Coming Out: My Story

Yes, I know this type of thing is pretty played out, but since Pride Month is coming to a close, I figured go big or go home. So I’m gonna do something I honestly should have done a long time ago, tell you my coming out story (in full detail).

It should be no secret to anyone who reads my blog that I am bisexual. I’ve done a few posts about it, and it’s not something that I enjoy hiding about myself. But, If I had started this blog three years ago, I would have never written about it. The short version of the story is that I came out on October 11, 2012. But I promised the long version of the story, so here it is.

For a long time, I knew I liked boys. I had little crushes on guy friends in elementary school, that would eventually turn into full-blown boy craziness in middle school. It was my feelings for girls that threw me for a loop.

I realized I might be attracted to girls when I was about 10 or 11, and I saw the movie Josie and the Pussycats for the first time. Josie gave me butterflies in my stomach, especially when she sang, and I had no idea why. And, of course, as I said before, I got the same butterflies when I watched Coyote Ugly a short time after.  Of course, I quickly became confused. I’d tell myself that I must be gay, and have the same thought that there was no way that I was gay, because I liked boys so much. And it didn’t help that I was a somewhat sheltered (no offense, Mom and Dad) 12 year old at the time.

So, I did what I do best, and I started researching sexuality. I pored over every book I could find on the subject, I Googled before Googling was a  verb. This was also around the time I started noticing a trend around my middle school. Girls were kissing other girls. It was happening in alarming volume, and I knew from my research that it was a statistical impossibility that all those girls were gay. So, after I caught a couple of girls I vaguely knew kissing, I asked them why they were doing it. (yes, it was awkward)

“We’re bi.” They said, with utter confidence

“What does that mean?” They giggled at how naive I was about the subject, but told me anyway.

“Duh, it means you like to kiss girls and boys, it’s like gay but cooler.”

I was confused, because from a lot of what I’d heard, it certainly wasn’t cool to be gay. I’d heard enough “That’s so gay” and “What are you, gay?” from the boys, and girls, at school, to know they didn’t find it cool at all.

“Why is being bi cool?” I asked. The girls went into another fit of giggles (this is only slightly exaggerated).

“Cuz’ guys like to see girls kiss each other.”

That night I looked up the word “Bi” on the internet, and got the predictable results (bicycles, bifocals, etc.). but what stood out to me immediately was “Bisexual”. I read a whole article on how it was a trendy thing for girls to say, but nothing about whether it was an actual orientation. Sadly, my Google-fu was weak in those days. so I put it out of my mind for two years.

And it wasn’t that hard. I’d had crushes on guys steadily after that point, but never really on girls. I’d even started dating one of my best friends. And then I played a game of truth or dare.

It was the usual thing, there were tame dares, and risky ones, and I never knew which I’d get, so I kept picking “truth”. unfortunately my mischievous BFF, T had other plans.

“Have you ever kissed a girl?” she asked.

“No.” I wondered why she would pick that particular question, and we moved on. When it came to my turn, and I picked truth, once again, she asked another, equally weird question.

“Have you ever liked a girl?”

“Do celebrities count?” she gave a nod and I immediately felt myself turn every shade of red imaginable. My boyfriend was there as well and (of course) he was curious about my answer.

“Yes.” I said, without another word.

“Who?” I shook my head, insisting that someone else take a turn. She relented, but I knew that she would have that same question coming.

“Dare.” I said at my turn. T looked surprised but she smiled. And I swear, I did that “gulp” like they do on TV. she had a true dare up her sleeve, and I had a feeling what it was.

“I dare you to kiss her. ” she pointed at the girl next to me. One of the girls who claimed to be bi in middle school, but I didn’t know if she really was. So I kissed her, I had to.

Fast forward about half a year, and I found myself walking with T, preparing to tell her what I haven’t told anyone.

“I think I’m bi.” I said. she just smiled.

“I know.”

That was the first time  came out to anyone. The next day I told a few other friends. But there was one friend who I shouldn’t have told, because after I told her, she informed the whole crowd that surrounded us, loudly, and pointed straight at me.

I was mortified, so I ran.

Another half a year went by, and I was still with my boyfriend, but I also had a crush on a close female friend. I told my boyfriend about it, over the phone. He suggested I start a relationship with her, while still being with him. I hated the idea, I knew it would be a disaster but I did it anyway.

