We often hear from families about what it was like when their child “came out.” So, I’d like to offer an alternate reading of the story. As someone who “came out” a few months ago, I’ll say that I do feel liberated, but not because I was in the proverbial “closet” before.
To me, identifying as queer was a surprise.
It was a recognition of cumulative moments in my life that have surprised me.
I didn’t know I would want to wear that!
Or love that person!
Or belong in a religion that has always been and will always remain counter-cultural, disrupting human idols.
To me, queerness is a radical hospitality to oneself.
It’s an openness to my complexity and the complexity of others in ways that haven’t been systematically socialized, conditioned, and expected of me.
It’s loving my body without trying to straighten the curves.
It’s learning about just how many of my sisters’ bodies have been denied pleasure, dominated, and broken.
It’s welcoming new sisters who’ve claimed the gender they want and those who don’t want a gender at all.
It’s a nod to the little girl with the bowl cut who wanted to beat the boys at games because she was faster and stronger than them and she knew it.
History has evolved, and I’m less concerned than my queer ancestors that my safety is in jeopardy. (I think, deep down, that’s what some families fear: that a queer life will be harder—more dangerous, less straightforward.)
But I don’t want to go straightforward. Even when I thought I was straight, I had problems with the idea of forward.
So, yep, in case you missed it, I’m queer. I’m starting to like the sound of it. It’s strong and sexy just like me—the gal who’s always known it.