Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bisexual Erasure

Hi there, I'm bisexual!

Now that we got that out of the way, we can talk about something that is important to me. You see, I've been bisexual for a long time. Well, all my life, actually, but I didn't even know what homosexuality was until I was in high school, so of course I had no idea that I was bisexual. I remember when I first heard about being gay: it was when I was watching Clue, and Mr. Green came out of the closet. I had no idea what he had meant by it and asked my mortified mother, being too naive to know how embarrassing that was for her.

Later, I realized that I had been crushing on some of my female friends just as much as I had been crushing on the guys. In fact, crushing on girls was almost easier. Sleepovers, locker rooms... They never suspected anything, and I wasn't dumb enough to get caught staring; I behaved myself (probably because I was also extremely shy as a kid). But I knew, somehow, that it was "wrong" to like girls and kept my feelings hidden for a long, long time.

I did prefer men, however, and dated them exclusively (though I came really close with one particular girl in college...the sexual tension between us was as thick as pudding), and eventually got married to a man (who later also came out as bisexual!)

But you know what? I'm still bisexual. That hasn't changed. I still like to look at pretty women. And men.

Bisexual erasure is a real thing. It's the idea that people aren't really bi. They are either just straights "experimenting" or are actually gay and just haven't admitted it to themselves (or others) yet. It's a form of discrimination, often called monosexism (both gays and straight people are monosexual). People have actually asked me if I was still bisexual because I was married to a man."Shouldn't you just call yourself straight?" I've been asked.

No, no I shouldn't.

Being bisexual is as intrinsic to me as being gay is to gay people. I can't change it just because I got married. Gays have had this problem a long time, too. Just because they got married (to blend in, because of social pressure, because of hostile times in history, etc.) didn't mean they stopped being gay. They just had to hide it and suffer through a marriage they probably didn't really want. Luckily for me, I don't have to hide my bisexuality just because I'm married. I even got really lucky and found a man who later came out as bisexual himself.

For a long time, though, I did have to hide it. It was frustrating to explain to people that I was married to a man but still identified as bi. A lot of times I got confused looks. I wondered if people thought I was delusional or kidding myself and really was a lesbian. But I had tried out that label before I had met my husband, and I just couldn't do it. I still liked to look at men. And women.

So I just stopped talking about it. I didn't "come out" to friends because I thought it wasn't important. Yeah, I was still bi, but I was married. I bought into bisexual erasure. My identity wasn't important because of my relationship status.

That sucks.

This is the last weekend of Pride, and I'm going to be marching in Chicago's Pride Parade with the Bisexual Queer Alliance tomorrow. And I'm proud of that. I'm telling the world that I am bi, even though I am married to a man, and that's okay. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere, and I'm certainly not going to stop saying I'm bi.

You can't erase me. You can't shut me up, and you certainly can't label me as straight.

I'm bisexual, and I'm proud of it!

(BTW: I do realize that the term "bisexual" is a little dated, and doesn't cover the entire spectrum of gender identity. I've always said that it didn't matter to me what was - or wasn't - in someone's pants, and that still applies. It's what is part of being bi...we like it all! "Pansexual" might be more accurate, but way harder to explain.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Electronic Hijinks

I have always had a strange relationship with electronics. I love computers, even though most people my age distrust them to some degree. I was lucky; I grew up with computers because I had a father who was in engineering. We had computers - two of them - before most people even knew what a personal computer was.

Computers tend to obey me. They rarely break down (except printers...damn you printers!), rarely have severe problems, and I have never, ever lost a file at the last minute (okay, I did lose about 30,000 words of my Dark Crystal Author Quest submission once, but that was my iPad's fault).

Other types of electronics and I, however, do not get along so well.

Take elevators, for example. Let me tell you a story of the College of Nursing elevator. This lift really liked me, as in it followed me around. I didn't use it much on the way down; I usually took the stairs. My office was on the fourth floor, my lab on the second. With no one around to push the button, the doors would open for me on the fourth floor. I'd ignore it and take the stairs, only to have the doors open for me at the second floor, again with no one around to push the button.

This elevator liked me. It followed me.

The elevator in the College of Medicine was another story. It didn't like me. Any time I would get on, no matter how many people were in it (or not), the alarm would sound. When I stepped out of the elevator, the alarm would switch off. I got a lot of stares because of it.

Now, it's automatic doors. I guess my secret ninja skills have become so great that I no longer register on automatic door sensors. They won't open for me anymore, or they will open while I'm still thirty feet down the hall, then close just as I get to them - with no one else around.

What about you? Do you have any weird electronic hijinks stories? Do computers fritz out around you, like a certain Chicago wizard we all know and love? Do you have a pet elevator?

Photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Geek? Nerd? Writer?

Okay, so I'm not known for being consistent with blogging. I have three blogs and I barely write in any of them anymore. I suck.

I guess it's because I never know what to write about. I have lots of opinions about things, but I'm not always sure people want to read those opinions. So, yeah, I'm a little insecure about sharing things I like, especially since I am a nerdy geek. Or a geeky nerd. Or whatever. And a woman, and bad things tend to happen to opinionated women who have those strong opinions on geeky things.

I like Star Wars, and comic books, and video games. But I don't get much chance to do much about it. I work too much and I'm lazy. Yes, I just admitted that I'm lazy. But I am, and I'm trying not to be.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is that I am going to attempt to write more. I'm making writing a priority. I might even make a schedule, and put it in my calendar, and have it beep at me. Like I did for belly dance, and look how far that's gotten me! (Yep, this belly dancing writer is going to be teaching at Waking Persephone this year! Sweet!)

I will write about more than just writing here. I've contemplated renaming the blog, or just trashing this one and getting another. We'll see. I want to write about nerdy things and geeky things and stupid things. And writing. And dancing.

For now, thanks for reading, and hopefully this will all be worth something soon.