Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!

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Check out this bisexuality playlist I made on Spotify in 2019!

Every September 23, Bisexual Visibility day is celebrated  to recognize and celebrate bisexual people, the bisexual community, and the history of bisexuality – but why is needed? Why is it important?

Firstly, it’s important because it helps to tackle biphobia, which is the discrimination that bisexuals face. According to Pew Research Center, 40 percent of LGBT Americans are bisexual. The Office for National Statistics suggests 0.8 percent of the British population are bisexual. However, the same research also shows gay men and lesbians are more likely than bi people to be out.

Furthermore, part of the reason why bisexual individuals face discrimination and stigma, which doesn’t allow for them to come out – a 2017 study by American University found that stressors had more of an impact because bi people face what researchers described as “double discrimination” – from both queer and non-queer community.

We also need Bisexuality Visibility Day because the experiences of bisexual people are often forgotten or ignored, because our experience are assumed to be the same as lesbian and gay experiences, and our identities are frequently made invisible or dismissed as something that doesn’t exist, by people both inside and outside of this community, which is “double discrimination.” We also have negative stereotypes – the big ones being that we’re greedy, can’t make up our minds, more likely to cheat – as well as more negative stereotypes.

The issues that bisexual individuals face is also gendered – Bi women are more likely to be viewed as ‘actually straight’, their sexual orientation merely a performance to attract straight men, whereas bi men are frequently seen as going through a ‘phase’ on the way to coming out as gay. But please remember, anyone of any gender can identify as bisexual!

Finally, if you want to step up as an ally to bi people this Sunday: remember we exist and we are valid, remember the stereotypes and assumptions we face daily, and think of one thing you can do in your daily life to help – I will be posting bisexual visibility related content on Twitter, so be sure to follow me @CaseyBrowne4.

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LGBTQ+ Services in Bristol

Bristol boasts a lively and inclusive LGBTQ+ scene, so here are some of the local clubs, organisations and mental health support to get you familiar with the LGBTQ+ community in Bristol.

LGBTQ+ Organisations:

Freedom Youth

Seeing as Freedom is 25 years old; it would only feel appropriate to include them here! Freedom is the LGBTQ+ branch of Off the Record and is the place for all your LGBTQ+ needs. It not only offers LGBTQ+ counselling, but it also runs two separate youth groups where LGBTQ+ young people can meet, socialise and take part in activism activities. As an active member, it’s a great place to meet like-minded LGBTQ+ young people, especially now since everything’s online.

SingOut Bristol

Fancy singing? Well, SingOut Bristol is for you! It’s a choir run by members of the LGBTQ+ community who enjoy singing. But don’t worry, the prior experience isn’t needed, although the ability to sing in tune and harmony is desired.  

Kiki Bristol

Kiki Bristol is a place specifically for LGBTQ+ people of colour. Since beginning in 2017, it’s grown for a one-off night club to a vital of Bristol LGBTQ+ scene, showing everything from film screenings to workshops.

UWE LGBT+ Society

If you’re a student at UWE, then I can’t recommend UWE’s LGBT+ society enough – despite cancelling events due to COVID, the society plan to host online activities soon, so don’t fear!

University of Bristol LGBT+ Society

Another LGBTQ+ society, which is inclusive of all genders and sexualities. So, if you’re a student who’s studying at the University of Bristol, this may be a society you join.

LGBTQ+ Nightlife

OMG Bristol

Open from 10 pm (Wednesday – Saturday); OMG Bristol offers cheap nights out (so it’s excellent for your budget), complete with LED dancefloors, a stage and a booth for hire. But as stated on their Instagram, only the bar will be opening.

Bristol Bear Bar

Bristol Bear Bar (try saying that multiple times) is a gay bar located in the centre of Bristol.

Queenshilling

Queenshilling is an LGBTQ+ club in Bristol on Frogmore Street, and the club offers drag performances, a bar, and a good dance. While the club has no current plans for opening, Queenshilling is one of the most popular LGBTQ+ clubs in Bristol.

Opening in 1992, Queenshilling attracts a more local crowd, where you can meet for a drink with friends or a date.

Punka Bristol

I haven’t found anything saying that they’re reopening, Punka is a offers a night out if you’re in the mood for something more indie/rock.

