Loading...

Follow Unite UK on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Unite UK by Unite Uk - 4d ago

FLAVNT Streetwear is an independent clothing brand based in Austin, Texas catering to everyone within and who supports the LGBTQ+ community.

The company is run by Courtney and Chris Rhodes, queer twins. Courtney is a self-identified lesbian and Chris is a trans man. Both of them went to school for graphic design and had been making t-shirts for various occasions all their life. In 2013, the twins hand painted shirts for Austin pride. Chris’ read “PRETTY BOY” in rainbow and he had several people ask where got it. “The most interesting part of the interest we saw that day was the wide array of people and identities who associated with the identity of Pretty Boy and the pride behind that sort of confidence. Following that day, we decided we wanted to harness the idea of promoting pride and self-confidence in the LGBTQ community through our designs on clothing and FLAVNT was born.”

The Rhodes twins said choosing to cater to the LGBTQ+ community was natural since both identify within the community. They said due to FLAVNT’s accidental inception being at Austin Pride and the fact that they wanted to make shirts with a purpose, “spreading visibility and pride within our community was the perfect way to do that.”

Chris and Courtney believe “gender and clothing naturally intersect due to the norms that society places on the ideas of gender and masculinity vs. femininity. But clothing and style have immense power of expression to allow the wearer to create their own construct and defy whatever might be expected of them.” Maybe this is what drives them to create genderless pieces of clothing with queer-positive/equality driven motifs.

The company is doing much more for the community than just providing prideful clothing. FLAVNT also partners with transgender individuals to help them raise money for their gender-confirming surgeries. To date, they have helped 10 individuals raise just over $18,000 and are currently choosing their 11th partner. They chose to partner with transgender individuals because “giving back has always been integral to our mission at FLAVNT. Maybe it’s because we grew up with the influence of companies like TOMS who had a philanthropic message, but we loved the idea of having a positive impact via our business.”

As if creating pride-centric apparel and fundraising for trans individuals wasn’t enough, FLAVNT also created the first nude, racerback binder, the Bareskin Binder. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Bareskin Binders have sold out within hours of being available on FLAVNT’s website multiple times. Though the twins keep increasing their stock with each relaunch, the demand for these high-quality binders continues to increase even faster.

To check out their latest winter line, head to their website, flavnt.com. When you make a purchase, 15% of the proceeds will be donated to their partner’s gender-confirming surgery fund, you’ll get an awesome piece of clothing, and you’ll be supporting a small, queer business. If you want a 10% discount, use the code DREW10 at checkout (15% of your purchase will still be donated).

Drew Parker

Written & Edited by Drew

Hi, I’m Drew! I live in the PNW with my beautiful wife, our cat and our dog. I am a transgender man and have been on testosterone for roughly 2.5 years. I greatly enjoy sharing my mental health and queer stories in an effort to show others they are not alone and it truly does get better

Flavnt Interview

by Unite UK | December 11, 2018 | Drew Parker, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

FLAVNT Streetwear is an independent clothing brand based in Austin, Texas catering to everyone within and who supports the LGBTQ+ community. The company is run by Courtney and Chris Rhodes, queer twins. Courtney is a self-identified lesbian and Chris is a trans man....
Drew Parker’s Coming Out Story

by Unite UK | October 10, 2018 | Drew Parker, Transgender Coming Out Stories | 0 Comments

Coming out is not easy. Coming out also never fully ends. I should know, I’ve come out 3 times now! It took me a long time to realise my identity, to accept myself, and to tell those around me who I truly am. My freshman year of high school, 2009, I...
AlphaOmega London Interview

by Unite UK | October 9, 2018 | Drew Parker, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

AlphaOmega London, is a UK-based ladies’ luxury footwear brand creating sustainable, avant-garde shoes and accessories. The brand was created for the bold, the empowered, and those who celebrate their differences and apologetically express themselves....

The post Flavnt Interview appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Coming out at a very young age was not ideal for me as my family is Catholic, my parents and family are erratic attendees at Sunday Mass and as a result, I became an altar boy. Being an altar boy made me happy, and I thought I found my purpose in life.

 

“being an altar boy was just to cover up my gayness”

 

Then, I realised that being an altar boy was just to cover up my gayness. My parents thought that if I became a server to God it would make me straight. However, it didn’t work. My ‘gayness’ was so powerful that I was able to tell my parents that being an altar boy was not for me. It was not who I was as a person.

When I was in high school, I really came to terms with my sexual orientation. Even though my high school was an all-boys Catholic school, I was able to develop a loving relationship. That was the time I met my first boyfriend.

Being in a relationship at that time was very challenging because we had to keep it secret. We had to convince everyone, especially the teachers and priests, that nothing was going on between us. It was a secret for the most part, and many of my friends suspected it. Luckily, they kept it a secret too.   

Our closeness clearly showed that there was something between us and I wasn’t able to hide my feelings for him. Sometimes we had to act like strangers in front of others to hide our relationship. It was going well until some of my teachers clearly suspected something.

They called us into their office and questioned me about everything, they accused us of promoting inappropriate culture in the school. They warned us by saying that if we were seen together on campus, we’d be suspended. They separated us and this broke me inside, we both stopped meeting and interacting.

It was the end of my high school days and everyone was waiting for their results, but I was waiting for something else. My eyes were searching to get a glimpse of him on my last day.  The moment I saw him, I was not able to control my emotions and I burst into tears.

 

“I was no longer afraid of anyone”

 

I was keeping all this inside me for so long. I was no longer afraid of anyone and I was ready to accept our relationship in front of others too. I was aware of the repercussions that would come with the acceptance of my sexuality, yet I still told my parents about my relationship.

