With the rise of acceptance and representation in the media of queer identities, people are able to find themselves in the everyday.
Despite this advancement, there are some lesser-known identities that those both in and out of the community do not know about.
Through celebrities, activists, and changes in dating norms, it’s easy to see these lesser-known identities before your eyes without even realizing it.
These are eight of the identities you may not know about.
Pansexuality is the romantic and/or sexual attraction to a person regardless of sex or gender identity. Pansexuality is often confused with bisexuality.
The two are distinctly different in that bisexuality means the attraction to your own gender as well as the opposite gender.
People have commented that bisexuality inherently holds a bias against those who do not fit the traditional binary.
In response, many people have begun to adopt pansexuality as a part of their identity and modify the definition of bisexuality to “liking two or more genders.”
There are several out and proud pansexual celebrities whose identities get glossed over.
Singers Miley Cyrus and Janelle Monáe, as well as famed drag queen, Courtney Act, are all pansexual.
Much of the news around this identity is more so about what it is than anything else.
Asexuality is when you do not feel sexual attraction toward others. Those who also experience a significant lack of sexual feelings often consider themselves asexual.
Asexual people can and often do have romantic feelings toward others despite not having sexual feelings toward their partner.
There are sub-classes of asexuality including demisexuality, which is the need for emotional/mental attraction to have sexual attraction.
Tim Gunn of project runway, acclaimed artist Edward Gorey, and asexual advocate David Jay are just a few of several notable people who identify as asexual.
The news around asexuality varies between the importance of inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community for those who identify as asexual, how to navigate relationships as an asexual, and the spectrum of asexuality.
Polyamory is the practice of having two or more intimate relationships, with the consent and knowledge of all partners involved.
This is different from an open relationship because you don’t have just one main partner and then have sexual relationships on the side.
You are romantically involved with several people in polyamory. It can happen that there are shared partners; for example, a “throuple.” However, it is not always this way.
Drag queen Courtney Act, actor Ezra Miller, and the infamous Hugh Hefner are just a few celebrities who openly practice polyamory.
Not so shockingly, a lot of the news around polyamory is about how to navigate these types of relationships and what happens when children are brought into a situation where their parents are polyamorous.
Intersex people have the sexual characteristics of both male and female bodies. These characteristics can include chromosomes, sex hormones, and genitals.
These characteristics can vary greatly from person to person. Intersex people were once referred to as hermaphrodites, which is now considered an outdated and often offensive term.
Intersex people face a great deal of discrimination from birth, leading to many of them being killed at a young age.
Also, they are given medical treatment from a young age to “normalize” their image to fit the traditional gender binary.
Heiress and socialite Lady Colin Cambell, Australian filmmaker Phoebe Hart, and American activist and artist Pidgeon Pagonis are all famed intersex people.
Some radical news around the intersex identity is how Kenya has included it on it’s latest census and how India has banned unnecessary surgery on intersex children, with the UK soon to follow.
Gender exists on a spectrum. It goes from men/masculine to women/feminine.
People who are genderfluid feel freedom in being able to express their identity on all points of this spectrum.
They desire the ability to be flexible about their gender identity and expression. This can change several times over the span of their life.
Also, they can express several aspects of masculinity and femininity at the same time.
Singer Sam Smith, Ruby Rose of Orange Is the New Black, and drag queen Violet Chachki all identify as genderfluid.
To be genderqueer, more often known as being nonbinary, means that a person does not feel attached to the societal norms of their biological sex.
While this can be anywhere from behaviors, feelings, and even ways they are expected to look, for genderqueer and nonbinary folk, it specifically rates to gender identity.
These members of the queer community can have these shared umbrella terms to describe wide variations in identity, to include not fitting into the gender binary, or identifying as male and female at the same time.
Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye, actor Lachlan Watson of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and rapper Roes (formerly known as Angel Haze) all identify as nonbinary.
Much of the news around genderqueer and nonbinary folk are shared with those who identify as genderfluid. It seems to be all about fashion, healthcare, and education of these identities.
In addition, hateful rhetoric used to mock those who fall under these categories (i.e. Piers Morgan).
Polysexuality is often seen as the middle ground between bisexuality and pansexuality.
It is the attraction to some but not all genders. For example, a person can be attracted to women and nonbinary/genderqueer folk but not be attracted to men.
There appears to be little to no out celebrities in regards to polysexuality.
However, given that we are still in talks as to the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality, I’m sure in the near future there will be a few famous faces to spread knowledge of the identity.
All news regarding polysexuality is based on explaining the differences between bisexuality, pansexuality, and polysexuality.
Those who identify as aromantic do not experience romantic attraction or experience them very seldom. It is, to simplify the explanation, the complete flipside of asexuality.
People who identify as aromantic are often criticized for being “heartless robots” and even called sociopaths for their lack of emotion.
This is a huge stigma against aromantic people. They very much feel emotion, just not in a romantic context.
There are currently no openly aromantic celebrities, but it’s speculated that famed scientist, Nikolai Tesla, was aromantic.