The Old Market Assembly

It might not be an LGBTQ+ nightclub, but it’s still an LGBTQ+ venue that’s a cultural hotspot for those who are more artistically disposed of. The Old Market Assembly is a great place to go as it hosts regular drag events and LGBTQ+ mixers, including “Don’t Tell Your Mother”, a club night that’s valued for its inclusive ethos.

Mental Health Support:

Mindline Trans

Mindline Trans is a helpline for trans, nonbinary or those questioning their gender identity and is open every Monday and Friday from 8 pm through to midnight.

Their email: mindline@bristol.org.uk 

The Website, which includes the phone number: https://bristolmind.org.uk/help-and-counselling/mindline-transplus/

MindOut

MindOut is a mental health service for the LGBTQ+ community which offers different support, from trans specific sessions to an advocacy session.

The Website for more information: https://www.mindout.org.uk/

Gendered Intelligence

This youth group is run in London, Leeds and Bristol and offers support for young people who are trans, nonbinary or questioning their gender.

Their Website for more information: http://genderedintelligence.co.uk/

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline

Similar to Mindline Trans, Switchboard LGBT+ is an LGBT+ helpline that’s open every day from 10:00 – 22:00 and has more of a general approach when it comes to any issues you may have when it comes to being LGBTQ+.

Imaan

Imaan is a charity that supports LGBTQ+ Muslims, and the Website provides an online forum where folks can share experiences and ask for help.

Their Website for more information: https://imaanlondon.wordpress.com/

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The History Of The Bisexual Flag & What It Represents

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The Bisexual Flag

The Bisexual flag, designed in 1988 by Michael Page, aimed to give bisexual individuals & community more visibility, both in society and in the LGBTQ+ community- this is due to the biphobia (the irrational fear of bisexuals) bisexuals face both in society and unfortunately, in their own community. But biphobia is another post for another day.

When creating the bisexual flag we know today, Page took the colors from an already existing symbol and stated, “In designing the Bi Pride Flag, I selected the colors and overlap pattern of the ‘bi angles’ symbol.” This simply means that Page was putting his own spin on the bisexual symbol- however, the biangles (or “bisexuality triangles”) origins are unclear.

 

Biangles (or “Bisexual Triangles”)

Another symbol for bisexuality, the crescent moon, avoids the Nazi movement’s pink triangle used to dehumanize homosexuals during World War 2. Again, that’s another post for another day. 

In terms of meaning, Page describes the meaning of the color scheme behind the flag- a dark pink, lavender, and a dark blue (and for a bit of extra knowledge, the ratio for the flag is 2:1:2) as follows, “The pink color represents sexual attraction to the same sex only (gay and lesbian). The blue represents sexual attraction to the opposite sex only (straight) and the resultant overlap color purple represents sexual attraction to both sexes (bi).” – however, this isn’t how I would define my bisexuality, as I like to define it as “sexual attraction to my gender & other genders” (aren’t labels cool like that?!) 

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Bisexual Crescent Moon

In addition, Page delves deeper into the flags meaning, adding, “The key to understanding the symbolism of the Bisexual pride flag is to know that the purple pixels of color blend unnoticeably into both the pink and blue, just as in the ‘real world,’ where bi people blend unnoticeably into both the gay/lesbian and straight communities.”[3]

Happy International Nonbinary Day 2020!

This is just a quick post to say happy nonbinary day from your local nonbinary bisexual person! I started questioning my gender around 17, and I identified as a demigirl and I used she/they pronouns before realizing that I was nonbinary and that I wanted to use to they/them pronouns exclusively.

So hi! I’m Casey and I use they/them pronouns! I wanted to write another blog post for international nonbinary day because honestly, I’m pretty busy with redoing uni coursework at the moment and I need to procrastinate – that aside – I wanted to say happy international nonbinary day because nonbinary people are rad as fuck! Also, I wanted to mention the fact that I’m bi because a). it’s a big part of who I am, b). anyone, of any gender, and c). I can.

Happy 25th Birthday Freedom Youth!

Freedom - OTR

Today marks 25 years since Freedom Youth started in 1995! I’ve been going since year 10, so during secondary school – so this awesome organisation has been a big part of my life, and it’s been a massive honour and joy to be a member that supports LGBTQ+ young people. So it’s exciting to say that Freedom is turning 25!

