I’m Bisexual.

When I first started writing this blog, it was a place for me to vent about what I was going through. I had recently been forced to drop out of school, I had to quit my job, I was in the midst of a deadly disease that was doing its best to kill me. And I wanted a place to talk about that and to have the blog as a middle man to talk to my friends, family, and community. And for the most part I had that, and writing helped me recover pieces of my self that had been buried under “I’m stuck in bed all day because i have no energy to move” depression. Once I was back on my feet and in school and then a new full time job, I didn’t need this middle man to explain my situation anymore. I was confident enough to have the difficult conversations in person.
This blog has become more of a thing I do when I want to have fun or for when I need to really talk something out with myself.

But today I need the comfort of the screen between us, because I have to talk about something difficult. And this isn’t like my long-lost coat story, or when I came clean about being a morning person – where at the end it’s been a silly dramatic post. This time it’s serious, and if you’re reading this, I really hope that you can hear me and fully digest what I have to say.

I am a bisexual. I have loved two boys, and one girl. I don’t know if I will deeply love another, or whether they will be a boy or a girl, but I do know that I loved those boys very much, and I love this girl more than I’ve loved anyone.

The summer I came out as not-heterosexual, I came out because I started dating this girl. I don’t know when I would have come out if I hadn’t met her, but I met her and I knew I needed to know her. Apparently she needed to know me too and so I came out.

And it was really scary.

But it wasn’t fear of how my family might react. I grew up in a home with a mother who was daring and brave and preached openness and exploration. I knew that she wouldn’t mind in the least. And so she was the first person I told, and we cried together on the phone out of love and respect and relief and it was beautiful.

No, I wasn’t worried about mom, I was worried about how my friends would react.

I live in the Pacific Northwest. We are known for being liberal coffee snobs, running around with too much hair, too many opinions, a lot of Gay, and poor interpersonal skills.  At the time I was contemplating my sexuality, I was working at a camp where we had (privately, on our breaks, semi-jokingly) calculated that at least 40% of staff were out and openly queer and at least 15% were closeted or oblivious. That proportion was pretty typical over the past three years of working for camp, and I had made many gay/queer friends. But in that time they had addressed me and treated me like I was straight.
I was an ally in their eyes.
And that was fine, but I also had absorbed the jokes they made about straight girls who experiment, or the torment of falling for a straight girl, or what a lesbian should look like, and what is gay and what isn’t. At the time, it was intimidating. At the time I didn’t know what they genuinely believed,  what was a joke, or what was a remark masking their insecurities.
They were my only IN to an entire community, and so far it looked like they didn’t want someone who looked like me.

A week before I told B. I liked her, and thus a week before I came out, I was sitting on my bunk chatting with coworkers and somehow the conversation got steered to who we thought was gay at camp. This is INCREDIBLY common. It is one of the few environments that is so saturated with Gay, that everyone gets way too excited. I asked why in the past three years no one had asked me if I was gay, and my cabin-mate laughed and said,  “Raelee, we know you aren’t gay because – ”

Lets just pause for a second – I think it would be important for me to tell you that up until this point I had only started dating in the past year. The two boys from before had happened that year when I was 19-20, and there was no dating in high school (there was a date or two, but they were as innocent as can be). There had been crushes, there had been flirting, but ultimately there had been nothing until the year before that summer. I knew myself, I knew I wasn’t ready or willing to give anything a go until I was ready. But I had known my camp friends for three years, before any dating and they had never once asked me if I was straight or not. Straight people are not unique in their heternormative thinking. Gay people do it too. Its how most of us were raised, it is a part of Western culture. Not assuming someone is straight takes a lot of time and homework that I am only now getting better at and I’ve been working on it for four years. But back then, I assumed that my friends, so deeply involved in the queer community, would be naturals at it. I hadn’t yet learned the reality that everything takes time and practice. I assumed that they could read it in my eyes that I had been questioning myself since I was 16, I thought they could smell the gay on me.
I thought gaydar was a real thing, dammit! I didn’t realize that it is developed by depending on stereotypes.

Ok let’s resume:

She told me I couldn’t be gay because I wore too much pink and liked Taylor Swift, and that, “no self-respecting lesbian would listen to Taylor Swift.”
That is the direct quote.
I know for a fact that was what she said because it echoed for days and I wrote about in a diary, and I cried about it on the phone. Those two things supposedly took away my queerness. And looking back now, I know that’s not what she intended. And I still know her and she has learned and grown so much, and by the end of the summer she apologized. But in that moment, it was a punch to the gut.

But the bigger reason that it hurt was not because I felt left out or misunderstood, it was because her instinctual response was to assume that a girl who was gay couldn’t like boys, and couldn’t be feminine.

And that was what I had been telling myself for years.

“Well, I don’t like girls that way because I like make up.”
“I’ve had all these crushes on boys for years, maybe I just think she’s pretty and smells nice because I look up to her/I’m being supportive/I’m being compassionate.”
“I can’t be gay because I don’t like covering everything in rainbow, isn’t that what they all do?”
“I can’t be gay because I like having nice painted nails/I like pink/ I have long hair/ I don’t like queer movies/”
“I can’t be gay because I don’t do this/I don’t look like that/”

It would be a while before I was able to get over those things. It took a year or so into my relationship with B. to really start feeling comfortable with my frilly and pink self. And I still battle with silly inner arguments about if I am presenting too feminine or not feminine enough. And its easy to throw those insecurities away when they aren’t yours, but for me they are much harder to conquer.

