Self-reflection

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything because I’ve spent a long time thinking. I’m a thinker. I like to process through things before making any decisions so that I can make sure they’re the right choice. That’s why coming out is particularly hard for me — I don’t want to make the wrong choice: in trusting certain people or in labeling myself before I’m completely confident in the label.

Labeling myself as “lesbian” never felt right. I think I thought the uncertainty was just a part of accepting something of myself that I wasn’t used to keeping in the forefront, however, as I thought about it more, I realized it wasn’t a completely accurate representation of myself.

As of now, I feel like pansexuality is the most accurate way to explain my sexuality. For me, pansexuality is the attraction to people, regardless of gender, based on personality. It’s kind of confusing to explain because everyone is romantically attracted to another person based on their personality — i.e. their likes, their mannerisms, their behavior around you or others — but pansexuality is different (for me) in that the personality trumps the gender, usually. I have a preference for females but am still romantically attracted to other genders occasionally. By “other genders” I mean males or non-binary genders. Pansexuality is further complicated, for me, because since I have not been exposed to people of all genders, I don’t know if I have the potential to be attracted to all genders or only some, therefore being polysexual.

I’ve repeated the phrase “for me” so many times to reinforce the fact that sexuality is different for every person. The way I define any of these terms is specific to myself and my experiences with them. Each person has a different take on it and I do not aim to define sexuality for others.

Insensitivity & inquisitiveness only leads to trouble

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything because nothing profound has happened to me. I have never walked around my school feeling like I’m lying to everyone, feeling like I have this big burden that I’m trying to cover up — until yesterday.

A few of my friends and I were sitting in a classroom, just relaxing as most everyone else had dispersed for lunch. One of my friends said that she had giant, inflatable men in her house (as part of a project) and I jokingly said, “Ha, me too, except I have actual men…A dozen, real men are just in my house, haha!” Everyone laughed along — it was funny, not awkward.

Then another friend, someone with a very brash, insensitive, inquisitive personality said, “You know, I’ve never heard you talk about guys or anything like that…And I can’t really see you, like, with a guy.” “Yeah, I can’t either,” my friend with the men chimed in. Gee, thanks, I thought.

This isn’t the first time my insensitive friend has said it’s odd that I don’t talk about boys with her. It is the first time she said she can’t see me with a guy, which I took as an insult.

“I’m a pretty private person,” I said, “There are a lot of things I don’t tell you guys about.”

One of my other friends, who kept quiet most of the conversation, said, “Oh, yeah, I see that.”

“But, like, you’re really into a lot of gay people…like Neil Patrick Harris is gay, Ellen and Portia are gay, Lady Gaga’s bi,” the insensitive friend said. Again, not the first time she’s brought up these names to me, and suggested that the celebrities I am fond of are indicative of my sexuality.

“Hey, have you ever thought about being a lesbian?” my friend with the men asked. She donned a smirk and contained a laugh, ready to ridicule the very thought of girls liking girls. I was surprised to hear this coming from her — she has a lot of gay friends and I’d assumed she was more delicate with this subject, but now my perception of her has changed completely.

I just laughed a little and responded, “Haha, uhh, what are you asking me?” God bless my other friend, who had been watching this conversation draw out with concerned eyes and the decency to know its inappropriateness, who said something else to change the subject.

Anger, embarrassment and confusion swirl through my head, but mainly I come away knowing this: insensitivity and inquisitiveness only lead to trouble, and I should be more careful around people who don’t understand sexuality’s delicateness.

Inadvertent Regret

Coming out is supposed to be a great, liberating thing. It’s supposed to be a gay person relieving himself or herself from this heavy burden that he or she has been carrying for far too long. But I’ve found that coming out inadvertently becomes a burden that is just being transferred to a few trusted people.

Things would be different if we all came out completely all at once. Meaning, if we came out to everyone we knew in the same day, same moment, same announcement. And for some people, that may be possible, for others of us, it’s definitely not.

Some of my friends have been out for many years, and when they describe their coming out, they describe only doing it a small handful of times: once to their mothers, once to their other close family members, and once to their close friends. As a younger person, having less of a role developed, it’s easier to come out and adopt society’s “new role” closer to day 1.

As a person gets older, society claims more and more of them. You’re defined by the things you do, the people you associate with and the way you hold yourself day to day. As a mature person when society knows almost everything about you, it’s more difficult to come out and burst the perception of who you are. It creates more of a shock, more of a buzz. More people now unwilling to collaborate with you in the same way, more people who have a perception of the queer community that they disapprove of and now associate you with.

I’ve noticed, that when people pass their pre-/early-teen years, they feel more of a responsibility to come out slowly. And oftentimes, in this process, sharing a secret with others only makes the mess more unruly.

When personal issues come up, it feels natural to go to the people you’ve trusted with your coming out, because they know more of you than others. But after some time, after what seems like deviation to this person or small group of people for everything that you’ve been holding inside — it becomes too much to ask of another person. It becomes too much to ask them to hold and I feel guilty, inadvertently. It’s an accidental regret that weighs down.

Coming out is supposed to be a beautiful thing. But sometimes, it’s just too much.

