I just opened the door to the diabetes closet after 31 years. The queer closet was more like an open-concept living space. With an architect dad and a musician mom, gay people were always around as role models. It never occurred to me that being gay was wrong or strange. It was simply something of which I became aware. Coming out to my family was rather anti-climatic because no one was surprised. Being gay has just never been a traumatic issue for me.
Coming out of the diabetes closet, on the other hand, has been one long and difficult process. When I was diagnosed (age 10), we didn't know any other diabetics; there was no diabetes on either side of my family. In retrospect, I think my parents panicked and shut down. And then there was one. Me. So I just did it myself. I didn't talk to anyone about it for fear of being branded the "bad diabetic." I'm getting over that in huge part to this terrific on-line community.
i feel like i have to come out every day. twice. i guess coming out to my mom 2 years ago is my only real coming out story, though, as far as traditional coming out stories go.
it went like this.
me: mom, i date girls.
mom: *long silence*
mom: so now not only do i have to worry about you having diabetes, i have to worry about you getting AIDS too?!
me: well, the good news is mom, girl on girl hiv transmission is lower than girl on guy.
mom: *sarcastic smirk* now i feel a lot better
you think im kidding, right? nope. true story.
i guess, in a way, she was right on. my diabetes and my queerness are related for me in so many ways.
they are both things which -- should you choose -- could be hidden. i've struggled my entire adult life to figure out why i couldn't seem to deal on a daily basis with my diabetes. honestly, i haven't really had any negative experiences being gay. my family adores my beloved (truly my better half), and once people realize that i'm gay, they already know me and it becomes so small in the scheme of who i am.. i am ....lots of things, not least among them gay and diabetic. the relatedness has only recently been in my line of vision. a huge, DUH. funny that i never connected them before now, but i never really considered them independently of each other, either. one, simply because i didn't perceive it as an issue (being gay), the other because i simply ignored it (that would be the having diabetes part). this is MUCH cheaper than therapy. please don't send me bill.
For me coming out when i was diabetic was easy because it is on both sides of my family and to me it was just a normal thing. Pluse my partner and I have a few other friends that are diabetic. I also knew with a health condition called poly cystic ovarian syndrom that I might get it sooner than anyone else in my family has because it is a side effect you can say that needs to watched out for. Telling my partner was easy but for her it was a bit much to take becasue she does not have anyone in her family that has it so it was kind of new and she is still getting use to the chagnes I have had to make in my eatting and having to stop and take my sugar. My parents were fine with it and so were the friends that we have that have it. They have been helpfull but some of them do not like to talk about it and others do not watch there surgar well enought to really help in the way I was needing it to find out information that would benifit me better in controlling my diabetes.
Now coming out as a lesbian that was hard. I have know I have been a lesbian for as long as I could remember. The first person I came out to was my Uncle when I was 20 years old because I could always trust him and we kind of always understood each other even though he lived in Hawaii for 30 some years and at that time I really only saw him about 4 times before I was 20. My uncle was very cool about the whole thing and he was helping me a lot with my feelings and about other issues at that time. I could not come out to my parents or my grandparents because I was scared to death of getting kicked out of my paretns house because with going to school i could not risk being kicked out at that time. Well five and a half years ago when I was 27 I finally came out to my Aunt next and that was a tested to see if I could come out to my parents by now only my one grandmother was still alive and she had Alzhimers and it was getting very bad. My Aunt took it better than I thought with the way I felt she had thoughts on things. I meet my partner just before I came out to my Aunt and she wanted me to come out totally and I was having to take steps in doing this. I was still in college and still living at home at this time. Then my partner basically gave me an ultimatim about comeing out to my parents because she had a bad thing happen with a person she dated that was not out to her parents and I can see from the situation why. So after out little argument on the phone I went right down to my father five years ago and sat down to him when he was on the computer one night and just said dad i have to tell you something and I am coming to you first becasue you said that I always go to mom first and never to you. I