Ross’ Bubbly Brunch

I was lucky enough to go to the grand post-shutdown re-opening of Ross’ Bubbly Brunch in Palm Springs over Memorial Day Weekend! Hosted at the Wine Lounge, the cast was packed with some incredible performers that did not disappoint. Ross was there himself to host, and I also got to meet Carson Kressley and Fortune Feimster, who both came to support, as well as tons of the “Straight Talk” family. It was truly one of the best days ever, and I hope I can go again – either in Palm Springs, or another city!

Performers included host Morgan McMichaels from Rupaul’s Drag Race, Ongina, Delta Work, Jasmine Masters, and Joey Jay also from Rupaul’s Drag Race, and Palm Springs’ legend Savannah Westbrooke.

To find upcoming dates and brunches, follow @rossbubblybrunch on Instagram or visit www.rossbubblybrunch.com.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous Series

Go Ask Alice has always been one of my all time favorite books to read, and recently I discovered Jay’s Journal as well. After doing a couple quick google searches, I found that there is a whole series of novels published in the same style.

My best friend and I decided to read the rest of this “Anonymous” series by this publisher, which was five more books in addition to the two above. Each story was super unique from the next, but all were wildly intriguing. We planned to read one per month but ended up finishing all five in just over two months:


1. Lucky In The Sky
While this diary heavily focuses on her drug use, it feels very different from Go Ask Alice. It takes place sometime in the early 2010’s ish, somewhere near Los Angeles – so though this is not very hippy dippy, maybe this would be the more current version of the Go Ask Alice story? The main character is a party girl that gets wrapped up in the lifestyle – which is easy to do when you’re getting paraded around Malibu beach houses. While it ends somewhat abruptly, I very much enjoyed following her journey.

2. Calling Maggie May
This story is full of sadness and loneliness, and is based on that fact that everybody just wants to feel like they fit in somewhere. The lead in this book was very sheltered as a result of her family’s culture, and jumped at the first sign of a life that was not her own. Unfortunately for her, the first chance she has was a life of prostitution, and she gets thrown in almost immediately. I felt bad for her throughout most of the book, because she just wanted to belong to something to badly. She was looking for sisterhood and put her trust in the hands of people she barely knew. It gets more and more bleak, and honestly, ends pretty horribly. That being said, I enjoyed the way she wrote and would still recommend this.

3. Breaking Bailey
The way that this girl wrote, I forgot multiple times that I was reading a diary and not an actual fiction novel. Her story is honestly crazy – she gets shipped off to boarding school, does well in her chemistry classes, and ends up in a group of honor students who make meth on the side. The story takes off right away, and is coupled with a love story as well with one of the other members of the club. At first she is living a dream, until the pressure of keeping up their supply on top of the intense course load (and more) comes crashing down on her. This one is easily one of my favorites and I will definitely be re-reading this again soon.

4. Letting Ana Go
As someone who has struggled with eating disorders, this book was definitely hard to read. Her struggle is so intense and while I thought I’d be able to relate to some of what she was feeling, that was not necessarily the case. My personal experience was clearly different, and I found her struggle to be much more extreme. What was frustrating about this story was that a lot of her negative habits were forced on her by her friend and her friend’s mom, rather than her own decisions. It’s hard to see this story play out, and I found the ending to be somewhat unrealistic (even though this is based on true events).

5. The Book of David
I didn’t think I would like this one, but it turned out to be one of my favorites! The story is based on a “big secret”, which turns out to be that the football team quarterback is gay and in love with the new kid. Because this took place around 2010, I was confused on why this was such a big secret. However, he grew up in Arkansas in a very conservative and religious town, so I have to remember that my high school experience is not always the norm. This became an adorable love story that honestly sounded super similar to the movie Love, Simon. I don’t know if this was the inspiration, but I loved reading this. It’s also noteworthy that this is the only novel that has a somewhat happy ending where the main character does not die and leave the diary behind.

There were more books available by another publisher, so maybe we will eventually make our way through those. Even though these books can get rather dark, they are also easy and quick reads that are often relatable at the core. Honestly these are some of my favorite books and now I can’t stop thinking about all the journals that I have or haven’t kept over the years..

