Victory for Same-Sex Marriage as DOMA is Repealed

dojIt certainly has been a busy week in the BLGT community–specifically when it comes to the controversial topic of same sex marriage.  In a landmark ruling, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled as unconstitutional in Federal Court.  DOMA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 and is known for establishing two things:

  1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state. (DOMA, Section 2)
  2. The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman. (DOMA, Section 3)

The Defense of Marriage Act has been controversial since it’s inception, and more recently was a campaigning point for President Clinton’s fellow Democrat and successor–President, Barack Obama.  President Obama was very vocal about the repeal of DOMA during his campaign, saying in an open letter on his website:

I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
– a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal
only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not
discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does.

Although President Obama’s administration has been quiet on the DOMA ruling and is still reviewing the rulings, there have been other developments that have given a strong indication of the American Peoples’ opinions regarding the union of same sex couples . . . .

Elsewhere in the country, Manhattan’s Borough President, Scott Stringer made a decision regarding his own marriage.   A decision that–in and of itself–has made very clear, his opinion regarding same sex marriage. Stringer is a staunch supporter of everything “New York” from buying his coffee at the local coffee shop to rooting for the Jets. In a move considered by some to be highly unusual for someone that takes such pride in the place where they live, Stringer and his fiancee (Elyse Buxbaum) have decided not to have their upcoming wedding in New York–opting instead to get married in Connecticut, a state where same sex unions are legal. Mr. Stringer has been quoted as saying:

If enough people who have somewhat of a profile–not just politicians, but artists and business leaders–start going into Massachusetts or Connecticut and show New York how embarassing it is that you can’t get a marriage license for same-sex couples, then we will change things.

It would seem that as DOMA’s repeal has put the decision back in the hands of the states, that Stringer’s move makes it known that the leaders of our states are listening to the opinions of the BLGT demographic. Showing us all what a difference the voices of a few can make.

Challenging the Myth of the Bisexual Man

coupleA man enters a coffee shop, dressed casually but still looking somewhat pristine. Waiting in line, he shifts back and forth on his feet, nervously. He orders a Chai tea Latte, vaguely wondering if the drink choice is “too obvious” for what has brought him to the coffee shop. Taking a seat at a table near the back of the coffee shop, but close to a window, he waits, watching intently. And he waits. And he waits. After what seems like an eternity, but in reality is little more than an hour, he leaves, wondering a bit why he’s been stood up. He replays the events leading up to the coffee shop meeting in his mind’s eye. It had been a simple enough, if somewhat clichéd setup. He’d placed a personal ad on a bisexual men’s site. The man that had answered it had seemed somewhat similar to himself, though he’d been married. That in and of itself hadn’t been an issue though, because it was just a cup of coffee—wasn’t it? Now, latte in hand, he just wondered why? Why is it that finding another like-minded bisexual man is so hard?

A bisexual male can find themselves asking why a lot. If straight is normal, homosexual is increasingly tolerated and bisexual women are vociferously approved by both genders—why is the bisexual male such an outlaw? If a man admits he is bisexual—why is he subject to such ridicule by the straight and homosexual population? Perhaps most of all is, if a man is openly bisexual—why is it so hard to meet another openly bisexual man?

Studies have been done, books written and surveys taken. Alfred Kinsey’s original report onSexual Behavior in the Human Male suggests that 3 out of 10 men will have a same sex encounter in their lives. A recent Gallup Poll shows that over 50 percent of men and women in America consider lesbian and gay relationships to be “morally acceptable”—though the poll says nothing about bisexuality. Perhaps this is amongst the reasons that many bisexual men still live comfortably “in the closet.” A quick search of the craigslist.org personals in the “men seeking men” category reveals that there are just short of 300 ads in a 24 hour period and that roughly 10 percent of those are from men proclaiming to be bisexual married men. Perhaps this lends itself to many of the myths about the bisexual man. It would seem—if one listens to the myths—that the monogamous, non-promiscuous, committed bisexual man is as rare as a unicorn. Men like Robert Winn challenge this opinion.

