Written by Kelsi
Coming out to your friends for the first time is hard. It can take an ungodly amount of time to realize, come to terms with, and then share this information. Announcing personal stuff is strange, and there’s never a perfect time to randomly bring up this top
Having stated that, once you come out—assuming your friends aren’t total dicks—they’ll accept you, you’ll bond a bit more, and life goes on a bit brighter, out and open to the whole world.
If fucking only!
As a person who self-identifies as queer, I’ve read articles and heard personal stories about how you have to continue coming out forever. New town, new friends, new job, new school, new coworkers. Over and over again.
There’s this strange and uncomfortable disconnection that happens when you’re out, but then enter a new situation and everyone just assumes you’re straight—again. All of that hard work feels like it went quickly down the drain.
It actually verges on hilarious how set people are in assuming everyone is straight.
As a queer person, I’m always looking for small hints to show that someone’s gay. I think I’m pretty good at finding them (that makes it sound like a game… though sometimes it seems like one), but it can be hard to take an accurate tally because most of the time you never find out for sure. But there are certain items of clothing that pop up a lot in the queer community, and there’s a special kind of swagger a lot of us have. I can’t explain it, but I can sure fucking spot it. Apparently straight people don’t seem to pick up on these.
There are all kinds of weird hints and cues (both verbal and non-verbal) that I look for, but it seems that must just be from years of practice because, damn, straight people are just completely oblivious to even the most obvious signs. It seems that in the heterosexual world, all gay men are flamboyant and feminine and all queer women are super butch, and everyone else is hetero. What a boring world!
What sucks is that this requires queer individuals who don’t fit into these performance standards to be forced to figure out if and how to announce their identities over and over again.
If I’m being completely honest, there are times when it feels like a fun game. Like gay Jenga. How many pieces can you pull out and rearrange back on the pile before the straight persona is obliterated.
Clothes are always fun to play with. I own a growing selection of unisex/men’s clothes (the distinction of gendered clothes is bullshit), but also a lot of women’s clothes, just so long as it fits my personal style…. which does not look straight at all. Come on, people. How does that not clue you in? Like for real. Pay attention.
It’s especially hard in a professional setting because it’s not really appropriate (nor should it be expected) to divulge your sexuality, but it’s a hard balance to not accidently become closeted again.
So maybe if I walk a little gayer people will notice.
How about talk about really queer pop culture?
Did I mention I love Pride?
Nothing? Yes my friend is gay, how did you know? Oh, you think that’s why I went to Pride. Fuck.
You ask if I’m attracted to someone, I respond “Oh, not my type,” and I’d love to know what you’re now thinking my type is because you did not leave with the takeaway I intended.
It’s the longest game of Jenga ever. I pull out a piece of hetero expectations, yet somehow the tower is always stable enough to support the piece going back on top, maintaining the status quo.
As fun as it really can be, after a while you just want to end the game. If I wore a really gay shirt to work, maybe that would do the trick. But I’m not quite that bold yet, and let’s be honest, that still may not work.
It’s even stranger at work because I’m pretty sure anyone in the office who is gay has no doubt that I am, too. It’s pretty fucking obvious. But other people keep making small comments that make it clear they think I’m straight, but given the setting it’s hard to respond to, ummm, set the record “straight.”
Maybe this is why it’s nice hanging out with other queer people. It’s like a language and cues that you all understand. It saves that awkward process of trying to figure out how to come out to all of these near strangers.
Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds because it’s not really appropriate to go up to someone and say “Hi! I don’t really know you, but I’m gay. I’m almost positive you’re gay. So let’s be friends!” While I’ve never tried this approach, I’m fairly confident it would not get you a lot of queer friends. It would get you a lot of whispers and weird looks as you walk through the hallway. You may want to start looking for a new job. Probably in an entirely new state. You’ve definitely creeped out everyone.
It’s frustrating because I’m no longer trying to hide who I am, but it’s still an everyday struggle to be acknowledged and recognized in a way that aligns with my personal identity. I’m not hiding, so when you do find out, please don’t think I was lying. You were just completely oblivious to all of the signs. And there were so many of them. Think back on all of our interactions. Ahhh, I see the light bulb just went off and now you’re shocked (secretly a bit embarrassed) that you didn’t put the pieces together sooner.
Hopefully that light bulb goes off sooner rather than later.
Can I be honest — I still haven’t ruled out wearing a super gay shirt to work to speed up this whole process.