Can Science “Prove” Bisexuality? Studies Suggest Yes — My Latest for Paste Magazine

I first realized I was bisexual in high school but didn’t come out until fifteen years later because I thought it was just a phase. As a teenager during the late ‘90s, most coming out stories I saw on TV involved gays and lesbians, so I didn’t think I was “queer enough” to come out. When I did come out a few years ago, though, I found that not only did the mainstream LGBTQ rights movement still focused exclusively on gays and lesbians, but also that some gay people don’t believe bisexuality is a thing. Sex columnist Dan Savage is known to respond to young bisexuals with, “I was, too, at your age.” The TV show Glee, despite its positive portrayals of gay and lesbian teens, had a few episodes that suggested bisexuals are either liars or cheaters. Even my first boyfriend was convinced he could end my “addiction to pussy.” I know Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” but I didn’t think being able to love people regardless of gender was too extraordinary of a claim.

Apparently it is, though, because in 2005 three researchers published a paper that casted doubts on bisexuality in men. For this study, the researchers picked 30 straight men, 33 bisexual men, and 38 gay men to measure how they reacted to erotic visual stimuli. First the participants filled out a form where they described how they identify sexually, and then the researchers attached sensors to their penises and showed them porn. Some of the porn featured two women, and some featured two men. According to results, the majority of bisexual men shared the same reactions (i.e. amount of erections) to the male-on-male porn as did the gay men. Thus, as many interpret, most bisexual men are really just gay.

However, as bisexual blogger Sue George pointed out, the study had flaws. The sample group was too small, only 22 out of the 33 bisexual men in the study had “sufficient genital arousal for analyses,” everyone has different reactions to porn, and the study didn’t look at romantic attraction. So why did people take the study as “proof” that bisexuality in men doesn’t exist? “It’s so popular because it says what people want it to say” George wrote. “Huge swaths of society seem to have a vested interest in implying that no men are really bisexual and all women are. Society (specifically, but not exclusively, straight men) is frightened of bi men—who are a bit too much like them—but they can push gay men over to one side and think of them as ‘other.” They can even allow them a few rights now and then.”

Click here to read the rest.

A Dream Come True–My Guest Spot on This Week’s Everyone’s Agnostic Podcast

One of my favorite podcasts is Everyone’s Agnostic where every week Cass Midgley and Bob Pondillo interview people about their deconversion stories. I always wanted to be on their show, and a few weeks ago I got my wish. Our discussion is now online, and you can listen to it here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #86: Autism, Bisexuality, and Fundamentalism with Mason Lynch

My guest for today is Mason Lynch. He’s a computer programmer who lives in Washington state, and he blogs at Casting Large Shadows. He has also contributed to the Patheos blog Removing the Fig Leaf where he wrote about his struggle with sex negativity and body shaming in a conservative Christian homeschooled environment. So today we’re going to get to know Mason and hear about his journey.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #86: Autism, Bisexuality, and Fundamentalism with Mason Lynch” on Spreaker.

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Between Fear and Bravery: Being Queer in a Small Town — My Latest Bitopia Article

Two strangers pass each other in Target. One is an old man pushing a shopping cart, and the other is wearing Revlon candy-apple lip butter, a black t-shirt that says “Proud to be Genderqueer and Bi,” baby blue nail polish, women’s capris, and women’s flip-flops. The two exchange glances. The old man keeps looking, not knowing what to say, while the other looks back and thinks two things: “That’s right, go ahead and say something” and “please don’t stare at me, sir.”

That sums up being a bisexual AMAB genderqueer person living in a small town. I walk the line between being out and proud, and secretly wishing to run back inside the closet. Some days I want to walk down the street yelling: “Ask me about my pronouns!” Other days I just want to say: “Um, I just want to use this gender-neutral bathroom and go home.”

Despite all the recent progress made towards transgender equality in my home state of Maryland — the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 and the more recent transgender birth certificate law — it’s still hard for me to be an out and open queer person. Maryland is considered a blue state, but there are some areas that are quite red. For example, I live in a small town in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region. It’s a beautiful town full of art, culture and probably the best coffee shop in the world. And yet it’s still a small town, so when it comes to LGBTQ equality, the general attitude around here is: “I’m okay with it as long as I don’t have to see it.” Hence, the LGBTQ community is almost underground around here.

