Types of Being “Out”

Being “out” isn’t a black and white situation. Isn’t life funny that way? Nothing is black and white. Even “black” and “white” have different shades within them (according to paint swatch cards and digital colour presentation).

Throughout my life, I’ve noticed I was “out” in many different ways. Maybe different “levels,” but I prefer to think of them as types. I don’t need to get to the next level to be any more LGBT than I am and have been while I was “out.”

Type A: Closet? What closet?

You might not even know about what closet(s) you’re sitting in. If you do, you might be in denial. You aren’t at the questioning part yet. There’s a chance you don’t even know the name of your identity.

I was this type from age 7 – 12. Yes, seven. One of my earliest memories of school is a group of bullies calling me a lesbo when I was in first grade. I didn’t know what a “lesbo” or lesbian was, since I grew up in a religious, heteronormative family. Whether they used it as a homophobic slur to label me as something wrong, or whether they saw behaviour in me that was on par with being a lesbian, they used the word. And introduced me to what it meant.

Type B: I’m only touching the closet doorknob

Are you questioning? Is this a phase? Your friends and family might wonder as well, and hell, there may be bullies or harassers who see it too. But you’re still unsure if you can own up to this new information about your ever-changing identity.

I was this type from age 12 – 13. During puberty, I came to terms with the fact that I was not straight. I wasn’t sure what I was, but I knew for a fact that I didn’t like just boys.

Type C: Okay, I’m in the closet

You’ve realised that you are such-and-such. You don’t know who to tell, or if you should tell. Who would be surprised? Who wouldn’t be surprised? If you have LGBT+ friends, you might not be out to them either.

I was this type while I was 13. I luckily had a small group of great friends after I evolved from this type, so it was easier to trust them.

Type D: Members-Only access to the closet

You’re out to only a selection of people. These could be your friends, family, or strangers online. But it’s still an exclusive group—you don’t tell everyone about your gender or sexuality. You still guard it, since there may be dangers, discomforts, or disaster if you were out to more people.

I’ve been this type since I was 14. A few things have changed since I started coming out (bisexual to pansexual, for instance; the discovery of a gender identity). But I’m still here, over 8 years later.

Type E: Welcome to my closet—I mean crib!

Your gender or sexuality is one of the first things someone new learns about you. Your friends and family know about it—some may be supportive, some may be uncomfortable, and others may even be malicious. But you’re comfortable enough about your identity to present it as part of you, regardless of who they are. Of course, there may be exceptions, but nearly everyone close to you knows about it.

I don’t think every LGBT+ member can be Type E.

We live in a world where different societies have different degrees of acceptance for gender and sexuality. But the majority of the world is still narrow-minded and bigoted, and anything different from Type A or B can present numerous risks.

Whatever type you are, your identity is still valid. You don’t have to prove your sexuality or your gender by waving a pride flag, just like religious people don’t have to prove their faith by telling everyone they know about it.

Stay where you’re comfortable. The world is still changing—even if it is hella slow.

Types Of Being Out

Writing Wednesday: “Cardiac”

Cardiac

A body is colloquially
70% water.

Bones range in density
and thus in mass
and gravity’s pull.

How much blood and viscera
contribute to my ““obesity””?

Does each mouthful of spit,
each blood donation,
each lungful of
recreational smoke
make me fatter
and heavier
and more attracted
to the earth?

My heart is full
of blood
of guilt
of love
of speed
of necessity.

My heart pumps
weaker than I’d like,
too slow for my lungs to dance with,
and at least I can change
my muscle’s strength.

But the potency of runny red rushing
from top to tail
tip to crest—
I cannot measure;
weak or strong?
fast or slow?
this or that?

Who deserves a metaphor
from a suffering body
unsure of its

downfalls & struggle & weight?

Month In Review: July 2016

Thin wooden boards with contrasting light and dark brown colouring.

In July, I didn’t do everything I wanted to do. At best, maybe I did half of what I wanted to it. Going into July, I wanted to write more—and I certainly didn’t. I don’t know why. I’m not looking for a why. An explanation for the past is only an attempt to seek justification; to remove guilt. I don’t feel bad for not writing for almost the entire month. Instead, I feel like I’m in a better place to know what I can and can’t handle, and what I do and don’t prioritise. Writing wasn’t the only goal I fell short on, but it doesn’t matter what else there was.

A new month. Rent and bills have been paid. Time to trek on.

Here are some of my favourite posts from this month:

A Typical Girl Day, July 25
Bullet Journal 101: Finding Inspiration, July 22

Since I was out of town for the start of the month, I took a break from blogging (and the Internet as a whole).

A single adjective for July was courageous

I didn’t do anything outrageously brave, but I took chances. I let myself fail one of my personal goals, but I’m not kicking myself for it—kicking myself for failing something doesn’t make me win at it. Duh. Right now, I feel a bit like Elle Woods: taking rejection and failed expectations, and using them to motivate.

It’s impossible to be at 100% all the time. The people who are at 100% all the time look like they’re at 110%—that they have “hustle”—but I’m not one of those people. And I don’t want to be. I like taking a weekend to binge watch all five Twilight Saga films. I may not like lying on my bed resisting destructive urges, but I have to in order to not follow through on those urges.

In August, I look forward to

  • following through on my goals for writing, reading, and design
  • seeing my client’s book get to print

And that’s it.

I don’t have much going on in terms of visiting, events, or birthdays. My brother’s birthday is on August 26, but I won’t be able to visit his grave and say hello and “You would have been 24 today.” I could try to go up on the train and have my room mate look after my rabbit for a weekend. I’m not thinking on it too much. This past week was the anniversary of his death and funeral, so… I’ve had my fill of mourning.

Month In Review July 2016