LGBTQ | How You See Me

– My mom when I told her I was gay, actually took me to a psychiatrist. And I remember coming out, and the psychiatrist being, there’s nothing wrong with your daughter, she’s perfectly healthy. (laughs) And I was like, “Yeah!” And my mom was like, “No!” – Watching TV you see
a lot of fairy tales, and you see men and women,
men and women getting married. You hear it in songs. You, just everything you’re surrounded by like hetero norms. So, I was really trying
to mold myself into what a straight man looks like. A lot of it’s kind of blur because I was trying to be someone other than me. – It was just like kind of a transition from I’m a tomboy, I’m a tomboy, to oh I’m really, really different. – I had a best girlfriend. A friend that’s a girl
who’s my best friend. And about the same time that I came out, she did as well, and it was just really helpful to have two people doing that at the same time, and it kind of brought us closer together. – Even when I was coming out, I still had the things that I’ve heard from friends and family growing up about, you know, gay people. There was still those attitudes leftover in my mind, so I had to really educate myself, and immerse myself into that
community and that world. – I’ve been more comfortable
with talking about it, but it’s still not something that I’ll come out and say, “Hi, I’m Jen. I’m bi.” One of my closest friends, I had been talking to her about how I had been dating a girl, and I really thought she was really cute, but I also liked a guy too. And she said, she got
really fed up with me, and she said, well you
have to pick sometime whichever one you’re going to be with. What does their gender have to do with how I feel about them? – When people find out you’re gay, it raises something in them. They feel in danger. They wanna change you. – And I’ve even had a priest, once in high school, tell me that I need to redeem my life. In my sociology class, in
front of the whole class. And I had an argument with him. Speaking up for myself, publicly, was a really, really, empowering moment for me at such a young age. – There are so many different colors on the LGBTQ spectrum. You know, there’s trans, there’s lesbians, bi, gender fluid, gender queer. There’s so many subgenres of people that exist in our community. – At the end of the day, I really had to accept that there wasn’t really a single subculture that was gonna define me. I had to accept that I was made of all of these things, and that all of these identities don’t necessary make me. – Be accepting of yourself. Even though other people might not do it. Maybe I lost a few
Facebook friends over it, but at the end of the day, that’s okay. – How you feel is not what
everyone says that you are. I know that sounds really confusing. – You’re gonna have to own it. You’re gonna have to get your spoon, and you’re gonna have to dig down deep, and be, like, all these layers are mine. And the sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll really know yourself.