Robert, 40, has been bisexual since he met his wife Christine, 41, when the two were college. The couple’s nearly 18 years of monogamous marriage would seem to challenge the myth that bisexuality is “just a phase” as Robert has been openly monogamous for that entire 18 years. Robert is not immune to scrutiny and ridicule, however:

“There is a whole list of assumptions of what my life might be like, that somehow she is some sort of front for me because I’m not willing to accept I’m gay. People are confused by bisexuality. There’s just not a lot of support for people who fall in the middle like me.”

Bisexual men do ask why a lot. Perhaps a shift in the paradigm is needed—perhaps it isn’t a question of why the bisexual man is such an outlaw. The question that seems more suitable would seem to be—why are so many people confused by a person that is willing to love so indiscriminately?

Bisexual Men, Women and Couples Needed for PSA Campaign

man-with-cameraBi Social Network is looking for attractive | sexy | geeky | cool | shy | tattooed, and anything in between men, women and couples who would like to join a movement of bi-visibility. If you want to help us showcase a world where bisexuals exist in all age groups, colors and walks of life—please contact us and share your stories.

Who are Needed?
You must be over 18 years-old or older. We are looking for any age group, race and nationality—famous or non to join this campaign. Individuals must be bisexual to be apart of this campaign.

If you are a couple, one person must be bisexual. We are looking for all types of couples, interracial, opposite-sex and same-sex men and women. The campaign will be a year long effort (2010-11) to showcase bi-visibility.

Do We Pay?
It depends on membership/sponsorship, right now we are looking for volunteers. If you want to volunteer for this cause, the persons selected will get a nice Bi Social Network t-shirt, a meal (If you live in Chicago) and recognition. We will also use any models for future paid adverts and campaigns, if selected.

What sort of campaign will this be?
This will be a campaign in two or three phases; photography, storytelling and/or video.

Where will this take place?
The head office is in Chicago, but if you know a photographer and can submit images as directed, you can join in this campaign. Also, you will be featured for an interview and on our Website.

Photographers or Inspired Video Gods
If you want a cause to join, why not come on board and lend a hand to this movement. We will feature you on Bi Social Network (Bi Talk Radio) and get your name out there. Help us help you! Together we can make a different in the lives of young and old alike.

Please join us and tell a friend to join this cause, together we can make a different in the lives of all bisexuals who feel invisible. Stay-tuned for more information.

The War for Equality

lgtb equalityThe BLGT community has been enjoying a lot of victory and support of late. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are portrayed positively on our televisions and in film, there are many gay, lesbian and bisexual performing artists and now the community has begun to realize some real life victories. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed by a 234-194 vote. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been repealed—making the definition of marriage something that State governments determine rather than Federal. Joining this list of victories is the overturning of California’s “Prop 8” bill declaring:

With so many victories under our collective belts it can be easy to trick one ’s self into believing that the war for equality is being won. The danger in believing this is that it tempts us to forget the other battles that are being fought.

A report from the Kyrgyz Republic—released days after the Prop 8 ruling—reveals that the lives of thirty bisexual and gay men are fraught with danger and persecution. Of thirty men interviewed for this report, twelve identify as bisexual men while fifteen were age 25 or younger. The report goes on to reveal stories that many in the BLGT community are familiar with:

“It happened in December. A guy was stopped by militia. Out of nothing they start checking for documents. He didn’t have any. He’s a bit feminine, mannered – so they got it immediately. They said: “You’re gay, aren’t you? Let’s go to your parents now.” They demanded eight thousand soms.”

Labrys, an orginazation aimed at improving the quality of life for the BLGT community in the Kyrgyz Republic was founded in 2004 and currently has 1,000 members. Syinat Sultanalieva, executive director of Labrys, said in February that violations of the rights of people of non-traditional sexual orientation occur most frequently within the family, saying of her organization: “Our organization has started a ‘refuge’ project. We provide temporary accommodation to those people who have been thrown out of their homes, or who have left of their own accord because their families do not accept the choice they have made,” With bisexual and gay youth being thrown out of their homes and forced to seek refuge, it begins to become clear that the struggle for equality and acceptance is far from over.

