From the moment that I saw Whenever Wherever for the first time at age ten, I knew I liked girls. I didn’t know to what extent and, given a rather sheltered/evangelical background, I didn’t even properly understand what it meant to be queer, or to be some variation thereof.
From my pubescent fantasy of Shakira gyrating in the mud to a recurring dream of Billie Piper as a naughty teacher, I have definitely always had a Sapphic-shaped space in my heart. Even so, it never occurred to me until recently that “coming out” might be something that I should do.
From middle school to the present, I’ve toyed with the labels bicurious, bisexual, and—currently—queer. I’ve come to terms with this, however, in the context of an opposite-sex relationship. My boyfriend of four years has been there for every label change, for every tearful late-night phone call where I thought I was going to go to hell for liking girls, and he’s always had the same sweet reply: I still love you.
And I still love him.
He’s wonderful and sexy and sweet and even though I now identify as queer, I don’t see myself with another woman any time soon. Which raises the question: should I come out of the proverbial closet to my family and friends?
A handful of people know how I identify, but beyond a tight circle of family and friends, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to tell.
I hear about people throwing parties, giving announcements, celebrating their sexualities to the fullest extent in regards to coming out. But when I think of doing this sort of thing, I’m terrified: if the majority of my family ever found out about my sexuality, I’m pretty sure they’d hit the floor in prayer so hard and fast that they’d leave bruises on their knees.
Should I even come out, given the background of my family combined with my relationship status? I am happily in love with my boyfriend and don’t see my relationship with him ending any time soon.
I don’t know if I should tell my family or my wider circle of friends that I’m queer. I also don’t know how much longer I can keep my sexuality (mostly) to myself.
I realize this is a common issue. But, even so, there should be a handbook for this.