My Life

On a mailing list I'm on, someone asked the question of how everyone came out, though it was more a question of coming out to oneself than of coming out to one's peers. My response was rather legnthy and took just under 300 lines, but was more or less a quick sketch of my childhood years.

So, if anyone is weird enough to actually want to know that much about me, here it is for you. All I've done was taken out the list name & address, as that is the policy of the list in question.

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 23:20:09 -0700
From: Night's Child <>
Subject: Re: the process...

On Tue, 15 Jul 1997, nobody wrote:

> so what i want to know is where everyone else is.  what was your
> process?  where are you in it?  did you just sit down one day and have it
> all click, all make sense the way straight life seems to make sense?

I think my story may be a bit unusual... I may have touched on bits and
pieces here & there, and the meat of it is on my web page, but I'll go ahead
and tell it now anyway.

I, by no means, lead a "perfect" life.  From early on my brother abused me,
I was depressed, I hated school (or, specifically, I hated my teachers which
caused me to hate school), I found that all of my friends were merely
putting up with me, one by one.  In a nutshell, my childhood sucked.  I had
no religion to tell me I was sinning, or parents beating me up for being
home late, or anything like that, but I was miserable anyway, and it had
nothing to do with my orientation or anything else "normal" like that.

At this point I have to decide whether to just talk about the parts that
directly have to do with my "process", or to just tell the whole damn story.
Personally, I think it all has to do with each other anyway, so I'm just
going to tell the whole damn thing, so be prepared for a long post.  If you
just want the "process" part, go read my coming out page, because the main
part of it is there (not all of it, just the key to it).

The first time I noticed that there were something very not-normal about me
was when I was maybe 7, I think.  Most of you know by now, I think, that my
brother sexually abused me about that time, and I think that when that
started was the end of anything that even remotely resembled a "normal"
childhood.  (And I think that I still revert to a 5-yr-old at times because
I just haven't been the same since then, and dammit, I was HAPPY when I was
5.) Part of the abuse was him showing me (and my sister, who had to go
through the abuse too) some of the magazines he had stashed away.  They
weren't anything as upper-class as Playboy or even Penthouse, these were
hard-core, spread-those-labia-wide pornagraphy.  Intellectually I knew that
I should have been repulsed by them.  They were naked women.  They were
doing gross things.  They were bad.  Still, I was intrigued.  Not by the
pictures that were just the clit & labia (at which I just thought, "it
doesn't really look like that, does it?"), but by the ones that were women
in the provacative positions.  I was attracted to them, and I was scared
that I was attracted to them.

I don't know why I was scared of it.  I was never taught that homosexuality
was bad, by my parents, school, church (hah, I funny... born & raised an
atheist, FTR), anything.  I just knew it wasn't normal, and in my eyes that
was bad.  I knew that homosexuality existed, I had seen it on television, I
just didn't KNOW anyone who was "that way."  So I think it was just the
"That could never happen to me" syndrome.  Until it did.

About the same time the abuse ended, I started having trouble in school.  I
hated the teacher, and that caused me to quit trying.  Had I either liked
the teacher OR not been dealing with abuse/depression, I probably would have
still tried anyway.  It was just the combination of the two, two years in a
row, that made someone as intelligent as I am (last time I took an online IQ
test I scored something like 147, and always did well until I hit the 4th
grade).  Maybe I just didn't like them because they were male, but I don't
think that was it.  Probably was a small part of it, but most likely I think
that was just a coincidence (my two favorite teachers of all time were both

When I was 10, my mom could see that something was wrong, so she took me to
a children's counselor.  I don't think that did me any good at all, just
gave me something to look forward to, because it was an hour a week where I
didn't have to deal with school and I didn't have to deal with my brother.
All I had to do was play.  Some weeks I wired a dollhouse-in-progress with
the electric circuts, some weeks I made scenes in a sandbox, some weeks I
just drew, some I made it into my own personal show-and-tell.  It was fun,
dammit.  Until my mom decided it was costing her too much (always the miser,
my mom, but I'll get to that later, i'm sure) and she wasn't seeing any
results (well duh, I'd only been going for about three months and I don't
think she knew what she was looking for anyway), so she pulled me out of
that and took me to something run by the school district, of which I
remember very little except they had two-way mirrors and it was boring as
all hell and I felt insulted by either the fact that my mom would take me
there or the way I was treated there, I don't remember which.

About the same time all of this was going on, I was realizing in school that
no one was really my friend.  My "best friend" from the second grade all of
a sudden started turning against me, and everywhere I went for comfort would
stay my friend for a little while, and then more or less leave me in the
dust.  When Amy went against me, I met Candace and started spending time
with her (pay attention, there'll be a bit about her later), then she left
me and I started spending time with Anya, then she went and started hanging
out with Amy, and then I started a mutual putting-up-with friendship with
Susan (neither of us liked the other but we were both outcasts).