was scared to death that my father was going to yell and kick me out of the house. I was shocked he said ok, who is this woman, and I have a feeling this happened because of what your grandfather did to you when you were younger. (his father sexually abused me and then started on my sister for a short time before I could get it stoped) I said dad that could of had an impact on it but I do not think that is really why I am a lesbian. Then I went in with my father to the living room to tell my mom and she was shocked at first but said ok just give us sometime to take this in. I told my sister the next day the person who I thought would support me in anything because she always has. Boy was I surpised there she did not and stayed away from me as much as possible. She did not like to be around when I introduced my partner to my parents and it has taken her a good amount of time to get ok with it really not until the last two years now is she ok with it. Now after my parents found out I was gay just about 2 or 3 months after that I moved out on my own with help from my partner to get my own place until I was done with school. Then in 3 months from the move my partner perposed to me and I had to pop that onto my parents so they had a lot to take in just 6 months of me coming out to them. Then in about 6 months from then I moved in with my partner. So that whole year was a lot for my family adn that was in 2002 adn 2003My partner and I went to Vermont in May 2004 and had our Civil Union and I did not think my parents were going to come one because they did not have the money to and I was still uncertian of there feelings of having to take some much in so fast. They surprised me because a few weeks before the wedding my parents called and said they were coming. My father video taped the whole thing because it was small and I already had my partner nephews walking me.
I've been coming out as queer over and over and over since I was three. I'm transgender. I didn't have the words for what I was, but I used to introdue myself to people Himynameis[formername]imagirlbutiwanttobeaboy, in one big rush. I felt really awkward when people didn't know. After a while I found my words, and now I'm stealth rather than in the closet. It feels much better this way. Like being out was a bandaid that I needed a lot more when I was cut; if people think I'm female then I NEED to be out, but otherwise I'm content to let it be. The way you have to explain alternative sexuality much more when you're in straight space.
I was diagnosed with diabetes less than a year ago; I had been sick for a long long time. I have a cognitive disability, and I had become incoherent and I was unable to explain how sick I was. When I tried explaining to my folks, my shrink, and assorted other people in my life, they told me that I was crazy, not taking good enough care of myself, looking fine to them, imagining things, hypochondriac.
When I finally got diagnosed, I told everybody. I told them how mad I was that they had told me that I was OK.I talked a lot about what my symptoms had been and why they should have known.
I still talk a lot about diabetes. I have a hat that says Powered By Insulin. I check my blood sugar and take shots, by syringe and pen, on the bus and everywhere public. Diabetes is one of the first things that people know about me.
It seems like I'm always "coming out" of something.
It gets old. I'm tired of coming out. Sometimes, I just want to stay in there...not because I want to keep something secret, but because it's a bleeding pain in the rumpicus to engage the process of processing the process YET AGAIN...and sometimes, it's just no one's damn business but my own.
I like to say that I'm "queer as a lemonade sandwich". The kids in grade school knew I was queer long before I did. Hell, they knew I was queer before I knew what "queer" was...and long before "queer" mattered. Didn't stop the little sh*ts from making my life a living hell, though. And didn't stop the male gym teacher, who must have thought it would be a real hoot, from dragging me into the boys' locker room, banging my head on a wall, and making me perform something disgusting and oral on him when I was 12.
Did I try not to be? Of course. I tried HARD. Because my parents really wanted me to not be queer. But the guy who nearly beat me to death, raped me, and left me bleeding on my bed in college was sort of a turnoff.
But I dutifully got married anyway. For 13 years. Until I couldn't take it anymore. Then came the coyote ugly divorce, in which I nearly chewed off my arm to get away. Mom and Dad didn't like to hear that their secondborn child was queer as a nine-dollar bill, but hey, there it is.
Now I don't keep that secret at all. I LOOK like a dyke. You can hear the lesbian-bell go CLANG just by looking at me. No question. I took the door off the hinges, turned it into a table, and threw away the hinge-pins.
And diabetes? Meh. I test my blood sugar on the table in restaurants. I'm not afraid of people knowing that. If they give me half a chance, I'll give 'em my recipe for Diet Pomegranate Bubonicola, or Emergen-C Soda.
