Coming Out Day

Coming Out Day

I actually have no interesting coming out story to tell. Mostly because my coming out happened in stages and in small steps over time. Most of my extended family has no clue, and my immediate family either knows or doesn’t based on if they’ve been around when I’ve talked about past girlfriends or something. Overall, I haven’t felt a big need to talk directly about this kind of thing because my family considers me so weird for so many reasons this would just add to the pile and not mean much.

Though I am pretty sure that at least one of my aunts thinks I am going through a phase.

I find that I am reluctant to formally come out to anyone, not because I have any shame about what I am, but because I end up getting into odd, intrusive conversations for no good reason. But when it comes up I do usually identify as bisexual unless that day I’ve decided to identify as a lesbian. Why the switch? Because there are many days when I just don’t like men very much, and I’d rather not admit any kind of connection to them in the attraction department. These days usually include those where I have to deal with really sexist dudes, which thankfully isn’t all that often.

I remember in college we used to have discussions about identifying politically as Lesbian or Gay even though one is actually Bisexual. So sometimes I’ll say that politically I’m a lesbian, but emotionally I am bisexual.

I’m also Poly, which most people don’t know about me due to my reluctance to get involved with one partner, let alone multiples.

Actually, that’s what a lot of this reticence comes down to. I do not often enter into romantic relationships (by choice), so there’s not usually much reason for me to reveal my preferences in the matter. Unfortunately, this feeds into the whole heterosexual privilege thing, as many probably assume I am het. And though I am an activist for social justice in many arenas, including LGBT issues, that is not my forefront activism, thus it’s not always apparent.

So, over the course of my life before this, and probably after, I will have many small coming out moments. This post is probably one.

Comments

  1. Jo says

    Wow, Tempest! With the exception of the poly part and me being enormously, ridiculously out of the closet, I’ve never read a post that so closely mirrored my own coming out and my own status as an out (lesbian-identified) bi woman–and I thought I was weird and alone and never would!

    Thank you so, so much for this! <3

  2. JoSelle says

    Erk. That comment above from “Jo” is from me. Forgot that I use JoSelle here instead of Jo. :X

  3. says

    Best story I ever heard about coming out was from a comedienne named Valri, a VERY out woman who had at first attempted a variety of hetero relationships that didn’t go anywhere. Eventually, when she embarked upon the relationship that made her realize where her interests were, she broached the news to her mother thusly: “Yeah, Ma? Turns out I’m not frigid.”

    I wound up basing a character on her when I was writing “Supergirl.” Won a GLAAD award for it.

    PAD

  4. Pope Lizbet says

    Mr. David, respectfully, National Coming Out Day, and the lived experiences of people like Ms. Bradford and Ms. Valri, are not about you, what you’ve written, whose lived experiences you poached as research material, or what mainstream cis gay organization decided to laud you for it.

    Nothing in your comment engages with Ms. Bradford’s post. It’s an anecdote purely designed to reference your Supergirl storyline and your GLAAD award, appropriating two women’s coming out stories to make it all about you, a heterosexual cis man, and what you feel you’ve done for gay and lesbian folks. This is an inappropriate grab for ally cookies, attention and approbation, not a productive addition to the discussion.

    In the evocative parlance of the Internet, sir, “no1curr.” Not that I expect you to grasp that, but I thought I’d mention it.

    That said, great post, Tempest. Your bit about being a person who does not usually enter into relationships and how it affects your identification and your access to privilege, really hit home with me, as I find myself in much the same situation much of the time . . . being a person who hardly ever dates, I often don’t find that my identity comes up until sometimes long into a friendship or acquaintanceship, which can have negative consequences if the other person feels that I was motivated by lack of trust or doubts about their willingness to accept me. Generally that’s not it – I just don’t talk a lot about my love life – but everyone has their own insecurities, and it can cause friction. I’d love to hear more on this, or talk about it with you sometime (perhaps along with a discussion of Jem & Poly, which we have been without for TOO LONG.)

  5. says

    I always like when people say “respectfully” followed by a string of critical and insulting things. And I “poached” nothing; the character was created with Valri’s blessing.

    In any event, I wasn’t endeavoring to start a fight. Just make a comment.

