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Heather and Dan on How It Gets Better

In hindsight, I knew when I was around ten or eleven that I was queer: that I had and was experiencing growing sexual and romantic feelings for people of all genders, not just those of one of for those of a different sex or gender than me, feelings I'd continue to have throughout my teen years and my adult life to date. I didn't have the language for it then, though, even though there were queer adults in my orbit I could have gotten it from, adults I naturally gravitated towards without realizing a big part of why was because I saw myself in them and I really needed them. Looking back, others identified my orientation before I did: a homophobic grandparent, an uncomfortable parent as well as a comfortable and readily accepting parent, and, most important to this particular tale, a group of teenage meanies in the blessedly brief time I spent in a suburban public high school in the 80's who sometimes whispered but other times yelled, "Dyke!" or "Lesbo!" as they passed me in the halls.

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No, you CAN'T touch my hair.

I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis Missouri in a mostly white neighborhood. One of the first things I noticed was that my hair was different.

My fellow students would run their hands through their hair, flip it from side to side or pull it back into ponytails. Their hair moved... my hair didn’t move. If I pulled it back in a ponytail it stayed in a ponytail even after I removed the hair clip. I wore my hair in braids – no flipping or fluffing for me. Sometimes I wore Afro puffs, but my usual style was two braids that came together in the back.

In grade school folks used to tease me about my hair just because it was different. I was the only black girl in class and my peers considered being different a bad thing – they teased me about my dark skin and full lips and made fun of my Afro puffs. I grew to resent the things that made me different and hated my hair. Girls would ask if they could touch my Afro puffs and it felt as if I were some sort of exotic animal at the zoo they want

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Meet the New Editor of Sexuality in Color!

My name is Pamela and I’m thrilled to join the Scarleteen family as Editor of the Sexuality in Color section!

A little bit about me – I am a Black woman living in the Midwest with two fantabulous sorta-beagles. I’ve blogged at my personal blog, AngryBlackBitch.com, for over five years. I’m also a contributor to Feministing and Shakespeare’s Sister and a staff writer for RH Reality Check.

Sexuality in Color will cover everything from coming out as a LGBTQ person of color, film and pop culture, reproductive health care and everything in between. The goal of the Sexuality in Color section is to discuss, debate and educate each other.

I look forward to getting to know Scarleteen readers and encourage y’all to send questions and comments to me at pamela@scarleteen.com. If you’d like to write a piece for the section, please contact me directly – we’re always looking for guest writers!

Thanks and let’s jump right in…

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I'm so unhappy in our sex life, and he just doesn't understand.

jem18 asks:

Me and my boyfriend have been dating for almost a year now. We have been sexually active through our relationship and I have been wanting to try something new. It was hard for me to tell him, but I suggested that he at least perform oral sex on me because I don't always enjoy intercourse (and don't usually have an orgasm that way). He told me that oral sex is not something he is interested in doing but I perform it on him whenever we mess around. It makes me angry sometimes because I feel as though he receives variety in our sex life and I get the SAME one thing over and over again. I don't want to make him do anything he's not comfortable with because I want sex to be enjoyable for the both of us. We plan on being together for a long time and I don't know how to get him to understand. Some of the conversations even get a little heated. It makes me feel "creepy" that I get upset because of this. I feel as though all I can do is accept it but I don't want to feel dissatisfied with sex and resent him. I can't make him do it but if we are going to be in the long term relationship he says he wants so badly then am I just supposed to settle for what he wants to do with me sexually?

Building Bridges: Sexual Orientation Shifts

Time for another installment of Building Bridges, where we facilitate, then publish a conversation between two people in different life stages who have something with gender, sexuality and/or relationships in common. This time, our intergenerational pair is two women who have had their sexual orientation and identity shift for them during the course of their lives.

Amy & Candice: Shifting Sexual Orientation

Amy, 24: I came out as a lesbian at 14 and was, as I call it, "a Professional Gay" for a long time. I interned for activist organizations, ran the GSA at my high school, got a scholarship from a local LGBT organization for my activism and went on to a women's college where I eventually became co-chair of the LGBT organization on campus. I was, as a friend once said "her definition of gay."