Anyway. Thanks for reading!

Odyssey Storytelling

img_8566Odyssey Storytelling brings together people of all aspects of life to connect through sharing stories. This community showcases monthly events, where several storytellers share their experiences to an audience through story. Each show has a theme, and is held in downtown Tucson at The Sea Of Glass Center for the Arts. I got to participate in the January show as one of the storytellers!

We got to write our own bios, which were all posted online and included in the programs: “Gina Finio is 27 years old and originally from the Philadelphia, PA area. She graduated from a PA university that you’ve probably never heard of and has worked in Human Resources ever since. img_8569She turned her love for cactus into a cross-country move this summer, relocating from Allentown, PA to Tucson. Her dog Ducky is the most important thing in her life and is also her longest lasting relationship. Her hobbies include binge watching or auditioning for reality television, finishing jigsaw puzzles with her girlfriend and then putting it back in the box like a savage, and spending way too much money on crop tops that she will never stop wearing no matter how old she gets. Follow her weird life on social media @ginafinio or read her blog if you feel like it at www.ginafinio.com.” If you’re interested in reading the bios of my fellow storytellers, the picture to the left should show everyone from the show.

The theme of the night was Hindsight: “Stories from the shoulda – coulda – woulda club. They say hindsight is 20/20. If you knew then what you know now . . . how would your life be different? Would you make the same choices or would you take a different path? Are our lives predetermined by fate or do we exercise free will? Or, is it some odd combination of the two?”

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The story that I told was basically my coming out story, which honestly is one that I’m not a big fan of. I didn’t have a bad experience or anything, but if I could go back and do things differently, I certainly would. It’s not about the act of actually coming out, but more the way that I did it. Hindsight has allowed me to recognize this now, which is basically what my story was about. It was also something that I was holding onto in a way that I didn’t like, and by being able to joke about it, I was able to find some closure.

The energy that I felt coming off of the stage was like nothing I’ve ever experienced! It was a lot of highs, and I was truly really proud of myself. People kept coming up to me after the show, saying that they could relate in someway – which was incredible! Whether it was through myself or a family member type of figure – it was crazy to see people feel so connected to my experience. The crowd was amazing, extremely open, diverse, and accepting.

I hope to be able to do another story sometime soon, but I want to make sure it’s something I hold just as close to my heart is this one. I don’t want to tell a story just for the sake of telling it; I want it to be really meaningful. But I DEFINITELY would like to do it again.odyssey

You can listen to all the stories from the Hindsight show via The Odyssey Storytelling Podcast. The recording was released on Friday, January 31st: January 2020: Hindsight. My story begins around minute 47:47. You can also find more information for Odyssey Storytelling and their upcoming events by visiting OdysseyStorytelling.com.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

New Tattoos (part two)

Well, I’ve gotten some new ink. My tattoo total is up to 12 now, but of course I’m far from done. I absolutely love the tattoos I’ve gotten in the past month or two, so I had to share:

 

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1. Mountains: A while ago, my sister got a tattoo of a simple line in the shape of a wave (similar to those wave rings you’ve probably seen on Instagram). I really liked the look and placement, although the beach and ocean does not mean the same to me as it does for my sister. Instead I took her inspiration and turned it into a mountainscape. I’ve always been drawn to mountains, and it’s part of the reason that I loved Tucson so much. Living in a town where you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains has been amazing, and I hope to always have a good mountain view in my life.

 

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2. That’s Amore: When my sister turned 18, I went with her to a parlor to purchase her first tattoo. We actually got coordinating tatts, where she has a lock and I have the key. When our cousin turned 18 this year, my sister extended the tradition down. Growing up, my cousin and my grams would sing the song “That’s Amore” before my cousin was fully able to read. Instead, Grams drew pictures for the moon, sky, a pizza pie, and then wrote the words “that’s amore”. My cousin, my sister and I all got the lyrics “that’s amore” in my grams’ handwriting, and it turned out absolutely adorable on everyone. Since my sister and cousin are on the east coast and I’m out in AZ, I wasn’t able to get tatted with them, but the sentiment still stands.

