Saturday, May 19

Hop Against Homophobia Day 3

I haven't shared my coming out story with y'all because it's not really very exciting...but I suppose I should let readers know where I'm really coming from, even if it's not the most inspiring story in the blog hop:

I am a bisexual woman. I figured it out during my senior year of high school (1987). I had just had my heart utterly broken by this boy that I was madly in love with--he didn't even want to be friends anymore (well, he said he did, but then he'd walk past me in the hall looking right over the top of my head--I'm five nothing, he's six two).

Then one day, during flag corps practice, I noticed this girl (yes, I was in the flag corps/color guard, no, you may not see a photo). She was plain, really, light blond hair, no make up, but oh did my heart do the little happy dance--you know the one. Mind, I was still hurting from the break up with The Boy...but it didn't take me long to develop a deep crush on this plain, blond girl. I never did anything about it. She was definitely *not* interested in girls. We never even became  friends, because as far as I know, we didn't have much in common.

I did do something about The Boy, however; we never dated again, but with a little nudging (me nudging him), we became friends again. In fact, I just saw him a couple of weeks ago, making his stage debut as one of 10 students graduating from a comedy class. I'm glad we've stayed in touch, he's a great guy and I'm very happy to have him in my life, if only on the periphery.

And the girl...? I have no idea what ever became of her. I never saw her again after graduation.

My first girlfriend was another girl all together, a friend who was experiencing some of the same feelings toward girls as I was, so we sort of decided to explore them together.

That same year, I was discovering that I wasn't Christian. The short version of the long search is that once I found Wicca, I knew I'd found home...and I ended up coming out to my grandmother as bisexual and a witch in the same summer (probably only a few weeks apart.)  I was 18 and had just graduated high school. I give her credit, my grandmother kept her cool. There was some anger, denial, fear, all of the usual and expected emotions, but in the end, we agreed to disagree about religion and she decided to quietly ignore my sexuality as much as possible, other than to voice her opinion about my girl friends (notice the space between those words?) She didn't like any of the girls I brought home...but she didn't like the boys either, so it wasn't actually a bias against girls. I should have listened to her about most of those girl and boyfriends, too; I apparently don't have the sense the gods gave a goose when it comes to love. (Thankfully, I did finally meet a *very* wonderful man, who is amazing and supportive and takes me exactly as I am).

Someone on another blog (I've visited quite a few over the last couple of days) asked a question that bears repeating:

What are you doing to fight homophobia/transphobia? 

My answer is easy: I'm out. I don't wear a T-shirt that says "bisexual", but when my daughter met one of my ex girlfriends for the first time, I made sure she knew that this woman used to be my girlfriend (the gal in question is also completely out of the closet). I've never asked any of our friends to hide who they are or pretend their significant others are just "a friend", and we've had open talks with my daughter about what it means to be transgender...although that was mostly prompted by the fact that one of our friends is starting his transition (female to male--but the masculine pronoun has been the pronoun of choice for some while, and I did have to say "okay, I've known as she and her for 20 years, give me a few months here and I promise, I'll get it right!" Except I still slip up and say "hi gorgeous" instead of "hi handsome"... he doesn't seem to mind  ;-)

I also made a promise to myself a few years ago to be less polite--less quiet. To not always mind my own business (my grandmother was a big one on "mind your own business"). I do my best to gather up my courage and speak up when I see or hear something that bothers me.

I'm not an activist, I'm a writer. I write about things that matter to me; yes, of course I'm writing to entertain, but I try to put enough real life into my stories that they educate, too--I just don't want to beat anybody over the head with it. I almost always respond to the question of "what do you write?" with the answer "gay romance." Sometimes I just say "romance" (especially when I was working on the ghost book or going on job interviews, because homophobia is, unfortunately, alive and well)--but I'm working really hard on being brave 100% of the time, because I seriously have no interest in writing het (m/f) romance. (I have no interest in reading it, either).

So that's my big story; not real exciting, but it's who I am. Imperfect like the rest of us, but working on it, trying to lead by example and live an authentic life.

As my way of saying thank you to folks who have come by during the hop, I'm offering up a signed copy of my debut novel Heart's Home.  (click the link for more book info)

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. On the 21st, I'll choose one winner at random from all comments left over the course of the hop.

As always, International Entries Welcome!

Thanks again, enjoy the rest of the Blog Hop!


Jill McCaw said...

Hi Hun, just because it's not a big "dramatic" coming out story, doesn't make it any less important.
Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad that you didn't have a really dreadful time of it. And that everything's worked out happily for you now too.

Really enjoying Hearts Home btw,likely to finish it tonight and don't want it to stop....

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm no activist, either, but since I started reading M/M romance I am much more concerned with GLBT issues than I used to be. I am a lot more likely to speak up now, too.

Thanks for taking part in the hop! Congrats on your debut novel, too. I read the blurb and it sounds really good. :)


Yvette said...

Thanks for participating for this wonderful cause of awareness…I teach high schoolers and this is a topic that we discuss at length. I just want them to be aware and know that they have the power to change the world!

Erica Pike said...

I already have a signed copy of that wonderful book on my bookshelf, so please don't enter me to the giveaway ^.^ Just wanted to stop by and thank you for taking part and thank you for sharing your story :)