1. My dreams in life are to be an audio book narrator and to have an advice column/room where people sit and ask me about my thoughts on life. Thanks for asking me such personal/brave question. <3
2. I love Denver .
3. My “coming out” was more like a “Oh by the way, this is my girlfriend..” to my liberal, hippy parents and my gay sister (who has been out since she was 13). I’ve felt like I was “Bi” since I was a teenager and then found a nice home in the Queer basket when I no longer felt like I could identify with a term that implies there are only two genders. My mom buys me books about lesbian sex so mostly our arguments consist of gender language, polyamory and the use of the term “queer.” I realize I am beyond blessed to have the family I have. Many of my friends have really painful coming out experiences.
4. That said, I still struggled with coming out in other places like when I dated a girl that worked at the State Capitol with me (in one of the most conservative states in the nation) and I had trouble showing affection or telling my co-workers. My ex-girlfriend is openly gay and presents pretty butch so she was pretty used to comments from legislators or awkward stares from strangers. (Once, a Republican State Senator told her in his office, “I support you guys. I mean, we’re all sinners.”) At some point, a good friend of mine told me, “Lauren, it’s not fair for you to go around passing as straight because you are femme. You have to do your part too.” It struck me so hard. Since then, I have been a lot more vocal not only about being queer but about the struggles I’ve had getting comfortable with my queerness.
5. Other areas where I struggled with coming out was in my writing and in the queer community. I was married to a man for 8 years. My first girlfriend told me I didn’t “get to be gay” because I didn’t know what it was like to grow up feeling like The Other or uncomfortable in my own skin/sex. I took that kind of seriously and felt really uncomfortable talking to my friends about what I was experiencing internally because I didn’t want it to seem like I was jumping on the “queer bandwagon” (as one friend said). We do funny things to each other when it comes to sexuality. We hold so many fixed ideas about how it is supposed to work. It’s taken me a few years and lot of reading/talking to figure out the particular combination lock for my gender/orientation/expression. I think we all have our own unique puzzle combo. How amazing it feels to have the lock spring open.
6. Do you have a partner/sweetheart that you are going to introduce or are you just preparing to tell them in general? I don’t know for sure but it seems like most families that aren’t entirely supportive of the lifestyle can always find love for the person that you love. Seeing you happy is often the best “conversion” experience for your loved ones.
7. If you are pretty sure your family will be supportive and already have a supportive network of friends then WHAT A MIRACLE! So many people do not have that. I encourage you to write about your interior struggles. What are you most afraid of? What would it mean if your family didn’t approve of you? Where is the truth and where is the illusion? What resources to you have access to? What kind of love do you want to create in your life? The questions of our identity are generally just stepping stones to the questions of our core, whole, radiant selves. What a gift it is to get to ask any of these questions at all.
Your authentic self is stunning. Thank you for reaching out. <3 Everything is going to be amazing.