Coming Out, Part I: Self-Awareness

Coming out is a process for most people, myself included. I tried to write about it and realized that to do so in one post would be possible but not ideal. For me, it was an evolution. A collection of starts, stops, and pauses. I will write it as such.

It started with Daphne.  She wasn’t the smartest girl but she seemed so capable and nice and pretty. And, I didn’t like Velma (she was too much like me), so Daphne shone even brighter. She is the source of my weakness for redheads, which was solidified when Jessica Rabbit made her first infamous appearance on the stage in Roger Rabbit.

Yeah, my first lesbian crushes were on cartoons. Caricatures. That’s because I was about six when I started girl watching. It wasn’t long before I realized that I liked them best when they were pretty AND smart. After Daphne and Jessica, I obsessed over some fascinating female character in just about every show or movie that I watched.

I’m not sure why I kept it to myself. I don’t remember whether I realized I was different, just didn’t mention it, or if I was embarrassed to talk about crushes in general. I had crushes on boys, too, but am pretty sure that I didn’t advertise those either.

I didn’t realize that my feelings might be a problem until I was ten.

I was in the checkout line in the grocery store with my grandmother, reading the tabloid headlines. At the time, I was an avid L.A. Law watcher and an Abby fan (a character played by actress, Michele Greene). There was a magazine with Greene on the cover and it caught my eye. The headline said something along the lines of, “Actress Quits L.A. Law Over Lesbian Kiss.” [Note: this is heavily paraphrased.]

220px-2ndkiss

C.J. and Abby kiss in the 1991 L.A. Law episode “He’s a Crowd.”

The kiss hadn’t been aired yet so, at first, I was just stunned that these two women were kissing on television. Then, I was happy that one of them was Abby. It took a moment to realize that ‘Abby’ was leaving the show because she didn’t want to kiss another woman. I skimmed the article surreptitiously while we waited in line and my heart slowly sank. My crush, my hero, was *embarrassed and disgusted about kissing a girl.

I asked myself whether my grandmother would be happy about my crushes and knew the answer was, “no.” It was at this point that I decided to keep my feelings to myself.

I didn’t tell another soul about my same sex attractions until I was 19.

Read “Coming Out, Part II: Otherness.”

*I did a little online research and it looks like this story is unconfirmed. The facts are that there was a kiss, it was a big deal in the entertainment industry and popular culture, Michele Greene did in fact quit shortly thereafter, and I definitely saw a tabloid that suggested that the kiss was the reason for her leaving. For what it’s worth, Greene’s official reason was that she wanted to pursue a music career and tabloid’s are always questionable.
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10 responses to “Coming Out, Part I: Self-Awareness

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. Being an indonesian, I dont hear many story about same-sex relationship. If I do, it’ either hate speech/ tweet or preaching. Unfortunately, A lot of indonesia are homophones. I hope things start to change and people could see other, particularity the LGBT, as human being.

    • You are quite welcome! Hopefully, internet access will continue to slowly help people understand other perspectives from all over the world. I would like to think that, given time, most people can understand that childhood crushes all start the same: a kid looks at someone and says ‘she/he is so pretty.’ When we are young, things are very simple, and we may not have any clue that others would not find the same person to be pretty, or think that we are growing up differently than expected.

  2. My first crush was on Robin Hood (the cartoon fox version). Thank you for starting this series. I hope it will be cathartic for you and helpful to anyone else trying to understand their own journey or the journey of others.

    • So funny! I totally had the hots for Maid Marion! Loved that cartoon when I was little. Thank you for reading; I’m glad you enjoyed this. I plan to post Part Two in the next few days.

  3. Really enjoyed reading this! It’s always interested to hear when and how someone’s coming out story began. I really can’t wait for part two!!! 😀

  4. Pingback: Coming Out, Part II: Otherness | Life and other things·

  5. Pingback: Coming Out, Part III: Investigation | Life and other things·

  6. Pingback: Coming Out, Part V: Home | Life and other things·

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