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Anna Paquin is Bisexual and She’s Asking You to Give a Damn

Anna Paquin is Bisexual and She’s Asking You to Give a Damn

Have you heard the news?

“What news?” I hear you ask.

Is it that Ricky Martin came out as gay this week? Nope. As a matter of interest though, many of the reactions I’ve heard or read have been: “Better late than never, but who gives a damn?” Well folks in Nepal apparently do as they hope it will encourage more of their celebrities to come out. Read more about that here. It’s also been described as a “game changer” for Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children. Read about that here.

Is it the results of a Vanity Fair/60 Minutes sponsored survey that found that half of respondents would support an openly gay president and even more would support a gay secretary of state? No, that’s not the news I’m talking about, either.

The news story is: Anna Paquin (pictured), actress of X-Men and True Blood fame is… wait for it… bisexual.

This week, the blogosphere and entertainment world erupted with this revelation. But this news, this earth-shattering, orbit-wrenching, never-heard-anything-like-it news, was brought to the public with a larger goal in mind than just filling column inches or web space.

Anna Paquin, who is engaged to her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer, disclosed her sexuality for a new campaign called Give a Damn, that also features Clay Aiken, Jason Mraz, Whoopi Goldberg, Elton John and a host of other high profiled LGBTs and straight advocates.

Launched by Cyndi Lauper and her True Colors fund, along with several LGBT organizations including The Trevor Project, the campaign is aimed at everyone who cares about equality, but it’s particularly hoping to empower straight advocates and encourage more people to get involved in the fight for LGBT equality. More on that below. First, here’s the PSA featuring Anna Paquin:

The site, www.wegiveadamn.org, has a plethora of information to engage, excite, provoke and provide LGBTs and straight advocates with the resources they need to stay informed and get involved in the equality movement.

The website has sections specifically dedicated to a variety of LGBT issues. Click through to take a look (please be aware that their servers have been temperamental, so if the page is down, please check back later):

These sections are backed by specific LGBT charities and campaign groups with the hope of providing easily digestible information for straight advocates so as to introduce them to the issues that LGBTs face, to empower them with that information, and to connect them to charities and campaign groups that can help them directly get involved with the push for equality.

The Give a Damn campaign also encourages LGBTs and straight advocates to share their own stories in its Personal Stories section. It covers all the above categories, and, for instance, encourages LGBTs to share if they have been a victim of workplace discrimination or have had to struggle with health care costs because of the fact that the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages, or have been turned away without treatment because of their gender identity.

One story caught my eye in the workplace discrimination section. It starts “I give a DAMN about equality… ONE of my daughters is gay.” The writer goes on to compare all the things that her two other daughters can do that her one lesbian daughter can not, whether due to a lack of legal recognition or the social stigma still attached to being a member of the LGBT community. It’s powerful and moving. Read it here.

Now, I’ll hold my hands up. I was being a little bit flippant before about the way that Paquin’s sexuality has been sensationalized, but really, if the serious message about this project gets hitched onto the gossip train, then great, what an outstanding marketing move. We might bemoan it, but celebrity sells, so why not put it to good use?

Of course, Paquin stating her bisexuality is important in and of itself in terms of visibility for bisexual people. You’re free, of course, to also say that, you know what, I don’t give a damn about “celebrities” and how they identify. In fact, that’s probably a good thing in that sexuality is not the talking point it once was.

But hopefully you will give a damn about the Give a Damn project because the fight for equality depends, not just on LGBT activists, but their straight allies too.

If you do give a damn, and would like to connect with, and find out more about, the Give a Damn project, here are some links that might be useful to you:


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Photo taken from the We Give a Damn PSA, no infringement intended.

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264 comments

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2:46AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

wont it be great when someone elses sexual preference is boring? That will mean it doesnt flag our ego as an opportunity to practise rejection or judgement. All people are beautiful and the reason I know this is I practise what my heart tells me, not what others tell me.

6:57AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

I agree with Dana. For goodness sakes, America, people are people, and deserve respect. All people. Regardless of their political, sexual, and religious affiliations.

12:19AM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

What a great article! Thank you!

8:40AM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

I wish we could all see past this topic, embrace it, say it's ok to be who you are and move on. I'm hoping the day is near when this really doesn't matter and then we can go forward without hate and use our energy on saving this planet and making it a better place for all creatures.

9:36PM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

I feel that a person's sexual preference is their own business, whether I agree with them or not.

7:00PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

OK :)

5:17AM PDT on Apr 23, 2010

Oh God!!! Move on!!

12:11PM PDT on Apr 22, 2010

It seems there are some fine women & men on here wasting their intelligent tolerant breath on one scary nut-job who can't even spell. Boy, America breeds 'em alright.. it's a sad indictment that ads like this are necessary, but clearly in this climate they really are.

8:40AM PDT on Apr 14, 2010

Says

I'm not going to comment on who is right or wrong here, as right and wrong are very often subjective and depend on your personal viewpoint. But I do want to ask you to consider getting some help. Whether I agree or disagree with your viewpoint, is not so important. The manner in which you write (and that of Tony True...which I suspect you posted under before) shows signs on manic behaviour. The problem is that I doubt if you will accept this, or perhaps even be aware of it. I would suspect that people in real life, not just on a message board, will have a similar view of you, but again you probably think they are misguided.
I know again that you will deny this, but please face up to the antisocial problems that you clearly have and get help before you completely lose touch with reality.

8:11PM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

All this talk about bisexual and transgender etc. Our DNA only says male or female.

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