Jayne B Shea

Bisexual, Poly, and LGBT Friendly Apparel, Products, and Stories

Guest Post: A Demisexual Perspective & The Importance of Representation

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The Demisexual Flag

The Demisexual Flag

The majority of my mission with the Jayne Shea brand is to serve as a voice for the bisexual community and fight bisexual erasure. I'm here to represent a community that struggles for representation. So when a young demisexual person, reached out through Pinterest, I jumped at the chance to learn more about this similarly marginalized group and help her tell her story. The following is a guest post by Rose Reuben (pseudonym) intended to provide some insight into the demisexual perspective and hopefully inspire us all as a queer community to come together and be inclusive and supportive of anyone and everyone!

I am young (under 25) and for a long time I've been confused about my sexuality. I've never felt "straight"; I've always felt lost in a world of sex-driven people (not that that's bad, it's just alienating to me). I always knew that there was something different.

I started to look on LGBT+ communities online. They were so supportive of everyone there, and I learned a lot about different sexualities: asexuality, bisexuality, pansexual, etc., and the one that interested me the most was asexual. However, I knew that that wasn't what I was. I had felt sexual attraction to people, but only my closest friends. (PS, this didn't mean I didn't have crushes on people I barely knew. I just didn't feel any physical attraction to them). So, I kept searching until I found demisexuality. 

I felt a click instantly and knew that I had found out what I was. I still desired sex, but not in the way allosexuals did. It helped me a lot on discovering who I was as a person.

Being demisexual wasn't much of a problem, really. Nobody will discriminate against you (at least not a lot). It's simple. I never needed go " come out " to my parents. I never really cared too much.

The only (significant) problem I ever faced was the fact that I, a heteroromantic demisexual, wasn't included by everyone in the queer community. I'll admit, it had hurt to be excluded from such a loving community when I wasn't quite straight. I am queer.

I think that a lot of the people who had said "demisexuality isn't LGBT+" were sort of angry that us demis don't have it that hard. And it's true, sometimes I feel like I should not be included in such a group that is so diverse and have suffered a lot more than I have.

But I saw one post recently that helped me a lot. It was a post describing that everyone in Big Hero 6 was queer (I hadn't watched the movie). I don't remember which character, but one was a.. Can you guess? A heteroromantic demisexual. It made me so happy that someone included my sexuality and romabtisiam (technically I'm pan-curious, but so far only attracted sexually to men). That is why representation matters to me. 

Thanks again to Rose for sharing her perspective. I'd love to hear your experience and learn more about your flavor of sexuality. If you're willing to share your thoughts, please leave a comment or get in touch here on my website.

The meta subtitle to this Keke Palmer article made me biFurious!

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Back in December, People published an article about Keke Palmer and her statements on her sexuality related to a recently released music video. When the article went out on social media, this was the meta subtitle:

"the Grease: Live star opens up about the bi-curious buzz surrounding her new music video"

eyeroll

First of all, I take issue with the automatic label "bi-curious." As in "Oh she's not bisexual, she's just bi-curious." This word, whether it's used by others to define someone, or by the person himself or herself, is dripping with bisexual erasure.

Then there's this:

"The video was to represent the young woman today – it's not the traditional woman anymore – and not the specifics of 'Am I gay? Am I straight? Am I bi?'" the actress-singer, 22, says in the new issue of PEOPLE. "I'm making the rules for myself, and I don't have to be stuck down to one label."

Her statement, like many others by the new crop of starlets refusing to define their sexual identities, made my proud bisexual self cringe. Of course I support her in however she wants to represent herself. I certainly don't want to label anyone who doesn't want to be labeled. But can we PLEASE have more bisexual role models defining and owning their identities?!? Pretty please with rainbow sprinkles?

