QUEER VOICES
12/29/2014 10:36 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

19 Ways Of Looking At Queer Life That Made Us Think Differently In 2014

The end of the year is upon us and we'll be spending the last week of 2014 looking back at some of the biggest, best, worst and most inspiring moments and people of the year.

One of the things we're the proudest of at Gay Voices is our bloggers. Some are famous, some are ferocious, some are just regular people who have something they want to say to or about the queer community -- but we are grateful for every last person who has shared their opinions with us and thereby allowed us to start important discussions.

Below we've gathered portions of 19 of our favorite blogs from 2014. From a look at lesbian sex positions to life as a genderqueer person to a beautiful transgender love story to Executive Editor Noah Michelson's thoughts on dick pics, here are some of the pieces we loved for making us think twice about what it means to be queer... and human.

  • No, My 10-Year-Old Son Isn't Looking for a Girlfriend. He Likes Boys. By Amelia
    At the beginning of this semester, our kids' school sent home a list of extracurricular clubs available to the students. My h
    via Amelia
    At the beginning of this semester, our kids' school sent home a list of extracurricular clubs available to the students. My husband sat down with the list and our two elementary-school-aged sons. They could pick a club, any club. Our middle son, a second grader this year and the most loveable of nerds, picked board-game club. Our older son, now a fourth grader, picked Zumba. Given the choice, our oldest kid usually picks sports above all else, but he wanted the dancing-based exercise that is Zumba. He does love singing and dancing as well, so we just shrugged our shoulders and said, "OK, sounds great." We signed the kids up, and all were happy campers. As the semester went on, they both enjoyed their clubs, but our older son's choice of club almost always got the same reaction. It went something like this: "He's a smart kid. I bet he's the only boy. He's got his pick of the girls in there." The first time this happened, I was shocked, because I had never actually thought about that. Read the full piece here.
  • I Am Loveworthy: How a Transgender Woman Found Love By Andy Marra
    Nowadays most young single professionals turn to the Internet for meeting someone. I was no exception. For me, online dating
    via Andy Marra
    Nowadays most young single professionals turn to the Internet for meeting someone. I was no exception. For me, online dating was somewhat ideal for meeting like-minded people. And it was also a safer bet to be open and upfront about my gender identity before agreeing to meet someone and getting my hopes up. That's how I met Drew. At first we exchanged simple but friendly messages, allowing both of us to get to know each other. I learned that Drew had fulfilled a life-long dream in his recent move to the city. He liked to cook and surf and had an eclectic taste in music. In the process I was surprised to discover that he was a Korean adoptee. I told him about living in the city for almost over a decade. I talked about working for a national LGBT organization. I shared that I too was a Korean adoptee, having found my family in Korea only a few years ago. I also reiterated that I was transgender and in the midst of my transition. I wanted to make sure he had paid attention to everything that I'd originally written about myself. I found Drew's response to be unexpected and rare: "That's awesome! Identity is always something to be cherished." Toward the end of his message, he wrote, "Would you be up for dinner? I'd like to get to know you better." Read the full piece here.
  • Here's What Happened When Real Women Tried Cosmo's Lesbian Sex Tips By Jenny Block
    Cosmo's Bermuda Triangle might get you lost, but it won't get you laid.

At first I had hope. Call me crazy. But I did. When
    via Jenny Block
    Cosmo's Bermuda Triangle might get you lost, but it won't get you laid. At first I had hope. Call me crazy. But I did. When I saw Cosmo posted a story called "28 Mind-Blowing Lesbian Sex Positions," for one second I thought, "Oh wow!" "Look at that!" "Cosmo is becoming more inclusive!" But it wasn't one second later before my bubble was eternally and mind-shakingly burst. It was as if a straight frat boy took out his doodle pad and drew every scene from every porn he had ever witnessed with Barbie or Disney princesses playing the leading roles, with their impossibly tiny bodies and silky, gravity-defying hair. The positions were all hetero-normative fantasies of lesbian sex at their worst and silly at their best. Read the full piece here.
  • How Attending a Gay Wedding Impacted My Straight Marriage By Stephanie Schroeder
    This past weekend, I attended a gay wedding -- or, as I like to call it, a wedding.

