I’m From Clovis, CA.

by Felisa Hanamaikai

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

The first time I wrote for I’m From Driftwood I wrote as an ally… it’s still very true; I still believe that everyone needs to be who they are and not hide it from the world. What I didn’t understand was who I was, nor did I get with the program until I moved to Utah.

As a lot of Utahans (I still claim California as my hometown) know, being a member of the LGBT community is hard… almost too hard, sometimes. Too hard to the point where you feel, or at least I felt, that it’s not necessary to show your true colors, especially if you’re going to get tons of shit for it. But, with that, here’s my story.

It all started in February of 2011. I went to the annual Conference on Social Awareness held at U of U. I didn’t think much of it, I was just going to learn and be with my friends and hopefully meet a lot of new people. That conference changed my life. I went to seminars on being LGBT and living a fulfilling life. It got me thinking… wondering, really, if I was actually as straight as I claim to be.

Life went on from that day; working, going to school, seeing my LDS friends… but something wasn’t fitting right for me.

I went to Pocatello, Idaho to visit one of my best friends in April. He and I have a great, solid friendship. I’m so grateful for him in my life. Anyway, being there with him, in his element, seeing how happy and complete he was made me realize that it’s not okay to hide who I am. There came a conversation while we were at the bar about how straight people are so boring. I disagreed loudly with that opinion and Phillip just turned to me and said, “You know you’re not straight…” and left it at that.

I’ll be forever grateful for that weekend.

My name is Felisa, and I’m bisexual, and as proud as proud can be. I love myself, and I love men and women and animals and food and smiling. My bare-boned philosophy is this: Be Happy.

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