General

Why Do Queer Women Fall in Love so Fast?

Every queer girl knows that when you come out, you’re instantly handed two things: a plaid shirt and the keys to your very own U-Haul. I’m kidding…but only slightly (you actually have to pay for the U-Haul).

tumblr_ortzek9sqv1qk47bjo2_500-1

But in all seriousness, why do queer women seem to fall in love with other women so quickly? Are we just enamored by the mere possibility of feline co-ownership? Do our hormones fire without discretion at the first sight of an undercut? Or is there a real biological phenomenon behind this? 

According to Dr. Lauren Costine, author of Lesbian Love Addiction, when two women fall in love they emit massive amounts of oxytocin and dopamine. Due to innate differences in biology, men do not release these chemicals in the same way.  So, when two women connect with each other romantically, there is an enormous influx of “feel-good” chemicals flowing freely from both parties.  This results in something Costine coins as an “oxyfest,” aka the real life version of Amortentia, and it’s literally addictive.

In fact, researchers have found that falling in love has the same effect as cocaine on the human brain and neuroscientists have linked “passionate love with intense changes in emotion and attention.” Assuming the vast majority of us aren’t interested in a strict regimen of hard drugs with a splash of emotional instability, these studies are seriously concerning.

However, since romantic love has been associated with lower levels of serotonin (a key element found in those with obsessive, intrusive thoughts), it’s easy to wonder if queer women are just doomed to repeat this cycle.

Continue reading “Why Do Queer Women Fall in Love so Fast?”

Carmilla · General

5 Animal Species That Are Totally Gay

Did you know that homosexual behavior has been observed in more than 1,500 different species of animals? That’s right. Regardless of what your sixth grade religion teacher may have said, homosexual activity is natural and the overwhelming majority of animals are queer.

It’s actually extremely rare for any animal to exclusively exhibit heterosexual or homosexual tendencies. By our societal standards, that would make nearly all animals bisexual (or pansexual) because they have intercourse with members of the same and opposite sex. In fact, same-sex sexual activity may actually be adaptive among animals, helping them get along “ maintain [ superior fertility] and protect their young.”

So, why are people still shocked that human beings (who are also members of the animal kingdom) engage in homosexual behavior as well?!

Here are five animal species that prove being queer is totally normal.

1) Giraffes

giphy-1

Humans aren’t the only animal species to enjoy neck stimulation! Male giraffes partake in a form of erotic foreplay, called “necking.” As the name implies, this activity involves two male giraffes rubbing their neck together until they’re ready to have sex. (Who knows, maybe all those spots are actually just hickeys!) Interestingly, one research study claimed that 94% of all observed sexual activity in giraffes occurred between two, or more, males.

While the statistics in this study have been fiercely contested, male giraffes indisputably seem to enjoy having sex with other male giraffes.

2) Chilean Flamingos

feature_chileanflamingo.jpg

These gorgeous, majestic and super gay animals should be mascots for the queer community. In recent years, there have been several heartwarming stories about these birds. For instance, two male flamingos adopted a baby chick after it was abandoned by its biological parents at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. Additionally, another pair of male flamingos (who also raised a chick together) have been together for more than 30 years.  [That’s longer than far too many human marriages]  “They spend time together, they eat together, they walk around the exhibit together,” explains Monica Halpin, keeper of birds at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia. “They’re like a normal flamingo pair, except they’re boys.”

Continue reading “5 Animal Species That Are Totally Gay”

General

Why I’m trying to love my mental disorder

Imagine this.

Your entire body is submerged in water. Ice cold waves are crashing over your head, forcing your torso downwards. The strength of the tide is causing your muscles to ache with exhaustion. You’re barely able to swallow a breath before the next waves comes. You’re absolutely certain you’re minutes from death.

Then someone manages to throw you a rope.

You look up. Your family is waving frantically from the shore, your friends desperately pleading with you to take the rope into your hands. Relief begins to flood your veins. If you just grab it, then you can pull yourself to warm, safe land. You extend your arm, realizing that this is your one chance to escape the torment. But then…

“What if the rope snaps and I end up worse than I am now?” “Can I even make it all the way to shore?” “Are those really my loved ones or are they trying to trick me?” You recoil and drop your outstretched hand. The rope sinks. And you continue to thrash desperately in the water.

For me, living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can feel a lot like choosing to drown. I can see that there is a way to escape the endless onslaught of thoughts, but sometimes I just can’t seem to grab the rope.

Since I wasn’t diagnosed with OCD until I was 24, I really struggle to determine whether my behavior is genuine or the result of an obsession. As a child, I experienced your stereotypical OCD symptoms (repeated actions, methodical behavior, counting) but, as I’ve gotten older, the vast majority of my symptoms have shifted internally.  Now, I present as a perfectly well adjusted person who can laugh, smile and work a room all while secretly engaging in my compulsions. 

