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[coming out stories]

LaShawna Morris
Makeup Artist, Philadelphia, PA
October 11, 2005

How do I write about coming out? It's an on-going process. You don't do it just once and then you're done. You do it over and over and over again. Everyday there's some new situation where you can choose to come out and reveal your queerness, or not. Especially if you don't *look* queer.

It wasn't until a few years ago when I was thirty-one that I finally realized that I preferred women. I still can't believe it took me so long to realize it. I had absolutely no interest in boys. I'd date them because it was what was socially expected. Peer pressure. I even had a few short-term boyfriends. But dating was as far as it would go. The guys thought I was a big tease. In my mind, I figured that maybe the right guy just hadn't come along and when he did, I'd feel all the sparks and fireworks that my friends talked about. It didn't occur to me that I could be a lesbian because I had always thought that lesbians were all tomboys or looked like or wanted to be men. And that wasn't me. I love my femininity. I love dresses, high heels, makeup, fashion. I love being a girl/woman!

So how did I finally realize the inevitable? It was by accident. Then again, maybe not an accident. It was just a matter of time, I guess. I remember the day so clearly. My friend Jessica, who is HOH like me, told me and some of my friends about a new mixed queer dance club that was opening. We all love to dance. Jessica is straight but her brother is queer and he was going to be the DJ that night at the club. She had some free passes and invited us to go. Most of my friends thought it was cool. They joked that they would convert some hot gay guys over to "our side". I was curious about the place myself. But more in a "heterosexual" curious type of way. I wasn't thinking about the women that would be there or even that I might be attracted to them. I was just curious about what a bunch of queer people looked like dancing together. We knew a couple of openly gay men, including Jessica's brother, but this would be different. A whole club full of them!

What can I tell you. Being in that club was like "coming home"! There were so many hot women there. All types of women. Including women that looked a lot like me! I quickly realized that I was attracted to other women who were feminine and when those women that I thought were hot would look back at me, I could feel my whole body jolt with electricity. I was tingling all over. At last, I knew what the "sparks", "chemistry" and "fireworks" were all about! It took 31 years but I was finally experiencing it! Talk about late bloomer! And that was how I finally realized that I was "one of them".

I didn't tell my family and friends right away. And when I did, they initially didn't believe me. They thought it was just a phase. It was something that I would outgrow. But of course, it wasn't. This is who I am. And I'm not ashamed to let the whole world know. Over and over and over again.

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