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Living Out Loud: Zaneta October 13th, 2011
Living Out Loud: Zaneta

So believe me I could talk on and on about coming out, but I would much rather hear your stories. So, I’ve opted for a short poem I wrote about identity and what it has meant to find myself.  I hope you all enjoy!

But if you want the whole story:

I grew up in pretty liberal household in New Jersey. I can not remember the exact moment when I began to question my sexuality, but I can say that I do remember my first crush. It was seventh grade. I was playing Grandpa Joe in a stage version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and I fell for Veruca Salt.  I came out to her and we dated for a year. That same year I came out to pretty much everyone as bisexual.

My family was generally accepting, and my mother (who is my rock) was the most accepting of them all. I went through middle and high school dating both men and women (my love affair with Veruca alas  did not last).  I even tried to help start a gay-straight alliance in my high school, but we faced a lack of support from the administration, although they do now have an LGBTQA club (of course after I graduated).

I went to college and found a whole lot of other LGBTQ folks. For the first time in my life I felt like I had found a community that understood some of my struggles and shared my passion for advocacy. I came out (again) my sophomore year as lesbian. However, after becoming more immersed in queer theory and the fluidity of gender and sexuality, I began identifying as queer. So I suppose while most of friends jokingly call me the biggest lesbian ever, I was technically only a lesbian for an academic year.  Go figure! I also take on queer as a gender identity…because afterall..”woman” is a social construction that I do not fit in a lot of ways.

My junior year I became the Assistant Queer Peer Services Coordinator at the Ramapo College of New Jersey.  And rather suddenly it felt like it was almost in my job description to come out everyday. I’ve worked in LGBTQ student services ever since, and I very rarely come out for myself anymore. Instead I come out for those who are still struggling and need to feel like some one will understand them, just as I wanted to be understood years ago.

That’s why I’ve come out on this site.

But I am many things. We all are. It is my hope that you can come to this site, a community we are trying to build, and be your whole selves.

One love.

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