In the 6th grade, Candace and her friend Alyssa (who taught me to rebel,
even though I never really used those skills until several years later) went
around everywhere together claiming they were lesbians, though no one really
believed them, they were still much talked-about when not in their presence.
Looking back on it, I do think they said that just to be different, but it
was likely a hidden bisexuality that neither of them realized.
Incidentally, I ran into Candace years later at a football game and saw her
with a guy, so at least the fact that she wasn't a lesbian was confirmed. :)
(No wonder some people think it's "just a phase;" for some people it really

Once I hit Jr. High, everything started coming together and falling apart at
the same time.  I made new friends, but changed my attitude.  I was
depressed, and recognized my friends as superficial, but wanted desperately
to believe otherwise.  I wore black all the time, not because I wanted to be
different, but because it was the only way I knew to express my pain
(besides, Candace and Alyssa told me that I looked good in it :>).

Then when I hit the eighth grade, not only did most of my new friends go on
to high school, but jazz band got moved from 7am to lunch time, so I no
longer had time to spend with my remaining friends save for one day a week.
And what happened?  Amy (yes, the same one who was my "best friend" in the
second grade) started hanging out with them and on the days that I wasn't
there (all but friday) took it upon herself to tell them what a lousy person
I was.  When I figured this out (I have no proof but it's the only
explaination for them to act very cold very fast), I quit trying and spent
my friday lunches in the band room even though I didn't have band.  Still
depressed, and then suicidal.  Shortly before I turned 14 I even wrote a
journal entry about it (and if you can get past all the silly entries about
"who do I like this week?" and other trying-to-be-normal stuff, there's
actually a very sad girl there), and in writing came to the conclusion that
I couldn't try to kill myself because I didn't have a surefire way of

Through all of this, I was still attracted to women, specifically voluptuous
ones.  More than once I caught myself staring and tried not to.  I mentioned
in another post seeing the playboy in my sister's apartment; the only reason
why I think it was so long ago is that I remember it very clearly, so I'd
think it would have been more recent, except she was married when I was 10,
and lived in the same house she lives in now for a little while before that,
and I clearly remember that at the time I saw it, I was at her apartment for
the night because she was babysitting and at the time she was living alone.
I think that was the same occasion I literally lost a tooth because I
swallowed it while eating popcorn.  I even remember what the cover looked
like... there was a woman wearing suspenders that just covered her nipples &
aeroles.  (And if memory serves, we had rented DARYL, which is why we had
popcorn, if anyone saw that movie way back when.)

Through high school, I had boyfriend after boyfriend, but never anyone who I
felt were "real" friends.  I had the same group of girls I hung out with
from halfway through my freshman year until about halfway through my junior
year, when one of them decided she was too cool for us, and it kind of fell
apart about then.  I guess my big clue to leave was when they started
spending more time with my little (okay, younger) sister than they did with
me.  And of course in high school, we have budding females, so the
admiration and pushed-away feelings were more up-close-and-personal than
they had been before.  I still had no indication that homosexuality was bad,
and I even admired out gays and lesbians, but it just never occurred to me
that I could be one.  And I wasn't a stranger to the concept of bisexuality,
either, it just.... it was just one of those things that "couldn't" happen
to me.  It was something that existed but I was detached from it.

Through all of that, I was still miserable, just a hell of a lot better at
hiding it.

When I was 15-16, a lot happened at once.  At 15 I was dating a guy who was
verbally abusive (though of course I only realize this with 20/20
hindsight), and at one point (shortly before I realized that dating this guy
wasn't the best idea I'd ever had) he very nearly date raped me.  I think he
would have except my whole family was in the house at the time.  This was
when I had my first clue that maybe I didn't like guys as much as I thought
I did.... he wanted me to touch his penis and I just wasn't comfortable with
that.  I liked kissing him and everything, and liked it when he touched my
breasts, but I just did NOT like touching his penis.  Shortly after that
evening, all (well, most) of the details of the abuse came rushing back, and
a few boyfriends later I allowed myself to cry for the first time since I
was about 10 and told someone about it.  Er, second time since I was 10; the
first was when a guy I REALLY liked (and to this day I still think I loved
him, just didn't know how to deal with it at the time) broke up with me.

Late 1994 was when I finally realized that it *could* happen to me.  It had
to be between September and November, because it was when I was between
boyfriends, I had my driver's license, and I was still in high school (that
particular combination of events only happened between September of 1994
when I got my DL and early December of 1994 when I started dating my last
boyfriend during high school).  At the time I remember I had a thing for
someone I met on a BBS, and was friends with two other people from the same
BBS who lived near him.  (Which means it was September-early October, since
I kind of gave up on the guy after that.)  I was at one of those friends'
house (the reason for which escapes me, unless it was just an excuse to be
in Natomas), and bored, so we decided to see who was online said BBS and try
to go out and do something.  There was a grand total of one person online
who was available at that particular moment so we went to pick her up and
went to go have pizza (I think).

