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MadCast: doublestufforeo

Celebrating Pride

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It's been a minute, but I guess I'll weigh in. I don't normally do this but I will today.

On 6/10/2019 at 3:13 PM, MadCast: Hitori said:

I'm glad to see you've opened the floor for this discussion, double! Coming from another country that definitely has a lot further to go than the US, it always seems to me that the LGBTQ+ community here in the States is very lucky, and have it a lot easier than in other places, which quickly turns my brain into a "what are they complaining about?" train of thought. It's not fair, since that sort of mentality is not constructive at all, but it's a question nonetheless and reading your posts kind of answers my questions. Also, what happens in the U.S definitely shapes what happens in my country 5,10 or 20 years later, so the battles being fought here will most certainly ripple into Chile in the future. 

I was having a discussion with my boyfriend about a question that came to mind, and I'd like to ask it here since I'm sure you understand LGBTQ+ culture a lot more than me. Keep in mind I don't judge either way, I'm just genuinely curious about this. In order to realize, decide, or come to the conclusion (Whichever verb or action applies, I'm not really sure) that you are bisexual, do you have to have had a relationship with both genders? The question came up because a female friend of mine posted a buch of things about being bi after saying she was just an ally of the LGBTQ+ community for years, and having only had romantic relationships with guys. Now, even though it's not always the case, I'm sure there are people that make these claims online (And never in person) just to get some attention. I'm not sure if this is the case here or not, but the whole situation got me wondering whether you can actually know for sure without having ever lived through it.

Personally, my kind of open but not really savvy on the subject brain went no way, you need to have empirical evidence of having kissed a girl AND a boy in order to affirm that you are bi. And then I thought about it more, and decided that in order to determine, or come to the conclusion that you are, for example, a man who isn't comfortable in his body, because you should have been a woman, you haven't really been a woman and yet I am comfortable with agreeing that in that case you're transgender. So I have no idea, and I'm not even sure it's important or not when you're determining your sexuality. Maybe just the feeling that there could be sexual attraction to both is enough? No clue.

What's your experience, or thoughts, about this? 

My story is odd, but I'll try to share it and answer your question. I currently, personally identify as bisexual.

I grew up, however, in a strict Catholic home and went to an all-girls Catholic high school (and then a catholic college). I have always been attracted to girls, in retrospect, but was taught outright that it was wrong, unnatural, and any physical intimacy with anyone of either gender was a ticket straight to hell. 

I also met my husband @MadCast: VoShay when I was 11, and I have been in love with him ever since. 

I spent most of high school following VoShay around while desperately ignoring any other feelings I had. I also had a very difficult time with affection early on that simultaneously pushed people away.  

It wasn't until I was in college and luckily deeply committed to VoShay that I realized I was very much cross-platform compatible. You see, I received two love letters from classmates after high school graduation- from two people I cared about and, in retrospect, probably would have dated if all things aligned. Those letters were the first time I realized how I felt. I wasn't disgusted or indifferent about those letters. I felt like I had missed some sort of opportunity.  And that's when I realized I was "ambidextrous". 

Did that realization instantly make me want to break up with VoShay and figure out some alternate path? No.

Did I think about it? A little.

Did it change my relationship with VoShay? Not really.

But I did experience some of my friends asking for evidence or expressing similar doubt. Honestly, the only way to explain it was to say that I get the same feeling of attraction for women that I have for men. I get nervous; I want to get to know them more; I want to be there for them. 

Granted, a lot of my experience is retrospective, and I am in a committed relationship with VoShay, so there are a few people who don't believe me. But, ironically enough, VoShay believes me and often jokes about women we would both have dated or would date if we weren't committed.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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On 7/2/2019 at 5:35 PM, MadCast: Kitty Stark said:

If I might chip in here, I agree to an extent with this. I strongly believe that, for the most part, gender is a social construct that is simply used to try and keep people in tidy boxes. I don't see any need for clothes to be divided into men and women, or for the colors pink and blue to be used for nearly everything related to baby showers and newborns. I don't care for the belief that boys shouldn't cry, or that female emotions are always over-complicated.