Yes, I believe that sexuality is a spectrum and words like bisexual, lesbian and gay are often too rigid of a definition for many people, but how can we fight for rights for something that we refuse to name?


http://www.people.com/article/keke-palmer-sexuality-dont-label-bisexual-music-video

Lessons Learned in my Bisexual & Polyamorous Relationships

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  1. Overshare! Overcommunication is better than a breakup. (Lack of communication and internalized bisexual erasure caused the worst breakup of my life.)
  2. Say "I love you." Being afraid to be the first person to say it in your triad/group/relationship may mean that you say it too late or don't get to say it at all.
  3. Check your assumptions. If you find yourself internally defining how a person might be feeling or why they might be acting a certain way, ask them instead!
  4. Share your love! If at all possible, be out about your sexuality and your relationships with the people you love and who love you the most. (This video helped me a lot!) 
  5. If you're bisexual and/or polyamorous, be out and proud if you can so that we can raise awareness of ourselves as a community and fight harmful attitudes and stereotypes.
  6. Being bi/poly is still hard, not everyone is going to be out without consequences, but the more we fight the easier it will get

Internalized Bisexual Erasure

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Bisexual erasure becomes especially harmful when a bisexual person has internalized it. I'm going to get personal for a second and talk about the hardest breakup I've ever been through. After dating for several months, I was falling head over heels in love with a gorgeous young woman. Our male partner was as well. The three of us were great together! Then I went on a trip with my parents and started feeling all kinds of guilt that I wasn't fully out to them about my sexuality and polyamorous lifestyle. (More on my coming out experience later.) I was so happy with our girlfriend and sad that I couldn't share that happiness with my folks. Unfortunately, those feelings made me pull away from her a bit when I got home. I was also scared of being the first person in our triad to say "I love you" because I didn't want to scare her away.

Here comes the erasure part. We broke up. It was terrible. Then later we got to talking and it turned out she was in love too, but thought I was only committed to our relationship for my male partner's sake. Despite the fact that both she and I and the three of us had been having mind-blowing sex for six months, she thought I was just in it for him. This is bisexual erasure at its worst in a polyamorous relationship: the nagging idea that someone might be just a straight girl in it to please her man. This is something straight guys perpetuate every time they approach bisexual and lesbian women, hoping for a threesome. This is also perpetuated by anyone who tells a person "Oh hun, you're not bi, it's just a phase you're going through." (Yes, I personally heard this growing up from both queer and straight friends.) This is why I fight so hard for bisexual visibility and polyamory acceptance - so that we as a community can affect social change and erase these harmful internalized attitudes.

ThinkGeek's Bisexual Flag Unicorn Bouquet

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ThinkGeek is selling a bouquet of pink, purple and blue unicorn plush toys for Valentine's Day. As in a bouquet of unicorns in bisexual flag colors. I can't make this stuff up. Now everyone I love knows what to get me for Valentine's Day...  although I'm tempted to just get one for myself and bestow their magicalness on all of my loved ones. I already have their unicorn slippers, knee-highs, yoga pants and robe. Any company that has an entire section of its website devoted to unicorns is ok in my book, but when they decide to sell a biflag bouquet of them... well let's just say I'll be a lifelong customer. (EDIT: They have a  unicorn cardigan in biflag colors too! Ok, must stop shopping...)

BiFlag Unicorn Bouquet

Good News on Increasing Bisexual Self-Identification!

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Despite more young starlets self-identifying as "queer" or "not wanting to be labeled," according to new research, the number of Americans who identify as bisexual is on the rise.  A new CDC study showed that from 2011 to 2013, an increased number of people, particularly women, self-identified as bisexual. With the trend towards avoiding labels continuing in the past year or so, I'll be curious to see how these numbers are affected when the 2014-2015 edition of the study is released this fall.

Bisexual Unicorn - Yes!


The Unicorn is My Bisexual Patronus

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Both my logo and my very first bisexual pride t-shirt design feature a unicorn silhouette and my personal take on the bisexual flag. Why? I've decided to name the unicorn as my patronus and reclaim it for all bisexual men and women, to prove that we do exist and combat bisexual erasure. This is in part because "unicorn" is often used in the swinger community as a euphemism for a single bisexual female willing to sleep with a couple.  It's primarily because of the bisexual community's fight to make ourselves known. and to make sure that the B in lgBt is not silent.

Note: this post has been updated to remove the term "spirit animal." Unfortunately, the URL can not be updated and the original title may appear in some older indexed versions of the page. When I first wrote it I was unaware of the appropriative nature of that term. I apologize for that.