Pride: In being our full spectrum self--however that manifests + continues to evolve.
I’ve been contemplating on the process of “coming out” as June is #pridemonth + seeing articles of celebrities coming out to the public identifying as queer, as non-binary, as gay, or transitioning. And then I thought about my personal experience around coming out + what the culture looked like growing up in rural Missouri.
One of my best friends came out as gay when I was a teen in Catholic high school. He was sent to a camp for “recovery” + then kicked out of his family home.
Another friend shared about their experience of transitioning + the fear in the anticipation for having the conversation with their dad, only to discover their dad becoming their #1 fan.
I personally have “come out”, not by formal announcement, but by way of stories written, conversations in podcasts, photos shared, actions taken. And while I’ve never really settled on a title of identification for my ever-evolving expression, I’d say I’m non-traditional + sexually fluid.
The thing about “coming out” is that we believe it happens one time + we are done. But rather, it is a continual process of re-revealing ourselves again + again.
Whether that’s because we keep leaning into our edges + discovering more about what we like or because culture comes up with a new term that better fits our personal taste of identity.
It’s powerful to witness people claim who they know themselves to be…especially in a culture that continues to try + keep us all in the same 2 lines.
It’s brave to be one of the ones to exclaim…especially in a culture where violence + bigotry are very real. My reflective mind wonders:
At what point does “coming out” no longer become a massive step, but just a part of social standard without the charge + hesitation. Where who you are attracted to, identify as, + desire to express becomes a non-issue question just like asking someone what city they are from or how they like their coffee.
That dream perhaps still has a long way to go. As we see today, politics + people love to dictate what we can + cannot do with our bodies, who we can + cannot love, + how we can + cannot express…
Who have been inspirations for you in exploring who you are as a sexual being?
I remember the first time I ever kissed a girl.
Ok. It was a couple. ;)
But HER. Her lips were the softest, sweetest mouth of cherries I had ever tasted.
I loved the curve of her body. The softness of her flesh. The fragrance of fresh floral in her long dark brown hair.
Her playful, eager energy was infectious + my whole body turned on like a light bulb…actually more like a stadium of them. I couldn’t believe what I had been missing.
But of course, growing up in rural Missouri back in the 90’s didn’t lend to many (or any) models of women who liked women. They weren’t in the television shows I watched, nor were they visible among my female peers or Catholic school lessons.
My daydreams, fantasies, + quick stolen glances were a secret.
College was more progressive, but I still didn’t have the courage to act upon a feeling. My cultural programs ran deep.
It wasn’t until I found myself living in Southern California that I was introduced to myriads of ways to love, that the internal working model I operated from began to shift.
I think of these people as my permission slips—as if seeing them live their best, non-traditional lives gave me the reference point that I, too, could do that.
My expressions + desires + curiosities were all ok to have + welcome explore.
Did that mean it was smooth sailing?
I still to this day can be met with judgement, confusion, loss of interest in dating, + told that “I’ll change my mind” or “that way of being won’t find me a partner.”
It can be challenging to stand in what’s true for you against the countering opinions of others.
Yet, do you want to lead a life limited by the narrow-minds or preferences of others?
Or live your colorful, expansive life of your own?
I’ll choose the later, thank you. It’s tastes like rainbows + the sweetest cherries on my tongue.
When you live a love life less traditional, you may be met with resistance + judgment.
Not that your loved ones or your community intend to do you harm, but they do not have the reference points or experience to develop the understanding to perhaps support you in the way that is meaningful for you.
So their care for you may come out as criticism or advice on why you haven’t “landed” partner, yet.
Remember, there is no “truth” in how to do this whole love thing.
It doesn’t dissipate your energy towards manifesting a partner if you have lovers you’re enjoying along the way.
You can still be spiritual + casually (or non-committed) f*ck.
Your exes can become your platonic best friends.
Nothing is wrong with you mentally if you are k!nky + find pleasure in the pain + taboo.
You aren’t necessary avoidant if your preferred style of romantic relating is poly or more open.
You aren’t a f*ckboy or girl just because you like s*x for fun + not for deepening relationship.
You aren’t less sensual or less “feminine” just because you like to wear backwards hats + skater shoes.
People like to be experts + tell you what the “truth” of living + loving is. I’m weary of anyone who claims they know the right way, the only way, or “how to get the guy/girl in 5 steps.”
F*ck the f*ck off.
If we are real about love, it’s one of the most complex scenarios that is rarely linear.
The best relationships I’ve seen are ones that did not move in a straight line progression, nor did they follow all the rules of “being a boundary badass” 100% of the time.
The best relationships I’ve seen are the ones that have been human. Real, raw, + a wee bit messy.
There’s power in learning about yourself, your authentic desires, your needs, your fears, + communicating so you can create the relationship that is right + true for you…even if that means there is conflict among the beliefs of your peers + surrounding culture.
No one wants to feel rejection, be misunderstood, or no longer feel they belong.
Yet, no one needs to be in an echo-chamber of all the same type of thinking, either.
You are educating the masses by being true in your expression.
Even if it just starts with the person right next to you.