Saturday, November 28, 2009


I’ve been incredibly intimidated to write this post. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of love, disappointment, fear, comfort and insanity.


First things first: I met a girl. She is beautiful, and awe inspiring… and when I hold her my heart feels like it’s jumping on a trampoline. When I lay my head against her chest, I’m assured that she feels the same way. We’ve spent the last month doing a passive aggressive love dance… making out, pretending like it doesn’t mean anything, making out again, kissing with intensity and then laughing it off later.


And then there was last week. Last week she introduced me to her friends. I was so nervous, and as we sat there on the couch together she brushed my arm with her fingers and slipped her hand into mine. My stomach somersaulted because I realized that for the first time, I CARE about someone I’m involved with. I genuinely care what her friends think of me, I care about her feelings and if she feels good when I’m holding her. I hold her. I’m letting my emotions creep into this and its SCARY, and different, and new. It’s wonderful.


We’re both insomniacs and we’ve been spending every other night together pulling all nighters… watching infomercials, driving around, buying candy at the 24 hr Walgreens, etc etc. Over the past couple weeks my mom has been expressing concern that I’ve been spending so many nights away from home with someone she hasn’t met, so she took the liberty of facebook stalking my girl (she learned her stalking skills from me, so it’s my own fault). She saw that my girl is gay and asked me on Saturday if I’ve been questioning my own sexuality. I was stunned and speechless. I had not planned on coming out and I wasn’t prepared to do so… but I also wasn’t prepared to lie about it.


“I’m not questioning it Mom... I’m gay.”


She looked at me and after a long pause, sighed and said “Oh…. Okay. This is going to be hard, and it’s going to be a challenge, but we can do this. I still love you baby.”  By this time I was sobbing and hugging my mom like I was a 5 year old with a skinned knee. I begged and pleaded with her not to tell my dad, who walked downstairs in the middle of all this and saw my slight mental breakdown. He mentioned something about car payments and awkwardly shuffled away. My mom asked that I tell him but told me she would respect my wishes if I chose to wait. I couldn’t ask her to keep a secret that big, so I told her I would tell him myself. My parents left to go out to dinner and I wrote my dad a letter, packed a bag and left.

The letter went something like this, only about 3000 words longer:



 I love you, I trust you, and I’m about to hand you my heart. Please be careful with it. I’m gay. I know this is not what you want for me and this is not how you pictured my life. I know you support homosexual reparative therapy, but I ask that you please respect me as a person and as your daughter when I tell you that this is not something that can be changed. I wouldn’t change it even if I could. This is who I am. I’ve known this for years but I’ve been terrified to tell you because I’ve been afraid of your reaction, of the backlash my telling you this would bring. Please know that this does not change who I am. This has always been a part of me, it’s just a part I have been hiding from you. I know that our relationship is about to change, but I’m ready for that. I love you and I hope that someday, with a little bit of that liberal perseverance (haha) and a lot of faith, you’ll still walk me down the aisle. I won’t be coming home tonight. I want to give you time to think about and process this. I love you so much and that will never change, no matter what.

Love, Emily


I left around 6pm and picked up my girl. I didn’t hear much from my parents that night, and I slept at my girl’s best friend’s house. The next morning I got a text from my dad asking me to come home and talk, but I was too scared to face him. I went to work and somehow made it through my shift without messing up TOO many times, and came home around 10pm that night. I walked in the door and my mom looked at me and simply said, “He’s upstairs.”


I walked up the stairs, knocked on the door to his room, and went inside. He stood up from his bed and hugged me, and started sobbing. I cried too and we just stood there for a minute or two, holding each other and crying. We sat down on his bed and although he said he still loved me and wouldn’t kick me out or pull my funding for school, he told me he believed my gayness was just cultural influence. He said that men aren’t indispensable, that maybe I don’t like ALL men, but…. Worst of all, he said that if I prayed enough and read the bible, I could be “changed”. The God that my dad seems to know is SO different from the God that I know.