Religious conflict

Two of my friends just started a GSA at our school. They’ve been encouraging all of their friends to come support, and the turn out for the first couple meetings has been quite great. There are a few (straight) members, however, who feel somewhat uncomfortable being a part of the club because of their religious views.

Yesterday one of these such friends came up to me and asked if I was going to the meeting. I said, “Yeah, you?”

He said something like, “No, probably not. I mean, I love [one of the co-leaders who is one of his closest friends] and I totally support him, but it just feels weird for me to be there…Like, I have a ton of gay friends and I don’t treat them any differently and I want them to be happy, but my personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman because it’s been a sacred thing that way, so it’s difficult for me to be part of something where I don’t fully agree with everything going on.” Continue reading

Altered state

When I first created this blog, I thought it should be all about me. My experience with coming out, my difficulty with it, me, me, me. Lately I’ve realized just how fortunate I am. I don’t have anything to complain about, so I shouldn’t. As I come out to more people, I will document it on this blog, because my first intention was to help others who were struggling with coming out. I think it’s important to hear stories from other people who went through it and emerged just fine. It’s consoling. So that’s why I will continue posting my experiences, but no longer for myself to have an outlet — it’s for others to have something that will hopefully help.

Some of my friends have very extreme feminist views and every time they talk about women’s issues, they become so angry. They talk about feminism as if they its experts, claiming to be able to define it for all feminists. They are completely unwilling to listen to any other viewpoints on the subjects that they rant about. I consider myself a moderate feminist in that I support equality. The way these friends speak about their version of feminism is so close-minded to any other opinions, and they spend most of their conversations condoning everyone else’s ideas as completely wrong — especially when they haven’t received full information. It’s to a point where it almost turns me off to their discussions about it.

I’m not saying my ideas on the topic are right or wrong. I appreciate that they have ideas that they want to share, but I wish they would present them in a less angry, superior way.

And I feel the same way about gay rights. I have my opinions which are pretty obvious, but I’m not going to force anyone to see things the way I do. I’m not going to be angry with people who don’t support homosexuality — some of my greatest friends believe marriage is between a man and woman only, and I respect their beliefs as they are.

These past few months listening to my friends speak about their beliefs as if they are better than anyone else’s has made me even more open-minded, even more willing to understand other people. It’s important. I wish more people would understand it.

The real sin

My friend pulled up a hilarious SNL favorite called “3-way” featuring Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga with the lyrics “It’s not gay if it’s in a 3-way”. It’s light, it’s funny. Wonderfully entertaining.

“What is this — some gay thing?”

Another kid came up behind us, disapproving of the “gay thing” on the screen, as if it were an uncomfortable sin. And yeah, this kid’s comments really bothered me. But I didn’t say anything, I didn’t get up and leave, because I can’t stop the people who are going to make these comments, and I don’t intend to.

I just intend to one day be comfortable with myself and not care what everyone else thinks.

Continue reading

Further

Sorry to be off the radar for so long. Didn’t have much to say.

But now I do again. It’ll take some explanation:

My sister has always known that I’m a strong supporter of LGBT (or as I now refer to as queer) rights. She knows I’ve never dated any boys and she’s probably a little skeptical seeing that I’m 17 and haven’t shown much interest in dating (boys). She’s smart enough to be questioning about me.

I have a feeling that she knows that the background on my phone is of my celebrity (woman) crush. I have a feeling that she’s seen it when I’ve carelessly flaunted my phone in front of her and that she acknowledged and registered what it meant. I know this because she didn’t ask me about it.

I know she won’t be surprised to find out that I’m gay, but it’s still so unsettling to come out — to anyone. I’m reading an autobiography where the writer is a mostly-closeted lesbian coming out to her brother. Her brother gets kind of upset when she tells him — he supports her fully and loves her nonetheless, but he’s mad that she didn’t tell him sooner, afraid and assuming that he’d be a close-minded bigot unwilling to accept his own sister. I know my sister won’t be confusingly angry about it, so I’m not worried about that. If anything, reading that part of the book last night gave me a little bit of an extra push, extra confidence.

The only hesitance I have with telling my sister is that she is the type of daughter to say, “You should tell Mom and Dad. They won’t care and they’ll be really great about it.” Her relationship with our parents is very different from mine. I’m honestly not as close to them as she is — I don’t tell them the gossip among my friends like she does, I don’t detail my every action of every day like she does. I don’t usually feel like I need to ask Mom and Dad for help, support or advice for every little thing I do. If I need anything, I usually go to my friends first because I can relate better, they understand better. I’m content this way, and that’s fine. But her reaction will undoubtedly be a little pushy — something I don’t want.

* * *

I’ve been having my sister read my college essays as I work through them so that she can offer suggestions. I just finished an essay in which I mentioned “sexuality being questioned”. It’s my way of subtly dropping the bomb without it going off. I take pride in being vague. Who am I referring to when I write about the “questioning” of sexuality, or when I relate it to something “tormenting”? It’s probably me, since it’s my college essay, but I never downright say so. It’s open interpretation. I know that she’ll be smart enough to know it’s me, but I don’t need to deplete all my energy by formally coming out.