My Favourite LGBTQ+ Songs

I enjoy listening to music – so I wanted to share some of my favorite bisexual / LGBTQ+ songs and musicians, in hopes that I will introduce you to an artist/song that you maybe had never of heard of! I’ll also provide links to my Pride Playlist and Bi Culture playlist, as well as my Dysphoria survival playlist when I publish this! 

Additionally, sometimes I wouldn’t be able to just one song from one artist (because I’m bi and can’t choose to save a life) – but I will try to provide a valid reason why I choose each song. Or I’ll just say that the song is a bop – which is equally as valid as giving an in-depth reason. 

  • ‘In the Middle’ / ‘Her’ (by Dodie): Dodies name may sound familiar because I mentioned her on my list of favorite YouTubers, but I wanted to mention Dodie again because she is just so talented. ‘In the Middle‘ is simply a bop, whilst ‘Her‘ captures what it’s like to have internalized homophobia/biphobia etc when it comes to having a crush on a girl. 
  • ‘Boys / Girls (by Torrey Mercer): Another bisexual musician, Torrey has produced my favorite bisexual anthem – ‘Boys / Girls’ – I just can’t help but sing along to this absolute bop. 
  • ‘Girls / Girls / Boys’ (by Panic! At the Disco): Another song I consider to be a ‘bisexual anthem’, I just had to choose this song because it’s from my favorite Panic! album (‘Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die‘), and because simply put, I just really like the song. It’s also my third favorite bisexual anthem. 
  • ‘Nvr Pass’ / ‘Gender is Boring’ (by She / her / hers): This song reminds me that I don’t need to ‘pass‘ to be nonbinary/transmasculine because there is no wrong way to be these labels. Additionally, ‘Gender is Boring‘ is also a mood – the gender binary of man/woman is boring, and gender rules are also boring – so basically the whole concept of gender is dull. 
  • ‘You Can’t Tell Me (I’m Not a Man’) / ‘Pink & Blue’ (by Jake Edwards): Another musician and YouTuber, these two songs about gender, and I love them for different – the first helps me so much with my dysphoria because it reminds me that I’m masculine enough and that I am a real transmasculine person – plus I just like how the guitar sounds. And with ‘Pink & Blue’ it reminds me that gender is a rainbow, and I choose/use whatever colors I want – but that monologue is awesome
  • ‘Rebel Rebel – 2016 Remastered Version’ (by David Bowie): This has to be the favourite Bowie song – ever. I like it because of the  gender-bending lyrics, especially with the line, ‘She’s not sure if your a boy or a girl.’ So I consider this song a classic nonbinary anthem. 
  • ‘True Trans Soul Rebel’ / ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ (by Against Me!): I was introduced to Against Me! by Ashton Daniel, a trans-YouTuber, and these were the two songs I first listened to – I love how they both sound, and they both help when I’m feeling dysphoric. 
  • ‘They / Them / Theirs’ (song by Worriers): Like with Against Me! I love how this song sounds, and I love the line, ‘you are floating between two lines that don’t matter‘ – which could refer to the gender binary and how it doesn’t matter. Plus, it’s just a good jam. 
  • ‘Real Man’ (by Katastrophe): I just love the beat to this song, as well as the short opening monologue to the song, plain and simple. 
  • I’m Coming Out’ (by Diana Ross): A classic pride anthem, I would recommend playing this at Pride, or if you are thinking of telling the world about your gender and/or sexuality. Plus, I love how upbeat the song is. 
  • ‘Gettin’ Bi’ (song by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast): If you want to talk about upbeat songs, please listen to this song. Simply put, I love the pure bisexual energy this song has, and it’s my second favorite bisexual anthem. 
  • ‘Girl or Boy (Live)’ (song by Dani Shay): I. Love. This. Song. It discusses how gender is thrust upon us, from the perspective of someone who ‘doesn’t get it’, and how it affects kids. Plus I love the guitar in this song. 
  • ‘Daughter’ (by Ryan Casstra): I like this song because I feel as though this is how my parents see me – as their daughter (which sucks, because I’m not a girl). And like ‘Girl or Boy’, I like how the guitar sounds in this song, and how upbeat it is. 