Most of my friends are shocked when I tell them about my OCD. While they knew I had a tendency to fixate and had difficult dealing with change, my messiness seemed to preclude the possibility of actually having a disorder.  [Fun fact, not every person with OCD cleans compulsively or fears germs…we’re not all Emma from Glee]

ocd.gif

While some of my OCD does present in a visible manner (like having to walk in a specific way or laying out my clothes at night in the order that I put them on in the morning), I predominately deal with something called “Pure O.” It’s essentially OCD without the noticeable behavioral modifications. For instance, in high school I had a phobia of throwing up and all of my compulsions were centered around abating this fear.

Continue reading “Why I’m trying to love my mental disorder”

General

“So…How Exactly Do Lesbians Have Sex?”

“What is lesbian sex?” “How do two women have sex?” “What does lesbian sex look like?”

While these questions may sound like a horny teenager’s search history, minus the spelling errors, it’s actually something most queer women are forced to awkwardly google during their coming out process.

Because no one ever talks about lesbian sex. And that’s a massive problem. [Skip to the bottom if you want actual instruction on how to have lesbian sex] 

Kat 1

By the time I was twelve years old, I was way too well versed in precisely how a woman and man made love. Thanks to extensive Fertility Awareness classes (or the clever name my Catholic grammar school used for sex education), I could recite exactly how two opposite gendered people came together, in the glory of God, to be fruitful and multiply.

I even had a general idea of how two men engaged in sexual intercourse due to the critique of sodomy from church officials. However, there never even seemed to be any discussion about women wanting to be intimate with other women. Even now, whenever the topic of lesbian sex comes up, the general public’s response is typically, “mmm…what?”

giphy

Continue reading ““So…How Exactly Do Lesbians Have Sex?””

General

Don’t let National Coming Out Day pressure you into coming out

October 11 is National Coming Out Day and newsfeeds everywhere are filled with artistically themed rainbows, photos of same-sex couples kissing and heartwarming coming out videos. It’s a beautiful expression of pride and it’s enough to make any queer person want to announce their sexual orientation.

But you don’t have to come out today. 

If revealing your sexuality will put you at risk for violence, then don’t feel pressured into coming out.

If the thought of announcing your gender identity makes you want to hurt yourself, then don’t feel pressured into coming out.

If you’d lose your home or financial security due to your queerness, then don’t feel pressured into coming out.

If you just aren’t ready yet, then don’t feel pressured into coming out.

Only come out when you feel comfortable. It’s a highly personal and extremely delicate process that can never be rushed. Not all people are privileged enough to reveal their sexuality or gender identity but that doesn’t make them any less queer. You are not defined by the number of people who know you’re a member of the LGBTQ community. You are defined only by how you view yourself.

giphy.gif

It took me 21 years to come out to myself, 23 years to come out to my family and 27 years to come out to the world. In fact, this is actually my first time publicly celebrating National Coming Out Day.  I know how isolating today can be for those who desperately want to claim their queer identity but lack the ability to do so safely.

Continue reading “Don’t let National Coming Out Day pressure you into coming out”

History

Did homophobia cause the Salem witch trials?

Ugh, women. They can be real witches sometimes, am I right? 

I can just picture William Stoughton, the Chief Justice of the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer [aka where they prosecuted “witches” during the Salem Witch Trials], expressing this sentiment to his all male colleagues in the late 1600s.

Between February, 1692 and May, 1693, around 200 women and men were accused of practicing witchcraft. Instigated predominately by the strange behavior of Elizabeth “Betty” Parris, 9, Abigail Williams, 11, and Ann Putnam Jr., 11, intense paranoia seized the Massachusetts Bay Colony for 15 months. While only 20 people were actually put to death, 19 by hanging and 1 by crushing, the ramifications of the Salem witch trials completely transformed the village.

And internalized homophobia may have been a cause.  

Continue reading “Did homophobia cause the Salem witch trials?”

TV Shows

How Queer POC are Represented in Media

From oversexualization and being the neutered best friends to complete invisibility, people of color are often denied the multidimensional agency of their white queer counterparts.

There are characters here and there, but very few series are designed or centered around non-white queer folk. Additionally, people of color are rarely afforded the opportunity to head an entire program. Who wants to see that, right? Here, we’re going to acknowledge series germane not only to Queer people of color but, by proxy, to people in the LGBTQ community more broadly.

Noah’s Arc was the first scripted television show for the newly cemented, queer-focused network, Logos. It premiered in 2005, right after George W. Bush used his opposition to gay marriage to win the 2004 presidential election. Noah’s Arc redefined the way we tell stories of non-normative queer people.

noahs-arc.jpg

Created by Patrik-Ian Polk, an openly gay black film director and writer, Noah’s Arc followed the lives of four queer men of color: Noah, a sensitive writerly type working in Los Angeles as a screenwriter; Ricky, a promiscuous Latinx man who owned a clothing boutique on Melrose; Alex, a femme, married HIV/AIDS educator who served as the comedic center; And Chance, a stiff, elitist by-the-books economics professor with a blended family.

The series showed how they navigated love, career and friendship through the prism of their sexuality and the experiences it both afforded and kept from them. It touched on gay marriage, othering, being denied employment, the rigid world of Hollywood, straight-identified men who sleep with men, toxic masculinity, the Continue reading “How Queer POC are Represented in Media”

TV Shows

7 Best Bisexual Characters on TV

“Nobody is actually bisexual.” “Bisexual people are just not ready to accept that they’re gay.” “People are only bisexual now because it’s cool.” Unfortunately, these are real arguments that far too many bisexual people have been forced to endure. 

Bisexual people are often confronted with discrimination from both members of the LGBTQ community and the heterosexual community.

We have to embrace our bisexual sisters, brothers and non-binary relatives in order to build a genuinely inclusive community. So, here are 7 of my favorite bisexual characters on TV!

1) Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

tumblr_p0w00blwYL1tu1vsqo5_640.gif

This bad ass detective came out as bisexual in 2017 and all the queer girls swooned. While Rosa’s sexuality was immediately accepted by her coworkers, her family wasn’t as understanding. Both Rosa’s mother and father insisted that her bisexuality wasn’t real and that she’d end up married to a man in the end. Despite loving their child deeply, Rosa’s parents couldn’t understand the concept of choosing to be with a woman if you could be with a man.

2) Rich Dotcom, Blindspot 

Rich.com.gif

The TV show Blindspot is quickly becoming one of my favorites (and it’s not just because I find Jaimie Lauren Alexander stunningly beautiful.) The plot is riveting, the characters are diverse and sexual orientation isn’t seen as a big deal. This is most noticeable in the portrayal of Rich Dotcom, a notorious criminal, who is openly attracted to both men and women. When he’s not hitting on Jane Doe, Alexander’s character, he’s flirting with FBI agent Kurt Weller. Rich makes no attempt to obscure his sexual orientation and openly discusses his escapades regardless of who’s around. He’s unapologetically bisexual and I’m here for it.

3) Kat Sandoval, Madam Secretary 

Bisexual Madam .gif

Sara Ramirez, who recently came out as bisexual herself, is no stranger to queer characters. She played Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy and now assumes the role of Kat Sandoval in Madam Secretary. Kat is a strong, openly bisexual woman who refuses to be limited by gender binaries. In fact, Ramirez says she hopes her character can “continue normalizing, strengthening, and celebrating these types of inclusive outcomes in the world.”

Continue reading “7 Best Bisexual Characters on TV”

Movies

How A Simple Favor Delivers on Queer Representation

I wrote a blog post earlier in the summer about how Ocean’s 8 was the gayest movie of the year, but I was wrong. I was so wrong. A Simple Favor is the gayest movie of the year.

Not only did this movie deftly navigate the fine line between comedy and suspense, it actually delivers on queer representation. Unlike other movies that hinge their promotions on queerbaiting (*cough* pitch perfect *cough*), A Simple Favor doesn’t shy away from depicting the sexual tension between Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and Emily (Blake Lively).

Their chemistry is evident from the second the pair meet. Emily, sporting a three piece suit, walks in slow motion toward Stephanie, whose reaction is literally the definition of gay panic.

SEX

It doesn’t take long for Stephanie and Emily to develop a close relationship that is laden with heavy flirtation and intense eye contact. (To be honest, if Blake Lively called me baby that many times in a 15 minute period while sipping a martini, then I would have literally burst into flames.) 

Continue reading “How A Simple Favor Delivers on Queer Representation”

General · Uncategorized

What does a bisexual man look like?

A little over a year ago, I met a guy who made me experience something I had never felt for another man before – attraction.

I was shocked, bewildered, and confused. I had never in my life even considered the possibility of being anything but straight. And yet, here we were. After accepting that I was a bisexual male, I began wondering if I should start presenting differently. 

I would frequently wonder, “How gay should I be acting?” “Is this gay enough?” “Is this too gay?”

This internal dialogue reminds me of a scene in Love, Simon. (Spoilers, if you somehow haven’t seen it yet) The main character, Simon Spier, is outed by a classmate during winter break. The morning he’s set to return to school, Simon finds himself trying on all sorts of different outfits, all while Googling “how to dress like a gay guy”.

68747470733a2f2f73332e616d617a6f6e6177732e636f6d2f776174747061642d6d656469612d736572766963652f53746f7279496d6167652f63494b736765696367585f6277413d3d2d3537313836343336352e313532633965343164303837636162663531343137303330323434302e676966.gif

Simon’s trepidation and uncertainty on how to present, is reminiscent of the struggles bisexual men face on a daily basis. For me, I wanted my outward expression to convey my interest in men without convincing people that I batted entirely for the other team. Considering my bisexuality made me acutely aware of how I walked, talked, dressed, and even wrote. It was extremely difficult to find a way to present as equally gay and straight. 

But none of it really mattered.

Continue reading “What does a bisexual man look like?”