are important and need to be heard by those both in and outside of the community.

QueerAF#QueerAF – More LGBTQ stories here! Told in accents! This podcast came from the National Student Pride organization to talk about different topics, ideas, and events within the community. It’s honestly very similar to LGBT Stories, just more content to listen to. There are so many people who have struggled to get to where they are today because of how the world perceived them. Everyone should challenge themselves to understand each other better and be kind to others. We should celebrate each others victories and stand next to each other as allies. So yeah, listen!

Bisexual Real Talk

Bisexual Real Talk – When I’m in a relationship with a man, I look straight. If I was in a relationship with woman, I’d look gay. There is a lack of visibility into bisexuals as a result, and we are largely misrepresented in the media. The show breaks down different people, places, material, events, and more from the bisexual point of view. To be honest, there are some ideas that I don’t always agree with, but it’s so important to be having these conversations. The more we talk about it, the more seen we are. However, recently the host posted regarding possibly taking a hiatus, so there is a chance that we don’t see new content here.

POP CULTURE:

Pop TalkPop Talk – Let me just say, there will never be enough of Ross Mathews in the world, no matter what!! Pop talk is a podcast hosted by Ross and Trish Suhr talking about all things happening in pop culture. They go through top stories of the week, breaking news, funny stories, and do it all with hilarious banter. Ross also spends an episode breaking down some of the most iconic pop culture breaking news references throughout history, going back to before stories were able to ‘break the internet’. Trish and Ross make such a dynamic duo, and hearing their opinions on the tabloid tidbits will brighten up your day for sure.

Reality Steve

Reality Steve – Reality TV fans – specifically Bachelor nation, Survivor fans, the Challenge, and more – Steve is here with your spoilers! The first episode I ever listened to was Steve’s interview with Jordan Kimball, where they talked about the drama going on in his relationship with Jenna after the weird texts were discovered. People in the reality TV world really trust Steve as a source of information for both spoilers but also explanations after drama unfolds. His podcast is full of interviews with some of your favorite (or not so favorite) reality TV stars, and he also does advice episodes called ‘He said, She said.” The advice episodes can be pretty intense and deep for how lighthearted a lot of his interviews can be. Either way, there’s a lot of good stuff in here if you’re a fan of the world of reality television.

Comments by CelebsComments By Celebs – My sister turned me on to this Instagram account, which amazingly catches the hilarious and awesome comments that celebrities leave on each other’s posts. For example, the other day, Halsey put up a post where she expressed having writers block to the extent that everything sounded like a Beatles song rip off – to which John Mayer commented, “I can be over to break your heart in 20?” The Instagram @CommentsByCelebs of course caught this along with SO MANY OTHER AMAZING THINGS EVER DAY. The podcast does a round up of all the wonderful ways that celebrities are interacting with each other along with celeb updates and insider information. For all your celebrity gossip, listen here.

COMEDY:

Fairly Normal

Prinze and the Wolf

Prinze and The Wolf – So I am just a gigantic fan of Josh Wolf’s. I listen to his regular podcast religiously and have binged on almost everything he has created audio-wise – except for this podcast… Until now! Since I finally made my way through Josh’s other podcasts so I now have room in my life for him and Freddie Prinze Jr. The two of them are hilarious comedy surrounding good stories, current events, guests and more. To be honest, I really just enjoy anytime Scooby Doo is mentioned. Also worth mentioning, Josh has added recordings of his YouTube series “Controlled Chaos” to his podcast episodes on Fairly Normal and they are HILARIOUS. 

Not Safe

You Up

You Up / Not Safe with Nikki Glaser – I used to be a big fan of Nikki Glaser when she had her TV Show Not Safe on Comedy Central and I re-discovered her when she was on the most recent season of Dancing with the Stars. Nikki’s podcast Not Safe is from a couple of years ago, and there are roughly 30 or so episodes available. If you enjoy Nikki’s comedy and sense of humor, then it’s worth going back to listen to them all. You Up is a Sirius XM Radio show that Nikki hosts that lasts over hours and hours, and this podcast breaks down the funniest clips from the week. It’s quick but really fun and lighthearted with the classic Nikki Glaser humor twisted in. New episodes every Friday make for a good and funny start to the weekend.

