If I had met any other queer person or had attended a talk or session in school around sexuality, that would have remarkably helped my self-esteem and confidence while growing up. My limited exposure to narratives of queer sexuality pushed my emotions into a never-ending internal turbulence; a turbulence unbearable for an adolescent person.
I identify as a bisexual cis woman but i came out as polyamourous not very long ago, after a lot of struggle with myself; this is my first attempt to go public with this piece of information. Not that it will make a difference to anyone but it will change a lot of things for me.
When you realise your boss only does off-the-record, early morning catch-ups with you alone as soon as he discovered you are the gay lead in a play. Off work, he continues to single-handedly use his position of power to intimidate and invalidate you, without ever mentioning your sexuality.
I've always had a problem with the phrase, to be honest. I had never understood the need to disclose my sexuality to someone. I was a naive child. I was uncomfortable around heterosexuals. I didn't see their story or read about them; I was very annoyed that there are so many of their kind.
Through all of the ups and downs of my acceptance journey, my body has picked up some battle scars, or ‘physical accolades’ if you will, in the guise of stretch marks. These stretch marks used to torment me as glaring signs of my flaws but now I view them as markers of my journey, as imperfections that make me who I am. My stretch marks tell my story.
Another cartoon that sticks out to me from that time is Daria. Daria was a show released in 1997, and follows the life of cynical Daria Morgendorffer. Daria is raised in an upper class neighborhood where she feels as if she doesn’t fit in with her peers or family. I found myself relating to her cynical attitude - a cynical attitude that I had adopted for feeling like there was something wrong with me for having my ‘gay thoughts’. But, I also felt myself wanting to watch her more and more. Looking back on it, I’m not sure if it was fully a crush. I just wanted to hang out with someone beautiful who understood what it was like to feel separate from everyone else.
Everyone asks, “When did you know you were different?” No one asks, “When did you know you were in love?” I know. I remember the exact moment. Have you ever been hit by a truck? Or imagine, if you will, being fried so slowly that you believe you are getting a particularly intense tan until you see your skin falling off. Both very different images and sensation, and none anyone would ever associate with love. See how scared I am?
Walking into my first group session felt nerve wracking and started to bring anxiety; however, since I was not required to speak or share about myself, there was much less pressure and I could be in the background. Unlike graduate school, where you can’t really get by without talking to anyone, I went on for days without speaking to anyone during my group therapy sessions. I didn’t know what to say or the right thing to say, I didn’t know if there was a point even in sharing what I was going through to a group of strangers.