QUEER VOICES

15 Blogs That Made Us Think Differently About The Queer Community In 2015

Personal looks at everything from the term "straight-acting" to what a bi marriage is really like.

One of the most dynamic parts of The Huffington Post is our blogging platform which allows virtually anyone -- from celebrities to politicians to regular people -- to share their thoughts and experiences with thousands (and some times even millions) of people.

Over the last 12 months, we've published incredible first-person accounts that speak to and about the joys, pains, triumphs and struggles related to being part of the queer community.

From Caitlyn Jenner's ex-wife Linda Thompson discussing how the Olympian and reality star's transition affected her to a look at what a bisexual marriage is really like to a condemnation of the term "straight-acting," here are some of the best HuffPost Gay Voices blogs from 2015.

  • "I'm A Professional Wrestler. Here's Why I Finally Came Out" by Matt Cage
    "For the longest time, I claimed that I was bisexual. When I privately came out to people that already know, I told them that
    Courtesy of Matt Cage
    "For the longest time, I claimed that I was bisexual. When I privately came out to people that already know, I told them that this was the case. And it was. However, I have no real intentions of pursuing females at this stage of my life. I still find beautiful women beautiful. I don't think that'll ever change. But I think that to continue to claim something that's not true is just continuing a streak of dishonesty, and I don't want that. Sorry, ladies. I'm officially pulling myself off of the market. Don't hate me too bad."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever" by Linda Thompson
    <i>(Thompson was married to Jenner and in her blogs writes about their relationship. At the time the blog was published, Jenn
    Courtesy of Linda Thompson
    (Thompson was married to Jenner and in her blogs writes about their relationship. At the time the blog was published, Jenner had not yet stated her intention of using female pronouns and had not revealed her new name, thus, the blog uses male pronouns and "Bruce.")

    "So as much as this is about Bruce, it's not all about him. The sharing of my experience is meant to enlighten and inform -- to lend a modicum of comfort and support for all those disenfranchised, struggling, discriminated against, searching souls.Bruce's story, and his struggle, is uniquely his; my experiences with Bruce are commensurately uniquely my own.Following is a brief history of my time with Bruce -- a life experience that shaped my existence immeasurably."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Here's Why it Makes Perfect Sense That Josh Duggar Cheated" by Jenny Block
    "Now can we stop? Please? Can we please stop acting as if Conservative, right-wing "Christians" make any sense or are even "g
    Kris Connor via Getty Images
    "Now can we stop? Please? Can we please stop acting as if Conservative, right-wing "Christians" make any sense or are even "good" people? Any extreme is bad. Any. And that goes for people who call themselves "Christians" and it goes double for anyone who calls him or herself a "fundamentalist" anything.Of course Josh Duggar was on Ashley Madison. Of course he has an alleged penchant for strippers. Can we please stop pretending that religion can somehow alter human nature? Humans are animals. They are sexual creatures. If you cage them, they will claw their way out or claw themselves to death or claw the eyes out of those they purport to love."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Dear Straight Men, Come Out Already" by Mason Hsieh
    "Apparently, they called it a 'bro-job,' which referred to the oral sex the male rowers occasionally engaged in with one anot
    Selena Kim
    "Apparently, they called it a 'bro-job,' which referred to the oral sex the male rowers occasionally engaged in with one another in the showers back in high school. Or at least that's what my friend told me. Neither he nor any of the other guys on the team identified as gay, but according to his reports, they would often hook up post-practice, but "like bros, you know? Not in a gay way."Every time we talked about it, we always stalemated on the same issues. How can a guy hook up with another and still be straight? Isn't the act of hooking up with and sexually desiring someone of the same sex inherently gay?"

    Read the full blog here.
  • "So Gay Marriage Biblically Offends You? Then You Should Read This..." by Whitney Kay Bacon
    "What I don't understand is quite simply, this: why does gay marriage bother people so much? If you are making an unnecessary
    ballyscanlon via Getty Images
    "What I don't understand is quite simply, this: why does gay marriage bother people so much? If you are making an unnecessary palava because you're offended by gay marriage then you seriously need to look at your own life and educate yourselves a bit. If the sole reason you feel that gay marriage is wrong because it's a sin, and the Bible tells you this is wrong, then I sure as hell hope you don't have bacon with your eggs or indulge in shrimp. Oh, or better yet, do you have any tattoos? Ever been drunk, told a white lie or been divorced? Yep, whoops. Those are all sins, too. And all sins are equal, right? I don't see anyone going off the handle because of any of these 'sins' and I most certainly don't see protests or hurtful propaganda against those. Just because you disagree with something -- and we all have the right to do so -- it is an absolute disgrace to treat the LGBT community the way you do. What if we treated all sins in this way? Bacon eaters would be doomed."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Forever and Ever: Losing My Husband at 24" by Sarah McBride
    "'If it turns out that this is incurable, would you marry me?' is not your traditional marriage proposal, but then again, And
    Courtesy of Sarah McBride
    "'If it turns out that this is incurable, would you marry me?' is not your traditional marriage proposal, but then again, Andy and I haven't lived traditional lives.