Three months and one breakup later, I had a girlfriend. The relationship with her lasted almost ten months, and it ended in a very messy, very public way.

For the net few years I dated a few guys, kissed a fair share of girls, and hid who I really was from my parents. Finally, on October 11th, 2012, I saw a message on Facebook saying that it was national coming out day. I decide I was sick of hiding. But, my parents were in Monterey. So I came out via Facebook status.

I apologized to my mother, in advance, in the status update. A few of my friends commented, but I got no calls or messages from my parents. As it turned out, they hadn’t checked their Facebook pages for the entire day. I asked them to look, and finally they saw.

My mom told me the only problem was that I didn’t tell her in person, and my dad didn’t really say much at all.

There you have it, my coming out story (stories, technically).

It may not be as tumultuous, or as dramatic as some other stories, but it took a lot of courage, and a lot of heartache, for me to even attempt to acknowledge my sexuality. And it’s the same for most people like me.

I’m lucky enough to have parents that support me through times like this, and I know that not everyone has that. And as anticlimactic as I make my coming out sound, it had me in state of anxiety I haven’t experienced since. Of course it felt good to finally get it off my shoulders, but it terrified me. And, as it turned out I didn’t have a reason to be scared.

My heart goes out to those who had a difficult time with coming out, and those who weren’t nearly as supported and accepted as I was. It makes me unbelievably angry to know that there are parents and families who disown their own flesh and blood for their sexuality. Sometimes, the cruelty of others astounds me.

As for any parents who might be reading this. If your child comes out to you, they aren’t expecting you to lead a pride parade for them, they just want to know that you love them unconditionally. So, despite any issue you may have with anything to do with LGBT awareness and rights, just give your child your attention, and let them know that you love them.

Happy Pride month.

 

 

Writing 101 Day Twenty: The final day

I’d have to say my most prized possession is my laptop. It’s not so much the computer itself that makes it so prized, but the way I got it.

In 2012, I was fighting a losing battle with depression. Now, I wasn’t diagnosed, but I know the signs, and I knew enough to recognize it in myself. There were days where I didn’t leave my room, not even to eat. My anxiety, previously nonexistent, went through the roof, and I was rapidly losing weight. I knew it was a problem and I wanted to make it better.

One weekend, I went to visit my Best friend at her house. It was in December of 2012, I remember because her house was decked out in Christmas decorations. Anyway, she gave me a cupcake. I looked at the frosting and it hit me.

“I think I wanna go to pastry school.” I said, thinking out loud. that was a moment when I knew what I wanted to do. I don’t talk about it much here, but I love to bake. It’s my second love, my first, of course, is writing. I’ve always watched the competition shows where the pastry chefs make these ridiculous creations. They’ll make life-sized Scooby-Doo cakes, or amazingly crafted sugar sculptures, and my thought process was always “I would love to do that.”

I want to create huge wedding cakes that people will talk about years after the reception, I want to give a kid a birthday cake with his favorite superhero on it, crafted from fondant. I want people to think of me when they see the word “pastry”.

But I’m getting off subject, back to my laptop.

I started pastry school in January of 2013, and from the first day, I loved it. At first, I just sat in the back and took notes. But then it came time for projects. Projects that I had to do research for. I spent every day in the library before my student loan check came in. After that, I knew what I wanted immediately, a laptop.

So I sat down, on my mother’s laptop, naturally, and went to Amazon. I bought my beautiful, perfectly serviceable, Toshiba Satellite that day. I had the freedom to research projects on my own, do my homework (at home), and just goof off and play games.

It’s my fist  time really having something to myself. Being a middle child in a family of five, I’ve always had to share something, and now, I have my own  computer to customize, cover in stickers and otherwise misuse.

2013 was a turning point for me. I found what I want to do with my life, and that i actually have a talent for it (seriously, you should try my carrot cake). I made new friends at pastry school, who I love, and don’t speak to nearly as often as I should. And, most of all, I got the confidence to write this blog, and to bare my soul to you, my small amount of readers who I can never thank enough (you guys make my day.)

And I honestly don’t think I’d be in the place I am now without my lovely little laptop. This has done so much for my confidence. Again, thank you all.

