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Op-Ed

How I came out… to myself

Gee Cruz shares key lessons learned from “some academic nerdy process of researching, which I will be accounting as these steps may help anyone who needs a little guidance” in coming out.

It has been an ongoing joke around my circle of friends when I recently came out to my friends that they knew all along that I am “special”. How it happened involved some academic nerdy process of researching, which I will be accounting as these steps may help anyone who needs a little guidance:

Step 1: Search for Photos. As I was doing a little work for a throwback Thursday post for Facebook, I figured that I have always had a short haircut – short as in I had a boycut in grade school, high school and which just grew a little in college.

Step 2: Check the Closet. I have a walk-in closet in my room, but it is full of boxes for skates, helmet, safety gears and game console. It also houses a pair of wedge sandals, four sneakers and five flats. There a a few date dresses and multiple shirts with the same design, but of various colors. I am such a lazy shopper. My underwear all look pretty normal – push-up bras because my breasts are my assets and cotton panties (except for the few flirty ones I used during dates, of course).

Step 3: Have an Inventory of Your Friends. Okay, my two bestfriends are gay and my other very close friend is bisexual. I have a couple of straight friends who are openly against homosexuality, and there are those few who I may consider allies and would always tell me to admit my homosexuality to myself.

Step 4: Go Back to Your Previous Relationships/Dates. I only had one boyfriend and I remember that there was a time when I somehow gave him a hint that I may be gay. I told him I used to have female crushes. When he left me before our second anniversary, I was left alone to contemplate (other than being angry at him and wanting to crush his balls for making me feel like a giant turd). To add, the thought of seeing a male’s member appalled me. It is a dangling, rubber-like object compared to its supple female counterpart.

Step 5: Research. If there is something I am good at, it is data mining, a.k.a. researching. I am the resident stalker and investigator. I can get data when I badly need it, hence homosexuality is something that was a lot easier for me to research on given the numerous avenues. The L Word (TV series) was my starting point and I related so well with Dana who was immediately killed in the program to my dismay. It exposed me to a world of lesbians who did not all look like guys (yes, I had that stereotype when I was still starting). Then there came the actual paper and online research because of my unending need to classify myself – what kind of a lesbian am I?

Step 6: Classify. Well, some may not be comfortable to be classified, but I am the obsessive-compulsive type. I like order in my life – I like classifications. In the previous step I was able to have an overview of what I was getting myself into at that time. Knowing what type I am would definitely pacify me. So I made a checklist. Based on step 2, plus that I still dream of finding that perfect jeans and little black dress, I am attracted to highly confident females and I still do a chunky check on men, right there and then, I could pass as a bisexual.

Step 7: Get a Support Group. This was probably and still is the best mechanism that I am using. I have a support group other than my bestfriends. Of course, I needed people outside of my social circle who can give me a different perspective. I used Craigslist. Yes, the free advertisement website. I published articles about my struggle and even my first heartbreak caused by a woman. To my surprise, a lot responded and I ended up meeting some of them. The funny thing was we somehow knew each other. Each one is a friend of a friend of a relative or close to that idea. We are interconnected by this common theme in our lives. It feels nice to know that there are people who understand my situation – that although they know about me, a big portion of my life is still hidden to the people closest to me, i.e. my family.

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Step 8: Admit It. June 14, 2013 was the date I acknowledged this reality. After this date, I am amazed how people would approach and tell me, “You seem to be more confident and daring now.” Being true was a big help.

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