    Andy and I first met after literally running into each other at a White House reception honoring the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in June of 2012. I was fortunate enough to have been invited after coming out publicly as a transgender woman while serving as student body president at American University just a month before. Andrew, 26 at the time, had come out as a transgender man several years prior and was now a leading LGBT health policy advocate in Washington, DC.

    I hadn't given our clumsy 'meeting' at the White House much thought until I received a charming and suave Facebook message from that handsome guy two months later. His friends now tell me that he spent hours writing and re-writing the short message, in which he asked me out for coffee or drinks. After several online conversations and a few more chance encounters while I interned at the White House, we finally managed to find some time to go out for dinner."Read the full blog here.
  • "A Dad Dropped His Son Off on a Date and It Restored My Faith in Humanity" by Benjamin O'Keefe
    "This weekend as I sat in Starbucks, writing -- I know, it doesn't get much more clich&eacute; than that -- I noticed a man a
    Blend Images - Plush Studios via Getty Images
    "This weekend as I sat in Starbucks, writing -- I know, it doesn't get much more cliché than that -- I noticed a man and his son walk into the coffee shop. My gaydar immediately informed me that I was in the presence of my own kind. The boy was very handsome, with a GaGa shirt and rolled up jeans, he looked to be around 16-years-old. A man that appeared to be his father, whom could only be described as a man's man, accompanied him. Large and intimidating in stature, his father wore a camouflaged shirt and some rather dirty jeans.

    A moment later another young boy, about the same age, came into the shop. He walked over to the first boy and gave him a loving hug. The father sternly nodded his head at the boy in a rather macho display of a greeting. "Uh oh," I thought, this didn't look to be the kind of guy that would be incredibly happy about having an openly-gay son. The boys walked up to the counter to order their over-priced lattes and the father stepped in to pay."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Buzz About Kristen Stewart's Sexuality Tells Us a Lot About Society's Discomfort with Bisexuality" by Raechel Tiffe
    "<a href="http://flavorwire.com/497298/those-kristen-stewart-beach-photos-arent-a-triumph-theyre-an-invasion-of-privacy" targ
    Walter McBride via Getty Images
    "Invasive photos of Kristen Stewart canoodling on a beach with visual effects producer Alicia Cargile recently surfaced in the tabloids, just as Stewart announced she's quitting Hollywood over privacy issues. The images have left media outlets perplexed as they struggle with how to describe images of a woman--a woman who had a public relationship with a man--with another woman. Fans, on the other hand, have taken toTwitter to assert an emboldened lack of confusion: According to many, Stewart is now, undoubtedly, a lesbian. In usual form, nearly all the responses, from the media and public alike, ignore the possibility that anyone could be bisexual (or queer). And nearly all the responses attempt to either confidently or subtly assert an identity upon an actress who has never provided any public defining label about her sexuality."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "An Open Letter to My Future Parents In-Law Who Won't Attend Our Wedding" by James Y.
    "The night we booked our dream wedding venue, my fiance's mother called in a panic because she forgot to mail their birthday
    dolgachov via Getty Images
    "The night we booked our dream wedding venue, my fiance's mother called in a panic because she forgot to mail their birthday gift to me. After chatting a few minutes, the bright pink elephant in the room was broached: Would they attend our wedding?

    The heartbreaking conversation that followed boiled down to they wouldn't attend because they 'follow the Bible.' Days later my birthday card arrived, enclosed with a gift card, and signed 'Love, Russ & Pat.' Every speck of glitter that fell from it mocked us. Over 17 years they had built such a convincing facade of acceptance. With painful clarity, I realized whenever they had cryptically said they were 'praying for us,' it wasn't for a safe drive home or for Tim and his brother to make amends. They never outwardly said it before, but their 'love the sinner/hate the sin' mentality became obvious. Which is why their gift and the card ended up in a return envelope with the following letter."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "If You Think Tom Hardy Shouldn't Have Been Asked About His Sexuality, You're Dead Wrong. Here's Why." by Noah Michelson
    "While watching variations of 'Tom's right! It's nobody's business!' and 'That's private!' flood comment fields, tweets and F
    Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images
    "While watching variations of 'Tom's right! It's nobody's business!' and 'That's private!' flood comment fields, tweets and Facebook statuses, I sighed and thought to myself, Really? Are we really still defending -- and celebrating! -- the idea that sexual orientation is akin to some deep dark secret to be discussed after dark behind closed doors in hushed tones with only our most trusted confidantes?

