Coming OUT

Image

This is the story of my coming out. After years of repression and my own struggle with inner homophobia, I finally said the golden words, “I think I’m gay.” I didn’t pick the time or the place carefully. Hell, I didn’t even know I was going to say it until I did, and I didn’t know it was true until I said it. As soon as I uttered those four words, It shocked me.

Okay, wait. Let’s back the truck up . . . So, it was the eve of my roommate’s birthday. I had made a huge dinner and we’d invited all of our friends. It was festive and excessive. The food was rich and there was plenty to go around, and our glasses were overflowing with wine. I was sitting by myself. My head had been so messed up lately. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Things were bubbling up, and after I drank nearly a bottle of wine to myself I should have seen it coming . . . There was a lull in conversation and I blurted out, “I think I’m gay.” Just like that. The table grew quiet. The room had grown still. The silence was awkward and uncomfortable. One of the women’s husbands reassured me, “I think you’d know if you were.” “Oh, really?” I said looking at him hopeful like maybe he had all the answers. I looked around the table at my friends’ faces; they were skewed in disgust. I laughed nervously, “Haha! I’m just kidding you guys. I’m not gay!” I said. But I knew it was true. It was never brought up again in that house. A couple weeks later my roommates (a married couple) kicked me out of the house over “dishes.” The “man” of the house told me point-blank that I was a woman and I needed to “learn my place.” He threatened to set my things on fire. I was terrified and left that night. I was homeless for weeks, sleeping on friends’ couches with my things packed away in my car, until I found a new home. It was a complete nightmare. And the worse part of it, was that was my introduction to coming out as a queer woman.

Luckily for me, I had mostly amazing people in my life at that time. Once I relocated, I started coming back out of my shell. I told the people I trusted the most: my brother, my aunt, a family friend, my god mother and her daughter. They gave me love and strength. They encouraged me to embrace who I was, and it filled me with confidence and pride. A couple people gave me contact numbers for good friends of theirs who happened to be gay. It was a way for me to establish a since of community since at that time I didn’t know any “out” gay people. I developed a wonderful relationship with an older lesbian. She was a life coach, and was absolutely the perfect person to guide me through this exhilarating and scary time in my life. She gave me books to read and documentaries to watch. I slowly began to educate myself on the LGBTQ culture and history. I gained a better understanding of who I was. I realized there was nothing wrong with me. In fact, I was special. I was two-spirited. I was beautiful.

Once I wrapped my mind around it all, I realized that I had never been truly happy until this time of acceptance and coming out. After all these years, I had finally learned to love myself for exactly who I was. It was so freeing. I cried happy tears. I shed pounds of self-doubt. I had found FREEDOM. It was then that I realized I wanted everyone to know. I told my mom. She was gripped with fear for me. But all in all, this time she handled it very gracefully. “You mean, you are more attracted to women than you are to men?” she asked. “Precisely,” I said. She said she just wanted me to be happy. And that was the general consensus among everyone I came out to. I heard over and over again, “I love you for you no matter who you love. I just want you to be happy.” And I was. I was finally happy.

I soon discovered Autostraddle (an awesome website designed for lesbians). I cut my hair into the faux-hawk I’ve always wanted. I bought books from the gay and lesbian section at the local used bookstore. And I planned a road trip to celebrate my sexual orientation and identity to all the top gay-friendly cities in the area. It was just the beginning, and the future looked bright…

This is Sappho Bambino, signing out, but before I go I think we should take a moment to celebrate amongst ourselves. Pop some bubbly and turn up the volume for QueenS by THEESatisfaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGWFBt_IPOg

Until Next Time,

S.B.

Advertisements

Top Ten Bisexual & Lesbian Crushes

Hey gaggle of gayelles, it’s time for a little fun. I love top-ten lists. So, I thought I’d start things off in this category with my favorite celebrity crushes of all-time, that happen to be self-proclaimed bisexual or lesbian.

Counting down from numero diez . . .

10.) Patricia Velasquez:

Hot . . . Patricia Velasquez is an actress who has made many appearances in film and television, including one of my all-time favorite shows Arrested Development. She is from Venuezuela where both of her parents were educators. Velasquez also has a fondness for all things humanitarian and has supported causes close to her heart, which makes my heart melt.

9.) Doria Roberts:

An excellent musician and social activist, Roberts has organized Ladyfest South and Queerstock. She is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, only her voice can compare: http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=26285622&ac=now

8.) & 7.) Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres:

They have to be the most magnetic lesbian couple on the web. I’d call them this generations “power couple.” And to top it off they are super cute!

6.) Angelina Jolie (circa 1999):

Angelina Jolie was my official first crush. I will never forget when I received this Rolling Stone in the mail. Dang! Not only is she stunning and sexy as all get out, Jolie is a political and social activist and is constantly striving to make this world a better place.

5.) Mirah:

Indie musician, Mirah, is one of my favorite musicians EVER. She is an amazing songwriter born and raised in the Wild Wild West; she’s corky, warm, and naturally sexy.

4.) Missy Higgins:

Did I mention, I have a thing for musicians? . . . Missy Higgins, is beautiful, authentic, and a powerful songwriter. She has a fond spot in her heart for animals and the environment and she fights for them! Bonus: Higgins was born and raised in Australia, so she has that sexy “down-under” accent to boot!

3.) Rachel Maddow:

I am a self-proclaimed sapiosexual so it is no wonder that Ms. Maddow is number three on my list of hot lesbian and bisexual women. She is beautiful, no-nonsense, and has a certain nonthreatening swagger to her that really does it for me. Maddow is funny, smart, and concerned with the sorts of issues I believe all Americans should be concerned with. I heart you, Rachel Maddow. I heart you big time.

2.) Brandi Carlile:

I don’t have words for how beautiful I find this woman, but she’s so much more than that! She’s talented, hard-working, and the girl’s got heart. Along with her poignant music, she has also created an organization called The Looking Out Foundation that supports various causes. And she has a horse so it’s clear that we were pretty much made for each other.

Could number one on my list of Top Ten Bisexual & Lesbian Crushes be none other than the darling Sara Quin of the indie-pop band Tegan and Sara? To put quite simply, no, of course not. I give you number one . . . da da da donnnnn!!!

1.) Sara Quin:

Are the butterflies stirring in your tum, too? Sara Quin is number one on this list, because she seems to be all of the following: intelligent, well-spoken, into books, has a dry sarcastic sense of humor, creative as heck, and a classic beauty. To top it off she is known for being very shy which gets me every time. Quin is part of the successful indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara. They are veteran musicians/performers and are top supporters of the LGBT community.

The following are honorable mentions who did not make the list because, sadly for us, they are straight! Haha…

Ruta Gedmintas:

Ellie Goulding:

And Last, but certainly not least, Ellen Paige:

I hope you enjoyed this top-ten list. Let me know if you have any suggestions for the next go-round.

Until Next Time,

S.B.