Community Rainbow Waves

Out Is The New In​

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I don’t think i know yet but i’d probably say for now queer

i think i’ve always known that i liked girls i just never thought anything of it. i always just didn’t even acknowledge it because i didn’t know what it meant. then probably around 10-11 i started really questioning my sexuality and gender identity. today, truth is i don’t know the answer to either of those questions. lately i’ve been thinking maybe i’m gender fluid because i feel like i’m both and i’m neither. this proves to be very confusing for someone who’s just trying to figure themselves out. i’ve thought out all scenarios and i’m not sure of any of them. i’ve questioned being a bisexual trans man and being non binary and just being attracted to feminine people but truth is i don’t think i’ll know for
awhile. I, as a 16 year old kid, don’t have to know exactly who i am right now. at this point i’m just trying to stay positive and patient and when i know who i am i’ll know.

Human – but also very much gay

I have had a very fortunate journey unlike many of my LGBTQ+ brothers/sisters/non-binary folk. I became aware of my interest in the same sex from a young age. I specifically remember when I was in elementary school around age six or seven having crushes on my female classmates. At this time, I was unaware that many people across the world thought it was “morally” wrong to love members of the same sex in a romantic way. It wasn’t until one evening (when I was still in elementary school) that I was taking a shower and my mother came in unannounced. She was holding my diary. The very same diary that I expressed my feelings of attraction towards other girls. I don’t remember the exact conversation but I do remember that it made me feel like I needed to safeguard my emotions and keep what I was experiencing a secret, even from my family.

Fast forward to when I started middle school (around age 10-11 in the United States). I got my first “official” girlfriend who was on my club soccer team. I use quotations solely because we were very young & unexperienced and didn’t tell anyone about our relationship. Eventually, during this relationship, I wanted to tell my mom that I liked girls. I panicked but still managed to muster up the courage to send her a text message (classic, I know) while I was at school. I said something along the lines of “I have a crush on …, I don’t want you to be mad and I’m sorry”. I did it. I sent the message. I wasn’t worried about an immediate response because she is a teacher and wouldn’t be looking at her phone until the end of the day. Though, when it was time for me to ride the bus home and confront her, I was terrified. I got home before she did and pretended to be asleep to avoid the dreadful conversation that was ultimately inevitable. When we were finally face to face, I remember trying so hard to keep my emotions neutral but began bawling my eyes out. Her reaction wasn’t as I had hoped. Again, I don’t remember the whole conversation, but I do remember one thing that she said – “I don’t understand, I have friends that are girls and I have never felt this way”. That comment filled me with loneliness. Now, I have always had the “I simply don’t give a fuck” attitude and exterior, but that conversation broke me.

A few years later in high school (age 14-15), I had a different girlfriend who I believe I was in love with that was also on my soccer team. There was one evening my club had a meeting about future events that my mom drove me to. As we were pulling out of the parking lot to go home, my mom asked me a very simple question. She said “are you in a relationship with …? I can see the way you feel by the way you look at her”. It was then that I decided I was not going to lie about it anymore. I said yes and the whole 30-minute drive home, my mother cried in front of me as I sat quietly.

This whole time I think I have talked about my mother in a negative light, but I don’t want to portray her as someone who doesn’t support me. Currently, I am 23 and we have an amazing relationship in which she loves me unconditionally. The way she reacted while I was in elementary, middle, and high school wasn’t ideal, but it was a process for her just as much as me, and I grew to understand that throughout my childhood and adolescence. Mainly she was scared for me knowing about how people treat others once they discover they are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she has always wanted to guarantee my safety.

I recognize that some people don’t care for my story and that’s okay, but I thought I would put it out there for reassurance for anyone who might need or want it. Unfortunately, not all stories end like mine. A lot of parents don’t understand or refuse to understand, causing an unmeasurable amount of pain, sorrow, distrust, etc. that never goes away for that individual. I want it to be known that it won’t always feel that way. One day you will be able to leave if you decide to. With that, there is a community that will always love you and let you know that your feelings and experiences are valid. You are loved and worthy.

