“I am my mom’s daughter in a lot of ways and she has always been very much ‘I am unapologetically who I am’”

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“I moved to Phoenix five years ago and my mom came out as gay. It happened at the same time that I was thinking ‘Okay, maybe I’m not straight either.’ So I guess I was lucky in that I had my mom who was also like “Yeah, I’m gay and it’s cool if you are too.”

“The most difficult part was my dad and I think he is still in the mindset of ‘it’s a phase’ and he thinks that I will marry a dude and it will be fine. Because Jamaica is an interesting case in that on paper is it progressive in terms of gender politics in that they have a lot of women in high ranking business and government positions- but it is still very sexist and there is a lot of rape culture and it is dangerous for women and even more dangerous for LGBT people across the spectrum. My family is caught in a weird place where my grandfather is an Indian who grew up in Jamaica and has very traditional Hindu values. And despite the fact that my family is pretty atheist and secular and in theory very liberal, in practice it is a little harder in terms of having gay relatives and being the gay cousin. So that was the harder part- coming out to that side of the family. But I got to a point where I was like ‘Fuck it! You guys aren’t going to like me anyway.”

“About the time I started coming out, my mom started dating my stepmom. My stepmom was this great presence in my life and she had a great sense of ‘I will always support you’ and ‘You can always confide in me’ and I naturally came out after that. Knowing that I had that support of my mom and my stepmom even if my dad wasn’t going to support me.”

“One of my aunts is actually gay and has been in a long-term relationship with her partner for my entire life. But it has always been this weird spot of tension where my dad’s family won’t acknowledge that their dating and that they have been in this very long romantic relationship.”

“I think coming out for me was a lot harder in terms of school and my dad than it ever was with my mom. I am my mom’s daughter in a lot of ways and she has always been very much ‘I am unapologetically who I am’” – she is a heavily tattooed lesbian with a Mexican wife and five multiracial children. She has had a lot of people giving her weird looks for a long time. She has always raised me with this attitude of ‘You need to unapologetically be who you are’ and that made it a lot easier- that knowledge of people have already stared at me and treated me differently because I grew up as a minority in mostly white spaces. I have large curly hair and I don’t look white. I guess I was already comfortable with being the odd man out and the person who is different- so it was just one more thing.”

“I always come out with memes. It’s a very consistent thing in my life. Which might actually be a phase- maybe I’ll stop coming out with memes at some point. That has been the weirdest thing- the process of coming out. I saw on twitter someone said that you don’t ever stop coming out and you are always continuously coming out to people. That was something that I’ve been experiencing more as I’ve started college. I think I have really started to experience that I don’t stop coming out to people. You meet new people and then there’s the question of when I am going to come out to them and at what point do I decide to come out to people. At one point last semester I came out to a friend when we were talking about Romeo and Juliet with Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes and I just said ‘Honestly, this plot is so ridiculous but it makes more sense to me this way because I’d be down to marry Claire Danes or Leonardo DiCaprio.’ and that was how I explained it.”

– Aryanna Chutkan, She/Her, Bisexual 

Twitter: @rosesaagar

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