 

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3. Rainbow Dots: I’ve wanted something “gay” related for a long time, but I wasn’t ready to get a full on rainbow tattooed on myself. I thought about maybe just “BI” or something else subtle, but couldn’t find anything that I loved. My friend then sent me a tattoo she found on Instagram that had a line of dots in rainbow colors. It was so simple and beautiful, and I also loved the nod to R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. from my art days. This tattoos is so elegant and discrete, yet creative and unique and I absolutely am obsessed with it.

 

As always, more tattoos to come I’m sure!

Thanks for reading.

Diva Rules By Michelle Visage

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I bought this book during Drag Con, where I actually got to meet Michelle! She even signed the book for me, which honestly made it a little more exciting to read. Diva Rules is partly about her life, but also largely a self help book for the misfits and freaks who consider themselves fabulous enough to be a diva. Definitely read this if you are ready to start feeling your oats.

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It’s inspiring to hear the story of a girl from New Jersey with big hair and big dreams, who actually managed to make it big. I especially enjoyed the praise through the words of RuPaul, her best Judy. I always think it’s endearing to hear someone speak fondly of someone they love and admire, and Ru clearly adores Michelle. From both of their perspectives, they had a clear connection from the moment they locked eyes, hunty. From there the chemistry just sparked, igniting a lifelong friendship and legacy. 

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One of my childhood friends was adopted, and it’s made a lasting impact on me. I have plans to get involved in either fostering or adopting in my future, and I’m also partial to those who have some experience on the subject. Michelle was adopted, as was her brother David, by two parents whom she praises immensely. She absolutely adores her parents and appreciates the life they gave her; Michelle’s only disappointment was that she was unable to inherit her mom’s big tits. 

I’m incredibly, overly jealous of the time that Michelle got to spend in New York during the up and comings of VOGUE (!!!), and the legendary children and houses featured in 03acd17c0c4d1e0ab48aaf731026608aParis Is Burning (available on Netflix). I mean, she knew Angie Extravaganza (!!!!!!!!) and was winning trophies for voguing before Madonna even know what it was. I mean, that is ICONIC. If she had written about having a kiki with Venus Extravaganza… omg, the fan girl in me might have actually gone crazy. It was during this time that Michelle got her namesake, Visage. She was entering in categories in the balls with her house, and one of the categories was “face”. Her first nickname was “Cara” – roll the “R” – the Spanish word for “face.” But when bedazzled onto her jackets and hats, people were mistaking it for the name Cara. So instead she went with the French word for “face” – visage. Bam! *Said like Alexis Mateo*

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Michelle is inspiring because she works hard, empowers others, believes in herself, and never gives up. She is loving, kind, full of wisdom and also not afraid to clock you for the wrong hemline. Her end goal is always to make those who shine, shine their brightest, including herself. Follow her Diva rules to do just that.

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I really enjoyed this book, and it’s a quick read for anyone who aspires to live up to their full diva potential (available wherever books are sold, or at her booth at DragCons). I also recommend watching Michelle as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, of course. She is also a current contestant on the British version of Dancing With The Stars (Called Strictly Come Dancing) and was on the British Celebrity Big Brother as well. You may also recognize Michelle from her many many years on the radio, or for her role in the girl groups Seduction and S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. The bitch works hard, okurr!

Tens across the board! Thanks for reading.

Support LGBTQ Causes

Looking to get more involved in the LGBTQ+ community? Here are many amazing organizations and causes that are always looking for more support:

 

GLSEN-Safe-InclusiveGLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network): The leading national education organization, promoting anti-bullying through campaigns and gay-straight alliances in schools across the nation. Volunteer or donate at glsen.org or 212-727-0135.

hrc-foundationHuman Rights Campaign Foundation: A civil rights advocacy group who focuses largely on LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, and legislation changes that include hate-crimes and anti-discrimination movements. Volunteer or donate at hrc.org or 202-628-4160.