It was difficult for them to accept the truth initially, but over time they accepted it. I would like to say that being gay or belonging to a different sexual orientation is not a bad thing. If you live according to the demands of society, you’ll get no time to live for yourself. Just accept yourself the way you are.

 

“His acceptance gave me the courage to face the world”

 

Apart from society, I also faced issues with my family. However, one day I made a plan of coming out at the age of 26 on the phone to tell my father about my sexuality. I remember how he gave a long pause when I told him, I heard him crying throughout the conversation. Nevertheless, he later accepted me for being gay. His acceptance gave me the courage to face the world.

I’ve noticed that gays face the harshness of society and discrimination in and outside the LGBT community for being feminine and flamboyant. Personally, I also face a similar issue as I’ve also been discriminated due to me looking very feminine and flamboyant.

On the other hand, I have also experienced discrimination within society. I always had issues in finding a relationship within the LGBT community as a lot of gay men prefer having a relationship with a masculine gay man. So, I was not valued as I was considered too feminine and flamboyant. 

But one day I came out as a different person after realising that I shouldn’t focus on what society feels about me. This courage gave me the strength to not feel nervous while being feminine in public.  I’ve started to feel more confident after embracing my inner femininity and flamboyant nature. 

 

“we as human beings are all equal and we should not be judged on the basis of our appearance or sexual orientation”

 

I feel happier, more content and satisfied after coming out in public and embracing my feminine side. I believe that we as human beings are all equal and we should not be judged on the basis of our appearance or sexual orientation. 

After coming out in public as a more confident feminine gay, I’ve also realised that we should live our lives the way we want to and we should not give attention to what others think about us.

Advertisements
Aldrin Suson

Edited by Ash O'Keeffe

LGBTQ+ Activist

Aldrin Suson’s Coming Out Story
Coming out at a very young age was not ideal for me as my family is Catholic, my parents and family are erratic attendees at Sunday Mass...
Brian Bloomfield’s Coming Out Story
Before I came out, when I was in college, I always had those curiosities. Those urges. I never acted on them because I thought it was a...
Daniel Bailey’s Coming Out Story
My name is Daniel Bailey. I'm a 'normal' 15-year-old boy with ambitions, hopes and dreams. Or at least that's what society portrays me as. I use the...
Joshua Moynihan’s Coming Out Story
I finally came out as gay in February 2017 (which coincidentally was LGBT+ History Month and the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967...
Paul Butler’s Coming Out Story
At a young age, I learned that there are people who dislike those who are different. Because of that, I have spent the majority of my life trying to...
Oliver Bogan’s Coming Out Story
Let me start by saying that I always knew (since I can remember) that I was different to other boys. There were times when I was of the opinion I...
Matthew Porters Coming Out Story
Being the only boy in the year at school to have a female only friendship group raised suspicions among peers. The constant hair colour changes and...
The Witch Blair’s Coming Out Story
I came out when I was fifteen. I told my friends first. The idea of this terrified me, but it still seemed like a warm-up compared to telling my...
Jonathan Hecquefeuille’s Coming Out Story
I have always been attracted to boys but have never had the opportunity to go through it until college. College brought me a lot of new experiences,...
James Samuel’s Coming Out Story
Even though I have been gay since birth it properly dawned on me when I was about 14 and still at school. At that point I was happy......

The post Aldrin Suson’s Coming Out Story appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

People often ask me about my coming out story and I can’t help but giggle every time it comes up. I have “come out” so many times in my life that it seems laughable to an extent. I was 13-years-old the first time I came out to my mother.

It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade for me, and I was already feeling anxiety from having left school on such a note: I had just come out to my classmates literally on the very last day of school, at the very end of the day because I didn’t want to give people the chance to ridicule me.

  “I felt like being “bi” would be a little less ridicule-worthy than being a full-blown lesbian”

 

I told them that I was “bisexual,” even though I felt no attraction towards men at all. But I felt like being “bi” would be a little less ridicule-worthy than being a full-blown lesbian, so that is the choice I made.

I was in the car alone with my mother when she took a turn away from our house. “I’m taking the long way,” she said. “I need to ask you something… Do you like girls or boys?” I slowly turned my head away from the window and towards her. “Girls,” I said quietly, almost ashamed.

She asked if I also liked boys and I told her that I didn’t think so. “Well your dad and I had a feeling and we just want you to be safe. People out there are dangerous, and we just want you to be happy and safe.” And that was that.

Eventually in 8th grade, I made it clear that I did not like men at all and would come to proclaim myself as a lesbian. It wasn’t really something that I had to announce though, it was just something that came to be known.

  “I could never shake the feeling of something still being off”

 

I lived as a proud lesbian for over 5 years, but I could never shake the feeling of something still being off. I knew about transgender people, but I knew nothing of the process, and I was scared. I had told many people throughout my childhood that I wanted to be a boy, but they all laughed and made fun of me.

So, I learned to repress those feelings and deny that part of myself. I told myself that I would rather be a whole lesbian than half of a man because that’s what I thought at the time.

Fast-forward to age 18 and I am off to my freshman year of college where I had chosen to live on the “2-in-20” floor or the “rainbow floor,” which was made up of exclusively LGBTQIA+ students and allies.

 

“I came out again, this time as a transgender male”

 

It was there that I met two transmen in the middle of their transition. I bombarded them with questions until I knew everything that I needed to know to make the informed decision: almost exactly a year later, in the fall of 2011, I came out again, this time as a transgender male.

I started by telling my friends, which was easy. Most of them didn’t even blink, just asked what my new name was. I had chosen Damien, a name that I had always liked. My given name was Demicia, a beautiful name, but not the one for me.

