Monday, June 13, 2011

The Part Where I Came Out To My Dad

This happened today.

Well, the beginning didn't.

Last night I had another severe episode of depression. I've been dealing with them with increasing frequency all summer. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing... Last night I made the determination that things need to change. I decided to take control of my life. I decided to stop the lies. And I decided to come out.

(As an aside, if my depression symptoms are still this bad in two weeks, I'm also going to talk to my doctor about starting medication.)

When I woke up this morning, I felt better. But the resolve was still there. I knew that I couldn't keep hiding forever. Today was my dad's first day of work with his new job. A day of new beginnings.

When he asked me to pick him up from dropping his car off at the company's main building downtown, I saw my opportunity.

Oh, god, that drive down to pick him up was the worst thing ever. I almost had to pull over to throw up. My mouth was dry, I simultaneously needed to throw up and poop, and my hands and feet were all sweaty. I was so shaky I wasn't entirely sure how the car was still going straight.

I retrieved my dad and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I asked him if he could pull into a parking lot. I said, "I need to talk to you. It's really important."

So we pulled into a gas station. He parked the car. I pulled out my ipod, with my coming out letter saved to it...and I talked.

I didn't stick to my script, it seemed trite in real time. But it was a good outline.

First I told him up front, "I'm not straight. I know that's a weird way of phrasing it, but I don't know any other way to say it. I don't know what label applies to me. All I know is that I am physically and emotionally attracted to women." I talked to him about how I had experienced this since I was about thirteen, but had tried to ignore it because I knew that the church taught it was evil.

I told him how when I was seventeen I couldn't ignore it anymore because I developed a crush that wouldn't go away. A crush that lasted for more than a year.

I told him about her.

I told him how I chose to go to BYU so that I could be as far from her as possible. Because I was terrified that if I picked a state school, I would only be picking it to stay close to her so we could stay together.

I told him how I had met with my bishop every single week at BYU after I confessed to him. I told him how I saw a counselor at school who specialized in same-sex attraction.

And then I apologized for lying. I told him how much I hated myself for the lies and the secrets. And this was the part where I couldn't contain myself anymore and I just broke down sobbing.

And this was the part where the miracle happened.

He took me into his arms. He held me so tight. And told me over and over again that he loved me. That was all he said for a really long time. I was crying too hard to say anything, and he just kept telling me that he loved me.

He told me that he loved me. That I'm his daughter and he will always love me. He said that he understands this is a part of me and I can't change it. He said, "I don't know why Heavenly Father gave you this challenge. I can't even imagine how much it must hurt you. I'm so sorry."

He did bear testimony to me that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me and they will always love me and always be waiting to welcome me back, no matter what I do. He assured me that he knows that God's plan is for me to marry a boy.

And we talked. We talked about what I want in the future. We talked about here and now and...everything.

He assured me several times that he knows I can't change this and that I didn't choose this. He said that his time in the bishopric taught him to be much more accepting. He said, "I know that you can't wish this away anymore than I can wish to not be bald anymore."

He said, "I accept you, and God accepts you. I don't think you accept you, though."

He said that what he thinks I should do in the coming months is move with my family to Utah and take a semester off (because I was planning on taking a semester off anyway) out there and take care of my mom and sister during the transition and then go to UVU. I don't think I want that. But I'll consider it.

He wants to talk to us. As a couple.

The only thing he wanted was he said he wanted us to "cool it" physically. And I said, "I really don't know if I can do that, Daddy. Because all I want right now is to go cry in her arms."

And he said, "I don't find that objectionable at all."

He just wants us to not have sex.

He said if I do go to Utah, he'll fly her out to see me a couple times.

(I still don't want to do it...)

I mean, he told me he's not ready to attend a wedding or anything...but that I'm also not ready to have a wedding. And I agree with that.

We're not telling my mom. Not now. Not for a long time. He took it well. She will not. He knows that and I know that. We can't tell her yet.

