November 23, 2011

Life Can Be Scary

Greetings, everyone!

A lot has happened in my life since my last post, but I won’t bore you with most of it. You’re welcome to ask me about it, though. I will say that the most important event was getting my first girlfriend (Yes, I’m such a baby queer. It’s fine.). She’s great and wonderful and makes me very happy, so naturally I want to share that news with the whole world. The people I really want to tell are my parents, but as you may remember from my first post, my parents don’t even know I’m queer. (Or, if they do, they’re really good at denial.) My sister does, finally – I called her on Duke’s Coming Out Day to tell her, which went really well. My original plan for coming out to my parents went something like this:

  1. Graduate on May 13, 2012. Celebrate with my parents, sister, and extended family before and after getting my degree.

  2. Wait for the extended family to leave on Monday, the 14th.

  3. Pack my things, including a small, easy-to-carry getaway bag of essentials, and have a friend with a car on standby.

  4. Tell my parents I'm queer before getting into the car to drive back to Atlanta.

  5. Brace for impact.

Now, however, I’m tired of hiding and lying, and it’s getting harder for me to do it efficiently. Maybe it’s stupid (considering how much financial control my parents have over me), but I’d really love to let them know what their elder daughter is really like before Winter Break. And, considering how out I am on the internet now, it would be better for them to find out directly from me, instead of from someone else, or because they randomly stumbled across this blog or hacked my Facebook account. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to write a letter that will be delivered to them after I get back to Duke this Sunday.

I honestly don’t know how they will react. I’m sure there will be at least some yelling and crying and awkward, painful questions. But I don’t know if it will last for 2 hours, 3 days, or 10 years. Nor do I know if they’ll do something like stop paying tuition, or refuse to let me come home for Christmas (or return to Duke in the Spring). I hope that none of my fears will be realized, and that my parents love me enough to reconsider some of their narrow-minded beliefs. However, the outcome is uncertain, and I’m pretty scared, so please keep me in your thoughts in the weeks to come.


  1. Jen,

    I know you already told me about this in person, and I felt very honored to know this then and I feel the same way now. This is immensely and incredibly brave and strong of you to come out to your parents knowing everything about you, your identity and background, and I'm really proud to know you and be your good friend.

    You're incredible!

  2. I'm so happy for you Jen! The fact that you feel so compelled to tell your parents now is so incredibly brave and it shows how much you truly love your parents by wanting to let them know everything.

    Good luck on everything, your girlfriend is a pretty special lady and the community around you loves you so much, so you will never be completely alone.

    <3 <3 <3

  3. OMG Jen! I wish the best of luck to you! I've been wondering about doing the same thing but have been terrified of doing it for the exact same reasons that you mentioned. I admire and respect you so much for being so strong and brave. You are truly incredible!

  4. Jen, the first time I met you you told me just a bit about your family, and I was shocked when I read that you would be coming out to them. I'm in awe of your strength, you are an amazing human being. I'm hoping for the best with you, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Good luck. I wish you all the best. You're probably the first person I remember talking to at length in the center, and that is a big part of why I kept coming back. You're a fantastic person, and I really really hope everything goes well for you. See you in the center :-)