Home > Introduction > Homo sex is Sin(sational).

Homo sex is Sin(sational).

As I’ve said before, I came out as gay/lesbian when I was quite young – 15 years old.  I know there are people who do so even younger than that, but frankly, I didn’t surprise my family.  I had an insane obsession with David Bowie, Brian Molko, and other guys in eyeliner.  I played softball, never wore skirts, and always pulled my hair back in a ponytail.  I was in the GSA, and brought home videos like “Kissing Jessica Stein” and “The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love” from Blockbuster.  Basically, Mom and Dad knew what was coming when I sat them down.

The thing about coming out so young, and living in a city like L.A., is that I didn’t have much community.  I was really lucky for what I did have – supportive friends and family – but few people I could discuss my identity formation with.  Many of my friends identified as bi or lesbian in high school, so I don’t really know what I’m complaining about, but still – 3 or 4 friends, including one girlfriend, does not a community make.  I was looking for mentors – real, successful adults who had been there.  Or at least a group of people I could discuss things with without necessarily being a clique and being all up in their business.  I’m not saying my friends weren’t enough; they were and I was and am very grateful for them.

I mean, I’m basically saying, I was 15 years old, and lonely.  No one knew I was gay, there were no support groups for me to be taken to, or to take myself to, because I couldn’t drive, and I had no connection with the gay world at large.  And it had no connection with me.  I was 15, my parents loved me.  I wasn’t having sex.  I wasn’t drinking at Pride.  I wasn’t homeless.  I wasn’t getting married. I didn’t want to join the army.  Those issues weren’t my issues.

I know I sound like I’m whining, but I’m really over it now.  I think all 15 year olds feel detached from the world around them, and that’s okay, and so many people have done such amazing things despite countless, countless setbacks, and what I am is really, really lucky that I had so much as a teenager, and I’m not trying to complain. I’m just painting a picture.

What I did see was anti-gay attitudes everywhere.  I remember talking to my nanny (the truth comes out – I had a nanny, I’m only slightly worse for the wear) and having her say that  gay people were disgusting, and then asking my parents why she said that.  I remember watching a documentary about Westboro Baptist Church in Human Development.  And I remember, you know, dating some girls.  But my life was very normal, and that’s all there was to it.  I’d see people shouting at Pride and I’d think, “Why are they proud? What do they have to be proud of? I have the same life everyone else my age has, now that I’ve come out to my parents.”  I thought Pride was something that must come out of suffering, and I knew and know still that most LGBT people have suffered in ways that I never have and never will.  And I’m grateful.  But I wanted it: Pride.  To be so uplifted by myself AND by my community.

But my community didn’t come along until later, when I could go to bars and join a rugby team and be the co-president of my gay group.  In high school, what tied me to the gay community was hate speech from our enemies.  Which is sad.  That was all that was addressed to me, really.  I internalized a lot of those messages, despite the fact that I did not come from a religious family.

I’m having difficulty expressing what I’m trying to say here. Ultimately, the things that enabled me to come out so young: a supportive family, a supportive educational system, and supportive friends, were also the things that made me feel kind of lonely.  I didn’t “need” the gay community.  I “had” everything I needed or could want, right there.  I had a home, and a family, and a great daily environment, and awesome, awesome friends.  But I really could have used more community.

I’m just thinking about this change, as I approach Pride again.  It’s funny how different it feels now.  I feel like I legitimately share something with most of the people who will be there.

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Categories: Introduction
  1. June 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I understand this….from the flip-side. Being closeted and eventually coming out at 18 and not having any support, all I have is the gay community. And I wish I had more sometimes, because the community is not all support. I’m not butch and I’m not femme, I don’t feel the need to stand on top of tall buildings and announce to the world I’m gay (or even come out in daily life!) I don’t know….I don’t really feel like there’s a lot I share with the gay community, and I sort of wish there was. So I was in the position where I “needed” the gay community, and it rejected me because I didn’t fit with your sterotypical lesbian ideals (eventually I found the radical lesbian circle, but that’s another story). One of those “grass is always greener” things, I wonder?

    • June 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm

      I think my effort to end on a positive note hides the complexity of my feelings about the community. Much as I feel I share something with most of the people in the LGBT community, I don’t feel that I share values or interests with most of them. I share something…just nothing particularly important to me. ie. We probably wouldn’t be friends, but I appreciate their presence in the world, because it makes me feel not so alone.

      I think most people feel this way. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who felt “in the community”.

  2. Faggot Boi
    June 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Hm, do you perhaps feel that you missed out on the formative queer experience of having a traumatic adolescence?

    I do believed that pride must be created from shame. And community is often created by exclusion.

    • June 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      I’m not sure that I feel that I missed out on anything, per se. I don’t think I expressed this fully, but I think that I allowed hate speech to affect me in a particular way, in order to fabricate a traumatic adolescence. I remember being conscious of the fact that it shouldn’t upset me, but I allowed it to because I felt it was important to allow all that ignorance to push up against me and really shake me. So in a sense I still had that formative experience, but it was by design, rather than by necessity.

      When I hear that pride must come from shame, it makes me kind of sad because I think “Oh, but I’m not ashamed at all!” But I think I understand what you mean. There’s no point in making it visible unless it was forced to be invisible at some point. Yes?

  3. Faggot Boi
    June 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I suppose hatred can be traumatic, even when it isn’t directed at one personally.

    And perhaps pride doesn’t have to be a response to shame one feels or has felt personally, but rather to the shaming expectations of others, or merely the implication that homo sex should be kept private and quiet. Anyhow, there are a lot of things queerness can be about other than pride and / or shame. I wouldn’t worry too much if these aren’t important affects to you.

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