My siblings and I all have names that start with “D”, so I knew I wanted to keep that. My mother felt otherwise. She called me almost in a panic when she realised I had changed my name and pronouns on Facebook.

When I told her why, she seemed concerned. She used words like “didn’t see this coming” or “out of the blue” neither of which I found to be true. I had always appeared very masculine, I was just changing how people addressed me.

She had hoped I would choose a name closer to my old one, like Dimitri or something. But I didn’t want to be reminded of my old name every single time I heard my new one. Eventually, she came around to Damien though.

 

“He proudly claims me as his son now and I am happy”

 

My father took a couple years to accept it, which I understand. We had a bad argument once that left me quite hurt. We have since made amends and he hates when I speak of that time, as he is ashamed. But I have forgiven him, and he has done more than made it up to me. He proudly claims me as his son now and I am happy.

Advertisements

Once I came to terms with being a transgender male, I realised that I was no longer homosexual, I was heterosexual. But with the onset of hormones, I began to be attracted to men for the first time in my life. And that scared me because I felt like in order to pass as a male, I would have to hyper-masculinize myself, you know, be a “manly-man” and that meant only liking women.

 

“I just wanted to live a “normal” male life, whatever that meant”

 

So, I did for a long time. I lived a “stealth” life, not telling anyone about my transition. I thought it would save me a lot of explaining in the long run, and therefore make me happier. At the time, I just wanted to live a “normal” male life, whatever that meant.

After living many years stealth, hiding my identity started to take a toll on my mental state, especially when the topic of being transgender was now making its way into politics. I felt like I had a voice that needed to be heard, I had experiences to share.

On National Coming Out Day in 2017, I decided to make my transition public. I took to Instagram first where I posted a picture of me holding the trans flag, and it took off! I received almost 1000 followers almost instantly and it just kept going up from there. The positivity was overwhelming, and I knew I had to keep it going.

 

“Now I am officially out and open in all aspects of my life and I have nothing to hide”

 

In October 2018, I came out to my department of 70 people at my full-time job, which was received wonderfully. Now I am officially out and open in all aspects of my life and I have nothing to hide. I even recently came to terms with my attraction to men and other masculine individuals.

So, on this year’s National Coming Out Day, I took to Instagram once more to announce to the world that I am pansexual, which means I am attracted to people regardless of their genitalia or gender identity. I’ve never felt so complete and comfortable in my whole life. I went from bisexual female, to lesbian, to straight trans male, to pansexual trans male.

 

“Being authentic and visible has put my mind at ease, and I now use my confidence to inspire others to do the same”

 

Coming to terms with all these identities has been a challenge, especially in today’s world where everyone knows everyone’s business and judges them for it. But it has given me strength and courage that I never knew I had. Being authentic and visible has put my mind at ease, and I now use my confidence to inspire others to do the same.

Advertisements
Damien "Phoenix" Montoya

Edited by Ash O'Keeffe

LGBTQ+ Advocate

Phoenix Montoya’s Coming Out Story
People often ask me about my coming out story and I can’t help but giggle every time it comes up. I have “come out” so many times in my...
Samantha’s Coming Out Story
For many of us, coming to terms with being transgender is a lifelong journey. Although we have recollections of struggling with our...
Alisa Eglite’s Coming Out Story
As far as I can remember I had a very happy childhood, I was an innocent young child and didn't know anything about transgender people....
Eli Erlick’s Coming Out Story
Coming out will significantly change the lives of almost all transgender people. I opened up about my gender and sexuality when I was 8,...
Drew Parker’s Coming Out Story
Coming out is not easy. Coming out also never fully ends. I should know, I’ve come out 3 times now! It took me a long time to realise my...
Ashton Stewart’s Coming Out Story
My names Ashton and I’m a 20-year old transgender male. I’ve been out for about 2 and a half years now, but before I came out as trans I was out as...
Jackson Williams’ Coming Out Story
My name is Jackson and I’m a twenty-one-year-old transgender male from Arkansas. My coming out story is a bit of a long one. Ever since I can...
Ollie Brice’s Coming Out Story
I've felt I was a guy since the age of around 11 (that's when I found out what transgender was). I found out through Big Brother the year a...
Spencer Blackmon’s Coming Out Story
My coming out story is strange because l don’t really know where it started. I told my mom early summer that l was questioning my gender (even...
Jake Corder’s Coming Out Story
From the age of 12, I questioned my identity and sexuality. I always felt as though I was different from my family and friends, I wrote my mum a...

The post Phoenix Montoya’s Coming Out Story appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

To follow up on my last blog post about my experience of coming out in the workplace, I asked a few other openly LGBTQ+ people on social media a couple of questions about their experiences of being open about their identities at work. What they had to say was very inspiring and proved that we still have a long way to go to destroy stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people.

They also gave some wonderful and encouraging advice that may help others who are coming out in the workplace for the first time. Here are the wonderful participants and their thoughts and experiences.

being lgbtq+ in the workplace

Those involved:

Charlie Moss

Owner of Refuse to Conform

Emilia Heimonen

A secondary school teacher from Finland

Stefan Williams

US Veteran based in Texas

Natalie and Olivia

UK lesbian couple sharing their life on social media

How was your first experience of coming out / being LGBTQ+ in the workplace? 

Charlie – I began working as a temp and decided to keep my personal life private. So it wasn’t until the following year when I was made permanent that I began to open up. It was actually the first time that I’d ever come out to anyone, in the way that I had had to say the words myself, instead of having people ask me.

The first person I told was my colleague and good friend, Kelly. Honestly, it did go wrong and I ended up crying my eyes whilst telling her that I was gay and had a girlfriend. But I’m very grateful to her as she didn’t bat an eyelid. She gave me the confidence and support to tell our other colleagues and even offered to tell some of them for me to help take away some of the pressure. 