However, I also tend to think that most people who identify as trans may simply be confused or influenced by these very social constructs. This comes from personal experience, as I used to think I was a trans female-to-male in high school when I liked video games and cargo pants and hated pink flowers and wearing dresses. Obviously I now know that I don't need to give a flying fuck what "society" thinks and I dress and talk the way I want to even if it means I come off as being butch or something. That does not mean that I am against transsexual people or think that they're stupid. I support everyone's happiness and believe you should be allowed to do whatever you want to do (within reason) to live a happy comfortable life, but there are still certain aspects of society that I feel are negatively impacted because they rely on the rigidity of logic and don't care for your feelings. I think that your biological sex should be referenced in regards to anything that is either:

A - divided by standardized gender (since one reason divisions still exist in major sports is due to biology), or
B - directly related to the mechanics of your physical sex, such as medical purposes or the type of bathroom facilities you need

Outside of those types of situations, I don't care what you want me to call you as long as you're a decent human being and we can respect each other.

I am in no way trying to invalidate your experience. I had a gut reaction to "most people who identify as trans may simply be confused or influenced by these very social constructs."

And I felt like I had to chime in. 

I don't think you are wrong that social constructs influence how trans people may feel about themselves. I also agree that these boxes force people into boxes that do way more harm than good. However, in my personal experience, it feels like it is more than that. Almost every trans person I know has experienced such intense body dysmorphia/gender dysmorphia, that they are willing to either mutilate themselves to get relief or they become a victim of suicide.

It has taken so many hours of therapy and doctors visits and hormone therapy and so many "I love you always" to reach this point of almost happiness in our lives that it feels like challenging social constructs isn't enough. Trans & their family challenge the social constructs every day. We lift our chins to whoever judges. But as much as the problem is deconstructing social constructs, it also involves acceptance.

Acceptance that someone's gender generally isn't "your" (general you) business. Acceptance that someone's gender might not be what you think it is. Acceptance that it is unethical to leave someone in excruciating pain- including gender/body dysmorphia, and acceptance that to reject treatment would be to subject them to lifelong depression, possible self-harm, and the possibility of suicide. 

I'm sorry if anyone disagrees with me or if I come off angry. I am. But not at Kitty or anyone here. I'm angry because of how painful and exhausting this journey has been for us but how worthwhile it has been to fight and continue to fight for this life. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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14 hours ago, MadCast: Al Shifra said:

I believe that whenever someone says something racist or homophobic it is rarely out of some deep desire to to cause hurt to the person. I think it is more of a spur of the moment action that had no thought behind it. When I am with my friends, the amount of things we say to each other (especially when we are mad) are insane to think about sometimes. However, if I do run into a toxic person or someone who is better than me at a game, I often do cuss and say racial slurs, not because I hate certain races or groups, but because I am simply mad and I don't think of it as a genuinely hurtful phrase. If I had a penny for every time I said "faggot" or "Motherf-er" then I'd be able to by a Lamborghini by now. The people who say these things on impulse are simply doing it because they were taught that saying these things is not big deal because at that particular time, it wouldn't mean anything.

I am known to be a highly sensitive person, so take from this what you will, but I stopped playing league because of stuff like this. I asked someone once why they say such hateful things, and their snarky reply was: "well, it's the fuckin truth. and the truth hurts." 

this person, in particular, was obviously trying to hurt/shock people because of how upset they felt in the situation. In this case, the person was aware they were saying hurtful things and said them purposefully.

 

 

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19 hours ago, MadCast: Al Shifra said:

I believe that whenever someone says something racist or homophobic it is rarely out of some deep desire to to cause hurt to the person. I think it is more of a spur of the moment action that had no thought behind it. When I am with my friends, the amount of things we say to each other (especially when we are mad) are insane to think about sometimes. However, if I do run into a toxic person or someone who is better than me at a game, I often do cuss and say racial slurs, not because I hate certain races or groups, but because I am simply mad and I don't think of it as a genuinely hurtful phrase. If I had a penny for every time I said "faggot" or "Motherf-er" then I'd be able to by a Lamborghini by now. The people who say these things on impulse are simply doing it because they were taught that saying these things is not big deal because at that particular time, it wouldn't mean anything.

It's 2019, if you're still using homophobic and racist terms when you're upset it shows a great deal about your character to me.