7 Things I LOVE About being Nonbinary & Transmasculine

I love being nonbinary and transmasculine, so I thought I would list 7 things I love about my gender, because I wanted to blog about something positive, and mostly because I want to remind myself that yes, dysphoria sucks, but you can and will have good days.  However, I do understand that some can’t, or have no desire to – come out as trans / enby etc – and to you, I say that you are still valid and belong in the trans community if you so wish. 

  1. The Flags I Use: Have you seen the nonbinary and transmasculine flags?! I honestly think that they are some of the best-designed flags (as well as the bisexual flag, of course). The color schemes work really well, and I just generally like how they look. 
  2. Choosing My Name: Despite typing ‘gender-neutral names’ on the internet, choosing my name has been one of my favorite parts of my trans journey – not that I dislike my old name, it’s just that it didn’t feel right, but the name ‘Casey‘ does. 
  3. The Community: I know that there is discourse within the community, but I’m going to take the optimistic stance and say that the majority of us are welcoming, wonderful, valid individuals who will represent the community in a positive light. Remember that everyone has the right to express themselves how they want, and as long as you are not harming anyone, you are welcome.
  4. Finding what makes me Euphoric: I already have three things that make me feel euphoric – people using my pronouns (he/him and they/them), wearing typically masculine clothing (e.g. flannel tops, trousers) – and most recently, rediscovering how much I like having short hair. But other things could give me gender euphoria, but for now, those three things give me a sense of joy. 
  5. They feel right: At the moment, the terms nonbinary and transmasculine feel right – but I understand that labels are fluid and can change over time. But for now, these are the words I use to articulate my gender and how I express it, and that honestly feels amazing
  6. Empowerment: I feel empowered with these labels – because I don’t have to live up to people’s expectations of what gender should be. This is very rewarding because I can renavigate what gender is, as well as possible define what being masculine means to me – I currently don’t have an answer to that, and perhaps I never will, but it’s fun to ponder. 
  7. Freedom: As well as empowerment, I also feel a sense of freedom with these labels – especially with the term ‘transmasculine.’ I get to decide what items of clothing are ‘masculine’ etc. I also get to decide what I get to look like as a nonbinary person, which is freeing and liberating. 

Below are the two flags that I use – I hope you like them as much as I do! 

File:Nonbinary flag.svg - Wikimedia Commons
The Nonbinary Flag
Trans Man / Transmasculine (1) by Pride-Flags on DeviantArt
The Transmasculine Flag

6 Hopefully Helpful Trans Self Care Tips

Self-care is important, no matter who you are – but it’s especially crucial if you are in any minority group or activist. Whilst it’s important to be an activist for whatever cause you feel passionate about, whether it be LGBTQ+ rights, feminism etc, taking time for yourself is important – so here are some tips for when you are burned out from positively changing the world!

  1. Check-in with your Emotions: Be aware of your feelings and see how you are feeling that particular day – if you’re not up for being an activist that day, take them off to run a nice bath, read a book or watch your favorite T.V. show (or rewatch it, whatever floats your boat!) 
  2. Unplug: This can be challenging, especially in the digital age – but if things seem to be overwhelming, or especially toxic, then take some time to unplug. This could include venting to your friends over social media, go for a walk – or better yet, stroking your pet/pets! Basically, take some time to recharge and preserve your mental health. 
  3. Find other ways to Fill your Time: This could include doing another activity you enjoy – like baking, sewing etc. This will hopefully make you feel more relaxed and take you out of your current mood. 
  4. Reflect and Improve if needed: Think of all the positive things you’ve for the trans community – this could be from going to a protest, or as simple as signing a petition. But remember to take a step back if needed – this could include maybe thinking about individuals with intersecting identities (e.g. try considering trans disabled/neurodivergent people, or trans people of color etc) – you could do this by simply retweeting their opinions and amplifying their voices. 
  5. Follow other trans / enby people: There are so many good social media accounts who are promoting the rights of the trans community – this could be used as a form of self-care because finding a group of likeminded people will give you a sense of belonging and community to the movement. 
  6. Explore Your Identity: This could include exploring or experimenting with your gender expression or gender identity (which are two completely different things) – or you could try a new hobby, or finding a community that suits your current or new interest, be it online or real life. 

