i’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my own coming out experience. i knew i was gay by the time i understood what it meant–somewhere in my middle school years–but i lived in a very pentecostal environment, and in my family, we didn’t even talk much about interracial dating, on account of the ensuing throb of a vein in my father’s forehead.
the wall of denial was so impermeable that i did not utter the words “i think i’m gay” out loud until i was 24! that was only eight years ago!
as i’ve become a more whole, self-integrated person, i realize that SO MANY of my adolescent and teenage self image issues (ahem self hate anyone?) stemmed from the disconnect of who i was and who i begged god to let me be. and now that i am a mother, i grieve for my kid-self. if only there had been somewhere for a girl like me to go for help then, a safe place to examine and explore my sexuality as i grew into it. but. in erie, pa, without the internet, circa 1992, i couldn’t fathom a resource. i didn’t know to even look for one.
readers, i put this question to you: if you knew young teen me now, if i somehow confided my secret to you, where would you refer me? for education? solidarity? peers? faith and sexuality reconciliation?