There is also very little news surrounding the identity, aside from what it is and fighting stigmas.
While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to modern sexual and gender identity, it’s a good start.
It’s so important to keep pushing for representation and education whether you belong to one of these identities or not.
By: Madison Star
5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in 2022
With 2021 finally over, and many making plans for a better year, these are some easy ways to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions.
The year 2021 is finally over, and we have a new year to look forward to!
If you’re anything like the majority of the world’s population, you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past—and broken them within a month.
But you keep making them, because you enjoy the optimism: beginning a new year on the right foot, promising to be a better, more fit and a more skilled version of yourself.
Here are ways you can stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2022
Tell people about your resolution
Usually, we’re told that peer pressure is a bad thing. But in the case of a New Years’ Resolution, it might be just what you need. Positive reinforcement (encouragement and support) from your friends and family can push you to learn the guitar, lose the beer belly, or whatever it is you want to do in this new year.
Disappointment (or the fear of it) can also push you to work harder toward your goal. If the cost of failing on your resolution is a whole bunch of awkward and sad conversations, maybe that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow.
Break it down into manageable chunks
This is something essentially everybody tells you about anything, but it’s true. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—and continues, step by step.
A New Years’ Resolution isn’t accomplished all at once, but rather gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard, and don’t get down on yourself if your goal is still a long way off.
Set realistic markers along the way, and at each one check in with yourself. That way, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment as you go, and you’ll see your progress stack up.
Care for yourself
Treat your New Year’s Resolution as what it is: a gift. When you accomplish it, not only will you get the benefit of whatever your goal is, but you’ll feel more confidence and pride in yourself.
This feeling of accomplishment is full of benefits: it makes you better poised to chase down the next opportunity, better prepared to be a positive influence in the lives of others, and can even make you live longer.
In making a New Years’ Resolution, and caring about yourself, you’re giving the best present you can give yourself, so don’t think of it as correcting something that’s wrong about you, but giving yourself another thing that’s right about you.
Forgive yourself, don’t define yourself
When a friend who’s made a mistake comes to you for help, do you immediately tell them that they’re worthless, that everybody knows it, and that they should just give up already?
No, but this treatment is something of the norm when it comes to yourself. Unfortunately, many of us treat ourselves this way; we are quick to criticize and slow to forgive.
Strangely enough, this negative self-talk often gives us permission to betray our resolutions.
If you resolve, in 2022, to cut down on carbs and one night you give in to the urge to order a bunch of pasta on Postmates, don’t beat yourself up for it the next morning.
Accept the mistake and continue working toward your goal the next day. Don’t decide you’re undisciplined, gluttonous, and have failed.
Everyone messes up a few times and forgiveness is the best way to move forward.
Use your resolution as a chance to explore new horizons
We all have ideas about who we’d like to be, and we all face the realities of who we are.
While a person who wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. and works out in order to get a clean, fresh start to the day is certainly admirable, that person might not be you. In making resolutions, pick goals that flow organically from who you are.
If you don’t know who you are (because who really does?) then go into a resolution with flexibility.
If, for example, your resolution is to get fit, don’t force yourself into a box with it. Instead, try different exercises, intensities, and intervals.
Don’t stick yourself in the gym for a 45-minute routine with weights when what you’d really enjoy doing is going to a yoga class or going for a run.
Realize that everybody is different, and rather than changing yourself into somebody new, your resolution can be a way of discovering who you might already be.
Think of it as an exploration. Let things develop, and commit to remaining open and focused.
The year, 2022 will likely be another challenging year. You already know why, so there’s no reason to repeat it here.
But remember that you got through 2021, and if your resolution for 2022 is to just survive it sane, healthy, and maybe a little wiser—that’s totally fine.
It’ll take some doing, but you’re definitely further along than you think you are.
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The Overwhelming Mental Health Impact of Climate Change
People across the globe are being affected by climate change. Global warming and climate change are having detrimental effects on the Earth such as increased flooding, hotter temperatures, wildfires, and droughts. Wildlife and ecosystems are being destroyed. Sea levels are rising. The list goes on and it can be overwhelming to take in the effects of climate change. This is why mental health is being greatly affected by climate change, particularly in teenagers and college students.
Anxiety related to the global climate and fear of environmental doom is often referred to as eco-anxiety or climate anxiety. This anxiety is a legitimate reaction to a serious problem. A large population of Generation Z is burdened by climate anxiety. This is because they are concerned about their futures considering the state of the Earth and the fatal implications of climate change.
A contributing factor to climate anxiety is the lack of action currently being taken by political leaders. Many leaders in positions of power are avoiding climate issues rather than solving them. This has prompted members of younger generations to step up and fight for change. Young activists like Greta Thunberg have taken the lead in protesting climate injustices. But watching older generations sit back while climate change is destroying the planet can lead to feelings of frustration and anger, which are common symptoms of climate anxiety.
