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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Default Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    As a follow-up to our month of community outreach on the pressing subject of bullying, we bring you a month of discussion of that stickiest of subjects, sexuality.

    As most of you are at the age where you're starting to discover your sexuality, we believe it imperative to act as a safe space for questions and discussions of all stripes. And it's open for all ages, because there are always questions.

    This is not a relationship advice month, although as always those questions are free to ask. But the focus this month is on topics such as social issues, confronting sexuality-based discrimination, and what to do when your sexuality isn't what you thought it was. For instance, I'm 31 and only realized that I wasn't straight like I had assumed most of my life.

    Some basic terms to get you started:
    Heterosexual: aka "straight". Attracted to the opposite sex.
    Homosexual: aka "gay". Attracted to the same sex.
    Bisexual: Attracted to both sexes.
    Pansexual: Attracted to people no matter their sex.
    Asexual: Attracted to no one. This, however, does not rule out romantic attachment (although it's possible). Simply that there is no desire for actual intercourse.
    Kinsey Scale: A sexuality scale based on a then-controversial (1948) study by Alfred Kinsey that first explored and showed the fluidity of sexuality on a scale of X through 6. According to it, very few people are entirely gay or straight and have only tendencies towards one sex or another rather than a strict line.

    During this month we will help you clear up misconceptions about all of these groups, as well as what it means to have those terms as part of your identity.

    Remember that Bulbagarden is a safe space. Keep any and all bigotry under your hat or you WILL be brought under Bulbagarden law.

    Due to the lateness of this post, this "month" will run until the end of September. Although you're always free to discuss these things, of course. Just right now they're being spotlit.

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    Registered User Giovanni Sakaki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    This sounds like a good idea.

    My opinion on sexuality in general is that it should be taken very seriously as it is closely linked to love, which many people think is most important thing we have.

    I don't take it lightly and I don't think other people should either.

    I feel bad when the word sexuality is used as an umbrella term for identifiers like straight, gay, etc. Nowadays I can understand why people use it that way, but I think 'sexual orientation' is overall more accurate.

    The most important thing is that you must understand and accept yourself to understand and accept others. Once I was able to find truth inside (after many years of big mistakes) it extended to the world outside. And then I was able to see that on a larger scale there is no separation between the two.

    Thanks for reading and hope this comes in useful to somebody.
    Last edited by Giovanni Sakaki; 19th August 2011 at 04:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    i'm really liking this idea. i remember a year ago, when i came across the thought that i was bi-sexual. and only a few days ago, i realized even more where my sexuality was headed and well, now i consider myself a lesbian.

    like what domino white said, love is important in life, and i believe people need to understand more about it. kids these days insult gays, lesbians, bi's, and other people considered "not straight" or "normal", and it sickens me sometimes because in the school where i'm at, i hear people talking negative things about gays all the time, while i'm lesbian myself. it's insulting. now, nobody knows i'm a lesbian except the people i know and trust online, including the people here on bmgf. i'm forced to pretend like i'm straight all the time to avoid being bullied, because i know the people that live around me aren't the friendliest to gays and lesbians alike. although i know i will come across somebody like me, and it may be hard to find that somebody, but hey, who knows?

    love is love. since when did it become a crime?

