December 24, 2009

When Winter Break Starts Feeling Too Long...

I didn’t want my blog entries to be about me—I wanted them to be about other people. Find, learn, and record the very important stories of my peers. That was my goal. That was why I wanted to participate as a writer, even though I’m very critical of my writing ability.

But it’s winter break, I just came out to my dad, and I’m freaking out, so please forgive the creative license I’m taking here. I hope you don’t mind if I’m using this blog as a tool for some of my own thought processes that I need to go through. I’m expecting that getting this out will help me from feeling so trapped. I’m going to try and speak in general terms, since this is going online and we seem to have many readers. But I want to be honest and as transparent as possible.

I’m hurting a lot. I don’t know if it’s because being home is hard, or if it’s because my dad and I haven’t had a follow up conversation yet, or if it’s because I feel stuck, or if it’s because I’m changing faster than the people around me. It’s probably a combination of all of these things. And I’m not known for my patience.

What is supposed to happen next? Why did I open up to my dad when I came home? When I need my community most, why am I 3,000 miles from my safe haven? I’m not regretting that I did it, but maybe I should have double-checked my access to socializing a little better first. I’m definitely stoked for the LGBT Discussion Group. (Chris, please schedule one early in the semester!) Or it could be that all this stress is coming from the Holiday Season. I’m not a big fan of holidays. But we won’t get into that.

I must say, I’m kind of crushed that no one is updating over break. I know everyone is super busy but there ARE people who AREN’T as busy. So you should even write a few short paragraphs about something. Anything. So that way, when I’m checking the blog for the twentieth time, there will be something new to read, some hilarious insight to films, or sexual health, or coming out. Please post. Anonymous readers, please submit something.

Like I said, I don’t want to go into details. Those will be freely given on a one on one basis if you’d like to know more about me. I like new friends, and closer friends. I hope this transmits my overall feeling of anxiety and loneliness. 17 days until I’m back in Durham, but who’s counting?

I’m so excited for the LGBT Center Spring programming, and I don’t even know what events there will be yet. But I’m sure they’re gonna be great.

As a few final notes:

I want to encourage all the Duke women to submit to the All of the Above show. Here’s the Facebook link, it’s an amazing production.

I shaved my head while I was still at Duke…to make my big steps feel a little more tangible…so that’s what the photo is all about.

Also thankful for all my friends who have made it home safely from abroad (those storms seemed to detain many of you) and safe travels to those heading out in the spring.

Thank you so much for all of your comments last week.


  1. If it's any consolation, I check the blog at least six times a day, even when I know there's probably nothing there... I think I'll write some tonight--my family has given me things to think about; I just haven't finished processing yet :-/

    Sending good vibes your way!

  2. Summer, I think this goes back to what I was telling you about the comfort level of being home and not being out. There are so many other issues that I think about when I don't have to come out to my family and so I just relish in the surface of happiness that exists between all of us (although I often think, if only they knew, how would this situation be different, if at all?) Listen, I plan on doing my own little coming out party (maybe parade? go go boys, streamers, pink boas and all...jk) and I can only tell you what I know as of this point...but I promise when I experience what you have experienced I will be sure to share notes with you, and I look forward to that time. As for more posts, you're absolutely right, and I'll get on that soon! :) Please be well and I am so excited to see you next semester! But remember, as much as a new beginning may seem like a blank slate (hollaaaaaa john locke) you have to remember that you are carrying the burdens, emotions and stress from before you cut your hair (your acknowledged new beginning). don't be afraid to embrace the issues you are dealing with instead of trying to make them disappear with a newly defined era in your life. it reminds me of what carrie bradshaw once said about dealing with our own issues (it's in the episode entitled "The Real Me", sorry, that was unnecessary, but I do love Sex and the City) Carrie mentions how people are very capable to help out their own friends and see who they really are even though people tend to not be able to apply that same introspection to themselves. It's an issue we all deal with...but I think writing this post has allowed you to understand yourself better than you would be able to otherwise. on that note, you are loved by everyone in the LGBT community at Duke, be well, be safe, and I know you don't like the holidays, but merry christmas!

  3. a friendly strangerDecember 25, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    I don't know you at all, Summer...but I would regret not responding to your post. I do not have much to say, as I cannot relate to your current situation, nor do I really know how you are feeling, or what is going on...but I know you will stick it out through winter break, be back at school in no time, and you will be okay!