If you take words that were born out of hate and contempt and think that using them so nonchalantly in this modern day is alright ... boy do you have another thing coming. I am someone who will not tolerate the use of the term faggot, or otherwise to demean something, or someone, even in a passive way. To even call something gay because it was "bad" is a huge fuck you to the entire queer community. You're still passively saying that being gay is deplorable.

Put yourself in this scenario, you're a young queer youth growing up in society, with insurmountable pressure from those around you to be a certain way. Religious bias, societal standards, and generalized homophobia all taking a toll on the fact that you're already dealing with the things a normal teenager goes through with puberty, peer pressure, etc. Now imagine that you're that youth sitting in a room with your friends and they use the term gay in reference to bad things happening, or joke around and call each other fag, denoting something poor happening. That molds you. It shows you that even in the slightest people still denote you to be this bad thing. You're still a joke in the eyes of society. 

Now take that exact same scenario, and bring the age group up to twenty-somethings that should know better than to just throw words around so flippantly. It's absolutely childish that grown men would still be using that kind of vocabulary. 

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
- Yehuda Berg

Think before you speak. Your words have meaning. 

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@MadCast: Vyoletta I can't highlight the quote, but I must apologize for my wording and that it felt like I was minimizing the struggles of transsexuals. I did not mean to imply that I think all trans people are simply confused and that breaking down certain archaic parts of society would simply fix them all. I absolutely understand that body dysmorphia and other similar mental illnesses can be crippling and that there are people who are simply born "wrong" and can not ever feel comfortable in their biological body.

My intention was to make a point in regards to the "popularity" of being transsexual in recent years, and how a majority of teens are already so confused and have no idea what kind of person they are or want to be. Allowing a 13-year-old to go off and get a major body-altering surgery that may have many permanent side effects is absolutely absurd. I believe there should be age limits on such things, or at the very least a major psychological evaluation before you can get a sex alteration surgery. Perhaps such laws already exist in certain places and I'm simply unaware, but if I have to wait until I'm 30 and go through half a dozen specialist appointments before I can have my tubes tied, I see no reason why minors should be allowed to make monumental decisions so flippantly.

In regards to the generally abhorrent use of offensive language in "gaming culture", I'm just saddened at the complete disregard that people show each other. I also took a chance a while back and asked someone why they would think that saying "go kill yourself" was a normal thing to say to someone, and they didn't really have a response. I remember ranting a bit at them and how they should have more respect for another human being instead of pretending that words have absolutely no meaning. I didn't play for weeks afterwards because I was so upset by the fact that there were countless others casually going around and saying "kill yourself" to teammates that were most likely teens or young adults, the most vulnerable age group to mental illness, and worrying about how many of them would be negatively affected. I also know of some people who basically accepted the use of that language and stopped reporting others because "what's the point?"

I can't stand such a defeatist attitude and I hope that everyone in MadCast will strive to be above the use of such shameful language, as well as be a positive example by working to remove anyone that does.

1 hour ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

If you take words that were born out of hate and contempt and think that using them so nonchalantly in this modern day is alright ... boy do you have another thing coming.

I think that Oreo already did a great job of making the point that dismissing offensive terms as meaningless in the context of playing games is ridiculous, but just for some further education on the matter I'd like to share this thread with the hopes that everyone can get a deeper understanding behind why using that kind of language is unacceptable.

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5 hours ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

You're still a joke in the eyes of society.

This really put it into perspective for me, I was never quite understanding of why the LGBTQ+ community was always so hurt, but now I understand that the rude and discriminatory language used against them in everyday reactions and language defies their legitimacy and a valid group in society. I am going to make a conscious effort to watch myself during games and otherwise for the language I use, because until now, I never realized the certain effect it had on the people I interact with.

Edited by MadCast: Al Shifra

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Kitty, I want to respond in detail to you. Not that I have any beef with you, but I find you've voiced a number of misconceptions and broad ignorances held by a lot of people who don't interact with LGBT, and especially Trans people, closely and/or regularly. I also think that attempting to address those misconceptions is a worthwhile goal and in keeping with the ideas of this thread. I myself am not Trans, but I have a trans family member.

