Tag: sexuality

National Coming Out Day: Empowering, Heteronormative, or somewhere in between?

Tomorrow, on Wednesday, October 11th, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will commemorate the 29th annual observance of National Coming Out Day, to “celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ)”. Many fine this day an opportunity to reflect back on and share their own coming out story, the HRC frames the day “as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out”. While my own process of coming out, at least in the sense mentioned above, I have some issues with this notion that it is a process with a shareable end goal, that I am able conveniently post to social media (based on the privilege I have in society), to remind my friends and family that I am queer, in case how I am living my life did not make that obvious enough.

On one hand, there is something to be said about the need for visibility, simply having a presence of owning your identity can be empowering, and it can help others in their process of finding their identity. But at the same time, I cannot help but wonder if the emphasis placed on coming out only serves to be heteronormative in nature, this need to distinguish yourself as the “other”. I also have issue with the idea that only LGBTQ+ individuals need to take the time to process what their sexual attractions and gender identities are, and more importantly how they define them and their place in the world. Why is it so normalized to own and share this counter narrative, when say, someone who identifies as a cisgender straight man is just accepted and believed in their identity?

Coming out also reinforces this idea that this process has an end goal, you spend some time, realize you’re not straight, share it with your friends and family, and done. This week, I want to encourage everyone to take a moment, think about how you feel with sexual orientation and gender identity, and consider how it positions you in the spaces that you occupy and the world around you, and the think about the ways that it can make it easier or more difficult for those in your circles who are not straight, are not cisgender. Does it give them space, and does it allow others to be open to themselves, and do you use your privilege to challenge that status quo to make that easier?

Swipe Right and get Tested Today!

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Tinder can now match you with more than a special someone. The popular dating app recently added a new Health Safety section that allows users to find a nearby clinic to get free STD and HIV tests via Healthvana, a patient-engagement platform for health clinics. This new section allows users to compare and contrast clinics and even receive test results electronically making it easy to get tested AND to share test results with potential partners.

While this new section didn’t come about without controversy. It is definitely is a step in the right direction by the popular app. Now that it is easier than ever to find someone to spend the next blizzard weekend with, it is very important to get tested often and be open and honest about your results. Plus, now that it is easier than ever to get tested, there are no longer any excuses for your future hookups to claim that it is too difficult to get tested.

Don’t wait! Now you can get tested AND find that special someone to “Netflix and chill” with all in one swipe.