OK hey guys so recently I was asked, by a girl in my school equality club, to answer some questions about my sexuality and for me to tell her my come out story. I then thought, whilst writing my response, that i could share it with you guys! I think it would be really useful for younger followers (I know I'm young but i was very young when i experienced this) and would give people advice and an inside look to some ones life experiences.
Soooo I hope you find this helpful and interesting!
(for people who don't attend British schools, Year 1-6 is primary school, ages 4 to 11...ish and year 7-11 is high school for ages 11-16)
My pantastic story:
Lillian – year 11 2016
As a young child I always felt as if I was equal with everyone else. I didn’t care if you were a boy, or a girl, or about ur ethnicity, or how you dressed. I saw everyone as the same and I would only judge on their personality. As I grew older I started seeing an extreme divide between boys and girls, and the hole idea of dating a boy appeared to me which at the start didn’t seem to be a problem, as I got along with mostly boys. However, when the idea of girls popped into my mind, when I was in year 5, I realised there was something not quite right about it. I didn’t see the difference between boys and girls, but there was definitely a divide when it came to relationships, so for a while I thought that I was just very weird and kept hushed about it and followed the crowd.
When I got into high school I was introduced to other sexualities for the first time which unlocked so many doors for me. I was introduced to heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. I was never ever introduced to others like asexual, trans-sexual and pansexual. Which I guess is what kept my mind closed still. For a very long time I had accepted the idea that I was bisexual however the concept still didn’t feel right.
In year 8 I cut off all my hair as I felt maybe I should be more in-touch to my ‘masculine’ side. However, that didn’t help either I was still in this zone where I felt equal to everyone else and that I shouldn’t have define what gender I was or what someone else was to get along with them or be in a relationship with them.
I soon came out as bisexual to one of my closest friends, at the time, she didn’t really understand what I was talking about so she told her boyfriend who then spent most of his time saying “bi bi (bye bye)” when walking past me. This lowered my self esteem a tone. I wasn’t happy I was very miserable and I was hearing a lot around school of people using the word “gay” as a way to offend someone.
One day, in a wood tech lesson, I heard a lot of my class mates use the phrase “your so gay” and “eww that’s so gay”. My fuse exploded by this point and I just went on a massive rant of emotions. I shouted at most of my class saying something along the lines of “you shouldn’t use the word gay to hurt someone’s feelings because some people are actually gay in this school and it actually offends them!” this resulted in some one asking if I was gay to which I responded with “no I’m bi”. That day on the rumours and gossip spread like wild fire around the school I heard from one of my bestest friends, who is still with me today, that many girls didn’t want to sit near me or be my friend in-case ‘I hit on them’. I was so so scared and so worried and miserable and I got very very depressed. I went to my head of year to explain the situation to her and she did help me a lot however she did warn me that the gossip may not stop, which was expected as you cant control peoples freedom to speak. It didn’t get any better, I was depressed and scared and I resulted in self harm, this is not a way to get over stress and fear at all, if anything it made it worse for me. Self harm is not a practical way of dealing with emotions, it just reminds you that the problems you are facing are still there and they can scar not only your skin but also your mind. To this day I still see the scars on my arms even though many have told me there is nothing there.
One day my mum spotted the cuts and sat me down to which I cried to her for hours explaining how I wasn’t like everyone else and I came out to her. I still remember how fast my heart was beating in that moment, I was scared that she would no longer be proud of me and would be disappointed. However, what she said to me I still remember word for word to this day, “really? I thought your brother would be the gay one. Lilly I don’t care who you love as long as you live a happy life that’s all that matters, I love you, you are my daughter no matter what”.
From then on it got better however I was still confused about who I was, being bi didn’t feel right. I didn’t like the idea of a label however I still needed one in order to explain to people my feelings. I think the only people that understood how I was feeling and how confused I was, was my two best friends they gave me a lot of advice and said they would always be there for me, they still are so if you’re ever worried about your friends leaving you, your closest friends will never go anywhere.
In year 10, I found a website, It was an LGTB Tumblr page which gave me all the definitions to every word that was to do with LGTB. I soon found the word Pansexual. At that moment I knew exactly what label to use on myself. I had never felt so open and free and I slowly over time opened up to people about who I was as a person. There was still something I was missing; I didn’t care about gender at all. I wore what I wanted to wear not what I had to wear, I acted how I wanted to act not how I had to act depending on my gender.
In year 11, after my realisation of being pansexual I realised I was also gender neutral. I don’t believe I have a gender I believe I am just me a human being who has feelings and emotions. This also explained a lot about being pansexual, as a pansexual I don’t look at the person’s gender, I don’t believe there is a gender and a person should only be looked at for their personality. I fall in love for love that’s it.
I still haven’t come out to my family. I don’t think that’s a problem as I should only do things when I’m ready. Never do anything unless u feel ready or if you were in my situation and you need to talk about it otherwise you might just keep hurting yourself.
Stay strong everything will be fine life isn’t that complex when you figure out who you are. Don’t over complicate things, sit down and just think about the stuff you like and don’t like and the way you feel then everything will come into perspective.
Which labels do you identify with, if any?
I identify to the label pansexual and gender neutral, however I don’t see the need to have a label. I think in our society people shouldn’t expect others to specify what label or group they belong in. People should just understand that some people don’t conform to the same ways as others do.
How do you define these labels?
I define being pansexual as being someone who doesn’t look at someone’s gender to love them. I look at the person behind the penis/vagina.
What are some common reactions people have if/when you tell them you identify this way? How do you respond to these?
Most of the reactions I get are very positive now, they used to be quite bad, however I usually respond to the reactions calmly. If they are interested, which they usually are, I just answer any questions they may have because I feel its important for others to understand. You shouldn’t be upset when some one is interested in your identity. If anything its like your teaching them to be more open minded to todays society.
What are the biggest misconceptions people have about your identity?
People usually think that it’s the same thing as being some one who identifies as bisexual. However, being bi you either date male or female you choose between both however being pansexual I wont look at the gender of a person meaning I could date a man who prefers to dress like a women or a girl who is transgender or just someone who is accepting of their biological sex. As a pansexual I look past all the bits a pieces of gender and just love the person for their personality. I do not mean to make it seem like being bisexual is bad but being bisexual you usually (not always) date one or the other and do base your ideals around gender.
What are the good things that come along with identifying in the way you do?
I think it’s the same as identifying with any sexuality really. I feel very comfortable with this label and it gives me a greater understanding of myself. It also means I get a greater pick on the market (joking) but in all honesty with any sexuality it just defines who you are as a person it gives you something to identify with and just makes life simpler.
So that’s my Pantastic story. Many of the things I went through was because of how closed everyone’s minds were. I feel today being gay or pan or bi…etc are more accepted than they were and it is easier to come out however that is not always the case. If you ever feel you are stuck in any of the positions I was stuck in you can seek help in your friends, your teachers (they do help they don’t just stand there talking about boring stuff like science all day), and some times even your guardians. However, there are other places and people you can turn to if you feel you can’t talk to these people. Places like Child Line are always there to help you so don’t ever be afraid and lock your feelings away it only gets worse if you do. I even recommend talking to people on a LGTB chat site they usually give excellent advice and support when needed but please don’t resort to things like self harm. Keeping it all in and hurting yourself doesn’t help you it only makes it worse.
My names Lillian, I identify as pansexual and gender neutral and that was my story.