6 hours ago, MadCast: Kitty Stark said:

My intention was to make a point in regards to the "popularity" of being transsexual in recent years, and how a majority of teens are already so confused and have no idea what kind of person they are or want to be.

I would like to push back against this statement. Less than 5% of any population, as far as we know, is transsexual. Being transsexual is opting into being feared, maligned, mistreated, misunderstood, possibly arrested, and potentially being violently harmed, sexually or otherwise. It's not dying your hair or wearing all black to 'stand out,' 'be different,' or 'stick it to the olds.' While in any population large enough there will be some disaffected individuals for whom their attention-seeking behavior may zero in on this chance to stand out and be martyred, it is orders of magnitude more likely for anyone who opts into this label to be addressing a fundamental fact about their own nature than to be 'trying on identities' to figure out who they want to be as an adult. There is just a massive difference between the social friction of being a goth or a geek or anything else like that and the actual potential for permanent harm and long-term social exclusion for being Trans; for example, my Trans family member still avoids public restrooms to this day unless it is an absolute emergency. On top of that, every trans person I've ever interacted with has, at the start of their journey as much as possible, changed schools, names, friends, etc. and done everything possible to distance themselves from their prior identity so that they can effectively bury that past, and that person, as dead. That is not the idle identity search of an adolescent, a practice which typically sees monthly or even weekly shifts between competing identities as they figure out their place in the world. 

 
 
 
6 hours ago, MadCast: Kitty Stark said:

Allowing a 13-year-old to go off and get a major body-altering surgery that may have many permanent side effects is absolutely absurd. I believe there should be age limits on such things, or at the very least a major psychological evaluation before you can get a sex alteration surgery. Perhaps such laws already exist in certain places and I'm simply unaware, but if I have to wait until I'm 30 and go through half a dozen specialist appointments before I can have my tubes tied, I see no reason why minors should be allowed to make monumental decisions so flippantly. (my bold for emphasis)

I know it is not your intent, but I think this statement here is uncharacteristically unkind because it presumes that gender reassignment is as easy to get as antibiotics, as if kids (or their parents) can simply ask for it and get ushered into some back room a week later and have a major surgery performed no questions asked. While I certainly don't know if any case like that has ever occurred, that is not the way it is practiced according to US Law and Medical precedent. In the US, Sexual Reassignment Surgery (hereafter SRS) was not performed before 18 years old until the last decade, period. In the last decade, the age for SRS (which is only performed by a small handful of professionals who have chosen to do so) has dropped to 15-17 years old, no younger. When trans children come out and get the medical support they need, they are started first on puberty blockers which have no long term effects other than delaying the onset of secondary sex characteristics while they receive psychological evaluations for years. If they are already in puberty, or now at puberty age,  and the doctors and child and parents agree, the child starts a hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT develops (or alters) secondary sex characteristics (but cannot, for example, magically remove all breast development or develop full breasts if puberty development already started noticeably in the other direction) and continues to be monitored and evaluated. When the child reaches 16 or 17, if the child and parents still agree, SRS (typically top surgery first, if necessary based on puberty development before any treatment) is performed. This assumes the insurance covers it (many don't), or the family can find tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for it. 

For the example of my trans family member, who states they knew at 4 but couldn't/didn't advocate for themselves until after puberty started, they got on HRT and wore binding wraps (which are painful) daily, changed schools and their entire life to bury their old life, and had monthly 1 on 1 therapy, and weekly group therapy, for three years before they were considered an acceptable candidate for surgery because they had been properly evaluated by not just one but an entire team of doctors and the permanency of the decision was fully understood and the child made the choice for themselves with full knowledge.

If you still find it hard to imagine a child knows how they feel about their own body and themselves enough to make this call, consider your own words-

 
 
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6 hours ago, MadCast: Kitty Stark said:

I absolutely understand that body dysmorphia and other similar mental illnesses can be crippling and that there are people who are simply born "wrong" and can not ever feel comfortable in their biological body.

If you believe that, do you see the logical fallacy in not also believing these people can make the decision to transition, even at a young age?

