Sexuality vs Gender: Why it’s okay to be gay… if you’re a man.

Equality for all sexualities!
Correction: Equality for most sexualities!
Further correction: Equality for few sexualities.

The market has been expanding. Let me give you an example: dating apps commonly bought from iTunes include those such as Plenty Of Fish and Match.com’s mobile dating apps. These apps are largely use by heterosexual individuals but, correct me if I’m wrong (I haven’t used these sites myself), homosexual individuals can also search for matches. Apps like Tinder or the new copycat app ‘Hot or Not’ allow anonymous swiping to indicate if you like the look of someone, be they male or female. Then, of course, the famous Grindr, a gay dating app. I even recently found another one called Scruff that’s also a gay dating app. Yay for gays, we say. However, wait just a minute… these apps aren’t universal gay dating apps, no. Grindr Gay Dating AppThese are dating apps for gay men. I am yet to hear of any dating platform for gay women. Sure, some platforms don’t discriminate between gay, lesbian OR bisexual (for example, on Tinder you can choose to be matched with men, women or both). I am yet to see, in this day and age, the opportunity that is available to gay men, open and accessible for gay women. Pretty much all of us have a male gay friend, we even say male gay couples around, nothing special there… but how many female gay friends do we have? How often have you seen a lesbian couple out and about their business like any other ordinary couple? I’ve seen barely a handful of lesbian couples in the past months, which is ridiculous given that there clearly are lesbian women out there.LGBT
In fact, although the concept of a lesbian is alien in our day to day life, this is nothing compared to when I heard a 16 year old boy ask “what’s bisexual?” when learning about equal rights for all. What is bisexual? “Well,” the teacher began to explain, “it’s when someone chooses to like both sexes”. WRONG. This is wrong. The key incorrect word being ‘choose’. Sexuality is not a choice, the same as race and our born sex is not a choice. Even in 2014 (be it early days of the year or not), even teenagers in our modern society don’t understand sexuality. Even in 2014, our teachers in our modern society cannot explain sexuality. True as it may be, that some people may have phases or levels of preference, many of us have heard of the term ‘bicurious’ (although, how often it ends up anything other than bisexual, I don’t know). Even in our new and accepting world, where gay marriages will begin in March this year… There is still stigma towards to gay woman, and towards the bisexual individual. Bisexuality is not greed, is not something to be made fun of, same as homosexuality is not something to be made fun of. Bisexuality is not even the loving of a personality, regardless of sex. Think of how you feel about the sex you are attracted to; their minds, their bodies… the lot. Being bisexual is the same, except for both sexes. A person who is bisexual does not fancy everyone they look at, same as a straight woman, or gay man, do not fancy each and every man they see. No. Bisexuality is feared and mocked, or even called ‘hot’. Even if a bisexual girl does excite a young man, if you don’t know her then don’t tell her that. Who are we to decide to what extent we accept members of the LGBT* community?

Sincerely,
A progressive thinker.

*LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. I haven’t addressed people who are trans as I didn’t want to overload you.

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The Stress Of The Internet (Coming From A Blogger)

Although initially written this as an introductory piece to work on stress and stress management, it went a bit blog-style so I thought I’d share it with the world. Enjoy.

In the present day, there is little escape. The far-reaching grasps of the internet demand our attention at all times of the day; be it to shop, socialize, learn, watch, work, or listen. Although it houses valuable resources such as newspaper articles, and forward-thinking campaigns for justice, it is relentless. The glory of the Internet is a double edge sword. It gives us access to knowledge, in amounts never before available, but it also allows for abuse. ‘Catfishing’, cyber bullying, a new wave of paedophila and grooming, and outright abusive threats are common online- we only need to look to the news to see the negative effects of social networking platforms.Stress Management

Decades ago, even as recent as 20 years ago, stress was quite different. As times have changed, and people have become more ambitious, we are required to do more to achieve the same status and recognition in the career world, even compared to our own grandparents. We have to work harder, and pay £9,000 a year for university, when in the not to distant past it was free. We have to take countless courses, and sign off ever-rising numbers of hours – all in the name of what is PC or what is deemed ‘proper’, ‘appropriate’. New rules and guidelines protect us, but they also make us fearful and cynical, knowledgeable about the evils that people commit… and this is even before we’re two feet up the career ladder. Knowledge is precious, but ignorance is bliss. Our eyes have been opened to a multitude of stressors. Globalisation has forced others’ problems to become our own. The modern world has given us more opportunity, protection, accessibility… but it has burdened us with more stress than previous generations might truly understand.

Can you manage #100happydays?

I recently discovered a project called #100happydays. I’d seen someone post via FaceBook and within 10 minutes, I was signed up myself.
The project basically challenges you to find something that makes you smile, to snap a photo of it, and upload it to your preferred platform… for 100 days in a row.
‘Easy Peasy!’ I hear you say! Well, the website says that 71% of people don’t complete the full 100 days of the challenge. That’s a lot. People appear to be too busy, racing through modern life, to find the time to smile.
Are we really too busy to be happy? Some people would argue we are busy doing things that make us happy. As true as it is that we should not live our lives through a camera lens, how hard is it to snap a photo and email it?
The project boasts its versatility, with the ability to upload the photos to a platform of your choice (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Email) with the option to create a unique hashtag (#100hd, #mychallenge, #3ksn38, anything really). All you have to do is tell them a bit about yourself, choose a platform, enter your username, choose your hashtag, and start smiling!

I’m currently on day four and so far my pictures have been of an album cover, my UCAS homepage (five out of five offers!), a funny bottle of ketchup (house red) and a photo of my boyfriend who has finally returned from a trip to Switzerland. I’m sure I will be uploading photos of various food and animals multiple times throughout the weeks, and I look forward to it!
The reason I took on this challenge is because it raises a great point. Why should this be daunting? Increased Mental Health awareness tells us how much trouble people have being happy. Not just ‘feeling down’, but depression or bipolar disorder. Even if someone with depression uploads a photo each day that is a joke or a new top they bought, then it helps to find daily uplifts.
I strongly urge you, regardless of your mental health, to take part. 29% is not a high success rate for a challenge that doesn’t even take 4 months. You have no one to prove anything to apart from yourself; prove to yourself that you can find happiness 100 days in a row, and it will become habit.
Be happy for 100 days, then tell me how you’ve changed.

The project can be found at: http://100happydays.com/

Spit and Save – The DL On The Anthony Nolan Trust

For those of you who have no clue what I’m on about so far – The Anthony Nolan Trust.AN
The Anthony Nolan Trust is a British charity that provides donations for people suffering with blood disorders, including blood cancers. By donation, I don’t mean money towards to cost of treatment, we Brits are lucky to have the NHS to do that for us. The Anthony Nolan Trust (let’s just call it AN from now on), matches donors and recipients for bone marrow donation. Some people aren’t for donations like this but if you give blood and/or are signed up as an organ donor, then look into it! Having bone marrow taken can be uncomfortable, but my logic is that I have plenty and I’m healthy enough whereas others aren’t so lucky. People donate their wealth, be that their wealth of money or their wealth of health. If you’re healthy and you are able and comfortable to help others, then I hope this finds you well and sparks an interest!

To be a British donor of your wealth of health…
To find out about being a bone marrow donor: http://www.anthonynolan.org/
To find out about being a blood donor: http://www.blood.co.uk/
To find out about being an organ donor: http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/