My 36-year-old brother married his partn
    Thinkstock Images via Getty Images
    This past weekend, I attended a gay wedding -- or, as I like to call it, a wedding. My 36-year-old brother married his partner during a short but beautiful ceremony with close friends and family in the heart of downtown Chicago. At the conclusion of the ceremony, my brother and now brother-in-law were pronounced husband and husband and shared a kiss before exiting down the aisle, exchanging both smiles and tears. No lightning struck the ground. No flames spontaneously engulfed the building. And no straight marriages shattered as they said "I do." That includes my own. Read the full piece here.
  • Polyamorous Relationships Are About More Than Just Couples By Angi Becker Stevens
    Over the past few years, polyamory has become a more widely known term and practice. And perhaps inevitably, certain misconce
    ballyscanlon via Getty Images
    Over the past few years, polyamory has become a more widely known term and practice. And perhaps inevitably, certain misconceptions and misunderstandings about what "polyamory" means have become widespread as well. It would be unfortunately difficult to say which among these misunderstandings is the most common, or the most hurtful to polyamorous folks. But there's one in particular that I'd like to discuss: the idea that "polyamory" means "committed couple who have casual partners on the side." Read the full piece here.
  • Dating Masculine Women Is Not The Same As Dating Men By Anita Dolce Vita
    I recently read a Facebook status update from an acquaintance that stated, "I don't understand why lesbians date women who lo
    oneinchpunch via Getty Images
    I recently read a Facebook status update from an acquaintance that stated, "I don't understand why lesbians date women who look like men. If you're into chicks that look like dudes, just get with a dude." I was not only surprised that this status post was written by a self-identified lesbian, but also that most of the comments under the status lauded her assertion that lesbians should only date women who are feminine. My acquaintance's sentiment is shared by many and, as a feminine lesbian whose fiancé falls more on the androgynous side of the feminine-masculine spectrum, I'm often asked point blank why I just don't date men. However, I've only been asked about my preference for androgynous women by heterosexuals and gay men, never by another lesbian. It's not that I think that lesbians are immune to adopting such archaic views, but I usually hear the opposite from them: that they think femme/femme and butch/butch relationships are "unnatural." Irrespective of who holds these views, both of these perspectives tend to be casually stated as matter-of-fact without giving any thought to how they might be rooted in the misogynous, gender-normative, and heterosexist values so deeply ingrained in our society. Read the full piece here.
  • Yes, I Have a Dick Pic, and Here's Why I'm Not Ashamed of It By Noah Michelson
    Sex sells. Sex clicks. Sex is something that we can't stop talking or thinking about even if we refuse to really talk or thin
    Jakub WAjtowicz via Getty Images
    Sex sells. Sex clicks. Sex is something that we can't stop talking or thinking about even if we refuse to really talk or think about it. Beyond the lure of being able to see celebrities we have idolized and/or daydreamed about without their clothes on, these leaks are also titillating in that they offer us the opportunity to fantasize about what we would do in the same situation and momentarily (and more importantly, safely) experience the thrill of the panic and vulnerability that comes with it without having to deal with the aftermath. Because, whether or not we'll admit it, I'm willing to bet that most of us have taken (and sent) nude photos of ourselves at one time or another. I certainly have. Yup, I have a dick pic and I have no problem sending it out. Read the full piece here.
  • Just Because He Breathes: Learning To Truly Love Our Gay Son By Linda Robertson
    We were completely shocked. Not that we didn't know and love gay people; my only brother had come out to us several years bef
    via Linda Robertson
    We were completely shocked. Not that we didn't know and love gay people; my only brother had come out to us several years before, and we adored him. But Ryan? He was unafraid of anything, tough as nails and all boy. We had not seen this coming, and the emotion that overwhelmed us, kept us awake at night and, sadly, influenced all our reactions over the next six years was fear. Read the full piece here.
  • 'Wasn't He Gay?': A Revealing Question About Mister Rogers By Michael G. Long
    "Wasn't he gay?" That's what people often ask me when they learn that I'm working on a book about Fred Rogers -- the beloved
    Fotos International via Getty Images