Emilia – I was newly single when I started my current job as a teacher and I stayed single for the following four years. Because of this, my colleagues got to know me as someone without a partner. So my sexuality was never really talked about. That was until my (future) wife began working at my School and we became a couple.

After four years of being miserable I was suddenly all smiles. Many of the LGBTQ+ students even noticed it and worked out that me and my wife had become a couple. Since our relationship was happening right there in the workplace, we quickly spilled the beans to everyone – except the headmaster. I was worried about how the students’ parents would react if they found out, but it was a positive experience.

Stefan – I remember initially coming out as bisexual, because I didn’t want to have cruel comments made about me. At the time I was labelled a ‘lesbian’. That was three years ago.

When I first came out as transgender my managers seemed to be very accepting at first, but it was still a struggle as I was pre-T. Now, after being on T for a year, I have been respected by my managers and most co-workers. It’s rough and I tend to struggle a bit, but it’s nothing like how I used to feel – as though I had a target on my back. I feel a sense of release and peace for being open about who I am.

Olivia – In my first experience of coming out in the workplace I didn’t really get control. I worked with my Mum for a number of years and it became known through her telling our colleagues. I wasn’t thankful for this at the time, as I hadn’t fully accepted myself. But looking back, it made the whole experience a lot easier for me.

Natalie – My first experience was very similar to Olivia’s. I also worked with my Mum, for seven years in fact, so people found out my sexuality through her. Colleagues who I had never discussed my relationship with would ask me about Olivia. It made it very easy for me – thanks Mum!

What positive / negative reactions from colleagues stood out to you?

Charlie – I was very lucky as I didn’t experience any negativity at all. So many positives stuck out for me, such as how people would say that they were genuinely happy for me and didn’t see me any differently.

It was also small things – like when my colleagues would discuss their partners. After I came out they would also include me in these conversations and ask me questions like my relationship was no different to theirs. It made me feel accepted.

Stefan – People at my work had a hard time accepting the transgender community. It was almost as if it were all new to them as it was for me. Many of my colleagues were cruel and insensitive. On the plus side however, I have gained so much knowledge and experiences from everything, including co-workers. It taught me to be patient on the path to acceptance, and my transition was made smother by them going through it with me.

Olivia – I have definitely had a mixture of positive and negative experiences. One amazing experience involved a colleague actually asking me if I had a ‘boyfriend or girlfriend’ which was so refreshing!

However, I have had a few negative experiences such as the ‘you’re too pretty to be gay’. Q phrase which makes me want to continue to try and break these ridiculous stereotypes that lesbians have to look a certain way. I’ve also had the ‘it’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it’ – well it’s been six years, hun and I’m still gay!

Advertisements
Have you ever felt that you were treated differently at work because of your sexuality / gender identity?

Stefan – I have been harassed at work, such as being written up for something I didn’t do. I was given harsh direction quite a lot when I knew that I wasn’t the only person to blame. Now, I’m no saint but I believe the actions taken at my work place were a bit ridiculous at the time.

People also thought I didn’t have much strength as I did. I also got aid less than a co-worker who was in the same position and had the same experience as me. Even after my ‘pay raise’ I was still making 80 cents less than him. It made me feel as though I wasn’t ‘man-enough’ for the job. I also feel like they will not give me a chance to advance no matter how much I prove that my skill set exceeds company expectations. When it comes to awards and such, they will only ever thank me, and give awards to those who they favour.

How has your experience of being LGBTQ+ in the workplace changed over time?

Emilia – Once we told our headmaster that we were a couple, she was nothing but supportive. In the Autumn of 2017 I also spent four months living in Bloomington, IN (USA). It was for a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant, which completely revolutionised the way I behave with students and as an educator.

During my time there, I researched the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students in American schools. When I eventually returned to Finland filled with inspiration and concrete ideas for better inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and topics in the classroom. These days, I strive to be an adult role model for LGBTQ+ students as well as an educator to all students and teachers about diversity.

In other words, I went from being hesitant to be out to my students to being 100% open about it and making sure LGBTQ+ students felt safe at school. I educate students and teachers on LGBTQ+ terminology and themes, have safe space stickers up in the classroom. I always interfere when students misuse the word ‘gay’.

Natalie – I am comfortable with my sexuality, but what I’m not fully comfortable with is the outside world. Although people are far more accepting than they used to be, I will do anything to avoid getting a possible negative reaction to my sexuality. Having grown up in Northern Ireland, being gay wasn’t something you could be fully comfortable with.

The culture and religion were too much of a hurdle for me to overcome in the past. I fear that if I hadn’t worked with my mum or she hadn’t made it known that I was gay I would have been maintaining an imaginary boyfriend for seven years. I have certainly got significantly better since being with Olivia and feel far more relaxed now that we live in England. I will certainly make a point of stating that I am gay and marrying the love of my life in 2020 in any future jobs.

What advice would you give other members of the LGBTQ+ about being open about their identity in the workplace?

Charlie – I would say that when you feel it’s safe and right to do so, open up to people that you trust. It’s so much better being open and free with who you are at work. Especially seeing as most people spend the majority of their life at work! 

Emilia – I can only speak for schools as a workplace. But if you are a teacher, being open about your LGBTQ+ identity is super important for your students! By being out, you can be a role model for LGBTQ+ students and educate mainstream kids and teachers on topics they might know nothing about. You can also guide teachers towards taking all kinds of students into account and treating everyone with respect.

Olivia – My advice to any fellow LGBTQ+ members would be to be yourself on your own terms and at your own pace. Don’t feel pushed to come out in your workplace or allow yourself to feel cornered by colleagues. You should let your own guard down – not allow it to be forced down.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to Charlie, Emilia, Stefan, Natalie and Olivia for getting involved with this blog post and being so open about their experiences. 

