Less than a week ago, I published a blog article in which I mentioned that I was gay. Many of you expressed love, concern, and sympathy. Thank you. I want to assure you, though, that that blog post was not my coming out. And neither is this one.
I don’t like the term and idea around coming out. I think for some people it is a great moment of reclaiming their lives and setting themselves apart to be queer; it’s beautiful in that sense. To me, though, I think it reasserts heteronormativity.
The phrase heteronormativity might be unfamiliar. Heteronormativity means that heterosexuality is believed to be the norm within society. Hence, queer—or different—sexualities are placed against it, below it, or other to it. I believe, rather strongly, that if we continue to make homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, demisexuality, or any -sexuality different than heterosexuality, then we are doing a disservice to human nature and to the people that God created. Heterosexuality, instead of being the norm for society, is simply a point on the spectrum of our sexual experiences as a collective human population and should be celebrated, enjoyed, and discussed just as much as the other sexualities.
This is one of the reasons I have never had—nor never will have—a “coming out” post. This is why I’ve never been upfront with you in saying “I’m gay” and proclaiming it proudly to the world. It isn’t because I’m confused or unhappy with the way my sexuality expresses itself; it’s because I feel like it’s a normal part of my human experience and should be treated as such.
That being said, I’m also a realist when it comes to my ideals. I know that society is not where I would like it to be when it comes to an understanding of sexuality (which is a real shame because sexuality is pretty awesome). A quick experience I think can share what I believe a non-heteronormative world can look like:
I was texting my friend Maddie and I told her I was dating someone. She got rather excited and asked me who it was. I texted her his name. Without skipping a beat, she said that was awesome and wanted to know more about him. So, I told her more about him. Not once did she ask me if I were gay. We didn’t make it a big deal, and it’s never been a big deal since then. That is moving toward a non-heteronormative world: a world where instead of grand coming outs, we can simply say “Oh yeah, I’m dating this guy,” and it can be normal and beautiful and wonderful and we can all celebrate.
As I hope this post and my previous post show, I am very comfortable discussing my sexuality and spirituality. I’m also very well versed in it, seeing as how this is one of my academic specialties. There is another part of this post, and it’s when I get off my high horse about sexuality and share some frequently asked questions about my previous blog post to help clear some things up. So, without further ado, grab a Dr. Pepper, sit back, and let me share with you some of the answers to questions I’ve gotten from that post:
1. I’m not depressed. I’m not sad. I’m not confused. A lot of you who reached out to me wanted to make sure I was “doing okay.” I am. I’m actually doing great. I have a great life that I love. I’m preparing to attend Harvard (can I get a squeal, please?), I have wonderful people in my life who buoy me up, I have a full-time job (okay, I have four jobs, but that’s beside the point). My life is great.
If I were still struggling with what I wrote about, I would not have been able to write that post, let alone share it. I keep my struggles very close and private because they are sacred experiences to me. It is because I’m in such a good place that I was able to share those words.
2. Many of you have asked if you missed my coming out; you didn’t because I don’t want a gigantic coming out moment. I recognize that post might have been surprising. I have not talked about my sexuality with many of you. I want this to be very clear: I’m gay. I like guys.
3. If you’re a heterosexual male, no, I am not interested in pursuing you. Sure, you might be attractive, and I might recognize that, but that doesn’t mean I’m fawning over you. Why would I want to pursue you when you won’t return the favor? I’m not a huge fan of that unrequited love—sorry, William.
4. Please, feel comfortable talking to me about spirituality and sexuality. I cannot say I speak for other people; however, I have read a lot on this subject and I have learned a lot on this subject. I’m going to Harvard to pursue a master’s in theological studies focused on women, gender, sexuality, and religion. I understand this topic really well. So, please, if you’re a heterosexual Mormon who is confused about LGBT+ issues, if you’re an LGBT+ confused Mormon, if you’re someone who hates the gays™, or if you’re someone who just wants to understand a little bit better, feel free to talk with me.