Writing 101 Day Nineteen: Free Writng #2

Woo Hoo! another free writing assignment. I wonder what it’ll be about this time. Basically I’m just gonna write every thought that comes to my head until I reach at least 400 words. Which is quite a lot when you think about it. Does this text editor thing even have a word count feature? I guess not, so I’m just gonna have to play it by ear. Wing it, if you will. Time for a paragraph break.

It’s hard to do this without editing. I always make spelling mistakes on my first write through, but I guess that helps it appear more “organic”. wow, this is harder than last time. I need to stop writing about writing this, too bad there aren’t any distractions in here. I’m getting that hyper focus bug again. Time to take a break.

So I’m gonna put on some music, it’s time for a little Pandora ( your welcome for the free ad, Pandora). Sweet, it’s Queen. I love Queen. Freddie Mercury was a total badass. And it’s “We are the champions”, awesome. This is genius songwriting, man. And now I sound like a stoner. Whatever it’s true. They really don’t make music like this anymore. I feel like I was born in the wrong decade.

Ha! now it’s “Thrift Shop”. Another great song. I don’t care if Macklemore’s made a couple mistakes, I could listen to his music forever. Now the music topic’s getting old. I’m gonna try to talk about something else. I’ll just dance and write. That’s actually harder than it sounds. Am I over 400 words yet? I’ll check. Ok, I have no clue how to check that, I’ll just keep typing. Duh, I’ll just get an add-on for it.

Wow, only 288 words? really? That can’t be right. I’ll just keep writing I guess. Why is it still called writing if I’m typing. Writing seems like a much more physical action. I actually miss the feeling of how my hand flows when I write longhand. Something about it gives me fond memories, I don’t know what. It’s probably the same thing that kept me from getting an ereader for so long. I mean, I love my Kindle, but it’ll never be a real book. I’ll never get that awesome old book smell from my Kindle.

And now I sound old, I’m only 23, I swear. It’s probably good that I feel a little older than I am. I mean, when everyone sees me they think I’m a teenager. They tell me that’s a good thing, but I just wanna buy a beer without my ID getting a double take. I just got some cherry pistachio oatmeal (thanks, Mom!) It’s awesome. I think it’s common knowledge that pistachios are the best type of nut. If anyone denies it, they’re lying to themselves (or they’re allergic to nuts, in which case, I’m sorry). 

Nice, I broke the 400 word mark. That was basically the minimum count, right? Anyway, I think I’ll even this out at 500 words or so, just because. I’m not one for doing the bare minimum. I think I can pull it off. Although my word counter doesn’t recognize contractions for whatever reason, oddly it’s the second time I’ve come across that problem in a word processor. Oh well, it was free, you get what you pay for, right?

 

Writing 101 day Eighteen

“You start sixth grade tomorrow!” Mom called from the living as I headed out the front door “My little girl’s practically a woman!” I rolled my eyes and went to take my bike from it’s spot by the orange tree. As I rolled it out I noticed the tires didn’t feel right. Looking down, I discovered that both tires had been punctured flat. Seriously? I thought, sighing. The last day of the summer, and I can’t even ride my bike? I threw my bike on the grass in anger and plopped on the front stoop. That’s when I noticed the patrol car across the street, at Mrs. Pauley’s.

Mrs. Pauley was on the tail-end of a rough three months, losing her husband, and her source of income in one fell swoop. I remembered how Mom and a couple of the neighbors had saved up some money to help Mrs. Pauley pay her rent, but it still wasn’t enough. I saw the eviction notice on her front door shortly after her husband died.I guess her landlord was finally following through. It looked like Mrs. Pauley wasn’t going without a fight.

“I’ve lived here forty years!” she yelled as the cops took her out of her house. I ran back into my house, grabbing Mom by her sleeve.

“They’re taking Mrs. Pauley away!” I said. Mom practically leaped off the sofa as she followed me out the door. By the time we got out, the cops had Mrs. Pauley in their car. I watched as Mom ran across the street to confront Mr. Peabody, Mrs. Pauley’s landlord. What is she doing? I thought, tapping my foot. It was the nervous habit I couldn’t quite shake. I knew there was no way Mom could stop this eviction from happening. I watched her gesture wildly as she argued with Mr. Peabody, but I couldn’t make out more than a word or two of what they were saying. Soon, the police officers joined my mother and Mr. Peabody on the lawn. They calmed Mom down a little, but she was still talking with her hands, so I could tell how angry she still was.

