Coming out, negotiating identities and solidarity - Shift hui (2018)

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So first I just want to get a lovely panelists introduce themselves. And then secondly, and this is just killed it showed up I'm Britt, and I identify is took a takeaway, that is what I guess as my label. And I use the pronouns and there's lots of intersections within her identity which will probably kill me. Hi, I'm tired. I use any pronounce on fire earth into any of them identify as gay. Yeah, I am slow and I use that and burdens and identifies know minor. I'm a new are you saving pronouns identify as non binary and gay? Hey, everyone, I'm Zoe. And I use a them pronouns. I'm not a big fan of labels, but I don't mind the word queer because it's quite broad. shoulder, I'm Jay. I use them. And I did for a second class, we would sit for a second there. So my next question for you? What was it like coming out to somebody? What was that journey? Like? How did you come to realize you're part of this? Remember, father? Which time? Ah, ah, time? Yeah. Yeah, I first came out as by when I was a bit out there saying there was a new girl and calm. Way clicked off really, really well. And she said to me about three hours into this radical new friendship, oh, I just want to, you know, let you know that I'm by like, I hope it doesn't make nothing weird. I was like, wow, what do you mean is that like, there's something other than just hate, like, that's wild. And so then about a month after processing, that, and I sort of discussed it with a bit more, I looked into it for myself and that sort of thing. And I was like, pets, things, that's cool. And been about three years after that, I came out his pain, and just sort of decided by actually didn't really fit me. And that for me, it wasn't so much. The it just didn't feel like the label that I could identify with. And the more I was sort of looking into different ideas, entities, I sort of realized that actually, there's a lot more than just, you know, the classic LGBT, there's more than for, you know, that sort of thing. And so I sort of took the identity of pain is like, the best option that I had at the time, and I was attracted to people's personalities rather than them as a physical being, and, you know, that sort of thing. So I really identified with it, but didn't, yet I didn't feel like I fit in that box still, but it was based ahead. And been similar to what Jay was saying earlier, around, meeting the beautiful Elizabeth, at my first ever who he and I just lost my crack a little bit because I was like, that's, that's definitely me. And being Marty has been a journey, identity of its own, with a lot of different intergenerational trauma and that sort of thing. So being able to accept that is for me to be able to openly say Actually, that's my identity, and it's super valid, has been a long journey. So, yeah, I think that's me. So for me, mine kind of was like, I was kind of like, at the stage of just being like sexually confused, I didn't really know what it was cuz I'm in primary, I would always get like, teased and bullied, because I was quite feminine, rather than, like, masculine side always have like the higher boys. And it was quite pitchy, and everybody kind of just like, was assuming my sexuality when I wasn't even sure that myself, which kind of made it hard, because that happened all the way to high school. So I would always get like mocked and tears for that by never new until, I don't know, I just but I've like murky secretly light guys, but I just didn't tell anybody. And then. And then it came to high school, because I made two years ago, but I kind of actually accepted the fact that I was kind of different, and that I was actually gay, I have never accepted it myself until I, because I always volunteer to do things within like, the sexuality into health, like, I'm kind of drugs and stuff. So it's always helping out. And that kind of helps me to come out and learn more information and just kind of make the process easier. So that's me coming out. But it was kind of just always a difficult thing, because I didn't know how people would react around me. So that kind of made it difficult. But since like, I've been out, if anybody asked me, I'm literally just straight up, like, I have no care anymore. Because like that versus was really hard mouth. Just allowing yourself just keep that kind of like a label for yourself. kind of helps you more, and it just makes everything seem easier. So you just like I don't I'm not ashamed of like my six Robin, I just keep under or if I just I'm gay. I'm day, when I went to clean sound. I literally told the teacher Yeah, I'm super gay. Everything is there. And then everybody knows gay. So I was like 11 and just started high school because it's really different in the UK. And I remember writing on the bathroom walls, I think I might be a lesbian. What do I do? And I had like two responses within a week. The first one was like, when you learn how to spell it, right? You'll know. And then the other one was like, Look, just chill. You'll figure it out. And I'm like, Okay, cool. Well, that's obviously a problem for later Sloan. So I procrastinated it for about two, three years. I was like, 