Lambda LegalLambda Legal: A defense and education fund that supports civil rights and provides legal services for the LGBTQ community as well as individuals living with HIV and AIDS.
Attorney’s can join the Cooperating Attorney Network within the organization, and anyone can volunteer or donate at lamdalegal.org or 212-809-8585.

PFLAGPFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays): An organization that promotes the health and wellness of LGBTW people and their loved ones through support groups and scholarship programs. Sign up or donate at pflag.org or 202-467-8180.

 

SageSage: A social group that provides health services, housing, and employement opportunties for LGBTQ senior citizens. Get involved or donate at sageusa.org or 212-741-2247.

 

Stonewall Community FoundationStonewall Community Foundation: A fundraiser to support LGBTQ non-profits and organizations in NYC, which includes scholarship programs that support refugees and asylum seekers. Donate at stonewallfoundation.org or 212-457-1341.

stonewall initiativeStonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative: The official and only charitable giving organization of the Historic Stonewall Inn, promoting tolerance and acceptance in communities across America. Get more information or donate at stonewallinitiative.org or 646-242-8382.

 

Take Back The PromTake Back The Prom: A DoSomthing campaign where thousands of students share stories and sign petitions to demand change from schools who still have discrimination policies. Students can access the Anxiety Line by texting PROM to 38383, or donate at takebacktheprom.com.

The Trevor ProjectThe Trevor Project:  A confidential hotline that provides crisis and suicide-prevention services, as well as resources for parents and educators. Volunteer to be trained to become a lifeline counselor or volunteer, or donate at thetrevorproject.org or 310-271-8845.

 

Now go get involved! Thanks for reading!

5 LGBT Historical Figures You Should Know

Even though Pride Month has officially ended, it’s still important to remember the people who paved the way for us to celebrate. My company’s internal Pride magazine has continued to show focus on the trailblazers that paved the way for the rest of us. So, here are 5 historical LGBTQ figures that you should most definitely know about:

 

harveymilk460Harvey Milk
The first openly gay elected official in the U.S., Harvey Milk was a civil and human rights activist who served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. His work in advocacy for the LGBTQ community was only beginning when he was assassinated less than just one year in office.

Bayard RustinBayard Rustin
A close adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin marched with on Washington as a black and gay man to fight for civil rights. He was one of the most effective influencers of the civil rights movement, and was nicknamed “Mr. March-on-Washington”.

Michael_DillonLaurence Michael Dillon
robertaBorn with the name Laura Maud, Laurence Michael Dillon was the first person to undergo FTM gender reassignment surgery.  He was a British physician, but when his story was revealed to the world, he fled to India and became a Monk. Roberta Cowell is also noteworthy, as she was the first to undergo a surgical MTF transition.

Simon NkoliSimon Nkoli
Experiencing extreme discrimination, Simon Nkoli was a South Africa native that was one of the first Black anti-apartheid activists to publicly identify as gay and HIV-positive. He was diagnosed while in prison for protesting, and eventually died of an AIDS related illness.

herculineHerculine Barbin
Assigned female at birth but later reclassified by law as male, Herculine Barbin was the first person to be labeled as intersex. Herculine eventually changed their name to Abel, and died by suicide at the age of 30 after much medical scrutiny.  (Note: There are no confirmed pictures of Herculine Barbin, so the above picture may not be accurate.)

 

gay   Thanks for reading!

For more information on these amazing people, please visit:  
milkfoundation.org/ ;  
kinginstitute.edu/rustin-bayard ;  
http://library.transgenderzone.com/ ;  
www.sahistory.org.za/tseko-simon-nkoli ;  
Herculine Barbin, By Michel Foucault

5 Reasons to Watch Pete Buttigieg

PeteEverything that I know about Pete Buttigieg so far has made me a fan of his. As we get to know more and more about the candidates participating in the upcoming elections, Pete is someone from whom I am definitely excited to hear. Here are just some reasons why:

 

chasten1. His Husband 
If Pete were to be elected, this would make him the first openly gay president! This would be a huge milestone for the community, and an amazing push forward for our country. Not to mention, Chasten would make an amazing First Gentleman … or whatever they plan on calling it. They are adorable, so are their dogs, and I am here for the representation.

