Bisexual & Transgender Bites for the Week of Mar. 22, 2017

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Here's the latest in bisexual and transgender news!

 

Pro Wrestler Comes Out as Bi after YouTube Video with Boyfriend

(SFGN) When professional wrestler Anthony Bowens met his boyfriend, Michael Pavano, he warned him that he wasn’t out as bisexual. 

"I was comfortable with the thought of being bisexual but not the thought of other people knowing," Bowens wrote in a personal essay on OutSports.  "At the time, I was playing baseball at Seton Hall University, where the whole team would shower together. They were my brothers and my fears were irrational, but it’s hard not to think they wouldn’t feel a certain way."

When Pavano made a silly YouTube video that also featured Bowens and introduced him as his boyfriend, Bowens worried about the backlash he’d receive from his wrestling buddies, but he didn’t stop Pavano from posting it.

"Weeks later, I received a text that made my stomach drop," Bowens wrote

"It was from my best friend in the wrestling business, and someone I specifically made sure to keep my secret from. The text read: 'Bro, why didn’t you tell me?' I knew exactly what he meant but I played dumb. 'What do you mean?' I replied. He responded that he saw 'the video.'"

To his relief, Bowens found that his brothers in wrestling still supported him. And he chose to come out officially on his Facebook page.

"I'm not going to make this a long winded post but I think it's time. Just wanted to let everyone know I'm Bisexual," he wrote. "I look forward to changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes as I continue on my journey. I have zero patience for negativity so if this bothers you please delete me. Thanks!"

 

Transgender Asylum Seeker Trapped by Travel Ban

(SFGN) A transgender Iranian man seeking asylum in the U.S. is caught in the Iraqi city of Irbil by the Trump administration’s travel ban. The man, identified only as Bahar, for the safety of his family, has been in the process of seeking asylum in the U.S. over the last two years.

"[in 2014] I traveled to the Pride March in Istanbul," Bahar told NPR, "and when I got home, the government found out where I'd been and began to make trouble for me. I was told I was likely to be arrested and prosecuted."

It was after that that Bahar fled to Irbil for his safety, and began the process to come to the U.S. It took a year and a half for Bahar to be granted his interview for asylum. A month ago he was elated after completing his medical exam, expecting he was now cleared to travel. The initial block of the travel ban kept Bahar hopeful, but his case had not yet been approved and that hope is fleeting.

"It's been two years, I have very bad financial problems, and things are difficult for me here in Irbil," he says. "This is a very conservative, religious society and I face lots of problems here. People criticize the way I look, the way I dress, they ask why do I dress like a boy…As far as I know, I'm the only Iranian LGBT case in Irbil, maybe the whole of Iraq," he says. "I can't get any information out of [the U.N. refugee agency], the only bits of information I get are from Iranian refugees in Turkey. The only thing I can do is try to keep my spirits up and not give up hope.”


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