Every week, we collect anonymous entries sent in using the link on our sidebar and post them all on Monday. We post anything as long as it doesn't contain personal attacks or hate speech. Feel free to submit your thoughts and questions :)
Let's just get these up ASAP :)
Everyone on this blog and in The Center has been so helpful, supportive, and encouraging to me during my very rough first year, in which I began three transitions: from Seattle to Durham; from undergrad to grad; from female to male. Without The Center just being a place to go when I needed it, without the kind words and activism of everyone here, without the guidance of our wonderful staff and student leaders, I would still be lost. Thanks to all your support, I have found the strength to come out to my family, to come out to my friends and colleagues, to walk into that therapist's office three months ago, and to make the phone call this week to begin hormone replacement therapy. I know that you will be here for me as I continue my transition, in times both ecstatic and distraught. Above all, I am grateful that Duke's LGB community embraces transfolk as equal members, as part of the LGBT family; this reflects upon your openness, tolerance and acceptance in a world that often lacks those qualities. My success and happiness is a testament to the strength of this community and to the commitment of its members to making Duke a place where we are free to just be.
I keep seeing her around campus and I'm pretty sure she's my soul mate because I feel the strongest connection even when I just look at her for a second. But she has a boyfriend (hopefully she's bi) and we've only talked once anyways. I doubt she even remembers it.
I tried to convey to my parents and sibling that I wasn't attracted to women over winter break. The whole family was all together on vacation, so lots of family time. I wanted to tell them all at once. I was sort of ready, and waiting for the right time. But every time the right time came, I would miss it, or get shy, or not realize it until later. "That walk is so gay" "That man looks gay" "Lesbian women are less attractive" These would have been good opportunities. I don't want to sit anyone down and state the news. I want it to come up in conversation.
Days went by, and we were getting closer and closer to the new year. It was my New Years Resolution of 2010 to be open with my sexuality. I've made lots of progress. Last winter I said "I am gay" out loud to myself. The walls to my neighbors bedroom were pretty thin, but I don't think they were home. In August I actually told my other neighbor, when she asked. But that didn't really count, because that neighbor was a strange Durhamite (no offense).
I told some of my close friends in November and December. (No follow up on their parts, for some reason. Was I too casual? I'd sort of like to talk to someone about it...I mean, it's not a big deal--rather, I don't want it to be a big deal. But I want to talk about it.) I made out with a guy for the first time (not the best experience as I turned out to not be sexually attracted to him, sorry dude).
It was nice when a friend and I were driving in the car after shopping. The woman at checkout was attractive, I thought. And I was flirting with her. My friend and I were driving, and he commented how she was attractive. I concurred. He asked if I would follow up, or something. "I would if I weren't gay," I replied. "Yeah...(?) How long have you known that?" That was cool.
But anyway, vacation with the fam. December 31. I am looking for an opportunity to let it slip that I am not attracted to women. And then the opportunity arises. We are all gathering at the table for lunch. My dad is seated. I am seated. My mom is standing. My sibling is milling about. "Do you have an announcement to make?" My mom asked. All eyes were on me. This was the moment. How perfect! Casual, sort of funny, everyone would be told at the same time. "I submitted the application," I replied. Crap. They were so proud of me.
That night, I tried, almost desperately to tell them. It was 11pm, they were tired, and trying to go to bed. My dad was grumpy. I decided it best to tell them a joke, with the implicit punch line being "I'm gay." It didn't work, they were tired. I cried in the shower and decided to give up on trying to come out.
When I saw my friends from home, we didn't get around to talking about it. Maybe by then I had given up on coming out. I saw one friend who I had told over Thanksgiving. We didn't talk about it at all...Then back at Duke. Nothing has happened. No guys. No discussions. With the Duke community, I think I'm at the point where if it comes up, I'll come out. I'm not on the rally I was on at the end of last semester, where it was a fun game to see how many friends I could tell. But I'm at the point where I am still too shy to tell friends from home, but especially mom, dad and sibling.
The pathetic thing is I KNOW they would be loving and accepting. Even my sibling.
I called mom and dad early tonight. I told dad about my day, and laundry. He told me about their trip to Europe. Then I suggested my mom get on the line. I told them about my recent academic success. They were proud. I told them how I haven't been eating properly, because I've been so busy. "I think you need a girlfriend," my mom suggested. "No," I responded. "I don't want one." "Why?" My mom asked. "Too busy?" "No, I just don't want one," I replied. There was a silence. Not really awkward, but 3-4 seconds of silence. "Well we are so proud of you," my mom concluded.
Another missed opportunity.
Can anyone convince me that gender-neutral language matters? I'm not talking about slurs ("ho," "bitch," etc.) but about pronouns and the like. Does it actually offend anyone when I address a group of men and women as "you guys"?