Another topic I would like to speak on is mental health. (I know when will this bitch end omggggg). For my first year of college, I moved away and lived in a house with my friends. It was a truly remarkable experience that I love and cherish – but it is also a place where I experienced my first horrible panic attack. Note, I was very naïve back then and didn’t know what a panic attack was before that. It has been roughly five years since it happened and I still struggle with anxiety almost daily. It is okay to ask for help, it actually takes massive metaphorical balls to do so. Please know that you are strong. You are important. You and your story matters. Thank you.

Gay cis gender woman

So… growing up being gay was never a thing. Nobody ever talked about it, or at least not that I remember. In like 6th grade we briefly discussed different sexualities but 6th grade me didn’t think anything of it.
Flash forward a few years and all the girls in my class have crushes on boys and start dating. I was never interested so remembering the 6th grade discussion I just thought I was asexual. Problem solved.
And then I started watching Ellen and figured out she was gay. It took me a while to get the internalized homophobia (and hell I don’t even remember where that even came from in the 1st place.. probably that my dad hates everyone who’s not “normal”) out of my head. But once I realized that people are gay and that’s fine I realized that that’s an option for me to. And there was this big ohhhhhh… Moment where I finally realized.
I then ignored that for another few weeks or months and then wrote about it in my diary. Immediately after I sent it to my internet best friend. She was the only person I trusted enough to tell and I knew she wouldn’t be very judgmental. And I guess the whole internet friendship aspect helped too. It’s easier when you don’t get a response to a text for a few days than it is being ignored irl.
So I sat there anxiously waiting for her response… And she didn’t read it for a while. But when she did read it she responded in the best way imaginable. And that meant a lot. It still does.
Months go by and I wanna tell my friend group that’s around me in school as well. But that involves 3 people. If you tell one.. you gotta tell everyone.
And it was a bunch of times that I was almost at this place where I thought I’m gonna do it. But then one friend (we’ll call her Sally)made some slightly homophobic comment or whatever that most likely meant nothing to her and I was back at zero. I did that a few times.
Finally, summer 2018 after 10th grade I was on vacation with my family. It was the last day of pride month and the next day was my birthday. So that day I gathered all my courage and over WhatsApp told the friend out of the group that I knew the longest and trusted the most(we’ll call her Lina). Her response was positive too.
2 weeks of vacation go by (yes, tactic that in case she reacts badly there’s time ’til we next see each other) and I’m back home. During the following week we met at the pool with another person from the friend group (we’ll call her Anna, not the judgy bitch). I was joking about this one guys hair bc he was relatively small but he had dreads which made his head look huge in comparison. She then asked me if I was into him or something. Both me and Lina giggled. Anna then asked what’s going on as she was very confused. Lina pushed me to tell her but I just couldn’t.
After we got home that day I took to WhatsApp to explain. I know I’m a coward but I can’t handle that much rejection. I get enough from my dad. Lol.
So I explained and she was very cool and understanding about it. So then it was time to tell Sally. Also over WhatsApp. And although she seemed accepting and all… Looking back hell no.
A few days later I met up with her at the pool and we were just laying in the sun talking when all of a sudden she asks me if I could really imagine fucking a girl. I at the time was totally flustered bc baby gay but looking back.. that’s such and inappropriate and dumb question.
Starting 11th grade I was out to my closest friends and so I felt okay about maybe slowly but surely telling other people. Meaning basically everyone but my parents and anyone who’d tell them.
Classes changed and I met a bunch of new people. It didn’t take long and I had queer friends. And that was amazing. Because all this time I thought I was alone… Yet to realize that wasn’t true at all.
One of them (Nick, if you for some reason ever read this, Hi) moved away after 11th Grade but he’s still one of my best (queer) friend.
In 11th grade there was this incident where Sally was showing me a chat with her boyfriend where he basically said he wanted to punch Nick because he’s gay and wearing makeup. She found that funny. And for her it was weird that I didn’t. Then she explained the back story which was apparently supposed to make it funny. Spoiler: it didn’t. It only made it more disgusting and horrifying to me. She never understood why I was offended by her boyfriend being homophobic. And her too.
I’m still very uncomfortable around him. Even tho I barely ever see him. Luckily. And she’ll be the 1st person I’ll cut off when I’m done with school.

