Coming out as Deaf and gay
Warning: this post contains personal stuff and some profanity – so if you’re squeamish, please kindly exit this page and find other wonders of the Internet 🙂
All my life I’ve had to come out as Deaf in the wider community. I may not look like a Deaf person to other people, but they are surprised when I tell them that I cannot hear for shit.
Then two years ago I came out to my family and friends by telling them that I liked women. Some friends were surprised, while the majority were not surprised. Damn, those people must have had really good gaydars.
I had an epiphany a few weeks ago while catching up with friends for dinner, and said this:
Once when you come out, you don’t stop coming out.
They agreed wholeheartedly.
Coming out is a scary experience for most, but for me – I was lucky to have a positive experience and I’ve had people in my life accept me for who I am. One friend (we don’t talk much these days now) even said to me – “I didn’t peg you for the ladies, but I’ll support you no matter who you love”. That was an amazing reaction – something I have never forgotten.
I wasn’t nervous about coming out to my mother. I told her that there was a girl I liked but did not know how to approach her, and Mam gave me some good advice – which I regrettably did not take upon because I was the world’s biggest chicken. Imagine that! Anyway, yeah, Mam said she wasn’t surprised…what? I suppose I’ve got to thank her for allowing to leave me to my own devices, and to figure myself out. I’m still surprised at the fact Mam wasn’t surprised.
I was introduced to the LGBT community at the age of 11 when Mam was with her first girlfriend, and I was amazed at how diverse it was. I remember going to the Brisbane Pride Day for the first time ever and had a ball. I met so many cool people through Mam’s involvement with the LGBT community – some I can say I still stay in contact with to this day. Mam met her best friend, Rick at around the same time – and he’s become a permanent part of our lives ever since then. He’s also become the main male figure in our lives – I could say he’s probably the only male I trust with my whole life.
Over the years with the LGBT community and meeting people through Mam, I was constantly surprised with their open mindedness and how accepting they were of us, especially me – they saw me as an equal. I came to understand many years later that they knew the Deaf community was a minority, just like the LGBT community.
I’ll be honest here and say that I was kinda skeptical at first – I was 11 and I knew NOTHING about the LGBT community, but I accepted it and found myself a part of it as a child of a LGBT parent. Ever since then, I’ve learnt so much about it. I’ve read articles about homosexuality. I’ve been supporting marriage equality since the day I first read about it. I’ve been supportive of all gay people in my life.
I can say that I’ve had this inkling I was into girls since I was about 13, but was in complete denial until two years ago. Around 15 years ago, I was waiting for Mam to finish her grocery shopping when I noticed the checkout girl who was scanning in groceries, and my first thought was: HOLY SHIT SHE’S CUTE! What? No, Sherrie, she’s a female. You’re not supposed to think that she’s cute. I couldn’t stop staring at her – I even tried looking away, but I found myself staring at her over and over again.
Fast forward to 2000, I was a 15 year old teenager who thought she was into boys. One afternoon, I found myself watching a lesbian movie – If Those Walls Could Talk 2. This confused the hell out of me. That’s hot. That chick is stunning. Holy cowbunga. I couldn’t stop watching it. At the same time, I felt awkward because my Mam was watching it too and I didn’t want to look at her. After the movie ended, I went into my room to collect my thoughts. What the fuck, Shez. You like boys. Keep on liking boys.
I dated and slept with men from the age of 17, but none of them I could connect with. The first two men I had a relationship with – I thought I loved them, but I never did. Well, the last one – I loved him to an extent but I wasn’t IN love with him. The last time I slept with a man, I knew right there and then that I couldn’t do it anymore – and that was two years ago, and at the same time I started to accept myself for who I am. I’ll be honest here – I haven’t gotten laid ever since then, but to be frank, I don’t care and I’m happy with that.
2011 was my year of epiphany. It was the year I came to accept my own sexuality. How did it happen? Well, good question – I think it’s time I was open about it. I met a lady – no I won’t say where, who, etc – but let’s call her Lucy for now. There was so much chemistry between us – even sexual tension, which I am absolutely sure she felt it too. She was the first person my body has reacted to every touch, smell – just pretty much everything. It was like a HOLY SHIT moment – every single time. I could not get her out of my mind. I liked her a whole lot than I was supposed to – even a lot more than I’ve liked anyone else. It took me a while (a little more than a year) to get over her – strangely because nothing happened between us. I was too chicken shit to make the first move. It was like…how the fuck do I do this – hence my asking Mam for some advice…!!!! I haven’t kept in touch with her for the last two years – I just had to let her go. There was no chance of us becoming an item or something, and I just could not be friends with her. Let’s leave it here. No questions please.
Initially I thought I liked both men and women, but lately I’ve been finding myself more into ladies. I can’t remember the last time I had feelings for a guy. Europe was one of the reasons why I had to get over Lucy – and I can honestly say that it’s helped a whole lot. I’ll always hold a soft spot in my heart for her, but I can finally move on and forward.
Society may call me a lesbian, but I don’t do labels. Instead, I’ll introduce myself as: Hi, I’m Sherrie and I like ladies.
I’m yet to meet the love of my life – and I’d like that person to be a woman. The woman of my dreams. Marriage, house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids and the whole shebang.
I’ll never stop coming out as Deaf and gay.