I’m From San Diego, CA.

by Kate

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I have heard many “coming out” stories in the past, from friends, and others, and everyone seems to describe this big build up, and sitting down with their parents/guardians/family members and having it either blow up in their face, or being eagerly accepted. I had no such experience.

I grew up knowing that I felt closer to girls, and women, and I always grew intensely attached to my female friends, shying away from boys. I did have a few crushes along the way, on boys, but I still had this inherent fear of them. I started really noticing my interest in other girls in middle school, when a few of my classmates played yet another joke on me and accused me of looking at this girl’s butt. After that, I found myself paying a lot more attention to girls in a way that I really hadn’t before. High school was rough for me too, of course. I didn’t really encounter too many blatant homophobes in classes, but home was a different story. I had to deal with my heartbreakingly awful first love, I dated along the way, but throughout high school I only thought about one girl, who happened to be my best friend, and broke my heart so many times it was almost laughable. But I didn’t have anyone at home to turn to. My mother, one summer, decided to put a lock down on my phone, and at one point, read my text messages, against my knowledge. And that’s how she found out. Since then, she has been trying to convince me to “broaden my horizons” which sounds like a nice sentiment, but in her case there was a strong undertone of homophobia. She’d say things like, “Maybe you just haven’t met the right guy” or I’d mention some guy’s nice hair, and she would say, “See, you’re not gay.” Her comments hurt me more than anyone, especially when she brought up my sexuality in a fight. We came across moments like these quite often, and I have since then tried to point out her homophobia to her, but she always denies it. The breaking point for me was when she told me of my little brother having a dream about wishing he was a girl. She told me she looked up at God and said, “Why both my children?”

I told my father and stepmother about my sexuality at first, and they took it okay, but started putting unfair regulations on time I spent with my friends. I wasn’t allowed sleepovers for the longest time. They were odd about friends and having my door closed, or staying over at other friends’ houses. But my best guy friend, who was gay as well, wasn’t allowed to stay over either. My stepmother was convinced that I was just going through some sort of temporary transition, and that I’d eventually sober up and settle down. I know that my mother will never fully accept me for who I am, and I’m still discovering things myself, but there are many things I still have questions about. For now, I’m resigned to the fact that my family and I will always have this rift between us, and I’ve started to make my own family of friends and the people who truly accept me for being just me.

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