Hi. I’m Jourdan Porter. I am from Davidson, North Carolina.
In tenth grade, I was living right outside Jackson, Mississippi. And it was pretty early in the school year and I had a P.E. class. Across the gym, walking, like, ahead of us in the circle, was this girl. She’s pretty cute.
And I just turned to the guy walking next to me and was like, “That’s my girlfriend!”
He was just like, “Do you know her?”
And I was like, “No.”
Later on, I guess a couple days later, I realized she was in my chemistry class. We had a science fair in tenth grade and we had to partner up. So we became science fair partners. No idea what our experiment actually was, but I do know that it made her have to come over my house. And so she came over. Only my dad’s place – my parents are divorced. We were, like, making this huge diagram thing for chemistry. I think it was like an atom or something. So we’re trying to cut all the cardboard and she’s sitting across on the cardboard from me. We have a whole pile in front of us.
And she was just like, “So like, do you like girls?”
And I was like, “Well, you know, like,” – snip, snip – “I hadn’t before.” Snip, snip.
She’s like, “Do you like me?”
I was like, “Yes.”
We just, you know, kept working on the science fair but then also kept – started hanging out, non-chemistry related. We were at my dad’s place and we were standing in the closet, ironically. And she kissed me! Then we started talking more seriously about actually dating.
And I was like, “Okay. I really want to date you. So I guess I should tell my mom.”
Actually, before talking to my mom, my dad and I had gone to lunch and he was like, “So I have to ask – and you don’t have to talk about it, but I have to ask – are you and this girl, like, together? Like, do like her?”
And I was like, “Yeah.”
He was like, “Does your mom know?”
I was like, “No.”
“Are you going to tell her?”
He was like, “Okay.”
I invited the girl over and my mom was lovely – like, she was cordial. The girl left and I was sitting on my kitchen table.
My mom’s like, “Well, she seems nice. As long as she doesn’t turn you.”
And I was like, “Well…” She started crying and walked away and called my brother.
My brother, who is fantastic, was like, “Why are you crying? Like, cis-hetero men suck. Like, maybe this means she won’t end up with one of them now. This is great!” So she ended up being kind of alone in how she was feeling about, you know, the whole coming out. In total, I felt like it could have gone much worse, but it also could have gone a little better.
So I’m 20. I am now dating a trans guy. Super happy, he treated me well. She knew him well.
I was talking with her and one of her friends and her friend was actually – was like, “Oh, what are you doing?”
And I was like, “I’m going on a date.”
My mom was like, “Oh, with a guy?” And this – I was in an open relationship, so it was with a girl.
My mom was like, “Oh.” She looked very dejected. This led to an argument, which we had never really had – an argument over sexuality things. We were in her house. When it started to get heated, she was going down the stairs. So she’s at the bottom of the stairs, I’m at the top of the stairs. Eventually, I just, like, yelled down to her.
I’m like, “You will not be happy unless I’m with someone with a penis.” She was really hurt by this. It abruptly ended the argument. She kind of just walked away. She definitely went to her room to process. And she felt really bad. She didn’t think it was true.
I was like, “Well, this is how I feel. Like, every time I mention someone who doesn’t have a penis” – who’s to her automatically a girl; she’s since grown from that – “you aren’t happy. You’re tolerant, which is different. And, like, I want you to be happy when I’m happy.” She was crying because I hurt her feelings but they’re also, like, angry tears because she thought I was lying about her.
And she’s, like, “That’s not how I feel. Like, how do you think that I feel this way?” And I was, like – kind of like, laid out the examples – things she would do, things she would say.
And she was like, “Oh.” I don’t think it had really crossed her mind that she was being hurtful. That was really a switch. She like went from, you know, to being more just like tolerant, like [sigh], to like really accepting it, like asking questions and, like, being excited when I was going on dates. Even she was dating this guy and he wasn’t the biggest fan of my being a lesbian.
She said that he was like, “Are you okay with her and her lifestyle?”
And my mom was like, “You are talking about my daughter. If you have a problem with this, we don’t have to date anymore.” I was touched. She came home really angry for me. She was worried for me about like encountering people like him. But she got to do her due diligence as a mother – and she’s a really protective mother.
So we’re definitely, like, on the up – like, up and up. And it was a journey, for sure. Journeys are supposed to have like missteps every now and again, but we’re really in a good place.
You know, you can say, you know, maybe hurtful things, but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person and that doesn’t mean you can – like, can’t change and have a meaningful relationship.