#BiVisibilityweek: Disparities in the community.

As this is #BiVisibilityWeek, I feel it is important to address the issue plaguing the Bi community.

Thirty-three bisexual activists from around the country gathered for the historic first White House Roundtable on Bisexual Issues last September. Some of the startling research we shared at that meeting included:

Forty-five percent of bisexual women have considered or attempted suicide, followed by bisexual men (35%), lesbians (30%), gay men (25%), and much lower rates for heterosexual women and men.

Bisexual women are twice as likely to have an eating disorder than lesbians.

Bisexual women report higher rates of alcohol use, heavy drinking, and alcohol-related problems than heterosexual and lesbian women.

Bisexual men and women report the highest rates of smoking of all orientations.

(Report from 3/2014, Bisexual Health Awareness Month: Bi the Way, Our Health Matters, Too, Human Rights Campaign)

According to the Bisexual Resource Center (BRC), approximately 40 percent of bisexual people have considered or attempted suicide, compared to just over a quarter of gay men and lesbians HRC’s Health Disparities Among Bisexual People found that “when compared to heterosexual adults, bisexual adults reported double the rate of depression and higher rates of binge drinking.”

Those numbers are even higher for the bisexual people who are also transgender, people of color and/or people with disabilities.

The prevalence of biphobia in LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ spaces alike contributes to these shocking numbers. BRC defines biphobia as “mislabeling bi+ people as lesbian, gay or straight, even when they come out as bi+.”

Studies have found that bisexual-identified people make up approximately half of the total population of the LGBTQ community — but only 28 percent of bisexual people report being out to those closest to them.

(From Bisexual Health Awareness Month: Mental Health in the Bisexual Community By HRC staff March 24, 2017)

With the stigma from both communities. We have to keep affirming our own sexuality. To people who don’t believe that being bi exists. It happened to my friend and I today. And my friend got angry and stormed away. Yes queer people are a marginalized group. But when you have a group of people who are attracted to 2 or more genders, then you have a lot of pushback from queer and hetero people. It’s not really the nicest thing but it is the truth.

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On experiencing 9/11 as a young child

I’m always trying to come up with something to say today. As a New Yorker, I was a part of the cleanup. I was part of a Cub Scout troop at my school. We used to go to the Staten Island firehouses and present them with plaques for the brothers and sisters they lost. I was so young But I will never forget those days after. I am as much a part of the recovery as any other New Yorkers. Staten Island was hit hard by 9/11, 275 residents who perished in the attacks. People doing all they could to save lives or to just survive. 9/11 is a day for reflection. As I get older, I am realizing that it is my responsibility to honor their memory by talking about those days. When pack 52 would go around to the local firehouses and help honor the dead and give them a resting place if they didn’t have one already. I will never forget that week. I was very young and at school. So please as the anniversary gets further and further away, we should think about what we can do to make the world a better place. Go on to payitforward911.org and find out ways to do good in your community today. Also think about the rebuilding and how we are stronger than those who try to tear us down.

#MeToo

I went to the therapist today to talk about something I’ve been keeping a secret from everyone but my family and a few close friends. I really don’t talk about my dating/sex Life because of how worried I am about stuff getting around. So I wanted to share with you an experience in which I can say I was taken advantage of. My first time was not in my room or in a partner’s bedroom, but a quickie under the back porch of my old apartment. I’m not going into detail. I trusted the person. We had past experiences, where I experimented with them. They made me realize I was bi. When it came to me “bottoming” for them, I wanted to do it, because I felt like it. But was not aware of what it would cost. I was a piece of ass to this person. It was all one sided no pleasure on my end, Just 1, 2, 3 and go home. I didn’t say no. Because I thought “I initiated it so I may as well finish it”. But I trusted this person and they had taken advantage of me, talking to me in a forceful tone and being not as gentle as they usually were when we had these encounters prior. Not to mention they came inside me. And then I found out that they just thought of me as some queer charity case afterwards, telling a friend at a party later on “I did my charity for the year” I have learned from all of this, I need to have open conversation with someone who is or is going to be my sexual partner. We can have the conversation about boundaries. I also like to think that I have a grasp on what a partner I want to be.

I am saying #metoo now rather than last November, because I was in denial about it being assault. Being taken advantage of and objectified is not something I would wish on any human. I felt that way that night. And I thought it was just a sense of guilt or something. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I also felt guilty To tell my story back then as if my story was going to take away from the females involved with the #MeToo. I know my story matters as much as the next person but I didn’t understand that it was assault.

