Ed Team

Hi, my name is Sarah.

Filed By Ed Team | May 02, 2005 8:31 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality

I have been invited to participate in this blog and am happy to accept this invitation. I'm not one to keep my mouth shut when I feel passionately about something and apparently my constant ranting on various email lists has been noticed. In trying to decide just where to jump in, I thought an introduction of myself might be appropriate. Oh, but don't worry; this wont just be some boring introduction. I'll be sure to work in some hopefully meaningful points.

When I introduce myself, there are several labels I use. I typically start out with my age: 23 years old. To a lot of people, this is quite young. Us "youngsters" in the activist world can be viewed in one of two ways. We are either inexperienced and ignorant or we are full of energy and new ideas. Honestly, there are people of all ages who fit into either of these descriptions. I am at times also embarassed of my age for my age-group is generally one of apathetic and lazy bums who want someone else to take care of the problems. And a lot of queers my age seem to be in denial that there are in fact any problems in the first place. I cannot begin to understand this attitude. Perhaps the fact that we have grown up in a post-Stonewall era in a land where queer history is not taught in school leads some people to believe that there is nothing to worry about and that we have nothing to fight for.

Second, I generally include the fact that I'm bisexual. I hate that word, because its very construction supports the stereotype that bisexuality is all about sex and is not a "real" sexual orientation. I really wish we had a word like "gay" or "lesbian" that suggests an entire culture and lifestyle rather than just a sexual option. My bisexuality is one reason why I typically adopt the word queer in my vocabulary rather than saying gay or lesbian. It actually sincerely bothers me when organizations use gay or lesbian when speaking about same-sex marriage or general queer activism (HRC tends to do this when talking about "gay marriage." They say gay and non-gay which makes no sense to me.) But just in case you were wondering, I have made up my mind; I have picked a side; I do have a sexual orientation; and I'm very secure in who I am and who I love.

Third, I include the fact that I'm female, even though that's usually pretty obvious by my name. I'm a biological, genetic, and self-identified female. I'm also a feminist. Several issues are very near and dear to my heart including sexual assault and domestic violence. I thoroughly enjoy women-centered spaces. I also enjoy the nuances of gender and the interaction of gender identity and sexual orientation in the bi community.

Fourth, I generally include the fact that I am polyamorous. Polyamory is the term for people who don't subscribe to the typical monogamous relationship model and feel that they are better suited for not limiting how many love relationships they can participate in. This is yet another reason why the whole "marriage is one man and one woman" nonsense angers me. Why should marriage be one formula? It has always struck me as wrong that this country criminalizes people who practice polygamy within the context of their religious beliefs since we theoretically have freedom of religion. It has always struck me as despicable that this country forces one particular set of religious beliefs down all our throats.

Fifth, if it's appropriate, I will include the fact that I'm an athiest. I was raised in a fairly strict Baptist church and am well-studied in the Bible. I learned to recite Bible verses before I knew most kiddie songs. My athiesm has come about through a long journey of self-reflection and religious study. Perhaps it is also more fuel for the fire in the religious fundamentalists condemning me and my soul to hell along with all of my ideals and desires for civil rights. I've also on occasion been told outright that I'm not allowed to quote the Bible or participate in discussion about the religious backing for condemning homosexuality because I'm not a Christian. I apparently got a copy of the Bible that didn't have that disclaimer printed in it.

I am also a research biologist, adoptive mommy to two adorable dogs, friend of many people, lover of a few people, daughter, sister, activist, philanthropist, democrat, country-music-loving redneck, and a bookworm.

Hopefully people will enjoy reading my posts in the future. In case you haven't noticed, I tend to be long-winded, but I happen to think that what I am saying is worth reading (at least most of the time). I can only write from my own perspective and my own experiences, but I am only striving to help make this state, country, and world a better place.

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AUTHOR: Bil Browning

DATE: 5/02/2005 09:59:23 PM

Welcome aboard, Sarah! Glad to be able to give the community a better chance to hear your voice!

AUTHOR: The Quotable Queer

DATE: 5/03/2005 12:15:41 AM

Welcome to the blogging community, Sarah! I must say I'm rather engaged by your writing in just this brief window looking into your life. Thrilled, as well, to have younger members of the GBLT community in the activism field. Don't be dissuaded from the complacency and inaction by others of your generation. Many just haven't had the realizations and experiences that you have had to bring you to the forefront of the fight. Once again, Welcome!