Other battles are far more subtle and far more dangerous. Also within days of the prop 8 decision, bioethicists are accused a noted American pediatric endocrinologist and researcher of what they claim is the first attempt to prevent homosexuality and bisexuality in the womb. The pediatrician, Dr. Maria New of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Florida International University, is a longtime champion of the prenatal use of a powerful steroidal medication called dexamethasone to prevent the development of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH )— a condition which can result in girls being born with ambiguous genitalia.

Amongst the bioethicists charging Dr. New is Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine who charges:

“Her main goal has been to prevent ambiguous genitalia and all the things that come with it, including what she calls ‘behavioral masculinization’ [sic] She includes in that what she calls ‘masculinized orientation.’”

CAH has a status as a rare condition—prompting several medical societies to suggest guidelines be put in place that establish prenatal treatment for CAH as experimental. Additionally the guidelines will note that dexamethasone can cause low birth weight and birth defects. The proposed guidelines do not mention and are not concerned with sexuality or orientation.

This style of Eugenics may seem like something from science fiction—however, it is clear that the prejudices against gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women are alive and well and it appears that there is a long way to go before the war for equality is over.

The Other Bi: Bigender

Bigender_prideThe labels associated with the BLGT community are many and varied. Bisexual, as we know is generally accepted as the attraction to both genders but is often confused with pansexual–the attraction to people regardless of gender.  The subtle difference being that a bisexual person must be attracted to men and women, whereas the pansexual can be attracted to men, women, transgendered persons and anyone who doesn’t identify as being either male or female or part of the gender-binary system. Add to this the plethora of other labels, such as intersexed, genderqueer, heteroflexible et. al. and it becomes a bit more clear why it is so hard for a bisexual, homosexual—and yes transgendered person too—to discover what fits them, and why; and perhaps most importantly, to be accepted and what they are once they find it.

When doing research for a recent article, I came across a new term that immediately prompted the need for more research. The term “Bigender”—previously unknown to me, but apparently around since the late 90s—denotes a tendency to move between feminine and masculine gender-typed behavior depending on context. A 1999 survey conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health reported that less then 3% of men and 8% of women identified as bigender.

What exactly is Bigender though? Beyond the basic definition above, there doesn’t seem to be much known about it. What is a bigender person? The American Psychological Association’s report Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity uses the term only once, saying:

“Other categories of transgender people include androgynous, bigendered, and gender queer people. Exact definitions of these terms vary from person to person, but often include a sense of blending or alternating genders. Some people who use these terms to descrive themselves see traditional concepts of gender as restrictive.”

Elsewhere on the ‘net, bigender is defined as having the job of describing the behavior of a person, particularly a person who can identify as a male in certain situations and as a female in others—this would seem to be analogous to the way that intersexuality would apply to someone who is born with physical characteristics that are not exclusively male nor female.

While not much is known about this other “bi” culture within the BLGT community, it does seem to share a common thread with bisexuality.  Both are all inclusive gender–bisexuality allowing one to be attracted to and have relationships with both men and women interchangeably–bigender allowing on to present themselves as a man or a woman interchangeably as the situation dictates.  Both share the stigma of being misunderstood as well.  Bigender is often confused with crossdressing or transvestism, rather than being understood as the fluidity of gender that it is meant to represent.  One thing is certain, however, the two terms should not be confused with each other.  It might seem that a bigender identity must go with a bisexual identity but gender identity and sexual orientation are independent. It is possible to be bigender and not bisexual, or bisexual but not bigender.  Regardless of whether bigender defines who you are or bisexual defines who you love, it would appear that being bi is seemingly more complex and more amazing than previously believed.

Bisexual, the Antidote to Retrosexual

bi-raduApparently there’s a crisis sweeping the nation, one that even merited the airtime of CNN International last Friday.  In case you’ve haven’t heard the news, masculinity has taken a battering and it’s time to bring back the lost of masculinity.  Hipsters and metrosexuals be damned!  The evil feminists have destroyed men, who no longer occupy their rightful place.  Men have become too soft and lazy, reduced to mere objects of ridicule.

Give me a break!

At what point did we catapult into the post-feminist, post-biphobic, post-homophobic world?

We haven’t and that’s the point.  While certain people are waxing poetic about supposedly manly virtues, some have already pointed out that the gig is up.  I can only hope the phenomenon of the retrosexual vanishes before it has a chance to take hold.