Rainbow Capitalism & LGBTQ+ Companies I Would Recommend

 

Related image
‘Capitalism’ SpongeBob Meme 

Also known as pink capitalism or gay capitalism, Rainbow capitalism is where companies will incorporate the LGBTQ+ movement into their marketing, products, etc. To capitalize on the purchasing power that queer individuals have. Rainbow capitalism was a move by companies to validate themselves as an LGBTQ+ ally, and a place for LGBTQ+ consumers to buy stuff. Unfortunately, it thrives of white, cisgender, gay people – while erasing  POC, disabled, trans, and neurodivergent queers (or any intersection of those identities) – because, in our society, those people are as ‘socially accepted’ in terms of consumption. 

Overall, pink capitalism happens because LGBTQ+ individuals want to support companies that support them (which is totally understandable) – but why is it harmful?  Rainbow capitalism is harmful because it works of profit and interests, therefore making capitalism the central focus point of any Pride event – with pride related commodities becoming an unfortunate vocal point for Pride, companies are benefiting from rainbow capitalism (and capitalism as a whole) – which has unfortunately resulted in these large corporations are taking over spaces that were originally for queer people to feel safe. As a result, Pride has become less about liberation, rights and freedom, and more about making profit. 

Furthermore, the side effect of rainbow capitalism is that Pride has become more about people buying stuff and individuals showing their allyship through brought goods – and not activism. By ignoring the root oppression and the history of Pride, and the constant discrimination that happens due to the different intersections that the LGBTQ+ community face, rainbow capitalism continues to sweep Pride by storm. 

But how can we solve this? Or at least try and make rainbow capitalism less prominent at pride? Well, here are my 5 tips on how to make rainbow capitalism not the vocal point of pride. 

  1. Look into the company: investigate whether they have been actively involved with the LGBTQ+ community throughout the year (and not just during Pride season). 
  2. INVESTIGATE SOME MORE: This could include looking into the companies discrimination policy or where your money is actually going. Or, like I mentioned in my first tip, see if the company is an active ally for the LGBTQ+ community all year round, and not just during pride month
  3. Try and find out where your money is going: you could also Look to see if the company donates some of their profits to LGBTQ+ charities /organizations that actively support the community. If they don’t try to find out why. 
  4. But, improve your shopping habits first: Try and ask yourself, ‘why am I wanting to wear/buy/adorn myself with this item?‘ Your motivation and intentions when getting a commodity are important. 
  5. Try and support small, queer businesses: especially those who fall under other minority groups (if possible)- so instead of supporting large corporations, try and support independent, queer creators/companies. I’ll provide the name of some queer companies / independent people when I upload this blog post. 

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t visually show off your pride – because, for me at least, pride is about showing my identity, so having a jacket that is currently being filled with as much queer shit as I can find, it gives me a sense of pure joy and, well, pride. So feel free to buy as much stuff as you can afford. I also feel as though pride can unite our community, and maybe, unfortunately, the only day of the year where someone may feel can be their authentic self. 

I just wanted to raise awareness of this topic, that’s all. Plus, supporting queer people who make queer stuff is amazing, and who knows, you might find your new favorite store to buy stuff for more future pride events! 

Image from @nojusticenopride
Stonewall was a riot, not a brand name” (Image from @nojusticenopride)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Rainbow Capitalism
Rainbow Capitalism Meme (Image from @nojusticenopride)
Queer protesters at Dublin Pride in 2016. Image from Google. 
Queer bloc protesting against Rainbow Capitalism during Dublin Pride 2016 (Image from Google) 

The Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in the Media

I’ve already made a queerbaiting post before – but this won’t be about that. I want to talk about exactly why LGBTQ+ representation is important. I wanted to talk about this important topic because it matters, and therefore deserves to be talked about – as is any form of representation – no matter your identity. But why is it important? That’s a perfectly valid question, and here are some of the reasons I came up with as to why I feel as though LGBTQ+ representation is so important. I also plan on doing a blog post on why current LGBTQ+ representation is problematic – but that’s another post for another day.

