Indirectly & Involunarily Coming Out to Someone Close to You

A few months ago something happened that was not under my own control: I came out as bisexual to my dad.

My dad has always been supportive (to my knowledge) of the LGBT+ community. (Also sorry about not including the rest of the acronym, but I swear it just keeps getting longer every time I see it mentioned in a post) His philosophy was “if it doesn’t hurt anyone or involve me directly in any way, I don’t care about it”. Keep in mind that I live in the South, and things can get pretty homophobic down here. So when I heard his opinions on it, I wasn’t all that worried about telling him.

I worked up the nerve over the process of about a year of visits to speak my opinions about the LGBT community. From time to time I would bring it up, according to news reports and the like.By doing this I actually grew closer to my dad and Julia, his fiancee.

When victory at the Supreme Court came around, I had already come out to Julia. It was on that day exactly that she told my father that I’m “gay”. In her own retelling of the event, she and my dad were sitting in the living room watching the news report on it. My dad remarked “I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, they’re just getting married. *Insert comment reflecting his own views about marriage thanks to his failed ones*” This is when my stepmom replies, “Well, it wouldn’t hurt for you to be more supportive.” My dad proceeds to go have a smoke break, then comes back in and asks her “Is Hannah gay?” And she replies, “Yes”.

I can’t express to you how much that bothers me because of how untrue it is. I’m bisexual. If I was gay, I would have come out to the 15+ people in my life as that. However, I am not.

She told me all of what happened around 2 weeks after it occurred because that was the next time I was to come over. She was so excited, and didn’t want me to freak out about it. But I was anything except ecstatic. I wasn’t ready to come out to my dad, and I gave her specific instructions not to tell him because I wanted to tell him myself. She even went outside with me to see how it all would play out. Looking back, I know I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I should have told her that I just wanted it to be him and me. She already had the stolen honor of telling him the first time, why should she be there again?

When I finally go outside and meet my dad, all the while choking on my tongue and having an anxiety attack inside, I give him the longest hug I probably ever have given to him, and I correct her crucial mistake. I tell him that I am, in fact, bisexual and like girls and boys. “That’s fine,” he says. He goes on to say how he always sort of knew. I don’t recall what else he said because I blacked out like I’ve done in the past in coming out to people close to me.

I think the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard my dad comment about my sexuality was uttered that day: “Besides, aren’t those Converse high tops lesbian shoes?”

Skipping forward to last Friday, mid-Bible class:

My Bible teacher gave us the simple assignment of thanking someone who has raised us. I sent messages to my mom, grandma, Julia, my other grandparents, and my dad. My message to my dad and Julia is as follows:

“Thank y’all so much for loving me and accepting all of me. It means the world to me that y’all support me, and it keeps me going when things are tough. Everything is fine, but I just wanted to let y’all know that. I love y’all so much. Have an awesome day 🙂 <3”

My dad’s response left me in a puddle of tears in my school’s bathroom:

“Thank you, baby. That made my day. I’m so proud of you and always will be, and nothing will ever change that. I LOVE YOU.”

With the lack of confidence I have in my mom accepting my coming out, It’s incredible to hear that my dad does. My advice to people coming out is this: create a support group of people who love you regardless, then work your way up to the challenging ones. I can’t tell you anything about facing the hard ones, though, because I still have my own lions to tame.

I still can’t say I’m completely convinced that my dad believes in my bisexuality as much as he does my false homosexuality. All I’m saying is, if I come home with a guy for him to meet, it’ll be his own fault if he’s shocked half to death.

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The Gender Tag & My Own Experiences

1. How do you self-identify your gender, and what does that definition mean to you?

I identify as female. This doesn’t confine me to the gender roles that are associated with women. To me being a woman is powerful and beautiful, and that also applies to any other gender. I’m very confident in what I identify as.
2. What pronouns honor you?

I use she/her pronouns
3. Describe the style of clothing that you most often wear.