I left again that night and stayed on my best friend’s couch. Her parents were incredibly supportive and let me know that whenever things are hard at home, I always have a second home with them.


And so that leads me to what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving: I am thankful for love. The love of my girl, of my friends, of my surrogate families, of my siblings, of my mom, and of my dad (despite our differences and the endless fights that are sure to fill the coming months). I’m thankful for everyone who came out before me, who paved the way for me. I’m thankful that I was able to come home for Thanksgiving. And I’m thankful for YOU.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If this is what I call home, why does it feel so alone?

This post is going to be  a little different than usual. I need to talk about something that’s been weighing on my heart for awhile. I think I’ve mentioned before that I work as a nursing assistant in a residential hospice, meaning that a great deal of my time is spent interacting with terminally ill cancer patients. I’m supposed to tell them that everything is going to be okay, I’m supposed to comfort them when they cry, give out hugs like candy and react to grieving families with the ease of a skilled counselor.


Here’s the deal: I’m 19. I DON’T believe that everything is going to be okay, every time I see them cry I want to lie down next to them and cry too, and most of the time I just don’t know what to say when a family member comes to me with tears in their eyes, looking for some kind of faith or reassurance.


I don’t have that. I don’t have the answers. And sometimes, at the end of my shift, I have NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE. I’m completely and utterly emotionally drained and I have nothing left for my family or friends. I feel like a robot.


Last week I took care of my classmate’s dad. His DAD. His dad was younger than mine. His brain tumor showed up suddenly 2 years ago and just like that… 24 months to fight. 24 months to live. And then it’s over. Even though my dad and I have our differences I love him more than life itself, and I would be completely lost if he were taken from me. I can’t even imagine losing him.


This work is hard but it lends a valuable lesson with a teaching style most don’t have the opportunity to encounter: Life is precious. Life is short.  So eat your dessert first, count your blessings, love without fear, take risks, and roam if you must… but come home when you’ve seen enough. I’ve asked every one of my well traveled patients what their favorite place is and I always get the exact same answer: home.


But where is home?  WHAT is it??


I love traveling, I love roadtripping. It’s not unusual for me to pack a bag, jump in the car and drive. I wrote this a couple weeks ago when I was doing just that:


Home is not a place.

It has no spot on the map, no address where birthday cards can be sent.

Home is a time.

A time when things were safe,

A time when if I scraped my knee, it only hurt until it was kissed.

A time when every rainbow was a miracle, and a time out was the worst of my fears.

Home is a feeling.

It’s the feeling I get when I drive on open roads,

The windows down and my cell phone turned off.

Home is in the vast green prairies,

The abandoned K-Marts and empty parking lots.

I’m obsessed with empty parking lots,

As if they are tangible proof that I’m not the only one afraid to stop.

Afraid to slow down, because maybe I’ll miss something or someone.

I’m not running away from anything.

I’m running towards something.

I’m running home.


I’m looking for home. Let me know if you find it. ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

I'm going to write this blog post as quickly as possible, with no edits because I'm fairly sure I'm coming down with some strain of the flu. My entire body aches, it hurts to move, I've been throwing up all night, the lights hurt my eyes, I'm dizzy... basically I just feel like shit. (Note: H1N1, if you find me, I will hurt all that you hold dear.) 

BUT I have missed writing a ton, so alas, here I am. I am officially out to ALL of my friends now, as well as anyone who asks... and anyone with a penis trying to get inside these jeans. I'm still keeping my parents in the dark, especially after an event last weekend where my mom saw two women kissing on Grey's Anatomy (Callie and Erica, I'm still on season 4!) She turned her face away and shouted "Ew, I don't want to see that! Get that off the screen!" Needless to say I was teeter-tottering between being mildly embarrassed and fairly turned on. 

In other news... I kissed a girl and I liked it. That's right. I liked it. A lot. She was soft and tender and sweet and... everything good in this world. It's like a bell in my head went off: "THAT'S what it's supposed to feel like!" 

Alright you guys, that's all I can take tonight. Touching the keys with my fingertips actually hurts. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tonight I am FEELING

TONIGHT I cannot sleep. 

