A Coming Out Story

“Share a coming out story” is the prompt today, it’s always going to be ‘a’ even if it’s mine because, as I stated last year all of us who are ‘straight passing’, so all of us vaguely femme bisexual women, are always sodding coming out. Yes I know butch lesbians and all the other flavours of the Quiltbag have other experiences, at least Ivan Coyote appreciates us.

I apparently already shared my best coming out story last year so I was going to give it more detail because frankly it’s my best story, it involves alligators watching me and paddling through Louisianna, for a girl from The Shire it’s a pretty good story.

I was also thinking about sharing all the times I chose not to come out, like, I took my parents and sister out to the pub in my village so that we’d be on neutral territory and in a public place so their reactions couldn’t be too bad, made sure we had a table that was a bit out of the way so it was vaguely private. Then I did not come out to them because my Dad’s reaction to my starting a conversation about two friends of mine, both girls who had got married was… not great. It was a handfasting but he’d been very interested in the pagan elements, so when he stated that ‘It wasn’t a proper wedding’ it was very clear which bit he meant. So I didn’t come out then.

I have been coming out and coming out and coming out to so many, many people since I was fourteen. The twice that I got close to it with my parents, not counting the pub thing, I was told very clearly that they didn’t want to know. In my more charitable moments I wonder if I was just phrasing the lead up poorly, but at twenty three I made my last real attempt and decided to just be okay with it.
I mean I’m obviously not ‘okay’ with it, most of the last decade has been continually reminding myself that they are people in their own right and do not owe it to me to be okay with everything about myself. My therapist has indicated that this might not have been the healthiest conclusion for me to reach whilst I was still a minor but I’ve been an adult for a while now.

I came out on Facebook a few years ago on one of the various Coming Out days because my friends know me as very open and it pains me that I’ve often been very, very careful over who knows what in regards to work and family. Well I’m in a professional position that my employers do not care and I’m not going to go back into teaching anytime soon (also I think I’d need to be less careful than I used to be regarding being queer) so I came out. My Godmother was fantastic, she sent me a message about it and everything.

I think I say ‘my girlfriend’ a lot these days, so I guess I out myself with every breath, though it sometimes takes a great deal of emphasis. I ended up scraping a BMW on my street (presumably) and the neighbour was one of those men who gets aggressive and loud, cue me becoming annoyingly reasonable, when I said I would have to telephone my girlfriend to check something he demanded to know;
“How long before he gets back to you?”
“*She’s* at work so I’m not sure.”
“Where does he work?”
“*She* works at the uni.”

That’s the point that he noticed I’d emphasised something but was doing the angry man thing of not actually paying attention to what the woman in front of him was saying.

“My *girlfriend* works at the uni.”

Most of my coming out stories are similarly banal, because it’s all about straight people not really bothering to pay attention.
I know it’s not solely a straight person habit to not really pay attention to the fact that others don’t live the same way you do but today I am annoyed by straight cis men because they have contributed my whole life to making it harder than it needed to be due to not really bothering to pay attention.

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