Hey there! First of all, way to go on figuring out some difficult stuff about yourself. That’s really awesome, though it might not feel that way with the conservative town and dad.
You know your dad better than I do, so I’m going to say the same thing I say to everyone considering coming out to a parent: will you be safe? Will you still have a roof over your head and access to the education you want? Authenticity is great, and coming out to your dad is a brave thing to do, but authenticity at the expense of your health, safety or education isn’t worth it (right now, anyway — there’s a time and a place for everything.)
That big, scary thing being said, it doesn’t sound like your dad is going to be That Guy. So let’s move on.
Here’s the thing: I suck at coming out, especially to parents. And I’ve done it TWICE. I always brainstorm sensitive, delicate ways to go about breaking the news…and then just blurt it out mid-conversation. Every. Damn. Time.
"But Calvin, this is the least helpful response ever!" Maybe not. Because the thing is, no matter how you tell your dad — or anyone, for that matter — it’s about WHAT you’re saying. It’s about your dad coming to terms with the fact that his child is bi. And no matter if you skywrite it or put it on a cake or tell him in iambic pentameter over pizza, it’s up to your dad to reconcile that information with his reality. You can’t control that.
You can control the delivery method that makes you most comfortable —when, where, how, if you have friends that know when you’re going to do it so they can support you through the process — but that’s going to have a negligible effect on how your dad receives that information. That’s 100% up to him.
The important thing isn’t necessarily going to be the coming out — it’s monitoring and managing what post-coming out looks like. What can you do that you both enjoy doing together? How can you remind him that you’re his same kid, just with a larger field of attraction than he thought?
The funny thing about coming out to parents is, it really doesn’t affect them all that much (even if they think it does).
Your dad never had a say in who you dated anyway, but he may well feel like he has a say in who you are. In my experience, it’s the post-coming out proof that you are who you’ve always been — whether or not that was visible to anyone but you— is what matters.
And sharing over pizza never hurts.
Hi there! Thank you for asking.
Here’s the thing: that Ask Amy piece we reblogged? It isn’t great. Frankly, that last sentence is the best part of it, and I was happy to have a source from which to reblog the most useful comment. (Neither the asker nor Amy seem to think that a person saying they’re trans is reason enough to believe they’re trans, which is garbage. You feel you’re trans, you say you’re trans, you’re trans. End of discussion.)
A lot of the stuff we post here has to do with sex and gender. Most of it, in fact. And the level at which people discuss the gender binary varies from source to source — not every news and media outlet in the country is caught up with the “sex and gender exist on spectrums and not as opposing biological polarities” thing. That both sucks, and is slowly changing for the better.
That being said, most people aware of the gender binary have accepted that most bloggers/media outlets are going to continue to talk about gender like it’s still 1950. To tag every post where this was the case would be both exhausting and redundant. You follow this blog. You understand when non-binary erasure (or trans erasure, or bi erasure, or whitewashing, or pinkwashing, and on and on) is happening.
I trust our readers to have the critical thinking skills to level a massive eye roll at “he/she” language, and to do it without my prompting in the tags.
Someone asked us:
Hi, hi. I’m looking for comprehensive assault education and wondered if you had any pointers? We’re reassessing the assault education program at our university and it’s super heteronormative. any tips? thanks thanks thanks
There are a ton of great resources, and YOU are great for doing this work.
So in terms of background, we know that sexual assault/violence have long gone underreported, unnoticed, or invisible in queer communities because of a combination of stigma, oppression via homophobia and transphobia, and good old-fashioned ignorance.
Yup, it’s still true that some people function under the total myth that domestic violence and sexual assault always involve a male abuser and a female victim. Not only is this just outright wrong, that kind of belief can stop people from getting the care and support they need.
Simply enough, this may mean providing some basic training for staff and volunteers, and doing some updates to print materials. You’ll want to be sure information includes LGBTQ people; the simple act of spelling out the fact that “lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are sometimes victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence” can really help queer people feel visible and encouraged to get the help they may need. It’s better to intentionally include LGBTQ language than to use vague language that by default includes everyone.
Providing basic training to staff about what it means to provide a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people includes some important steps:
- Avoid assumptions about the identity of the person seeking help; just ask. “What’s important for us to know about you and your assault in order give you the best care and support?” Open-ended questions like this can help a ton to increase a sense of inclusion and visibly for an all-too-often marginalized group of people.
- On any intake paperwork, be sure to include the option of sexual orientation and gender identity self-identification; this simple act can signal that yes, you know that LGBTQ people exist and may be seeking services and support.
- Help staff and volunteers understand how potential clients might feel a little concerned as they ask for help because sadly, most have at least one pretty awful story about being treated badly by an uninformed care provider.
It’s also a good idea to try and partner with a local LGBTQ group at your school or in your community. So do a little looking to see who’s around and doing good work around LGBTQ issues, and see if you can work on things together!
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has tons more info on making your assault programs inclusive to LGBTQ students. You can also check out the resources at your local Planned Parenthood. We have amazing community education departments with trained staff, and several of our affiliates have rape crisis and sexual assault programs as well.
And seriously, thank you. You’re doing great, important work in making sure your educating and resource-sharing includes people of various orientations, behaviors and identities, and that matters. It matters a lot. You rule.
- Calvin and Maureen at QueerTips
Hey, we wrote some more for Planned Parenthood Federation! Check it out.
Appears in: Saga
Commonly Interpreted as: Straight
But Really: Gwendolyn was previously engaged to Marko but they were torn apart by war and he entered a new relationship with Alana. In issue sixteen we learn that she had a previous sexual relationship with a woman named Velour before she was with Marko. So there you go, Gwen is bi or pan.
Thanks to highgayden for this submission!
Saga is so, so good.