While I was in university studying for my BA, I took an introductory class on the LGBT movement, which covered about 115 years of history over the course of four weeks. When, about halfway through the accelerated semester, we reached the point in recent history when the topic of coming out became more normal and less treated like a disease, the professor (who was remarkably like Ellen DeGeneres in a multitude of ways) asked if anyone would be willing to share their coming out story. After a number of tear-jerking stories, I offered to share mine. The entirety of my coming out story is that one day my mom came into my room and asked, “So are you gay then?” I replied, “Yeah, I think so,” to which she responded, “Okay.”
I always enjoy telling this story. People laugh and smile, and ask if I’m joking or if that’s really how it happened, and I get to affirm with a grin that yes, it really was that quick and easy. Despite the complete truth of my sort of circumstance, there is this notion in the world that it is impossible for being gay to be that simple. Granted, most coming out stories are not as simple or clear-cut as mine, but part of the reason for that is because the stories where coming out is treated normally don’t get told. It’s not thrilling media, it’s not exciting, it doesn’t make for a gripping narrative or an emotion-packed poem. More importantly, it’s not something I want to write about.
For some people, being queer is a huge part of life. It encompasses many of their interests, it is a part of life that manifests itself even in the interests that aren’t directly related to being queer, and that is entirely a good thing. For others, like me, it is a very small part of life, which is just as entirely a good thing. Because being queer is something that should be out in the open and be treated as normal (the way that it really is normal), then everyone on all sides, straight, gay, or otherwise, should grow to embrace the fact that being queer can range from dressing up in sequins and hairspray each night to telling the barista at Starbucks in a completely genuine manner that their hairdo is nice.
In truth, being queer only manifests itself in a few places for me. Read more…