I still feel like a blundering baby dyke. And maybe I am. But pulling together this blog has highlighted my progress in the last five years of my be-coming out journey, or my process of moving from someone who was unquestioningly straight to unquestionably queer. My work on this blog has followed me throughout my process of be-coming out, and in doing so, has become a part of the process itself.
I now realise how much of my energy was taken up with identity negotiation. I wish there was more space in the queer narrative for people who didn’t ‘always know’ and for adults still negotiating their identity. Then, perhaps, I wouldn’t have felt so broken.* I hope this will help you realise that you are not broken either.
To prepare this blog, I dived into the extensive trove of long-form emails between me and the person who started my journey of be-coming out. Our emails span 2014 to 2018 and follow us from after our first drunk kiss that we ignored, when we cautiously admitted our feelings and then wavered, through to the times when we embraced and basked in the undeniability of our love, and even some from after we ended it. We lived in different continents for much of our relationship as ‘friends,’ and for the first year of our relationship as partners and amassed about 300 long emails.
Here are some choice quotes from the early emails that reveal my endless seeking for clarity and mental exhaustion:
“Humans are categorizers, but humans aren't categories. I've thought about whether this week changed how I think about myself.”
“I think all this has been messing with my head a bit. It's definitely been taking up thought time in my brain.”
“I feel very 13-year-old girl to say I've never felt this way before, but it's true. I just need to take a cognitive break and let things be.”
In both the emails and personal notes, it is rather adorable to see my past self desperately grasping at the theories I was learning to try to find something with which to stabilize my swirling thoughts.
I pulled out all the philosophical stops from my undergrad training to try to understand myself. I cited Linnaeus, Aristotle, and Heraclitus. Heraclitus, who perhaps deserves credit for the overarching theme of this blog, spoke to me. He says many obscure things about how existence is a state of becoming, not being, is dynamic, not static (I’m quite proud that after hearing about my blog a friend told me I put the HER in Heraclitus. I told my friend I like to think I put the CLIT in Heraclitus too.)
Speaking of clit, I should note, not all of my identity negotiation has been intellectual. As I texted to a friend in the spring of 2019, “I had to fuck a lot of dudes to go up from 85% to 99.9% gay.”
As well, even though this blog has taken me a while to pull together, the fact that I had the intention to create the blog meant that I wrote down experiences, thoughts, and impressions in-the-moment. It made me more attentive to the instances of anxiety, exhaustion, hilarity, confusion, blissful queer joy and, at points, depression* that inspire these posts. The jotted notes have also left a trail of written artefacts to which I can refer to remind myself how far I have come.
The act of turning my jotted notes and musings into blog posts has allowed me to interrogate and understand my be-coming out process in a deeper way. Preparing blog posts has given me permission to explore my own life as a curious outsider, a perspective reader. I can dwell on my experiences longer and less judgmentally than I would have without the purpose-driven pondering of the blog.
In some ways, this blog is more personal catharsis than public biography. I doubt many people will ever find it (thank you if you are here!). This is like a diary that I’m making public because I wish this story had been there here for me. And I’m glad I did chronicle my journey, because in the moments I still struggle with my identity, my posts remind me how far I have come. Hopefully reading this will help you realise that although you may never arrive at certainty, things will get better for you too.
*Please seek help if you need it. Mental health struggles are not shameful nor are they signs of weakness. If you don’t know where to start, search for a free LGBTQ hotline or mental health hotline in your area. It can feel like a lot, but you will get through this. Even if you think your current community won’t accept you, there is a wonderful chosen-family that is waiting to love you.