    PAD

  6. Pope Lizbet says

    They taught me in school that “respectfully” is a useful word for dealing with difficult people. I continue to find it so, particularly the kind of people who equate “critical” (which I am and was and will continue to be) with “insulting” (which I was not, except inasmuch as you experience criticism of your conduct as insult, which is neither my problem nor within my control.)

    owever, taking as true your statement that you received prior permission to use Ms. Valri’s story for your research, and in the spirit of intellectual honesty, I’ll retract “poached.” Your actions here, in this space? Still appropriated both that comedienne’s story and Ms. Bradford’s own to center yourself, and much as I expected, you found yourself unwilling to respond to that criticism of your conduct. When the blog owner where you were “just mak[ing] a comment” notes that she’s aware of your behavior pattern and doesn’t find your protestations credible, it may be time to reconsider your behavior.

  7. says

    Well, you’re wrong, and there’s a simple way to prove it: Tell me point blank never to post here again, and I will honor your wishes. I’ll continue to read, because I find what you have to say interesting and occasionally thought-provoking. But if you really think that my only purpose in occasionally saying something (in what I thought was as non-combative a manner as possible) was to disrupt the peace, well–just tell me to cease, and I shall desist.

    Oh…and just in case you do, wanted to say before I absent myself that I liked your essay in “Chicks Dig Time Lords.” Main reason I bought it, actually.

    PAD

  8. says

    I was under the impression that the response sections on blogs were for a mutual sharing of experiences and presenting comments that related to a topic at hand. I wasn’t aware that all that was required was to offer reinforcement of the quality of the poster’s own observations.

    Thank you for clarifying what is expected. Great post!

    With all respect,

    PAD

  9. says

    Warning: epic comment ahead.

    PAD, you’re jumping way ahead of the game here by suggesting that I ask you to leave and never come back to prove anything. I am often puzzled by why you continue to comment here even though you’ve said a couple of times that you read the blog because you find me interesting. I do strive to be interesting, so that’s not part of the great mystery. I suppose that the thing I keep coming up against is that your comments betray a hardcore need to center non-PAD related topics around yourself and your experiences and, as far as I’m aware, no one here has given you any encouragement in this endeavor.

    Yes, the comments section of a blog is where people come to discuss the post at hand and even offer their personal take and/or stories about said issue. However, whenever you show up you betray a confusing tone deafness to the conversations. You rarely engage in a meaningful dialogue; instead, you drop a comment that sometimes starts out on topic but always wends its way toward something you did, some accolade you’ve received, or some implication that we should give you cookies for how awesome you are. But the comments fall flat and lay dead on the page because you haven’t actually engaged with the ideas in the post or the people. It just ends up looking like you’ve come to grandstand.

    You also seem to be under the impression that by leaving comments without any opinion or context or any real engagement you are avoiding the criticism you feel will inevitably come simply because you’re the one expressing the opinion. I will admit that I’m not pre-disposed to see your comments in a positive light given your behavior in the past, not only in this space but in your own blog. But if you’re not going to engage, to state your opinions and argue your point of view, what is the point of commenting? Just to have a virtual “Peter Wuz Here” sign?

    You are right that the comments section is for “mutual sharing of experiences and presenting comments that related to a topic at hand.” But that doesn’t mean that all such comments are useful or add to the dialogue. Your comment wasn’t about engagement. It’s hard to see what it was about, in the end, except for a way for you to mention that you won a GLAAD award.

    This may or may not be your intention. That’s why I’m laying it out as clearly as I can, so you’ll hopefully understand the attitude toward you around these parts. I admit, I have watched these comments arrive with curiosity. You’re not trolling, really, and you’re not being outright nasty, so I let the comments stand. I have no desire right now to tell you to go away from this blog forever because I do try to reserve such requests for people who cross a line.

  10. says

    I can certainly see why you see it that way. It was never my intention to be self-aggrandizing. I thought that recounting things from my personal history from time to time was simply a way of sharing or, at the very least, explaining why I perceive things the way I do. If the core response to that is either that you don’t care or that you’re suspicious of my reasons for doing so, well, okay. Nothing to really say to that except, Sorry. Wasn’t the plan. Won’t happen again.

    In any event, as I said elsewhere, I really would like to discuss a writing matter with you. And I suspect if I bring it up here, it’ll just result in another contretemps. So again, if you’re so inclined, drop me me at note at padguy@aol.com so that, if nothing else, we don’t have to keep discussing me on your board.

    PAD

  11. Momsomniac says

    “So, over the course of my life before this, and probably after, I will have many small coming out moments. This post is probably one.”

    As it is. Congratulations.