Click here to read the rest.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #78: Foundation Beyond Belief with Noelle George

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My guest for today is Noelle George, the Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief. According to her bio on FoundationBeyondBelief.org, “Noelle is a secular activist who grew up in Seattle, Washington, but didn’t become passionate about secular activism until she moved to Houston, Texas, and was constantly asked ‘Where do you go to church?’ She has worked as a degreed chemical engineer and project manager, but moved to secular activism in 2009. Since then, she has leveraged her previously learned professional skills to help multiple national secular organizations and has also traveled around the country consulting with local groups on the topics of volunteering, leadership, organizational skills, and feminism. In addition to her work at FBB, Noelle is the founder of Mothers Beyond Belief, is on the advisory board of Secular Woman, and is on the American Humanist Association’s LGTBQ Humanist Alliance Advisory Council.” So today we’re going to talk about her background and Foundation Beyond Belief.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #78: Foundation Beyond Belief with Noelle George” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #71: From Pastor’s Kid to Bi Poly Atheist with Rachel Best

My guest for today is my Facebook friend Rachel Best. She’s a pastor’s kid who is now an out bisexual polyamorous atheist, so today’s episode is going to be about her journey. This week’s episode is a bit like Everyone’s Agnostic, where I basically just ask her questions about her journey. Hopefully Cass Midgley doesn’t sue me for copyright infringement because I want to do more episodes like this.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #71: From Pastor’s Kid to Bi Poly Atheist with Rachel Best” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #66: Bisexual Activism with Faith Cheltenham

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My guest for today is Faith Cheltenham. She is a bisexual activist who currently serves as president of BiNet USA, which is “America’s oldest advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified and unlabeled people.” So for Bi Week 2016, we’re going to talk about her story, her activism, and BiNet USA.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #7: Putting the B Back in LGBT

Today Morgan and I discuss Bella Thorne’s recent coming out as bisexual, the way the media depicts bisexuality, and why bisexual erasure sucks. We also get to meet the Social Justice Galaxy Warriors and their arch nemeses the Sargosians.

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Rude Reminders That I Am “The Other”

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CN: Homophobia, Orlando Shooting, Bullying, Violence, Slurs

1999:

I’m 16 and first starting to realize I’m bisexual. There’s a boy in my class that I want to kiss. I don’t tell anyone, though, because I’m already being bullied for being a nerdy femme guy (this was before I learned being genderqueer was a thing) with a mental illness cocktail of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Not a day goes by in school when a kid calls me a faggot. Plus, Matthew Shepherd was just murdered. How the hell can I come out when it’s only going to make things worse? I mean, my mom will accept me for who I am; homosexuality never bothered her. But there’s no other safe space for me outside of home, so I stay in the closet and convince myself I’m really a straight guy who’s just a little confused right now.

 

2012:

I’m 29 and finally came out as bisexual after getting out of a terrible six-year relationship with a conservative Christian woman. I no longer believe being LGBTQ is a sin, and I’m finally free to be myself. I even found an ELCA church that welcomes everyone. The best part of all is I have a boyfriend.

He is everything my ex wasn’t. Some may say our relationship is just a rebound, but what I feel with him is more real than anything I’ve ever felt in my life. As clichéd as it sounds, I feel alive when I’m with him. We tried to take things slow, but we fell in love with each other fast and hard.

On this particular evening, we’re in my car making out in the Denny’s parking lot after dinner. I look over and see a man in a truck parked a few spots down from us. He’s looking in our direction. Can he see us? Is he looking at us? Does he know? I try to play it cool and focus on my boyfriend, but I can’t stop looking over at him. Is he going to get out of his truck and beat the shit out of us?

Eventually another man gets in the truck with him and they drive off. I’ve been bullied before, but this is the first time I thought I was going get hurt.

 

2016:

I’m 33 and I just woke up to hear the news about Orlando. At first the body count was in the thirties, but now it’s at least fifty. As details emerge, I find out it was a man who pledged allegiance to ISIS. At first I’m angry at religion causing so much hatred and violence in the world, but the more I process it, the more that old feeling creeps up that I am the Other. I know that I’m queer, but since no one really gives me shit for it, I forget that to many people, I’m not even human. I’m an abomination. I’m sick. I’m a pervert. Not only do certain gods believe I deserve death, but there are people in the world that are more than willing to do their gods’ work.

And in that moment, I am truly scared shitless.

So Who’s Trav? Listen to my Interview on The Secular Barbershop and Find Out!

So is this Trav person? What’s their backstory? Just take a listen to Uber4ortyse7ven’s interview with me on his podcast The (Secular) Barbershop!

A few things about the interview, first. I talk about suicide, depression, and gender dysphoria, so there’s your CN. Also, I was drinking an IPA during the interview, so hopefully I don’t sound too drunk.