But homophobia, transphobia, etc are everywhere – and so the LGBTQ+ community is, unfortunately, constantly under attack. Even if a show has a queer character in it, it is normal for a selling purpose – not for something important. So in this cisnormative and heteronormative society, queer representation is crucial – especially because younger children are discovering that they don’t fit this cishet norm – which is a real shame.

But what is representation? In media terms, representation is defined as, “how the media portrays particular groups” – I also want to give some overall context of LGBTQ+ representation in the media – because context is important. The media portrayal of LGBT people means how the mainstream media represents the LGBTQ+ people – this is ever-evolving and changing. In a historical context, the portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community has been negative; despite this, from the 1990s to the present day, there has been an increase in the number of LGBTQ+ people being represented, as well as their issues, and concerns. The community has made active stand in terms of making its own culture – with the end goal of being an affirmative representation in mainstream media.  Gwendolyn Audrey Foster admits, however, that, “We may still live in a world of white dominance and heterocentrism, but I think we can agree that we are in the midst of postmodern destabilizing forces when it comes to sexuality and race.

Now that’s out of the way – let’s discuss why representation matters for the LGBTQ+ community specifically. Firstly, if we can normalize same-sex couples, trans couples, etc, we, as a society, can destigmatize the LGBTQ+ community.  So with more exposure to LGBTQ+ couples, the public can hopefully have a more positive and accepting view of the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, it may lead to more normalization, which is always a good sign.

Secondly, positive LGBTQ+ representation means that individuals, regardless of circumstances, can feel as though that they’re not alone – by seeing yourself on screen, you can hopefully understand your own sexuality and/or gender from your favorite fictional characters, and this will hopefully result in you having a better understanding of who you are. Positive representation can also make you feel empowered, as you have a fictional character that you can look up to, and think, “Hey, they’re just like me!

Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s crucial now to have so much representation with the current political climate. With all that’s happening politically, LGBTQ+ must get their voices heard – a GLAAD  2017 report has found in their Accelerating Acceptance Survey  that there has been a significant decrease in acceptance for LGBTQ+ people – which is a shame because queer people deserve to be accepted, safe, and to have all the rights that cishet people have – it also doesn’t help that due to the Trump administration, there has been an increase of discrimination through attacks, bias, and erasure.  Moreover, our media NEEDS representation of marginalized groups – not just the LGBTQ+ community – this is because, like I said before, positive representation has the power to make people feel less isolated, and not strange – Queer characters that are one-dimensional and don’t have happy endings aren’t acceptable anymore.

Besides, individuals of marginalized groups should be calling the shots on how they are represented in the mainstream media – these people have the actual experience of what it’s like to be in marginalized groups, so their accounts would be way more valuable. So by allowing these stories to be told from actual people who are in certain communities, maybe, just maybe, we can have more intersectional and inclusive stories being told.

So, what’s the solution? Well, the solution is that we support our fellow queer creators – we buy their art, books, watch their short films, etc, we raise the awareness of their vital voice and a platform for which they can feel empowered. We can demand that these people are telling the stories that they want to tell – whether it be fictional or not – we can also demand to see more queer actors and actresses, as well as queer directors and producers.

 

I Don’t Want to Take Testosterone, but I Could Change My Mind?

As an AFAB transmasculine enby, I do sometimes think about whether or not I would want to start taking testosterone, and I have sometimes weighed up the pros and cons of possibly starting  – but for the moment, I have no current desire to start T, simply because I don’t want to. But that could change, and that would be OK. 

But before I give my pros and cons of taking testosterone, I want to state what testosterone is – Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in the testicles for AMAB folks and the ovaries and adrenal glands for AFAB folk – for AMAB folks, it contributes to growth and stereotypically masculine characteristics. For AFAB folks, it comes in smaller amounts. 