Looking back, I struggled with liking guys for a long time, which sounds so backwards in the way that people think of sexual orientation transitions. I felt a strong connection and loyalty to th

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I loved him... then he told me he once had sex with a guy.

claudine_2345 asks:

I'm 19 years old, and I've been dating a guy who's 22. We've been seeing each other for a long time, about a year or so. Recently we were having a close talk, admitting things to each other we hadn't told anyone before, and he admitted to me that he had experimented with another guy when he was 16 by having anal/oral sex with him. At the moment, I didn't act shocked or anything, even though I was going crazy in my head. I've never experimented nor have I wanted to with the same sex because I'm completely straight. It's been a month since this happened, and I feel as if I don't love him anymore. I don't want to move forward with this relationship and it hurts because he's perfect in every other way. Am I making a mistake by breaking up with him? I just can't stop thinking that if he were truly straight, he wouldn't have gone so far with another guy, or have been able to finish (orgasm) during the situation. I'm just really, really disgusted by him now. Please help if you can, I know this situation is really weird.

We did everything for it to go just right... but it didn't.

Hedo asks:

My girlfriend and I are both non-op transsexuals; (i.e., she's MtF, I'm FtM, and we haven't had "the surgery" and don't intend to.) On a visit with her a little while ago, she and I were sitting in her car and talking about our feelings regarding sex. When our relationship started over a year ago she asked me to wait, which I was fine with, but didn't know she had been open to what we considered "in between" kind of stuff like oral (she doesn't want to go "all the way" because she was raped a little while before I met her and she feels like penetrating me is putting me in her position--it isn't, but I'm not going to pressure her), and while we had been discussing it we realized we were both in the mood and I asked her if she wanted to find some place more private and explore, and she said "only if you want to." I did.

Before we got started, I asked her if she still wanted to continue and if she had any other boundaries she wanted to set in place, and she said no. I reminded her that if she wanted me to stop at any time she could say so and I would stop everything.

Something About Olives. (Really. It's so totally about olives.)

Last night at dinner, my partner was telling me about a story on NPR that afternoon. I was sure I hadn't heard it, yet it felt so terribly, completely familiar, as if I had not only heard it once before, but a million times.

The NPR story was titled, "Your Olive Oil May Not Be The Virgin It Claims." Maybe it sounds a little familiar to you, too:

The next time you reach for a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, beware. A new study from the University of California- Davis claims more than two-thirds of random samples of imported so-called extra-virgin olive oil don't make the grade.

To be extra-virgin, olive oil can't be rancid or doctored with lesser oils... many of the 14 major brands failed certain tests.
"It's become a very sophisticated practice, the adulteration of olive oil throughout the world," Shoemaker says. He says the lab can prove defects, degradation and dilution in olive oil beyond what human taste buds can figure out. The lab testing zeroes in on specific flaws.
There's

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I'm her one and only...and I don't think that's a good thing.

somethingeasytoremember asks:

My friend wants to be in a relationship with me, but I am afraid to because I am her only means of support (that's not me being full of myself, she's actually said that) and if things were to turn sour I have two parents and countless friends and trusted adults whom I have no problems talking to, whereas she would have no one to talk to, me being her only confidant, and she can't very well talk to me about me, can she?

She's just so shy and not good with people and she and her parents are not exactly on good terms. I don't want to enter an unhealthy relationship! What should I do?

Queering Sexuality in Color: Dharshi

Today we have one more another installment of our first-person profiles of queer people of color. If you're queer and of color, we're hoping this series can illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated. That isolation hurts and can and does do very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race tend to face even greater challenges and isolation.

No matter who you are or what your deal is, we think you'll find these profiles challenge many perceptions and may make you reconsider or refine ideas or questions about orientation and race. It can also help you and others grow your compassion and your care, better understanding that every kind of marginalization and oppression both does very real harm and always has the capacity to do so, especially if it goes unseen and unheard.

Dharshi, 25

Color/race you are/id

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