Tag Archives: Non-Binary Or Other Gender

The internet is good when your family isn’t

I think my grand revelation happened after watching that one episode of the X files when Dana Scully goes to Africa and spends the whole time wearing a tank top and henley wielding a machete and, well, I had to take a cold shower afterwards.

I was terrified. I’d always believed that attraction to the same sex was a bad thing, and here I was clearly infatuated. I locked the door and opened an incognito window on my laptop, just in case. “Signs you’re a lesbian.” I took quizzes, read blogs, I did them all. Some of them said yes and some said no, but none of it helped. I looked up pictures of attractive men to “make sure” I wasn’t gay. I wasn’t. I stumbled across a quiz that told me I was bisexual. I’d only ever pictured bisexual as a thing that teenage girls say when they want to be more attractive to guys. I was really wrong. I looked it up. “Bisexuality” “What is bisexual” “Am I bisexual”. Well, I guess I was queer.

I told myself I was bisexual for the first time

It was months later when a really pretty girl complimented my shirt and I got so flustered that I told myself I was bisexual for the first time. It was only a few weeks after that that I accidentally came out at school when during a discussion about dress code I said I liked girls but didn’t get distracted by their yoga pants. I was ignored, because it’s high school,  but the people around me heard and it spread around.

I came out to my family on April fool’s day (just in case) and got three responses: NO, it’s a phase, sexual orientations aren’t a real thing, people just sleep with who they like. None of them are exactly positive. My brothers are still dicks about it, and my dad likes to pretend I’m his heterosexual daughter, but no one has disowned me for which I’m lucky.

I found several internet communities which were super cool about sexuality and gender, and yeah, there’s always assholes out there, but sometimes it’s easier to find acceptance in online anonymity. Fantasy is also great for that, and one thing I learned from fantasy is that family isn’t about blood relation, it’s about love. Any family that doesn’t accept you is just shit. You’ll find your real family, trust me.

I didn’t know how my conservative Christian family would react

At 14 I knew I was not like the other girls. I ran around and played sports and games with the boys but I was more attracted to girls. I didn’t even know the word lesbian until I was 15 when my mother demanded to know if I was one. Of course, I denied it.

‘The church was not friendly towards homosexuals’

We belonged to a very conservative church. Any socialising I did was through the church youth groups. The church was not friendly towards homosexuals, and was even protesting against the legalising it in New Zealand.

The dictionary at school was not much help, and in my little conservative suburban world, the chapters on homosexuality were cut from our text books (this was in the 1980s), and there was no one I could turn to.

‘I started to read a lot’

I kept my sexuality buried for a long time – but I started to read a lot, and became a good theology student. Through reading people like Bishop Shelbey Spong and Dominic Crossan (which are heavy theology reads), I came to understand that the debate wasn’t as simple as my church had made out.

I then moved out of home at 20, found a new congregation that were more positive towards difference. I continued to throw myself into my degree and theology, and I dealt with the grief of my grandmother passing away.

Then I fell for someone, head over heels in love. It didn’t work out – but it did confirm the feelings I had felt at 14. She didn’t make me feel dumb for loving her, so I felt I could start to come out.

‘Good things take time’

Coming out to myself had taken almost ten years, and it took me almost another ten years to come out as genderqueer.

Telling my friends was easy, they were all supportive and encouraging, both within the church and my secular friends. Most of them had thought I was gay for a long time and put my non-dating down to my shyness.

Coming out to my family was more problematic as my mother and brother still attend the church I grew up in. One afternoon (on my 25th Birthday after watching the rugby) I told my mum and dad that I was gay. My dad was so positive, he turned and said “that’s the bravest thing I’ve ever seen you do”. My mother wasn’t quite so positive, and for the next couple of weeks my dad mediated the conversation and helped mum through understanding that it wasn’t me changing –  it was me showing who I was.

How does this end? My mother has told most of the church that I am gay. This hasn’t had any repercussions; she still holds a position of responsibility. The relationship with my dad became much stronger he has been an incredibly positive unconditional supporter.  I kept my faith for a long time. Moving to another country I still study theology in my spare time and occasionally try and find a congregation I fit in with.

I went from depressed and suicidal to accepted and open in a few short years.

I realized that I was at least somewhat gay aged five, when I got a crush on my female teacher. She was about fifty and was covered in wrinkles, but I thought that she was beautiful and I was obsessed with her. I wrote her name in my notebooks, I thought about her all day, I smiled whenever I was in her presence. It didn’t take me long to search for ‘girl crushes’ on the internet and find out what I thought I was – bisexual.

They called me in to lecture me about how I was greedy and disgusting

Aged eleven, I decided to come out to my best friends.
“Please, don’t tell anyone else, I don’t think people will be very nice…”
Twenty minutes later, insults were spilling out at me all through the corridors. “Faggot.” “Carpet muncher.” “Lesbo.”
It only took another hour for my House Office to find out, and they called me in to lecture me about how I was greedy and disgusting, and how I deserved to be bullied for my sexuality. It took a week before I tried to kill myself for the first time.

Over the two years after that, the bullying intensified. I lost many friends, and every day I was treated horribly – followed home, beaten up, even sent death threats, all for being gay. Privately, though, it began to affect me less. At thirteen, I got my first girlfriend. We lasted over a year, and our relationship gave me a lot of joy. While I did try to kill myself again, the attempts grew less frequent and I had my last one aged fourteen.

Some of my family were not accepting, but other members were loving

Now, at fifteen, I’m okay. Since a whole bunch of other girls have come out, people have been forced to be more accepting, the teachers who picked on me aged eleven have left the school. Some of my family were not accepting, but other members were loving and accepted me. I’ve also had another couple of girlfriends.

I’m okay. You will be too, I promise.

I thought I was a weirdo until I met Alli

I eventually met a girl called Alli in eight grade who is one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever laid my eyes on! At first thought I was bisexual and that’s what I called myself until 8th grade passed.

Once I entered high school I finally found people that understood me. Soon after finding the right people I finally decided I was a lesbian…a super-duper lesbian!

Sure it did take some time of telling myself ‘it’s going to be okay’, ‘you’re not weird’, ‘there so many other people like you’, and ‘you’re not alone’.

If you want to be truly happy you have to love yourself, you have to walk around and be comfortable in your own skin. And don’t be afraid to strut your stuff and show your gay pride. And that girl Alli I was talking about? She’s now my girlfriend. Anything’s possible :)