Pros: 

  • Distribution of body fat to a more “masculine” figure: I don’t mind my body shape, but I do wish it were a bit more masculine. So if I were to start HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), I could feel more euphoric about my body shape – I say “could” rather than “would” because I am unsure if this would actually be the case. As T also reduces the amount of fat around the hips, it would definitely reduce the amount of waist dysphoria I currently have – plus I would look more masculine in appearance. 
  • Growth of facial hair: Honestly I do sometimes think of what I would look like if I did have facial hair, so this benefit would just be an aesthetic feature – but it’s still a fun thing to think about from time to time. 
  • Menstrual periods Stop: This would be the biggest benefit for me, as shark week gives me major dysphoria, so I think taking testosterone would definitely alleviate some of that dysphoria.  So this is the biggest as to why I would want to start taking Testosterone. 

Cons: 

  • Increased growth, coarseness, and thickness of hairs (arms, legs, chest, back, & abdomen): I already have hair on my legs, arms armpits etc, so the idea of starting testosterone wouldn’t really help me in that respect – plus I’m not sure how I would feel about having chest and abdomen hair. 
  • Voice Cracks: Honestly, I quite like my voice, so the idea of having a deeper voice doesn’t really appeal to me at the moment. It also helps that at my choir, I’m an Alto, so voice dysphoria doesn’t really affect me. But then again, I would sound more masculine, which would be nice? Right? 
  • Oilier skin and increased acne: I don’t want to have to constantly worry about the constant state of my skin, as I think I would feel self-conscious about it (especially in the first months of starting). 
  • Increased sex drive: Combined with the oilier skin and increased acne, it sounds like I would be going through puberty all over again, which is something I don’t want to do the experience again. 

So it’s clear to say that the cons outweigh the pons at the moment, but this could all change at some point – which would be totally OK. Honestly, I’m a bit scared about the idea of changing my mind and possibly starting testosterone – but it’s mostly because I don’t know if it would be the right choice for me. But hey, I’m still exploring what the term ‘transmasculine‘ means to me, so who knows what will happen. 

The Importance of LGBTQ+ History Month {UK}

 

Image result for lgbt history month

Why do we have an LGBTQ+ history month? Well, due to the lives and achievements of LGBTQ+ people who have been hidden, it is, and again, unfortunately, easy to stereotype and distort the realities of their lives. But by telling the true, authentic stories from LGBTQ+ individuals in history, we can replace ignorance and discrimination with education and knowledge. It will help to increase understanding of LGBTQ+ people from the past.

In the UK, LGBTQ+ history month takes place during February. It marks the achievements of LGBTQ+ people – it happens because, unfortunately, LGBTQ+ have been hidden from history, as they have had to hide themselves from society for their own safety. As a result, they have been ignored for their achievements – so LGBTQ+ history month aims to positively change that. This stemmed from the first LGBTQ+ month in the USA in October 1994; LGBTQ+ history month in the UK was initiated by schools OUT in 2005 – but the one thing that they have in common was that they were based on the creation of the highly successful Black History Month which takes place in October in the UK and started in October 1987. Furthermore, Black History Month is celebrated in October in the USA. 

Schools OUT is a 32-year-old organization {originally named the Gay Teachers’ Group) – that works for LGBTQ+ equality in education. The organization is entirely run by volunteers that survives on affirmation, donations, and subscriptions  – By working in education and with the school curricula, in particular, they have recognized that LGBTQ+ lives have be hidden, disguised or outright ignored. It is now run by a voluntary group – however, local organizations and individuals are welcome to create their own events. 

It also shows how far we, as a community, have come and how far we have to go – for instance, since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1967, the UK has placed laws that advance LGBTQ+ rights (e.g. protection against discrimination in employment,  allowing trans people to change their name and legal gender, as well as  the legalization of same-sex marriage.) – While these are all good, we still need to improve. For instance, the  UK’s Gender Recognition Act still involves a highly medicalized process, and it doesn’t recognize non-binary people. Furthermore, younger trans / non-binary people are highly underrepresented in society, and are, unfortunately, attacked by the mainstream media. 

 

 

Pronouns: A Brief History & Guide on How to use Them

Some languages, such as English, do not have a gender neutral or third gender pronoun available. This has been understandably criticized, as many writers will use “his / hers” when referring to an individual in the third person – in addition, the split between “he / him” and “she / her” does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration within the trans community.  Individuals who are limited by the language that doesn’t include gender neutral pronouns have made some, in the interest of gender equality.

