Community Lies at the End of the Rainbow

Coming out as queer was probably one of the most natural things for me.

I know- that’s normally not what you hear someone say when the words coming out are involved. But despite the nerves I experienced when I came out to my parents (I told them I was bisexual, which at the time, I thought I was instead of just queer in general), coming out of that metaphorical closet we all speak of was thankfully not one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

I knew that it was my time to stop pretending that I was straight, and fully embrace my sexuality. However, it was difficult for me to find a sense of community, or at least one person in real life and not online, that was queer.

Let me explain: there were plenty of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in my life, but there was never really anyone who felt that their sexuality was fluid- the way I did.

I often felt alienated within this big huge community- as I do with most things in life. I felt like maybe “queer” wasn’t the term I wanted to identify as since no one understood what the hell I was talking about.

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I was searching for a picture of me during the year that I came out, but this was taken a year after, so we’ll take what we get

“Okay, but what KIND of queer do you identify as?” Is a question I get often. I used to get heavily annoyed every time I was asked it too. I didn’t understand why I just couldn’t identify as queer the same way bisexuals say that they’re bisexuals.

To me, identifying as queer means that my sexuality is fluid, or isn’t limited to what is considered the traditional male or female.

I didn’t and still don’t get what’s so hard to understand about that, but I guess that comes with the territory.

But back to what I was saying: it’s one thing to talk to someone on social media that identifies the way that I do, but to find somebody in my everyday life…seemed impossible. At least, until I got to college.

While the number of people I’ve met that actually identify as queer still remains relatively low, it was definitely reassuring to me to know that there people out there (whether they were an ally or member of the LGBTQIA+ community) who actually understood what I meant whenever I introduced myself in an LGBTQIA+ positive environment.

To say “Hi, I’m Aliece and I currently identify as queer”, and not be asked what kind of queer was a huge relief. It’s already annoying enough that I have to constantly come out to the world, especially if I’m being hit on while I’m with a girl that I’m interested in, just because I’m a queer femme- so yes, this was in fact a huge relief.

I still consider myself a “new gay” as I am new to most queer culture because it’s not something that’s taught in schools nor was I exactly raised around it. I have many more experiences to go through, much more life to live. But for now, I guess it’s safe to say that I’m happy with my journey so far.

I considered starting this post by saying that I’m here and I’m queer, but I figured that would be too cliché, so I’m going to end it that way instead:

I am in fact, queer and I am here.

FAU Lambda United 2017

Lambda United members pose for a group photo on National Coming Out Day

 

 

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