Climate change can be a controversial topic and there is a fair amount of conflict surrounding it. Everyone reacts differently to the topic: many people shut down when climate change is brought up and they avoid the subject altogether. Others are fearful of the effects of climate change and want to help but feel powerless. And some people are eager to take action and do their part in combating climate change.
Many teenagers and college students have made efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by making lifestyle changes. Going vegan, carpooling, and shopping sustainably are some of the many ways to cut down on carbon emissions. But unfortunately, big corporations are some of the main contributors to climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions––a major contributor to climate change––are the highest they’ve ever been. This leaves young generations as they have difficulty believing that they can make a difference.
How Climate Change Affects Mental Health
Many people are mentally affected by climate change because they have been faced with natural disasters, such as wildfires, serious storms, or flooding. While everyone reacts and copes differently, many survivors of these environmental disasters have some sort of lasting psychological trauma. PTSD, anxiety, depression, and grief are some of the many mental health issues that people who have lived through natural disasters struggle with.
But you don’t need to be directly faced with a natural disaster to feel climate anxiety or despair over the state of the Earth. Just witnessing and learning about climate change is enough to cause mental health issues. There’s a sense of impending doom or existential dread that can wash over you when reflecting on climate change and its effects.
Why Climate Anxiety is Often Overlooked
Climate anxiety is often overlooked or brushed off. This is because it can be difficult to discuss mental health concerns because there are still stigmas surrounding mental health. Climate anxiety is also typically not taken as seriously as other anxieties or mental health issues. This is because many people do not understand the serious, detrimental impacts of climate change.
What to do About Climate Anxiety
- Talk to friends and family about climate change.
Listen to their thoughts on the matter and discuss your own thoughts. Talk about the negative impacts and grieve with them. It can be healing and helpful to share your concerns with others.
- Become a part of the solution!
It is important to stay informed on environmental topics and to use your knowledge for good. Join a climate justice organization at your school or in your community. Connecting with others who also care about climate change can ease your worries and fears about the Earth’s future. Climate organizations are making a difference in your community and educating others on climate change.
- Join protests.
If there are protests near you, make a sign and join in. Marching with other people who care about climate injustices is empowering. Protests help spark change by informing others and raising awareness.
- Do what you can to help the environment.
It is important to do what you can to reduce your own carbon footprint, but don’t become overly consumed with it. Eat a more plant-based diet, bike or carpool when you can, and use reusable bags. But try not to worry about how each of your actions will impact the environment. Those who experience climate anxiety often feel guilty about taking part in activities that affect the environment, like driving. Just do what you can and that will be enough.
How Social Unrest America Mirrors Social Unrest Abroad
With all of America’s recent and pressing events, it is easy to inadvertently ignore major happenings abroad. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest are not limited to American soil.
When the coronavirus began spreading across the globe earlier this year, world leaders reacted to the virus as they saw fit. Fast forward to today, and the virus continues to ravage many parts of the world, increasing the number of total cases to over 50 million people. With the addition of social unrest due to racial injustice, the world seems to have a daunting amount of crises.
Throughout this difficult time, countries imposed restrictions and limitations on their citizens in order to curb the contagion. In certain places, these limitations persist today. Subsequently, people are growing increasingly impatient as the pandemic remains as present and dangerous as it was in March. Indeed, many experts claim that the feared next wave of the virus is now in effect.
The prevailing threat and restrictions put in place have led citizens in some countries to protest. In Spain, for example, citizens have flooded city streets touting messages such as “Stop the dictatorship” or “Madrid says enough.” Unfortunately, certain rabble-rousers have taken it upon themselves to escalate these protests into less peaceful demonstrations of social unrest.
In Madrid, rioters turned unnecessarily violent, setting fires in the city, smashing windows of local shops, and assaulting police officers. These riots do not appear to be the result of spontaneous action but rather a coordinated effort planned through social media.
If the story of peaceful protests being undermined by violent extremists sounds familiar, you may be remembering the various riots that took place in America. The George Floyd protests, unfortunately, broke down into senseless social unrest, resulting in property damage and theft to numerous cities throughout America.
Just as the coronavirus pandemic is not isolated to this country, public assemblies due to racial injustice have also formed globally. As protests advocating for social justice started in American cities, foreign citizens heard the rallying cries. Demonstrations from South America to Europe, to Africa, have echoed the message of the Black Lives Matter movement, demanding justice and equality for all citizens, regardless of skin color. A spokesperson for the Belgian Network for Black Lives, Stephanie Collingwoode-Williams reflected, “people think about how it was relevant where we are.”
Although American protesters set positive trends to confront one crisis, its leaders have not been as successful in combatting the coronavirus. Out of the roughly 1.27 million deaths suffered worldwide, 239,000 of them were American.
This is by far the largest death toll of any country; in addition, America also holds the record for the most cases, by well over one million. These eye-opening statistics naturally lead to critics pointing to this nation’s shortcomings in dealing with the virus. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, worldwide perceptions of America have been in decline. Recent violent outbursts from police officers, coupled with the mismanagement of the pandemic, have exacerbated this fall.