Around  1795, the the language authorities Lindley Murray, Joseph Priestly, and Hugh Blair and others campaigned against pronoun irregularities (e.g. lack of agreement on the number of genders). Grammarians such as 1879, 1922, 1931, 1957, and the 1970s accepted the the term “they” as the gender neutral pronoun. However, people in 1795, 1825, 1863, 1898, 1926, and 1982 argued against it for various reasons – and for whatever reason, people have been using the “they” as a singular pronoun for the last 600 years. 

  1. Making Mistakes: It’s OK to makes mistakes when it comes to pronouns, as it will take time to get used to. The best thing to do if you make a mistake is to say something like, “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun)” straight away. But if you realize that you’ve made a mistake after the incident, apologize in private and move on. 
  2. Ask for someones pronouns: You can’t know what pronouns someone uses just by looking at them – asking and correctly using someones pronouns is one of the most important ways to show your respect someone’s gender identity. I know I mentioned this in my “How to Be a good Trans Ally” blog, but I want to re-emphasise this, but ask someone their pronouns. 
  3.  Practice: This will help you familiarize yourself with how someone chooses to identify, and will lessen the amount of mistakes that you make. You could practice using someones pronouns by, for example – looking in the mirror, or thinking about what they like and replace the old pronouns with the ones with the ones they currently use. 
  4. Keep. Practicing: You won’t master someones pronouns straight away – it will take time and a LOT of practice. Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up from time to time yes – but also try and use someones pronouns. 

 

How to be a good Trans Ally: A Guide for Cisgender People

When you become an ally for all trans people, your actions will help make the world safer for trans people. But what is a trans ally? Generally, an ally is “someone who advocates for and supports members of a community other than their own; reaching across differences to achieve mutual goals” (UC Berkeley’s Gender Equity Unit) – so in short, a trans ally is someone who isn’t trans, but supports the trans community. 

So here are some hopefully helpful tips for being an active trans activist/advocate. But I’m going to assume that you know some of the basics – for instance, saying something like, “You’re transgender? But you’re so pretty!” is something you should never say because simply put – it is rude. You can also check out GLAAD’s Tips For Allies if you want! 

