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identity

I'm Gay No Matter Who I'm With

When everyone seems to be so preoccupied with labels, it's hard to really explain to someone that you're a 'genderqueer-gendernonconforming-demisexual-'gay'-transman' and not have them look at you funny.

Body and Sexuality Disconnects with Disability

evan21 asks:

Hi all! This might be a super specific question only to me, or it may help some of you out in the Interwebz, too. I am a university student with a disability called cerebral palsy. As a result, I walk on crutches. I have also been a virgin for all my 21 years. Generally I'm a romantic type of guy, but in a university environment, this tends to get me friend zoned pretty quickly. Lately I've realized I carry a lot of shame about my body and my sexuality. I can't be seen as a sexual object, because it would "ruin" my romantic image. Because of the disability, I tend to live in my head and not deal with my body as much.

Even though I'm an outgoing, positive person, anything to do with sexuality makes me feel bad and down on myself. This can be anything from meeting a girl on a night out and getting rejected, to thinking about all the fantasies and kinks I may or may not have. What should I do? How can I feel comfortable in my own body and with my own sexual nature, particularly when it doesn't look like I'll be sharing it with someone anytime soon?

Thanks so much for all the work you do on the site. I recently discovered you guys, and you all are awesome!

Resources for Parents & Families of Trans/Gender-Variant Youth

Recently, I attended the Gender Spectrum Family Conference, which focuses on helping parents and caregivers understand and meet the needs of their transgender and gender-variant children.

One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.

Also, it's helpful for parents to have their own source of support in handling a child's gender identity or transition. Of course, you're going to be the best expert in your own identity and what support you specifically need from your family and loved ones, but it might be a big help for everyone involved if you can connect them to some of these

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“What’s Your Preferred Gender Pronoun?”

Here’s something that happened to me last month: I got asked my preferred gender pronoun.

For those who aren’t familiar, this is a thing that tends to happen a lot at queer-positive conferences and gatherings these days. When you go around the room at the beginning of a session, you’ll say your name, something about yourself, maybe answer an ice-breaker question, and state your preferred gender pronoun.

It can be he/him, she/her, they/their, or one of the newer invented substitutes like ze or hir. Or, you can say you’d prefer to be referred to by your name.

I first encountered this tradition in 2011, I think. Maybe 2010. Most likely it was at a United States Student Association conference. The not-so-radical-anymore idea behind it is that respecting people’s gender identity is important, and volunteering your identity can be awkward, and misgendering someone is hurtful. So rather than guessing, or asking individual people to speak up if their preferences are non-standard or non-obvio

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He's Queer, I'm Straight, and It's Great Except...

elinor asks:

Help! I'm in a relationship with a man (I identify as a straight woman) who identifies as queer. He's mostly had sex with men in the past (there might have been 1 woman), but this is first heterosexual relationship. It's also my first relationship with a queer man. I really care for him, but I am struggling with checking my own heteronormative attitudes. For example, I don't know how to get over the fact that he enjoys watching gay porn, and mostly gets off to men. We still have great sex together and I know he is attracted to me, and I try to remind myself of this when I find myself getting bothered by what turns him on. I'm learning to love, not accept, that he is queer and that he has made me shift my thinking about relationships and sexuality so much. However, I still don't know how to get myself out of these moments, sometimes ongoing, of insecurity.

The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a sexual identity. Here are some basics and not-so-basics about what orientation is, some of the ways we can talk about it, how to figure yours out, and finding support.

Can I Start Dating When I Have a Mental Illness?

Steelflower asks:

I'm a seventeen-year-old girl and ten months ago, I was diagnosed with a light form of pseudologica fantasia, usually known as mythomania. The basis of this illness is an addiction to telling lies. I'm seeing a therapist for this and she's a very kind and competent woman, but she has warned me that this illness is usually hard to cure and there are few known cases where the therapy was actually able to get rid of the problem. I'm doing a better job at keeping it under control than I used to but the urge is still there. I just keep it under wraps and tackle the illness on my own, with the support of my nuclear family. The thing is, one of my friends has recently expressed a romantic interest in me, and I would very much like to get involved in a relationship with him, but this would mean disclosing my problem to him, because of course I'm not going to enter a relationship without telling the other person involved about this first.

When the Time Comes

It's hard to say when things finally changed for me. All the pieces were there for a long time, waiting to fall into place, but I just wasn't ready to let go and watch them tumble down. The idea of having to put it all behind me scared me. The idea of losing such a close relationship. Of losing something so familiar.

When the Time Comes

It's hard to say when things finally changed for me. All the pieces were there for a long time, waiting to fall into place, but I just wasn't ready to let go and watch them tumble down. The idea of having to put it all behind me scared me. The idea of losing such a close relationship. Of losing something so familiar.

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