Hello! Let’s play a game of ‘who am I’ (not the existential kind. Maybe later, though). As your new LGBT+ co-editor, Raine, I’m using our first LGBTQ’s session together to introduce to you what I’m all about, so that hopefully, you may feel comfortable introducing yourself and your story to me in return. Let’s begin!
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY EXACTLY?
As of today, I am a girl, attracted to girls. I am also attracted to the prospect of a student debt-free life, but it’s tricky to get either these days, huh. To be upfront, labels sit weirdly with me. ‘Lesbian’ is what I tell people, how I relate to those sweet LGBT+ memes, what I put under ‘current employment status’ in my CV and so on – but in the end, I am Raine. Some days, I just want to cuddle and marathon 2000’s British sitcoms with anybody nice, I don’t mind! Others, I get this superintrusive urge to start a cat empire with any cute girl who smiles my way. I also like to wear a chest binder because it gives me confidence. But does that mean I must embark on some spiralling quest to find the label for me? Long story short: CBA.
ARE YOU OUT OF THE CLOSET?
My definition may vary to yours. Being ‘out’ to me is a state of mind; fully accepting the person you are on the inside, you’ll feel free to radiate that energy on the outside for all the world to see. In that sense, I’m out to everybody. I am a power-walking, high-heeled queer on a mission to (consensually) steal your lady. Boom. Well, I’m out to everybody, except for my parents. They are not to know for as long as I live under their roof, and I have made peace with this fact.
HOW DO YOU COPE WITH HAVING TO HIDE YOUR QUEER IDENTITY FROM YOUR FAMILY?
I accept that it’s going to suck. It’s unfair, it’s frustrating, and it hurts that a big part of my life will need to be kept under wraps due to one petty judgement – on who I love, of all the things in this country to be disappointed by! I hold onto the fact that I have no obligation to tell anybody anything – not even family – just as if I were straight. You realise after a while that actually, their negative opinions are not your problem. Your heart is for accommodating love and kindness, not spite. Draw empowerment from the whole LGBT+ family behind you; every single one of us has experienced rejection in some form or another, but together, we overcome it! My advice is to fill your daily good-vibes quota by seeking out friends who’ll treat you the same no matter what. Know your worth unapologetically, and let that guide you towards the right crowd. TL;DR: I recommend Häagen-Dazs’ strawberry cheesecake ice cream, 460ml.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE?
Somebody once said to me, ‘We need more young people who believe they can change the world.’ That person was my former psychologist, and I want to follow in her footsteps. As cliché as this’ll sound, if I can change the world for even just one person with my work… I’ll be satisfied.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING LGBTQ+?
I could say, ‘being a part of something bigger’, ‘our vibrant and diverse community’, or, ‘having the honour of being your LGBT+ co-editor’, whatever. I could pour unto thee mine darndest soliloquy about how wonderful it is to support and be supported by a culture that at its core, embraces being yourself. But I won’t lie to you. One word: gaydar. My mind operates in a way that never lets me see only ‘one face’ in a person; there’s always more beneath the surface. Piecing together mannerisms, speech, tiny details… I get kind of excited thinking of all these pointless correlations, like Sherlock Homo, searching for allies… So, who am I? (Apart from a creep). While our views, situations or ice cream preferences may differ, what matters is, I dream. I struggle. I change. And I love. The answer is: I am just like you, and I look forward to meeting you. Have any burning LGBTQ’s? Want to vent your secrets, tell me some good news, say hi or start the Bobtail kitten revolution with me? I’m always down! Hit me up at email@example.com and you could be featured here, too! Thanks for reading. Until next time!