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Coming Out on National Coming Out Day

On October 11, 2021, I finally came out to my grandparents after years of fearing their response. It all started with my last HerCampus piece…

Ever since I started writing, I’ve sent my articles and papers to my grandparents. They’ll put them on the fridge or talk about them to all of their friends. It makes me feel seen and special, so I love it. I sent my most recent piece to them on October 11, 2021, about bisexual representation in the media. It was short and sweet, and I was, and still am, really proud of that piece; however, I completely forgot that I mention my own sexuality as a bisexual woman in the article.

In true Kattiah fashion, I joked about it. I triple texted. First, the article. A few minutes passed as I reread the piece. Then, I realized. Second, I sent “and a little announcement for you, Grama and Papa”. A few seconds later the third text: “happy national coming out day :)”. Then radio silence for four hours.

I went to my classes, sobbing, and started joking about being left out of the will in my Jewish Literature class. This is especially funny because my grandparents haven’t changed their will in 30 years. My dead uncle is still the beneficiary of it. During my Jewish Lit class, I text my Mama, and she says to call them after class. After what feels like hours, the time finally comes.

I’m walking out of my class shakily holding my phone, walking down the hall, and then out the back door. I mess up dialing a few times thinking this is likely going to go south very quickly. It rings and rings and rings and nothing. “Okay, they might not be home, let me try her cell,” I reassure myself. I am in disbelief. How could they all of a sudden hate me? The phone rings. Once. Twice. And then I hear the familiar song of my Grama’s voice utterly happy, “Hey Kattiah, I was just about to call you!” I am shocked: how can she be so happy?

For the next twenty minutes, I listen and talk as my Grama, one of my favorite people, repeatedly states how much she loves and supports me. She asks a few questions, especially regarding my current boyfriend, his thoughts (which he doesn’t mind, I just happen to have an attraction to all genders), and how long I’ve known. We finish the conversation with her stating I love you and I will never stop loving you no matter if you killed someone (yes, Grama did, in fact, say this, but with the discretion that she would hate the crime vehemently). 

Later, I had a short and sweet conversation with Papa, my favorite human, who had no questions and just wanted to say how much he loved me.  All in all, my grandparents had a surprisingly amazing reaction despite the little scare they put me through! They did not want to just text their love, they wanted to adjust to the news and to understand better before talking to me. 

I am a proud bisexual woman. This identity is important to me despite being in a “straight” relationship. I will never not be bisexual (yes, that is a double negative), but I am the same person I’ve always been. I love my family and their opinion matters to me, but in the end: I am queer and proud, I am strong and smart, and I’m not going anywhere.

Hi yall!! I'm Kattiah Richardson, I am currently a student at Michigan State University double majoring in both English and Women's and Gender Studies with a minor in LGBTQ+ Studies in the hopes of becoming a professor in the future! I'm a part of a ton of student organizations on campus: Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA), Pad the Mitten (PTM), Michigan State University Democrats (Dems), Spartans Empower Body Acceptance (SEBA), PP's Legislative Action Team (LAT), and, of course, Her Campus MSU. I also attend Hillel's and The Center for Survivors' events! I also love activism, reading, writing, dancing, and (badly) singing!
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