Ellie Violet

Edited by Charlotte Summers

Being part of the LGBTQ+ community is very rewarding, but we all know how daunting it can be to first come out. Having a voice and raising awareness about the LGBTQ+ community is very important to me and being part of Unite UK will give me the opportunity to discuss topics and express my opinions on LGBTQ+ issues that we can all relate to. I’ll be blogging for Unite UK at least once a month and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you!

All Our Trans Tomorrows 2018

by Unite UK | November 14, 2018 | Emily Eaton, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Last month, on October 17th, a very important event was held at Aberystwyth University. Following the success of the 2017 conference - the first of its kind in Wales - the All Our Trans Tomorrows event consisted of speeches and workshops from transgender...
Same sex weddings in the UK

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

In March 2020 I marry my best friend and soul mate, who is a woman. I believe huge progress has been made over the past few years in the UK for LGBTQ+ acceptance and visibility. I came out 6/7 years ago & in that time i've seen people go from not being...
Being Bi-Gender : What does it mean?

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Maika Montminy, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Gender identity has always been a topic of controversy; with people arguing that there are only two genders and other defending the varieties of identities. In the past few days, the president of the United States drop a big bomb on the community by...
Isolation as a Rural Queer

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Imagine this: You decide to leave the house for the first time in a couple of days. There's no buses to anywhere in particular, so it's just a walk around to your nearest village. You think you're dressed pretty inconspicuously. Just a 'normal', young...
LGBTQ+ Activism Changed My Life

by Unite UK | October 18, 2018 | Emily Eaton, Queer Voices | 2 Comments

My early teens were full of confusion. I remember being unsure of my identity, concerned about the future - I floated around, spending too much time in my room and blushing when my peers made fun of me. As secondary school continued, things got easier bit...
Drew Parker’s Coming Out Story

by Unite UK | October 10, 2018 | Drew Parker, Transgender Coming Out Stories | 0 Comments

Coming out is not easy. Coming out also never fully ends. I should know, I’ve come out 3 times now! It took me a long time to realise my identity, to accept myself, and to tell those around me who I truly am. My freshman year of high school, 2009, I...
AlphaOmega London Interview

by Unite UK | October 9, 2018 | Drew Parker, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

AlphaOmega London, is a UK-based ladies’ luxury footwear brand creating sustainable, avant-garde shoes and accessories. The brand was created for the bold, the empowered, and those who celebrate their differences and apologetically express themselves....
Coming out as LGBTQ+ in the workplace

by Unite UK | October 9, 2018 | Ellie Violet, Queer Voices | 2 Comments

As almost all LGBTQ+ people know, coming out can be incredibly difficult and stressful. However, it is often only the initial coming out that people talk about. In reality, that first time, perhaps to friends or family, is the start of many. But as you...
Being Agender

by Unite UK | September 12, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

‘Kevely’ [kev-uhlee] When people actually get my name right, they usually ask me what it means. It doesn’t mean anything, it just exists as its own entity separate from society’s connotations and definitions. It means nothing but its own meaning; this is...
Don’t take our role models away

by Unite UK | September 12, 2018 | Maika Montminy, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

When I was 13 years old, I had quite a shock: I realised that I was gay. I did not personally know many LGBTQ+ people, especially not of my own age. I lived in a small farming village where people are a little bit homophobic. So, the few queer folks that...

The post Being lgbtq+ in the workplace appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Queer stereotypes plague the lgbtq+ community and spread malicious rumours and lies regarding our identities. Society has a fair share of individuals who love having their say about the way we live our lives. Sadly over time some people have started to believe these queer myths. But today, we’re going to turn back time.  

You’re going to join us going back & putting an end to 5 ridiculous queer stereotypes we’ve come across. Something that should have been done the second it left the mouths of the idiots who created them.

“You’re too pretty to be a lesbian”

The concept that attractive women can identify as a lesbian seems to be unfathomable to some members of our society. It seems that women in the past have been seen solely for men. But this queer stereotype needs to go. To begin with, how does someones appearance alter their identity?

This dated view goes hand in hand with the sexualisation of lesbians. Often in pornography, queer women are used to satisfy fantasies that straight men enjoy. So, if an attractive women appears to be gay it’s often thought they’re “to pretty” as real life lesbians don’t look like this.

But this stereotype is one of the reasons why we’re so far away in achieving equality. Women come in shapes and forms, lesbians can be butch to femme and still be as valid. Stop sexualising women & we may start seeing progress.

“Polysexuality isn’t a real thing, it’s just being bi!”

One of my biggest pet peeves about the society we live in, is it’s ability to jump to conclusions without any knowledge on the topic. So, to educate you and put an end to this queer stereotype, poloysexuality is a very valid sexuality label. To identify as polysexual, it’s to feel attraction to multiple genders, but not all.

Many of you may question, this sounds a lot like pansexuality. Which you’d be right in thinking, but pansexuality is the attraction to all genders & the differences lies in that polysexuals aren’t attracted to all genders. I admit, understanding sexuality can be confusing an outsider may think “this is a bunch of bollocks”. But, what I would tell this small minded individual is that everyone’s identity is valid & worthy of respect.

To find more sexuality labels & definitions, check out our A – Z List of Sexualities in 2018 

Advertisements
“Bisexual women are straight and just experimenting”

In the past years the bisexual community has come under scrutiny, with lgbtq+ members & outsiders telling them how to identify. Many bisexuals feel victimised and I can fully sympathise to why. There are many problematic rumours surrounding bisexuals, but the one that stuck out with myself is that bisexual women are straight women experimenting. There are many problems with this queer stereotype, so let’s get into them.

