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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: Did You Think I Was Going To Tell You Not To Come Out? (PLUS: Help Free Kate!)

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, May 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Should one come out as bisexual if 1. One has never actually had a same-sex sexual experience and 2. Is a woman married to a straight man BUT 1. Is 90% sure she would enjoy sexual experience with (particular) women and 2. Has had some same-sex fantasies and crushes (if not quite as many as on men) since 12 years old, and 3. HAS had some sexual experience with more effeminite men, one of which was partly on account of his cross-dressing (I know, I know, not the same thing, but...)

There are several reasons (if not excuses) I've not yet had a sexual experience with another woman, including 1. UBER-Catholic upbringing, 2. Internalized homophobia, which I'm now getting over, 3. getting married young(er), a few days after I turned 25, before I fully self-realized my sexual preferences, 4. complicated living/financial situation with spouse, and 5. Spouse less sexually adventurous, but *possibly* open to my having a same-sex sexual experience if he is involved (how to make that happen in upstate South Carolina is possibly another story, and the fact that I'm not sure I want him involved is another story, too...).

I have always felt somewhat genderqueer/bisexual/possibly pan-sexual, but didn't have names for these things (besides bi-sexuality) until graduate school. Naming these things has been a powerful step in my becoming more self-actualized, but I'm not sure what the next step(s) should be for me. Thanks,

Bi/Curious?

My response after the jump...

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We've covered this before—we've covered this at length—so I'm going to make quick work of my response to you, B/C, before moving on to a more pressing matter: Yes, B/C, one should come out as bisexual—if one is, in fact, bisexual, as the coming out of the bisexual ones reduces bisexual invisibility specifically and increases the acceptance of LGBT people generally. The more out ones—gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans—the better. So come out already.

Okay, gang, I'm calling out the flying monkeys. Because this shit is appalling: a high-school-age girl in Florida was dating another high-school-age girl. Both were members of their school's varsity basketball team. The older girl was 17, the younger was 15. When the older girl turned 18, the younger girl's parents called the police and had their daughter's girlfriend arrested. HuffPo:

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Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, faces two felony counts of "lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16" after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges earlier this year, according to Examiner.... According to Hunt-Smith, police arrived at the family's home Feb. 16 and put her daughter in handcuffs. Local news website TCPalm.com listed Kaitlyn Hunt's arrest for "lewd and lascivious battery" on Feb. 18, and the girl's mug shot is still easily accessible on the Internet.

I told you this shit was appalling: homophobic parents are using the criminal justice system to persecute their daughter's girlfriend, whom they blame for "making" their daughter gay. But having Kaitlyn—or Kate—arrested wasn't good enough for these homophobes:

The other girl's parents repeatedly tried to have Kaitlyn, a senior, expelled from school. Despite the Sebastian River High School administration's denial of their request, and a judge's order allowing Kaitlyn to remain in school (so long as the girls had no contact), the 15-year-old's parents successfully petitioned the school board to have Hunt removed from school weeks prior to graduation.

Kate now faces 15 years in prison. But the state has offered her a deal—a terrible, no-good, rotten deal. Gawker sums it up:

Kate is now faced with a Sophie's Choice: Accept Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman's plea deal, which would require her to admit to a felony, spend two years under house arrest, and possibly end up on the sex offender registry for life—or go to trial. She has until this Friday to decide.

Kate has offered to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. The state isn't budging. If Kate goes to trial and loses she faces, again, 15 years in prison. Says Kate's dad:

My daughter Kaitlyn is a wonderful 18-year-old who is not guilty of anything other than a high school romance... Kaitlyn was a highly respected student at Florida’s Sebastian River High School with good grades and participation in cheerleading, basketball and chorus. She was even voted “most school spirit.” Now she’s been expelled from school and is facing serious felonies—all because she is in love. If convicted, she could end up in jail or live under house arrest, will have to register as a sex offender, and live her life as a convicted felon. Our family will do everything we can to stop these people from ruining our daughter’s promising life. This is unjust and unfair—and we need your help to stop it.

Here's how you can help: Kate's parents are asking people to show support for their daughter in the hope that finding himself in the national spotlight will bring Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman to his senses. They've created a "Free Kate" Facebook page: JOIN IT. There's a Change.org petition calling for the charges against Kate to be dropped: SIGN IT.

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