“There is more to people than what gender they are.”

Claudia Final

I never thought I would go to such a big school. I went to a small elementary school and middle school and my high school graduating class was 160 people. I didn’t want to come somewhere and get lost in it. But being here, there is a lot more care and attention on me in terms of counselors and advisors than I ever thought there would be. I thought I would come here and no one would talk to me and no one would let me know what was happening and I would dissolve and not do anything.

The art community is so open and everyone is so comforting and accepting. It was there [in high school] that I got to explore myself and we had clubs and events and gallery openings that highlighted LGBT art. I felt more accepted socially in my school and with my friends than I was at home. I would tell my mom “I think I’m bi-sexual” and she would say “Don’t say that, hold off until college. I don’t want to hear about it”. But the art background was super helpful in welcoming me and making me feel like I was accepted somewhere.

It hurts. It does. We haven’t talked about since which was about two years ago. I remember I told my brother that I thought I was bisexual and he told my mom. My mom approached me and was just saying don’t do that for now and my grandma said “don’t date girls”. Its hard because my mom, who is such a big presence in my life, is the one saying that I can’t go to art school and if I get a tattoo before I graduate college you’ll be kicked out.

There are so many things going on in my life that I feel developing faster than my sexuality or my identities that she [my mom] cares about. There are other things like scholarships that she cares about. Right now, I am seeing someone who is opposite my gender which is something that she is comfortable with. If I were to pursue a relationship with a woman I am not sure I would tell her right away so that she could be more comfortable. She was worried about losing me and not being able to guide my life because I am here making my own decisions and she might not be comfortable with that.

I had a best friend in high school and her mom was the love of my life. She was such a positive person in my life that when I went back to Texas for Christmas and I started bawling when I saw her. But she is one of those people who don’t believe that bisexuality is a real thing. She says that you’re either one or the other and that being both is selfish. It hurts. She’s not in my life all the time or someone who is always around but she is someone that I admire so much. And to think that if I told her this she would say “No. Wrong. Incorrect” hurts.

There is more to people than what gender they are. Like their personality and what they believe and who they are. Keeping that to one gender seems limiting. If I met a person who was amazing, I wouldn’t care if they if they were male or female or whatever gender they identify as because personality reigns over all of that.

Barrett was really helpful in finding people that I relate to or people that have similar interests to me. I live in a building that is broken up into business majors and I met people who were in business and wanted to get into the arts and I met people who were from Texas and in business and wanted to get into the arts so it was really easy to hone in on a group of people who appreciated me and cared about me.

-Claudia, she/her, bisexual

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