Happy Belated Dykeday to Me
In lesbian years, I am an infant. One year and two days ago, I came out (for the first time) to a friend whilst sitting on a park bench. I said it aloud for the first time – a statement most unretractable – and I couldn’t even say it directly; something along the lines of: “I don’t know if I’ll even end up marrying a guy“. And holy shit I just realized my coming out went full-circle because that’s more or less how I came out to my mom.
Anyway, I’m glad I documented each of the first twenty-ish times I came out (that’s definitely not normal) because looking back on each post, I can recall the magnitude of emotions I was feeling leading up to coming out and the weight that quietly dissolved after. But I also realize that the more times I came out, the more the process lost its meaning – which made it easier for me. It’s not to say that coming out is meaningless, but it is a chore, the onus of which is unfairly thrown onto queer people. And it dulls after a while. Throwback to this video starring a certain blonde intersectional feminist:
And because I am super gay, I’d like to reflect on a few changes that I’ve seen in myself on my one year anniversary of coming out:
- I’m more confident. Opening the floodgates to conversations and blog entries about my sexuality has instilled in me an understanding of things – some people are born this way and there are people out there like me. By being more open to dialogue, surrounding myself with the right people, (and following the right people on Twitter), I’ve developed an understanding of something – a side of myself- that I was hesitant to approach before. I’ve since embraced that side of who I am and done the oh-so-typical thing of writing about it in a one-year-coming-out-anniversary
- I’m not scared anymore. It’s closely related to the first point but different in that whereas before, I’d be hesitant to follow through with my thoughts for fear of being confronted with my sexuality and this trickled into a hesitancy to dive too deep into anything personal, whether this was in conversation with someone or just in my head. I refused to “go there”.
- I’m more outgoing – but out of acknowledged necessity. Similar to how I became an excellent networker despite being an introvert, being outgoing and social was necessary for me to meet people… people like me. LGBT people represent about 5% of the population – if we’re being generous, we can allocated about 2% of that to queer women (bi, pan, gay). So in a room of 100 people, for the straight person, they’d still have close to 50 people to pick from as a potential partner. For me, in the same room, I’d have one. And then I’d have to like them, they’d have to like me, we have to have chemistry, etc. And given how fucking messed up I am in the head, the chances of me finding someone are slim to dim. But wow did this go off the tracks. Realizing this, I’ve put myself out there a lot more – said yes to way more social events, parties, nights out, etc. when I would’ve felt more comfortable at home. But all in all, I can say it’s paid off – I just need to control my drinking :O
- I’m more aware. The word “lesbian” was disgusting to me as recently as a month ago. Acknowledging and reading up about it (on Twitter), made me aware that my issue with the word was not isolated – this subtle self-hate was common with lesbians everywhere and confronting this was hard, but once I became aware, I pledged to reclaim the word. It’s timely that there was so much helpful content being pushed recently (Gaycation, Transparent, Her Story, etc) but I feel I receive it more loudly now, now that I have a more fitting (and open) frame of mind to process this in.
All these points build on honesty and as that stupid saying goes “the truth will set you free”, it’s not until you’re living in your truth that you really understand the weightlessness of it. I’ve had an untouched copy of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War sitting on my shelf for half a year, with the intent of using this material to further my career (businesses cite it all the time as an integral component to their success). When I finally got to reading it, I was so disappointed at the ill intent in this book (what did you expect, Fab?) and the amount of pretense that was advised. It taught things like “Always hide the size of your army and never reveal its true capabilities to your enemies”… I don’t care how many successful people swear by this book, I can’t imagine the “success” achieved would not be devalued by how immoral the actions are. It’s easy to dismiss this as naivete, but I believe the success of YouTubers speaks to the achievements that being true to yourself can achieve. Open internet (as a marketing platform and as an accessible investigation tool) makes honesty a much more crucial virtue to abide by. Seriously… what a time to be alive.
To be honest (hah), I’m running a little dry on content for this post. Perhaps I’ll update/edit it later, or I’ll create a part 2. I feel I have a lot more to say about my “first birthday”, but biking 12km up hills to Sunnybrook Park for a 1.5hr game of frisbee and biking another 12km back home has drained me.
edit. (June 12th, 3:10am)
Coincidentally featuring the same media, I feel less of this “Gay Phantom Limb” phenomenon I’d felt before. There really is a weightlessness in truth.
I should note that it’s a conscious decision that begs a question every time I meet someone new – “should I disclose to them my sexuality?“. Should I, to avoid the awkward “actually, I’m gay” that may come? Will it come up naturally? And, somewhat shamefully: is this a risk I need to take? (aka will them knowing my sexuality jeopardize anything?) It’s a decision every queer person is forced to make and it’s mind-clutter straight people don’t need to deal with.