    "Wasn't he gay?" That's what people often ask me when they learn that I'm working on a book about Fred Rogers -- the beloved creator, writer, and host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I've come to believe that the question, however intended, reveals just as much about the questioners as it does about Rogers. Sure, the question makes complete sense if a lack of machismo means that a man is gay. After all, Fred Rogers was the opposite of macho. He showed no hint of physical brawn; his chin was weak, his muscles underdeveloped, and his face smooth. Nor was he aggressive. He talked softly and carried no stick; his spirit was gentle and tender, patient and trustworthy, and receptive and loving. A model of male softness and sensitivity, Rogers cut a striking figure on and off television. But wait a second: Lots of gay men are tough guys -- muscular, aggressive, and downright rough. So the mere fact that Rogers was the opposite of macho really proves nothing about his sexual orientation. Read the full piece here.
  • Why I'm Genderqueer, Professional And Unafraid By Jacob Tobia
    I looked myself up and down in the full-length mirror. Blouse tucked in? Check. Pearl earrings on? Check. Lipstick flawless?
    via Jacob Tobia
    I looked myself up and down in the full-length mirror. Blouse tucked in? Check. Pearl earrings on? Check. Lipstick flawless? Check. After a few minutes of primping, posing and deep breathing, I was off to my first day at a new job. When I start a new job, I struggle with all of the typical trepidations and hesitations. Will my coworkers like me? Will I fit in with the office culture? Am I formatting this report the right way? But one question loomed above all others as I started my job last week: what should I wear to work? In many ways, it's a concern everyone faces. On the first day, everyone wants to get their outfit just right. The morning before a new job, most of us spend an extra ten, twenty or thirty minutes making sure that our hair is properly coiffed, our deodorant is both effective and unobtrusive and our outfit is on point. But for transgender and gender non-conforming people like myself, the question of what to wear to work becomes an exhausting question of identity and of survival. For us, the question changes from "how do I present my best self at work?" to "can I present my best self at work?" Read the full piece here.
  • The First Thing My Mom Did When She Learned I Was Gay... and the 'Miracle' That Occurred After By Lance Bass
    Growing up as a gay kid in the south was not easy. The constant fear of people discovering who you really were and the inevit
    Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
    Growing up as a gay kid in the south was not easy. The constant fear of people discovering who you really were and the inevitable shame that would fall upon you and your family dictated how you lived your life everyday. Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to move to places where it wasn't a constant daily reminder that I was an abomination. For my family, however, they still live in ground zero of intolerance for the LGBT community and have the unique pressure of having a well known gay relative. When I came out, they came out. For years they have had to deal with the judgmental looks and constant condolences from friends and strangers as if I had died. "I'm so sorry, you are in our thoughts." Now, my parents aren't very outspoken and shy away from any type of attention. For years they have quietly educated themselves about their son and the LGBT community like responsible adults. My mom read the Bible four times in a row and bought every book written about Christianity and the subject of homosexuality. When she saw things were not getting any easier at her church regarding this issue, she decided to go against her passive character and let her community know exactly how they were making her feel. Read the full piece here.
  • 22 Reasons Why We're Celebrating Bisexual Visibility Day By Alex Berg
    Sometimes it's tempting to blend in. Bisexuals regularly encounter the attitude that we're "greedy" or that our orientation i
    Tomwang112 via Getty Images
    Sometimes it's tempting to blend in. Bisexuals regularly encounter the attitude that we're "greedy" or that our orientation is just a rest stop on the way to gay town. We face disproportionate levels of substance abuse, suicide and eating disorders compared with our gay and straight counterparts. Advice columnists even encourage us stay in the closet (thanks, Prudence). But, being bisexual can be wonderful. We're a community that includes people of all different gender identities, from cis to trans, and envelope other sexual orientations, such as queer and pansexual. We've empowered ourselves to define bisexuality on our own terms, and evolved the term "bisexual" to encapsulate more than just male and female identities. Most wonderfully of all, we are a community that has the capacity to love beyond the limits of sex and gender. Read the full piece here.
  • If I Have Gay Children: 4 Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent By John Pavlovitz
    Sometimes I wonder if I'll have gay children.

