Screenshot 2018-09-19 10.59.17

Taking Off the Armour - Queertiquette with Abby Magazine Article

Oh hey, there’s a new lesbian on the block… well she’s not that new per se; this one was closeted the first seventeen years of her life, and has been out in the open for the latter three. It’s a lot breezier out here, I must say – that closet was a little too musty for my liking. It sure took me goddamn long enough – and faking my preferences for the male species was one, fairly half-hearted and two, a hindrance to myself and the people around me. Regardless of which way you swing, which gender you identify as, whose genitalia you’re into, or if sexual intercourse as a concept really isn’t your thing at all – absolutely everyone deserves to live as their true self without shame or mistreatment.

That’s what we’re all about here at Queertiquette – and quick disclaimer, I do not speak for the entire rainbow community, nor do I speak for all the lesbians, we’re as diverse and unique as the next person. We are definitely worth getting to know though, and so much more than the labels we may choose to identify with – our sexual and gender diversities are just a small part of ourselves. They are important, and need to be respected, but they are not the entire story of our lives.

As I can only speak as myself and of my own experiences, I thought I’d share a snippet of my own coming out story. I grew up in a secular household, and converted to Christianity at the age of nine via a faith-based school holiday camp. I still consider myself a deeply spiritual person, yet my experience of coming to terms with my sexual orientation when I was still a Christian was not always a pleasant one. These days, I consider myself an ex-Christian and a Humanist. I kind of have issues, I guess, but there’s a subreddit for everything, including all the gay people who once found themselves in faith communities and wound up hurt by them. I will always have respect for the many world religions that exist, but I will not accept sexual or gender identity suppression by any means, because it is harmful.

As a kid, I never really put much thought into boys; they were one, weird, and two, immature. I did like playing Runescape with them though… that is until my school friend Ricardo* tricked me into giving him my password so he could loot my hard-earned RS gold. Not calling you out, bro – but I just called you out. He had “promised” me a full rune armour set (including scimmy), which to all you non-Runescapers (props to you, don’t ever go there) is one of the most valuable and highest-level armour for free-to-play members. Ricardo was disappointed, I’m sure, to find that I had not acquired much of value – I preferred doing quests and killing level 2 goblins.

Girls, on the other hand: they were mesmerising. I could never figure them out (I still can’t) and they just had this air about them which made twelve-year-old Abby really want to hold their hand, make them laugh, play with their hair and give them very long hugs. I actually recall my first kiss being at my friend’s twelfth birthday party, in a spa pool, during a game of truth or dare. I was eleven at the time, and I ever so nonchalantly suggested that someone should dare me to kiss Georgia*. Everyone was varying degrees of surprised – I got some confused looks, some of disgust – and Georgia herself looked scared out of her mind. Unfortunately, I kissed her anyway – and it was in hindsight non-consensual, and a poor choice on my part. Then in year nine everyone gossiped about her being a lesbian, purely because she got a pixie cut. Thirteen-year-old girls are a breed of their own. But, there ya go. I have been gay as a daisy from birth to death.

As I got older, and delved deeper into the Christian faith, I also retreated deeper into the closet, which was poor for my hinengaro, my mental health, and my overall wellbeing. Fast forward to year 13, when I had a little bit of a meltdown and was not allowed to attend my choir’s overseas trip, realised I had to abandon my faith and come out – so why not kill two birds with one stone – and so I did. When I uttered the words “I’m gay” to my music teacher I was met with understanding, a listening ear, and the reassurance that everything was going to be okay. The process of confessing my lesbianism was easily the most terrifying and liberating experience of my life at that time. Coming out was many things: cathartic, necessary, and freeing. It strengthened me. I have no idea why I am the way that I am; but I know that I can’t change – and there’s no one I would rather be than me.

So, whether you’re as straight as they come, you’re comfortably out as trans, bi, gay, or asexual (or any of the other identities/sexualities that exist), we are here to embrace the whole rainbow; the whole spectrum. Strive to live unapologetically as yourself – because you can absolutely do it.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

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