For those who are unaware of what Freedom Youth do, it’s a place that is open to anyone questioning their sexuality or gender and is supported by a team of friendly and knowledgeable LGBTQ+ youth

workers.When I found Freedom, I had come out as bisexual to myself and other people. But I didn’t know anyone else who was in the LGBTQ+ community. But Freedom acted as a place where I could be myself, no labels attached. And going every Tuesday, and now Wednesday, was the best choice – I’ve met so many amazing people who I now consider some of my closet friends. Another plus is that it has helped me become more proud of myself, and it’s all because Freedom is such an awesome space that’s free of judgement.

So happy 25th Birthday Freedom Youth – you’re such an awesome, amazing and supportive place and you’ve helped me make some of the best friends imaginable! Here’s to another 25 years!

Other Names I considered before I settled on the name Casey!

I must start by saying that before I chose the name Casey and ditching my deadname, I actually went by a shortened of it beforehand to see if I still liked it. I must also say that if you are trans and you like your old name that’s fine, and vise Versa.  

Finally, I am aware that some of these names may seem more masculine than others – and that’s because I am a more masculine nonbinary person, so I wanted a name that was both masculine and “gender-neutral.”

Choosing a name for yourself can be a tricky process – especially since there are so many awesome names out there! So I wanted to make a list of all the named I liked before I settled on the name Casey (plus I can refer to this in the valid circumstance that I decide that Casey isn’t the name I want to go by).  Saying that you can go through as many names as you want – even if you end up liking your birthname or name you originally picked for yourself. 

I actually picked out my name on a baby naming website, so the story of how I chose my name doesn’t have any deep meaning to it (not that it makes it any less valid, of course). But nonetheless, it was something I had to think carefully about because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything close to my deadname, but at the same time, I wanted it to be a name that I liked – and trust me, there were a lot of names that I really liked but didn’t end up choosing! 

  • Wren (I specifically like the house wren, so naming myself after a bird I liked would have been fitting) 
  • Ezra (simply put, I like how this name sounds. Plus, it seems like a more masculine name to me) 
  • Robin (like with Wren, I also like robins, so again, naming myself after a bird I like would have been fitting) 
  • Rain (fun fact about me: my favorite sound is rain, so naming myself after a sound I like would have been cool.) 
  • Grayson (or “Gray” as a nickname – honestly I just like this name, and it was actually a really close choice between this and Casey!) 
  • Charlie (a possibly popular choice, this was another choice that came very close to being the name I chose to have!) 
  • Stag (another animal-based name, a stag refers to a male deer – which are also some of my favorite animals) 
  • Olliver (or “Ollie” as a nickname – again, this is a name that I just like for no deep reason)
  • Ashton (or “Ash” as a nickname – again, this may seem like a popular choice, but I like it because it just seems like a more masculine/gender-neutral name. This could also be a nice choice for more masculine leaning non-binary people like myself.) 

So there are all the names I like – hopefully, this will give you some names that you will use or try out! Like I mentioned before, choosing to change or not change your name is perfectly OK, just don’t tell folks to do one or the other, because that is not cool. So, in conclusion, I hope all of you love your names (whether you’ve changed them or not)! If not, that’s OK, and remember that using lots of different names is also Ok (even if you end up deciding that you liked your old name all along)

Happy #NationalComingOutDay Everyone!

Every year, the 11th of September marks National coming out Day – a day where people can, hopefully, come out of the closet. Now, I’ve written a post about the history of coming out and my advice and my coming out story before, so think of this as a yearly reminder of sorts?

I am a bisexual, nonbinary (they/them pronouns ONLY) person – because yes, bisexuality isn’t binary. Though recently I’ve come to like the term ‘Diamoric’ – which is a term used by some nonbinary people to describe their orientation which doesn’t fit typical gender attraction, so it’s a term for strictly #nonbinary identifying people! (I also wrote about it on my blog – so check it out if you want to find out more  here).

As you may have seen on my Twitter, I’ve started bind chest again as pre #NationalComingOutDay (Also I’ve forgotten how much I love my @gc2bapparel binder – but at the same time, I’m aware of the privilege I have). This is because I was lucky enough to have a lovely cousin who lives in America, which meant that I could start binding my chest on the 22nd of March 2019 – so thank you, Emily. 