Yes my friends, you read right – retrosexual.  Thanks to shows like Mad Men and the efforts of bloggers, we can now all learn how to be real men again and take pride in doing so.  We can learn to lionize ‘great’ men like Teddy Roosevelt and John Wayne. We can dress like real men dress, read what real men read, and take up manly hobbies.  Perhaps we can learn to duel in order to preserve our honor.  Maybe you feel like you lost out on a particularly gruesome male initiation ritual.

Well I think there is a crisis in masculinity–it’s very existence.

Women got it right.  Feminism has razed the bulwark of femininity to the ground thus opening the doors of possibility wide open.

We men, on the other hand, are often still caught in the vice grip of masculinity and the dead hand of male gender roles.  Look around and you see all the advertising pandering to male insecurities.  Trying to be a real man seems to be the most important obsession for the male of the species.

It makes me think of the song “Real Men” from Joe Jackson’s 1982 album, Night and Day.  The song asks “What’s a man now?/What’s a man mean?/Is he rough or is he rugged/Cultural and clean?/Now it’s all changed/It’s got to change more/We thinks it’s getting better/But nobody’s really sure.”

By the time I heard this song, I had already discovered that being attracted to other men meant my ‘guy quotient’ tanked.  I discovered soon after that being attracted to both genders put me in a no man’s land–pun intended.  I had a choice: play to a script or live my life.  I chose to live my life.

I’m not saying it’s been easy but it’s been authentic.  Along the way, I’ve come across plenty of other men just living their lives without obsessing about manliness.  What I have found is that bisexual men tend to have a good handle on the theater of the absurd that masculinity is.  Hold the door open for a woman and you’re either a gentleman or a dinosaur.  Hold the door open for another man–well why would you?  Or just hold the door open for other people and be polite.

How about this:  some of us are human beings who happen to be male.  We’re neither smarter or more stupid, tougher or more tender than those who are female.  I’m still not sure we know what a real man is, but does it really matter?

Stamping out Biphobia One ‘Bi Rant’ Article at a Time

female-gay-couplesChicago—Living in Chicago, seeing division is an everyday life occurrence. If you are straight, you only go to straight bars or events. If you’re gay, you only go to gay bars and events. If you’re lesbian, you only go to women only bars and events, and if you’re a gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgender, who happens to be of color—you might only go to a place that has people of color at the event.

Round-and-around, we continue to want to separate ourselves to people like us—but is it a good thing? That’s a debate the BLGT community is starting to have. From black bisexual baseball players that just want to eh, play some ball. To bisexuals on the internet; speaking out on fitting into the gay and lesbian community, or not—and to the ‘new bisexual’ topics cropping up all over gay and lesbian publications? What’s going on that our own community is attacking the bisexual community who want to be seen, like everyone else?

What is the New Bisexual?
After just having a radio show talking about baseball and heckling the President of the United States, I wanted to relax at my favorite local restaurant (Heartland Café) and read the current BLGT publication of Chicago Free Press (CFP). As I often do, I like to check out what’s happening in our community, see if there’s any bisexual article, which mostly is far and few between, but low and behold there’s one called “The new bisexuals,” by my not to favorite opinion columnist Jennifer Vanasco. Every time I read anything dealing with bisexuality from her, she goes on topic of “bar bisexual,” or anything of that area when speaking to lesbians—about what it means to be a true bisexual, if at all

I wonder if those self-identifying girls call themselves bisexual because they’re actually attracted to women or because they think it’s sexier—and cooler—to calling  themselves bisexual and occasionally kiss girls for show.

What Does Biphobia Look Like?
This is straight from “Bisexual Resources Center, a great bisexual activist non-profit telling it like it is.

…”Thinking that people identify as bisexual because it ‘trendy.”

Now, the funny thing is is that this article was supposedly trying to get lesbians to see our point-of-view. Well, at the end of it, I found what Vanasco was trying to say, right at the last paragraph.

