June: Sexual and Gender Identity

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By LadyOfFrost
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 Hello, everyone! Joz here, admin for BeautyInRawHumanity and asexual person. This month, in honour of LGBTQA+ Pride Month (or QUILTBAG Month, which seems to be preferred in the back room of BIRH...), our theme here at Beauty In Raw Humanity is sexual and gender identity!

The Obligatory Backstory
 According to the Library of Congress, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated every year in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969, in Manhattan, New York City. The riots took place against a contentious background of varying social movements. After a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a series of violent demonstrations occurred and local efforts became focused on creating places where members of the gay community could be open about their orientation.
 LGBT does not, of course, represent the full spectrum of sexual and gender identity, hence the addition of Q, A, and probably a few other letters I haven't thought of. Human sexuality and gender identity aren't easily categorised, it seems.
 Regardless of the acronym's accuracy, or lack of it as the case may be, there are still social issues surrounding sexual and gender identities that defy the norm. For example, more than 2.7 billion people live in countries where being gay is a crime as of May 2014. Members of the LGBTQA+ community face various forms of discrimination, but progress is being made. Only this May, Ireland held a referendum on marriage equality and became the first country to legalise gay marriage through popular vote. I tip my hat to you, Ireland - or I would if I had one, anyway.

Sexual and Gender Identity In Our Daily Lives
 Even if we don't think about it, our sexual and gender identity can affect almost any conversation. For those who don't conform to traditional heterosexual or cisgender identities, alienation and isolation are common feelings, and sometimes it can take a long time to feel confident in expressing a non-traditional identity. A lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of other people can also cause difficulties between individuals due to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
 At the same time, being able to identify with a particular description of sexuality and gender can help people find a community that they feel comfortable in, or simply gain a better understanding of their own identity. And the way we present our sexuality and gender to other people can influence relationships both positively and negatively, whether that relationship is with family, friends or significant others.

Beauty In Raw Humanity Challenges You!
 This month, we want to see art about your sexual and gender identities, and how it affects your life. Feel free to create multiple pieces - poetry, prose or visual art - and submit them to our gallery. Be sure to link back to this journal to let people know about this month's theme! We hope to create a feature of this month's artwork at the end of the month, so please do mention me in the description, note me with a link or comment with your submissions below, to make sure I don't miss any of your submissions :-) Here's a few ideas to get you started:

:iconheartorangeplz: Figuring out one's own sexual and gender identity can be a difficult and time-consuming process. What doubts and concerns did you have about identifying the way you do now? Did you experience confusion about your identity, or did other people make you reluctant to identify as you do now?

:iconheartblueplz: Coming out as LGBTQA+ to family and friends can be intimidating. Sometimes the experience is unpleasant, but the response can also be surprisingly supportive. How did people react when you came out about your sexual or gender identity? Alternatively, if you aren't open about your sexual or gender identity, why? Have you chosen to withhold the information from some individuals due to uncertainty about their response, or are you preparing to come out in the future?

:iconheartorangeplz: Even if you don't identify as LGBTQA+, it's entirely possible that you've had experiences with others who do. What were those experiences like? How did you react, and have your opinions changed since then? Alternatively, how have your views on LGBTQA+ issues evolved over time?

 Sexual and gender identity can be a sensitive topic that people may be unwilling to talk about, so before I show you a few examples of art based on these themes, let me remind you about BIRHindTheScenes. You can note the account with a piece you want submitted, and provide a description if you like, and the team at Beauty In Raw Humanity will post it completely anonymously for you. Also, if you'd rather not create a deviation on the topic but would prefer to write a short blurb describing your experiences, then you can also note that to BIRHindTheScenes or one of the admins, and tell us whether you want to remain anonymous or not, and we'll include it in our end of month feature.

A Few Examples:

From my gallery:
A Brief Explanation of My SexualityNope, I'll take a coffee instead.

Other artists:
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i used to think that
lone geese in october skies
                    were mistakes;
an error of wingbeats,
miscalculations of the wind
raw cries and heavy feathers
swept upwards, on beyond
Autumn the matchmaker’s
                    deft fingers.
but here we are,
linked with golden chains
      and paper wishes,
popcorn and licorice,
forgetfulness and condoms
marching two by two.
sugar/semen stains
on tawdry velvet--
i see no need
for so many empty wrappers
      or long nights stretched across
             telephone wires but
maybe i've got a sparrow
where my heart ought to be

SapiophileIf I said
That I never much thought
About my sexuality
I would be lying.
But sex was never
Strange to me;
I never stumbled over words like
Gay or bi or lesbian.
Here is a truth
Not many people know
Because I don't flaunt it,
Because I don't care.
I am not straight.
When I was fifteen
I fell in love with a girl.
A flower of a girl,
Dressed in black
And suicide.
After ten days of admiration
She left me with a
Peck on the cheek
And I never saw her again.
With sixteen I fell for a girl
Who in fact  was a boy.
It wasn't complicated,
Loving him wasn't.
But he was scared of the
World and of the word
And no matter how much I begged
He wouldn't let me love his body
Because he had been taught
That if his mind isn't flawed
Then his body is
And he couldn't see
How beautiful he was.
Years later I still don't care
About body shape or organs
That are or are not there.
I just don't talk much about it.
I am attracted to minds,
Not bodies.

Body/MindIt's no accident I go by eve,
            because I'm not made of snails or puppy
dog tails.
        See guys here is the thing.
I was born in august 1992,
For me to start breathing
            Like I couldn't decide if I should start living.
    I didn't stop, not deciding,
                Though honestly, I'm sure many people,

In other news, one of the admins at Beauty In Raw Humanity is now a Community Volunteer! LiliWrites  recently gained her heart and is now accepting submissions for literature Daily Deviations (you can find her submission guidelines here, as well as in CRLiterature). Congratulations, Lili!

That's all for today. Go forth and create art!

Best wishes for the coming month,
© 2015 - 2021 LadyOfFrost
anonymous's avatar
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anatiidae's avatar
Aww cool idea! I don't write much about my sexuality TBH haha, I want to but I never know what to say haha :P
LadyOfFrost's avatar
That's understandable. It can be hard to get the words right, but that's perfectly okay. Take whatever time you need - it's your sexuality, after all :heart:
LadyOfFrost's avatar
Introspective is absolutely okay :-) That last stanza reminds me of Secret Garden, as it happens.
AyeAye12's avatar
Haha, that's a a prodigious comparison, to be compared to The Boss :B
Cheers! ^__^
LadyOfFrost's avatar
You could certainly take it that way :lol:
No problem :highfive:
ScarletNalick's avatar

Even though I'm not a member of Beauty in Raw Humanity.
LadyOfFrost's avatar
It's wonderful that you've joined in, even if you aren't a member :hug:
DynamiteHearts's avatar
♥ Heart eyes for you EVERY DAY
FridgePoetProject's avatar
Very cool!  I'm sure all the submissions will be terrific!  :)
LadyOfFrost's avatar
I'm sure they will be :-)
AnotherNamelessOne's avatar
Brilliant theme of the month. Thanks for mentioning my piece. :heart:
LadyOfFrost's avatar
Glad you like it :hug: And you're very welcome, it's a great piece :-)
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