17 February 2012

How Can I Help You? Myth Busters Edition

These myths did not come from actual submissions, but rather things that we at GFB have heard floating around and wanted to address.

Myth: It is impossible for people in the LGBTQ community to be monogamous.

Bust: Somewhere along the line, the world got this crazy notion that any one who is not strictly straight is incapable of a committed relationship. Unfortunately, those inside our community believe this myth as well, whether it is cis-men that will not date bisexual women or gay men that avoid relationships because they worry their partner will cheat. I know this is an issue for many couples, and I encourage you to talk to your partner if you worry about this, especially if you both identify as different parts of the alphabet (L and B, G and T, what have you) as you will come to the table with different perspectives. Just know this – cheating is not a ‘gay’ thing, kids…it is an asshole thing. If you cannot stay faithful to your partner, do not blame your sexual orientation. Instead, take a long look in the mirror and try to figure out what inside you is causing this behavior, and nine times out of ten, I can tell you the answer is going to be insecurity. Trust your partner, trust yourself, and I promise, monogamy within the community is more than possible.

Myth: Relationships are supposed to be easy – if they are not, you are not meant to be together.

Bust: As someone who has had this gem of wisdom used on them, I am going to emphatically call bullshit. The fact of the matter is, relationships are work. You are going to fight, you are going to have problems, no matter how long you have been together. The only difference between relationships that last and those that do not are that those that last fight for it. Both partners must be ready to fight for your relationship equally, passionately, and openly. Do not let things fester. Do not keep anything inside; do not let your resentment grow on itself. Talk to your partner. If you two really care about each other, you will find a way to work things out, no matter how bad it may seem.

Myth: I will never be able to compare to their ex, so I should not even try.

Bust: You are right, you are not their ex-partner, and thank goddess for that fact. There is a reason it did not work out with them. The past is the past, and unless it somehow finds a way to creep itself into your present, it should have no affect on your current relationship. If your partner volunteers information about their ex, take it as it is offered, and try not to make the same faux pas that they made with your current partner. The best way to avoid letting the past interfere with your relationship is to just talk about it. If you are worried about one of their exes, ask them if you have anything to worry about – if they care about you like you care about them, they will tell you straight up. If they are with you now, it is because they want to be. Do not destroy your current relationship by harping on your partners past ones.

- Sage Veritas

16 February 2012

It's A Butch World Out There: Myths Busted!


Going along with the Myth busters theme, I have a few myths of my own to bust about butches and lesbians in general. Most of my busts are from a first person point of view. However, what better way to bust on butch fallacy than by explaining personal experience? Enjoy!

MYTH #1: All lesbians are either butch or femme; there is no in between.

Bust: While there are some of us who fall into either of these categories, there are many lady lovin’ ladies who can identify differently. For example, an old college buddy of mine referred to herself as “futch” or a femme-butch. This is just one example of many. Life is not all drawn out in black and white. Why should one assume that self expression, gender identity, or sexuality should be?

Myth #2: There is only one type of butch: the tough, hard-nosed, masculine cis-gendered woman with short hair.

Bust: True, there are some that fit into the stereotypical image of a butch lesbian. There are others though who identify as “futch” (see Bust 1), soft butches, stone cold butches, et cetera and so on. Everyone has moments when they’re tough. Everyone also has moments of softness and sensitivity. It just seems silly to assume that a butch individual is consistently a hard bitch. Also, you do not need to have short hair to be butch. I had had long hair for my entire adult life up until December. I would still have been considered myself butch, even with luscious locks.

Myth #3: Being butch means that you cannot have any interests that are feminine.

Bust: This kind of goes along with the first bust. Being “butch” does not exclude activities and behaviors typically deemed feminine. As I’ve stated before, I will be the first to raise my hand if the question of a day at the spa comes up.

Myth #4: You’re not butch. You’re really FTM.

Bust: Pardon my saying this, but who are you to tell me who I am and who I am not? Gender identity and sexual orientation are different things entirely. I happen to be a cis-gendered lady lovin’ lady who butches it up. I know I’m not the only one either.

Myth #5: Being butch automatically means you’re dominant.

Bust: Now. I will not delve too much into my personal life. I will say, however, that I know many individuals who this does not apply to—myself included. Butch, femme, in the middle, on a whole different spectrum…however you choose to label yourself—it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what goes on behind closed doors, (or under sheets of Egyptian cotton).

Myth #6: All lesbians are man-haters.

Bust: Now this is a general myth people have about lesbians. A complete fallacy and I can only assume the myth was perpetuated because cis-gendered straight men would perceive us not wanting to sleep with them as us hating them. I have many male friends. Most of my friends who are queer also have male friends. Some consider themselves straight and some consider themselves gay, but none of them would consider themselves hated.

