Happy National Coming Out Day!!

11 10 2008

I don’t have much to say about coming out, except that it’s a process, and wherever you are along the way, don’t worry – it gets easier.  I came out as bisexual at 16 to my best friends and my aunt, then my mom.  I gradually came out to people in my high school over the next year, and when I went to college, I came out to more people, but it took my six months to come out to my boyfriend.  After his taking it badly (and after we broke up a year later), I resolved to be as open and honest as possible to avoid awkward situations.  When I was 21, I came out to myself as a lesbian.  Then I came to Iowa and was out to everyone – my friends, my professors, the guy at the grocery store – but with each person you have to say those three words again, so the process is never really complete.  Now, it’s empowering and fun, but initially it was downright scary.  Remember, you’re not alone, and your coming out may help another person who can’t quite do it yet.

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7 responses

13 10 2008
Shirley

Thanks for the words of encouragement. You look so proud in your pic. And BTW, you’re very beautiful 🙂

15 10 2008
alesbianandascholar

Thank you, Shirley! I am indeed quite proud, though I should probably update that with a more recent pic, haha. That was back when I actually had a substantial amount of hair!

18 10 2008
Derek

Great post. Short and sweet. I suppose I never thought about coming out being a process, but, now that you’ve said that, it’s obvious that it is. You’re never full, 100 percent out; there will always be people who assume you’re hetero.

Anyway, thanks for this.

19 10 2008
Leila

yeah, you need a new pic, your hair is rockin!
and i am surprised to hear that you were not fully out before you came to iowa. you know. because you’re pretty gay.
i am totally with you on coming out as a process. that’s really why i choose to look so butch with the men’s shorts and things. because it is a DAY TO DAY process. every person you meet you can either say, “hi, i’m leila, i’m a big raging homo!” or you can wear menswear and hope they get it.
being out does seem to help you know who your allies are pretty quickly though, and i think that’s a good thing, so i would always encourage anyone to get the hell out and stay there. it’s a much more comfortable place to be.

20 10 2008
alesbianandascholar

Derek – I’m glad it helped you think about that a bit. It was funny, the other day I was presenting on identity and intersectionality in my Law in the Muslim World class, and I used the intersection of being a lesbian and a Southerner as an example (casually), and it occurred to me that though I’m sure everyone had an inkling, to some of my classmates that was probably some sort of grand revelation. Haha. My experience is that the more “smooth” you are about coming out, the more other people tend to react to it as being a normal, ordinary, acceptable thing.

Leila – Done and done. I like playing with Photoshop anyway. I am, indeed, pretty gay. It’s true. Haha. Though in truth I used to be way femmier. In college I always went to Dresden Dolls concerts and wore super short skirts and cleavagey black lace tops and fishnets. I still have all that shit jammed in the back of a closet somewhere. I do think that people kind of think what they want to think about your sexuality, or think what they’re accustomed to. Growing up in a conservative environment, I never assume that anyone’s gay. I’m not necessarily *surprised* when someone comes out to me, but if I see butchy clothes (or girly clothes on a man) I don’t jump to that conclusion. But more and more I’m realising that those people weren’t just butchy or girly, haha. The South is legendary for its closeted homosexuals!

22 10 2008
Leila

w00t! your new header is the awesome sauce! excellent job, doing my bidding.

22 10 2008
alesbianandascholar

Hehe, when it comes down to it, all we really are in this life is Leila’s minions. Glad you like it 😀

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