Support our Kickstarter and get a 10 pack of these consent condoms!!
Check out what Force is up to now!
A reference for people who are confused.
I have tried to be exhaustive, but be warned that this is still very Anglo-centric, and missing a lot from non-Western cultures and individual experiences. If I missed a term, or if a definition is incorrect/problematic, let me know and I’ll fix it.
Pronouns are not listed here, because they vary so much across individuals. Always follow a person’s wishes regarding the pronouns you use for them. This list does contain descriptions of gender-related surgery and genitalia, because people are so terribly curious about that.
[Gifset: Laverne Cox speaks at the GLAAD media awards, she says,
"Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to encourage each and every one of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor, and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and each other."]
By Assi Azar / via Advocate.com
I have decided to write to you. I don’t know why; maybe because today I am “celebrating’’ 10 years out of my own private closet. Whatever the reason, I wrote this. I hope you will read it to the end.
Despite it being 10 years ago, I remember so clearly what life was like in the closet. You’re walking down the street. Good-looking guys go past, but you can’t look at them — in case you reveal your truth. And you go out with girls, and it’s not that bad at all. Some of them have their suspicions, but you do everything that you can to hide it. You even overplay your masculinity in order to convince her. It’s not hard to deceive a girl who is in love with you.
And you start to confuse yourself with your own lies. You think that because you actually managed to sleep with her, that maybe, perhaps, surely you are not really gay.
And if you marry her and have a baby with her, that’s it! You’re not really gay.
But at night your dreams betray you. Those dreams where you are kissing someone — a man, a guy in your class, a friend, a colleague, your boss — and it feels so good, so right, so full of passion and fire, and you wake up scared and agitated. This betrays you. And when you watch Brad Pitt on the screen and he takes off his shirt and looks you straight in the eye, your mouth goes dry and you are once again betrayed. Sometimes a tactless friend dares to ask if you are gay. You try to play it cool and deny it, carefully and swiftly trying to convince him otherwise, while also convincing yourself that you have convinced him.
And maybe even you have a secret profile on a gay dating site, without a photograph of your face. You just flirt because you don’t have the courage to meet up with any of them. And if you do meet up with someone, it is in darkness. And if it happens not to be that dark, you just pray that the guy you just had sex with won’t know any of your friends and give your secret away.
And you convince yourself that just because you slept with that guy, it doesn’t mean you are gay. And you convince yourself that just because you are in love with your best friend, it really doesn’t mean that you are gay. And if sometimes you watch gay porn, that doesn’t mean that you are actually gay. And you think that if you watch straight porn, then there is no way that you are gay. And you sleep with your girlfriend again to prove to yourself one last time that you are not gay. You even cheat on her with another girl just to show her and the whole world what a man you are.
And it works.
But behind your back, your closest friends — those who suspect you are gay but don’t have the guts to say anything to you — look at you with sadness.
I am also sad for you because I have been there. I’m so very sad for you that you are missing out on the most important years of your life because you are so wrapped up in this internal war between you and yourself. Not with your friends. Not with your parents. Not with your colleagues. Just with yourself.
Yes, when I was in the closet I was terrified to death of my parents finding out.
Frightened that they would throw me out of the house, that my friends would abandon me, that they would fire me from my job. It is a paralyzing fear. You don’t even know how to make those three little words leave your lips: “I am gay.” It doesn’t even seem possible after so many years of lying.
And you are worried that you will be disappointing everyone; that they will look at you like an injured calf — with pity, that they didn’t understand you. Coming out of the closet is a process on two levels:
1.Coming out to yourself
2. Coming out to the rest of the world.
The moment that you stand there in front of the mirror and you say to your reflection, “I am gay.”
From that very moment, everything starts to get easier and simpler. Because from here you start to become stronger and stop being the victim. The moment when you accept yourself is the moment when you realize it’s less important that people like you and more important that they accept you.
You cannot come out of the closet in front of others until you have stood in front of that mirror, looked yourself deep in the eyes and said the real truth out loud.