Thank you for listening to my story. I am just trying to make sense of this situation, I don’t wish to get anyone in trouble, this is just a way to get my story to be heard. I’m a I don’t try to be dramatic but I just don’t want to hang on to it.

But I can’t let go unless “I tell my story properly.” I saw a comedy special 2 weeks ago called “Nanette” and was very moved by the writing of Hannah gadsby. She is a strong woman and she had a lot of shit happen to her and she talks about how she needs to get out of comedy because she needs to tell her story properly without taking these traumatic experiences and turning them into jokes. At the end of the special, she asks the audience to help tell her story. Because she’s so tired of doing it. And so that’s what I am asking from you. (And watch Nanette on Netflix!)

But this is why… I must quit comedy. Because the only way… I can tell my truth and put tension in the room is with anger. And I am angry, and I believe I’ve got every right to be angry! But what I don’t have a right to do is to spread anger. I don’t. Because anger, much like laughter, can connect a room full of strangers like nothing else. But anger, even if it’s connected to laughter, will not… relieve tension. Because anger is a tension. It is a toxic, infectious… tension. And it knows no other purpose than to spread blind hatred, and I want no part of it. Because I take my freedom of speech as a responsibility, and just because I can position myself as a victim, does not make my anger constructive. It never is constructive. Laughter is not our medicine. Stories hold our cure. Laughter is just the honey that sweetens the bitter medicine. I don’t want to unite you with laughter or anger. I just needed my story heard, my story felt and understood by individuals with minds of their own. Because, like it or not, your story… is my story. And my story… is your story. I just don’t have the strength to take care of my story anymore. I don’t want my story defined by anger. All I can ask is just please help me take care of my story. Do you know why we have the sunflowers? It’s not because Vincent van Gogh suffered. It’s because Vincent van Gogh had a brother who loved him. Through all the pain, he had a tether, a connection to the world. And that… is the focus of the story we need. Connection. Thank you.

How my life was altered 20 years ago today.

This is Patriciaanne Therese Hughes, she was born on November 28, 1997 and lived a short life of 8 1/2 months. She was a strong person and suffered a lot during her 8 months on this earth. But I think about her all the time. Being gone 20 years and me only being 4 when she passed away, I have very few memories of her. But today marks 20 years that she’s gone. I always talk about loss as this thing that makes us weak but it also makes us strong. When patty died, my mom always said, “we are a family, with patty gone we have to stay strong” and she would make a fist and point to it and say “we have to be like this, so don’t argue with your brother and sister”. My mom recounted to me how she told us Patty wasn’t coming home, I closed myself off a bit. And maybe a month or two after, we started to attend a support group for lost children and Mom tells me a story about how I told her “you make me nauseous” and she asks “you mean nervous” and I responded with “no nauseous like I wanna throw up,” and she asked me “why?” And I told her “you let my sister die, you were supposed to protect her and you let her die”. My mom asked me to repeat myself to like 5 or 6 other adults just to make sure that she wasn’t going crazy, but she realized the impact it had on me. And there was another story I hear all the time was from the Founder/President of the Compassionate Friends Staten Island chapter. I think it was the compassionate friends 1999 picnic, we have a tradition of throwing rose pedals in the pond and sending them out for the children. And I walked up to Michele, the founder and asked “is everyone doing this for my sister” and she started crying and said “yes, this is all for patty” and it was because of me asking that, that she started the support group for siblings, called “Butterflies”. I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. Patty is gone 20 years and it doesn’t seem like that long. I remember her in her bouncer saying only one word “dadadadada” lol it was my dad’s favorite thing. Anyway patty, Happy 20 years in heaven, I miss you and I hope daddy and dear are holding you close until mommy and the rest of us get there. I love you.

It’s time to get out and vote!!

So, It’s been a long few years since the country shifted power. The political process is still ours to take charge of! I know you may not have hope, but it’s time to get to the polls. I don’t just mean for the November election, I mean for the special elections and the primaries too. The future of the country and those living here are dependent upon you!

So, if you want to help change the country with your voice, I need a few things from you:

  1. I need you to pledge to vote In the next election publicly on Social Media
  2. if you are a US Citizen: go to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote and register to vote electronically. When you do, send me a screenshot of your confirmation email
  • I also need a photo of you holding up a sign that reads “I WILL VOTE!”
  • You can send these pictures(proof of registration/pledges/sign holding) to seamushughes94@gmail.com with the subject line: your name: “I will vote” I need this by Friday if possible. Can y’all do this?!

