CHECK LIST FOR WHEN YOUR FRIEND COMES OUT TO YOU:
- Hug them
- Be compassionate because you have no idea how vulnerable they’re feeling right now
And also thank them if you’re a decent human being.
I get really quiet leading up to when I come out to someone. It’s a mix of building up courage and over-thinking. And finding the right words/setting up the right conversation topic. I’m not a control freak in my everyday life… but the anomaly is that I have a desire to have complete control over my coming out process.
I think it’s why it took me so long to come out in the first place. Everything had to be perfect, in the perfect time, under my conditions.
Is anybody else like this???
If you’re still closeted, I urge you to learn from my story and not wait for “the right time”. You may not think you’re a control freak (I certainly do not classify as such) but please do not omit that possibility from this specific topic. You’ll literally save yourself years from being happy.
I was at a networking party this week where alcohol was flowing at an open bar. Things got messy quickly and Sixteen came into existence. By the end of the night, I had spilled out far more than I wanted… Memories got progressively fragmented (someone please tell me how I managed to bike home) and I recall telling people more than I should’ve.
We got to talking about my type (we must’ve cuz I recall Fifteen saying “… like [she who got away] but with money”, and when this memory flitted into my consciousness randomly the next day, I almost yelled aloud “BOY DID HE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD WITH THAT ONE” in a very quiet office). And soonafter, this must’ve been when I let it slip that I had a thing for our WASPy mutual friend… which I had completely suppressed until I suddenly recalled Sixteen saying “yeah she’s into redheads”. I don’t want to say that I regret telling them, but… Let’s just say that I thought I was done with secrets after coming out.
I had way too much to drink that night.
You can tell that I’m getting comfortable with coming out by the number of people I come out to at a time (though, it was more like one-on-one, one after another).
Twelve had told me at the cottage a few months ago that she felt she knew the type of guy I’d be into and that she was totally down to set me up with someone. She quickly backtracked cuz she thought she was being rude. This past Friday night after two shots of Jack, one shot of tequila, 1 whiskey sour, and 1 Mill St Organic, I followed up on that – intrigued ever since she told me, but also finally ready with an answer to follow her up with. She described someone who I could emotionally connect with, was white, buff, and that I could have good long talks with. I essentially told her that minus the penis and the buff part, she wasn’t far off the mark. We hugged it out, and she told me she would self-classify as 85% straight – although she’s been with her boyfriend for two years (his last relationship was with a guy for three years).
I remember when we first learned of his bisexuality – we were both in a hotel in Montreal and a third friend was telling us how an inconsiderate group of friends outed him with a nasty game of “never have I ever”. Her reaction was memorable: “This might be weird but I think I like him a little more”.
Aside from Twelve, who wanted to set me up with a guy, I had to ask the usual “did you know/ was I obvious?”
Thirteen – straight, very insightful, very trustworthy, male: I presented him with a scale (keep in mind I was hammered) from one to ten. He diplomatically said five. When I asked if he could keep it on the down-low, he said with a straight face “I’ve already forgotten”. He’s the type I would trust with my life.
Fourteen – straight, white #PSL girl: She just said she never thought about it and that I never really showed any interest.
Fifteen – recently out white guy: I was completely wasted at this point but thought I was being very subtle when I came out to him. The two of us got into the Korean restaurant earlier while the others stayed outside for a smoke. He told me the next morning that yes I whispered to him but very, very loudly in a quiet Korean restaurant.
When I sat down to write this post, I snapped the following to my friends:
And everyone who I had come out to thought they were being so original with their “barista knows” and “just how you like it“s.
Shut up, guys.
DEAR CLOSETED COMRADES,
THERE IS NEVER A “RIGHT TIME” SO DO NOT BOTHER WAITING FOR ONE.
I mentioned in the previous post that I was an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). According to the Myers Briggs sciencebots, I’m part of 1% of the population with this trait. I like my alone time, human beings are tiring, and I am a sucker for heart-to-heart talks.