Suddenly, Mom looked over at me and gestured for me to come.

As soon as I stepped onto the lawn, the cops lowered their voices as they spoke amongst each other. God, I hate it when adults do that, like I’m just some kid. One of the cops turned back to Mom while the other one went and got Mrs. Pauley from the car. Mr. Peabody just stood there, shaking his head.

“Are you sure about this, Miss Bridle?” The cop asked Mom. She nodded and took Mrs. Pauley’s hand.

“Go get the air mattress out, Billie,” Mom said “Mrs. Pauley is gonna stay with us for a little while.

Writing 101 Day Seventeen: No one, Nothing, Small

When I was younger, I always felt like I could blend into the the background. I’d walk past people I didn’t even know and “know” what they were thinking. Those thought always boiled down to this; “You are no one, you are nothing, you are small.”.

I’ve grown to be much more self-aware, and less self-effacing since then. But every once in a while, those thoughts come back to me. My greatest fear is that those thoughts are all true, that everything I want, I can’t have. Sometimes I find myself withdrawing from the outside world, avoiding people because I think it will make those thoughts go away, but it never does. All it does, really, is make those thoughts come out, full force.

Not having the noise of other people, of music, or traffic, brings me back to those three thoughts. “You are no one, you are nothing, you are small.”

To tell the truth, I am small.

I stand at a whopping five foot one and a half. But my voice is not small. I’ve spoken up when no one else had the guts to do it. I’ve spoken out against what I believe to be injustices, and I’ve stood in front of a microphone on shaking legs and spoken to one of my idols (on tiptoe of course). If you give me an issue I’ll speak, and sometimes I don’t stop.

I may be no one to most people, but I know I’m someone to at least four, and that’s enough for me. I have family, and I have friends, and they all see me as someone. Someone to talk to, someone to laugh with, to argue with, to love. And I’m someone to those who hate me as well.

I most certainly am not nothing

If I was nothing, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I wouldn’t be making a fool of myself for the whole world to see. And I certainly wouldn’t care enough to fear being nothing. I am a writer, I am a baker, and I am an aunt, it says so right on my profile, right under my picture.

But, despite my best efforts, my fear of being nothing, no one, and small keeps me from being the best person I can be. Fear has a funny way of doing things we would never want it to do. It can make us turn away from opportunities that could change our lives for the better; it makes us stop in our tracks and second guess what we’ve done before. But fear is something we can overcome. I’m living proof of that.

Two years ago this little blog of mine didn’t exist. It was still a seed in my head, growth stunted by fear. But now I’m sitting in front of my keyboard, baring my insecurities for something that not many people will read. But not many people is better than no one. A blog is better than nothing. and the internet is anything but small.

 

Writing 101 Day 16 Lost and found part three

This story is  fictional:

I found myself sighing as I got to the least favorite part of my job, the lost and found. I still couldn’t believe I had to keep inventory of this stuff. Who was going to miss any of it? The most interesting thing I found in the month I’d had this job was a half empty pack of gum. And still, even that was only interesting because the boss let me take it. But day after day it was the same items. A smartphone that someone had forgotten to take home (which had been there since at least my first day), A kitten calendar, three pairs of earbuds, and a knock-off  Rolex.

As I sifted through the usual items, marking them off on my clipboard, my mind was at home, wondering what I’d watch on Netflix later. I was jerked back to reality by the fact that there was something extra in the box today. I found the ring at the bottom of the empty box. It was probably there because someone carelessly threw it in. Clearly, it was an engagement ring. It had a diamond the size of a grain of sand on it, but it was engraved To my forever beloved. It was brand new, without a scratch on it.

Still, later that night, as I watched Wayne’s World for the thousandth time, I couldn’t bring my mind off that ring. Who did it belong to, ad who was their “forever beloved”? I made a promise to myself that I would find out.

To be continued…

Maybe.

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I just want to thank the 100 plus people who have liked my posts. without your support, I wouldn’t be writing this now. Many, many thanks a virtual cookies (the baked kind) for everyone.

