Challenge #4 – A rant

I really racked my brain trying to come up with something to rant about. This is hard! I’m a generally easygoing person, and I didn’t want to rant about the same things everyone hates – drivers who don’t use their turn signals, kids who don’t listen, the weather, etc. I also didn’t want to rant about something that makes me happy – rants should be angry, damn it. It took me a long time to decide on something. Finally, I came up with it. The thing that annoys me most these days. It’s totally a first-world problem, but bear with me: rude people at the gym.

Imagine this: You’re at the gym, and you’re about to run 8 or so miles on the treadmill. You turn on the overhead fan, pick your favorite treadmill, and set the TV on your favorite station (for me, it’s HGTV – I love those house flipping shows). Finally, you get down to running. You run a few miles and you’ve worked up a serious sweat, the only thing cooling you is the occasional breeze from the ceiling fan. Then someone comes and sits on a stationary bike behind you. No big deal, so far. But then they decide they’re chilly and they¬†turn the fan off. I can’t express how much this annoys me. This has happened to me more than once, and I’m too nice to complain to their face, so I suffer in silence. Then when they’re finished their workout, I hop off the treadmill and go turn the fan back on. It’s all I can do without complaining, and I don’t want to come across as an ass and sounding like I’m saying “Prioritize my comfort over yours.” On the other hand, I’m running for two and a half hours, so I need some kind of breeze to help me feel like I’m not dying.

Other things I hate at the gym:

  • People who don’t clean off their equipment. What gives? How hard is it to go grab a wet wipe and wipe down your treadmill or elliptical or whatever machine you’re using? It’ll add 30 seconds to your day. It’s just courteous.
  • People who turn up the TV too loud. I know, too loud is subjective, but really, everyone does not need to hear your episode of Law and Order. Read the captions, or accept that the busy gym is just a place to listen to music.
  • People who change the channel while I’m watching something. This is just plain inconsiderate. We share TVs, two machines per TV (on the elliptical and treadmill side of the gym, anyway), and in my opinion, the programming should be first-come, first-served, unless the first person explicitly says he or she doesn’t need the remote. But it’s just rude to come up and change the channel without asking.

I know a lot of this sounds really selfish, and I’m trying not to. I just think that people should take the time to consider others while they’re working out.

Okay, how’s that for a rant? Good enough?

Bisexual Erasure

Bisexual erasure is a real issue for bisexual people. This is the phenomenon in which society actively promotes the idea that bisexuals don’t exist, that they’re making it up, that bisexuality is just a phase, or that bisexuality is only a pathway to coming to terms with one’s homosexuality. Buzzfeed posted a great listicle with comments from just such people.

Like other sexual orientations, there are as many types of bisexuality as there are bi-identified people. There may be a few for whom being with both sexes is a choice. Many bisexual people are equally attracted to both sexes, but only romantic with one or the other. This is called heteroromantic or homoromantic. Many people believe that bisexuality is an outdated term, ignoring the gender spectrum. Others assert that as they are attracted to gender expression, bisexual still applies.

In addition to the people who actually exist and identify as bi, there has been some great research into the bisexual mind. The NYT had a fantastic article putting the research together in context with the human element.

So what are the reasons for bisexual erasure? Well, in part, people don’t believe they exist because so many gay and lesbian people come out as bi first, even if they’re not bi. For some, it’s less scary or absolute, so easier to claim than gay. But there’s another reason: bisexuals themselves.

Now, now. Don’t light the torches just yet. I know I’m part of the problem. Bisexual people who don’t come out are guilty of contributing to the problem of downplaying bisexuality in the media and in the realm of social understanding. I am not out to many people, because I can easily pass for straight. I’m married with a kid. We will remain invisible as long as we allow it. Until bisexual people come out in larger numbers, people won’t believe we exist in large numbers. There needs to be a push for coming out whenever safe and including bisexual characters in LGBT literature for widespread acceptance to take root.

And finally, a disclaimer. I do not pretend to know all the answers, and if I have misspoken here, please let me know.