1 – Why is the concept of women experimenting considered a bad thing? Slut shaming isn’t cute and the fact guys can sleep with whomever without a thought highlights that women aren’t seen as equals.

2 – Bisexual women are often judged and discriminated against due to their partner. If a bisexual women is with a guy, she is seen as betraying the lgbtq+ community. Yet if she’s with a girl, she’s experimenting and isn’t as valid as another queer women.

Bisexuality changes from person to person, we all experience sexuality differently. We as a whole need to stop turning our backs & noses to those who experience it differently to ourselves.

“Being LGBTQ+ is caused by a traumatic experience”

When we talk about problematic queer stereotypes, I think this comes number one on my list. For many homophobic individuals, claiming that homosexuality is caused by abuse, accidents or unfit parents justifies their hate. We saw in the Miseducation Of Cameron Post how in 1993 lgbtq+ members were taught they were the problem & not society around them.

In 2018, hate crimes have risen by 4% according to Stonewall. I would class conversion therapy, hate crimes, discrimination & bullying traumatic experiences. Which all of those lgbtq+ members experience on a daily basis, so when homophobic members state that we’re gay because we were abused when we were children. I want to remind them that none of us experience any trauma until the second we express our true feelings in relation to sexuality and gender.

We are not the problem, society is. Lgbtq+ members identify how they do because they were born this way, not because our parents abused us, not because we had a life changing event. Because we’re simply gay & there is nothing more to it.

You can’t live a normal life whilst being LGBTQ+

Our final queer stereotype is something that has haunted me for a long time. For many lgbtq+ members, we believe that the ability to live a successful and fulfilling life is something only straight normal families get to experience. But overtime, i’ve realised that queer families are just as beautiful as any other family.

For so long, we haven’t been exposed to the beauty of having two moms or two dads. But in time i’m seeing lgbtq+ families in the streets, on social media and TV shows. This queer stereotype, is simply that. A stereotype. Lgbtq+ members live amazing lives and their identity won’t affect their quality of life.

Charlotte Summers

Owner / Blogger

Queer stereotypes are something that have often been apart of my life. We need to educate society & those around us to hopefully end these harmful stigma’s.

Is the lgbtq+ community changing fashion?

by Unite UK | November 7, 2018 | Lesbian Topics, LGBTQ News, Top level | 0 Comments

Over the years, we’ve seen a variety of fashion trends from flared jeans to bright neon leg warmers. But, a new trend has begun and it’s in the form of LGBTQ+ fashion brands appearing from the queer shadows. Major brands such as H&M, River Island and...
Queers of the year awards

by Unite UK | October 11, 2018 | Top level | 0 Comments

Welcome to our queers of the year awards! 2018 has been a roller-coaster of a ride and even though it's not over yet, we thought we'd celebrate those who have made this year so special.   So let's get straight into it and celebrate all you beautiful...
Sexuality 101

by Unite UK | October 4, 2018 | Top level | 0 Comments

What if I was to tell your sexuality can be 100% fluid, would you believe me? Currently there is a big debate around whether our sexuality can be fluid or not. We've heard the dreaded sentence "You're just in a phase", which is one of the worst things we...
Dear Homophobe, Read This

by Unite UK | September 20, 2018 | LGBTQ Topics, Top level | 0 Comments

So many people say that LGBTQ+ people are defensive, quick to close anyone down with different views and won’t accept those with different views to them. But let me tell you why, How I live my life, doesn’t affect your judgemental ass anyway. Whoever I choose to love,...
A lesson in Sexual Health – LGBTQ+ Edition

by Unite UK | September 12, 2018 | LGBTQ Topics, Top level | 0 Comments

Today, I'm going to give you a lesson in something most schools don't teach you. You see, in the UK most schools and colleges avoid the topic of sex. You get a 5-minute chat about the birds and the bees and that's it, you discover the rest on your own....
The Progression in LGBTQ+ Media

by Unite UK | September 6, 2018 | Clexacon London, LGBTQ Topics, Top level | 0 Comments

Every day we spend hours watching our favourite TV shows, Netflix series or YouTube channels. Media is absorbing all of our time and we develop strong emotional bonds with characters. When Alison in Teen Wolf died (spoiler alert, sorry) I was an emotional...
Conforming to Society VS Being You

by Unite UK | August 21, 2018 | Sexuality Topics, Top level | 2 Comments

We often get told "do whatever makes you happy", but what they forget to mention is that it's within reason. How do you be happy when society is telling you that who you are is a trend or you're in a phase? How can you be happy in a world where you have to...
Feeling Suicidal Advice & Tips – LGBTQ+ Edition

by Unite UK | July 5, 2018 | Mental Health, Top level | 0 Comments

Feeling Suicidal? Don’t despair, help is available Life can be stressful, dealing with events such as your sexuality or gender, bullying and harassment, discrimination, unemployment, accommodation worries, relationship problems, alcohol and drug misuse....
A-Z list of sexualities

by Unite UK | June 28, 2018 | Sexuality Topics, Top level | 11 Comments

We spend weeks, months, even years trying to figure out what our sexuality is. To our knowledge, we've found 29 sexualities that individuals identify with. But, there could be even more out there & with an ever-growing community in years to come there...
Is Non Binary a trend, or is it real?

by Unite UK | May 31, 2018 | Non-Binary Topics, Top level | 0 Comments

Gender has become a hot topic, with many media outlets having their own spin on the discussion of gender. I have many views & thoughts surrounding the gender topic. So, I thought I'd share my views as a cisgender woman but as well, an advocate for the...

The post 5 Queer Stereotypes that need to go! appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This year we got the chance to attend Clexacon London, which is the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ+ women and allies. Pretty cool right? It’s always pretty exciting going to events that are LGBTQ+ based, as you know it’s going to be a queer old time.