13. And I'm like, Oh my god, I think I like girls. So I like came out of by us and then fluctuated through that move to New Zealand and was like, Oh, no, just really, really gay. And then quite recently started questioning my gender. And I'm like, what, what is what is gender? Yay. Discovered like, non binary stuff, thanks to YouTube. And was like, yep, that fits. But like, also, I'm a boy. But then pronounce. And yeah, that's about it. My folks were really cool about it. Like, coming from Scotland, everything's really, really different to New Zealand, by the way, you brought up everyone's more conservative and very stuck in their ways. And I feel like my parents have grown quite far with that. Yeah, I had a quite stereotypical journey. Um, I found out about being gain stuff. I learned it was a thing on the internet. And so while I was like, really invasive novice, like a really good ally for the LGBT community, and I was always like, super into it. And then I realized, Hey, I'm gay. And I actually started with identifying as pen. Because I thought I was attracted to guys as well. And I'm, just like, few years ago, I realized, nope, not attractive to guys. And then somewhere in there, I found out about non binary, I didn't chase and I started, you know, I thought I was gender fluid at first and then a gender and then just settled finally on non binary. And I came out to my mother in a really tearful, like, I was like, full on, like, sobbing as I came out, because in my mind, it was something sort of shameful. Obviously, I know, now it's not, but at the time, it was quite a thing. And then I came out to my entire year and a speech because we had to do speeches. And we could do it on anything. So I did it on non binary identities, like, um, how about how like this, like about transphobia, and stuff. So I came out to my entire year with like, a different name and pronouns, and I sort of regret it. But then at the same time, I know I educated a whole lot of people, and they were really cool about it to my face, at least. And I've come out to lots of my family. But then my mother was also like, don't come out to your grandparents, because it's like, hard for them. But then I came out anyway, because skirt, and like the best way, like that's on Yeah. But thanks to the internet, educating me, I never really came out as people tend to think of coming out, I just began to live more and more is my authentic self, the more I uncovered who that was. And in an ideal world, no one would assume anyone's gender or sexual sexuality. So I don't think it's my responsibility to come out 21. And, but that's probably influenced by the fact that I don't associate with myself with agenda or sexuality. So it's not like I'm going to come out is anything or it's not like I'm going to talk about where I fit within a system of labels and constructs that I'd actually just like to opt out of all together. There have been many situations where people haven't seen things about my identity. And I've been settled on things that have contradicted what they've assumed. And lots of people can think of that as is coming out. And that's totally valid. But that's not really how I think of it, I think of it as them being unaware, or being indirectly called out. And so it's, it's on them, it's not on me. So yeah, coming out hasn't really been an experience that I feel like I've had or needed, I just lived more as my authentic self. And I first realized my church in tune, and I was like, 11. And then in health costs someone, some random student who have done research said, Don't worry, everyone has a guy phase, you just forget about it. And I was like, no better forget about this for four years. And then sort of like came out, as by when I was 15. And I was really like, whoo, yeah, everyone, I'll tell the whole world. But I feel like even back then that was sort of a cover for my own insecurity about it. Like I'm realizing this five years down the track, I actually was still tackling a lot of my own internalized stuff. And I sort of acted in various very stereotypical way. Because I thought like, Well, I didn't fit into that, that group, the straight group. So this is how I have to act to fit into the by group. And sort of figured out that I wasn't such gender when I was about 17. And went through like a whole lot of different labels, like by agenda, then agenda, the agenda trans masculine. And then I learned about some of the takeaway, and realize, Hey, this is so much easier than giving myself a million micro labels, and it's actually much more comfortable. So yeah, like, as I mentioned previously, my relationship to my agenda is very complicated, because of the constructs of colonialism, and how I fit into all that with fame already, and also being just very mixed race in general. Like, I'm also like, into European and have, like, Ukrainian and Japanese ancestry. So there's like a whole lot of intersection ality that plays into my identity as well as like, right? my gender, sexuality, my six, and my coaches, and my ethnicity. Yeah, so it's been a bit of a wild ride, having to navigate all of those separate things. But it teaches you a lot about just being empathetic for other people, because everyone has really different experiences. And