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.