I tend to wear whatever is comfortable. Since I’ve cut my hair short into a pixie cut, I haven’t quite felt comfortable in dresses, but that’s my own problem with stereotypes I’ve heard throughout my life. I’ve always worn plaid and whatever jeans I feel like wearing, and rarely dress up.
4. Talk about your choices with body hair. How do you style your hair? Do you have facial hair? What do you choose to shave, or choose not to shave?

I’ve been growing out my hair a bit recently because I have a school homecoming dance next month, but will be cutting it back to a pixie cut as soon as it’s over. I don’t have facial hair because my sex is the same as the gender I identify as. I shave my armpits, and will usually shave my legs around once a week. However, I’ve been really interested in dyeing my leg hair thanks to Amanda’s Chronicles on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIR9Ah1RyxE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBqcr-JVDpc
5. Talk about cosmetics. Do you choose to wear makeup? Do you paint your nails? What types of soaps and perfumes do you use if any?

I wear makeup if I feel like I want to. I don’t wear makeup for anyone but myself, although I used to wear makeup almost everyday a few years ago. When I decided to stop wearing makeup daily, I felt almost like I was letting myself go. Soon my viewpoints changed, though. The less I wore makeup, the more I felt like I was truly being myself to others. I didn’t have to put on a mask for other people. I can now look in the mirror and truly think, “I am beautiful”. On the days I do wear makeup, I don’t wear much. I take on the approach “less is more” to enhance my own natural face. I sometimes paint my nails, but other times I won’t because I play guitar and have a nervous habit of picking all the polish off. I bathe daily, if that’s what the last question was asking. I usually don’t wear perfume, even though I own some, because I forget to put it on.
6. Have you experienced being misgendered? If so, how often?

I think I’ve only been misgendered once, and that was by a man in the shopping mall around Chrtistmastime last year. I had just gotten my hair cut off. I was shopping for a scarf with my grandma. The sales clerk asked me, with my back turned to him, “Need any help, guys?”. He didn’t see my grandma at the time, I assume. Once I turned around he quickly corrected himself and said, “Ma’am.” It didn’t bother me quite that much. I mostly thought it was funny because he ended up being too apologetic about it.
7. Do you experience dysphoria? How does that affect you?

I’ve never experienced dysphoria that I know of.
8. Talk about children. Are you interested in having children? Would you want to carry a child if that were an option for you? Do you want to be the primary caretaker for any children you may have?

I’m interested in adopting children of my own, but I’ve never wanted to carry a child. I think my partner and myself would both be the caretaker of children equally.
9. Talk about money. Is it important to you to provide for a family financially if you choose to have one? Is it important to you that you earn more than any partner you may have? Do you prefer to pay for things like dates? Are you uncomfortable when others pay for you or offer to pay for you?

For me it’s important to provide for my family, but I wouldn’t feel pressured to make more than my spouse. As for paying for dates, I think the best option is to split the check. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable when others pay for me because I don’t want to be a money grubber or anything. I prefer to pay for my own things so as to not feel that way.
10. Anything else you want to share about your experience with gender?

Story Time!

Now I don’t know if this qualifies as an answer for one of the prior questions, but I’m going to proceed anyways. Around June of this year I decided to start doing costume makeup. In the recent months I have been interested in cosplaying and genderbent character roles. The first time I ever made myself look like a guy was this past summer. I applied my makeup and contoured my face to look like Sam Winchester from Supernatural. I was so shocked with the transformation that I didn’t want to remove the makeup. At the time I started questioning my gender, and if I was genderfluid. I soon realized that was not the case. I may seem ignorant in that sense, but I haven’t had extensive experience with gender. I’ve never really questioned that aspect of myself because I never felt the need to. I’m glad, though, that I have decided to start applying costume makeup on myself because of how much enjoyment I get from seeing the end product.

My point is: as long as you’re comfortable with who you are, and are open to yourself, you can begin to love yourself as who you truly are.

Victory Overshadowed with Fear and Excuses

“Yesterday, June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states of the USA. I never thought that we as a society and a government could come so far so quickly. I’m extremely proud of our nation’s decision, and am absolutely ecstatic. From the websites supporting this victory to the many couples who were married yesterday, I am amazed. I would not have even imagined that gay marriage would become legal in my home state. As much as I wish I could have been in a pride parade of victory, or had a huge celebration with the rest of the LGBTQA community, I am sadly still residing in a largely homophobic region of the country, and am currently not “out” to my family as a whole.”