yeah, my family have been pretty chill a pretty chill about it. It's been a bit of a journey with him, too. But I'm like it is with any, any family. Really? Yeah, that's me. Please introduce yourself. Yeah, I was just going to kill everyone. I'm Alia. She had pronounce as a little bit late this morning, my apologies. And I identify as trends feminine, and also as a trans woman, and also as queer. So definitely had a long journey with coming up as well come out many times. And, and it's sort of hard to say like, I've always known that I was queer, because it was very obvious from, you know, when you first start to speak, and first step to be a person in the world. But I came out, I guess the first time I came out was when I was about 14, or 15. And I came out as by very tentatively sort of like one foot out of the closet door, and then went back in straight away after a lot of people clap back. Yeah, and that was difficult. And then I was just sort of unspoken Lee queer during high school. I didn't really specifically talk to people about it, but I just was sleeping with him I was sleeping with and having relationships with people. But I did sort of keep it to myself as well, I was quite got it in private. And it wasn't really until I moved away from high school and moved to Wellington that I started to figure out that I was probably trends. And then I didn't transition until my early 20s. And then I first came out as non binary. And I didn't know if I, so that was like my social transition. And I didn't know if I wanted to, you know, take medical steps or whatever. And then I decided that I did. And then I came out again, as a trans woman, mainly because it was so difficult for all of my friends and family to understand what non binary was. And so I also have like, quite complicated relationship to labels where I'm quite fine to be cold, you know, a trans woman and have that because it's easier for people to understand. But equally, I don't actually identify most of the time on the binary. And yeah, and my sexuality is queer. So, yeah, that's been my journey. And then the next question, and some of you have already mentioned it, which is really cool. As a part of your coming out story, because obviously coming at can be if it's something you're doing a daily thing, or whenever you start a new job or meet new people, you may or may not choose to come out. So if you want to share a story of that we were beta family or friends, or that first time you say the words out loud, higher on the spot now. Okay. So, again, I think because there's been so many times, with different identities and different crowds and different spaces. I think, when I was younger, I sort of hadn't been through a journey with myself, if that makes sense. Like I get losses with yourself. But that, like I hadn't fully actually understood where I was, and who I was, and all that sort of thing. What makes me me, and so, yeah, I think I sort of got into the space of almost like, analyzing spaces before I went into them. And the second I walked through the door, I was analyzing, actually, Am I safe to be who I think I am at the moment or, you know, whatever identity that I was identifying with at the time, actually, is it safe to share that here? And am I going to be accepted? And actually am I am, you know, the right headspace to be able to deal with any questions or with any rude things to come from it or anything like that. And so I think it sort of became part of my norm. And it actually took quite a lot of learning to get out of it. And and, yeah, so I think in that sense, it was always quite interesting. But I came out to my whole social studies class when I first came out, because I knew that I wasn't the only one in the class. And so I sort of assistant and I sort of when, you know, actually, I've already know that I've got at least one support person in the space. So I know I'm going to be safe. And I yeah, it was quite a mixed field. Some people were like, Oh, cool. What about like, What's you know, and then other people I think with differently, more, what's that you're weird, you're different, you know, that sort of thing. But again, I think I was lucky enough to be able to focus on the support systems that I did have at that time. And to be able to really try and strengthen those because that's what I needed at that time. So yeah. So for me, my coming else, but it was kind of like I'm so I went to a camp first. And it was like we're celebrating, and then we'd all share. So Ah, and then one person I wasn't out yet. And one person shared this story. And I felt so like, broken and five that I like ran out of the room. And I don't know, I just like, was so ashamed of who I was because I wasn't out and basis out of themselves to everyone. And then it wasn't until I got back at school, the following Monday. And at school, I didn't talk to anyone I shut everybody out, they asked me how I am. And I was just like, I would not talk to anyone. And it was until I got home that day that I kind of was like, I don't know, I was trying to like, put into words how my day was, but couldn't actually get get into words. And then I knew for a fact that was kind of my time to actually come out like it was perfect for me. So I did mine on