Q: What are some common misconceptions that people have regarding your identity? A: Well when I initially came out to my mom she assumed that I was just bisexual and not queer. A lot of times when I tell people I identify as queer they don’t really understand what I mean. I think in a way they try to categorize me in their heads but queer means so many different things to different people and when they can’t do that they just seem to get confused. Being gender fluid can also sometimes add to this confusion for people. For me, I've never identified with any of the labels. I’m queer and non-binary which allows me to be fluid. In a lot of ways my sexual preferences and romantic preferences often change and being able to say I’m queer and nonbinary offers me flexibility in terms of how I choose to define myself. My motto is: I am a queer, nonbinary, and polyamorous individual, “I’ve never made a decision in my life, and I am not going to start now!”
College dating is on a whole other level in comparison to dating in highschool, particularly when you’re queer. In highschool, as with many non-heterosexual identifying teens, my sexuality and understanding my sexual preferences eluded me to a large extent. In high school, I had exclusively dated guys, but dating as a whole didn’t really appeal to me in the way it would most teens. This was mostly due to the fact that I just wasn’t really interested in men, but I also wasn’t aware that there was any other option than the standard hetronormative one.
“I’m not transphobic, I just couldn’t date a trans person.”
It’s not at all a new or shocking take. In fact, it’s the norm; the vast majority of people — 87.5 percent according to a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships — say they wouldn’t consider a relationship with a transgender partner. In a trans renaissance of X’s on licenses and nine-dollar gender changes, it seems that certain things never change. With Valentine’s Day upon us, it’s time to ask: why the adamance?
February 16-22, the week after Valentine’s Day, was Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. Despite the growing communities of aromantic-spectrum people, not many people are aware of this identity. An aromantic person is a person who does not experience romantic attraction and/or has no desire for romantic relationships. There’s a wide spectrum of aromantic-spectrum experiences, including people who only experience romantic attraction in rare circumstances. Aromantic-spectrum students on campus can find a community at the Spectrum Center’s Asexual and Aromantic CenterSpace, a casual drop-in group around these identities. More information can be found at the Spectrum Center in the Michigan Union.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to ask a rabbi the question, “How does the Orthodox Jewish community view homosexuality?” He assured me, with all sincerity, that Orthodox Jewish people are by no means homophobic. They would never abandon a child for being gay, as to neglect one’s children breaks God’s mitzvot, or commandments. Homosexuality, on the other hand, is also a violation of mitzvot. Orthodox Jewish people simply view “the homosexuals,” he told me, as they view anyone else who breaks a mitzvah. That is to say, they are sinners who must be treated with compassion and gently guided away from their immoral behavior
Although the history of trans and gender-nonconforming movements in the United States extends as far back as at least the late 1800s, the past decade has been one of the most notable, marked by presence in culture and politics. Though recent political events have shown some regress, the time we’re living in is one of deep cultural transformations.
How we choose to label our sexuality or gender identity has a significant effect on how we present ourselves to the world. Sometimes, having a word to put with one’s identity can be liberating; other times, it feels limiting. Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of debate about the use of labels in the LGBT community. Who is allowed to call themselves that? Do this or that group of people really belong in the LGBTQ+ community? While many of these debates are complex and have no definitive answer, they are still questions worth asking. As someone who has struggled with how to label my sexuality, I certainly have thoughts on the matter of labels within the queer and trans community. However, all I can do is provide my own opinion.
Every year, December 1st is recognized as World AIDS Day to increase awareness around HIV/AIDS, support those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, and celebrate the lives of those who have fallen to an AIDS-related illness. In an effort to support HIV/AIDS education, below is a list of commonly regarded myths and their true answers.
Emma Collins Staff Writer she/her/hers they/them/theirs
Disclaimer: I am not intersex. This is not an identity I hold. In addition, I am going to do my best to leave gender out of this article, as intersex, as well as the other sexes, are independent of gender. Therefore, I will be using biological language such as male and female, which specifically refer to sex, not gender. In addition, I will be using medical terminology regarding body parts, and you may not use these words to describe your body. That is so, so okay, but due to the limits of the English language, it is what I am stuck with today.
Being part of the LGBTQ+ community can be a hard life in and of itself, but being in the military as a queer person can be even harder. There is a constant pressure to be the most masculine, to conform to the majority, and there is a fair amount of hazing that can go on during someone’s time in the military. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a previous policy that was supposedly set in place to “protect” closeted gay, bisexual, and lesbian military personelle by prohibiting discrimitation of individuals if they were’t openly queer. This policy was also meant to prohibit other military personnel from discriminating against closeted queer members of the military, but was often one sided in that if someone was outed as queer, they would face disciplinary concequences. Unauthorized investigations into the sexual orientation of military members was done often, and this led to the expansion to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass.” It wasn’t until 17 years later that this policy was repealed to allow openly gay individuals to join the military and express information about their lives.