Utter Terror and Squid Metaphors: Coming Out and My Journey to Happiness!
We've published a lot of really awesome coming out posts lately, but this one by the brave and hilarious horcruxnumber7 might just be our favorite.—Sparkitors
As teenagers, we all go through what I call “those gut-wrenching-horrifically-scary-reduce-you-to-a-puddle-of-anxiety-jello moments.” For whatever reason (I personally blame our country’s obsession with peanut butter, which is all too common and not really that pleasant), being nervous to the point where you somehow expect to throw up your toenails is a normal part of life. Anyway, whether it’s performing in front of an OH-MY-GAWD-ENORMOUS audience or asking out Smartyhot McPopularpants, each and every one of us knows what I’m talking about.
Which is why, dearies, I’d like to share with you my moment of utter terror. And I’m going to kinda follow the crowd here—this is my coming out story. This one, however, may or may not have a happy ending. I guess it’s yours to judge. (OOH, FORESHADOWING.)
Where to begin? I don’t look different. I don’t act different. I’m quite feminine, actually. If you were to meet me in the street, there would be virtually no way to tell that I’m a lesbian, unless you knew what to look for (gaydar).
But for a long time, I knew I was different. What tipped me off? As much as I’d like to tell you that the Identity Fairy came to me one night and gave me a magical lollipop and a note explaining everything, it wasn’t that simple. At first, all I knew was that physical contact with a guy wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Thoughts During Interaction:
Guy: I find this embrace pleasant. Mayhaps I should press my mouthparts to hers.
Me: His hands... Oh god, his hands...
Guy: Lips. Girl. Yes.
Me: New toothpaste. Huh. Why am I supposed to do this, exactly?
Me: ...I wonder if beef tongue is the same texture.
Me: He got spit on my face. Wiping it off would be rude, right?
Disclaimer: If this isn’t what generally goes through a guy’s mind, I apologize. I’m not exactly an expert on the male species. In fact, they make about as much sense to me as Dan Bergstein’s dislike of A Very Potter Musical (which is to say, NONE WHATSOEVER).
Eventually, I figured it out with the help of a crush or two. Does it get simple yet? ‘Fraid not.
You see, my darling heteros, there is one thing that many of you do not realize about first discovering you are gay. IT IS MISERABLE. You hate it. You fret over it. You hope it will go away. Basically, it’s as if you discovered that a trapeze-swinging squid has moved into your bedroom. You have nothing against trapeze-swinging squids. You yourself may even know a few owners of trapeze-swinging squids. But that never meant you wanted one HANGING OVER YOU. And on top of that, trapeze-swinging squids and their owners are, for some reason, not universally liked.
And there you have it. Advance to nearest closet.
I’m not sure when I started being okay with my sexuality. It took several years. Eventually, I guess, you stop denying its existence and begin to make friends with the squid. And you decide the time has come to train it and take it out in public.
Which, I cannot emphasize enough, is DOWNRIGHT TERRIFYING.
I took it slow. The first person I told was an old friend whom I knew to have dated a bisexual. And that went fine, of course.
The second was gay. That, obviously, went well.
And then the third. Great. The fourth. Fine and dandy. The fifth. Swell.
A pattern began to arise. None of these people were hating me! I wasn’t being pelted with tomatoes! Sure, not everyone embraced it wholeheartedly (I live in Texas. Get real), but my nightmares about apocalyptic ends to my high school life seemed to be ill-founded.
But it wasn’t destined to be perfect. And this is where my story differs from many of yours, Sparklers, because enter Act 3: My Mother. It took a long time after telling my friends before I was able to tell the person down the hall.
Me: (Legs shaking) … Mom?
Me: (Fingers shaking) … Uhm.
Me: (Gallbladder shaking) …I’m...
Me: Not straight.
Mom: I don’t care.
She wanted to talk about it. “Are you sure it’s not a phase?” “How do you know you like girls?” “How can you be sure if you haven’t tried both?” “You should keep it private. It’s not something you ought to tell people.”
(I’d like to clear up something right now, the same way a straight person KNOWS they are attracted to the opposite sex, it is not not a necessity for a gay person to try both genders to know what lights their candle. End rant.)
In case you haven’t deduced, my mother may have claimed not to mind having a lesbian daughter, but that didn’t mean she was supportive. And then, a few months later, I heard from her lips the words I never thought I’d hear uttered from my life-long agnostic mother:
“I don’t think that homosexuals go to heaven. A man is meant to be with a woman. That’s how we’re made.”
It felt like a smack in the face. Scratch that. It felt like a betrayal. Needless to say, that night was witness to the worst fight my mother and I have ever had. It ended with my mother deciding I was no longer fit to live in her house.
That was nine weeks ago. I am currently staying at my grandmother’s house, and though we have tried, it is clear I won’t be going back. It hurts sometimes to know my mother and I had our relationship fall apart this way, but I’m pulling through. I know that it will get better. I have a huge network of friends that love me, and outstanding family members who I know will be there for me. And the best part? I can stand proud. I know who I am.
I don’t want anyone taking the wrong message from this. I don’t want pity, and I don’t want this to discourage people. Frankly, I am so much more at peace with myself now, and so much happier. But I felt this was a story I felt I ought to share. Things aren’t always going to work the way you planned, and the moral is that it doesn’t matter. Any pain I feel is nothing compared to living a lie.
The squid wholeheartedly agrees.
Horcruxnumber7, you are amazingly awesome, brilliantly brave, and totally wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us!
Related post: Carrots, Mustaches, and Coming Out of the Closet