social media, I did it on Instagram. I'm like my personal for nobody else for it. So I was already coming out to my group of friends. So I did that I was like three posts long. So like, it was like story, rather than like, I'm gay. It was a start. And then then everybody was commenting, I got a few phone calls. And everybody was just like, happy, like, I'd expect, like so much hate from people. But it was just for me to come to terms with myself. And then it was when I went to school the next day that it wasn't just my group of friends that knew I was gay, like everybody is still knew I was gay because they share it amongst everyone. And it was kind of like I was kind of like the early out person and I school was kinda was really cool at the same time, but quite difficult. And I was just quite amazing that you find so much support for everybody. And like, they asked you all these Christians like our calls like, and how did you know you're gay? Or you get those people that were like, I already knew again, and you like carrots serum? But um, yeah, it was quite, it was just a cool process of how I got there. And I just felt back. quite amazing. And then I just tell people that story. And I came out to my friends before my actual families for because I want to bet support, because I see that every day, even when I see my parents every day. But they were the one that wanted to surround myself with more. Yeah. I came out to my mom and a really emotional way. I like tried coming out to her a bunch of times before and she was just kind of like having none of it was great. But I had like a day off school. And I was she was talking to someone. And I had a full breakdown in the living room and just started crying. And she's like, , what, and like, ran over and hug me She's like, what's going on? I told him like, look too traumatic stuff. And I was like, I don't feel anything for guys, I'm really gay. And she's like, okay, and like hugged me. And she's like, you know, nothing's your fault. You know, everything's great. It's gonna be great. Like, I already came out to all of my friends before, like Jared said, I wanted that support. So I knew that if anything went bad at home, I had someone to go to be Yeah, she took it. All right, after like three attempts of trying to come out to her has different things. It was pretty much my friends over text. And literally, everyone I came out to came out to me in return. Not one person that didn't come in, it was incredible. I don't really think I have any specific experiences to share. But my general experience Spain that I guess growing up, I had header and norms and gender roles very much imposed on me. And I didn't have any understanding of gender or sexuality, diversity or anything like that. And so then when I started University, and I got some autonomy for my family, and I started meeting cool people in the rainbow community and educating myself, I realized that I had a lot of stuff to work out for myself, and like my own happiness and well being. And since then, I feel like I've been on a constant journey of unlearning all of this stuff that I believed about myself and about my role in the world, in order to uncover who I am underneath all of that, and separate all of that. And that's something that I'm still working on. Yeah. I also came out to my friends first off the, like me gushing about a friend online, who was a girl and was close friends with another girl. And my dumb 14 year old ass was like, ah, she said that she wants to kiss me. Why does that make me feel like, you know? But then she also said that she wants like, here's this other girl. Maybe I'm just jealous of how close their friendship is. And so they like to get fine, though. Like, we literally suggested, maybe this was the case when you said that you're jealous. But yeah, cool. But the sort of, like, my like, most I guess, I'm impressed important memories like coming out with, which was like, the first time I came out to my mom, was when I like came out as by 115. We were in the count on the way home from the place, we both worked it. And I've come out to both my parents separately for both my agenda and my sexuality. And every time it was in a car driving somewhere relatable. So I remember, I was just like, touch set mom, like I'm by. And she was like, I don't think so. And then for a while. And that wasn't necessarily a thing of like, like, she just didn't like have that as much when she was younger. And so that was a bit of a process being like, yes, I'm actually by non metal lesbian, because none of my relationships I've worked out with men shade. But I do like men, like, it's fine. And I think like with all of the times that I've cut out to my family, it's been like a bit of a weird, like, learning experience for both of us, like me and learning to be patient. And like, understanding that they're not being like, not saying like, kind of ignorant things out of like spy it's, it's just because they genuinely don't know. And yeah, I guess just like, it's been like a long educating like road of like self discovery for like both me and my family. And yeah, it's pretty cool. process. And I also came up to me mom in the car, in a moving vehicle driving back from Christmas, because in my head, I