DATE: 5/03/2005 02:11:47 AM

Fo shizzle my bilericonizzle! :) Good to see your post here.

AUTHOR: Jerame Davis

DATE: 5/03/2005 06:47:34 AM

Glad you're here, Sarah. I can't wait to see more of what you have to say. Maybe your energy will motivate more in "your generation" to become active.

AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 5/04/2005 07:42:02 AM

Hi, Sarah!I understand what you're saying about the bisexual label, the word queer, and the unfortunate, exclusionary tendency to use gay and/or lesbian when addressing more than those two groups. (And don't even get me started on the utter stupidity of HRC's using the Repe's (RPE-Religious Political Extremist) most powerfully alienating and fear-mongering terminology for 'equal access to civil marriage for same-sex couples'/'marriage equality'/etc.!)We as verbal beings are supposed to have a word for every concept we have. The paucity of words to describe the infinite combinations of attractions and desires to be sexual that make up sexual orientation then informs us of how little progress we've made in understanding and thinking about human sexual orientation and the broader subject of human sexuality.Think about it -- in the single dimension of sexual orientation defined by the good old Kinsey diagraph (that I'll loosely term the "who ya wanna do it with" dimension), we have only three basic terms with some variations that still only define in common parlance those same three points.But this is a line segment that runs from zero to six, in the universe of desire (there's a parallel universe of action/behavior), where zero is 'so opposite-sex attracted one has no same-sex attraction', six is 'so same-sex attracted one has no opposite-sex attraction', and three is the fulcrum on an evenly balanced teeter-totter between the two.Of course, Kinsey used the term 'heterosexual' to define from zero to two, 'bisexual' to define from two to four, and 'homosexual' as from four to six -- but most people ignore that one-third of the line segment span and that, for instance, homosexuality is thus defined as 'predominantly, although not necessarily exclusively, attracted to the same-sex' and think of the term as defining only the angel on the head of point six.Of course, there are an infinite number of points between any two points but even Kinsey only defined seven of them on his little line segment -- but that doesn't mean that real people don't fit into all the infinite little nooks and crannies of points along the way.Of course no one point is better than any other point -- they all have equal intrinsic value no matter that there's extreme pressure from people on low end of the scale that everyone try to stand on that little bitty point at the zero end as well as a pretty heavy amount of pressure from people on the high end of the scale for people not on that zero point to all come stand on the six point -- especially in the universe of action/behavior (and to hide wherever they are in the universe of desire if they're not on the "chosen" point as defined by whoever has the power that day.)And that's just one dimension. We have words that define another one -- that of 'asexual'/'sexual' with 'asexual' as zero and 'sexual' the set of the rest of the points in the dimension. (In the universe of desire/attraction, it's a half-line extending to infinity. In the universe of experience/behavior, it's another line segment where the other end point is death because, although you might be able to fantasize having sex 24/7/365, in the real world if you do it to the exclusion of eating, sleeping, and the other basic requirements of sustaining life, you won't be around any longer than Terry Schiavo was sans the tube. -- Does that explain the odd confluence of RPE leadership in antigay/feed Terry circuses -- that they really do believe their propaganda that we're so out of control sexually as to pose a threat to the continuance of life?)There are more dimensions, of course: intensity of sensation, dominance/submission, sameness/creativity -- and potentially many more. One's real sexual orientation must be defined by the composite of points one sits on in all the dimensions in the universe of desire. (What you do with that in the universe of experience is up to you.)And, to complicate matters, it's not necessarily written in stone and can change -- although usually not radically and with some dimensions less prone to change than others -- over the course of a lifetime.So, the next time someone tries to pigeonhole you, smile sweetly and ask "which dimension?" then start rattling off a series of numerical co-axials -- and watch their eyes blink and their pupils spin. Then ask them to define theirs. Then, finally, ask how much confluence/dissonance there is between their two universes of sexuality and what degree of confluence is required for one to have lived a truly happy, sexually fulfilled life.If we all started living that transparently, we might all realize that, sooner or later, we all live in big glass houses sexual-orientation-wise and maybe, just maybe, a few less stones might end up being thrown.

AUTHOR: Anonymous

DATE: 5/16/2005 10:23:01 PM

Hi, Sarah. I understand that, since you love country music, you may have grown up in a small town in the midwest. Perhaps you can share some stories of how you can to realize your bisexuality or "queerness" as you prefer it to be mentioned. I have an interesting story from high school that may be of interest to you. Hope all's going [email protected]