But what I do know is that: The LGBT community hasn’t always been great about welcoming and reaching out to and understanding supporting bisexuals. But if we want this flood of young women to support us, this has got to change. — Jennifer Vanasco

See my point? Vanasco doesn’t even understand that this very article is biphobic in the worse way. New bisexuals are just being “trendy. ’It talks all about ‘new bisexuals’ as if they are cropping out from the ground and becoming band new babies the BLGT community can love and take into the fold. You know, I now see you, that you might be real, just oh, a bit misguided and need help from the gay and lesbian community to set you on the right path. What the Fuck!

Vanasco listen. Because you go on trying to bridge gaps about what a new bisexuals really is or isn’t needs to be done in a better way. Why not contact one and get their perspective. Hey, use our Contact Us form above and interview Bi Social Network; we’re been around for over a year now. I welcome it! Ask for Adrienne Williams. Because right now, from the bisexuality perspective, there isn’t any new bisexual, you are now just looking at all the real facets of our community.

What Bi Social Network Wants to do!
As a social community site, we want to hear from you! Speak your mind and give use tips, if you see an article on the internet or in print where biphobic is loud and clear! We will feature it here! You can contact us, or go to our facebook account @bisocialnetwork or tweet us @bisocialnetwork! We want to know what you are seeing out there too!

To learn more about Bisexual Resource Center, check out their website for more tips on what biphobia really looks like! You’re might be surprised! www.biresource.org.

Bisexual Ball Players Sues Gay Sports League of Biphobia

ball-playerI’m in the middle of our Bi Talk show and I’m handed information in the form on an email on Advocate.com, about three bisexual ex-players (LaRon Charles, Steven Apilado and Jon Russ) who are suing the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) on the bases of not being gay [enough] from the other gay teams; or as they (The league) called them—three heterosexual men.

The sad thing is that the three men repeatedly stated they were ‘bisexual and not straight.’ When asked by (NAGAAA) officials, what sexual group they batted for, one player stated, “Both.” The victim decided not to reply after an off-putting response from NAGAAA.

“This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series.” North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) officials

Should Bisexuals Continue to Partner with Gays and Lesbian groups?
Talk about biphobia on the home team! So now, I again ask this question, should the bisexual community be apart of the gay and lesbian groups—who continue to want equal rights from the straight world, but will not recognize that bisexuals are real and alive in all society? Nor do they even understand the errors of calling bisexual men straight, as heated discussions are flying on Advocate.com, about being straight and not apart of the BLGT community.

Lindasusan states on Advocate.com:

Why do people keep characterizing these men as straight when they identify as BISEXUAL? (The heterosexual label was put on them by the NAGAAA panel.) As someone pointed out, NAGAAA’s own mission statement includes bisexuals — this is clearly a case of biphobia and bisexual erasure.

I say this, as I take a quote from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I will fight for gay and equal rights for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to get married, when they own up to the fact that bisexuals know who we are and exist in their world!

So much for the LGBT tag line!

Bi Social Network will be following this story as it develops.

Read the full article on advocate.com

Share your thoughts. What do you think of this story? Should Bisexuals continue to be apart of the gay and lesbian community? Are we beating a dead horse? We want to know!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

ballgameWhen I moved to the Boston area some six and a half years ago, I knew that I’d have to stop discussing baseball.  Those who grow up as Yankees fans know it’s rather pointless, if not downright foolhardy to talk about the national pastime right in the middle of Red Sox Nation.

I for one decided it was far better to keep my normally fat mouth shut regarding the boys of summer.  However, I have elected to break my silence because of a recent piece of news that dropped into my inbox a little over a week ago.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (see NCLR press release here) has filed suit against the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) on behalf of three bisexual baseball players on the San Francisco D2.   The players  were questioned about their sexual orientation and subsequently disqualified following the 2008 Gay Softball World Series in Seattle.

According to the article “Ballplayers Sue Gay Softball League” by Andrew Harmon of The Advocate, it appears that the three players, LeRon Charles, Steven Apilado and Jon Russ, were deemed “nongay” by the NAGAAA.  Furthermore, the only choices the players were given during their questioning were “heterosexual” and “gay” when it came to describing themselves.  Charles, as stated in Harmon’s article, maintained that he was attracted to women and men, which the NAGAAA committee did not accept.