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    Registered User Giovanni Sakaki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    @illegible, schools can be really bad environments for people depending on the person. The best thing IMO is to finish/leave as soon as possible. Afterwards, the world will seem a much friendlier and bigger place. Though at your age I would be wary of calling yourself this or that.
    Last edited by Giovanni Sakaki; 19th August 2011 at 10:36 AM.
    It suddenly occurred to Domino that Team Rocket was a massive game of Telephone, using actual telephones, with real-life results that could be really damn scary (for other people, of course).
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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    I barely use the forums, I mostly edit or just read the ’pedia, but this definitely makes me feel eager to get involved.
    I’m a gay man, I’m 28 now and I came out in an American high school at the millennium, when things were just opening up but still rather tougher than now( even granted that they are still by no means easy). I had come out to my parents about a couple years earlier, and roughly a year beforehand the brutal beating death of Matthew Shepard gained national media attention and thrust homophobia and hate crimes into the national and eventually international media spotlight. It rocked my world, and was one of many factors that led me to stop concealing my sexuality when I switched to a public school in my Junior year.
    I have plenty of experience with love, sex, the good and bad sides of Western society, etc., and I’m happy to answer any questions for or give advice to anyone, gay, straight, or wherever you may fall( within the boundaries of the law and Bulbagarden rules, obviously).( Btw, where would I find the pertinent guidelines? Like I said, not here much.)
    In honor of this Outreach project, I’m temporarily setting my pro headshot as my Avatar and profile pic so you can see whom you’re addressing.
    And when it’s tough, seems like you’re all alone, and no one understands you? I promise: it gets better.

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    Hear the Roar of Thunder Yun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by LaprasBoi View Post
    I barely use the forums, I mostly edit or just read the ’pedia, but this definitely makes me feel eager to get involved.
    I’m a gay man, I’m 28 now and I came out in an American high school at the millennium, when things were just opening up but still rather tougher than now( even granted that they are still by no means easy). I had come out to my parents about a couple years earlier, and roughly a year beforehand the brutal beating death of Matthew Shepard gained national media attention and thrust homophobia and hate crimes into the national and eventually international media spotlight. It rocked my world, and was one of many factors that led me to stop concealing my sexuality when I switched to a public school in my Junior year.
    I have plenty of experience with love, sex, the good and bad sides of Western society, etc., and I’m happy to answer any questions for or give advice to anyone, gay, straight, or wherever you may fall( within the boundaries of the law and Bulbagarden rules, obviously).( Btw, where would I find the pertinent guidelines? Like I said, not here much.)
    In honor of this Outreach project, I’m temporarily setting my pro headshot as my Avatar and profile pic so you can see whom you’re addressing.
    And when it’s tough, seems like you’re all alone, and no one understands you? I promise: it gets better.
    Well, I have a question for my friend Mark.

    He's my best friend, and recently; I found out that he was gay. He thought I would hate him, so he stopped talking to me. After 5 days, I finally got him alone and told him I didn't mind AT ALL. He was relieved, but now his parents are wondering what's up. He doesn't lie to them and he's tired of living with the secret. I want to tall him to just tell them, but from what I see; it can be very hard...

    How can I be supportive of him AND push him to tell them the truth and get it off of his chest...?

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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by JayKashiki View Post
    Well, I have a question for my friend Mark.

    He's my best friend, and recently; I found out that he was gay. He thought I would hate him, so he stopped talking to me. After 5 days, I finally got him alone and told him I didn't mind AT ALL. He was relieved, but now his parents are wondering what's up. He doesn't lie to them and he's tired of living with the secret. I want to tall him to just tell them, but from what I see; it can be very hard...