    Everyone goes through hard times, and this is your turn. Although you're not with your closest friends right now, they are still there to support you. I know you have people to lean on and talk to, and I encourage you to do just that - phone a friend (or two, or three...) who is (are) willing to go to a different room, sit in a comfortable chair, and just listen. One of the best ways to really sort out a situation is to say it outloud, knowing that someone is listening to you on the other end. It is truly incredible how theraputic it can be.

    Reguarding your coming out - embrace it, be confident! You are telling the world (slash your dad) who you are, this is YOU! You totally rock at being you! Being you is your greatest talent!! So be proud, and show off your mad skillz!

    Good luck with everything, you're going to be great no matter what! Also, your new hair totally rocks. :)

    Happy holidays!

  4. The Coolest Guy You Have Yet To MeetDecember 25, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Summer,

    I also know you only on a name-to-face level (we're not even Facebook friends :) so what should that say??), but would be remiss not to respond to your post. From someone who other people tend to look at and may think more often than not, "He's got everything figured out! He's really going places!," I have always considered it to be my "deepest, darkest secret" that the reason I never went out with girls wasn't really that I was, essentially, a 1990s version of a Jonas brother..."True love waits, didn't you know?" haha. Only in the past year and a half (I was barely out to anyone I knew freshman year) did I first begin to see the problems with viewing this as a "secret," something dark that no one else would understand, or something so deep that I couldn't share it with anyone. See...even now I'm talking kind of ambiguously, and I haven't really even defined myself as gay yet. But I am--gay, that is. It's sometimes strange that I can't even say it. There, it's said. Just doing that...writing it me a little feeling as to what a huge step you must have just taken, the relief it probably instills in you and the misery you probably feel at the number of things left unanswered from here. And coming from a family, myself, that would in no way be understanding of this kind of thing, though I could never grasp--to any degree--your own private life and feelings, please know that you have at least one person (and from the above, certainly more) who gets you, at least in the little bit you have decided to share on this blog.

    Keep safe, Merry Christmas, and I look forward to getting to know you next semester.

  5. Matt: I knew I could count on you honey! It was great reading your post, I really appreciate it.

    Ari: You know, every time I read something you write, I say it in my head with your Long Island accent. It's pretty spectacular. I miss you kid, I hope we can hang out more...we've got a lot to talk about! Also, I wouldn't be opposed to having a joint coming out party!

    Friendly stranger: Thank you for your kind words! The encouragement feels great. :)

    The coolest guy: Thank you thank you thank you for this post. Please meet me next semester!

  6. I have to third the above two anonymous posters, as I don't know you personally either, but I'd say my story was something pretty similar to everything you've said above! I know it must feel wild to be home without everyone you know and who supports you at Duke, but the thing that I continue to tell myself, like "friendly stranger" said, is that this is YOU. And it's always been YOU. And you're being YOU-and by default, you are thereby doing the correct thing. =)

    So keep that in mind. It's a lot more difficult to be true to yourself over the holidays-and like Ari said, not just pretend to be the "greeting card family", but it's also not honest. Again, you're being you-and like Oprah said to our 2009 graduates, that will never lead you wrong.

    Also, I don't think it's remiss at all of you to begin discussing more about yourself as opposed to other people here on this blog-it's actually really empowering to see other people make these raw and honest statements and I think that more than anything it is your honesty that encourages other people to do the same. (Which is why I'm finally moving my "anoynmous name to my real name. :)

    And can I third the hair compliment as well? It looks awesome!

    Good luck, only 2 weeks left! It'll fly by like all breaks do. :D

  7. Thank you for your thoughts Megan. :) My dad made a comment the other day how I'm "still just Summer." I think he was most worried about all these big changes, but once he realized I'm still his little girl things have gotten easier. We even had a conversation about transgender, intersex, Julia Boseman, adoption rights and a bunch of other topics. I definitely wouldn't have expected that conversation to have happened a week ago!

  8. a friendly stranger (take 2)December 28, 2009 at 2:44 AM

    I'm so glad things brightened up a bit between you and your dad, and so soon! But what he realized is absolutely true: "today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!" (Thanks Dr. Suess) You seem to be an amazing, strong person, Summer, and I hope to meet you sometime soon!

  9. Haha, I love who gets quoted on this blog. Excellent choice. My dad is a huge Dr. Seuss fan. I'm always down for new friends. Find me next semester!