I can only think of my future, of everything that lies ahead of me, of the next few weeks... months... years. 

Tonight. Tonight it feels like time is standing still. Like nothing can get done fast enough, like my heart is aching and yearning and struggling SO HARD for something more. I can feel it pounding out of my chest. It feels like it's on the verge of breaking. It feels fragile. 

What I want, more than anything, is a vacation. I feel like that's the cliche thing people say when work gets stressful. They picture themselves on a beach with a beer and their significant other. It helps them get through the day.

That's not what I want. I want a REAL vacation. I want to sit by myself in the middle of a forest. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to explain myself to anyone, I don't want to own up to anything. I just want to be with myself.

Because I'm pretty fantastic. I really do enjoy my own company but lately I feel like me myself and I haven't been spending enough time together. I feel like there's a part of me that I don't know yet; a part that I haven't had the chance to discover yet. I think it's going to be the best part of me. Have you ever felt that way before? 

Tonight. Tonight I'm sitting in the living room with the windows open and a gentle breeze blowing through. It's dark outside and the only thing lighting the room is the glow from my laptop. I feel like I can be honest. I can hear the cars on my busy street and my cat snoring one chair away. I can feel the soft blanket covering my bare legs and the calluses on my guitar playing fingers are rougher today than yesterday. 

All of that is not ENOUGH for me. I want more. I want so much more.

I'm tired of being non-committal, I'm tired of playing games with other people's hearts, I'm tired of being scared. 

I think that what I want more than anything is to fall in love.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm back... from Pride Fest!!

I am soooo sorry for being such a horrible blogger. Commitment is obviously not my thing. But huzzah! Here I am! Take me back!! 
These past few weeks have been crazy. I'm not using that as an excuse... okay, actually I am. I've been really busy with all my nursing classes and I'm learning guitar and I'm trying to become a professional hackey-sacker and I've discovered my new favorite band and I've been making travel plans and I've been taking pictures of my cat while he sleeps... aaaaall very important things. 

Last weekend my best (straight) girl friend and I drove 2 hours north of the city to go to Pride Fest! I was expecting maybe 20 or 30 flannel wearin', ax-weildin' lesbians (I live in the north, people). I was pleasantly surprised. We stepped out of the car and to my amazement... there were hot girls! Everywhere! Live and in the flesh! In the middle of nowhere! And I even got checked out a few times! 

When I got home my parents asked me why I had driven 2 hours to go to a Pride Fest. I responded "....wouldn't you?"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sorry, I'm an idiot

Alright, alright...
I apologize for my last post. That was a lame cop out to finagle my way out of taking the time to write something new. 
See, for me, blogging is an intensely emotional experience. I don't mean I sit here with a box of Kleenex and sob my way through each entry, but I have been known to shed a tear or throw on my Ashlee Simpson CD (I actually own that CD AND I know how to correctly spell her name. Impressed? You should be.) 
When it comes down to it though, the topic of coming out just isn't something I take lightly. It's a big deal for me and some days, I just don't have the balls to write about what's really going on. I'm not blogging about current events, music, or how to get rid of that nasty rash you've had on your back for weeks (though I might be able to tell you, I am a nursing student after all). I'm blogging things that not even my family knows. I'm letting anyone perusing the interwebs read about one of the biggest internal struggles I've faced in life so far. Although cathartic, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes.

That said, last night I made a total idiot out of myself (surprised? Don't be.) There is a woman in one of my night classes that I am completely infatuated with. She has blondish-red hair, bright blue eyes and the most beautiful tattoos covering most of her body. She's a stunner. We've had classes together in the past and got to know each other fairly well over a summer class taken this year. We talk frequently and have even gone out for coffee a few times. She always flirts with me (I think, I'm notoriously bad at reading signs of interest)... but here's the kicker: She's straight, married AND has a 1 year old son. 

I am not about to make a move and even if she ever (in my wildest dreams) made a move herself, I wouldn't go for it. I know I seem like a home-wrecker but I DO have morals, questionable as they may be. Even so, I can look can't I? I can dream? 