 

unite2. His Platform
In a time when our nation is divided in such an extreme way, Pete is focusing on what we have in common, and running his platform with the focus on uniting the U.S.. There is so much more middle ground than anyone realizes, and Pete intends to use those common areas to attempt to unify the country. Many other candidates are running on the idea of “fighting the fight”, while Pete is looking to make peace again.

 

military3. His Military Experience 
Pete proudly brags that he has more military experience than his running mates, and many previously elected presidents as well. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2009, and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2014. He continued to serve as an intelligence officer until 2017. As a potential future Commander-in-Chief, military experience and leadership is obviously extremely important.

 

political4. His Political Experience
While a lot of people did appreciate that Trump did not come from the typical political background, there are others that argue that this experience is vital to the success of a leader in office. Pete has been involved in politics for the majority of his career, and he is currently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (and has been since 2012). It doesn’t hurt to mention that he is a Harvard College graduate also.

 

personality5. His Personality and Charm
While he is a responsible, stand up politician, Pete is also not afraid to have a good time. He has shown his personality throughout the beginning of this campaign, including doing a fun sketch with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. He knows how to appeal to multiple audiences, and can be trusted to be authentic in various settings. As a millennial, I’m on board.

 

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I read most of this information from the TIME article that highlighted his campaign, which I definitely recommend checking out. He has also made appearances on other late night TV shows and has had various other press coverage as well. I intend to keep my eye on Pete as he continues to move forward with his political efforts, regardless of where they make take him. You can learn more about Pete by visiting PeteForAmerica.com or following him @pete.buttigieg on Instagram and @PeteButtigieg on Twitter.

“It’s time for a new generation of American leadership.”

Thanks for reading!

 

Out & About (Feb 2019)

adp pride 3I am lucky and fortunate enough to work for a company that is very socially conscious and progressive in various areas. My company does a lot of charity work, including giving each employee 8 volunteer hours of PTO to use each year. They give parental leave to anyone who is becoming a parent – which includes fathers, adoption, LGBTQ couples, and more. They also have internal organizations to join to help you feel a sense of community, which includes a Pride organization that publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, titled “Out & About.”*

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There were three key pieces of news and information that was shared in the February 2019 issue of “Out & About” that I wanted to highlight, as they are extremely important milestones in LGBTQ history:

1. LGBTQ Representation in Record Numbers
This was something that I highlighted in my post-election post that celebrated the diversity we had just elected into office, and was also highlighted in the magazine as well. Representation in our government now includes record high numbers of open LGBTQ community members. This year, we swore into office our first openly bisexual Senate member and the first lesbian parent in Congress (making 10 total LGBTQ members overall). Having these perspectives in office can greatly help to provide a more well-rounded basis of legislation, and can better represent the people in which they are governing.

2. Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act
The Governor of New York signed this act on January 25th, which adds gender identity and gender expression to their list of protected classes. This ensures that Transgender and Non-Binary individuals are protected against discrimination in housing, employment, and bathroom access (many other states have already put this in place). New York also passed a law that bans conversion therapy, along with 14 other states who have banned the outdated practice as well. Conversation therapy has never shown evidence of affecting a persons sexual preference, but instead has only proved to have intense damages as a result. As a result of these two changes, New York has made great strides in supporting the LGBTQ community.

3. LGBTQ Inclusivity in School
New Jersey has passed a law that will recognize LGBTQ members of history in middle school and high school curricula. This will show the leaders and contributors of history as well as LGBTQ milestones and perspectives. Having this requirement in classrooms can greatly normalize the community during important and formative years. The law also requires that there is more inclusion for individuals with disabilities. This inclusion to the education in NJ should better represent the world overall and should help celebrate all world perspectives.

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I feel very grateful that my workplace is recognizing some of the same values that are important to me, and celebrating milestones alongside the LGBTQ community. And I hope that more history continues to be made.

Thanks for reading.

*Out & About is an ADP resource intended for internal use only.

