I took my time coming out, even though I’d been girl-crazy since I was a kid. In true myself fashion, I was like “Lemme try on some labels in my profile on this brand new concept called a ‘dating site’ that someone built just for our college (it was the year 2004, please give me a break) and see who is interested in me when I call myself what.” And after I called myself “fluid”, I remember this really annoying guy from my poetry class, who played in a terrible band and had long hair and a performative shoulder bag, tackled me outside of the library because we had matched. And I thought, “Well, that is not at all what I’m looking for.” But I had been into my best friend the whole time, and when I did finally admit my attraction — on their bed, while I circled their belly button with my finger, because I’m always really subtle — I was like, “Okay, yeah, more of this.”
Anyway, my sexuality has naturally expanded, but still mostly rotates around the same themes. I have come out as someone who has a polyamorous heart. At one point, I had to come out to myself and my friends as wanting to be in a relationship, even though I could not, for the life of me, get myself to be interested in someone who could possibly be in a relationship. But I feel like a lot of my coming outs have been as NOT something. When I did things like have layers in my long hair and match my earrings to my boots and carry purses, I had to come out as not typically attracted to masculinity, and then when I decided I’d lean into my Northern California camping-ready, short-haired dykeness I had to come out as “not a hippie,” and I continually have to come out at as not Filipina, not Pacific Islander and occasionally as not Mexican, as well as not butch, and not into sports, dogs or babies.
And I think, for me, this is about the ways that a lot of people assume we have things in common until I tell them otherwise, and sometimes I don’t mind that, I don’t always — as Rachel and Abeni said — need to come out to them. But one of my favorite parts of being queer is that I look forward to more opportunities to get to say yes to things I’ve previously said no to before, because I just didn’t know how to enjoy them at the time, or because the entry points to them have changed, or because I want to learn something new about myself. So I’m interested — like Vanessa — in what I have yet to find out about myself, including more expressions of masculinity that compel me, both in myself and others, and perhaps a future in which I become a hippie, whether I like it or not.