Myth #7a: You’re a lesbian? Oh, you just haven’t found the right man yet.
MYTH #7b: Lesbians who date butch women REALLY just want a man.

Bust: I’m gonna tackle both of these myths in one bust. The phrase “you don’t know you like it until you try it!” is meant for things like: test driving a new car, or perhaps trying that new dish at the restaurant around the corner that everyone is RAVING about. It does not mean that I would like to try some of your delicious sausage bro. If you are a lesbian dating a butch woman, don’t let anyone tell you that you really want a man; it’s total hogwash. You love who you love, you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to. Just because butches are masculine, does not mean they want to be men; just because lesbians love butch women, does not mean they want a man.

Myth #8: All lesbians have a dark, sexual trauma in their past. That’s why they do not like men.

Bust: First and foremost: No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to do anything to do you without your full consent. No means no—END. OF. STORY. If you have ever been a victim of any sexual crimes, there are places and people you can turn to for help. You are not alone.

And to bust the myth, there is no scientific link between rape and attraction. Being raped does not determine who your heart will one day fall in love with.

Myth #9: Lesbians (and other members of the LGBTQ community) are evil and just want to sexually assault your children.

Bust: Check the facts online. More often than not, sex crimes are committed by heterosexual cis-gendered men.

Myth #10: All lesbians are drag kings.

Bust: From my understanding of drag, I have noticed that drag is not an art limited by gender identity or sexual orientation. Cis-gendered, Trans*gendered, heterosexual, queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual—it does not matter nearly as much as stage presence and one’s ability to perform. So while some lesbians may perform drag, not all do.

Myth #11: All lesbians sport massive amounts of body hair.

Bust: Shaving is all up to personal preference. Some people like to shave their arms, pits, what-have-yous, and some do not. It has nothing to do with who you are into. Some individuals shave for purely practical reasons, like swimmers who want to shave that extra hundredth of a second of their times. Some choose not to for personal reasons. But the bottom line is butches and lesbians in general are not all yetis. Hell, I’ll lift my pant leg up for you any time and you can check—smooth as a baby’s ass.
And finally, probably the silliest of all myths:

Myth #12: All lesbians are ugly.

Bust: I have no clue what started this. First off, beauty is on the inside as well as the outside. So maybe that orange skinned, bottle blonde who society drools over is nice to look at, but she could be a rotten person on the inside. Ugly is an ugly word aimed at people to try and make them feel less than. Everyone has beauty to them if you just stop to notice it.

However, from a purely physical note I will say that Philadelphia has many gorgeous lesbians out there! And for some famous faces to bust the myths? Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi. k. d. Lang. Leisha Hailey. And Eliza Dushku…(if only in my dreams!)


15 February 2012

Kings united: Myths Busted!

MYTH #1: All Drag Kings have sexual names.

BUST: A lot of kings have sexual names, but there are more and more coming out without. An example would be “Apollo,” “Teddy Bare/Bear,” or “Chase DeNight.”

MYTH #2: All Drag Kings use fake facial hair.

BUST: False. I do not always use it. Most of the time I do not actually. I also know some others that do not.

MYTH #3: All Drag Kings are all cis-gender women.

BUST: Wrong. I am a king and I am trans*. Trans* guys do perform as kings. Some just see it as performing instead of as “drag,” but others do not.

MYTH #4: All Drag Kings are transgender in denial.

BUST: Nope. I know plenty of cis-gender kings and are happy to just be a king.

MYTH #5: All Drags Kings are gay.

BUST: Most would assume this I am guessing. But I actually know heterosexual cis-gender women who perform as Drag Kings. Drag Kings are a big spectrum. And no one is going to tell you that you cannot be a king because you do not “fit” in some mold. If they do, then find a better troupe.

Chance Encounters
Drag King

14 February 2012

Partner Circle: Myths Busted!

Myth: Only straight, cis-gendered women date trans*men.

Bust: I am dating a trans*man and am proud to say that I am not a straight woman. I am queer as well as cis-gendered. My partner has dated gay and bisexual women, as well as other trans*men. This myth literally could not be farther from the truth.

Myth: If you are a cis-woman and you marry a trans*man, it should be considered gay or same-sex marriage.

Bust: Let us look at the facts here…a woman marries a man. In what realm of reality is this gay/same-sex marriage? First off, there is a reason the preferred nomenclature is trans*gendered and not transsexual – the issue in question is not sex, it is gender. Even though one of the parties in the pairing may happen to have a vagina (their physical sex) it does not mean their gender identity has to match. A cis-woman can marry a trans*man and, assuming his gender markers have been adjusted, it would be considered a heterosexual marriage under the confines of the state.

