Our Queer Stories features LGBT and queer stories on the topics of coming out, overcoming obstacles, self-exploration, and more. Stick around to read stories of the experiences of queer individuals around the world.
I've started with the dictionary definition of camp not so much for what it does say but rather for what it doesn't. You will notice straight away that it doesn't say gay, some definitions may say that that style is favoured by some in the gay community but it doesn't mean gay. The reason I mention that is because I have had many conversations with people and even been disciplined in work for describing things as camp and people insist on telling me that this is me bringing gayness into everything.
I am a gay, cis woman. I have attended private, Catholic schools my entire student career. I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity- but as member of the LGBT community, sometimes I don’t feel so lucky. While having the funds to attend this schools and the privileges to be accepted, I am not truly accepted by the students, faculty, and staff because of how I love.
Living in the closet all my life, has not been easy but now at 39 years of age I am out and out with a bang. I am different, I am gay and I am human. I had quite a normal childhood and swimming was the greater part of that. I started swimming in 1987 at the age of 9. I was a very good swimmer. Somehow, I grew up used to seeing almost naked bodies. I represented my country at various international swimming meets. My last appearance for Seychelles was at the Indian Ocean games in La reunion in 2015 after which I retired as a swimmer. I can honestly say that seeing nearly naked bodies has been natural for me at such a young age but it was not that of the girls that interested me.
Have you ever felt like you needed something to feel better, but that thing was terrifying to you? I do, all the time. I’m terrified of getting top surgery. Not because I think I’ll regret it, but because of all of the things that could happen. I’m a non binary 21 year old. I was blessed and cursed with a very femme face, and an ass to boot. (All the puns intended.)
I recently came out as nonbinary this year. After 20 years of concealing my need to be my true self, I’m finally able to express my gender or lack thereof freely. When I first came out, there was a lot of questions. Like, way more questions then when I came out as queer. Questions like “so..are you a trans man then?” Or “do we have to use they? It’s not really proper English.”
All my life, I have been pretty good at fitting in. Or at least, maintaining the appearance of fitting in. I lived with this idea in my head that I could become anyone I wanted to – anyone who’s better, who’s not weird, who’s somehow perfect. I grew up in Ukraine. A country now wrought with pain, trying to figure out its place in the world – somewhere between its communist, conservative past, and a bold, progressive future. I think it’s ironic how, in a lot of ways, my story overlaps with that of my country.
At 16 I liked the things a lot of boys did. I liked pretty girls, loud music, cheap beer, and dreaming about being a rock star. I’d formed a “band” with my best friend, there was only the two of us, and I wanted to be the lead singer, but couldn’t sing in tune, so settled for playing bass.
I should probably preface this piece by admitting that my outlook on life has become increasingly nihilistic over the last few years. Very little impresses me these days. With that being said, I feel that some hard truths need to be expressed regarding Netflix's popular show Queer Eye. Let's begin.
I have been robbed. Perhaps, long, long ago, there may have been words to describe my experience. But I have been robbed of language, and my experience has been robbed of meaning. Lacking, now, in language that applies to me, I am forced to fit into concepts too narrow for me. I can identify outside of the binary, but my identity exists only in relationship to the binary. Even the word “nonbinary” communicates what I am not, and cannot convey in any meaningful way what I am. Assigned female at birth, I am allowed to exist now in opposition to that, in relation to that, but never free from it.
Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Sarah Beth James. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com. To start this tale, I guess we need to […]