Submitted by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous
Sexuality is fluid
I would say that essentially (stealing a quote from a friend here) my heart sings for women. However, personally, sexuality is a very fluid thing and I could fall in love with a man or a woman. And yes the love of my life so far has been a woman and I’m now seeing another wonderful woman, but to me it’s the person that counts.
My parents are amazing.
My parents are from the West Country and Manchester respectively, mum is now in her 50s and dad in his 60s. Their lives have been tough, both intensely political, lovers of the arts and culture, they escaped to London way before I was born. Mum is bi and dad is straight, both happily married to my stepdad and stepmum respectively. For me coming out wasn’t a huge switching of the lightbulb moment and I guess that’s down to my upbringing and my parents. So, I was 24 and told my mum and she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Be happy, fall in love with whoever you want. You’re fantastic and I want whoever you fall in love with to see that.” I’m so blessed to have parents that are open, accepting, who challenge me to be the best person I can be and just want me to be happy. My three teenage siblings think in the same way. My middle sibling is transgender and so for my mum, me saying I actually liked women and men was no big deal at all. This shows how far we have come. Now that I’m a teacher and I see on a daily basis how teenagers struggle, I see how lucky that I have the parents I do.
Stereotypes or not adhering to stereotypes.
My experiences have been mainly positive however, stereotypes and not adhering to stereotypes can drive you a bit mad at times. Stereotypes make up part of our life, right? Well, being a well spoken mixed race person from Brixton, I don’t quite tick the boxes I am meant to. And no joke, there are times where and when my skin colour confuses people. Egyptian? Middle eastern? From Shakira’s country (Columbia, btw)? You’re definitely Latin right? Spanish? This is something wonderful about being mixed race, something that can confound people as my siblings and friends have found yet once again some people are led to believe that our skin colour defines us. Race. Identity. Political beliefs. Sexuality. What happens when we don’t meet those stereotypes? I really don’t think we need them anymore.
‘Oh my, how can someone who is beautiful, who likes to wear make up and pretty dresses and uses vibrant colours, possibly (in hushed slightly bemused/verging on the side of disgusted whispers) have a heart that sings for women?’
I can’t wait for the day that people don’t think or say this kind of thing when they meet me.
If you want to share your experiences and the three lessons you’ve learned since coming out, email Emily@dattch.com
This writer wishes to remain anonymous.