So when I make a bold statement that Clexacon is making history, you know I’m going to have some solid evidence behind it. There are many LGBTQ+ events, social groups as well as prides that are all doing amazing jobs in creating safe spaces. But, what we experienced at Clexacon has opened our eyes to this growing movement.

We attended the event as press, which meant we got to interview some amazing LGBTQ+ actresses and the directors of Clexacon. (Side note, there will be further posts & exclusive interviews coming soon) It was a surreal feeling being involved with something a lot bigger than ourselves.

The event was fuelled from the death of Lexa from The 100, who was an LGBTQ+ character in a mainstream drama. It’s a unfortunate pattern, but many LGBTQ+ characters get killed off and sadly The 100 fell victim to this trend. However, this death sparked outrage in the LGBTQ+ community & Clexacon was formed.

Clexacon is leading the way for lgbtq+ visibility

When speaking to the directors of Clexacon, something they said resonated with me. “We want people to learn how to create content, so we can have more visibility” and this is where we get into why Clexacon is making history. For years, LGBTQ+ media has been non-existent. We have characters in the past who hinted they’re queer, but the shift has only come in the last few years and more LGBTQ+ representation is being shown.

But here is an event ran by queer women teaching other queer women how to be visible in the media. I attended a panel called badass industry women.

This panel spoke about the power we have in our own voices & to never give up. Which may seem such a very simple and broad topic, but here’s why it spoke to me & all the other queer women in the room.

Being a woman, you’re already underestimated so when you add being queer into the mix, it just gets messy. Seeing queer women & allies in positions such as producers, head writers, leading actresses. It gives you that hope that you can achieve anything you want. I have never been in a room where someone has understood the struggles & validated mine and others voices in such a loving and caring way.

This panel, amongst others regarding mental health, bisexual representation, transgender visibility plus a variety of others, offered LGBTQ+ members to unlock their true potential.

From attending Clexacon we’ve been able to meet creators like ourselves. We’ve formed friendships, partnerships and even got to meet some of our followers via Unite UK. After one weekend, we feel part of a community whose sole purpose is to help & support other LGBTQ+ members across the globe.

But how is this making history for the lgbtq+ community?

Aside from the exposure LGBTQ+ actresses are getting, ignoring the empowerment it’s giving to queer women. Forget that it’s bringing members from all over the world to celebrate being fabulously queer. It’s finally giving the LGBTQ+ community a voice. 

For years, all we needed was a place to have a voice & now we have it. There are many other LGBTQ+ events that promote the same qualities and maybe I’m biased. But the UK needed something like Clexacon to shine a light onto all the amazing talent that can be found in the LGBTQ+ community.

I’m sure in the future we’re going to see many other LGBTQ+ events pop up, fandoms or not. But it’s clear to me that events such as Clexacon will be leading the way for queer representation in the media & I can’t wait for next year already!

Charlotte Summers

Writer

This isn’t a sponsored post, as I’m aware I’m bigging up a brand. But Clexacon has helped myself gain a new found confidence. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the world of all LGBTQ+ in the media.

Clexacon 2018 | The lgbtq+ event making history

by Unite UK | November 15, 2018 | Clexacon London | 0 Comments

This year we got the chance to attend Clexacon London, which is the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ+ women and allies. Pretty cool right? It's always pretty exciting going to events that are LGBTQ+ based, as you know it's going to be a queer...
The Progression in LGBTQ+ Media

by Unite UK | September 6, 2018 | Clexacon London, LGBTQ Topics, Top level | 0 Comments

Every day we spend hours watching our favourite TV shows, Netflix series or YouTube channels. Media is absorbing all of our time and we develop strong emotional bonds with characters. When Alison in Teen Wolf died (spoiler alert, sorry) I was an emotional...

The post Clexacon 2018 | The lgbtq+ event making history appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Unite UK by Unite Uk - 1M ago

Last month, on October 17th, a very important event was held at Aberystwyth University. Following the success of the 2017 conference – the first of its kind in Wales – the All Our Trans Tomorrows event consisted of speeches and workshops from transgender activists and academics.

Launched by Aber’s Equality and Diversity team, it was one of those days where the world just felt… good. There was immense wisdom, an eagerness to learn and a drive to make the world a better place; people of all different generations coming together to do better for trans people. Nobody was superior to one another and ignorance wasn’t a fault. I hadn’t experienced anything quite like it before.

When I heard that such an event would be occurring on a day I had off from uni. In the Welsh seaside town where I studied, I didn’t even think about whether I wanted to go. It was just a given that I would – I mean, it was a free event and it was centred around helping members of the LGBTQ+ community.

A community I belong to and am very openly an advocate for; there weren’t to be any questions surrounding my attendance. Even if it did mean I had to be up early (a challenge for a girl with an unhealthy sleeping schedule).

I registered online and that was that, with no doubt in my mind that I’d be present. It’s so important to care about experiences beyond our own and I recognize my great privilege as a cis person.

This event was for trans people and cis allies, and I was grateful for the opportunity to enter a space that would help me be a better ally to trans people, without feeling like I was imposing on a room I didn’t belong in. I fully understand the need for safe spaces that are solely for certain communities and I’m in great support of them, but it can be rare and special to find spaces that are for everybody.

The event not only welcomed all who wanted to be there, but also managed to be so useful to every person I spoke to. That’s what made the event a real winner in my eyes. A conference dealing with trans issues was fulfilling for everybody in attendance – the fact that this was achievable was pretty incredible to me.