That was the first time I'd met her in person, though I'd talked to her
plenty online.  She was a lesbian, and very out, and only 14, and I remember
when I found all of that out (it happened all at the same time)... I was
surprised that she was a lesbian and knew about it at 14, that she had more
sexual experience than I did (which was no small amount), and that I
offended her in some way and had to defend myself in that I really had
nothing against lesbians at all, just that knowing that she was one put me
into a brief shock.

When I met her, despite previously being told about her appearance, I was
surprised.  She was something to the tune of 6 feet tall, and had esentially
a buzz cut for the most part.  Over the time I knew her, I don't think I saw
her with the same hair color twice, though I think when I met her initially
it was her natural color.  She had several tattoos and body piercings, and
she looked like she was about 18 or 19.

Anyway, after I spent an afternoon chatting with her and Doug (my other
friend that I had been with in the first place), the next time she & I were
online at the same time, she asked me a question that threw me way off
guard:  she asked whether I was straight or bi.  I don't think that's what
caught me off guard so much as the fact that all of a sudden I didn't have
an answer to that.

I don't think she had a major crush on me, only a slight glimmer of interest
(and maybe her gayder was going off just a little), and she just wanted to
know whether it was even worth pursuing.  Well, I had to tell her
*something*, so I just told her that I'd never been with a woman, and she
took that to mean that I was straight, though at that point I wasn't sure
about that anymore (reminds me of a line out of Men in Black: "15 minutes
ago you 'knew' we were alone on this planet").  I let her think that I was,
because I wasn't (and still am not) attracted to butch women, but to this
day I wish I had told her that I really wasn't sure.  The worst that could
have happened was she would have been my next ex, though it would be an ex
girlfriend instead of an ex boyfriend.

It took me several months to come to terms with the fact that yes, I'm bi,
yes, I'm attracted to women, and no, there was nothing wrong with that.  I
was fairly relieved, because finally I knew *why* I was attracted to women.
I even allowed myself to start fantasizing about them.  There was one in
particular I had always thought was beautiful that was very straight (as far
as I knew) and in entirely the wrong crowd, but she was still beautiful and
didn't wear too much makeup (just enough that you couldn't really tell she
was wearing any) and had the most beautiful long black hair (it rivaled mine
in terms of legnth, and was in much better shape).  To this day she's my
standard of the perfect woman, in terms of appearance.

For the most part, though, I stayed in the closet for quite a while.  I
first came out to someone besides myself when my boyfriend at the time
finally asked me whether I was bi.  I don't even know why he asked, because
he was afraid of the answer, being very homophobic.  He managed to turn his
fears into something erotic once I told him that yes, I'm bi, and he then
started fantasizing about us both with another woman (he never would have
been comfortable with it actually happening, though... just a little too
uptight for that even though he didn't realize it).  I didn't tell anyone
else that until shortly after I turned 18 and started spending time in bifem
channels in IRC (April-May of 1996 for those keeping track) and just finally
figured that I didn't want to worry about people finding out anymore.  I was
out of high school, in a job where people had shown that they were open to
non-christian/heterosexual lifestyles (more than one of my coworkers are
wiccan & bi, though I seem to be the only one who is just one of those), and
more or less on my own, though still afraid to come out to my family, though
again I really have no idea why.

The first time I saw Bryn (the girl who got me thinking) after my general
coming out was at a birthday party for three of the people online, two of
which I was marginally attracted to.  For some reason, it wasn't public
knowledge on that BBS that I was bi, just the people who knew me from work
(which were several, including my now-fiance) and my boyfriend (same one I
came out to initially) knew that.  Bryn hadn't been online much in several
months, and the community at large (as I considered it, anyway) was dying
out, but just about everyone who I had ever known as someone who was part of
the heart of the BBS was there.  And I had this desire to go up to her and
say, "You remember when you asked me that time whether I was straight or bi,
and I told you I had never been with a woman, and you took it to mean I was
straight?  Well, I was wrong.  I'm bi."  I knew nothing would come of it at
that point, especially since she was there with a girl she was dating and
had been for some time, but I still wanted to tell her, just to tell her.
And I wanted to tell someone else there who I knew was a lesbian (though in
her case it was someone who thought she was straight until she started
dating Bryn then realized she had been dating the wrong sex all along even
though her relationship with Bryn didn't last all that long).  Hell, I
wanted to tell everyone there, becuase it was true and I knew it and I felt
like I had been lying to everyone the whole time, even though I hadn't been.
But I didn't because it didn't fit into the conversation, and I hate telling
people I'm bi for the sole purpose to tell them; to me it seems too much
like I'm trying to be different when I (or anyone else) do that.

Congratulations if you're still reading all of this... I think I'm done for
now, though I'm open for discussion, questions, whatever. :)  My apolgies
for the life story, but it seemed to all tie in and it was all part of the

Sierra Kempster:
Night's Child, Lover of Roses, Sister to the Moon.

"...And on that night            "You girls watch out for those weirdos."
       I will have my blood      "We ARE the weirdos, mister."
           And so will                              -Nancy, The Craft
              My sister
                  The moon."