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One Foot In The Closet

By : September 9, 2020 Comments Off
“God,” I thought, “I really wish I could share my acceptance into the Writer’s Cohort with my family.” I had already told everyone else important to me. As with all the happenings in my life, I told my lovely partner first, who I owe both my morning laughter and my bedtime stories to. He was delighted to hear the news and will probably be just as delighted to read of his mention in my first, but certainly not last piece for MyUmbrella. Next, I told my therapist and friends, whose resounding praise still rings in my ears as I sit and write. Two important people are somehow always missing when I try to tell the story of my queer experience: my parents.  My parents were born in 65’ in the
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Francine’s “Partner” Experience

By : September 9, 2020 Comments Off
As of my senior year, I’ve been with my current partner, so almost four years. I call him my partner because I’m bisexual, and one of my preferences regarding pronouns is using terms such as “partner” instead of boyfriend, or fiancé, or husband. If I were dating a woman, she would be my partner, too. For me, this is deeper than inclusion: it’s a safety net. To understand why this is important to me, I have to recollect on my experiences in high school and middle school. I never came out, I had always had relationships with both women and men, and everyone who knew me knew that gender was not one of my preferences. It was a strange, unceremonial event: one day I started dating my best friend, and
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Navigating Professional Settings as a Nonbinary Person

By : August 19, 2020 Comments Off
Navigating Professional Settings as a Non-Binary/Trans* Person Coming out as non-binary or trans* can be uncomfortable in straight, cis-normative settings - especially the workplace. At work, we may not feel we can speak up when we are uncomfortable, defend ourselves from inappropriate comments, or express ourselves in the same way would if we were off the clock. We may not have LGBTQ+ colleagues or friends at work who can relate to our experiences or allies we can turn to for support when we need help. We may fear potential consequences of coming out such as discrimination, harassment, or disciplinary action. Coming out has been an important and deeply personal part of my journey to live an authentic and meaningful life, and when I share this aspect of my identity with
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My Family Was Ready to Communicate, but I Wasn’t

By : July 15, 2020 Comments Off
Regard this statement as fact, rather than with pity: I have always been the outlier in my family. While every child feels like this at some point during adolescence, it seems to be a stronger feeling among those that grew up in the 90s until now. This stronger feeling must be provoking stronger actions if the complaints from parents and older siblings are true: teenagers and children today isolate themselves more than previous generations.  Over the years, the stereotype of an angsty, explosive teenager among an otherwise friendly suburban family has evolved into a teenager that simply doesn’t express themself at all. Said teen’s family is completely out of the loop, unsure if their child is depressed, angry, wondering if they have any interest in the world at all. The
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How I Discovered What Being Gay Was

By : June 24, 2020 Comments Off
(Even If I Am Bi) I started questioning myself in fourth grade. We were lining up after recess and there was this incredibly cute girl I was friends with. I swear she was the cutest girl in the fourth grade. Anyways, our lines were close to each other and we were talking while the teacher was making sure no one had hidden in the bathroom. Once the teacher finished, our lines started moving and I am telling you, the sun hit her face so beautifully and everything started moving in slow motion. The rest of the world blurred and I heard nothing but my own heartbeat and breathing. Before I knew it, I was leaning in to kiss her on the cheek. Then my line moved. I caught myself and
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Passing with Pride

By : June 13, 2020 Comments Off
Pride as a concept has always been a little complicated for me. Growing up, I was super closeted - turns out getting consistently called “gay” as a pejorative for most of your childhood will do this to you! It wasn’t that I thought being gay was bad, it was just that the media I was consuming was Very Straight. When I was probably 14 or 15, I wanted to go to San Francisco on a weekend; I grew up in the suburbs, so it was only a 45-minute commute, but I still had to ask permission to go. I can’t remember if I began the conversation knowing that it was Pride weekend, but after I let it slip that it was happening, my dad told me I couldn’t go and
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