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Posts Tagged ‘coming out’

Someone recently asked me about my “coming out” story.  I don’t talk about it much because. . . well. . . it’s just not that exciting.  Even my sister’s coming out story is more interesting than mine!

Hell, to be honest, I wasn’t even that nervous about coming out–except to my mom. 

I knew she’d still love me. . . but she had been asking me for years if I liked girls. . . and I always told her “No, I don’t think so” or “Nope, no girl fantasies for me.”

And it was true!  I had never had any interest girls. . . but I hadn’t had any interest in guys either.  Naturally, she was wondering. 

FINALLY, in May of my junior year of high school, it happened–my first real crush on a girl.  I knew I had to tell my mom the truth.

So that Saturday, my mom and I were in her Mustang and she was driving me to my lame part-time job at the public library.  About two minutes into the drive (it only took five to get to the library from home), I finally got up the courage to say something.

“Mom.”

“What?”

“I like Kim.”

“Like. . . what?”  She looked confused.

“I like Kim.  A lot.”  I tried to sound casual.

“Like. . . as a friend?  Or like you wanna date her?”

“I’m going out with her.”

“So. . . you’re gay?”  She put on her turn signal.

“I don’t know.” 

“What do you mean you don’t know?  You like girls, right?” 

“No.  I like Kim.  Beyond that, I don’t know.” 

“You picked now to tell me?” she asked, as we pulled up to the library and she put the parking break on.

“. . . . Yes?”

She gave me a look and shook her head. 

“I love you,” she said, and leaned over to give me a hug.  “Have a good day at work.”

“Love you, too!”  I hugged her and got out of the car. 

That was in 2006, and to this day, she still makes fun of me for coming out the day before Mother’s Day.

“What kind of a Mother’s Day present is that?!”

I’d like to thank my mom for raising me to be such a confident, well-adjusted kid.  I’m nothing compared to some of the other crazies at my college.  =P 

Pretty sure my mom must have one of those in her closet somewhere. . .
 
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It’s official.  My younger sister is a lesbian, too–and I’m just not sure how to feel about it.

Ever since I came out at age 16, my family has always been supportive of me–and I knew they would be, so I never felt any pressure to hide anything.  I know I’ve been lucky to have so much love and support, and I know that my sister can expect the same love and support from me and the rest of our family.

So why did she wait so long to come out of the closet?

You’d think that after seeing me come out and how accepting everyone was, my sister would have felt safe coming out to us–or at least to me.

Apparently, we thought wrong.  She says that even after she knew she was gay (at least a couple years ago), she didn’t want to come out because she didn’t want to upset anyone or cause stress to the family.  She’s 19 years old, and just now coming out to the rest of us. 

This got me thinking:  Why do so many people choose to stay in the closet?  Even in a time where it’s become widely accepted? 

Of course there are the standard reasons: unaccepting families, conservative belief systems, religious persecution, etc., but what are some of the reasons that may be overlooked? 

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Ever heard one of these:

  • “He’s gay, right?”
  • “She looks like a dyke!”

Or my personal favorite. . .

  • “Is that a guy or a girl?”

Or. . .

  • “You can’t be a lesbian!  You don’t play softball!”

Maybe that last one sounds a little strange, but it’s the first thing my mom said when I told her I was batting for the other team.

My grandmother was struck by the fear that I would suddenly become a totally different person.  She was quite sure I would buzz my long hair, burn all of my bras, and trade my high-heels  and miniskirts in for work boots and flannel.

Now, it’s almost five years later, and I’m more girly than ever– “except for that whole liking girls thing,” as my mom would say.

Even now, I find that people just assume I’m straight.  People I’ve gone to college with for four years still go wide-eyed and say, “I didn’t know you were gay!”

People have preconceived notions of what they think it means to be gay, straight, lesbian, or transgendered.  The list of stereotypes goes on and on, but the fact is, most people just can’t be categorized like that.  Liking musical theatre doesn’t make a man gay, anymore than being black makes a man a thug–although I guess my one lonely pair of big baggy jeans does make me a little dykey.

What are some of your “favorite” stereotypes?  Funny ones or offensive ones?  Ones that just plain don’t make sense?  I wanna hear about it!  Please comment or subscribe!

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