I Am Not A People Person

I see it on every job listing. “We need a people person with a dynamic personality!” And every time it stops me in my tracks. Why? Because I am not a people person.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very friendly person. There are certain social situations in which I thrive, but a job interview is not one of them. I describe myself as friendly and outgoing (which I am, sometimes) in my cover letters, but when it comes time for the interview I freeze.

My prepared answers come out awkwardly, sprinkled with “ums” and “uhs”, my throat reaches a dryness comparable to the Sahara, and I never know what to do with my hands. There are moments when I think the interviews go well, like when I make a joke and get the interviewer to see my personality, but it all comes crashing with five words.

“Are you a peopled person?”

“Um,” I say, wiping my sweaty palms on my pants, my great answer dies in a sea of white noise, and out comes the word vomit. “Well, you know, I, uh, take a little while to warm up to people but when I do…” I make a awkward motion with my hands. “You know…”

“Right.” The interviewer scribbles a note on my resume and stands to shake my hand. “We’ll call if you’re considered for a second interview.” My heart sinks because i know exactly what that means. But even worse is the interview where I think it goes well.

I seem to have a good rapport going with the interviewer, I tell a few jokes, I even (gasp!) have questions about the job. I come out of the interview feeling confident and the call never comes. I call to follow up and they inform me that they’ve gone in another direction. And thus the cycle begins anew.

“You’ll get better after a while,” Everyone says “After the first few interviews it gets easier.” But that doesn’t help when interviews are so few and far between that I’ve lost almost all basis for comparison. And slowly but surely, my time to interact with people is whittled down to almost nothing.

So, Am I a people person? The answer to that is the same as that of quite a few others.

Sometimes.

But it seems that there’s no room in the work force for people who sometimes like interaction, there’s no room for the introvert who loves people, but is soft spoken and sometimes a little anxious. No, I can’t be “on” at all times, and i can’t plaster on a fake smile and an upbeat tone, but is that really a bad thing?

I get unsettled by the employees who are constantly smiling, acting like everything is wonderful while things are falling apart around them. Honestly, it would be refreshing to hear someone say that sometimes, people suck.

Writing 101 day 13: Lost and Found

This is part two of my day four assignment, where I wrote about my loss of faith.

I remember it now clear as day, starting at a new school in fifth grade. I sat nervously in class, for the first time, I didn’t know any of my classmates. I remembered my friends at my old school, who I’d known for years. I desperately wanted to go back to that.

It wasn’t until recess that I really felt lonely, I wandered the campus, going towards a jungle gym that looked fun. As I walked past I noticed some of the dirty looks and giggles from other students. This was something I’d never dealt with before. At my other school I was liked, or at least spoken to, by most of my classmates. But no one spoke to me that day.

Not until a nice girl introduced herself to me (Let’s call her T). T was the first person who spoke to me, aside from my teacher on that first day. We hit it off pretty fast. She introduced me to the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and PG 13 movies. We’ve been friends ever since.

For 13 years, T has been my best friend. While others walked in and out of my life, she stayed, and she’s about to have a baby boy.

On that first day, I didn’t know what to think when she introduced herself to me, but now, I can barely remember a time where I didn’t know her.  And i can say with confidence that without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.

Blogging 101 Day 11: Size matters

When I was 12 I lived in the same house I do now. Let’s not settle on this information, but on how I was back then. At twelve, I had only lived in this house for two years. Since I moved in at 10 years old, I’d had trouble fitting in with the kids who’d known each other since preschool. I’d really only moved to the other side of my small city, but apparently that was enough to make me the “new” kid in my fifth grade class. Middle school was no exception.

So, after a day of being ignored or straight out antagonized by the kids at my middle school (with very few exceptions), my home was my sanctuary. As soon as I got home, I’d go straight to my room. I found comfort in my day bed and the purple flowers stenciled on the doors to my closet. It was the first time I’d had a room to myself, and after two years, I still hadn’t quite gotten used to it. I plugged in my tiny radio and turned on the local rock station before sinking into the world of Harry Potter.

Now, a lot has changed. I’m still in that same room, but after eleven years I’ve found friends I can trust, and I don’t need to escape into a fantasy world to sustain me. Every once in a while, I still find comfort in the stenciled flowers, but only when I’ve reached an all time low. I’ve just found that my lows are happening much less often than before.