  1. Never Out a Trans Person: unfortunately, being out and trans is hard – so that’s why it is vital that you never out a trans person without their explicit consent/permission; this is not something that can be done and apologized for. Matt Kaily’s  Transifesto makes this clear: “If you see a person on the street that you know to be trans, it is a private matter and not appropriate to tell your friends that the person is trans. It is also not appropriate to mention anything that would ‘out’ a trans person if you are with that person in a public setting.” This means that the act of outing any trans person means that they could lose their jobs, their families, or even their bodies. So don’t assume that everyone will be OK with someone being trans. 
  2. Know Your Trans Terminology: Understand basic trans terminology – so for example, a transgender is assigned a gender at birth that doesn’t match the gender they identify with. But this means that it’s not sexual attraction – there’s a difference between sexual orientation and gender identity – meaning that there are both, for example, gay and straight trans people. 
  3. Ask for Pronouns: If you’re unsure about what pronouns someone uses – then politely ask how without making a big deal about it. It’s better to make sure that the person feels comfortable than make them feel uneasy when you make a mistake (which is fine, everyone makes mistakes! Just don’t make a big deal when you do). The activist Tiq Milan told the Huffington Post, “People would respect [the question] more than they would reject it, particularly if you have people, not on the binary.” Someone may also have a preference for a pronoun like ze and zir – which would be respectful to use. 
  4. Know what’s Offensive: words can have a powerful impact; many phrases/words can be harmful towards trans people – so educate yourself. Activist Julia Serano explains, “It is offensive that so many people feel that it is OK to publicly refer to transsexuals as being “pre-op” or “post-op” when it would so clearly be degrading and demeaning to regularly describe all boys and men as being either “circumcised” or “uncircumcised.” Trans people will often say they were assigned “(x gender) at birth” (so for example, I would say that I am assigned female at birth) rather than “being born a boy / girl” (so I would say that I wasn’t “born a girl”) – because my relationship with my body/gender is complicated. Asking invasive questions about hormones or surgeries, and terns such as, “tr**y”, “she-male”, or saying that someone “used to be a man/woman” are all offensive. 
  5. Don’t Make Assumptions: Just because someone looks like the gender they’ve identified with their entire lives, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be trans. Trans academic Jack Halberstam notes that “There are trans people who are politicians, doctors, lawyers, professors. I think that increasingly people do know trans people, though they may not know it.Additionally, just because you’ve heard one trans story – it doesn’t mean that will be the case for all trans people – never assume that a trans person has been rejected by their families, had a terrible time growing up. On the other hand, never assume that the experience has been easy: basically, there’s a huge, varied and diverse range of trans stories. 
  6. Keep your curiosity to Yourself: On the Transgender Quotes Tumblr, there was a collection of quotes from trans individuals, there’s one about transitioning and how tricky and emotional it is: “Every night before I fall asleep I wish I’ll wake up in the right body, as a boy, and that everything was just a dream.” With this quote in mind, and while it’s pretty normal to be curious about surgery and hormones – resist the temptation. But if they do want to educate you about surgeries and/or hormones, they will, but good allies don’t ask. But there are many ways to transition, and the hormone – surgery route isn’t for everyone.  
  7. Listen: Simply, just listen to what trans people have to say – Jamie-Ann Meyers, a trans woman, and transgender advocate, wrote in the Huffington Post that, “many trans* people often feel invisible or excluded, even in fights that may look as if they include them” – so one of  the best way of challenging the norm? Listen to minority groups and what they have to say. However – your trans friend or partner isn’t a PSA or “teaching moment” – but their stories and experiences deserve to be heard. 
  8. Don’t Say “Gender doesn’t matter to me”: it may seem like the most PC (politically correct) thing that you don’t “see gender”, and whichever way a trans person identifies in terms of gender, it doesn’t matter to you – this will invalidate a trans persons gender identity. 
  9. Get Political: Straight For Equality’s Guide To Being A Trans* Ally is an in-depth guide for anyone who wants to be a transgender ally and has a whole “spectrum” of all types. The last one? The super ally – who is going to be a postie, political force for change. They recommend that you get educated on the legal challenges facing trans* people (e.g. medical care to being protected against discrimination at work).
  10. Don’t ask what a trans person “real name” is: for some trans people, being associated with their deadname can be extremely dysphoria enduing – respect the name that the trans person is using, and don’t use the person’s deadname. 
  11. Be patient with a person who is questioning or exploring their gender. identity: Gender is complicated (trust me), so for someone who is questioning or exploring their gender identity, it will take time for them to figure everything out. For example, they may use a name or pronoun that may work for a while, and then change it (and that’s OK!) – but do your best and use the name and pronoun that they ask you.

The *Brief* History of the Polyamorus Flag & What It Represents

 

Image result for polyamorous flag
The Polyamorous Flag 

Polyamory is the practice, or desire to have relationships with more than one person involved, and involves the consent with everyone involved – it has been described as,  “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy. The term has become an umbrella term for any type of non-monogamous relationship, multi-partner relationship – or any other type of non-exclusive sexual or romantic relationships. 

The term polyamory first appeared in an article by  Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, (“A Bouquet of Lovers“), and was published in May 1990 in Green Egg Magazine, as “poly-amorous.” In May 1992, Jennifer  L. Wesp made the Usenet newsgroup (alt.polyamory), and the Oxford Dictionary sites the website as the first verified appearance of the word. The word  ‘polyamory’, ‘polyamorous’, and ‘polyamorist’ were added to OED in 2006 – and in 1999,  Zell-Ravenheart was requested by the editor of the OED to give a definition of the term, and then provided the UK definition of, “the practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.” 

However, the North American version of the OED states that polyamory is a way of life, and some believe that the term should be classified as an orientation or identity – similarly to romantic orientationsexual orientation, or gender identity.

The flag has three equal horizontal colored stripes with a symbol in the center of the flag – the colors of the flag are blue, red and black – blue represents the openness and honesty among partners, red represents love and passion, and black represents solidarity with those who have to hide their polyamorous relationship due to social pressures and stigma. The golden symbol in the middle of the flag is a lowercase ‘pi‘ sign – as is the first letter of polyamory – the color represents the value that we put on emotional relationships.