OTHER:

DragCon

Rupaul’s Drag Con – When I went to DragCon NYC this year, I was lucky enough to make it into a taping of an episode of Rupaul’s podcast, What’s the T? with Michelle Visage. As a listener of the podcast, I wanted to hear it again played back once it was released. Upon waiting for that particular episode, I stumbled upon the DragCon podcast. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t figured everything out here – at first, I thought it was just recordings of all the panels that were given during DragCon. I was able to listen to a taping of one of the panels I recognized from DragCon NYC but was unable to make. There are other tapings of panels from the LA DragCon as well, and some random clips from either previous years or interviews leading up to DragCon. So I guess this is just all things DragCon. Unfortunately, however, not all of the panels were recorded and are available and new episodes are not released consistently. But, I’m hoping for new and good things to come soon!

world news roundup

World News Roundup – Well, since my normal news podcasts are currently on a hiatus, I had to find a new way to keep up to date on current events. Luckily, CBS news has a daily podcast with the top trending stories so that I can stay in-the-know. I will say, the one thing I loved about Buzzfeed news was their style, and the World News Roundup is a little more “news broadcast”y that what I was used to. It’s still everything I want – quick, informative, relevant, and a good start to the day.

I really have QUITE a list of podcasts that I keep up with regularly, but I am always welcome to more content! Please feel free to comment or send me any suggestions or recommendations as well as thoughts or really anything else.

Thanks for reading!

The Bisexual (TV Show)

NEW SHOW TO WATCH ASAP!! STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND START BINGING!!bisexual 3Hulu recently released a new British TV series from Channel 4 called The Bisexual. 6 episodes were released in October, each about 30 minutes in length.

The main character of the show (Leila) is ending a 10 year relationship with a woman and begins to explore relationship with men. She struggles with her identity and how to label herself, as she isn’t comfortable with the term “bisexual.”

The main goal of the show is to break through the stereotypes of bisexuality in hopes of moving forward.

As a bisexual, I found this show incredibly relatable. I’m continuously being seen one way or the other depending on who I am with – appearing straight with men but gay with women. It’s hard to truly be seen as a bisexual, and even when we are seen, we are incredibly oversexualized. It’s difficult to point out bisexuals in the media, and sometimes this is seen as a phase or something we will grow out of. Straight people may see me as gay while the gay community may see me as straight. Bisexuality is not always recognized and not always taken seriously.

These are the ideas that this show explored for me.

There were two specific scenes within this amazing set of episodes that really hit home to me on a personal level: one as a bisexual, and the other simply as a human.

The first scene deals with some of the connotations surrounding the word bisexual and what associations the main character makes when she hears the word:

Gabe: Do you think that maybe, you’re a bisexual?

Leila: I don’t like that word.

Gabe: Why not?

Leila: When you hear “bisexual”, you think like, Tila Tequila. And you think, Anne Heche.

Gabe: Who?

Leila: Exactly. There’s nobody. There’s no precedence. When I hear “bisexual” I think, “lame slut.” It’s tacky. It’s gauche. It makes you seem disingenuous – like your genitals have no allegiance. You know? Like you have no criteria for people. It’s there’s just an open door policy. It’s not a nice thing to be, it’s not a cool thing to be, and it makes my fucking skin crawl.

HA. And there it is. All the wonderful stereotypes that come along with bisexuality wrapped up in one wonderful paragraph. We are considered promiscuous and indecisive attention-seekers with a lack of heart and no commitment to anything. Hearing all of these things said out loud was freeing to me. It made me laugh, and it made me proud. And it made me excited to tear it all down.

The other scene that hit home to me was regarding intimacy and experiences with other people:

Jon-Cris: How many people have you been this intimate with?

Leila: Like had sex with?

Jon-Cris: No, no, how many people have you laid in bed with all day and held hands with, talked about your childhood with, how many like five? More than five?

Leila: I don’t know.

Jon-Cris: More than ten?

Leila: Why does it matter?

Jon-Cris: Because you can’t just open someone up and make then feel safe and then change your mind the next day. It makes your intimacy worth shit. You are an emotional intimacy whore.

Damn. I felt that shit waaaay too hard. I’ve found a lot of meaning in my relationships, even if I’m not a fan of what a standard serious relationship might look like. I’ve bonded with people on so many levels and in so many different ways that all hold significance to me. Hearing these words and thinking about what my answer might have been definitely made me think – am I also an emotional intimacy whore? Is it wrong that I have the ability to connect deeply with someone, even if its temporary?bisexual 2I recorded these two scenes on my phone and played them for myself over and over, hearing each word and how they made me feel. Overall, it made me feel proudly misunderstood. People of all communities seem to forget that the B in LGBTQ hold substance, and there are a large amount of people who identify with this word. We are curious people of course, but we are also so many other things.

the bisexual

Most importantly, we are individuals. And all of our journeys are different in their own way.

So yeah, please go watch this show. It holds a lot of significance to me, and I hope to other bisexuals as well.

Thanks for reading.

Election Diversity!!

rainbow waveFor the first time in a long time, I am feeling hopeful about the future and inspired by much of the election results. There is so much to be celebrated, and there are many “firsts” in office. There are a record number of women holding seats in the House and more than 100 LGBTQ candidates that emerged victorious as of Wednesday afternoon.* I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. Let’s celebrate these accomplishments and keep this momentum going!!

