Coming Out Story 7
I was raised in an extremely open-minded and liberal family. As a child, I remember never having any problem with anyone over any facet of their identity, be it their race, their class, their gender, or their sexual orientation. So when my brother came out to me when I was 15, I was shocked that I didn't show him the full support I would have shown anyone else. Over time, I came to support him, and still do but that initial failure on my part still rattled me whenever it crossed my mind. Years later, as a second year in college, I realized that I had fallen for my best friend, a beautiful woman...who was straight. I never doubted my feelings but did consider them a fluke incident, never to happen again. I had boyfriends while in high school and boyfriends while in college so this must have been just a blip on my radar. Little did I know that I couldn't have been more wrong.
During Winter quarter of my third year of college I was taking a class entitled Queer Nightlife and we were reading Audre Lorde's Zami and it hit me: I'm gay. There was no way around it. I took months to deal with this revelation but later came out to my siblings, my cousins, and many of my friends. When I came out to my brother he asked me why I didn't tell him sooner and as I was giving him what I thought was my answer, I remembered when he came out to me and how I wasn't fully supportive. I realized why--another revelation. I think I have always had an inkling that I am gay and when my brother came out to me it was like he beat me to the punch. Sad to say, I was under this weird impression that there could only be one gay in the family. I was wrong. After I came out I realized that being gay and having gay siblings happens quite often. My brother, as well as the other family and friends that I have told, have been extremely supportive in my coming out process which I believe I am continue to work through. Other than my family and friends, it has been my experience as an intern at the UCI LGBTRC that has truly helped me to navigate my identity as a queer woman of color. Being involved with the center, their programs, and consequently constantly meeting new people has helped me to come to know myself. I am proud to say that I'm queer and that I have realized my brother, as well as any other family member, can be too.