Nov. 30th, 2011

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Still not dead! \o/ So Gyzym is one of those lovely people who I enjoy following because she writes delicious fic, posts ridiculously funny things, and writes heartfelt and damn useful posts when the mood strikes.

So, via Gyzym on tumblr:


so! here are some things to keep in mind when a friend or loved one comes out to you as queer, because someone apparently needs to say them somewhere!

[a quick note: i am using queer as an umbrella term to encompass the various and assorted different variants of gender and sexual identity. for more information on those variants, feel free to check out this website.]

1. this is not about you.

certainly—certainly!—it may feel like it is. you may be thinking of how this information impacts your life, or how you feel about it; you may be remembering your own experiences with queer perceptions, or queer people, or queer pamphlets, for all i care. and you know what? that’s just fine. on your own time, you may feel free to pour yourself a large cup of tea and work out how you feel about this new development in your life! that’s natural and normal; we, as human beings, have feelings about everything from our families to our favorite brands of cereal, and none of them are wrong.

however! when you are with the person who has come out to you, especially in the immediate wake of that conversation, you must swallow that down, because it is selfish! talking about your feelings on someone else’s coming out is like talking about your feelings on someone else’s loss—and i should point out, at this point, that i do not in any way mean to equate coming out as, or indeed being, queer with any kind of tragedy. it isn’t, and we will get to that in a second. i use loss only because it is the clearest parallel in terms of depth of feeling; the person who has come out to you, let’s just call them Person A, has done so against the weight of a thousand coming out stories that resolved badly, against the negativity still in our media and politics, against the fact that, just to use one example, as recently as 1973, “homosexuality” was listed as a psychological disorder by the American Psychiatric Organization! even if you are a deeply tolerant person and have made that known, there is still, always, the fear that your tolerance does not extend to Person A specifically! thus, the loss parallel makes sense, in the sense that some part of Person A is more emotionally raw than usual—the same way you would not respond to someone’s discussion of the loss of a family member with all the ways that loss was negatively affecting your life, you should not respond to someone’s coming out with it’s negative effects on you. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. maybe, at some point, when Person A is in a less raw place, you can have that conversation, but that is their call, because, again, not about you.

2. being queer is not a tragedy.

one of the things my mother said to me over and over after i came out to her: “i’m just worried about your safety.” and you know what, that was, in its way, incredibly sweet of her; she, as my mother, loved me enough that the idea of me being hurt for who i was kept her up nights. that warms my heart! but it also made me feel small and scared and wrong every time she said that, and it took me a long time to figure out why.


Click the link above for the whole post. Worth the read, as it may come in handy for just about anybody.

Hope everyone is doing well! ♥

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