Kaleen’s Journey

Your personal journey to finding yourself¬–whether you’re queer or not¬–is a universal thing we all experience. As unique and individual those journeys may be, the feelings and emotions are something we all share, and I find that to be so beautiful!

Love is love, hurt is hurt, heavy is heavy, hard is hard, joy is joy. Remember we all experience these things together and no one should judge anyone’s story and compete over struggles, but rather find connections and how much we all share as people. Let’s all continue to grow, love and support each other and continue this wave of self-love and discovery!

So that said, I would love to share my experience publicly for the first time, in the hopes it helps someone else find their truth. <3

I’m Kaleen and I identify as lesbian, queer and gay. I am 28 years old and I’m an art director and actress in San Francisco. For me, and I’m sure many of you, finding myself and accepting myself are two very different things and came at very different times in my life. Next week, I proudly celebrate my 4 year wedding anniversary with my amazing wife (we’ve been together for over 8 years) so my story has a very happy ending! But it definitely didn’t start that way.

For most of my life, I did not realize I was gay. I didn’t even consider it as an option. I grew up in a religious household with a mother who I believe after years of therapy to have Borderline personality disorder (BPD). It was not a healthy or emotionally safe environment for me. I truly believed that I was just an amazing Christian who was waiting till marriage (for you know)… but waiting was super easy for me because I had ZERO desire to be intimate with a man. Even when I had boyfriends and would kiss them, I would find myself counting down the seconds till it was over. I truly thought everyone felt this way and it was something I would learn to like and we all just have to get over that hurdle of disgust. I would see my friends falling head over heels for their boyfriends and wonder how they got over that hurdle, and think I’ll get there soon too… that day didn’t come for me.

Knowing myself now and looking back, there were so many “clues” that I was gay, but it still did not cross my mind. I remember watching the show House and there was an episode when Olivia Wilde’s character, Thirteen, came out as bisexual. The scene where she kissed another woman, I remember rewinding and watching it a few times. This was one of the first times I’d seen this on T.V. and it was the start of my eyes opening into what is possible. This is why representation is SO important!

Fast forward to college. This is when my life flipped on its head! I found myself in a relationship with a man and we got engaged (for his privacy, I will call him John). He was a wonderful human, and I truly thought I was “in” love. I did love him, but just not the way he deserved to be loved, and not the way I deserved to experience it. At this time, I also built a wonderful friendship with a girl and we became best friends. When I got engaged to John, something in me snapped because my mind knew that eventually I will have to have sex with this person. This tossed me into a deep depression and in doing so, also opened my eyes to a past I had bolted shut. I realized all in one moment, that I was gay, in love with my best friend, and I also had PTSD with memories of being sexually abused by a family member for half my childhood flooding my mind, all while going to school full time and holding a job to pay rent. It was a lot to discover all at one time and I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. The only person I felt comfortable sharing all these pieces of myself with was my best friend Kay. Little by little I had to confront and try to accept all these things happening in my life.

At this time, I asked John to give me space. He understood that I was having trouble with my PTSD and needed to distance myself from him. We were fully separated for over 3 months with no communication as I worked to find myself again and heal from my past.

