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Part of My Friend is Still in the Closet

Before coming to the university as a freshman, the only people in *Amy’s family that knew she was lesbian were her mom and sister. She didn’t tell her dad because she was scared of his reaction and because her mom told her not to say anything to him. Amy’s mom told her that she always knew her daughter was gay, and that she didn’t really think it was God’s plan, but she loved Amy either way.

My friend, Amy, considers herself someone who just goes with the flow. Which makes sense when you take into consideration how she met her first girlfriend — the two found love while drunk at a friend’s party.  

“I was just vibing with her a lot, so we exchanged numbers,” Amy said. 

Amy always kind of knew that she was gay, but the idea of being gay didn’t fully resonate with her until after meeting her girlfriend at the party. 

Eventually, the love fizzled and began her ‘coming out’ story to her family.

You must know, she only told her mom because she slipped up and let her emotions get the best of her. Her mom noticed that she was distraught and asked her what was wrong, instead of finding some excuse Amy just broke down and told her everything.

Amy was so afraid to tell her mother she was a lesbian that she actually wrote down on a piece of paper, “I don’t like guys, I like girls.”

She just wasn’t comfortable having the words bounce off of her lips and into her mother’s ears. She feared rejection like most of us do.  

With her true self out to at least one of her parents, she went on to the next chapter of her ‘coming out’ story in college. Once Amy was finally settled in at school, she just didn’t feel the need to let any of her suitemates know that she was gay. It’s not something she likes to just bring up in conversation, unless she’s asked about previous boyfriends or current guys that she talks to or hooks up with.  In which case she just responds, “I’m actually not into guys.”

When Amy first got to school she was really scared until she saw the first girl here at VCU that she thought was really cute. She was upset because she realized that meant she would have had to come out to all of her roommates and that was something she wasn’t ready for. Amy was really nervous about how they would react.

She says that when she’s about to tell someone she gets so scared she forgets how to form complete sentences.

“I usually don’t say it just to say it,” she said. 

Amy ended up telling one of her close friends at college that she was gay while walking home from a party. It was one of her really good friends, whom she had observed for some time up until this point, and figured she wouldn’t have any issue with her being lesbian. Amy waited for a response, but her friend didn’t even bat and eyelash. She didn’t care, and it didn’t change the way she felt about her friendship.

“I’m selective about who I tell in college, but this friend has a sister who is gay and she seemed open to it.” Amy said.

Amy tends to keep her sexual preference away from very conservative people and people who say offensive things like, “lesbians freak me out.” She once heard a group of her friends say this and she tensed up.

Amy said it’s weird that no one questions heterosexuality. It’s not like people walk around saying “Hi my name’s so-and-so and I’m heterosexual!” So why do people expect the LGBT community to walk around introducing themselves in this way? People almost get offended when you come out to them after knowing them for quite a while as if your obligated to let them know that your gay, lesbian or however else you identify. 

When asked why she doesn’t just say “I’m gay” instead of “I like girls”, Amy said she doesn’t like labels because they’re really restrictive and unnecessary. She also hates how when she says that she’s gay it’s a big deal. With her roommates, she experienced a change in the way her friends would talk to her once they knew that she was gay. 

They no longer make comments like, “I couldn’t live with someone who was gay.”

Amy found that refreshing, but at the same time she didn’t want them to feel like they had to change just because they now had one gay friend. She wanted them to change because what they were saying was hurtful and wrong. Luckily, she’s never surrounded herself with friends that do not accept her once they know she’s gay and she thanks the VCU community for that. However, there’s still something that all of us can take away form this story and that is to be mindful of the things that you say and do because we’re all afraid of something.

*Name has been changed 

Saiounia is a 20 year old Broadcast Journalism major studying at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her name is pronounced (Say-oh-knee-uhh). She is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Saiounia is a food junkie and loves adventure. In her spare time she can be found at local food festivals and family owned coffee shops.
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