Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser wants her coming out as bi to help young people

Shannon Purser is Ethel Muggs in Riverdale

Stranger Things’ and Riverdale star, Shannon Purser, wants her coming out as bisexual to help young people.

Purser who played the much beloved Barb in the sci-fi hit Stranger Things, came out last year on Twitter. She had been embroiled in argument with Riverdale fans about queerbaiting when she revealed her sexuality.

‘I don’t normally do this, but I figure now is just as good a time as any to get personal,’ she said at the time.

‘I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.’

Purser revealed since she came out that a lot of young people are opening up to her about their sexuality. They’ve told her that her coming out has helped them be brave to come out themselves.

‘That’s what matters most to me. That’s the best compliment I’ve ever received,’ Purser told People.

It shouldn’t matter what your sexuality is

On a promotional tour for her new Netflix film, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, the 21-year-old actor said she wants to be a good role model.

‘I would love for us to get to a point in society where it doesn’t really matter what your sexuality is, but right now there is a lot of turmoil around that issue, a lot of controversy where there shouldn’t be,’

Purser said she does not consider herself ‘the perfect role model’ but she wants to ‘try to encourage young people and be somebody that they can look up to’.

‘I just always think about what would I have needed as a kid, what would have meant a lot to me?’ she said.

‘If somebody can see me and feel less alone and more understood, than that’s it.’

Why are lesbians the most likely to be biased against bi women?

a person walking in a parade holding a bisexual flag

A new study has revealed why exactly it is many gay and lesbian people have negative attitudes towards bisexual people.

Published in the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity journal, researchers found that lesbians perceived bi women as more sexually attracted to men than they are women. This results in ‘more negative attitudes toward bisexual women’ among lesbians than gay men.

The purpose of the study was to help reduce ‘bisexual health disparities via improving dynamics within LGBTQ communities’.

Bisexual people face some of the highest levels of stigma and discrimination. While the LGBTI community tended to be less discriminatory towards bi people than heterosexual, the bi community still faces a lot of challenges.

A recent Pride in London’s survey found that 46% of bisexual people aren’t out to their families, compared to 12% of gay men and 17% of lesbians. The United Nations released a shocking report in July which revealed bi women are more at risk from sexual violence.  About 69% of bi woman respondents said they have been raped or suffered physical violence and/or stalking from a partner. The number for bi men is 37%.

‘Androcentric desire hypothesis’

Researchers came up with the term ‘androcentric desire hypothesis’ to describe the phenonmenon that gay and lesbian people perceive bisexuals as being more attracted to men.

The research suggested gender dynamics play a critical role in how bisexual people are evaluated in LGBTQ communities.

‘These results shed light on how and why bisexual individuals may experience prejudice from lesbian and gay people,’ researchers said.

Hollywood actor Nico Tortorella recently spoke to Gay Star News about bi-phobia in the LGBTI community. He said most of the criticism he faced about his bisexuality came from gay men.

‘Firstly, bi-phobia and bi-erasure’s one of the biggest problems in the community. There’s little to no positive visibility of any sort of bisexual character in TV or film,’

‘So many people think being a bisexual is a pitstop to being gay. That’s absolutely not the case for me and so many other bisexuals that I know.

‘I’ve dated other bisexuals and I’ve dated straight women and gay men. The most flack I get – and not necessarily flack but just confusion of acceptance – is from, specifically, cis gay men that can’t fathom that I can play in the spectrum of both gender and sexuality.’

 

Bisexual politician wins primary to flip Republican seat in November’s midterms

Bisexual politician Kyrsten Sinema

Bisexual politician Kyrsten Sinema won the Democratic primary on Tuesday (28 August) for one of Arizona’s Senate seats.

She will now face off against Rep. Martha McSally, the Republican primary winner, in November’s midterm election. They are vying for Republican Jeff Flake’s seat, who previously announced he would not be running for re-election.

If Sinema wins, she will subsequently accomplish numerous firsts.

She’ll become the first openly bisexual Senator, as well as the first female Senator from Arizona.

McSally was the first woman to pilot a fighter jet. She defeated former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to win the nomination.

A record number of LGBTI people are running for public office this year, in a variety of positions, including governor, representative, and more.

Arizona’s other Senate seat is also vacant after John McCain’s death over the weekend. It is now up to Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to choose someone to fill McCain’s seat until 2020, when the seat is up for re-election. As per regulations in Arizona, McCain’s replacement must be a Republican.

A chance to change the tide

Midterm elections typically see less voter turnout than presidential elections. Since Trump’s inauguration, however, political energy in the US has increased.

More Democrats are voting in these primaries, helping people like Andrew Gillum win their nominations. Gillum is the first ever black gubernatorial candidate in Florida.

Currently, Republicans control both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. Democrats are seeking to take back one, or both, of the chambers in a few months.

As it stands, Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate, Democrats have 47, and Independents have 2. 33 seats are being contested in regular elections, with 24 previously held by Democrats and nine held by Republicans.

Republicans can only afford a net loss of one Senate seat to maintain their majority (the Vice President, Mike Pence, serves as tie-breaker).

In the House, all 435 seats are up for grabs. Republicans have had a majority in the House since 2011 and Democrats need to win a net of 25 seats to gain the majority.

The midterm elections take place on 6 November.

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