Myth: Anyone who dates or is friends with someone who is trans* is going to slip up on pronouns or call the person by their assigned name.

Bust: I have many cis-gendered (and some even *gasp* straight) friends that have met my partner and have not once slipped on a pronoun. None of them know his old name, so that is not even an issue. I do, and I have never even said it out loud because I know how uncomfortable it would make him to hear. Do not assume that just because someone is outside the ‘community’, they will not be open and accepting of you or your partner's gender identity.

Myth: Everyone who dates a trans*guy is submissive in bed, or a ‘bottom’.

Bust: There seems to be a rumor going around that trans*men are overly macho, thus making them aggressive and in turn, ‘tops’ in bed. While this may be true for some guys, this is not a trans* issue – being overly macho is an issue of that person being a tool, regardless of their gender identity. Being trans* does not make a man more machismo, nor does being on testosterone. Not to over share, but I am certainly not always a bottom and my boi is certainly not always a top. Who you are in bed is almost never a reflection of who you are in the outside world – remember, sometimes the freakiest partners are the ones you least suspect are going to be.

Myth: Only people already in the LGBTQQIAA community will date trans*men.

Bust: One does not have to be ‘involved’ or a ‘part of’ the community to be a supporter (hence one of the a’s for ‘ally’) and the same goes for those who choose to date trans*people. A cis-man can date a trans*man so long as there is love, respect, and communication involved – the same going for any pairing. People do not have to be a part of the same community to be together, just as they do not have to have the same religious affiliation.

Myth: The only reason a cis-woman would date a trans*man is so she can date a man without having to worry about getting pregnant – she is just using it as birth control.

Bust: Responsible, safe sex should be the norm for any relationship, regardless of gender identity or sexuality. Gay, cis-gendered men who have sex should always use a condom, provided it is outside of a committed, monogamous relationship, and the same goes for everyone. Once both partners are comfortable with the relationship, everyone is tested and clean, and there is a trust established, I do not see anything wrong with ditching the condoms and using alternate forms of birth control. As a cis-woman, dating trans*men has never been a fallback birth control method, and anyone who uses it as such has a pretty deplorable outlook on sex.

Myth: You just cannot get a date with a ‘real’ man.

Bust: Where did this concept of a ‘real man’ come from? What archaic rock did we crawl out under from and decide that some men are more ‘man’ than others? If all that makes a man is a flesh-dick, then you have a poor understanding of what it means to be a man. A real man, to me, is kind, loving, caring, compassionate, humble, sincere, and loyal – as a friend, lover, partner, what have you. A person that happens to have a penis and yet has none of these qualities, a person who uses other people for their own personal gain, a person who hits, abuses, assaults, uses women is not a man, and does not deserve to be labeled as such.
So…go ahead and try to tell me what a ‘real’ man is again, but this time, take a closer look at your definition. I can promise you, it will have changed.

Myth: The only reason you would want to be with a trans*man is as part of a fetish, or to fulfill some sexual fantasy.

Bust: Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are fetishists, and I know this is a very real fear that some trans*dudes have. If you are getting into a new relationship, and you fear this is the case with your newfound partner, please talk to them about it. You are a person, not the group you identify with. You are more than your sexuality or your gender identity, and anyone that uses you specifically for that reason and not because they truly care about you does not deserve to be with you.

Myth: If you are a cis-woman, and your partner transitions, you are automatically a straight couple.

Bust: I wish labels were as easy as people try to make them out to be, I really do. However, they are not. Even if I was with a cis-gendered male who identified as straight, I would still not say “Yeah, this is my heterosexual partner.” Chances are, if you are reading this you identify somewhere in the alphabet soup that defines our community. My partner is a trans*man, I am a queer woman, and we are in a relationship. That is all I need to know, that is all I care about. If someone looks at us an automatically assumes we are a straight couple, it would not bother me, nor would it bother me if they thought we were a lesbian couple. People are going to assume what they are going to assume. Let them. What they think does not define who you are, only you have that power.

I wish every single statement here had a cut and dry answer, but they just do not. Every myth comes from somewhere, and I am sure that those in the GFB community have been faced with issues such as these, especially if their partner is gender-nonconforming, trans*, or just butch. My only advice to get around this is simple: be you. Define yourself and your relationship as you see fit, and fuck what anyone else thinks.

Xx Emily

13 February 2012

No Boundaries: Myths Busted

Oh come on world, we're more educated than this right?!

MYTH #1: All gender queer and gender non-conforming people go by gender neutral pronouns.

BUST: Sorry but no, I personally will take either gender pronouns, and I have a lot of gender queer and non-conforming that don't pick either or neutral ones.

MYTH #2: All gender queer and gender non-conforming people are intersexed.

BUST: Last I checked I was born 100% that of a 'female' body. And my friend who is intersexed is male and only dates women.

