pvby:chris

2

You were beaming; you loved watching Chris at award shows - all dressed up and professional. You were standing off to the side in your gorgeous, overpriced dress while Chris was getting his picture taken.

He waved his hands at the cameras, saying: “Wait, wait.” He bolted to the side grasping your hand and pulling you over to stand in front of the camera.

“Get some shots of my wife!” he smiles, wrapping his arm around your waist and pulling you close. He kissed your temple gently, “Hi, babe.”

You were blushing intensely, not as comfortable in the limelight as Chris. “Chris,” you groaned, embarrassed, “They don’t want pictures of me.” He grinned at you, “No they want pictures of me, but I want you, so if they really want pictures of me they’ll have to accept you too. It’s a package deal.” And he turned back to the cameras, smiling.

“Kiss, kiss, kiss!” the crowd chanted. You tucked into him, blushing. He grinned, looking down at you: “Should we give the people what they want?” You laughed, responding: “Should you give me what I want?”

He chuckled, kissing you softly.

Coming Out with Chris

Coming out isn’t something that happens once. It’s something that happens over and over again,  and isn’t always universal to everyone in your life. I’m not out at work, or to my extended family,  but I am socially with all my friends, my dad, and my sister. It’s a process, more than a single event.  And there are many ways of coming out, too.

I’ve seen people come out via social media, all at once. I’ve seen them do it in groups, or indirectly.  For me I usually choose one on one conversations, at least I have so far.

For the most part, my coming out has been tense, but has met with good results. Coffee dates with friends until it became common knowledge enough that it’s usually not necessary to mention as more than an offhand comment when pertinent. There were a few friends who were rude, or unkind. Those that were persistent in it I no longer include in my life. I deal with enough from the world around me, someone isn’t my friend if they can’t respect something basic about who I am.

Coming out to my father and sister was more tense, but ended well. A tearful drive home from the comic book store ended with my father reasserting his pride in his child, and continuing discussions over respecting me. Which has never been a problem with him. I came out to my sister at three in the morning, which she thought was cool, and then asked if she could go back to sleep. 

For me, coming out has been something that garnered me further support, and encouragement, which I’ve needed over time as the expression and presentation of my gender have morphed to match my identity. 

I want it to be clear, I’ve never come out to someone while depending on them monetarily, for food, or for housing. I can’t offer advice, or insight, into that arena. Though throughout the week you’ll hear from those who can.

A few things I’ve learned while coming out, that might be of use to others:

  • Prepare. I was a mess when I came out to my dad, I said something about being both Galadriel and Gandalf? After that I wrote down the things I wanted to say, boiling it down to essentials. Not just to make it clear to people who aren’t educated about gender,  but because practicing a litle and running through makes me a lot less anxious.
  • It’s your choice. You do not owe it to people to come out, or to answer their questions if you don’t want to. If you don’t feel safe, or aren’t comfortable with someone - you don’t have to come out to them. I felt pressured to at first, like I was doing something wrong if I didn’t put a disclaimer on myself. I wasn’t. 
  • It’s your gender. Likewise, if someone isn’t comfortable with your gender, that’s on them.  It’s yours. They don’t get a say. Coming out isn’t about them. Your identity isn’t about them. Something I’ve struggled a lot with, coming out, is learning not to emphasize the importance of how my gender effects anyone else. Because it doesn’t a whole lot.  This story isn’t about them, and they don’t get to make it so. 

There are things we have to eliminate from our lives at some point. Sometimes they are things, sometimes they are people. The less negativity you have in your life, the happier you will be. I am sorry for the way I treated you, for the way I ended our friendship, but I’m not sorry for ending it in the first place. I couldn’t be your one and only friend you had left, I couldn’t deal with your constant anger and negativity: although I knew you had things going on, your lack of care for me and problems of my own and the way you treated me was not how a friend should be. And seeing where you are now, realizing the toxic environment that surrounded you and your family that is still there today, I couldn’t be happier that I found someone who actually appreciates me and loves me like a best friend should. The negativity is gone and in place of it, I’ve found a meadow of positivity.