But darn it, I do have another closet. And I hate it. It distances me from fellow GLBT people, and it's annoying. Most of the time, I can deal with it, but from time to time, I resent it. I resent like hell that its there, that I've been shoved there, the door rudely slammed in my face. I didn't put myself in this closet, I was sent here, and that's what hurts.
I'm even afraid to talk about it here. I'm proud of who I am, what I've accomplished in life, but I've been forced into a new closet by my own people, and it's unfair and it bothers me. And I resent the fear it causes in me, fear that I'll be driven from yet another place I've grown to treasure.
Hmmm, well I am new to the group and felt like I should post something here.
Q: When did you first come out as queer?
A: Well, I think it was really more of a given. I come from a family that is very encompassing of our older tribal beliefs including the Two Spirit belief. So coming out wasn't a big deal! I told my immediate family at Thanksgiving when I brought home a guy I was dating. The big response was great now can we get the potatoes down here?
Q: When did you first come out as diabetic?
A: I found out young (am Type I) and didn't really have to come out. My family and everyone else got to find out with me. It has been odd in a few date type situations, especially when dessert comes around and I stare at the menu trying to figure out how many carbs are in something, etc.
I got diagnosed before I discovered my sexuality, (both pretty recently) and thats defintley influenced my coming out. When I was diagnosed, as soon as I came back from the hospital I told my whole home room and all my teachers, every one knows I am diabetic, and there are alot of jokes coming my way. So even though I came out to my family and close friends, I havn't told my school because getting made fun of for one thing is enough for me.
I'm new to the group, so I guess I'll start here ;-)
I was just diagnosed as diabetic in March 2010, so I'm coming out as a diabetic constantly, all the time. I am still learning what that means for myself as far as diet control, meds, and having questions about whether I am actually type 2, or if it's ultimately going to be LADA or some other kind of type 1. I am 38. I am slightly underweight, so there are some questions. I work in the field of Adult Mental Health, and have a lot of diabetic patients, so I come out to them all the time. My husband was standing next to me when I opened the letter that gave me my diagnosis. And I sent my girlfriend a text message about a minute later. Told my mom by the next day. Whined (just a little) to almost anyone who would listen.
When did I come out as queer? Well. This one is trickier and a lot more complicated. I have been in love with my husband all my adult life. We have been together for 18 years. Before him, I always dated boys, but always got intensely attached to my best girlfriends, and wished I was tall, black-haired, androgynous, and tough. (I am tiny and petite and blonde - I look like a cheerleader), I couldn't pull off scary if I tried.
Before we were married, my husband and I had a brief affair with my then best friend. It was beautiful, and then it fell apart and it was excruciating. The falling out had more to do with ending the friendship than that any of us wanted to end the affair.
So fast forward to a year ago... when I fell in love with a tall, black-haired, androgynous bi woman. She is everything I fantasized that I wanted to be when I was an adolescent. I am now officially queer, and definitely bi, no question. I am "out" to a lot of people. I call her my giflriend, and mostly people take that however they want. Often I get asked, "Don't you have a husband?" and when I say "yes." If people ask questions, I give them answers. But a lot of people would rather not "get it" - and that's fine with me.
My mother thinks she wants to know - she's the only person I hedge with. I know my mother, and I know our three-way relationship would make her incredibly uncomfortable. But even then, I don't go out of my way to lie. At the beginning of this relationship, my mom said, "I think you have a crush on this girl," and I aknowledged that it was true. A few months ago, my mom said, "I think you would go there if you had the chance," (meaning have sex with my giflrriend) and I said, "I might."
The three of us are going on vacation next month, and almost everybody knows that. What they make of it is their business.
All my close friends know. The ones who are interested know many details. Some of my co-workers know, but really, there aren't a whole lot of situations where it's appropriate to say out loud, "My husband and I have a girlfriend."
People who see us in public together figure it out. Gay bar, straight bar, doesn't much matter. We are who we are, and we are having one hell of a good time together.
Sorry, I rambled. It's fun to have appropriate places to gab away about this crazy stuff.
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