For me, this moment came after I realized I was in love with a man. For six months he pursued me because he felt that there was something starting between us, but I wasn’t able to admit or allow it. I brushed him off. I tried to convince myself: We are just good friends. But I just couldn’t help it — I fell in love.
One day, I overheard that my man was going out on a date with another guy, and I remember that moment as though it was yesterday. I suddenly realized that I was about to miss out on the biggest love of my life, that there was a price for being in the closet and that price was too great.
So that was that.
The tears rolled down my cheeks, but I refused to give up as I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked deeply into my eyes and I said it: “I am gay.”
And with my heartbeat bursting out of my chest, I called him and asked him to come over. And he came over and we sat together on my couch and we kissed. For the first time. Exactly 10 years ago, I kissed a man. And it was strange. And I felt his stubble. And my heart was thumping and that was that — no going back.
That first year wasn’t easy. It was full of confusion, regret, and self-hate. I didn’t understand anything about the sex and it even disgusted me a little, and again I thought that I was straight and I had just been confused, messed up. But I was happy because I was on the right path to harmony and self-fulfillment. I wasn’t stuck in the same place as I had been a moment before.
Six months after that first kiss, I dreamed that I was standing under the wedding canopy with my girlfriend. All my friends were there and the rabbi was making the blessings. Then I turned and ran away. I found myself in my old bedroom in my parents’ house, lying in my single bed, crying into my mother’s shoulder. She is soothing me and stroking my head and she whispers: “You really thought that you could do it, huh?”
The next day I drove over to my mother’s and I told her, and I was absolutely terrified.
And then I told my father.
And then everyone else.
It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t easy for them to understand. But to me it was a miracle. The thought that I could go through my life without being true to myself, without being me. The thought that I could have lived a lie until the day I died, just to fit into a role that society expected of me, just not to be different … that thought chills me to my bone.
And I respect those people who decide to stay in the closet. Yes — I respect you, my friend. If you thought that living out of the closet was hard, then living in the closet is 10 times harder. Because maybe to the rest of the world you seem to be OK, but inside you are dying of sadness. I remember it well. And today my parents accept me completely (that includes my father, who used to be totally disgusted at the mere mention of the word “gay”) because we have gone through a long process together. A process in which I had to teach them about the “New Assi,” the real Assi. And they learned with patience and with unconditional love.
And hello? Don’t you want to be able to walk with your lover down the street hand in hand? Doesn’t it annoy you to have to kiss and cuddle just in private?
It wasn’t easy for me to write these words down and I am sure that it hasn’t been easy for you to read them, but I hope you realize that I want to help. Not to force you to come out, not to force you into anything. Just to give you something to think about, just to show you that you are not alone. And yes, I do honestly believe that everything happens in its own time and that everyone will come out of their closet in their own time, when they feel the time is right or that they have no other choice. I hope that I helped you, even if only a little.
Have a good week,
White text on a rainbow background: Number 549, sometimes you just want to yell at people “I’m not straight, stop assuming!”
(Image: Harry Potter as played by Daniel Radcliffe in the foreground, with various other cast members in the background, wearing Hogwarts uniforms. Text: “If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that nobody deserves to live in a closet. Have A Gay Day.”)
Nobody deserves to live their life afraid to be who they are in the open. Sadly, lots of people have to hide aspects of their sexuality or their gender because they are afraid of how the people around them will react. Let’s work towards a world where nobody has to hide who they are. <3
10 WAYS WE BODY SHAME WITHOUT REALIZING IT:
1. Saying Things Like, “She Would Be So Pretty If…”
Have you ever uttered anything along the lines of, “But she has such a gorgeous face” or “She would be more beautiful if she put on a few pounds”? You are limiting your idea of beauty to a cultural stereotype. Beauty is not conditional. If you can’t say anything nice, maybe it’s time to learn how.
