So I’m going to tell you two coming out-related stories about me. YAY! I’m doing this today because I internet about 99.9% less on weekends than on unemployed weekdays (ie ALL THE WEEKDAYS FROM MAR 1 2013 TO OCT 24 2014! SOOOOO glad to be getting a job, even if it means less time for very fulfilling volunteering.)
I’ve been mentally ill longer, so let’s start there.
First saw a psychologist at 13. First told my diagnosis at 28 or 29. Between those ages I spent a LOT of time and energy worrying about being perceived as crazy. Shortly before my former fiancé and I broke up, he told me my mom had been talking on the phone with his a lot and she was concerned about the fiancé’s and my future because of my mom’s behavior/things she said during these calls, and I had a screaming/crying jag on the phone with him about how I was NOT CRAZY. (Surprise, I’m crazy, and that’s okay. Although I’m not a fan of that particular word for my or any other mental illness because my reaction back then is not a rare one.) After being diagnosed, though, thinking about how I had reacted to the idea (and bee tee dubs I totally considered both suicide and checking myself into a hospital psychiatric wing in the wake of our break up, did neither) compared to how I felt with meds and therapy made me want to make it easier for people to get help themselves. The easiest way to do that is to let people know I have depression and anxiety issues and I’m still okay.
Now onto my sexuality, which though more recent, is a longer story.
I don’t think I was ever closeted, really. Growing up I was strictly into dudes. I recognize beauty in women but felt no romantic/sexual attraction (though I always had a boob fascination, it was rooted in envy when I was younger and a B-cup). In high school my mom (listening in on a phone conversation I was having with a friend and getting the usual eavesdropper issue of misunderstanding what the conversation was really about combined with the fact that I hadn’t been asked out or talked about boys with my mom) told me that if I was gay, my parents would still love me. (This was back when I still used gay as an insult despite also loving actually gay people, *frownyface*.) I was like cool but no I most certainly am not. I went away to college, felt occasional same-sex interest but never acted on it and generally was much much much more into dudes, dropped out, came home and enrolled in a local school. Had an English class in which there were 3 people I was SUPER attracted to. Only one was a dude. At first I thought it was just fascination with the girls’ beauty but I pretty quickly recognized it wasn’t, and I was behaving exactly as I had in the 6th grade when there were 3 new boys in our class and humina humina! Feared being tarred with the “gay until graduation” or “it’s just a phase” brush, I kept quiet. But I was super okay with feeling attraction to the ladies as well as the gentlemen. I didn’t tell anyone, but I wasn’t ashamed, I just figured I’d mention it if it became relevant. (That is, if I met a girl and got up the balls to ask her out and went on a date. Which literally has never happened, though I’ve been on a couple lady-dates with ladies, 2 first dates to be exact, via OK Cupid, which is also how I met The Boy. They were not bad dates but there were no sparks. And then I met The Boy.)
I was living at my parents’ while attending college and the first semester and a half of grad school, and I don’t remember exactly when this happened other than during that period, but I basically exploded any shred of a closet that I might have been near. I was watching Big Love on the DVR and
Albie’s gay lover had just hanged himself. I was super moved by Albie’s mourning. It was worse because I HATED Albie. I wanted to share this with my mom, who was watching tv in the kitchen. She did not want to stop her show and watch but I kept insisting because I sometimes am a stubndborn jerk who doesn’t think about others (I would have behaved the exact same way she did if she was interrupting my tv show for something, and in fact often did react that way when that happened) and she watched about a half second before saying she didn’t want to see it and walked off. I got INCREDIBLY angry and we had a knock down drag out before I stomped off to the basement (a portion of which was like a kitchen-and-bathroom-free studio apartment for me–bed, dresser, bookshelves, and computer desk) and announced in very self-righteous wording on facebook that I was attracted to both sexes and if you have a problem with that GTFO of my life. Then I got scared, went upstairs and asked my dad if he had seen the status. He is uncomfortable with homosexuality and I was afraid I was going to be kicked out of the house. He hadn’t seen it, but looked as I stood just outside his computer room, and then he looked at me. “Okay?” he said in a “was there anything else, I have a good game of internet hearts going here” tone. I asked if I was still allowed to live at home. He laughed, said yes. and that was the end of it.