Kay was patient and helped me heal, and through all this we became unbelievably close. At this time, she was not out as gay either. Funny enough, we did not even realize that our relationship was different than other girl/girl relationships because it felt so natural to the point we didn’t stop and ask ourselves if this was “normal”. Needless to say, we figured it out together. At this point, I still wasn’t sure if I was going to allow myself to live an authentic life because I knew in doing this, I would lose family. Before I said yes or no, I gave myself one day to openly (in the privacy of my home) love Kay and acknowledge how we felt for one another. We spent the day just holding each other, laughing, and enjoying how we felt. As the clock drew near to midnight, our hearts began to sink as we knew we only had this moment. To this day, I can’t watch All Dogs Go To Heaven because that was on in the background. We shared one last amazing kiss and then walked into separate rooms. Oh, did I not mention we were also roommates! Yeah… that made things even harder!

Days turned into weeks of me pretending like I could live without her, till I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided I would let myself be gay if, and only if, my sister could be ok with it. Lucky for me, she was open to trying to understand. It was at this point I officially ended my engagement with John. I returned the ring and we had a wonderful moment of thanking each other for all the good times and wished nothing but happiness and healing to one another. A few months after this, I began my first true relationship with Kay.

I came out to my family and my father and stepmom were amazingly supportive and even helped pay for my therapy during all this, but my mother would not accept my truth. She said to me “I would rather you be unhappy in this lifetime, but forever happy in the kingdom of god” and asked me to deny myself love and live alone. I gave myself the best gift I could and will ever give and decided to fully embrace my love for Kay regardless of what this person thought. It was hard, it’s still hard to think about, but it’s what was best for me. Years later when we became engaged, my mom officially removed herself from my life and we haven’t seen or spoken since.

Like I said in the beginning of the story, Kay and I have now been together for over 8 years and we are about to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary on April 2nd. She is my absolute best friend and I don’t have words for how much I love her. She is the first time I have experienced unconditional love, and I value her with everything I am. Deciding to accept myself and live an openly gay life is the best decision I’ve made for myself and it’s a privilege I will never take for granted.

I wish everyone who reads this love and acceptance within themselves. You are love, you are here and you stay. Xoxo


I guess all through primary school I was always boy-crazy I had crush after crush, then when I got to high-school I met my new bestie group of friends, in that group was a girl for privacy reasons let’s call her Kate, she was already out she had been a while and I guess I liked hanging out with her I thought I just really liked her as a bestie but we grew closer until I was in art class one day and my friend(not real name) Lauren was talking to me and I completely zoned out and she just looked at me and asked me “are you thinking about Kate” I was Co fuse because I was and she just knew by how I looked at her that I had feeling s for her anyway moving on from Kate we dated for a little while and now we are just friends but we are still really close friends and those feeling are gone. I really didn’t know what I was because I had never gone out with a boy properly just a girl when I was quite young so there was no way of knowing my sexual identity. I knew this boy (not real name) josh liked me and I guess he was nice so I decided to ask him out and we really didn’t click so I still didnt know. I then heard of this show wynonna earp and my gay best friend keira (not her real name) told me about it she said it is what helped her discover herself and that the two gay charecters in it really spoke to her so I watched it and by season 2 I was so into it and I defiantly had a huge crush on the actor who played nicole so I guess I had girls down on my checklist to sexuality. After a few months if figuring myself out I realised that the people I liked I didn’t see gender I just liked who I liked boys, girls, FTM, MTF, so a day or 2 ago I was searching things about what my sexuality could be and I came across this website and I read through dominique provost chalkleys story and it helped me identify myself and who I loved and I am very greatful for that so now I am out to my mum, brother and my friends it’s just my dad left to tell which I am terrified about but I think with the right words I can do it
Thank you all who helped me discover myself (“kate”,,”Lauren”, “keira”, kat barrel, dominique provost-chalkley.)

Queer in Northern Utah

When I was 22, I was reading Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult and I wished I was gay because I wanted a wife, I wanted a relationship like the one the women in the book had. I told this to a friend of mine and she said, “Maybe you’re gayer than you think?” Four months later, I’d left my male fiance and was dating my friend.

