For a while, I identified as bisexual. But lately, I’m gravitating more towards the term, lesbian. I would love to share my future with a woman. In a way, this could be the second time I’m coming out. But I don’t see it like that. Because when you’re queer, you’re coming out all the time.
For the most part, I feel like people see “coming out” as a one-time milestone. But whenever I tell someone I identify as a lesbian, I’m technically coming out to them. So whether it be directly saying it or subtly alluding to my identity in conversation, it happens really often.
No matter how accepting someone is, I'm always a little nervous to talk about my identity. After all, I don’t know what reaction I'm gonna get. One time, I was having dinner with a friend. And I told them, “It’d be cool to date a woman who played guitar.” I could tell it took them a few seconds before they fully processed what that meant.
And whenever I give someone my social media, I know they'll see the pride flag in my bio. Even though I have never gotten a negative reaction from it, I’ve realized that I’m technically coming out to them.
Doing this so often throughout my life makes me feel uneasy. And I wouldn’t have to if being straight wasn't always considered the default.
I don’t want to erase who I am because I’m proud to be myself. I just want my community to be able to feel safe to be who we are. And we deserve to live in a world where that can happen.
Emma Schulman (she/they) is a student journalist majoring in political science at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Edited by shaylyn martos and Amber Ly