But I wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the privilege I have as I have accepting parents, friends and other family members – so I’m also lucky that I was in a situation where I could come out safely. But if you are in this situation, hang in there – and as cliche, as this sounds – it does get better, trust me. 

As anyone who doesn’t want to come out, that’s also fine – you aren’t ‘any less’ apart of the LGBTQ+ community because you choose not to be out and proud like I am – though this is most likely because being queer is a big, crucial part of my identity – which I am aware will continuously be in flux -forever changing. 

So remember not to out anyone (ever), and be proud of yourself whether you are out and proud like I am, in the closet for any valid reason, or if you chose not to come out – so remember to be kind and considerate to those within the community whose experience is different to yours – as everyone’s coming out experience is unique, and that is OK

Happy #InternationalLesbianDay to ALL Lesbians!

I’m not a  lesbian  – as I experience sexual and romantic attraction to multiple genders. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t support ALL lesbians  – which I do. You are all valid as fuck and are a valuable member of the queer community. Yes, this includes nonbinary lesbians, trans lesbians, lesbians of color, etc.  

But obviously, having pride in your queer identity is crucial all year round – and not just one day a year – or just during pride. However, I wanted to take the time to write and tell you that lesbians are good, and today is your day – so take to time to celebrate whether you are out or not (both of which are perfectly fine by the way). So have a lovely day lesbians! 

The History of the Diamoric Flag & What It Represents

 

Diamoric Flag.png
The Diamoric Flag – two (2) mint green stripes on the top and the bottom, with a white stripe in the middle. It also has a purple Mrytle in the middle. 

The flag was designed on June 13, 2016, the term ‘Dionysian‘, was coined by Tumblr user Androgyne-Enjolras (Now Marlowelune). However, the term originally came from Dionysus, who was historically known for gender nonconformity/variance and was believed by some people to be rude to use to name of a Hellenistic god.  The word itself, however, is derived from the Greek prefix dia-, which means ‘passing through‘ or ‘going apart‘ and the Latin word ‘amor‘, meaning ‘love.’

So a poll for an alternative to Dionysian, the options being appellic and diamoric.[2] And on the 14th of July, the results of the poll were posted, and the winner was diamoric.[3]

The term can be an orientation in itself, or it can be used as an umbrella term to describe a variety of nonbinary attractions. For example, it is a prefix for other orientations such as dia-bi, dia-lesbian and dia-gay. It is meant to be a counter to sapphic and achillean.

Like I said, the term can be used as an orientation itself that describes non-binary attraction. It does not conform to a binary gender dichotomy. The following examples can be used to describe the types of attraction:

  • Toric/Quadrisian: Non-binary attraction to men (exclusively or not) 
  • Trixic/Orbisian: Non-binary attraction to women (exclusively or not) – however, Feminamoric which is an exclusive attraction to women.
  • Venusian: Non-binary attraction to women and feminine-aligned people. 
  • Terraric: Exclusive attraction to non-binary people. An alternative to this is Ceterosexual, which is an exclusive attraction to non-binary people. 

However, it can also be used to describe a relationship where one of the people in the relationship identifies as non-binary. This means that the relationship itself is neither straight or gay because one of the people is nonbinary – this also means that a binary person cannot use the term diamoric to describe their orientation, but they can however to describe the type of relationship they’re in. 

The flag itself has two (2) mint green stripes on the top and the bottom, which represents nonbinary individuals. The white middle stripe that matches the sapphic and achillean flags. It also has a purple myrtle in the center of the flag. 

 

Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith: Book Review and Analysis

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 ‘Girl Meets Boy‘ is a book I have never heard of until University (it was on my courses set reading list for the summer holidays). It is a retelling of classics – and what could be more classic than a book written in 8AD. For reference, it’s a retelling of the story of a poor family who cannot afford to have a female and therefore will kill their child upon birth should it be a girl. An intervention of the goddess Isis convinces the mum to somehow ‘go with the flow‘ – and raise the baby girl as a boy named Iphis. This continues until adolescence and is only feared to be discovered upon the marriage of Iphis to Ianthe. But another intervention means that Iphis is turned into a man and the story has a happy ending. 

