View profile

Coming out, again


Katrina Kibben's Weekly Letter

November 20 · Issue #132 · View online

Every week, I'll write you a letter. A letter about anything, really. My goal is just to make you think.

I’ve spent so much time telling myself to be brave for today. I can’t believe I’m even doing this. I kept going back and forth, trying to find a fine line between letting people in and protecting my heart. I wondered if today is walking too fine of a line. 
But here we are. There’s no turning back now. 
Ok, let me back up. I want to tell you about the day I came out the first time. 
At 16, I fell head over heels in love with my friend. It did not work out for a million reasons I’m not going to detail here - the most significant being she was straight. 
At that age, I didn’t know what a lesbian was. Watching the movie Philadelphia was the first time I had words for this feeling every time I was around certain girls. Acknowledging that feeling out loud was so much more, though. Growing up in a strict, Catholic, military family - I knew being gay was wrong. I don’t know that I 100% even understood what it was. I just understood that it was a bad thing to be. 
I spent weeks thinking about what I might say to my Mom. I was so scared. Then, I decided I would be brave. Not sure why or what courage I summoned, but I was determined to have this conversation. So that night, I asked my Mom if we could talk. She laid on my bed casually with both hands behind her head. “What’s up?” 
I felt nothing close to casual. I felt like the walls were caving in. Heart racing, palms sweating, tears starting to well in my eyes. I can’t even imagine what my military accountant mother was thinking. She’s not exactly a high EQ person. 
After the most prolonged pause of my life, I spoke. “I don’t want you to hate me.” I said it over and over until I could barely breathe. Then, finally: “I’m gay.” Without flinching or even moving from this oh-so-relaxed position, she said, “I know. It’s ok.” 100% unfazed. 
That wasn’t the case with the rest of my family. The frustration and hurt I experienced at 16 convinced me I couldn’t be who I am with the rest of the world. So after I came out, I immediately went back in the closet until I fell in love and felt brave enough to love out loud at 21. 
Today I’ll be brave again. 
For most of my life, I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough of anything. I was a masculine girl or a feminine guy depending on the angle you looked at me. In the book Untamed, Glennon Doyle describes it as cups - the boy cup, the girl cup, the gay cup, the straight cup. I spent so much time trying to figure out which cup I belonged in. 
What she wrote next was a life-changing moment for me. She said, “why are we making cups when we are the water?” Why was I trying to fit into cups when I can just be me? 
So here it is. I am non-binary. For me, that means I’m just a good human. Not a man. Not a woman. A human that wants to help every person they can. A human that wants to be seen and respected just like everyone else. I use they/them pronouns, and I’m just like you. 
I don’t know what your brain is doing. Maybe you have questions. If so, ask. I’m a safe place. I won’t promise all the answers, though. I’m still learning, and I hope you’ll be willing to learn with me. If you don’t know what to say, I would most appreciate a reaction from you that’s much like my mother’s all those years ago - a love unfazed. 
I also hope you’ll celebrate with me - that this truth isn’t coming out between choked sobs. I’m celebrating the bravery I’ve built up over 20 years that has made me feel ready to be seen in a world I’ve spent forever trying to fit into.  
That’s unquestionably dessert worthy if you ask me. 
Thanks for listening, for reading, and for being a part of my life and journey. 

Pronouns: Creating Safe Spaces
5 Non-Binary People Explain What “Non-Binary” Means To Them
So your friend came out as non-binary: here’s how to use pronouns they/them
Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
United States