Anyways, as we were walking out of class yesterday, chatting it up as usual, I looked down, stopped dead in my tracks and said bluntly "My shoes are on the wrong feet." The worst part? It was the truth. 

Besides my inability to act like a decent, functioning human being around pretty girls, I have no handicap, I swear to you. I was wearing flip flops and since it's incredibly hard for me to sit still for long periods of time, I take them off during class and kick them around or play with them with my feet. Once in awhile I'll slip them back on to stand up quickly, only to find that they're on backwards. Usually I notice before anyone else does. Usually I do not announce this fashion faux pas. 

After I revealed my mistake to everyone within a 10 foot radius, the woman doubled over with laughter and said "Wow, that's amazing." Did she think it was cute? Did she think it was quirky, in a loveable sort of way? Does she think I'm mentally retarded? 

I'm betting on the last one, but we'll have to wait until next class period to find out. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Please Provide a Title and a Body

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing well. I wrote this on a camping trip with the fam a couple years back. Make of it what you will. Don't judge me too harshly. I didn't finish the last sentence because I couldn't put my finger on what that feeling was. I never did figure it out. 

I never know where to start
My thoughts are jumbled, 
Like a puzzle destroyed one piece from completion
I know the sound of our car before it approaches
It rumbles, and I freeze
There are two people who understand
That being alone does not mean I am lonely,
That even when my body is still and close to you, my mind likes to dance
They know that I always come back
They aren't here
My family piles out of the car,
Looks at me, with an empty forest as my backdrop
They offer a worried glance and retreat
What they don't understand is that I'm happy
In first grade I knew exactly who I was
(I knew that I was not what anyone had expected)
A six year old with prominent undiagnosed ocd
And an embarrassingly accurate awareness of others' bodies and sexualities
I knew who I was (but I knew I didn't fit)
I lost her,
And for the last 10 years and the next 20 I will look for her
I try the beach
My mind doesn't know the way there
But my feet recognize the paths
My back feels the familiar patches of sunlight
I steer myself closer to her
It's dinner time and the beach is almost deserted
I sit on the cooling sand, 
Watching a 17 year old girl by the water dig herself a hole
She runs the sand over her legs and up her thighs
She is not smiling. She is hiding.
I brace myself because I've found a part of what I lost
I turn to face the water again, and the lake finds my toes
I like it here (I fit)
Between the waves,
Under the sun,
I feel...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hide and Seek

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. 


I just had a discussion with my father about homosexuality. He walked in as I was watching a news story about the ELCA accepting gay clergy. He immediately flipped a huge shit and said he was going to leave the Lutheran church. We talked for a good 20 minutes about everything, ranging from gay marriage (I told him I support it, he said over his dead body) to sexual attraction vs emotional attraction.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to write. I don't even know how to put into words the emotions that my dad has put in my heart. 

I'm going to make a list of the things he said to me...
1. Gay marriage is not what God wanted
2. Homosexuality is a sin
3. Homosexuality is a DISEASE....
4. A same sex couple cannot effectively raise a child
5. He supports "homosexuality reparative therapy" and has heard "success stories"
6. Gayness is nurtured rather than nature
7. Women become lesbians due to inadequate emotional support from men

And a host of other things I'm too emotionally drained to write.


I don't know what to do. I'm so upset. If I were more independent I would say "fuck you" and move away but the fact of the matter is, I'm dependent on my parents right now to fund my education. 

My worst fear is that if I come out to my dad, he'll threaten to take away my school funds unless I participate in some sort of quick-fix therapy. I can't do that. I won't. I just... need to fast forward 3 years to when I'm finished with college and able to move very far away. I could come out at my college graduation, shouting "I'M GAY!" as I walk across the stage to receive my diploma. I could. 

I'm just scared. Really fucking scared. 

