Skip to content

Coming out to myself

June 6, 2010

There are so many phases to this.

Social interactions in the Cloud make people so self-reflexive. When I decided to actually start this blog, I was so torn about my presentation, its title, and my online identity. The worst part is always making a short bio, because in truth I don’t really know who I am at the core, and I often refer to geographical markers to describe myself.

It’s hard for me to think about my identity before moving to San Francisco. It’s definitely because I felt so misplaced in the suburbs, though at the time I didn’t know why. We’ve all heard this story before, so I won’t elaborate beyond saying that I grew up in an affluent suburb of New York City and was unhappy. In the months leading up to my move I only remember being so insanely excited, about changing everything and starting over. And now that I reflect on that summer leading up to my first year of college, I am fairly certain it was the happiest part of my “childhood,” because all I could think about was how different everything would be, and how I had control over my identity. This is very, very, largely due to the fact that I graduated in a class of 99 students, and most of us (at least two-thirds) knew each other since kindergarten, and in such a sheltered environment it was really difficult for anyone to redefine themselves.

I was not a rebellious kid, by any means. I did my homework (except for math), wouldn’t touch cigarettes or alcohol or any drugs, and when I was 14 I had to prove just how pure I was by going vegan for like two years. That was weird. I felt restricted (duh) and precisely on my 18th birthday I got my nipples pierced, just for the sake of feeling liberated. And I did, when it happened. That liberation felt great, but it was channeled in the wrong direction. I was on to something, though.

At this point I had admitted to myself that I was “bi,” relying on that term to feel “half-straight,” which meant I could round up to “straight” and be happy with myself — which is ridiculous (for a few reasons) because ten months prior, I applied to Mills College thinking, “oh nice, I can finally be in a relationship with a girl and it won’t be weird.” Really. That’s the power of denial. I really hope the whole “bi as a stepping stone” thing is on its way out. Youths today are coming out early in life in wonderfully high numbers, and my high school experience likely would have been drastically different had I known any out queers. At all. (Though a friend and I recently started a Queer Alumni Facebook group and we were  less than surprised by those who stepped out of the woodwork.)

The realization came on National Coming Out Day. I remember feeling like I had finally exhaled when I was able to recognize that I am, in fact, gay, as semantics go. The satisfaction I got from simply acknowledging that I’m gay was astounding. It was like all this tension I had from my teen years evaporated and I wasn’t even unsure about myself anymore. This, I’m sure, is a common reaction, but I really like rethinking that moment because of just how certain I felt right then. I think back then, l I was able to define my sexuality, however I didn’t have the resources to explore gender identity.

Since then I  have learned to embrace my own masculinity, and rather than shun it, as I had learned to do after I reached the age of “that tomboyishness is not cute anymore.” Learning to embrace masculinity has been so rewarding for me.

I like changing.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: