That I can wake up every morning and look myself in the mirror, without fear, without questioning, without wondering if the person I see is the person I really am. Yes, I am a lesbian. And somehow, that word does not scare me anymore. Once you take the first step of self-acceptance, everything else will come in time. It’s as though a veil has been lifted from your eyes and for the first time, you are truly ‘seeing’ and understanding all that has been going on in your head.
How many people can actually say that they have done some soul-searching? And at such a young age. Are they forced to do it, like how queer people are, by our homophobic circumstances? The day I looked within the depths of myself, and questioned everything that society and mainstream religion argued for’ the day I questioned the norms, types of accepted behaviour and everything else in between, was the day I found liberation, and more importantly’ I learned how to think for myself.
I am no more a conforming product of society. I am who I choose to be.
Less than six months after I first discovered myself, I came out to a group of friends. Then I began counting the number of people who knew. Every person who knew was another milestone in my life, another person whom I’ve invited inside myself to truly know me as a person and not the straight persona you see.
But being gay still wasn’t easy. Especially if you don’t have any gay friends to confide in, and your straight friends (even though they are accepting) can never truly understand what you’re going through. Thus, I decided to find people like me.
As I met more and more gay people, and knew some of them deeper, I began to create that ‘constructed family’ of support. I stopped feeling alone. And the truth is, you are not alone. You never were. There have always been queer people around you and always will be. Teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, aunties, cleaners, students, whatever. It’s just that we don’t know each other, you see? =) (By the way, the person who x-rayed me when I suffered a fall was gay, and I knew her.)
They gave me courage, and the reassurance I needed. I started coming out more easily and more randomly. I started caring less about how others would react and came out primarily because I wanted them to know me for who I really am. I came out to people whom I’had known’for less than a week. I even brought my straight friends to an all-inclusive church which openly accepts gay people. I used to be afraid that other people would know, but now I’m no longer afraid. In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised and amused when anonymous JC school mates or long lost friends find out the real me through friends or blogs.
Today, I’ve stopped counting the number of people who know. Firstly, it’s a chore. And secondly, I have frankly lost count. I’ve told my mom and my sister. And after two and a half years, my coming out has come full circle back to where it started: At home, to the two hardest people I’ve had to admit my homosexuality to: Myself, and my mother.
And even though I can sit back now and enjoy this little inner peace that I’ve created, I know it ain’t over yet. There is still the work place, and many more coming-outs to accomplish. But after all that I’ve gone through, nothing fazes me anymore.
Cos every time you come out to somebody new, you grow that little bit stronger.’ (And I think I’m quite ‘powderful’ right now.)