He suspected. He's suspected for a long time. Years, he said. He said, "Maybe someone who doesn't know you as well as I do wouldn't be able to see it."  He also said his first reaction was almost, "Well, duh."

It went so well. So much better than I could have ever imagined. Considering my expectations going in were, "It would be friggin' sweet if nobody hit me."

It was incredible. I already feel so much freer. I'm so glad I told him. I don't know what I was waiting for. He told me that I underestimated him. He was right.

View the Tumblr version of this post.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Hi! This is me. In the present. All my other entries have been about the past. I'm starting to get kind of tired of the "parts" stories, though. I mean, they're important and I'll tell it all eventually. But if I'm bored of it you probably are too.

So for the next few weeks, I'm just going to be blogging on present-day thoughts. I thought I'd keep all you in the loop (my huge readership of 11 Blogger followers and 13 Tumblr followers, you) on what's up.

This week's post will be posted on Monday (which is supposed to be my regular update day) and will be about Indianapolis's Pride Festival!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Guest Post!

Hey guys! I was invited to be a guest blogger over on LGBT Voices.  It’s a great project that involves a lot of contributors talking about lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/ally issues, especially as they apply to the Mormon community.
CLICK HERE TO SEE MY POST!  It’s called “Supermarket Lesbians.”
I’ve also included the full text of my post for you in case you’re lazy.  But you should really really go check out the blog.  It’s really cool!
Supermarket Lesbians
My girlfriend and I went to a carnival last night. It’s one of those ones that’s super fun when you’re about seven and super sketch when you’re older. All the rides fold back into being trucks at the end of the week and stuff. We’re both too poor for overpriced carnivals anyway, so we just walked around and looked at the rides and reminisced about childhood and smelled the delicious bad-for-you food.
But we didn’t hold hands.
While we were there I ran into a coworker, one of my managers, and a kid I knew from high school theatre. And then when we went to the grocery store across the street to go buy ice cream later, we found more people we knew in high school and another coworker of mine.
 None of them would have cared, but what if it had been someone who did care? We couldn’t take that risk.
The thing that sucks about being a young gay couple is that you always have to be on your guard. We’re lucky, because our friends are very accepting. When we’re in the safe zones of our own homes (except mine), we’re free to be normal. Nobody gives us a second thought anymore. 
But out in the world we always have to be careful. Sometimes we act like a couple when we go to the grocery store, but only if we’re going at midnight when the store is deserted. If we go at prime shopping time, we’re suddenly just best friends out picking up some apples. Because you have to be careful.
At first it was, “We have to be careful, what if we see someone who might tell my parents?” But there’s really more to it than that. In some places, it’s legitimately not safe to be gay. We’re fortunate that we live in a fairly accepting community. It’s pretty conservative, but I was never uncomfortable with the idea of admitting to my fellow students that I was into girls. (Except I was afraid it would get back to my parents so I never was openly out in high school.)
But somebody had to pave the way. Somebody had to take the dive and decide to stop caring whether or not it was safe, had to decide to stop caring about being careful, and just go for it. Somebody had to stand up. I have so much respect for the trail blazers. Because it’s probably not that they don’t care what other people think, it’s not that they’re not afraid, it’s that they want it to be easier and better for other gay kids in the future.
 It’s because of brave people that we have even what we do so far.
Will I be brave? When I’m finally out to my parents and I no longer have the idea of them finding out to hide behind, will I be brave? Will I stand up to fear of ridicule and scorn? Will I be a trailblazer? Will I make the path easier for those who follow behind me?
I want my answer to be yes. I’m challenging myself today to make my answer yes. I will stand up and I will be brave. I will swallow my fears of being judged by those around me and I will help to make seeing a lesbian couple in the supermarket and at the carnival a normal thing. And someday people won’t have to be brave anymore.
Someday, two girls who are young and in love will walk through a cheesy carnival on a summer night. And they’ll hold hands.