    How can I be supportive of him AND push him to tell them the truth and get it off of his chest...?
    Hold your horses, Jay! You’re best friends, but he thought you would hate him, even though you really don’t mind at all? So, ask yourself: what might he be thinking about other important people in his life?
    It can be very hard to come out to family, but if you think they’ll be cool with it, there are steps you can take to get him there. The “pushing” part of your job is over though, since that you made him talk and listen so he knows you’re there for him. Now, your role should be “support” and “encourage”.
    How old are you guys? Since the parents are a big presence, I’m guessing teens. Given your English usage, I’m thinking US, UK, or Canada.
    Take a step back. If you want to help him come out to his parents, the first thing you need to know is where he is in his process of accepting and exploring himself, and the second is what EXACTLY is stopping him from telling them. Also, HE needs to know that you will be there for him no matter what, that he can trust you, and that your main concern is for his happiness and well-being.
    You said you “found out”, not that he told you. Without giving too many personal details, what are the circumstances under which you found out? If it was from another person, how did that person find out, and when? How did Mark know that you knew, and WHY did he think it would be a big deal( have you made gay jokes or something in the past? Did you act uncomfortable from surprise in front of him)? Do you know when Mark first realized he was gay? What made him first suspect so, and what made him certain enough to admit it to himself? Has he kissed another guy( or more)? Chatted with dudes online? Has he been on a date with a guy? Does he have a crush on anyone you know( and would he tell you so and trust you to keep it a secret)? Note that I don’t need to know any of this( although how you found out and related info would help), but until you know all of it, you are not ready to tell him whom to come out to or when.( And it should go without saying that NO MATTER WHAT, under NO circumstances do you EVER out him to anyone he knows without his express permission.)
    If/when you have all that info, you can move on to the second bit: what’s stopping him from telling them? For this, you basically need to have a serious talk about it with him, either sitting down face to face to work it out, or chatting while you’re hanging out/playing games/whatever it is you do. Common factors include: a) fear that they won’t accept him; b) fear of shaming or embarrassing them; c) fear that they won’t know how to react; d) fear that they will tell others before he is ready; e) fear that they will worry and become overprotective; f) fear that they will have questions he can’t answer; g) uncertainty about how to bring it up; h) fear that they will be mad or hurt that he kept it a secret; or i) not being very afraid but just not feeling ready.
    Let’s look at some of those( it may not be any of them, but beyond that I would need you or him to ask for specific advice):
    a & b) if these are his concerns, first off, make sure he’s not right! Even if you know them and think they are nice people, many good people can have hidden prejudices. If this is the case, he is going to need to wait until he is not living with/dependent on them. That usually means getting support from other adults, be they teachers or friends( your family?), and/or becoming able to support himself and live on his own. Does your school have any Safe Zones( look it up)? Or a GSA? If there is a GSA, you could ask him if he wants to go to a meeting together with you, or arrange for the two of you to meet privately with the group’s advisor. He or she will NOT tell Mark’s parents or other adults unless s/he has some reason to believe Mark is in danger.
    If Mark is afraid of these things but neither of you know whether it’s true, you might be able to help. The two of you can arrange for you to spend time with his family, then you can feel them out on sexuality issues so he doesn’t have to; for example by having dinner with them and bringing up a current events story in the news involving GLBT( look it up, may be listed LGBT) issues.
    b-h) these are all common issues, the best way to make him feel more confident in the face of them( and make sure they don’t come true) is for him to be well-informed, and able to help them become informed and alleviate their concerns when he tells them. Fortunately, there is an EXCELLENT resource for this: PFLAG, Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays. They have been providing resources for those coming out and being come out to for over a decade. In fact, if you’re serious about supporting him, it would behoove you to explore their website and get in touch with them yourself.
    i) This is definitely the most frustrating possibility as far as you are concerned, but at least it means that he is less likely to have serious problems. If this turns out to be the case, the easiest way to get him over it is probably to point out to him every time you notice his life would be easier if they knew. He will start to become super annoyed with you, but eventually he will listen. If that doesn’t work, alternate between bugging him about it for a couple weeks, then saying nothing about it for a couple until he finally gets the picture.( Of course, that is ONLY a good idea if you have eliminated all the other reasons including and beyond the fears I mentioned.)

    The first step is to educate yourself, so here are some helpful links:
    PFLAG
    LGBT FAQ
    GLBT - Google News
    Edit: Almost forgot one: I am sure he is aware of this, but sometimes it is nice to be reminded, so please reassure him: It Gets Better.

    Good luck to both of you!
    Last edited by LaprasBoi; 23rd August 2011 at 06:38 AM.

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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Transform View Post
    No offence, but people gotta understand - Ok, people used to be prejudiced.
    Now only a HANDFUL are prejudiced.

