Today is National Coming Out Day. It’s general Pride here in Atlanta. It’s also the weekend before my birthday. I’m in a pensive mood, so I’d like to share how I embraced my sexuality.

As a child, I remember looking through the Sunday sales papers at any ad that had bras in them. I would turn the papers at different angles to try to look through them and into them. I was 6 or 7 years old.

When I started middle school, changing clothes in gym was hard. I wanted to sneak a peek, but I knew I couldn’t risk being caught. It was a hard time for me for so many reasons. I was flat chested with a love of boobs. I was 11 or 12.

I didn’t think about girls again until my early twenties. I had a live in boyfriend who loved porn. There was this series he purchased on VHS– Black Cherry Coeds. We’d watch it together all the time, and then I found myself watching it when he wasn’t around.

We broke up, and I moved to Atlanta a few months later. In this city, you can’t avoid being around gays. We are everywhere. I had a gay roomie that is masculine of center (moc). I learned so much by having a front row seat to her love life. There were always other moc women around, and I loved seeing their boyishness combined with femininity. I think that having her as a roommate shaped how I have treated the moc women I’ve dated. That’s another thought and story.

As the story goes, I met a girl. She was cocky and young. I was curious and open. I was hoping for an experience and landed in my first lesbian relationship. My mom was living in Baltimore and the rest of my family was in South Carolina. I felt no reason to come out. This all felt too new.

About a year later, I did tell my mom. She gave me the “You’re my child, I will always love you” speech, but added the “Don’t tell the rest of the family though. I don’t want them to desert you like they’ve done me.” I’ll write a lot more about my mom, but for now, it’s enough to know that she made a lot of bad decisions but on her own terms, and that made her a bit of an outcast.

I’d like to tell you that there is an end to this story, but there isn’t ever really an end to any coming out story. I heard the term “neutral presenting” recently. I think that describes me. I don’t match the picture of gay that most people have in their heads, so I’m constantly coming out.

I keep a picture of Bae and I on my desk at work. I take her to company parties. However, I’ve never sat down with anyone and come out. She came by the office earlier this week for a tour, and I introduced her to the folks I work with regularly.

It’s crazy to me that I’ve dated women over twice as long as men, and I still have to come out.

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