Happy Coming Out Day!
A Paraphrased Queer Journey.
At age 10, I knew something was different to me than the other boys. By 14 I had some vocabulary to say at least, that I knew my gender did not match my body. I told my mother and my therapist… Guess how that turned out in the mid 1990’s…
At 17 I decided to come out as Gay, seemed logical, people perceived me as male, even if I don’t, but I enjoy guys more so I’ll come out as gay then (I had such a sheltered mormon upbringing that I still didn’t know what ‘Bi’ or ‘Pan’ was). Luckily my biological family had already ostracized me for questioning their faith and I had already been moved out of home, so I had minimal contact with them.
At 26 when I moved to Australia, I decided to start defending my identity more and came out as Bi, much to my friends multitude of ill jokes.
At 27, a relationship ended with me refusing to share my “secret” with my partner at the time (aka. me being trans), I was accused of many vicious things and I ended up homeless under a bridge in Melbourne CBD for 8 months till I got back on my feet and begin my life again from scratch. To this day, despite the traumas, I still think I made the right call to let myself choose when to come out. It wasn’t the first time and wasn’t the last time I was pressured to come out unwillingly.
At 28 I wanted to start exploring my gender identity more and “testing the waters” by changing my name to a gender neutral one, Taylor. With much disgust and dislike from my biological family even though my new legal name had more family connection in it.
At 29, I started volunteering in the fetish community, not only to learn more about my own body, but also to help foster safe spaces I could maybe come out of the trans closet some day.
At 31, I started my academic research work into sex & diversity. Primarily in the fetish of the Puppy Play Community. Which I still do to this day.
At 33, I said enough is enough to my biological family extreme religious bigotry and never saw or spoke to them again after a hurtful final Christmas dinner.
At 34, in 2020, during our pandemic lockdowns I reached a body and gender dysphoria boiling point and even though I didn’t know what to do next I had to trust that things will work out. I came out of the Transgender closet, I started using new pronouns while I work on what this journey means to me. Started using the name Ashley instead of Taylor to have a name unrelated to my biological family and I started HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
At 35 I started to openly identify the asexual part of my spectrum of sexualities I float between over time.
Much of this over time came as a surprise to a few, some that were waiting for me to come out and a lot of acceptance of those who stood by me through the tough times.
I am still learning what comes next, there is no master plan. But sometimes the story doesn’t end, there’s just another chapter.
Funniest part of coming out is the shocked or surprised look on faces of people who prior claim that they know me “so well” that they think they know me better than myself. Happens every time and is priceless 🤣