April 22, 2013 26 Comments
In high school, I did my best to blend in and get lost in the crowd. All my friends were girls, and none of them were surprised when I eventually came out to them. Having met up with other people I went to school with now at the university, it wasn’t much of a surprise for them either.
I was bullied back then, but I never realized it was anything I should stand up to or had a right to demand it end. I was guilty of talking behind people’s backs and making rush judgements for childish reasons. I just never had it so bad that going to school was the hell it is/was for some LGBT kids.
But that was when I was TRYING to pass as straight. Now that I’m not? Now that I’m being me 90% of the time?
Oh hello, bullies. Silly me for thinking you wouldn’t notice me.
I’ve been told I act “too gay” so of course more people will see me now. I’ve been told I act “too girly” so of course people are going to judge me. When people say these things, it’s almost like they’re saying “I told you so”, like they tried to tell me to stop and I ignored them.
Well, yeah, I ignored that. I’m not overacting. I’m being ME. I’m not going to apologize if this is the first time in 21 years that they’ve finally seen the real me. They should apologize to me for never giving me the opportunity to trust them with real myself before now.
I think that’s one of the complications after coming out. You make your announcement and then you try living as you’ve always wished you could. No more passing, just being yourself. But then people are all bent out of shape because “he’s so different now… I don’t even recognize him anymore” and they say it like that’s a bad thing.
The bad is that they’ve never let that person be themselves before now.
It’s really hard when being yourself is being more effeminate than most of the world wants to let you be. That’s what changed about me between high school and now. I’ve asked my girl friends from then what’s different about me and here’s a list of some of the words they used:
- smiles more
- talk with my hands
Huh. Sounds like a better person to me. But not everyone thinks so and, really, I don’t expected them to. I’d love it if I could make it through a week where I didn’t have someone holler out a slur or have someone else move away like I’m contagious. I have met a few people who started out that way, but managed to grow up after a while (like by the end of the semester).
Living Out is a work in progress. I get that and I accept it. There are more instances of the good stuff than the bad, and I know I have a lot of support from my family and friends. When I have a bad moment, I know I can turn to Jazz first and then a whole long list of others who’ll cheer me up and help me remember that it’s never wrong to be myself…even if I’m wearing a dress to do it