 

Lastly, I 100% agree with you that it's bullshit for our society to put such a premium on women's ability to give birth, and to treat women as incapable of making their own decisions about their body such that in many rural counties and states getting sterilized without having had kids first is basically impossible. Part of the legitimate problem with it is that long-acting contraceptives (IUDs, Shots, etc) are considered just as effective but are not as dangerous for women to undergo, unlike the lack of such a simple, effective method for transsexual people. Second, it's definitely a regional thing. In California, you will receive thorough counseling to ensure you are fully aware of the permanence, complications, etc. before it is performed, but anyone 18 or older can likely find a practitioner who will do it. I'm sure the rural midwest, south, and east are very different, and they shouldn't be.

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There is a basic, fundamental foundation instilled in each of us. Whether it's from inner personality or our upbringing - this our core. For me, I grew up hardcore Christian (i.e. Pentecostal). I was taught a lot of things earlier that took a while to shake off (bits of racism and hate for LGBTQ, as well as differing religions, etc. Pretty sure Pentecostal hated all walks of life besides Pentecostal). ** To be fair, Pentecostal has come a long way since I was a kid. Hate has transformed into more of a line in the sand type of thing. Progress can be made even in the most extremes of society, I suppose**. Our cores don't just instantaneously change nor do they mean someone is a bad person. It's important to remember that when someone may have an abrasive point of view in your eyes.

 As I've become closer to Agnostic than Christian, I still adopt a lot of the Christian lifestyle in my core beliefs and not only myself, my parents as well, have become aware that previous generations were only taught the previous generation ideology, in essence : ignorance was being passed down. With that out of the way I just have a few things that I believe are important to the argument.

1) Our experiences, beliefs, interactions do skew our opinions one way or another. Logic will interfere with compassion at times while compassion hinders logical judgement in some events. It does not mean you are more or less right, unless being facetious or hateful about it. 

2) In arguments like this - correcting someone on facts can be done without demeaning. This is the breaking point that usually turns a conversation into an argument.  No matter how righteous or truthful your viewpoint may be, being a total asshat about it negates your argument for the opposing side. Nobody will be browbeat into seeing your point of view, it has to come gradually over time. Sometimes, an individual's opinion will not change at all SOLELY based on your language or demeanor. How many times have you said "He's an asshole but he's right" compared to "I don't agree with that but I get where he's coming from". And more times than not, the second scenario is more likely to sway an opinion.

3) At the end of the day, we don't know what it's like to see through the eyes of another. That is NEVER a one way street. Even the most hateful of spiteful people have a root area that spawned their ideologies. Those instantaneous remarks that we often spew out without regard are often through frustration of "How can they not understand MY point of view???" are hard to swallow but I truly believe we can get further in these conversations if we not attach ourselves too  deeply in conversation. Speaking to myself on this, it's an everyday struggle.

I only say that because I can see some tension brewing and I would like to see these conversations without the knee-jerk reaction comments.

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1 hour ago, MadCast: Usefully Useless said:

I only say that because I can see some tension brewing and I would like to see these conversations without the knee-jerk reaction comments.

There will be tension with opposing sides in any conversation, but I don't see any knee-jerk reaction comments here. Things have been thought out and replied to with respect here and I don't see it at all getting out of hand.

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Thank you for this, it was really insightful for me, it really opened my mind on so many things that i've questioned or thought about.

I am Zimbabwe and like many many African countries homosexuality or anything that isn't the norm is illegal. The first time I ever even heard or understood what homosexuality was when I was 18, I was at a BBQ (we call it a Braai) and party, when my cousin and I saw these 2 super cute guys we had never met before (this was quite massive as the community was really small and everyone knows everyone), so my cousin was just getting up to go talk to them when they started kissing, my jaw must of been on the floor, I was very naive and didnt even understand what was going on my whole life up til that point it was always men and women you got married and had kids (my mom is very christian and my dad was back then ). I questioned this moment a lot with different people and the horror and disgust was confusing for me because I thought it was hot and with that confusion came the internal battle of what was wrong with me that seeing 2 guys kissing was not disgusting at all, after that initial shock it was beautiful in my mind it was different and unique to me because it change me I veiwed people in a different way, mind you growing up in a very closed minded community where you didnt get a choice you had to go to church, where having different views and thoughts is forbidden and racism etc is the norm, I have had to train myself not to say words that aren't fair or right even if saying them in anger.