    Storytime!

    So my parents were married for 21 years before separating. People have been so negative about all these celebrities who are getting engaged in too short of a period of time. I want you to hear this story.

    In March of 1989, a woman walked into a bar in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It was called “Fitzpatrick’s” and she saw a guy who looked just like Rusty Staub in there. She was there with her friend Madeline, she said “that guy, he’s kinda cute” and then she saw a girl with him. She said to Madeline “oh no, he has a girlfriend.” Madeline said “you’re silly that’s his twin” so the ladies walked up to the twins, and the woman introduced herself to him. “Hi I’m Michele” He said, “my name’s Jim” she knew that there was something about him that was different. So she asked him on a date. And they proceeded to date for 6 weeks, and then one night, Jim asked Michele to marry him. On their 5th date. They were so happy together. They had 4 kids but one passed away. They were just right for each other. Being there for each other when it was needed. Jim and Michele made a life for their children that made them humble and gave them love and life.

    This 21 years of marriage was happy for the most part and it’s all based on the feeling that the two people knew they belonged together after a month and a half of them being together! So next time you guys try to say that it’s too early, remember that it’s not always the same thing for each couple.

    Praying by Kesha will always be relevant.

    In July of 2017, I was listening to the radio and heard the best comeback of all time. Kesha was back on the Elvis Duran show and she was talking about her struggles with her record label and how she stood up against the abuse from her producer, Dr Luke. And then this song comes on. This song about no more monsters and being strong. Praying was a thing. And then the video came out and I lost it. The opening lines she speaks with the strength of a million men go like this:

    Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams, those horrible dreams, that seem like they last forever? If I am alive, why? Why? If there is a God or whatever, something, somewhere, why have been I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever know? I’ve ever loved? Stranded. What is the lesson? What is the point? God give me a sign or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore. Please just let me die, being alive hurts too much.

    She was back. And she hits this amazing note in the song that makes me so emotional because she definitely had to strain to hit it. She’s been a voice for the #MeToo movement and has been an amazing role model. She performed the song live on the Grammy Awards in January, and it had such passion and emotion. She had been surrounded by fellow female artists who supported her through her struggles with the label. And she was so strong. 2017 was the year of the woman, 2018 is the continuation of that movement. Kesha, and all the women and men who have come forward with their stories are stronger because they didn’t hold back. These people are amazing.

    I’m binging Jane the Virgin and I am loving it!!!!

    Dear Reader,My sister and I have been backed up on episodes of the show Jane the Virgin and we are finally catching up. This show is a telanovela and it takes place in Miami. It’s full of ridiculous things that happen. There’s a whole slew of people who have died in the hotel. The best thing about it though is the writing. The bond between Jane, Xo, and Alba is great because we get to see generational love and the family is so tight. The show is a “what will happen next” show written in the style of a book. The reason why I love it so much is because I grew up on these kinds of shows. My dad was obsessed with Colombo, matlock, and Murder, She wrote. Actually I think we watched the pilot with him. He passed away a few weeks later. And so maybe I have a bond with this show because of my bond with the mystery genre. But it definitely has a suspense feature that makes people go nuts! And the drama that the narrator brings to us is so funny. I am on the most recent season but have like 20 more episodes. I’m excited to see what comes next. And I just love it so much!!! Love, Seamus

    2018 is a bit sad for me.

    It started off fine. We moved down to the Homeland of Staten Island. We have had some great times with family and friends. And lost some family. It just happened that my grandma’s passing happened 2 months before the 20th anniversary of my sister’s. I feel a little overwhelmed by sadness because of all the loss in my life(I’ve been thinking a lot about stuff) because my mom always says “we’ve been through a lot of shit”. It’s been a while since I’ve purged all this emotional stuff (even if it is in public) I feel happy that I get to share my life with you. No matter how dramatic. ❤ thank you all for your support since Dear’s passing, I’m still processing it. Today is the 4th of July. It’s a major holiday and every major holiday, we have visited Dear. So it’s the first major holiday we can’t do it. Also it was my dad’s favorite holiday, he would always enjoy grilling burgers and hotdogs and enjoy time with family. It was always fun for us. It’s also the birthday of the man he was named after, his uncle James Walsh. Again thank you for your support in this needy time. I’m appreciative of it.