2. Judging Other People’s Clothes
While it’s fine for you to choose clothes any way you want, nobody else is required to adhere to your style. The person wearing that outfit is, in fact, pulling it off, even if you think she’s too flat chested, big chested, short, tall, fat or thin. And fat people don’t have to confine themselves to dark colors and vertical stripes, no matter who prefers it. And spandex? It’s a right, not a privilege.
3. Making It an ‘Us vs. Them’ Thing
The phrase “Real Women Have Curves” is highly problematic. Developed as a response to the tremendous body shaming that fat women face, it still amounts to doing the same thing in the opposite direction. The road to high self-esteem is probably not paved with hypocrisy. Equally problematic is the phrase “boyish figure” as if a lack of curves makes us somehow less womanly. The idea that there is only so much beauty, only so much self-esteem to go around is a lie. Real women come in all shapes and sizes, no curves required.
4. Avoiding the Word “Fat”
Dancing around the word fat is an insinuation that it’s so horrible that it can’t even be said. The only thing worse than calling fat people “big boned” or “fluffy” is using euphemisms that suggest body size indicates the state of our health or whether we take care of ourselves. As part of a resolution to end body shaming, try nixing phrases like “she looks healthy,” or “she looks like she is taking care of herself,” and “she looks like she is starving” when what you actually mean is a woman is thin.
5. Making Up Body Parts
We could all lead very full lives if we never heard the words cankles, muffin top, apple shaped, pear shaped or apple butt ever again. We are not food.
6. Congratulating People for Losing Weight
You don’t know a person’s circumstances. Maybe she lost weight because of an illness. You also don’t know if she’ll gain the weight back (about 95 percent of people do), in which case earlier praise might feel like criticism. If someone points out that a person has lost weight, consider adding something like, “You’ve always been beautiful. I’m happy if you are happy.” But if a person doesn’t mention her weight loss, then you shouldn’t mention it either. Think of something else you can compliment.
7. Using Pretend Compliments
“You’re really brave to wear that.” By the way, wearing a sleeveless top or bikini does not take bravery. “You’re not fat, you’re beautiful.” These things are not mutually exclusive — a person can be fat and beautiful. “You can afford to eat that, you’re thin.” You don’t know if someone has an eating disorder or something else; there is no need to comment on someone’s body or food intake. “You’re not that fat” or “You’re not fat, you workout,” need to be struck from your vocabulary. Suggesting that looking fat is a bad thing is also insulting.
8. Thinking of Women as Baby-Making Machines
One of my readers mentioned that her gynecologist called her “good breeding stock.” Also awful: “baby making hips.” Worst of all is when people ask fat people when they are due. As has famously been said, unless you can see the baby crowning, do not assume that someone is pregnant.
9. Sticking Your Nose in Other People’s Exercise Routines
A subtle form of body shaming occurs when people make assumptions or suggestions about someone’s exercise habits based on their size. Don’t ask a fat person, “Have you tried walking?” Don’t tell a thin person, “You must spend all day in the gym.” I have had people at the gym congratulate me for starting a workout program when, in fact, I started working out at age 12 and never stopped. I had a thin friend who started a weight-lifting program and someone said to her, “Be careful, you don’t want to bulk up.” How about not completely over-stepping your boundaries and being rude and inappropriate?
10. Playing Dietitian
If you have no idea how much a person eats or exercises, you shouldn’t tell her to eat less and move more or suggest she put more meat on her bones. (Even if you do know what she eats, don’t do it). How do you know she’s looking for nutritional advice from you or the newest weight-loss tip you saw on Dr. Oz?
Written by: Ragen Chastain
Ylvis, educating people about the female reproductive system.
these guys will be the death of me.[x]
i died at the pH value
I just learnt more about the vagina in like 10 seconds than I have ever learnt in my entire life
Debating whether or not I should share this with my anatomy and physiology professor.
WATCH THE VIDEO. IT GETS BETTER
OH THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS MAGNIFICENCE INTO MY LIFE
I’M ACTUALLY DYING OMG THIS IS BRILLIANT
Found on Gay Marriage USA’s Facebook