was sort of like, if it goes badly, I was coming up Terence Trent. And so now it's like, if it goes badly than I can just get out and get a bus somewhere else. And it didn't go badly at all. That was kind of a and over, over anticipation of bad reaction on my part. But um, yeah, it was sort of just a simple conversation where we were kind of like silent for a bit. And she kind of knew that I wanted to say something but didn't know what it was going to be. And then I was just like, I'm dragons. And then she was like, Oh, yeah, I thought so. And then we drove all the way home. You did we have time for one more question to go down the line. That's a so cold. So what what does anyone have any questions will do during quiet time? Because I think the most important part is a piece of advice you'd give the young people here who still need to start that coming up versus the email know, I know, purchasing and thinking. Yeah. So I guess thinking about the last question in mind, I think there's been more times that I've actually come out as Marty. And that took a lot. Because, yeah, there's a whole lot of journey behind this. And so for me, I was white, I wasn't raised on him. But I wasn't raised knowing my mother or I wasn't I didn't even know I was Mahdi until I was about 14 and a lot of different things just around, you know, that whole culture side of May, that actually for a long time, it's still very new for me to probably be able to say I'm talking takeaway. And it's been less than a year. But it in again, that's because my journey around that was because I I was invalidating myself. And that actually just be you. Because you can come out as many times as you want, as we've just discussed. But that actually us super valid as you. And so I think just embrace that. Yeah. My piece of advice is probably the best, same of who you are. And like a Muay Thai people time to like a fit to you are but never be ashamed of who you are. Just keep doing you. And if they don't like you, then when you're done nice like them back. So just just keep living, do amazing things. Yeah. I think my bit of advice would be you don't have to feel the need to come out if you're not safe. Like, make sure you're safe before you come out. Like you have something to fall back on, you have so much go. Because like you don't want to feel like you have nothing or no one said sucks. This is about like, after coming out, you don't have to be the source of information for everyone. is like since I came out, it runs. It runs come to me switch clicking match. My friend came up to me and was like, What's this? What's that? What? What is gay? What is by what is trends and you can just be like, hey, Google it, you don't have to be there to educate them. Like it's not your job, just because you're not up. My advice would be that you do you and that whatever you choose to do or not to do should be for yourself. And also to remember that it's okay not to have all the answers, it's okay to change your identity, or to try different labels or names or experiences to see what works for you and what doesn't, especially in a society that's so obsessed with putting people into boxes, it's all part of connecting with who you are and who you want to be. And I'd also say, connecting with other people and people who understand or people provide to provide you with a safe space to be who you are. Because it can be a very lonely and hard journey. If you do it in isolation. My advice is just I guess, take your time. And that relates. So I'm sorry, I was saying before like this, you have, honestly so much time to try different things and explore yourself. And that's like a lot of trial and error and a lot of like self reflection and introspection. And it's not always like an easy thing to do. Or like, it's not always like an easy feeling to pin down and it can take a while. And there's like no queer rulebook that says you have to pick one and then say this for the rest of your life. So like, don't freak out if things change, or if you find that you're a different person further down the line because it will change. And it's a normal part of why I didn't know what else I can add really, I think you guys said everything. But yeah, just reiterate, I guess like yeah, if you don't just always be aware of yourself and how you're feeling with the kind of process of coming out and keep yourself safe. And yeah, if you are unsure, that's totally fine. And they can be a lot cognitive dissonance for people when you're kind of like, not sure what's going on or, but just if you can just try and set with it. Yeah, you don't have to make up your mind straight away or ever if you don't want to. So Jared, Justin, what about what about that? Do I have advice and I hadn't thought that far ahead. My advice would be that you don't have that it's already been said you don't have to rush it. You don't have to be likable. Now I know that I'm bio on non binary, gender, whatever you have to tell people is you know, I sometimes feel like I feel like I should tell the world. You don't have to sometimes it's nice just to sit and know that you know who you are. And that's the most important thing coming around this clip. So whenever

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.