All I want is for my dad to say/write/whisper... imply this: 

Sorry for the huge downer.  I just had to write. I promise next time I'll be mildly funny. :)


Monday, August 17, 2009

Nostalgia central

Ladies and gentlemen... I'm back. I was out of town last week for a much needed break before classes start up again. My mom and I went up to a cabin on a little lake and had a Grey's Anatomy and booze-filled vacation. None of MY secrets came out, but I found out a few things about my super-conservative father's hippie days. I think that maybe if he could open up to me about things like that, maybe I could open up to him too. It's a process and I'm going to start working towards becoming closer with him. We could bond over our shared love for spicy food and High School Musical. 

...I miss my dad. 

You know who else I miss? My best friend. This is what happens when you date your best friend, kids: you break up, and you're not best friends anymore. I never believed that until it happened. I KNEW we would break up, because lets face it: he has a penis, and I'm extremely gay. 

It started out innocently enough: 6 too many shots at a Christmas party on the night my Gramie passed away. One drunken (short) make-out session later, I was mentally slapping myself in the face for mixing up a perfectly perfect friendship. Two days later, He Who Shall Not Be Named professed his love for me and I felt so guilty and confused and afraid of losing him that I told him I loved him too. I actually said that. I. Love. You. 

What I said wasn't a lie... I did love him. I do. However I was not IN love with him and after 4 months of fighting my gayness just for old times sake, I broke it off. We swore to remain friends; we swore we'd go back to how things were before we dated. Let me tell you this:

That is impossible. 

Boundaries are blurred, skipping down the street holding hands sends mixed signals, talking about new love interests is insensitive (and not plausible for me because I came out to my friends after we broke up and nearly stopped talking). 

But I'm not giving up hope. This is one of MY boys, my best 
friend, the one who knows me better than anyone. We will get there. We will be friends again.

I've got a couple burned bridges to patch up. But I also know a great Thai restaurant, own all 3 High School Musical movies, have a liter of Smirnoff and a letter from my best friend saying we'll always be close in heart. Armed with all of that, there's no way I can fail.


Okay, maybe the Smirnoff is a bad idea.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Or you could, you know, just get married to a gay man


While browsing the interwebs tonight, I came across this website. To say the least, I am... stunned. But luckily for you, not speechless.  

Gay-Lesbian Matchmaking? That's right. Gay-Lesbian Matchmaking. Gays and lesbians dating. Gays and lesbians getting married. To each other. 

Why, you might ask? The website flashes a banner reading "We don't choose to be gay. Some people choose to live with it. Some people choose to fight. But most of them had failed. Only few had succeeded. Do we really stand a chance to change? Can we really reverse our sexual orientation? YES." 

This is more offensive to me than a man in a Santa Claus suit beating Jesus with a sack of narcoleptic kittens. Live with it? Fight it? What about embracing it? Homosexuality is not a choice, neither is it a disease. The website's objective reads "this website is created, to serve as a match-making platform for a homosexual to find another homosexual OF OPPOSITE GENDER, for them to get to know each, before deciding to get married.... [You may] work together to develop enough attraction towards different gender (by learning thru each other), until you can both simply ignore your same-sex attraction without any challenge...."

WHAT?! Besides the plethora of syntax mistakes, the idea is ridiculous. The objective implies that a gay person's attraction to someone of the same sex is purely sexual. 

I'm not going to lie, 9 times out of 10 my interest in a woman is sparked by the curve of her hips, the color of her eyes or the delicacy of her hands. Once I get to know her, however, everything changes. I fall in love with her jokes, the way she grabs my hand every time she laughs, her passion for the books she reads or the music she listens to. Nothing about those things is sexual. It's a deeper attraction; it's an emotional attraction. 

I'm going to go ahead and be super cheesy by quoting Shane from the L Word, just because I love her: "Sexuality is fluid. Whether you're gay or you're straight or you're bisexual, you just go with the flow." 

Amen sister. Amen. 

If any of you have used, if you disagree with me, if you agree with me... I'd love to hear about it. I promise to be respectful; my never-ending rant is almost over. This is the happy couple on the website's homepage. For the record, I would sleep with her in about 2 seconds.

