COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE-Chloe.Meagan
My story is not a bright one. It is not filled with love and laughter, but more so that I was thrust into a dark abyss and had to slowly claw my way out. When I was young, I was raised in a very strict household that continuously strived for excellence. I did not have the ability to socialize until later in life, stunting my ability to refine my social skills. Due to this, I never even though about my sexuality or how I felt towards a specific gender as I did not care much for interacting with others.
When I was sixteen, I suffered a terrible loss. I lost myself, I lost my confidence and I lost my trust in friends. I was sixteen when I was sexually assaulted. I was sixteen when I lost my innocence, and I was sixteen when that friend caused for an artery to rupture internally. My family refused to bring me to the hospital until hours later, and once I did receive medical treatment, they refused a sexual assault kit. I had seventeen internal stitches and loss so much blood that if I were to have waited another hour, I wouldn’t be here typing this. For the next three weeks, I had a car parked outside of my house and school, people following me, phone calls at ridiculous hours of the night. On top of being sexually assault, I was stalked relentlessly and threatened.
I did go to the police. I made a statement, I went through my story multiple times. I gave away the clothing I wore that day and was brought down to the station. I relived my trauma and to counter, he fled the country. He fled and they dropped the case. There were no consequences for this friend, no justice served or retribution. Since then, I have dedicated my time to try and be a positive and strong role model. I want to be the face of someone who was sexually assaulted, treated with little respect, and still not be a victim. It doesn’t matter what gender or orientation you are inclined to, you are worth the world and no one has the right to taint that.
If you or someone you know has gone through a sexual assault, please hear me when I say that the best thing to do is to report it. It is terrifying, and I know my story doesn’t bring much hope, but if the legal system was better and more suited for the plaintiffs, we wouldn’t have as many cases like mine thrown out. If more people brought to light their struggles and opened the discussion, we might see an improvement in victim services.
This is where my “coming out” story begins. For years after this sexual assault, I dated men. I sought out males as a way to regain control of my life, but things never felt meant to be. I blamed the assault and trauma, continuously lying to myself and saying that I was emotionally stunted and something was wrong with me.
And then I met her. She was the sun in a cold tundra, a gust of fresh air in a life that had been filled with sorrow before. She made me want to go against every moral and virtue I had. I wanted to protect her, make her feel safe, have my arms be her home. I had never felt similarly about anyone I had even interacted with in the past. She was beautiful and terrifying to me. I came out as bisexual at the time, still considering that my past dating men tarnished my reputation as a lesbian. (Side not, it does not and whoever thinks it does needs to drink a real big glass of reality).
Things unfortunately did not work between her and I, mostly due to the fact that I was scared and had never experienced such strong feelings. I am a very guarded person who does not allow many people in, and it shook me to my core that she had managed to make me vulnerable in such a small amount of time.
Afterwards, it took a long time, kissing a ton of frogs and a very abusive relationship to realize that I would only ever be happy with a woman. I met her at a changing point in my life. I had started school again, moved to a new city, left the Canadian armed forces and was just healing from being mobility reduced (wheelchair bound for six months). She was confident, daring, aggressive and made me softer. I was sweet, and kind with her. I was naïve and innocent again, and she abused that. People don’t typically discuss emotional abuse because it’s much harder to identify, and there are no visible marks. Even to the victim, you don’t realize it until quite late most of the time. I loved her, and she made me hate myself. I cut my hair, changed my accent, changed the way I behaved. I wasn’t myself anymore. But what she took away from me, I regained tenfold when I left.
If anyone you know or even if you believe that you are in an abusive relationship, please don’t be scared to reach out for help. A quick google of your city’s support systems should definitely give you the appropriate phone numbers to start your healing process.
Having gone through such an intense relationship for a year made me realize that as much as the lows were awful and completely destroyed me, when we did have good times, I felt on top of the world. I was invincible, and safe. I had never come close to feeling similarly with a man, and that’s when it hit me. I had never pictured my life with a man, I had always wanted to watch my bride walk down the isle. When I saw girls kissing, I envied them. I was turned on by just the touch of a woman and couldn’t even fake intimacy with a man I was dating previously.
I am gay.
The past year has been an eye opening experience. I have always been more feminine mostly due to my upbringing and society’s standards as to how someone with an hourglass body should dress. I never was allowed to explore a style that I do associate with a lot more than when I dressfeminine, and also that femmes are not taken seriously in the lgbtq community. I personally believe that the queer and gay communities have no place in judging anyone, and that they should be accepting regardless of style or what you associate with. It is very sad because I can say without a shadow of a doubt that not all communities are as such, especially not the city in Ontario, Canada that I live in. I hope that one day the gap between the queer community and the lesbian/gay community will be closed and that we can all be supportive of one another.
Coming out as gay, there was a lot of backlash and sexual harassment. I do not used the word Lesbian, but Gay, as I find that the term lesbian has been sexualized to the point where I can’t use it anymore without being bombarded with questions that you wouldn’t just ask any random person. Our society has taught us that prying into lesbian relationship and fantasizing about them is fine, and it is not. I have decided to associate with gay as to me it signifies homosexuality more so than a fetishized ideology. I lost some friends, had a lot of people not believe me due to my past, was disowned by a side of my family, was assaulted on multiple occasions while out at gay events and have been pushed out of my own community. However, there are so many wonderful things that have come from being myself. My sixteen year old sister was comfortable enough to come out as bisexual, and I have met the most amazing and supportive best friend I could ask for who allows me to explore different sides of myself that I never had the chance to. I started an Instagram account mid-december 2016 and managed to meet absolutely incredible followers and receive phenomenal support. I feel more at home in my body, and I would never go back to the person I was just because it would be easier.
Never be scared to live the life you want. It’s your life, and no one has the right to dictate how you should go about it. Be happy and have the freedom to be yourself.