Evening folks :)
I recently talked to you guys about how I feel when you say “That’s so gay,” and “Don’t be a fag.” Maybe you took it to heart, maybe you think I’m fighting a losing battle. Either way, I’m okay with that. Because if I made just a couple people feel better or gave just a couple people hope, I’ve accomplished my goal. Today, I want to talk about finding out and coming out, two of the hardest parts for a lot of people in the LGBTQ community. My own ‘figuring out’ story is pretty lame. Someone once asked a teacher what the B, T, and Q in LGBTQ stood for. The teacher explained. Everything made sense. The end.
My coming out experience was (like most people’s, I imagine) was a pretty gradual process. I started by telling a couple friends right when I figured it out, and they thought it was cool. It was a while before I quietly changed my ‘interested in’ on Facebook. No announcement, no spectacle, just a little detail. And then, when someone asked me about it, I just said “Yea, I’m bisexual. So? What’s it to ya?” I’m pretty sure the response was, “Huh. Cool.”
I never told my parents. When I had realized my orientation, I was also going through a kind of sketchy, angry, bitchy teen phase involving stud belts and a lot of Silverstein. I couldn’t stand the thought of my parents telling me that my ‘imagined’ sexuality was just a phase. That it was my way of fitting in by not fitting in. In hindsight, that idea would have been scary because fitting in by not fitting in is so something I would have done then. But I really loved my ‘new’ identity. I connected with it, I understood it. I never wanted it to go away. So I just didn’t say anything to my family.
I moved to Australia (away from the Catholic school) and suddenly the weight of judging stares and guys’ ‘threesome’ fantasies were lifted away like they had never existed. Like I said in a previous post, my sexuality in Australia was just another random fact about me. I finally made some really great friends who didn’t care who I was checking out. I honestly can’t stress enough how much the right crowd can boost your confidence and your sense of self worth. I came home with a new security that made it easier to talk about my sexuality and explain it to the people around me who didn’t understand it.
The last step was telling my closest friend (who is now also my partner), and my family. I’ve found that it’s easy to “come out” to people you aren’t particularly close with. There’s no fear of rejection. I was all kinds of nervous when I told my best friend. He’s a pretty traditional guy, so I had no idea what his reaction would be. As with every other thing I work up to Armageddon magnitudes in my head, it turned out to be totally fine. He said “Yea, that makes sense.” We now have a fantastic, solid relationship and occasionally we bond over objectifying hot, famous women.
I only just told my parents at the beginning of this month. As I’ve said before, my Gender Studies/Minority Studies course is really helping me realize how important this topic is to me. So, I wrote “Part 1” in a panic because I needed to get the word out: It’s not okay to be passively offensive to the entire LGBTQ community! But then I realized I couldn’t let my parents find out via blog post. So I called my mum and told her. And she didn’t care at all. And then she yelled it out the front door to my dad as he left for the cottage (in my head, she just leaned out and said “By the way, honey, your daughter’s gay!”) And my dad didn’t care either.
I have exceptional parents who are basically the coolest people in the world (love you guys), and my entire coming out experience was basically painless…with the exception of the pain I caused myself by worrying. Obviously that is NOT everyone’s story: everyone’s is different. Have a listen to Hannah’s story. She’s hilarious and real… And you can’t get any better than that.
I dream of a world where no one has to come out. A world where the only time your sexuality has to come up is when someone asks you directly, for the purposes of seeing if you’re interested back. What other reason would we need to know it? Unfortunately, right now I think people do need to know it. I think people (especially those who make the rules we all have to live by) need to know that the LGBTQ community is NOT a tiny, insignificant minority! LGBTQ issues ARE a pressing matter, and to more people than you think. And right now, the only way we’ll accomplish that is to shout it from the roof tops.
There is so much more I want to say about this topic. Now that I’ve got myself going, I think I might end up at Part 12! Until then, if you have any coming out experiences you’d like to share, this is a safe space. Any derogatory or discouraging posts will not be approved, ’cause that’s just not what we’re about here.
That’s it for today folks. Talk soon,