Not long after my first experience with these guys, I moved to Cape Town,South Africa, I was so not prepared for it. The first day I arrived and I was waiting in the car and this trans man (i'm not completely sure he was trans and at what point you are homosexual or trans sorry if i'm offending anyone with bad terminology not my intentional, well she was about 6'2 and was dressed in a tiny mini skirt and top)  knocked on the car window asking for 50cents and I was just in shock, I didnt know how to respond and just froze, he got offended and swore at me, I felt awful after that. I hadnt wanted to offend her I was just so in awe of her bravery. Once I started waitressing it changed my world and I met some amazing people and my new stomping grounds were the gay bars. I had a lot of protectors  and friends who just blew my mind. In all that time I was still to scared to ask questions and I dont like asking questions I always worry I will ask it wrong and hurt someone, I used to play wow and joined a LGBQT+ guild I didnt realise that at the time, I just loved the kinky guild name Felbound Chains, and I made the comment that I liked that they were kinky and immediately I was told off that they werent kinky (they were a transgender couple), thankfully his Daddy Dom corrected his understanding of what I had said.

Even in South Africa there is a quiet divide of sorts because there is a big religious side not just in terms of Christianity but also in tribal terms where homosexuality is very much taboo so again I was in a place of confusion, and then moving over to the UK 12 years ago I experienced ever more shocks and amazement that made me realise that there wasnt anything wrong with me at all and that I wasn't some perverted person because I see people been true to themselves and who they are and want to be as beautiful, hopefully oneday I will be as brave enough to allow myself to as true to myself. Even now my families ignorance blows me away a direct quote from my mom 'have you noticed that since there are more gays that there are more tsunami's.' I have never been more angry in my life, and boy did I flip out at her completely!

In saying all that I would love some thoughts or advice, I am a single parent (thats a whole other story!) and my son whose 3 and the light of life and a super smarty cookie, keeps saying he doesnt want to go to any girls parties only boys and I hate that he sees things in this way and would love for any help or advice how to talk to him about LGBQT and really encourage him to realise that boys and girls are just as cool. I have never conciously meant to make him feel that its just boys and girls and these are boys things or girls toys, I encourage him to buy my little ponies and disney princesses if he wants ( he's super hero mad and minions at the moment, but he's already into minecrafting). I am not a christian but I do encourage my son to go to church if he wants, because I dont want to hide him from religions but to experience them so I can give him the tools to be open minded and challenge those beliefs. Man parenting is tricky!

 

 

Edited by Nimli

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@Nimli biggest thing with a kiddo, is just to let them be themselves.

You set rules as far as acceptable behavior and whatnot, but outside of that let your little dude be himself.

If he only wants to go to boy's parties, that's his call. Also, at his age, that's perfectly normal.

When he gets older, if he has any questions about it, then would be the time to bring up the many many different forms sexuality takes. Until then, he's a kid, let him be one :P

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3 hours ago, MadCast: Baal said:

@Nimli biggest thing with a kiddo, is just to let them be themselves.

You set rules as far as acceptable behavior and whatnot, but outside of that let your little dude be himself.

If he only wants to go to boy's parties, that's his call. Also, at his age, that's perfectly normal.

When he gets older, if he has any questions about it, then would be the time to bring up the many many different forms sexuality takes. Until then, he's a kid, let him be one :P

thanks! I tend to over think or maybe over parent!

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On 7/11/2019 at 10:21 AM, Nimli said:

In saying all that I would love some thoughts or advice, I am a single parent (thats a whole other story!) and my son whose 3 and the light of life and a super smarty cookie, keeps saying he doesnt want to go to any girls parties only boys and I hate that he sees things in this way and would love for any help or advice how to talk to him about LGBQT and really encourage him to realise that boys and girls are just as cool. I have never conciously meant to make him feel that its just boys and girls and these are boys things or girls toys, I encourage him to buy my little ponies and disney princesses if he wants ( he's super hero mad and minions at the moment, but he's already into minecrafting). I am not a christian but I do encourage my son to go to church if he wants, because I dont want to hide him from religions but to experience them so I can give him the tools to be open minded and challenge those beliefs. Man parenting is tricky!

