“Political Correctness has Gone MAD!”

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

“Political Correctness has Gone MAD!” is a phrase I’ve heard in various ways a lot in the past ten years. I might have heard it before, but I hadn’t noticed. It’s a nice easy way to identify someone who feels slighted by diversity and angry about not being able to mock certain groups of people.

I’m bisexual, I’m attracted to people no matter what their gender. I don’t talk a lot about this question because I’m married to a woman and that means I have a certain level of privilege.

However, you’ll notice that a large portion of my protagonists are bisexual. I also try to include other sexualities, genders, races, etc. It’s harder to get it right when writing something that isn’t me. I’ve gotten some criticism for one of my protagonists who was trans, while getting praise from others about the same character.

So I sat down to write this post and wracked my brain for bisexual representation in movies, TV, and books from when I was young. The bisexuals I remember are in 2 categories, villains/monsters and exceptions.

I grew up with Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions, the alien from Species, Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror, and countless “alternate universe” evil doppelgangers in Star Trek DS9, Buffy, Stargate etc. I’m sure there were more, but it was mostly the trope of the Sexy Seductress evil girl that was bi. Men were gay or straight.

Then there were the confused women like Willow, who wasn’t bi according to the show but always a lesbian, or Dax from Star Trek DS9 that had a lesbian kiss, but only because the woman was the lover of a previous host. She breaks Dax’s heart and we never see anything outside the mirror universe to show that she’s bi.

The first positive character I remember seeing or reading about that was openly bi was Angela Montenegro from Bones. It wasn’t a big thing, except to have her love interest be a little awkward about it. She was shown as flaky, but that was pretty normal for all the characters in Bones.

The next character was Jack Harkness from Doctor Who. I’m not happy with the fact that they made him into a joke in the early seasons with Tennant and I’m still pissed with the way he interacts with Donna, but overall he was pretty awesome. It was the first time I saw a male character who wasn’t mocked, killed, or turned out to be a closeted gay. (Yeah, like it’s any easier to be bi)

Now we have a lot more representation and I think it still doesn’t come close to reflecting real life. Statscan says 1.7% of people say they’re Gay or Lesbian and 1.3% say they are Bi. Considering this doesn’t take into account the rest of the rainbow, that means that 3% will admit on a census that they are LGB. I’m sure it’s higher considering there are still quite a few negative reactions to being out and if you add it the rest of the Queer rainbow you’ll find, I’m sure, that we represent a quarter or more of the population.

If you think that representation has gone mad and there are too many Queer people on television and in books keep this in mind; In 2020-21 scripted TV had 9.1% openly Queer people. That means that despite being nearly a quarter of the population there are only a tenth that are shown on TV.

Some genres are better both in film/TV and books, but it’s still not a big difference from when I was a confused kid who thought his attraction was unnatural and monstrous.

Be kind and be safe,

Éric

Blush: LGBTQQIPP2SAAADGG+

You may have heard of LGBT. So why did I add all those extra letters on the end? Well, the four letters doesn’t really cover the complete spectrum. Neither does LGBTQQIPP2SAAADGG+, honestly. That’s why there’s a plus on the end – because there is no complete form!

I thought I’d give a list to tell you what each of these letters mean. Here we go!

LGBTQQIPP2SAAADGG+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Polyamory, 2-Spirit, Agender, Asexual, Aromantic, Demisexual, Genderqueer, and Graysexual. The plus sign is there because there is no complete form.

Alphabet soup. Image from here.

And that’s it for this post!

Just kidding. Here’s a tiny summary of each one:

 

Lesbian: a woman who is attracted to other women

Gay: a man who is attracted to other men

Bisexual: a person attracted to other people of both their gender and other genders

Transgender: a person who was assigned one gender at birth, but does not live as that gender. It is not a requirement to undergo gender confirmation surgery to identify as transgender

Queer: an umbrella term to indicate not specifically heterosexual and/or monogamous

Questioning: a person who is exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity

Intersex: people who have a combination of chromosomes, sex organs, hormones, and/or genitals that differ from the “binary”. Some intersex people are visibly identified at birth, but still more are not noticeable until they try to have children, or sometimes never discovered

Pansexual: a person who is attracted to all gender identities and expressions

Polyamory: a person who is involved in (or open to) multiple relationships with the consent of all partners

2-Spirit: Aboriginal term for people with attributes of more than one gender

Agender: a person who does not identify as male or female

Asexual: a spectrum defining little to no sexual attraction to other people

Aromantic: a spectrum defining little to no romantic attraction to other people

Demisexual: part of the asexual spectrum; little to no romantic attraction is felt until an emotional bond is made

Genderqueer/Genderfluid: a gender identity for people who do not identify with the binary, or are fluid, or many other reasons

Graysexual: a person who experiences sexual attraction very rarely, or at a very low intensity

+:  there is no complete form. The plus sign indicates that there are many more letters that could be added.


References

https://www.asexuality.org/

https://lgbtrc.usc.edu/education/terminology/

https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/educated/glossary.html


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Blush: Recommendation Wednesday LGBTQIA+ books for kids

Two things happened recently that gave me the idea to do this post.

I took my 19-month old daughter to the library last Friday for the first time since the fall. She had a lot of fun with the two other kids there, sharing the train set, and putting blocks into a basket. She also put all the books that were on the floor (and there were a lot, because one of the other kids had been there for a while) into the “file box” after I showed her where that was.

But the best part was when she brought me a book to read to her called “Introducing Teddy”.

Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton, illustrated by Dougal MacPherson. Image from bloomsbury.

Just in case you were wondering, no, I did not point out this book to her. She pulled it out from the shelf on her own.

Anyways, it was a super cute book about Teddy being a girl, not a boy. It also has a human girl building a robot, which was rather exciting.

I think we might get this book for our daughter’s personal collection, because it was just so adorable, and it held her attention for the entire book (unlike the other two children, who sat beside us for a couple of pages and then ran off).

The second thing that happened was a post on Facebook (of course). NewNowNext released a list of 9 new or upcoming LGBT children’s books. We own the first one: Promised Land. The rest look interesting, so we’ll probably borrow them from the library.

Promised Land by Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris, illustrated by Christine Luiten and Bo Moore. Image from goodreads.

It’s a typical fairy tale, where a farm boy and a prince who have an adventure together and fall in love.

We backed this book on Kickstarter, and have since backed the second one (coming out this summer, I believe – no pun intended). And, to save on shipping (because this comes from New Zealand!), we ordered 5 copies of both books. We still have one unclaimed book (of each), so if there’s anyone interested, please leave a comment, and we’ll talk!


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Recommendation Thursday – Carmilla Web Series

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I recently became obsessed with a web series. Has that ever happened to you?

The Series is based off an old novel called Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu published in 1872 and apparently one of the inspirations for the original novel Dracula.

The first season is everything I love about college fantasy stories. It has excitement, humour, romance, and kissing. (Yes this is a kissing show.)

The show has a total of 3 main seasons  (I recommend you also watch season 0 after you watch season 2.) and is coming out with a movie October 26 (If you’re in Canada check Cineplex for showtimes).

The show does a lot of things amazingly including romantic tension, representation, and humour. It melds the feel of Lovecraft, Supernatural, The Lizzy Bennet Diaries, and Only Human.

It’s Halloween month and this is a great vampire romance. What are you waiting for?

 

Later Days,

Éric