I am gay.

I suppose you could also use the term lesbian to define me but I’ve never really felt comfortable with it due to the pornographic connotations. I am 17 and I realised when I was 13/14. I can’t remember the exact age or date which may be a surprise to some people because it is often viewed as a life changing event. For me, it wasn’t. It was a realisation, an extra part of myself which I hadn’t yet realised but I didn’t think it was a big deal. Quite a few people say that they knew from a young age but didn’t think it was something they should embrace but I honestly had no idea. I’d never met a gay person, nobody had ever mentioned gay people, or just anyone who wasn’t straight, to me or in my presence. I had no idea this was even a thing. It wasn’t like my parents were trying to hide it from me, it had just never been brought up. It wasn’t until I accidentally stumbled across some coming out videos on you tube that I realised. I’d felt the same way that they were describing but I’d just thought that was how everyone felt. I’d had many “boyfriends” when I was younger, I say “boyfriends” because none of them were ever real relationships after all I was only between the ages of 10 and 13. But that was just what you did, that was what everyone my age was doing so that’s what I was doing too, sure I’d found them attractive but I’d never been attracted TO any of them which was the big difference.

So after stumbling across these videos I began searching for them, absorbing everything that was being said, in particular I identified with Rose Ellen Dix’s video (if you want some good queer representation, her and her wife Rosie are absolutely adorable and they’re very funny). I discovered that I was gay and that was it. I didn’t see any issues with my identity because as I had not known about the LGBTQ+ community I had also not known if the struggles I could face, I was blissfully ignorant. I began telling my friends through sending them Ally Hill’s song for coming out with because honestly what a bop. I broke up with my boyfriend at the time, he seemed to take it very well and decided that I should tell my mum. I told her that I’d broken up with my boyfriend but that I wasn’t ready to her why yet. When I was, I wrote it on a chalkboard in my room and asked her to read it, and once she had she came and found me. Her first sentence was to ask if I was joking, when I said no she said I must be confused because I had realised I didn’t like my boyfriend and that I needed to rub it off of the chalkboard before my dad saw. She wanted to know if I’d told any of my friends and upon replying that had, she told me that I should tell them that I’m not gay, I was just confused about my feelings. Now I know this isn’t the worst thing to have said to you by a parent when you’ve just tried to come out to them, but I was 13 I didn’t know that this was an outcome that could’ve happened, I thought they wouldn’t care and now I was scared.

Now I faced the struggle that so many if us face. I began closing in on myself for a while, I was suddenly faced with a reality where everything wasn’t okay and there must be something wrong with me. It took a while before I decided that there was nothing wrong with me and I told my friends once more that I was gay, maybe this was just something I had to hide from my family, that was okay, I could do that. I made an Instagram account where I could follow other gay people and talk about tv programmes with gay characters etc without it being associated with my own account because being gay was now something to fear rather than be unbothered about.

At some point, I don’t know exactly when, my dad saw my phone whilst I was on it, he told my mum but didn’t say anything to me about it. A good few months after I’d tried to come out to my mum (probably closer to a year really) she’d been out drinking and I’d stayed up to say goodnight to her when she came home. She confronted me about what my dad had seen and wouldn’t let me leave until I’d told her that I was gay. As you can imagine, I was crying I was only 14 at this point and my main objective had been not slipping up in front off my parents so that they would find out, she kept telling me that it was okay but I honestly wanted the world to swallow me right then and there and this will probably always remain one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. Both of these instances paint my mum in a very bad light but she’s actually a really lovely person, obviously we have our disagreements over things and certain topics but most people do. I used to hate the way she acted during both these instances but know I realise that she was just as inexperienced as I was, she was scared of what people would say and how they would act towards me, of how she was now supposed to act was she to be different? Or the same? I’ve forgiven her for these things, nobody is perfect and she is constantly working to be better. She told my dad what had happened and I think they had an argument over the way she’d acted. My dad has never had an issue with my sexuality and we seem to be closer now than we ever were.

As far as I know, all of my family members know. I say this because my mum told most of them, this may also seem like a bad thing to do to some people, like she had taken away my right to be able to do it myself but honestly, I prefer it this was. This whole experience gave me a fear of coming out to family members so I’m glad I never had to do it. I think I will always have some uncomfortable feelings talking to family members about being gay but it has gotten better as time as gone on so hopefully that means it will go away as I get older. My auntie found out last year after my mum had told her, she made a big fuss about how proud she was of me and I know that’s what some people want and need but it makes me feel so uncomfortable, probably due to the trauma created by my coming out but also because I’ve never felt like it was something that I needed to be brave about, something I needed to be proud of (not that I’m not proud of being gay) but it’s just a part of who I am and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the idea of that being something I need to be brave and proud about if you can understand what I’m trying to say.

A light-hearted coming out was when I told my brother, during the uncomfortable atmosphere that followed my 2nd coming out disaster it went as follows:
Him: “why are you being weird at the minute?”
Me: “I’m not being weird, you’re weird”
Him: “I know you’re gay you know”
Me: *internal freaking out* “who told you?”
Him: “oh I was joking but that’s cool”
After I’d finished freaking out, I really appreciated the easiness of the whole situation.

So to conclude what is a very long story (if you’ve made it this far, thank you for being interested in my life, I’ve nearly finished I promise) I’ve only actually come out about 9 times in my life, the rest is thanks to other people spreading it, including the boyfriend mentioned previously who told people that was the reason I’d broken up with him and lead to the whole school finding out, (it’s okay though, I’ve forgiven him too because we were young and he didn’t know any better). I know there are going to be so many small comings out in my life that I will easily lose track of the number of people that I’ve told and I will probably face some hard times from people who aren’t accepting of who I am, but I say bring it on because I’m happy with who I am and I’m ready to face anything that comes my way.

On a side note, I hope everyone is staying safe during this pandemic and that you’re all healthy and hopefully not facing any loss.


So for the longest time I thought there was something wrong with me because I was attracted to women and my step dad didn’t support the LGBTQ community. I started having really bad anxiety and started feeling very depressed, I stop being myself. After almost a year, I started to learn more about the community and started to ignore other people’s opinions on the community. I started taking time and thinking about what really made me happy and what didn’t make me happy. I just wanted to be happy and be able to love who I wanted without being judged or even having to come out. After I discovered Wynonna Earp and saw Wayhaught is made me feel more comfortable with my sexuality. After reading Dom’s story it has helped me accept myself and now I am finally proud of who I am.


I started to realize and accept my feelings toward girls in middle school. I had just come out of a very stressful living situation and, since my brain didn’t have anything else to ruminate on, it turned to the girl that welcomed me into my new community. I spent the next several weeks v e r y confused and ended up texting my best friend to ask for help. I explained what I was feeling and she said that it was okay. She said I didn’t need a label to be worthy.

That was maybe five years ago. Now I’m a gay woman who is out to her family and is in a serious relationship. But that doesn’t mean it’s easier. I still get looks in the hallways for kissing my girlfriend. We still get scolded by administrators for laying our heads on each other’s shoulders. My family is tentatively accepting, but I know they’re uncomfortable. But I don’t let that stop me. I still hold my girlfriend and kiss her in the hallway. I still tell her that I love her. Because I do. And this is a part of who I am. And no one will ever take that away from me.


I guess I’ve always known that I’m queer. When all the girls in my class started to care about getting attention from the boys, I only wanted to play soccer. I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Then, around sixteen, I finally understood the other girls. Only – I wasn’t trying to woo the boys, I wanted attention from the girls. Fast forward a year later, I finally told my mom. She hugged me and said she didn’t care, I could love whoever I wanted. After that I gradually told the rest of my family and my friends, and now I live happily with the rainbow flag flying high outside my house!