I think Baal's got the right of it with letting kids be themselves, though you might ask him to explain why he doesn't want to go to girls parties. Maybe he thinks girls are groady (that will pass) or maybe it's external influence that is affecting him, like something one of his friends said.

But another way I think parents can hinder or help their children is just with words they use. Kids listen to everything you say, and make assumptions based on that. For example, if you say- "Someday you'll meet a beautiful wife and get married!" vs "Someday you'll meet an amazing person and get married!" you send a slightly different message. I think most of these comments are based on habits that are hard to break, but you shouldn't feel bad about that. It's good if you catch yourself and say- "Someday you'll meet a beautiful wife and get married- or husband or anyone who loves you! I just want you to be happy, you know that?" Catching and correcting yourself will make your child pay more attention to what you are saying.

In society we tend to define a lot of things based on relationships, which makes sense because humans are naturally relational for survival. However, taking the pressure off relationship status and focusing on positive messages about your child and what you want for them is a good way to go. "I want you to always have people who love you as much as I do in your life." vs statements about marriage, and not asking constantly if your child has a boyfriend or girlfriend yet (you'll notice other people start doing this by late elementary school probably) but rather: "Who do you like to spend time with? Why do you like to spend time with them?" can be more positive.

Lastly, I would caution you that if you speak negatively about yourself or other people for something, your child will assume the same holds true for them. If you say: "I love you even when you're not perfect!" but you constantly criticize yourself for not being perfect, or ask a lot of questions about why something isn't perfect, or criticize your co-workers or other people's kids (or whoever) for not being perfect, your child will assume you are lying. The inverse also holds true, so comments like: "I'm so happy that such and such are able to get married now. You can really see how much they love each other, and it makes me sad that it's still illegal for them to get married in some countries." or w/e will send a positive message to your child that it is okay for them to love who they love because you will support them.

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On 7/11/2019 at 11:12 AM, MadCast: Baal said:

biggest thing with a kiddo, is just to let them be themselves.

 

4 hours ago, MadCast: RedJustice said:

Someday you'll meet a beautiful wife and get married!" vs "Someday you'll meet an amazing person and get married!" you send a slightly different message. I think most of these comments are based on habits that are hard to break, but you shouldn't feel bad about that. It's good if you catch yourself and say- "Someday you'll meet a beautiful wife and get married- or husband or anyone who loves you! I just want you to be happy, you know that?" Catching and correcting yourself will make your child pay more attention to what you are saying.

This, all the way. I couldn't have said it better myself. Sexuality isn't necessarily something that blossoms for a while, and it's not something that needs to be worried about during their adolescence. I completely agree with just making sure that the environment is nurturing and that you allow them to blossom into whomever they are destined to be, but for now, just let them be a kid.

Just be supportive of them, and make sure your language (as @MadCast: RedJustice so beautifully put,) is conducive to an environment of love and support for a child. Making an emphasis on communication is huge, not just in yourself, but letting them know that they can talk to you about anything. I know it's really cliche when parents go "oh you can tell me anything" and the child backs off. I did that because there wasn't any history of that with my parents. I was never able to go to them for even the simplest of matters. Keeping an open door policy and helping them will make them open up more and be more communicative. 

Regardless of your child's orientation, it will make them a better adult and set them up for a bright future.

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I forget which comedian it was off the top of my head, but they had a pretty solid bit about that.

Something along the lines of: "I think my 6 year old is gay" "Your 6 year old shouldn't be interested in genitalia of either kind"

 

On a more serious note, and in keeping with what DSO and Red have said, your kid, male, female, or anything in between, has to grow up and make those decisions for themselves. Forcing a kid out of a "traditional" gender role can be just as harmful as forcing them into one. If you have a boy that likes playing with dolls, that's great. If he only wants to play with toy monster trucks, that's great too. As long as they understand that there are any number of options (through an open and accepting parenting style, not necessarily through being explicitly told,) and that you'll love and accept them no matter what, they'll be fine.

It's not something you get to decide for them.

Edited by MadCast: Baal

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9 hours ago, MadCast: Baal said:

It's not something you get to decide for them.

Give this man a medal. If only adults understood this in reference to so many things in life.

Edited by MadCast: doublestufforeo

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2 hours ago, MadCast: doublestufforeo said:

I love thought provoking videos like this: 

This  whole video is really enlightening to anyone not familiar with drag, and I am so so happy they included a king as well.

