I’m From Homewood, IL.

by Ethan Blustein

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I came out at the age of 12 as gay. Even now I’m not sure where I got that word from or how I knew to say it or what it even meant for that matter. I also wasn’t completely sure in 6th grade who I was attracted to. For whatever reason it was clear to me that it was not an okay way to be. I know what it was like to come out as genderqueer/transgender at 26, but I can’t imagine knowing that about myself at 12…or did I? I digress…

It was a Saturday morning and I had just finished watching the morning cartoons on television while my mom read the paper. As we made the bed I took a breath and blurted out, “I need to tell you something.” I wasn’t sure what I was doing exactly or how this was going to go. She did tell me that I could talk to her about anything. I didn’t realize until much later that she didn’t mean that literally. So we put the blankets down and sat at the end of the bed. I braced myself and said, “Mom, I uh… in health class we talked about…I think I’m gay.” Immediately my face fell into my hands and I cried just waiting for the awful response to come. Instead it was a very mixed bag of, “Oh, honey, there’s nothing wrong with that.” to “Are you sure?” to “Let’s not tell anyone else we talked about this.”

It would be another 4 years before we’d have a conversation about me being bisexual. Another 2 years and then I would come out as queer and another 1 as a genderqueer/trans and queer person. Bless my mother’s dear heart and soul for hanging in there and still being in my life today.

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