    So the idea's worked. WE DON'T NEED THIS WEEK.
    BULLC- er, how censored are these boards?
    Anyway, quite simply, you are wrong. In some places, a lot of progress has been made and being gay is no big deal. In other places, gay men and lesbians are EXECUTED just for being so( or even being suspected). Most places are somewhere in the middle: it’s not the end of the world, but it ranges from complicated to uncomfortable to downright taboo. The military of the world’s greatest superpower is ONLY NOW allowing gay men and lesbians to start serving openly. Most countries, including yours and mine, do not permit gay couples to marry; and even more don’t have any remotely comparable institution. As a youth, which most Bulbagarden users are, these issues range from frustrating to completely terrifying. We need, for example, the It Gets Better Project because gay teens are FIVE TIMES more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.
    Frankly, not having been here to see you around, I would be inclined to think you a troll if not for your high post count, before which a real troll would hopefully have been banned. In any case, you clearly have NO idea what you are talking about on this subject, so it would behoove you to hold your tongue until you become educated.
    Edit: Being educated is not the same thing as being SCHOOLED!, which you hereby are.

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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Transform View Post
    Um?!?!

    @LaprasBoi
    I'm serious. I'm not anti-gay or anything. I just believe the world has accepted them enough. END. OF. DISCUSSION.
    So, you’re not anti-gay, but the world has accepted gays & lesbians enough, even though we can’t marry whom we love in most places and in some places we are KILLED just for being gay? Not anti-gay at all, kid, I’m sure...

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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Transform View Post
    SOME PLACES. But I don't believe in same sex marriage. If you want to know why, ask. if you don't, don't/
    You said “the world” was accepting enough, but those “some places” are still in the world, aren’t they? As for your beliefs, no thanks, not asking; I don’t give a ****, kid. Not because you’re 12, but because you’re immature enough to think you can win an argument by stating and repeating your opinions increasingly loudly and insistently, rather than supporting them with facts or positive contributions. The point is, there is still a lot of injustice and oppression against GLBT people, and you’re not going to stop discussion or progress no matter how much you wish it would just go away. =^.^= If you’re so done with the subject, why do you keep posting about it?

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    Pokémaniac LaprasBoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Transform View Post
    I'm apsolutly not against gays, OK? Don't think that.
    I think what you mean to say is you’re too blind and/or insensitive to see how harmful it is when you deny people rights and opportunities granted to their peers - especially young people. And that you yourself are too young and stubborn to believe( or even research to see if you’re right or wrong) that just because you’re not hostile, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many people( far more than “a handful”) actively working not JUST to keep your gay and lesbian peers, friends and family oppressed as they are now, but to actually strip away more freedoms or even eliminate us. That you take such a simplistic worldview that you don’t realize how your passive “it’s not a problem any more” attitude plays right into their nasty hateful hands and gives them a wicked satisfaction in their hearts. And that despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, you simply refuse to accept that beyond your narrow viewpoint and experiences, there are lonely, frightened kids, teens, and even adults among ALL communities, including Pokémon forums, who DO need to be shown that they are not alone, that they have allies all over the world and in their own back yards; and that a month( not week) like this can make a real difference in their lives.

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    Agent of SHIELD $aturn¥oshi's Avatar Social Media Coordinator
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    This isn't a debate forum. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    I am straight, but strongly support gay/bisexaul rights. I mean it should be up to the person to decide who they love and what they do with their life, in my opinion.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Transform View Post
    I'm apsolutly not against gays, OK? Don't think that.
    Um yes. Yes you are. You just demonstrated that you are by being against gay marriage. By opposing such a basic form of equality, you've demonstrated that you are indeed against gays because you see them as inferior. And that is simply unacceptable.

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    The one and only! :3 Samwin's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Bulbagarden Outreach: Sexuality Month

    I personally think that this is a good idea,I have heard some really horrible stuff being said about those who are gay at college, (its worse online at times) Bullying is a terrible thing, regarding any subject :(
    Last edited by Samwin; 24th August 2011 at 10:46 AM.
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