Everyone’s sexuality and romantic history is their own to share.
It is not owed to anyone, and it should not be assumed by anyone.

I don’t care what age, what gender, how they dress, who they have dated before. It is never your place to tell someone who they are. We have created an environment that makes people afraid to be themselves, one where they think they can’t change their mind about their opinions or lifestyle without getting judged for it. And what do we gain from that? What do we gain by continuing this tradition? Aren’t we just holding each other and ourselves back from our full potential?

I am a bisexual. I have loved two boys, and one girl. I don’t know if I will deeply love another person or whether they will be a boy or a girl; but I do know that it is none of your business until I say otherwise, and that my sexuality is only a small part of who I am as a person.



I Watched An Episode of the Original COSMOS with Carl Sagan and Got All Riled Up At Midnight.

     See, I really wanted to like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, but after just watching an episode for my astronomy class, and hearing the tone and language he uses to dismiss astrology and how pretentiously he refers to scientific history… it was infuriating.
“[Kepler] preferred the hard truth to his dearest delusions”
     What I love about modern anthropology and the teachers I have had, is they put so much emphasis on human variation. How variation is fundamental in our survival, and how we should respect each other’s perspectives. And I’m grateful that anthropology heavily influences my lens when studying the other sciences. I feel that I am better at seeing the whole picture form varying perspectives, rather than shitting on people who see the world differently. My professors have put emphasis on the idea that science is always ready to be proved wrong with a better, stronger theory. That we don’t, and won’t, ever know everything. That there is always room for another idea.
     At one point in this episode Sagan literally says “it’s possible to figure things out. We can do science. And with it we can improve our lives” right after talking about how if the planets dictate our lives, then “explain twins! and I nearly turned the damn thing off. For one thing, he literally only referenced pop culture astrology, and for another thing he did that crummy manipulation-of-information thing that people do, where they are like “So and so from this movement can’t even agree” which is just so shitty. Like, I’m not out here distrusting all Christians just because some crazy loud ones say I deserve to die because I like a girl in a *gasp* non-platonic way.

The script was so loaded with arrogance that it surprisingly helped me understand the ongoing stereotype of Science Bros who laugh at people who put energy into religion. If this is the kind of media that they grew up consuming, OF course they think they are better than everyone else because they can do hard math problems and quote old white guys. No wonder there are such aggressive conversations about science and faith.  They have been fed this idea of “us vs. them” for so long and never thought to fight against it because *ScIeNcE* is meant to be set in stone and completely accurate. Science Bros think that they are honoring their fallen heroes who were ostracized for speaking against the church.

     But that was in a time when we didn’t have the luxury of mass communication. It was in a time when education wasn’t easily accessible by the average Joe. And I think that there is this idea that because more of us can access education now, that everyone will take the time to learn everything. But there are enormous amounts of people who just aren’t interested for one reason or another. And that’s OK. What has made us strong and successful as humans is our ability to teach and share information. Seriously. We can teach each other ways to accomplish goals, and we can record that and build upon that knowledge.

And we need to keep that in mind as we go about our lives. No one person can fight every issue. No one person can learn every perspective. But if we build a foundation in our society out of compassion and put more emphasis on community, the knowledge we gain is more likely to be heard and welcomed. No one loves to learn if they are forced into it. Learning must come from willfulness. Shoving perspectives down people’s throats will only create more resistance.

     I’m not an incredibly spiritual person. I don’t have a god or an energy that I put time into. And I’ve barely scratched the surface in academia. But I am not arrogant to assume I will know everything about how the universe works, and I urge every science thinking mind to leave room in your imagination to be wrong. The only reason science is where it is today is because great (wealthy) minds risked sounding crazy and experimented with how they saw the world. Many of the people that hold to great esteem turned out to be very wrong. And many of their discoveries led to incredible amounts of damage (I see you racism). Science is not perfect (lol Ptolemy), and it does not make you “better” than someone who doesn’t keep up with it. It simply means that you see the world a different way. 
Everyone is right in their own minds. It’s important that we don’t let those perceived notions cause harm to our neighbors and loved ones. It is important that we maintain some level of compassion.


File this post under “posts I didn’t proofread because it was midnight”

     With all this being said, I do want to clarify, you can think someone is nuts and still respect them. Flat Earther’s that were spoken to in this interview done by Buzzfeed said that they couldn’t think of what our purpose on Earth would be if it were round. If it was flat, then that means that we were placed here, and that means someone is looking out for us. For them, a Flat Earth is a source of faith, and it helps them navigate the difficult world that we live in. I can respect that. I disagree, but I also don’t need to tell every single Flat Earther that they are wrong and stupid, because that is not compassionate and it really doesn’t solve anything. Human’s generally like having a purpose. We aren’t good at being lazy, not really. 

     And to use a more touchy example, I don’t hate people who are homophobic. I’m a bisexual, And while I am scared of people who give a shit about someone else’s love life, I do not hate them. And I do not need them to like me or accept me or even agree with me. They can think that it’s unnatural, they can refuse to give me a wedding cake, they can think I’m going to hell. That’s fine, that’s within their perspective. In my opinion, I don’t really care if a business turns me away cause I’m gay. If they want to lose business because of who I am sleeping with, then that’s their money lost. However the GOVERNMENT should not be allowed to do that. 

     For me, the issue comes from when people hurt others simply because they are different. When you actively seek out and hurt people just because they live differently than you and you are scared, you are awful and I hate you. You don’t want me in your private domain? We have no issue. You want to control people and play with their lives? We have some big issues. 
I’m gonna go sleep now.