UCI LGBT Resource Center

Coming Out Story 2

Section 1

Year: 4th
Major: Anthropology

"I guess there are different types of relationships," he said.

"Yes, there are so many different relationships," I responded.

We parted ways and I walked toward the bus stop, wondering when the next route 79 will come. It was 8:10 PM and I discovered the next stop at the University Center will be at 8:17 PM. So I waited.

I pondered all the events of the day, as usual. Meetings, classes, friends, and coffee. The bus arrives early before I begin to think about the multitude of homework I most likely, probably, and sort of always have. But I'm so fixated on this bus that charges through the night in its proud glory of the number 79 on its header.

"There it is," I think to myself in this mysterious and inexplicable awe.

The crowd of mixed and anonymous faces rush toward the entrance of the gaping door of the bus. We slide our cards with a satisfying green light and a cute beep that acknowledge us. I sit near the back, but not all the way back because that would seem like I was intentionally distancing myself and taking some "side" of an issue. There was enough room in the middle of the bus where people usually settle down, saying to the whole bus in one swift sit, "I am not going to sit in the front or the back; I will just remain neutral within the encompassing gray middle." And that's fine. Because that's what I exactly, always, and routinely do.

And yet, as the bus merges within the rest of the traffic, I feel this sense of staring eyes. I sat there, trying to stare at my reflection as I always do, but the plastic door divider hinders my view of myself. These Japanese students were speaking in their native tongue next to me and the fans blew wildly in the back. But I could feel the silence -- the silence that fell upon the whole bus as soon as the doors close, excluding any outsiders. As I sit, I think of all these eyes. These eyes that stare directly at me as I try to ignore and be oblivious. But this is obviously impossible. I think of all of my queer brothers and sisters that have ridden the same bus with this sense of unknown hostility. Only because you are unknown; I felt these passengers had no idea how to react to something…different. And not different in the sense that I'm gay or a minority or whatever label you'd prefer. But a "different" that becomes incomprehensible and incomparable. I was a question mark, sitting there, with whatever-clothes I wear; with whatever-hair I chose to do that day; with where-ever-the-fuck I was going; with my whoever-I-loved eyes and with a whenever-smirk I portrayed. But still, it never becomes easy. Or "normal" or even quite...neutral.

I wring the little yellow rope that signals my stop and I tell myself to discontinue my thinking for a minute, get up, and proceed out of the bus; these people have a schedule to keep, a list of tasks to get done, and a grocery list of goals to attain. I embrace the cold air of the outside world and am immediately disconnected from the 79. I've left this nest. And I walk where I need to. Push the cross-walk button because I have to. And travel through the intersection when it's time. These pushy cars and their staring eyes of light; I imagine them calling out names -- "faggot!" I hear them screech, aggressively waiting for the goddamn light that directs their life. I can't walk fast enough. Can't position myself in defense as I walk through. "Just get to that sidewalk and don't look back," I swear to myself.

I wish I could be proud like that huge, lit-up 79 -- speeding through the night with no regrets; or any paranoia, or fear, or whatever have you. But no, I'm just this tiny, displaced person in the midst of the night, returning home from a long day.