coming out Archive

Pansexual Erasure vs Support

“Stop trying to be so different!”
Erasure has never hurt so much.
Now I know how my pansexual brothers and sisters feel.
Erasure. Phobia. Hatred. Confusion.

Call for submissions

This is a call for submissions for a proposed anthology entitled Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health. We are particularly invested in making sure that we have a genuinely diverse array of writers and artists contributing; we want to include the voices of people of color, of youth and elders alike, of trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people; people living with dis/abilities, low-income people, people whose intersectional identities are underrepresented in media.

Identity

I have pretty much always identified as female. Cis-gender. I have never thought about anything else, really. I have never been aware that there are other options out there, much less considered them. But I’ve also been on the tomboy side of female, right from the get-go. I hung out with boys, I beat up boys, I followed boys into the bathroom and watched them pee. I really really wanted a penis, and I tried as hard as I could to grow one. I remember when I was little I’d sit in the passenger seat of the car as I went with one of my parents on an errand-running mission, and I would feel a certain friction between my legs or against my groin from the way I was sitting on the seat, the way the seatbelt fit or my pants were tugging, and imagine a penis growing between my legs.

Faith and Sexuality with Bipolar

New to a wholehearted identification with the LGBTQ community, new to thinking of myself—knowing myself—as gay, my skin was as thin as paper when it came to perceived attacks on my identity. I felt as vulnerable and exposed as in the months after people learned I had a mental illness, so many years ago. I felt naked, like by coming out I had stripped away some vital protection that came with people thinking of me as straight, or even bisexual—capable, at least, of feeling sexual attraction to men—and that now I walked around people with an intimate part of me laid bare. To be gay, bi, pan, asexual, or queer in some other way is so much more than sex, but that’s what I felt like everyone in my family and close circle of friends were thinking about when they talked to me. I felt so incredibly revealed.

I’m not in denial, what are you talking about?

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Starfish. In her first post with us, she tells us her coming out story. Thanks for sharing with us, Starfish!

When I decided to confide my doubts about my sexuality to my mother when I was 13 years old, I had a vague idea of how she would respond. She had always impressed upon me that discrimination was bad and that homosexuality was ok and not to be made fun of. When I choked out, ‘I think I might be bisexual’, I thought she’d be surprised. Maybe ask if there was a certain girl I liked.

Staying In vs. Coming Out

I have no beautiful words to share or anything to make the pressing issue of coming out an easier one. I have nothing to offer but the advice I have been given and continue to follow in protection of myself.

It is very much okay to stay in. It is very much okay to find safety in the proverbial closet. Staying in, is in itself, sometimes needed for survival. It is okay to keep your sexuality/lack thereof, gender/lack thereof, tucked away and safe within your chest.

My Coming Out of the Dreaded Closet

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Chandler. In his first post with us, he tells his coming out story. Thanks for sharing with us, Cascadia!

When I was a young boy, I had the life of many. I played with toys, I broke stuff, I tried to fix stuff, I even stuck a knife into an electrical socket! All boys do this when they are young, they are adventurous and playful. Ages 0-9 were pretty normal or what one would call normal. At age 10 I knew something was up. I felt this weird attraction toward other boys of my same age. I didn’t know what it was so I shrugged it off. I went through all of my pre-teen and teen years knowing something wasn’t right with me. The boys in school turned me on. I hit puberty and all hell broke loose with me. There was a boy in my class, whose name was Brandon. I couldn’t stop looking at him! He made me feel weird inside.

Ramifications of Queer and Mental Illness Visibility

While part of my identity is “Out of the Closet”, as the thrift stores I frequent so gaily proclaim, the mental health side of my identity is still partially in the closet, a monster in the closet that emerges and slides back in as I hide blog posts, switch back and forth my internet expressions, erase tweets, and deep down know that the internet knows everything forever. Spokeo owns me and it owns you.

Trans Activism and Burnout

Over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to try to participate in activism that was relevant to my interests and identities, and also to recruit others into that activism. Trans folk, and trans women in particular, have long had an inclination and good reason to hide from society, to “go stealth” as we call it in the community. Societal pressures pushed us into a permanent closet that more closely resembled a mausoleum than the relative comfort of the closet. Our past was dead and our present remained cold and isolated, with few if any places we could reveal our history in a safe and confidential space.

Shifting Identities

I have roughly four major identities. I am autistic. I am mentally ill. I am asexual. I am genderqueer. The first three identities, I have known about for a while. They’re concrete. My autism won’t go away tomorrow. Neither will my mental illness. I won’t suddenly wake up with the desire to fuck people. Yet, being genderqueer is different. I might go to bed agonizing over one identity, yet it’s gone in the morning, replaced by a different identity.