I'm not sure if other parents think about this, but I do -- quite often.

Mayb
    Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images
    Sometimes I wonder if I'll have gay children. I'm not sure if other parents think about this, but I do -- quite often. Maybe it's because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It's in my genes and in my tribe. Maybe it's because, as a pastor of students, I've seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids -- from both inside and outside of the closet -- trying to be part of the Church. Maybe it's because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity. For whatever reason, it's something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now... Read the full piece here.
  • 5 Things Not To Say To A Transgender Person (And 3 Things You Should) By Jenny Boylan
    1. "Hey, you! Have you had 'the surgery'?"

This is kind of like someone coming up to you and asking about your vagina or pen
    lofilolo via Getty Images
    1. "Hey, you! Have you had 'the surgery'?" This is kind of like someone coming up to you and asking about your vagina or penis. No, wait, it's exactly like that. While there are some trans folks who are eager to start blabbering away about their nether regions, most of us consider our private parts, you know, private. Go figure. Read the full piece here.
  • Dispelling Myths, Misconceptions And Lies About Gender-Nonconforming Children By Brynn Tannehill
    Recently, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAHCqnux2fk" target="_blank">a video about a transgender</a> child in Cali
    via YouTube
    Recently, a video about a transgender child in California named Ryland Whittington went viral. It is beautiful and moving and shows the power of unconditional parental love. Sadly, like every other conversation about transgender children, the comments section was often unkind. Scanning the comments, I saw the same poorly thought-out ideas keep popping up. Many of them were similar to things said about transgender adults, but others were particular to transgender children. I think it's time to put these misconceptions to bed. Read the full piece here.
  • The Day I Held My Boyfriend's Hand By Olan Harrington
    I held my boyfriend's hand the other day. I caught it and held it until we reached the main gates of University College Cork,
    via Olan Harrington
    I held my boyfriend's hand the other day. I caught it and held it until we reached the main gates of University College Cork, as I usually do on campus, only this time I didn't let go after we'd passed through. We moved along the Western Road, toward Washington Street, and as we reached the innards of Cork City, something strange lingered over me. I had become anxious, and soon I wasn't speaking. I was afraid. Read the full piece here.
  • Why I've Given Up on Hooking Up By Lester Brathwaite
    Sex has never been a particularly pleasant experience for me. It's a fundamental part of being a gay man, of being a human be
    via Lester Brathwaite
    Sex has never been a particularly pleasant experience for me. It's a fundamental part of being a gay man, of being a human being, but the "fun" part has always eluded me. Don't get me wrong, I always enjoyed the bumping of proverbial uglies (I am a romantic at heart, after all) but the lead-up before and the fallout thereafter eclipsed that enjoyment. The hunt is exhausting. The encounter is fleeting. The loneliness seeps in. And then it begins anew. The cycle continues. Like all addictions, there's a cycle. Read the full piece here.
  • Gay Hero Of Sydney Hostage Crisis Died A Second Class Citizen By James Peron
    In Sydney, a mentally disturbed man, grabbing hold of religious extremism as his excuse, took customers of a coffee shop host
    via James Peron
    In Sydney, a mentally disturbed man, grabbing hold of religious extremism as his excuse, took customers of a coffee shop hostage. For hours, he threatened and used them as shields. Police negotiations were apparently going nowhere and the siege lingered past human endurance. This lone man had more than a dozen people in his grip but was getting sleepy. He started nodding off, even though he would try to fight it. The hostages were tired, but having a shotgun pointed at you has a way of keeping you alert. As the terrorist nodded off, the hostages ran for the door and safety -- but not all of them. One man charged the terrorist. Tori Johnson was 34. He managed the Lindt Chocolate Café for two years. Employees and customers all said he was a good man, a kind man. He was also a gay man. Read the full piece here.
  • Open Letter To Michelle Duggar -- Ignorance Is Not Bliss By Mary J. Moss
    I admit it. I am a reality TV fanatic. I keep up with the Kardashians. My heart melts for The Little Couple. My summer is fil
    via Mary J. Moss
    I admit it. I am a reality TV fanatic. I keep up with the Kardashians. My heart melts for The Little Couple. My summer is filled with Big Brother drama and Bachelor in Paradise. The fall has me Dancing with the Stars. The winter cold finds me cheering on my favorite American Idol and swooning over the latest Bachelor. One reality TV show that doesn't make the list is TLC's 19 Kids and Counting with the Duggars. It may be because in my opinion the Duggars are of a conservative family with views as outdated as their matriarch: Michelle's '80s hairstyle. For the most part my attitude is always "what ever floats your boat" that is as long as noone gets hurt. Michelle Duggar's recent comments against the transgender community are a direct hit at my son and I can't stay silent. My pitbull mom (as my son calls me at times) side needs to come out and grip Michelle and her followers with its teeth until their hearts are opened forever. Read the full piece here.
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