Starting the conversation of all conversationsWritten by Emily Hickey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
While I may be a lesbian with a lot of pride, there once was a time where I would fake crushes on boys and avoid everything rainbow because I never wanted to talk about how much I actually liked women. After months, I finally accepted myself but was terrified to talk about it. I confided in only two people and rehearsed the script that I created in order to help me start the conversation of all conversations.
I had a list, a mile long, of people that I needed to tell including my parents, the best friend I had a crush on and the new friends I had just met at school. Needless to say, I was panic-stricken until I came out to every single one of them.
Some responses were just as I imagined while others broke my heart in half. Just when I gained enough courage to start The Conversation again, someone I cared about told me that this is all just a phase and that I hadn’t found the right man yet. I was overcome with frustration and had no idea how my many months of mental preparedness could withstand such a blow.
How could someone that I love so much think that I would just tell them I’m a lesbian for kicks? No people I know want to willingly sign up for entire religions to condemn them or for family members to write them off just because they’ve come out.
However, to my surprise, I was immediately rallied by the support I did receive and I began to live the life that was meant for me without the Negative Nancys. It was a difficult choice, but when a person comes to the realization that he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning, he or she must also be prepared to go out with the old and unsupportive and in with the new and encouraging.
Even if that means you loose someone unexpected. To be honest, that was one of the hardest things I had to do, especially when I had such reservations about coming out in the first place. After speaking with many people who support me, I cannot let go and just be happy. Now, I only surround myself with people who lift me higher because I consider them my armor during the difficult times.
So, I want to take a moment to thank those who stayed with me after I came out to them. Thank you to those who asked me questions to better understand how I’ve always been a lesbian. Thank you to those who ask about my girlfriend. Being curious and treating me no differently than you did before has healed the broken parts of my heart.
To those who are struggling with starting The Conversation, please know you are never alone. If you’re ready, it could be the conversation that allows you to see the other side of the rainbow and that side can be a very happy and prideful place. The Toledo LGBTQA community can be a great extended family.
Emily Hickey is an advocate for the LGBTQA community through Toledo Pride and OUTSKiRTS Toledo. For more information, visit www.toledopride.com or OUTSKiRTS Toledo on Facebook.