Someone asked me to post my "coming out" story here, since I keep going on and on about how mine is different. It is. I'm not like most people; I can't say "well I realized that I was attracted to people of the same sex at X age" because for me, things didn't work out like that. Someone asked me to write "What the letters GLBTACQI Mean to You" and this is what came out. I apologize if it's incoherent (and it's going to have more profanity than I typically use in this blog, because it's been the sort of week when I use profanity quite a bit).
Yeah, so when I was younger, I realized that I never fit in and never belonged anywhere, and I blame my mom for a lot of that, because she never let me go to school or get out of the house and socialize and be around other people and learn their language. So anyway, I felt like an outcast, and when I was fast becoming a rabid reader in my pre-teens, I read every book I could possibly find about gay people. I figured I wasn't one of them (since, you know, I didn't want to have sex with women, but then I didn't even know how women HAD sex, and I didn't want to have sex with anyone, even though sex dominated my thoughts as a kid, it was a skewed view of sex as pain and degradation, so even though I felt like it was a part of me, I didn't want any part of it) but anyway, yes, I figured I wasn't gay, but I figured that everyone hated gay people and everyone hated me, too, so we had something in common, so I should read about them. So I did. that's when I discovered Harvey Milk, and how he was the first openly gay person elected to US public office (other gay people had come out and told people they were gay after they'd been elected, but Harvey Milk was elected when everyone knew he was gay, meaning he didn't hide it but he told everyone about it because he was loud and mouthy but most people seemed to like him anyway). I read about him, and I read his speeches, and I became obsessed with him ("yes you did," said Lillian's friends list, "and we're all still paying for that, so many years later") because he talked about hope like it was a real, tangible thing that could keep people going when they had nothing else, and I had nothing else (I wasn't even allowed to leave the house) so long before I discovered Jesus, I discovered Harvey Milk, and I tried to have hope that someday, I would be able to break free from my prison (because that's what my home life was) and live. It took me years, but I managed to do just that, and forgive me a moment of blasphemy, but I'd have done well to hang on more to the message I got from Harvey Milk than most of the messages I got from church, because churches fucked me over and fucked me up royally for years. But anyway, gay people were always important in my life, so it bothered me somewhere deep down knowing that I was supposed to believe that they were going to hell (well, if they had sex and were happy, they were going to hell...if they stayed celibate and beat themselves up over every homosexual thought, they could stand a chance of being righteous one day maybe if God chose to love them more than they deserved or something).
In college I really desperately wanted to go to the gay group on campus, but I was too afraid to go...I went to a few meetings, but I was so messed up that it didn't have much of an effect. The only thing that wore down the stupid walls I had built in my head was years and years of being around gay people (because I stand by this: I always did love them and never thought they should have to change, even when I tried to change myself in later years, even when I beat myself up for my sinful thoughts, even when I hated myself, I never hated them, and I hated myself for not being able to think what they did was sick and wrong like I was supposed to think...how fucked up is THAT?) And after years of being around gay people (and probably convincing every single person in my church that I was gay because I look back on my pictures from back then and I dressed like the biggest fucking dyke I've ever seen...but that was more to cover my body and not ever cause a man to look at me and think about sex, because that was a sin and that would send me to hell...just ask my church...) one day, after I'd walked away from the church and started kind of seeing this guy, I was watching an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I'd seen a million times before, when suddenly it hit me that I had a crush on one of the girls in the episode. Just like that. It never occurred to me before, but I think that's because I spent so much time in a screwed-up mindset about sex that I never thought there was anything positive about sex...I thought about it all the time, and I had graphic pictures in my head that nothing could erase, but I knew next to nothing about what sex really was and what it really could be...does that make sense? I saw that I had a guy who found me attractive, and suddenly I stopped thinking I was ugly and sinful and evil, and I stopped seeing my sexuality as something ugly and evil, too. So it wasn't until I had a guy who was sexually attracted to me, a guy I liked who was nice to me, that I could begin to see anything positive about sex, and it was then that I was able to open up to my crushy-gushy feelings about another girl (yes, I'm saying that it wasn't until I was in a sexual relationship with a guy that I was able to see sex with a girl as a good thing, yes, I know how stupid that sounds, this is why I've never said it before, no, I don't know why I'm saying it now...wait, yes I do...blame Dani).
So anyway, after this guy broke up with me, I got my first crush on a girl who I knew in real life, and then I had my first relationship with a girl, and even though it was messed up, I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it made me realize that there was always something missing when I had sex with a guy (I liked looking at him, I still like looking at guys and especially at naked guys but when it comes to actually having sex, I most certainly enjoy having sex with women more). So that's when I finally realized that I don't just empathize with the letters on that alphabet soup list, I'm ONE OF THEM.
That's the long answer to the question, of course. The short answer is that "GLBTACQI" means to me that we have WAY TOO MANY letters in our acronym.