But my favourite thing about this book is that it deals deals with the idea gender fluidity or transformation within the context of heteronormativity. What Smith does, however, is to tell the story, or rather a story playing with similar ideas, in the context of two sisters, Anthea and Imogen (“Midge”). This is my favourite aspect of the book purely because I am a MASSIVE gender and sexuality nerd. Due to the classic story that the book is retelling, it means with the idea of sexual orientation / gender identity, which is something I like to read about – especially since the title (‘Boy Meets Girl’), is ‘a tale as old as time‘, which obviously raises the issue that heteronormativity and cisnormativity are two major issues within society. So its a modern retelling for the modern, political world. 

Speaking of how it deals with gender, it deals with how the two genders and how they  mix up – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy and a girl or whether you fall in love with a boy or a girl, Ali Smith deals with the transparancy between the two binary sexes beautifully. 

However, the only minor criticism I have with the book is that it has a horrid sexist villain who is overcome and everything – but it’s a minor complaint (not the blatant sexism that exists within the villain) but the fact that the author, Ali Smith, has clearly retold the story with all the classic conventions that exist with classic stories and fairy tales (e.g. binary opposites like good and bad).  But I do like how the book deals with sexism within society – like one of the female characters works at a water bottle company, which automatically means that she gets less pay than her male counterparts – meaning they paid less for the same damn job (and hence why the line THIS MUST CHANGE.” is, in my opinion, so powerful). 

Finally, Ali Smith has a poignant writing style, which is another thing I liked seeing as this is a modern retelling of a classic story. I’m kinda curious to read more books from her in the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Bi Awareness Month!

15th annual Bi Pride Day to be celebrated worldwide - National LGBTQ Task Force

September is bisexual awareness month – and Bi Visibility Day is every 23 September (since 1999). So I just wanted to write a post about why I’m so proud to be a bisexual nonbinary person. But firstly, I want to provide a brief history of Bi visibility day at least. The day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has existed since each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia (both within the LGBTQ+ community and outside the community) and to help people find the bisexual community. 

Firstly, and in terms of politics, I’m revolutionary just by existing. Unfortunately, people still recognize that bisexuality isn’t a legitimate sexual/romantic orientation – even in a mostly socially progressive political climate. Despite this, it’s really awesome being a bisexual – refusing to ‘pick a side’ or conform to people’s stereotypical expectations of what it is to be bisexual. This is why I’m so proud to be both bisexual and nonbinary – because it means I can redefine what it means to be bisexual – because bisexuality isn’t binary (as in, anyone of any gender can be bisexual). 

Speaking of my attraction, I also love being bisexual because I never have to question my sexuality because I’m attracted to them. My bisexuality includes all genders, and while this technically makes me pansexual rather than bisexual, I prefer the term bi – so scoping out that attractive guy/girl/nonbinary person should be easy – providing I don’t have a bisexual panic because of how attractive that person is. Besides, I can pursue a relationship with anyone you think is rad, regardless of gender. But if you’re going to take anything from this, I find people attractive. 

Furthermore, I know that I can’t assume someone’s orientation just by who they’re dating. This is because of straight/gay passing – which basically means a couple appears to be straight/gay relationship (e.g. A girl dating a girl isn’t always a lesbian. A man dating a woman isn’t necessarily straight). But one of those people could identify as something else (e.g. bisexual, asexual, nonbinary). So when you have these unnecessary assumptions about someone’s relationship based on how you perceive them (and maybe regularly), you can work on becoming a positive role model that inspires others.  

Bisexual Pride Flag 3 x 5 ft – Little Sister's Book & Art ...
The bisexual flag

On a more positive note, another reason I love being bisexual is the flag. The flag consists of pink (on the top), purple (in the middle), and blue (at the bottom) – which, if you ask me, is one of the best flag color combinations (besides the design of the nonbinary flag). Personally, I love the design of both my flags because I just think the colors work well together. Furthermore, I really enjoyed researching the history of the bisexual flag and what each color on the flag represents. 

Besides, I absolutely adore bi culture. This isn’t to be confused with the negative stereotypes surrounding bisexual people (or anyone attracted to multiple genders). This refers to positive things that are associated with bisexual people do – e.g. finger guns, the band Green Day (Billy Joe Armstrong is a gigantic bi), and the cherax pulcher.

New ‘Galaxy’ Crayfish Discovered In Indonesia Has A Nebula ...
The Cherax Pulcher

 

 

 

 

Nonbinary Pan Combo by Pride-Flags on DeviantArt
bisexual/nonbinary flag combination