Yet every time I casually slip into the conversation that I’m an introvert, people scoff as though I’d told them Drake was my second cousin.* The first three or four times this happened, I was shocked (almost flattered) at their disbelief. Was it possible that I had faked being sociable so well that people actually believed it? Have I “faked it til I
maked made it”?
I was socially handicapped when I was a child – I was a level 99 introvert and a spoiled child. Let me explain: even if I was starving at dimsum [I don’t eat 90% of Chinese dishes] and I was the only one who wanted to order more, I absolutely would NOT interact with a stranger at a restaurant. I’d complain and whine to my mom but refuse to speak to the waitress. I wouldn’t outright say no, like a royal princess pain, but I’d say “never mind”. I wouldn’t even order my meal at McDonald’s, and when challenged by my nanny or parent or whatever poor adult-figure had been assigned to me, I’d play a mean game of “who-can-wait-this-out-longer”… and I’d always win.
I was still relatively quiet in highschool but I’d be able to order lunch from the caf. By my first year of university I was still that shy girl in class, but in second year I opened up a little. And third year was when I got into networking – yes, I skipped 10 steps from being that spoiled mute brat and dove head-first to professional networking. In hindsight, nothing about this makes sense.
But with networking there’s structure – tons of Forbes and Harvard Business Review articles on how to network, and combined with my empathetic side, exceptional listening skills (fact), and industry knowledge, I was a networking machine. In fact, my peers and professors knew me as the networker of Class of ’14. If you’d told me that in highschool, I would’ve laughed and blocked you from MSN messenger because no way in hell would I be speaking to you irl.
But it didn’t come naturally – oh lord, the first year was no less awkward than me non-ironically wearing an ill-fitting pair of bell bottoms on Queen West – I’d come back home, palms sweaty, knees weak, mom’s spaghetti. It was a lot of faking… which I guess I’ve been practicing for 23 years so it came quickly to me. (If being closeted had any silver lining…)
At my core I am an INFJ, but I refuse to let that inhibit me from opportunities society grants to extroverts – whether at a conference or at a bar. It’s just that sometimes I’m not sure if I’m still faking it.
I’m envious of people who can write out their thoughts so effortlessly and tell such a vivid and captivating story. Straightlesbian.com is an amazing blog that held me hostage til 2am the other night.
I’m not sure if I love it for the type of content or just how she writes herself into such a vulnerable and honest state. Brittany is an absolutely brilliant writer and the Buzzfeed videos she writes (and writes herself into) are some of the greatest they have to offer. I think I have a demi-celebrity crush. Or it’s a case of “do I want to be her vs. do I want to be with her”.
I just tried to refresh my memory by re-reading her blog and oh god I came across the part where she used to (still does?) listen to Nine Inch Nails help me I’m falling in love Despite how goddamn long and blocky her posts are, I’m captivated by every sentence. How is it humanely possible for someone to be so interesting? (Sidenote: that’s genuinely the deepest compliment I’ll ever give someone – that they’re interesting. …I think it’s sexy, but that girl I drunk-texted from Plenty of Fish didn’t).
If it helps at all, I’m an INFJ. Empathy is the chink in my armour and people opening up is my achilles heel. I’m pretty sure my brain went haywire the first time I heard a self-deprecating joke (probably from Tina Fey or Amy Poehler) – “YOU’RE LETTING YOUR WALLS DOWN TO ME BUT IT`S SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE BECAUSE YOU’RE ALSO BEING FUNNY???”
I love when people talk about their failures. Not because I’m a schadenfreude, but because I think there’s something incredibly attractive and confident about letting yourself be vulnerable.
I’m pretty sure I have a thing for deeply insecure/guarded girls. What a recipe for disaster.
I did the stanky leg, nae nae, soulja boy, and everything in between this past Saturday night. It was my friend’s birthday and we shook it out to every song the DJ put on.