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"Starting next year, Illinois public schools will be required by law to include LGBTQ history in their curriculums.

On Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed House Bill 246, which mandates that the subject be taught as of July 1, 2020.

The measure stipulates that students must study “the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.” The bill also includes similar mandates for African American history and that of various other groups, including Polish, Irish, Italian, Hispanic and Asian Americans.

In keeping with the bill’s objective of promoting a diverse and inclusive history curriculum, it requires that “events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression” be taught as well. 

After the bill passed the state Legislature in May, one of its co-sponsors, Democratic Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago, hailed it as “one of the best ways to overcome intolerance.”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” she said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”

In a statement released Friday, Victor Salvo, Executive Director of the Legacy Project, a nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy group, called the measure a “life-saving law” that has placed the state “on the right side of history.”

“To deny a child information that could give them hope, that could help them feel less alone, that could help them feel like they mattered ― while at the same time condemning them to hearing bigoted slurs in the hallways of their schools ― is a cruelty that every feeling adult has a responsibility to stop.” - Huffington Post

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mistakenly attributed quotes from Victor Salvo of the Legacy Project to Equality Illinois, another LGBTQ advocacy group.

 

This is absolutely massive and wonderful news for the queer community. Educating today's youth about the past will only ensure a brighter future.

It may only be one state, but I'm hoping that this is the ripple that radiates around the country. 

Edited by MadCast: doublestufforeo

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Something that I want to address, joking about HIV/AIDS. It's something that as lighthearted as it seems, is something that plagues the queer community to this day. The false spreading of information on HIV/AIDS, and the fear mongering that the media pressed onto our community completely stripped our culture, and identity. 

"At the beginning of HIV epidemic, in many countries gay men and other men who have sex with men were frequently singled out for abuse as they were seen to be responsible for the transmission of HIV. Sensational reporting in the press, which became increasingly homophobic, fueled this view. Headlines such as “Alert over ‘gay plague’”, and “‘Gay plague’ may lead to blood ban on homosexuals” demonized the LGBT community." - Avert, 2018

It's a stigma that lives on to this day. It's something I hear consistent jokes about, it's also something that I highly recommend you refrain from using in your day to day. It's become tacky and tasteless. Using it as a mockery is outdated, immature, and impedes the progress that we've made as a society in the prevention, and eradication of HIV. 

"PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at very high risk for HIV take daily medicine to prevent HIV. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken daily." - The Center for Disease Control, August 6th, 2019

I want to emphasize that quote is from exactly two weeks ago from this posting. It's outstanding what modern medicine can do. PrEP is something that (especially within the queer community,) has become as common place as taking a daily vitamin. You see dating profiles with "HIV- on PrEP" or some other form of disclosure on their HIV status.

Getting tested and knowing your status, as well as open communication with potential partners is the major battle for prevention, and eradication of this disease. You can regularly find community outreach centers for LGBT+ that will test you for free for HIV and other venereal diseases.

"In a real-world study, many of those newly diagnosed with HIV had a chance to work with a healthcare provider to prevent HIV prior to their diagnoses. Nearly 2 out of 3 patients newly diagnosed with HIV had visited a healthcare facility at least once prior to diagnosis." - Truvada HCP, 2019

"Only 23% and 47% of sexually active men and women, respectively, report receiving a sexual risk assessment, despite visiting a healthcare provider in the past year." - Truvada HCP, 2019

Young adults continue to be the group at highest risk, (ages 20-29) which makes it so important for us to have this discussion. To fight the disease is to fight the old ways of looking at it. This conversation is something that's so commonplace within the queer community nowadays, and it's something I'm immensely proud of our community for. The information is so readily available to you, it's just a matter of seeking it out and learning more for yourself. 

Break the barrier, and start educating yourselves. Learn where you can get tested.

Learn more about PrEP as prevention.

As per always if you have any questions you want answered, you can ask them in this thread, or DM me on the forums or Discord. I'm be happy to answer them (to the best of my ability,) privately, or publicly (anonymously,) if you so choose.

 

Spread information, not HIV.

 

 

Edited by MadCast: doublestufforeo

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