MYTH #3: All gender queer and gender non-conforming people are transgender people denial.

BUST: I did think for a time that I might be transgender but then realized that I have no dysphoria, and am happy with who I am as Chelsea.

MYTH #4: All gender queer and gender non-conforming people hate transgender people.

BUST: haha sorry world, I would have to say I have more transgender friends than straight or LGBQ.

MYTH #5: All gender queer and gender non-conforming people are being difficult by not choosing which gender they are.

BUST: I tried the whole 'lipstick lesbian' thing, it wasn't for me. I love men's clothes and short hair. I've almost gotten beaten up for who I am, so obviously I wouldn't pick to be difficult and chooes to get teased and threatened.


FTM Chronicles: MYTH BUSTED!

Who ya gonna call?! MYTHBUSTERS!

Alright, ya’ll! It’s that time of week. A new FTM Chronicles! This week is Myth Buster week. Today I will bust a lot of FTM related myths. Are you ready?

MYTH #1: You can always tell who is Transgender just by looking at them and their appearance.

BUST: Not true. Just like any difference in a person (religion, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.), you cannot always tell “what” someone is.

MYTH #2: Being transgender is a choice.

BUST: Wrong again. Being transgender is no more of a choice than being Caucasian or African American, gay or straight, or having brown or green eyes. I highly doubt any transgender person up and decided, “ oh I want to feel uncomfortable in my body enough to live pay check to pay check just to afford HRT and/or GRS.”

MYTH #3a: Transgender guys are just ashamed to be a lesbian.
MYTH #3: Transgender guys are just butch lesbians.

BUST: Gender identity and sexual orientation are two entirely different aspects of a person. Therefore, a transgender guy cannot be a lesbian.

MYTH #4: Transgender guys are not ‘real’ men.

BUST: What exactly makes a man a ‘real’ man? It is not genitals or internal reproduction organs. Being born as male does not make one more of a man or a ‘real’ man compared to a trans-man. Cis men are men. Trans-men are men. End of story.

MYTH #5: There are more MTFs than FTMs.

BUST: Nope. Not true.

MYTH #6a: All trans-men bind.
MYTH #6b: All trans-men pack.

BUST: Not at all. There are more that bind pre-op than not. A lot of trans-men that do not pack either. It is all one’s personal preference.

MYTH #7a: You are only a trans-man if you are on HRT or have had GRS.
MYTH #7b: All trans-men have GRS.
MYTH #7c: All trans-men want ‘bottom’ surgery.

BUST: Not all transgender people can afford HRT and/or GRS. Some just do not want to take HRT at all (ex: Lucas Silveira). Some have medical reasons or job related reasons (ex: military) for not being able to take HRT or have GRS. Hormones nor surgery make the man a trans-man. A trans-man is a man either way.

MYTH #8: Trans-men transition for male privileges.

BUST: False. It actually makes things harder for some.

MYTH #9: FTMs did not exist prior to WWII.

BUST: Where did anyone ever read that? That’s like saying there weren’t any Jewish people prior to WWII.

MYTH #10: T will make you grow in height as well as make your hands grow.

BUST: Not entirely true or false. Some do grow slightly, if one’s family men have a later ‘second’ growth spurt prior to taking T, then you may grow slightly.

MYTH #11: If you take more T, then results will multiple and come faster.

BUST: Hell no. It is actually quite dangerous. Always go by what your doctor tells you to do. If you don’t know, then just ask him/her instead of assuming.

MYTH #12: T makes you gay.

BUST: Again, gender identity and sexual orientation are different. Taking HRT will not make you gay.

MYTH #13: T will make you have “tranny voice.”

BUST: No. I know plenty of trans-men that do not have “tranny voice.”

MYTH #14a: T will make you have roid rage.
MYTH #14b: HRT makes you emotionless.
MYTH #14c: HRT will make your personality change.

BUST: Nope. T will not make you have roid rage. If you all of a sudden feel angry all the time, then those feelings were there all along. Stop using HRT as an excuse to be a jerk. HRT should actually help you become more comfortable with your emotions, not make you emotionless.

MYTH #15: T makes you stupid.

BUST: WHAT???? That’s ridiculous and false.

MYTH #16: Male pattern baldness is not on my mother’s side of the family, so I won’t lose my hair.

BUST: False. Paternal sides do not differ. If it is on either side, then it can happen. Even if it isn’t on either, it is possible that it will happen. Everyone is different.

MYTH #17: I cannot get pregnant while on T.

BUST: Nope. You can actually. Too much T can actually cause you to produce more estrogen.

MYTH #18: If I stop T, the only change that is irreversible is my voice.

BUST: There won’t be much of a difference, but a change will happen.