Are you still with me?
I was incredulous to say the least.  The NCLR press release, The Advocate article, and the response by the NAGAAA (see the organization’s open letter at outsports.com) left me with my mouth hanging open.  Digesting this information took a while.  I had no idea where to go with it.  I have to admit that my first reaction to friends was rather sarcastic.  It seems last year we were lying homosexuals and this year we’re deceitful heterosexuals, I quipped.

What gives?  Really, what gives?
It seems to me that as bisexual men, our so-called true sexuality—that is when people patently ignore the words I’m bisexual as they come out of our mouths—depends on the convenience of others.  For writers such as—but not limited to—Dan Savage and Michael Musto (see my post from March 24th of this year) , we are straw men to be bashed and trashed, because we are lying to ourselves and others about our supposedly true natures.

We are also fodder for scientists as Benedict Carey’s 2005 New York Times article, “Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited” demonstrates.  Apparently no matter what we say, think or feel we really don’t know who we are.

But wait.  If we want to take part in activities within the BGLT community, we mustn’t take places away from those who are authentically gay.

It seems to me that other people’s agendas define who we are.  If others need us  to be gay in order to get their point across, then we’re gay.  If others need us to be straight to satisfy their agenda, then we’re straight.  That is what angers me.  It is positively maddening to be at the mercy of others and to feel like a pawn in their games.

It makes me want to holler, break down and cry
I can’t imagine what bisexual men have done to deserve such disrespect.  I can’t imagine because the answer is nothing.  We are just living our lives.

It’s high time for fair play for bisexual men, on the field, in the boardroom, in academia and on the street.

A Bisexual’s Dilemma: Who Can You Bring Home to Mother?

naked-truthAs the days lengthen and weather gets warmer I always start to remember my time in the Peace Corps.  Every year different memories will come wafting to the fore as I gladly anticipate the hotter weather to come in this country.

This year the first memory to come floating back was of a conversation I had with one of my mates as we went out to grab some supper to take back to the hostel/office.  As we stood on the corner with our plates in our hands waiting for the neighborhood women to put their wares out, I brought up the topic of my dating both men and women.

How or why I started talking about it on that dusty street as night began to fall is no longer clear.  What I do remember clearly as we waited to be served was that my dinner companion quite pointedly asked if I felt as free to bring my boyfriends home as I was my girlfriends.

The answer was a resounding, “no.”  I was a bit taken aback, not offended mind you.  It was just my friend the philosopher had asked perhaps one of the most pertinent questions I had ever been asked.  Whatever differences or similarities I found between women and men, I knew full well which of the two I could bring home to meet mother.

When you’re bisexual, that’s an issue because it can lead to a double life and a great deal of internal strife.  I longed to be able to share all of my romantic life with my family but I didn’t feel that I was able to.  No matter how I examined the situation, I always felt that my family had half the story.  In fact they did.  They got the edited version of my life.

Imagine Anna Karenina with only the story of Anna and Vronsky and the one with Kitty and Levin cut out.  It would without a doubt not be the same novel.  Yes, it would be much shorter but also much poorer.  We could not gather the same lessons because we would be missing a critical piece of the whole.

In other words I was suppressing a critical piece of my whole and it was utterly maddening.  How many bisexual men have been in this situation?  When we do this are we really living a double life or half of one?  If we give our girlfriends the “full treatment,” what in earth are we doing to our boyfriends?

Of course biphobia and homophobia sometimes oblige us to keep our mouths shut.  There are, however, limits.  To quote Abraham Lincoln, a house divided against itself cannot stand.  What the then Senate candidate said in reference to politics certainly makes sense to me in terms of psychology.  Living one kind of life with a female partner and another with a male partner makes no sense whatsoever.  There comes a time when we have to speak up and be clear about who we are in order to keep our sanity and to be respectful to all our partners.

So when my 40th birthday rolled around and I was actually in a relationship, I took advantage of the fact my partner was male to be clear with my family that he would be there to celebrate as well.  It wasn’t easy more me to do and probably less easy for my family to absorb.  Nonetheless, I did what needed to be done and my family came through for me.

I have felt a greater sense of wholeness now that I don’t have to do an editing job for those I care about.  Now if on some hot dusty road someone asked me whether I felt as free to bring my boyfriends home as my girlfriends, the answer would be a firm “yes.”