Link spam – post birthday edition

Some interesting news on bisexuality which I’ll open with for this collection of Linkspam.

Maria Burnham writes about “What ‘Bisexual’ Means to Me, and Why I Claim the Title“:

Is it simply a matter of liking both sexes? And does “liking” mean sexual attraction, or emotional attraction, or both? Or more? I sent out an inquiry to my queer community and was surprised by the variety of responses. One thing most people agree on is that there is a scale, with gay on one end and straight on the other, and each person falls on a different part of the scale. According to some, “true” bisexuals are at the halfway mark, 50/50, smack dab in the middle. Others believe that falling anywhere other than at the two points on the end grants you the right to claim the bisexual label. And what about pansexuality? Some believe it to be interchangeable with bisexuality, while others say that it is less exclusive than bisexuality, truly open to everyone and not based on a two-gender binary. And if you end up in a monogamous relationship with someone of the same sex, does that mean you’ve graduated to gay status? If I end up marrying a man, does that give my friends the right to say, “I told you you were straight”?

The PinkPaper details a recent report released in the UK on the mental and physical health of sexuality groups.

Attitudes towards bisexual people were found to be more negative than those towards other minority groups, with them often being stereotyped as promiscuous, incapable of monogamy, a threat to relationships and spreaders of disease.

Although the attitudes and behaviours of others, and exclusionary structures, cause issues for bisexual people, the report found that there are many positive aspects to bisexual peoples’ experiences – the ability to develop identities and relationships without restrictions, linked to a sense of independence, self-awareness and authenticity.

The full report is available here.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on Utah’s Immigration Law HB497 and the impact that law has on Utah’s LGBTIQ community, especially since same-sex marriage is not recognised in Utah.

HB497 would force couples like these to choose between love and the law, resulting in a life of immobility and fear. Nearly 260 binational families composed of lesbian and gay U.S. citizens with noncitizen partners live in Utah. HB497 contains a harboring clause that unfairly and unconstitutionally forces binational couples to choose between breaking the law, or turning in his or her noncitizen spouse or partner to immigration officials to be deported.

Annie Murphy Paul in an opinion piece in the New York Times, writes about the upsides of dyslexia:

Dyslexia is a complex disorder, and there is much that is still not understood about it. But a series of ingenious experiments have shown that many people with dyslexia possess distinctive perceptual abilities. For example, scientists have produced a growing body of evidence that people with the condition have sharper peripheral vision than others. Gadi Geiger and Jerome Lettvin, cognitive scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, used a mechanical shutter, called a tachistoscope, to briefly flash a row of letters extending from the center of a subject’s field of vision out to its perimeter. Typical readers identified the letters in the middle of the row with greater accuracy. Those with dyslexia triumphed, however, when asked to identify letters located in the row’s outer reaches.

N K Jemisin writes, “Dreaming Awake

I am African American — by which I mean, a descendant of slaves, rather than a descendant of immigrants who came here willingly and with lives more or less intact. My ancestors were the unwilling, unintact ones: children torn from parents, parents torn from elders, people torn from roots, stories torn from language. Past a certain point, my family’s history just… stops. As if there was nothing there.

I could do what others have done, and attempt to reconstruct this lost past. I could research genealogy and genetics, search for the traces of myself in moldering old sale documents and scanned images on microfiche. I could also do what members of other cultures lacking myths have done: steal. A little BS about Atlantis here, some appropriation of other cultures’ intellectual property there, and bam! Instant historically-justified superiority. Worked great for the Nazis, new and old. Even today, white people in my neck of the woods call themselves “Caucasian”, most of them little realizing that the term and its history are as constructed as anything sold in the fantasy section of a bookstore.

These are proven strategies, but I have no interest in them. They’ll tell me where I came from, but not what I really want to know: where I’m going. To figure that out, I make shit up.


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