  • Abby Finkenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women elected to congress.
  • Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first navtive american women elected to congress, and Sharice is also a member of the LGBTQ community as well.
  • Ilhan Omar and Fashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to congress, and Ilhan will be the first to wear a hijab.
  • Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in the US.
  • Kate Brown, previously became the first openly bisexual woman elected governor in 2016, was reelected.
  • MANY OPENLY LGBTQ MEMBERS WERE ELECTED INTO CONGRESS, including Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Sean Patrick Malony, Krysten Sinema, Mark Pocan, Mark Takano
  • Other LGBTQ members of the house include Angie Craig, Chris Pappas, and more.

election

These faces give me hope that the best of times are still ahead of us.

#Wave

Thanks for reading.

Images from instagram @refinery29 @glaad @nowthisnews
Woman and LGBTQ members in office, according to *NBCnews.com

Podcast Favorites #2

As I become more of an active podcast listener, I have stumbled upon many more favorites to recognize. Additionally, some shows mentioned in my first podcast post needed some updating. Here it goes:

UPDATES:

anna faris no esta

Anna Faris No Está Calificada – Good news: one of my favorite podcasts is now available in Spanish! The same episode available in English is copied in a second language, which is awesome for a Spanish learner. Bad news: only one episode was released, several weeks ago, so I am unsure if I should expect this to continue.

This Is Love

This Is Love – Bad news: A new episode has not been released since March. I am not sure if the show is expected to continue at this time. Good news: There are still six really great episodes to listen to, and I do highly recommend them all!

Tiny Leaps, Big ChangesTiny Leaps, Big Changes – Bad news: I had this show categorized under “Short, Daily Listens” and I stopped listening because they were no longer that – short or daily. He went through a period of long interviews released inconsistently and I grew uninterested and therefore, I unsubscribed. Good news: I checked back today out of curiosity, and it looks as though this guy has gotten back into his normal rhythm. I am considering putting this one back on my list, even though I am not as interested as I once was.

spotify-new-music-friday-artworkNew Music Friday – Bad news: these guys released three episodes and then never returned. See ya. Good news: you can still listen to new music every Friday delivered to you in a playlist on Spotify.

the news

The News, From BuzzFeed News – I am still a big fan of Reporting To You From BuzzFeedNews, and their new show is very good as well. Same idea – relevant news stories, but now delivered as a weekly summary each Saturday. Episodes are roughly 20 minutes long so it’s still an easy and quick listen.

 

Women Representation:

female criminalsFemale Criminals – The whole premise of this show is behind the fact that when someone mentions a serious criminal, you might not immediately picture a women. This show dives into the minds of famous criminals such as Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, the Columbian drug lord Grisela Blanco, and many famous serial killers. My only critique is that I wished that some of the stories did not carry over into two episodes, but all the stories are still worth the listen.

Lx7JYlnK_400x400

The Bechdel Cast – I recently wrote a post about The Bechdel Test which challenges female representation in film. This podcast’s group of women dives into different movies and analyzes how women are portrayed in both new films and the classics. The tone is light and funny while also highlighting a lot of important feminist ideas and issues. I recommend going through their list of available episodes and listening to where your favorite movies fall on the “nipple scale.”

 

LGBTQ:

ITSAGGGGP

It’s A Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Podcast with Mr. Malone – Fagsy Malone (who is currently attempting to drop the nickname “Fagsy”) walks through what a typical day in Malibu is like. Famous neighbors, an art class of children, and fun interviews with a motley crew. I really enjoy the deep ideas explored here as well as the light-heartedness that comes with a glorious Malibu morning. Fagsy also has a podcast called “Under the Bus with Fagsy” where I don’t believe he will be posting any future episodes, but they are still worth the listen if you enjoy his sense of humor. JUUUUDY! Ugh, too much.

josh and ross

Josh & Ross (he said, he said) – This show is actually super old… like, 5 or 6 years old… but it’s entertaining as hell. Of course I found this show as a result of Ross Mathew’s current podcast, Straight Talk with Ross (this is the show Ross had with comedian Josh Wolfe in 2012 and 2013 prior to starting Straight Talk), and this show feels a lot like an old school radio show. The content is absolutely hilarious and is great to put in my ears while I work.

what's the teeRuPaul’s What’s The Tee? – I started listening to this naturally because I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, BUT the podcast doesn’t actually talk too much about Drag Race overall. There are some guest judges and favorite contestants that make appearances on episodes of the show, but most of the conversation does not surround the competition. Instead Ru and Michelle Visage talk about contemporary issues, tell their stories and families, go through challenges they have faced, and more. Oh and don’t forget about different wig, nail and make up tricks that are Ruvealed! All Tee all shade.

As I said before, if anyone has any recommendations or hosts their own podcast, please feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading.