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coming out anthology 2006

 

Rewind: A Historical Record…

September 27, 2006


Below are actual excerpts from my journal starting during the Spring before I started at Bates when I was taking a year off from school (May 2002), and going until the summer after my first year in college (June 2003). I say “actual” excerpts partly because if you know me now, you might not think this is where I was and how I was thinking more than three and a half years ago, but it was. I certainly am in a different place now in terms of my comfort, confidence, openness, and probably most of all in terms of my understandings, experiences, identities, and politics. Briefly, I no longer identify as “gay” which is how I originally “came out.” See my submission in the first edition of this anthology for that story…but in a nutshell, in terms of sexuality and gender, I identify as queer and genderqueer. The following collection of excerpts may not seem at all amusing or fascinating to you, which is wasn’t for me at the time, but it is now because it’s a personal historical record of where I’ve come from and how much I’ve changed.

Onwards!

 

“YOU ARE GAY! Show yourself evidence – any evidence – that you’re not and that might justify any seed of doubt you’ve planted inside of yourself, but you can’t come up with it! There’s no evidence that you’re not!”

May 2002; Costa Rica
Sitting in bed, listening to crickets outside, mixed emotions float through me and I’m not sure what to make of them. Sometimes my thoughts turn sort of blank when everything in my head mixes together or scatters apart in such a way that none of it is clearly at the front of my mind. I don’t understand what I have been thinking and feeling. Am I like that? What is anything? What is everything? What is happening? Maybe I’m just scratching the surface of all of this. When is it going to end? When is it going to begin? Who am I? I don’t want it to take over my life right now, but I also don’t want to go on without answers to questions and reasons behind feelings. In a way it would seem better to try to forget about it, but I don’t think it would be possible or healthy to repress those thoughts and feelings.

October 2002; Lewiston, Maine
I have been at Bates for over a month now. As I have become more exposed to openly gay people and related issues, I have questioned my sexual orientation even more. It all seems so recent and it still surprises me to think about myself in that way. It never even crossed my mind that I might be gay until I met her.

September 2002
Did I “come out” last night? No. I said I was questioning. But that’s a big step. Do I really know but just don’t want to accept or acknowledge it yet? I don’t think so. Maybe I’m waiting to be 1,000% sure. The frustrating thing is that I want to know. I wish there was a test or something I could do so I could know whether or not I’m gay. In a way, the indicators that I have had all seem to point in the same general direction. I think it will just take time to figure things out. 

December 2002
Recently I’ve been very distracted by this issue and once it gets in my mind I almost have to knock it out so I can get on with school assignments and other aspects of life. I have become more and more convinced that I’m gay. Doubt remains once in a while but not really. Now that I’ve written that “doubt remains” it doesn’t sound true. I’m gay. I just had to pause for a minute to think things over. I have said that to myself a number of times within the last couple of weeks but had never actually written it down like that.
YOU ARE GAY! Show yourself evidence – any evidence – that you’re not and that might justify any seed of doubt you’ve planted inside of yourself, but you can’t come up with it! There’s no evidence that you’re not!

January 16, 2003
I’m still in the closet, but I want OUT! Deep down I know I’m gay and I think about coming out to other people but there is something holding me back – questioning, waiting, but for what?! I’m ready.

January 20, 2003
I CAME OUT! I had thought about it so much and practically lived and relived it in my head that actually going through with it was a bit surreal.

February 2003
I have come out to about seven people by now. I feel as if it will be the only thing on my mind until I talk to just a few more people directly. I’m being open and honest, showing trust, and showing that it’s not something I’m ashamed of or anything like that. What is most important to me is that I am comfortable being open and don’t feel as if I’m hiding a part of myself. Because it seems heterosexuality is almost always assumed, I felt internal pressure to directly tell some people that I’m gay. I just want to be me.
 
July 2003
Thinking back over the last year or so, it is amazing to see how far I have come. In May 2002, when I was in Costa Rica, I just began to wonder about my orientation; in September, when I arrived at Bates, I began to seriously question myself; in December, I came out to myself; in January, I began coming out to friends at school; in April, I came out to my older brother and parents; and now I am interning in Washington D.C. at the Human Rights Campaign, which is the nation’s largest organization that advocates for equality based on sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

My coming out process has been the catalyst for so much personal growth. Since I have been out, overall I have felt like a more complete person.  I am more confident in myself and in my interactions with people, more open and free in expressing my thoughts and feelings, and happier overall than I have ever been before. It is difficult for me to comprehend, much less express, the extent to which I have grown as a person over the last year or so. I feel as if the net that had been restraining me is being broken open to a greater extent every week. It has been a liberating process that I believe will continue as I grow personally, make connections with people, and help to raise awareness and open minds, including my own.

  - S. Stone ’06 (dagmar.orion@hotmail.com)  
 

 

 

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