FDOC (appropriately a four-letter word that begins with F) is around the corner, y'all. This is, uh, extremely scary as a rising senior, and I have no idea where the time went. It seems like yesterday that I remember thinking this Aliza girl in Giles with the anti-Bush dry-erase board doodles was The Coolest Person. And to think now we procrastinate for hours on end together, scheming and talking about how big of a mistake our majors are.
Also! My best bud Aaron sent this to me. This American Life is his favorite because duh, and this episode is all about the APA and the DSM description of homosexuality. Summer is all about having the time to listen to things like this!
I wish I could tell her.
I am a closeted lesbian woman at Duke. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? It’s taken me months, years even, to be able to say that to myself. Coming out to myself was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do—well, until recently. Now that I’ve begun to accept myself for who I am, I’ve realized how much further I still have to go. Being in the closet is so much harder than I thought (‘duh’ right?). I should start by saying that I don’t “look” gay—see Risa’s recent post for an excellent explanation as to why that is an absurd idea :). But my point is that no one would meet me and have any reason to think I was anything but straight. That sucks. After working so hard to accept myself, it hurts so much to have to endure the comments people make unwittingly. Of course hateful words and derogatory remarks towards lesbians hurt, but worse, occasionally, is the assumption of heterosexuality. No, I do not want to talk about my dream wedding to my dream man (playing along with that game is especially difficult). No, I do not care to comment on whether I want a summer wedding or a winter wedding—I don’t have the same rights that you do. Of course Leonardo DiCaprio is a fox in Inception, but did you see Ellen Page?? Beautiful. I feel like every conversation I have, I have twice. Once out-loud, playing along with the hetero-assumptions my oblivious companion is making. And a second time in my head, where I get to come up with all kinds of witty retorts to assert my identity. Unfortunately, I’ve faced this particular challenge many times at my workplace this summer. Once, my [female] manager made an off-hand remark that, taken out of context, sounded like she was hitting on me. She immediately started laughing and falling all over herself explaining that she wasn’t hitting on me, and that she in fact ‘liked boys.’ I just wish I had the balls to say what I was thinking in my head, “don’t worry, you’re not my type anyways.” Another time, several of my coworkers were discussing previous bosses that they had who had a tendency to over share personal information. One of them, another one of my managers, brought up a lesbian couple who ran the restaurant she was working at. They had apparently offered to explain how two women were intimate with each other (no doubt a conversation that was brought up by inquiring minds). My manager told us the story with a disgusted tone of voice and a horrified look on her face—clearly expressing her discomfort with lesbian sexuality. I just sat there in silence, feeling my face getting hotter by the minute and probably turning bright red. I hate that I have to sit in silence when I am feeling so deeply offended. I hate that people don’t and can’t understand how hard I’ve worked to accept myself. Living in the closet has laid this almost unbearable weight on my shoulders that I worry will never go away. The prospect of coming out to my friends or family is just as terrifying. The scariest part is not that I think they won’t accept my homosexuality, but rather that they’ll feel like I’ve been lying to them. Which, I guess I have been.