Blog image

What No One Told Me About Coming Out

By : December 3, 2020 Comments Off
My dad used to always tell me, “Everyone is the first person to discover fire, at least in their own world.”  For most of my life, I largely brushed it off as one of those things your parents say to you—you know, the little pseudo-epigrams they make up to sound wiser and maybe even a little world-wearier. Parental ethos, or something.  I realized, though, once I was in my 20s, that this was more than one of those nonsense jeu d’esprits. Granted, I never asked what my father intended by it, but I don’t think my own working analysis of that statement is what he meant at all. Regardless of what his intention was, I know what it means to me. I know that the first time my friends called
Read more
Blog image

The Difficulties of Coming Out

By : November 26, 2020 Comments Off
In a perfect world, we can stand before our friends and loved ones, show them our authentic selves, and they will still love and depend on us. However, the real world is imperfect, so when I came out as bisexual to my loved ones a few years ago, some were accepting while others recoiled with disgust and turned away. For me, losing the people closest to me was undoubtedly the most difficult part about coming out because nothing could have prepared me for it. My mother and best friend of ten years were both disgusted. My mother was angry with me and my best friend essentially told me that I was possessed by a demon. I was devastated and lost. I questioned if coming out was worth losing loved ones
Read more
Blog image

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
Read more
Blog image

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
Read more
Blog image

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
Read more
Blog image

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
Read more