In other news, the coming out group I called yesterday called me back today and said they're working on setting up dates and times for meetings. There are 9 women interested so far and we would meet once a week for 2 hours for 8 weeks. I'm excited! Sexcited? 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Living in the glass closet

I know I titled this blog "The Gay Girl's Guide to Coming Out", but I'm not going to lie to you. I know nothing about coming out. I'm still living in the glass closet, where just about everyone (besides my very religious and conservative parents) can tell that I'm gay... but I've only told a select few close friends. I created this blog so I would have a space to share my fears, goals, setbacks and triumphs. I want to take this journey with someone, even if its an 85 year old woman in North Dakota who just figured out how to Google and came across this blog (don't ask me why she Googled "how to come out", I don't know. Probably for the same reason you did). 

I don't have a definitive moment when I realized just how very gay I am. I've just always known. The first time I remember being sexually excited, I was 4 years old. I was playing with my (female) doll and damn... she was fine. Looking at her and touching her turned me on more than any Ken ever would.  A few months later I received the ever-anticipated sex talk due to my mom's third pregnancy. Naturally, gay sex was not covered so I was left feeling that I would be sexually dissatisfied for life. That's right, at 4. 
When I was 8 years old and in the 3rd grade I cut off my hair and made everyone call me Sam. It seems embarrassing now, but at the time I thought it would be more acceptable for me to like girls if everyone thought I was a boy. And they did. School was not a problem for me since in 3rd grade I was home schooled and, outside of play dates, barely saw any of my friends. I tested this new found identity during "Floor Hockey Day Camp" that summer. I was the only girl in the class, but everyone assumed I was a boy. One hot day we took off to the pool for a swim. I kept my T-shirt on for the first 20 minutes before I whipped it off, expecting to be thrown in jail for indecent exposure. Obviously, since I was not an exceptionally well-developed 8 year old, no one even noticed. For that day, I felt free.

By the 4th grade, when I returned to the public school system, I also returned to my given name, my flare jeans and my shoulder length hair. Femininity is what felt and still feels natural to me. I spent hours on the phone gossiping about crushes on boys with my girlfriends and tried to hide my gayness from myself and my family. 
My father is a very religious, conservative man. At some point in middle school during a dinner discussion revolving around politics, I asked him what he would think if one of his children turned out to be gay. He told me, in these exact words, "I'd try to get you help. I would love you all the same, but gayness is unacceptable in Heaven." I almost peed my pants. Since then my dad has made it very clear that he doesn't support gay marriage, he thinks being gay is a choice and me being gay would be worse than me being preggo with a neo-nazi's baby. His feelings are based off of his interpretation of the Bible. My siblings and I have all been raised in the Lutheran church and although I barely attend anymore, I still consider myself to be faithful and spiritual. I disagree with my Dad that gayness is unacceptable to God. I don't see how love could ever be unacceptable to Him. 

On Memorial Day this year, I drove to my friend's grave site. She died when we were 15 with more courage and strength than I've been able to find in myself to this day. I felt inadequate sitting by her grave; still unable to own up to who I am after years of struggling. When I got back in the car, I prayed. I prayed harder than I'd prayed in years. I came out to God. Afterwards I shoved the car into drive and flipped on the radio. The song "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross started playing at that exact moment. I took it as a big high five from God. With tears streaming down my face, I had to pull over. A lesbian couple on a motorcycle drove by and gave me a strange look as a cried, sang along and blasted the radio at what I'm pretty sure was a volume worthy of disturbing the peace. 
Today, I took another step forward. I called to register for a "coming out" lesbian and bisexual support group in my city. I had to leave a message since the office was closed, but even so, my hands were shaking by the time I hung up the phone. Coming out to my family means risking everything. It means gambling with my father's love and support for me in the future. It means throwing another divide in my parent's fragile marriage. It means my happiness. I don't know how long this journey will take me. It could be weeks, months, or even years before I find the words to tell my parents who I am. It's going to be a wild ride.