    Apparently we are. But this has to change, folks. Why? Because even though, sure, everyone should be 'entitled to the right to privacy' regarding certain aspects of their lives, sexual orientation shouldn't be considered private. Let me type that again and put it in boldface so that you don't miss it: Sexual orientation should not be considered private."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "How Does a Bi Marriage Really Work?" by Kevin Hogan
    "'How's the sex?'<br><br>'Who does what?'<br><br>'Can I join in?'<br><br>My wife and I have been happily married for many yea
    Brian Leatart via Getty Images
    "'How's the sex?'

    'Who does what?'

    'Can I join in?'

    My wife and I have been happily married for many years and through many adventures. So we're frequently asked questions like the ones above. Sometimes it's by someone who's genuinely interested in how a bi marriage works. Other times, it's by somebody who's more curious about being with a bisexual couple.

    Despite the fact that I'm sometimes caught off guard by these questions, anybody who truly wants to understand more about bisexuality is always welcome to start a conversation with me."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Dating Masculine Women Is Not the Same as Dating Men" by Anita Dolce Vita
    "There is a common misconception that all self-identified women, <i>regardless of sexual orientation</i>, who fall on the and
    Gary John Norman via Getty Images
    "There is a common misconception that all self-identified women, regardless of sexual orientation, who fall on the androgynous or masculine side of the gender spectrum present the way that they do in an attempt to "be men." (I emphasize regardless of sexual orientation because people also often conflate sexual orientation with gender expression. There are androgynous and masculine presenting women, such as modelElliot Sailors, who identify as straight.) However, the reality is that none of the women I have dated have ever wanted to be a man, nor did I ever want them to be men. They were just being true to themselves and recognize that there is more than just one way of being a woman, similar to the trailblazers who dared to pave the way for us to become attorneys and wear slacks in the face of being told that these behaviors were reserved for boys."

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Coming Out When You're in the Biggest 'Bro' Frat on Campus" by Kevin Coop
    "I was 22, standing at the podium, microphone in hand, facing easily over one hundred people. I took the moment in, both know
    Courtesy of Kevin Coop
    "I was 22, standing at the podium, microphone in hand, facing easily over one hundred people. I took the moment in, both knowing and not knowing how I got there.

    I finished my closing speech as president of the most influential fraternity at a university of nearly 20,000, only to hear the uproar of people chanting my name.

    I must have done something right, I thought to myself.It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I fully accepted that girls just weren't for me and that there was nothing I could do about it. I was a closeted 18-year-old in the midst of pledging the biggest 'bro' fraternity on campus. Now what?"

    Read the full blog here.
  • "Polyamorous Relationships Are About More Than Just Couples" by Angi Becker Stevens
    Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in wha
    eskaylim via Getty Images
    Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in what ultimately still amounts to monogamous terms. There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word 'polyamory,' by definition, means loving more than one. Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core 'couple' at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the 'man' in the relationship and the other must be the 'woman.'"

    Read the full blog here.
  • "If You Think 'Straight-Acting' Is An Acceptable Term, You're An A**hole" by Noah Michelson
    "And there is a long history of straights attempting to straight-ify queer people (and of us trying to do it to ourselves). T
    Purestock via Getty Images
    "And there is a long history of straights attempting to straight-ify queer people (and of us trying to do it to ourselves). The performance of straightness is something that gay men have struggled with and against for as long as modern gay identities have existed. Because being gay has been so intimately connected with being effeminate, which was -- and still is -- equated with being submissive, weak and ineffectual. Gay men have been shamed (and attacked and murdered) for any display that does not reverberate with and reflect what our culture has determined is sufficiently masculine. Therefore many gay men have longed for and looked for any means by which they can throw off (or at least hide) the curse of even the slightest hint of effeminacy and thereby be welcomed into straight society or at least fly far enough under the radar to remain relatively unharmed.

    I should know -- I was one of them."

    Read the full blog here.
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