Saturday, February 23, 2019

I want to come out, but I’m worried others might view me differently.

I want to come out, but I’m worried others might view me differently.

1 - My first question when someone tells me about wanting to come out is: are you safe? I mean, are you safe where you live as well as financially, emotionally, and physically?

I have seen too many people suffer from heartbreak after coming out as bisexual (most often, they were bisexual males wanting to tell their wives). They couldn’t keep their orientation a secret anymore. They needed a safe place to be themselves. They had never cheated and didn’t plan on cheating. They just wanted to be themselves. The emotional, verbal, and/or physical abuse they went through after coming out to their spouse was heartbreaking. 

If you’re living with your family and depend on them in any way, it is all the more important to be cautious. 

That doesn’t even involve living in a country where being queer can get you killed. In which case, please, please, be safe! 

2 - If you are not sure of your own orientation yet, it might be better to wait. Some people will ask you questions that you might not have the answers to yet. Some people might tell you to your face you are not bi, and they might try to convince you that you cannot possibly be bi.
Always remember you do not owe it to anyone to come out! Especially when you are still discovering who you are.

3 - There will be plenty of people who will not see you any differently for being queer. There might even be some people who already know and who didn’t ask you if you were because they didn’t want to push. Those people will see you as you are and as you always were. Nothing will change when it comes to them.

But there will be people who will view you differently the moment you come out. 

To some straight people, other straight people are what they consider to be “normal.” They view other straight people as doctors, teachers, cashiers, mothers, brothers, and so on... But when you are queer, those same straight people (bigots and/or fetishizers, basically) will see you as SEX only. 
They will no longer view you as a person who might be kind, artistic, someone who loves dogs; they will see you as your orientation. 
They will imagine you in bed with someone of the same sex. Some of them will ask you all kinds of perverted questions while telling you to stop flaunting your sexuality. 
That comes from our society over-sexualizing queers and presenting queers as depraved and nothing else.

So yes, coming out as queer can change the way some people view you...but always remember that those people never deserved to know you were queer in the first place. They broke your trust by using your orientation against you, and their words do not reflect on you as a person in any way.

4 - As a bisexual, I have seen both sides of the coin. I see how people treat me when they assume I am straight and how they treat me when they know I am queer. 
In many cases, they treat me the same way. 

But in some cases, not. 

I have undergone hatred as a woman and as an immigrant. But I had never undergone hatred over my orientation until I was out online as queer. Never, as someone perceived as straight, did I go through the kind of hatred lashed out at me for being an openly bisexual woman. 

Now I am used to hatred from straight people. Mostly because most bigots will say homophobic things in front of me thinking they’re “safe” with “another straight person.” That’s hatred I’ve internalized over the years, especially when it comes from my family. It took me a long time to accept myself, and up to this day, I still feel uneasy when I think about women because I’ve been taught since childhood that it is “wrong.” 

But the first time I underwent pure undiluted hatred happened less than a month after being openly bi online. And that hatred came from another queer—the repressed kind who will lash out at our community to make all his shitty homophobic straight friends laugh. 
And being hated upon by someone from the LGBT community really hurt. I was not ready for that.

He told me, “Stop acting like you know what discrimination is, bi-bitch!” His comments contained many other anti-gay, anti-trans, and anti-queer slurs. 
But his hatred toward me for being a female and bisexual was incredibly strong. 
It was fairly paradoxical how he thought me “too straight” to know what prejudice is while being the first person to introduce me to that specific kind of biphobic prejudice. 

Another attack came shortly after from someone I now assume was a straight guy pretending to be queer to attack queers from within the community. At the time, I didn’t have enough experience to tell the difference between a real queer trolling and a straight person trolling while posing as a queer. 
That person told me I was “too queer to possibly please my husband. That I should let my husband go so he could find a ‘real’ woman who could actually satisfy him sexually.”

Now I won’t even get started on how angry I get at people who use phrases like “real woman” and “real man,” and how homophobic and transphobic it sounds! 
But that day, I realized that as a bisexual, I couldn’t win... Some queers consider me “too straight” to possibly understand the pains of the LGBT community, and some straight people consider me too queer to possibly be able to make my straight husband happy. 

That second guy was even worse than the first. At the time, I didn’t have the mental strength I have now when it comes to haters. I cried myself to sleep. I hated myself. Every word of his resonated with every horrible thing I’d heard my family say about queers.

Now I just tell the haters to go f*ck themselves. But it took me over a decade to come to that point, and I’m not even at a stage where I’ve fully accepted myself yet.

5 - The biggest reason why my first advice is to please make sure you are safe is that I lost a friend to biphobia.

My friend never came out. Her family found out she was bi by snooping through her phone and computer (if you live with your family, be very careful what queer traces you leave behind. Please be cautious and delete every possible trace.). 

From the moment they found out the truth, they turned her life to hell. They told her she was disgusting and wrong and abnormal. They forced her to pray to God for change. And they threatened to send her to a conversion center.

Her brother was one of the few who supported her, along with her closest friends.

But as if being criticized and harassed by her family wasn’t enough, some other friends of hers started excluding her. When she asked them why, the verbal abuse started, with them calling her all kinds of anti-gay slurs and hateful words. I know, she showed me the messages. It was repulsive.

She took her own life two weeks later. 

No matter the support she got from her brother and from her closest friends, the damage done to her by her parents and other people was too much for her to take anymore. 

A light in this world truly was consumed by darkness that day. 
I don’t know how her parents and so-called "friends" who harassed her feel about her loss now, but her death was directly their fault. They might as well have put the weapon in her hands themselves. 

She was sweet and gentle and smart and as beautiful within as out. 

Losing her was heartbreaking

6 - So before coming out, please be safe!
But always remember there is NOTHING wrong with you! You are unique and beautiful and perfect as you are, queer or not. And whether you are queer or not, there are people out there who WILL accept you as you are! 
You have a family who loves you for who you are; you may simply not have met them yet. 

I hope this helped. Hug! 

Thank you for reading.