The Coming Out Narrative Doesn't Encompass All Queer Lives

The Coming Out Narrative Doesn't Encompass All Queer Lives

I'm fortunate that I live in a state where I could come out without fear of discrimination; Not every queer person is as lucky as I am.

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It is important to realize that queer lives are not defined by coming out of the closet. In many situations, it might not be safe for people to expose their identity and so they must lead a "double" life. However, this doesn't make these individuals any less queer. Not being able to openly fight for gay rights or not being able to come out to their family doesn't make them less queer. They still belong to our community.

We must fight for the rights of people in our community who cannot openly express their sexual identity for fear of discrimination and hate crimes. We must realize that the coming out narrative does not define all queer existence. There cannot be one single narrative that embodies what it means to be 'queer,' because there isn't one single way to be queer!

Coming out as bisexual was a terrifying experience because I didn't know how my family or friends would respond. My heart would skip a beat the first few times I told my friends and eventually, I called my parents and then made a Facebook post about it my sophomore year of college. But, my narrative is not the same as every other queer person and I respect that. I'm fortunate that I live in a state where I could come out without fear of discrimination. I was worried about how my family would respond (and a few family members did respond rather horribly), but I knew I would still be safe.

Other queer individuals do not have that same opportunity and so we must continue to fight for their rights. We must fight for a better, more accurate representation of the queer community on our favorite television shows and movies because we are more than just our sexualities or genders.

Please remember that there are multiple hotlines out there catering to specific members of our community and don't be afraid to reach out to them.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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