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.

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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 #3

podcast  Here is another round of my current favorite podcast suggestions! (#1, #2)

COMEDY:

Off The RailsOff The Rails with Sarah Colonna and Josh Wolf – This podcast is going back a couple of years, but is super worth the binge. After “Josh and Ross / he said he said” ended, Josh kept his old school radio style podcast going with a new co-host. Sarah is hilarious and their conversations are a perfect combination of relevant issues and absolutely ruthless and disgusting ideas. I’m a big fan of both Sarah and Josh from a comedy standpoint, so I recommend going a google search for their material as well.

Fairly Normal

Fairly Normal with Josh Wolf – Eventually, Josh goes solo on the podcast and Fairly Normal was born. Josh actually has an incredible story of how his family was created, and the episodes with his children are some of the most interesting. (TBH I should probably read Josh’s book to get the full story, cause its genuinely fascinating.) Some of the episodes include and guest and others are just solo rambles from Josh on the road, but all are entertaining. All the episodes of Off the Rails and Fairly normal can both be found under this logo on the Podcast app.

3 Girls 1 Keith3 Girls 1 Keith – This is a new podcast, and I only listen to the shortened version on iTunes. Apparently there is an extended version on Spotify, but I like the shortened show well enough. Amy Shumer, Bridget Everett, and Rachel Bloom partner with their friend Keith to talk about taboo topics and humiliate Keith as much as possible. If you are a fan of Amy Shumer’s, this is a good listen. Covering everything from love to pets to anal, it’s a quick and funny show in typical Amy Shumer comedy.

 

DRAG RACE:

Race ChaserRace Chaser – Sorry not sorry that I am a HUGE fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and this podcast is EVERYTHING! Alaska and Willam are diving into each episode one by one as their love letter to the series. I am having a blast watching an episode from season one every week and listening to Alaska and Willam dissect it with their wit. There are some special guest appearances from the queens featured on the episodes and lots of inside information. If you are a fan of Drag Race, this podcast really is a MUST. I’m also obsessed with Alaska and will listen to anything with her voice in it.

Whimsically VolatileWhimsically Volatile – If you know Drag Race, you know Katya. Previous to listening to this podcast, I did not know Craig, but Katya and Craig together create an absolutely ridiculous and over the top duo. This podcast is full of inappropriateness that you just can’t find anywhere else. Katya (Brian) really goes deep into some truly gruesome stories that you can’t stop listening too. There is no lack of entertainment here, that’s for sure.

 

OTHER:

Getting CuriousGetting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness – Jonathan is my favorite of the Fab 5 on Queer Eye, and I can never get enough of him. Needless to say, when I found out he had a podcast, I immediately started binging. This podcast is super informative – Jonathan goes keep into topics that make him curious with experts from that field. This covers everything from politics to social media to a diva cup. I’ve already learned so much from listening to this podcast and there is so much information left to discover. Also, Jonathan is the best.

Self HelplessSelf Helpless – This was such an easy binge listen for a crazy person like me! If you have ever had anxiety, read a self help book, or practice the art of Feng Shui, you have to listen to these girls. Comedians Delanie Fischer, Kelsey Cook, and Taylor Tomlinson come together to talk about their experiences with self help, anxiety, and so much more. There is always a comedic relief, but also a lot of great insight. They also did an episode where they covered The Five Love Languages, and a book I am currently reading called “You Are A Badass”. Highly recommend!

NancyNancy – I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. Nancy is one of my all time favorite listens, and I cannot wait for them to start the new season and bring me more episodes. Nancy is an LGBTQ podcast that goes though so many issues in the community. To put it simply, this podcast is so real. The hosts Kathy and Tobin go through their experiences with coming out, cover relevant news stories, and shed light on statistics and ideas within the LGBTQ community. This was an eye-opening podcast with so many more ideas to explore. Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or not, this is worth the listen. I promise.

More to come! I am always looking for new podcast recommendations and suggestions, so please comment if you have any favorites to share.

Happy listening! Thanks for reading.

Podcast Favorites #2

podcast  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.