Jayne B Shea

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

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5 Ways Parents Can Be Good Allies for their Bisexual Children

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I am very blessed to have fantastic LGBTQ allies for parents. Although I wasn't sure if they remembered that I came out to them in 8th grade, of course they did, and they found ways to support my developing identity from that point on, while still allowing me to explore it myself. My mother has always been especially thoughtful and caring, especially now that I am fully out to her and my dad as both bi and poly. Besides my partner, they are the biggest fans and supporters of the Jayne B Shea brand! The other day, my mom was showing me some food ideas she had collected on Pinterest, including the awesome rainbow kebab tray above, which she had saved because she knew I'd love it as a representation of the Pride Flag. It's little touches like that moment that let me know she and my dad support me in my bisexual and polyamorous identity, and always will.

In honor of my parents, and to provide support for families in similar situations, here are some ways that parents can show their support for their bisexual (or LGBTQ in general) children:

  1. Learn: Study as much as your can about sexual identity, gender identity, queer rights issues and other topics that might be relevant to your child. Be a resource if your child has questions about these subjects (without trying to teach them - allow them to explore the issues on their own.)
  2. Watch Your Pronouns/Gender Assumptions: It's easy to fall into heteronormative habits when checking in with your child about love interests. Stick with the gender-neutral "they" to show that you know and accept that your child may be interested in either same-gender or opposite-gender partners.
  3. Take them to Pride Festivals: Last summer, I was so proud, pleased and excited to see so many parents with their kids at Seattle and Portland Pride. Attending these events with your kids is a major demonstration of your support for their identity. It can also make them feel more comfortable in their new community and help them make smart choices as they celebrate Pride.
  4. Be a Good Wingwoman/Wingman: This is a bit tricky, since for some kids it might be weird to have mom or dad as a wingwoman or wingman, but I can't tell you how much it meant to me over the years to hear my mom comment on women I thought were cute. You don't necessarily have to help them find dates, but showing your support in this area is a thoughtful touch.
  5. Give them Space & Love: Sexual and gender identity is a tricky issue that your child needs to navigate for themselves. Allow your child the freedom to explore and define their own identity over time. Show them you love them who they are, including (not despite) their sexual identity. 

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.