Advertisements

As a queer activist, I’m used to being in LGBTQ+ spaces primarily consisting of my community who I can relate to. It was really interesting to be in a space that was focused on LGBTQ+ issues, but where many of us didn’t belong to the trans community, or the queer community at all.

There was a vast mix of ages and knowledge but one thing I shared in common with everybody I spoke to that day was the desire to help the trans community as much as possible. That desire lay at the heart of this conference and it truly shone through in the work that went into making it happen.

“I recognize my great privilege as a cis person.”

Munroe Bergdorf presented a talk in the morning. She spoke about intersectionality and being an ally to all other marginalised groups, explaining that she’s always educating herself (something that I think we all need to understand). She eloquently explained that her rights as a trans woman don’t negatively affect rights of other marginalised groups.

It was wonderful to listen to her, she responded to brilliantly to questions she was asked. Shon Faye later did a closing keynote that focused on experiencing anger as a woman, and how her identity as a trans woman affects that. It was a speech that actually brought me to tears a little bit because of the strength behind her words, so moving and powerful.

The idea that marginalised groups are more likely to turn their anger on themselves (as opposed to hurting other people with it) was something I’d never thought about before, but it certainly struck a chord with me.

The conference allowed for two workshops sessions. In the morning, I learned about trans history in association with the law in a lecture from Megan Talbot, ‘When the law fails Trans people and how to fix it’. It was an incredibly informative talk from an engaging speaker and I ended up so many notes written down.

I partook in a conversation, ‘What the university could do for trans students?’ in the afternoon, run by Holden Holcombe and John Harrington, and this was perhaps my favourite part of the day. I actually felt helpful and productive in a discussion that was helping to create a guide for trans and questioning students. I was reminded that when it comes to working towards a fairer future, the more of us that are investing our time and compassion, the better.

Attendees were also given the opportunity to take part in feedback sessions so that in groups we could hear about the other workshops we weren’t able to attend. This was a great idea because we really got to have an understanding of the conference as a whole and not just the parts we’d had the chance to experience first-hand. People were so passionate as they shared what they’d learned and it was evident that they’d had as great of a day as I had.

Wales isn’t renowned for being the most accessible place – and in Aberystwyth, a university town that has so much life but can feel so far away from the rest of the world, it was brilliant to have an event like this exist. I feel so proud to attend a university in which extra steps are being made in regard to equality and diversity, and the success of the conference showed in the enthusiasm that oozed out of its attendees.

I thank Ruth Fowler, the host of the event, and can only look forward to the next time I get to experience such an empowering and educational event.

Emily Eaton

Emily is a student, writer and activist from Essex. She’s a proud bisexual just trying to make the world a nicer place and is excited to be sharing her thoughts on this platform.

All Our Trans Tomorrows 2018

by Unite UK | November 14, 2018 | Emily Eaton, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Last month, on October 17th, a very important event was held at Aberystwyth University. Following the success of the 2017 conference - the first of its kind in Wales - the All Our Trans Tomorrows event consisted of speeches and workshops from transgender...
Same sex weddings in the UK

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

In March 2020 I marry my best friend and soul mate, who is a woman. I believe huge progress has been made over the past few years in the UK for LGBTQ+ acceptance and visibility. I came out 6/7 years ago & in that time i've seen people go from not being...
Being Bi-Gender : What does it mean?

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Maika Montminy, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Gender identity has always been a topic of controversy; with people arguing that there are only two genders and other defending the varieties of identities. In the past few days, the president of the United States drop a big bomb on the community by...
Isolation as a Rural Queer

by Unite UK | November 6, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

Imagine this: You decide to leave the house for the first time in a couple of days. There's no buses to anywhere in particular, so it's just a walk around to your nearest village. You think you're dressed pretty inconspicuously. Just a 'normal', young...
LGBTQ+ Activism Changed My Life

by Unite UK | October 18, 2018 | Emily Eaton, Queer Voices | 2 Comments

My early teens were full of confusion. I remember being unsure of my identity, concerned about the future - I floated around, spending too much time in my room and blushing when my peers made fun of me. As secondary school continued, things got easier bit...
Drew Parker’s Coming Out Story

by Unite UK | October 10, 2018 | Drew Parker, Transgender Coming Out Stories | 0 Comments

Coming out is not easy. Coming out also never fully ends. I should know, I’ve come out 3 times now! It took me a long time to realise my identity, to accept myself, and to tell those around me who I truly am. My freshman year of high school, 2009, I...
AlphaOmega London Interview

by Unite UK | October 9, 2018 | Drew Parker, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

AlphaOmega London, is a UK-based ladies’ luxury footwear brand creating sustainable, avant-garde shoes and accessories. The brand was created for the bold, the empowered, and those who celebrate their differences and apologetically express themselves....
Coming out as LGBTQ+ in the workplace

by Unite UK | October 9, 2018 | Ellie Violet, Queer Voices | 2 Comments

As almost all LGBTQ+ people know, coming out can be incredibly difficult and stressful. However, it is often only the initial coming out that people talk about. In reality, that first time, perhaps to friends or family, is the start of many. But as you...
Being Agender

by Unite UK | September 12, 2018 | Queer Voices | 0 Comments

‘Kevely’ [kev-uhlee] When people actually get my name right, they usually ask me what it means. It doesn’t mean anything, it just exists as its own entity separate from society’s connotations and definitions. It means nothing but its own meaning; this is...
Don’t take our role models away

by Unite UK | September 12, 2018 | Maika Montminy, Queer Voices | 0 Comments

When I was 13 years old, I had quite a shock: I realised that I was gay. I did not personally know many LGBTQ+ people, especially not of my own age. I lived in a small farming village where people are a little bit homophobic. So, the few queer folks that...

The post All Our Trans Tomorrows 2018 appeared first on Unite UK.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview