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“It Was a Gift”: Indonesian Christian Bisexual Seminary Students’ Theological Reinterpretation of Bisexuality and Religious Belief

In the Indonesian context, as a religious-heteronormative nation, bisexual identity is generally interpreted as a negative identity in theological discourse. This article offers an alternative theological discourse regarding the meaning of bisexual identity by five Christian bisexual seminary students as a form of self-empowerment within a religious-heteronormative context. This article describes the experiences and theological struggles of five bisexual seminary students in embracing their sexual identities, which are collected through in-depth interviews. This article explores how Indonesian Christian seminary bisexuals synchronize their Christian faith alongside their bisexual identity. The interview data were analyzed using a feminist phenomenological approach. The results showed that Indonesian Christian bisexual seminary students experienced at least three existential struggles due to the incompatibility of their faith and sexual identity: personal, theological, and socio-religious. Theological reinterpretations of non-heteronormative sexual identities, such as bisexuality, became a negotiation strategy to set aside Christian faith and bisexual identity for them. Through hermeneutic and progressive theological discourse exposure in the seminary’s formal education and media, they are queering the theology to reach an existential awareness of bisexuality as a compatible identity besides their Christian faith. This article provides an alternative (queer) discourse based on empirical research that empowers Christian bisexual individuals to uphold their faith without denying their bisexual identity. In addition, this article also exposes the voices and experiences of religious bisexual individuals with low visibility on the LGBTIQ + spectrum, especially in the Southeast Asian context. This article proposes that LGBTIQ + support groups, especially in religious-heteronormative nations like Indonesia, equip religious LGBTIQ + individuals with progressive theological discourse and hermeneutical methods in interpreting sacred texts and beliefs since the progressive theological discourses and hermeneutics are essential to religious LGBTIQ + individuals in upholding their faith and non-heteronormative sexual identity.

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Intersexual Variabilities and Phallic Restorations: Otto Weininger and Sigmund Freud as Detractors of Magnus Hirschfeld

In 1903, young Viennese philosopher Otto Weininger (1880–1903) published Geschlecht und Charakter. Eine prinzipielle Untersuchung (literally: Sex and Character. A Principled Investigation), in which he maintained that the conception of “permanent bisexuality” he advanced was completely new. His claims were challenged in 1906 by physician Wilhelm Fließ (1858–1928), who referred to his elaborations on the issue in a treatise published in 1897. The accusation of plagiarism against the by then deceased Weininger were aggravated as Fließ blamed Sigmund Freud for having orchestrated an intrigue aiming at informing Weininger about the ideas on permanent bisexuality the physician had articulated. Despite the heated debate surrounding the primacy claims, none of those involved was prepared to admit that sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935) had been the first to conceptualize permanent bisexuality in connection with his 1896 discussion of the sexual intermediariness of all human beings. Hirschfeld’s Sappho und Sokrates—his first sexological treatise—aimed in the last resort at debunking closed distributional schemes of sexuality for the sake of a template of universal bisexuality modulated by the individual’s unique sexual intermediariness. On these assumptions, it is not surprising that Hirschfeld’s counterintuitive and profoundly deranging postulation of potentially infinite bisexual forms encompassing all existing sexed individuals was ignored by those partaking in the primacy debate. Irrespective of the disagreements the litigants may have had among themselves with respect to chronological or theoretical issues, they all sought to restore the full rights of the endangered phallicism subtending Western culture that Hirschfeld had set out to confute.

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Disparities in Psychological Distress between Czech General Population and LGB + Community Sample

Sexuality and gender identity measures are rarely included in population-level health studies, even though research shows that sexual minorities are among the groups most vulnerable to psychological distress. In this study, we strive to make the first step towards overcoming this gap in data availability in Czechia. We used data from a recent Czech General population sample (N = 1,841) aged from 15 to 92 with mean = 46,53 and SD = 17,68 years and a Czech sexual minority community sample (N = 1,788) aged from 15 to 71 with mean = 24.2 and SD = 10.1 years that included 642 gay or lesbian men (either cis or trans), 427 gay or lesbian women (either cis or trans), and 450 bisexual individuals (94 men and 356 women, both either cis or trans). We found that all LGB+ subgroups had significantly higher levels of psychological distress compared to general population as measured by Brief Symptom Inventory. This effect was more pronounced in bisexual participants than in gay and lesbian participants. This is the first Czech study focused on comparison of the differences in psychological distress between the general population and sexual minorities. Our study shows that overcoming the lack of inclusion of sexuality and gender identity measures in relevant population health surveys needs to be addressed soon.

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