The above paragraph was my response to the legalization of gay marriage 3 months ago. I guess you could say I was delayed quite a long duration of time. Whilst writing the draft for the late blog post, my mom walked in on my typing. Fortunately, I closed my laptop in enough time for her to be oblivious to it. The fear I felt in that one moment was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and it has been holding me back from blogging for a while. However, I have too much to say that needs to be heard and appreciated, that I’m willing to take the eventual risk. It all has to come out one way; it’s just the method of communication I use.

My plan for as long as I can keep this up is to write as many blog posts as I can over the weekend about anything and everything. I’ll queue them all in my drafts folder and post them as the week goes along so people can read them day by day. Hopefully this will work out for the best.

What’s Cooking? My Sexuality

I baked cinnamon rolls, and a lemon pound cake for my actual dad for father’s day today. They turned out well. Now to the actual blog post: my sexuality and how I’m having to deal with ignorance every single day of my closeted life. As I was baking the said pound cake, I was wondering how my dad will react when I come out to him, because I will come out to him. I hope he’ll take it well whenever I tell him. In a way, I think Julia may already kind of know. Considering that she has told me in the past that they’ll support me no matter what. I’ve explained my opinions of the LGBTQA community to them in the past, just because it was something to talk about (as in, something to criticize my mom and stepdad about). They seem to have the same basic opinions as I do. I don’t want to come out to them yet though because I’m not out of the house yet. I mean, if I could drive, I would tell them (just in case I’d need to leave, although it’s pretty unlikely).

As for my mom and stepdad’s opinions on the LGBTQA community, homophobia seems to run strong in their veins. While we were watching one of those baking championships on TV, one of the men revealed that he was gay. This was relevant because he was talking about how he was making a cheesecake in honor of his partner (that was the first thing he’d ever made him). Not only that, but he’s also from Oxford, MS. That means that he’s probably been through more prejudice and hypocrisy than I’ve ever imagined. Maybe I’m just underexaggerating, though. Immediately after he stated he was gay, my mom and stepdad acted as if he didn’t even deserve to be there. It’s as if any respect for him even as just a person disappeared. I guess you could say that bigotry is magic in that sense.

It’s not so much as my mom who I’m afraid of. I know that she wouldn’t yell at me, or I hope she wouldn’t. She’d possibly cry and claim she did a terrible job of raising me or something, and try to ship me off to some kind of conversion therapy camp. A big concern I have with all of my family is that they won’t believe bisexuality is actually a thing. It’s actually real, regardless of opinion. I hate when people say that bisexual people have a choice, too. I’m sorry, but I didn’t choose to be attracted to this person or that person. Whoever I fall in love with isn’t my choice. I didn’t choose to fall for Abby, but that certainly doesn’t make me a lesbian. I just don’t understand the way people think. It’s not my place to know, I guess.

My main worry is how my stepdad will react because I know that he will indefinitely kick me out of the house. It’s “his” house, and he’s already kicked out Sharon’s daughter in the past for being a lesbian. Why would I be any different? I won’t get too much into what I’m about to say, but I’ve been trying to convince my mom to let me create a Facebook so that I could sell the things I bake or furniture I redo. Needless to say, I heard them talking last night (because he doesn’t know how to keep his voice down), and he claimed that he didn’t “want that trash in his house”. Well, he certainly won’t want me here. I wonder how he’d feel if he knew I watched porn in his house?

On a semi-lighter note, he got all riled up about gluten-free stuff again. For some reason, he doesn’t think people in need of a gluten free diet exist. I just have no words. I assure you that this guy actually exists, trust me, I forcibly live with him everyday. If there’s one thing my dad and I bond over, it’s how much we both hate my stepdad. It’s a good thing I’m getting away from this madness for the weekend. Just one and a half more days, then I’ll be with people who accept me as I am (or at least I hope they will).