When I was 11, I wrote an essay about why I thought dancing was stupid.
I broke down the inanity of bodily movements to music, isolating and criticizing each limb, shaking my 11 year old head at the pointlessness of this cult-like behaviour. At school dances I would migrate to the peripheries of the crowd, seeking others to pity da fools with.
If memory recalls, I got a good grade and a personal seal of approval from Mrs Craig-Cunningham.
It wasn’t until second year university that I embraced losing myself to music. It’s precisely revelling in the pointlessness of it that makes dancing so great – it’s a celebration of just being, of not having a care in the world, and the perfect excuse to scream Gaga lyrics at the top of your lungs.
People I’m not close with are often surprised when I break out into mini dances (it’s like they actually buy the professionalism I sell on my Facebook and social media sites!?). To me it’s an expression of “I don’t give a fuckkk” – because honestly, who actually gives a fuck while they’re dancing?
11 year-old-me would’ve been shocked (and embarrassed). But then again, 11-year-old me couldn’t have possibly imagined how far 23 year-old me would stray from the conventional path my family had paved.
It’s been three months and a bit since I first came out and it really has been getting easier. I was chatting with Eight about a celebrity crush* I had and it felt like the weirdest thing gushing about someone of the same sex in a romantic way without having to disguise it as a “girlcrush” (one of my top ten least favourite words).
* not Kristen Stewart
I’m getting more comfortable in my own skin and instead of deflecting advances from girls, I flirt back. Before, I would’ve shied away. Last night I was dancing closely with a girl but in the last minute I decided to just walk away because it wouldn’t have gone anywhere – her boyfriend was there and I wasn’t particularly attracted to her. Mind you, she was physically attractive, but I feel like that’s not my type anymore – I’m far more attracted to people that interest me with their interests, personalities, passions… They keep me on my toes. I’m getting sidetracked.
The moral of this post is that it feels I’m normalizing (to myself) my attraction to women. Instead of it being a taboo thing, I’m getting the fun and games of a heterosexual pursuit minus the fear of being recognized or outed. Because fuck ’em.
I guess in addition to it being easier to accept myself, of equal value is that it gets easier saying fuck ’em.
At one point or another, we all used to think we had a type. We imagined a mould for our “soul mates” (“THE ONE”) and waited for someone to Cinderella-shoe-in to the mould. Self-raised in my teens/early 20s on streaming North American dramas and skimming Perez Hilton posts, I was held hostage by Hollywood’s definition of beauty and love. My mould was a skinny-fit brunette white chick.
One fine day I suddenly realized that I had fallen hard for a girl who was no more eye-catching than a glass window. She’s a blonde WASP, allergic to exercise, had a great relationship with her parent/stepparent, and it could not have been farther from my mould. But, like a glitch in the Sims, she existed through my mould.
My life erupted with questions. I realized I was deliberately picking seats in areas she would sit and leaving a few surrounding spots open, should she come in late to class. I realized I was making an extra effort to hang out with people she would hang out with; I realized mid-essay that I hadn’t written a word in the past 15 minutes because I had been thinking about the 10 minutes I had spent with her that day. It took me a year and prolonged absence
and her getting a boyfriend to get over her. (Although prior to her getting a boyfriend she did try to make a move on me at the bar. Fuck up #2.)
I fell hard for her personality, above all else, and only after then did I find her physical being irresistible – the way she curled her fingers through her hair, her self-deprecating humour, her ability to read and empathize with people… It was the first time that had happened to me and I had the hardest time getting out of the stupid crush. Whereas my crushes stemming from physical attraction would disappear the second they were out of sight, she plagued my mind (especially) when I was alone.
We have a mould – “a type” – for our potential partners but we should be careful not to be blind to others. I learned that the hard way.
p.s. I looked it up, mould and mold are just UK vs. American variations. Fuck you, I’m not talking about a bacterial growth.