Stories about: coming out

I grew up as two things: a closeted queer and a closeted Justin Bieber fan. Just like any other girl in my year seven English class, I was writing ‘JB’ over and over again in my notebooks with big love hearts.  I couldn’t care less if Justin Bieber had a girlfriend, or if the paparazzi …

Content warning: this article discusses depression.    In 2015, I forgot who I was. Like a reverse Wizard of Oz, the world suddenly went from vibrant colour to black and white. I felt as though there was a storm cloud behind my shoulder. Joy was being sucked out of my every move.  Depression wasn’t a …

My hairdresser says there’s a different kind of freedom from living out of home, and I finally understand what he means. Since moving out, I’ve recognised a part of my identity that’s come as a surprise for me. Even though I’ve been attending queer book events at the library, and have two copies of Guidebook …

Content note: This article includes mention of sexual assault.   “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” I heard this, ad nauseum, over and over after my relationship of nearly three years came to a crashing halt.  I’d never been through a separation before and was already sick of …

“Hello, welcome!” said Loona Teek, a pastel pink-haired queen wearing a tight vintage dress and a wide, purple lipstick smile as she swept us into a bar in Haebangcheon. At first glance it looked like most Korean dive bars. A rickety old wooden staircase led to a tiny basement, where mismatched chairs were strewn across …

In 2019, I managed to get myself out of a situation that was onerous but not uncommon. It involved a man who I thought was the love of my life. I knew many individuals to exhibit the traits he displayed throughout our relationship. However, I was unaware of just how typical my experience was for …

It’s a familiar story: the casual coming out. A discussion over drinks with friends. The reactions from family when you tell them. Trying to explain to a potential partner that you have a label for how you experience sexual attraction, and how you identify as a result. But the coming out story for demisexuals tends …

Nevo Zisin is a Jewish, Queer, non-binary activist, public speaker and writer. They run gender inclusivity workshops in schools, workplaces, and in their local Jewish community. Nevo previously authored Finding Nevo, a poignant memoir on the experience of gender transitioning.   In the opening pages of The Pronoun Lowdown, you say: “I realised that I was …

Growing up in an Islamic household, I had no clue what sexuality entailed.  Love wasn’t really about love – it was about making your parents happy. My grandmother’s desire was for my mother to have an arranged marriage, and so my mother dutifully complied. All I knew about love was that it occurred within a …

Blends of blues and greens shimmered back up at me from the palm of my hand. Lightly brushing sand off little pearlescent jewels, I looked into what was very recently a home for a little saltwater friend, but was now lying in the company of many other colours and shapes. Every trip to the beach …

I am a graduate teacher just about to enter the workforce. I have my values and pedagogy set, I want to prioritise a creative English classroom with a focus on student agency and encouraging a safe environment. Many experienced teachers may groan at how idealistic I sound, but I feel as though it’s good to …

It’s been ten years since I finished school. A decade since I definitively declared “School’s out for summer, school’s out forever”. Between that day, the beginning of the rest of my life, and now, I came out. Returning to my Catholic high school in Sydney’s inner west to see what had changed, I expected better …

What does it mean to come out as asexual? What does it mean to identify as something that is essentially an absence? This is what I am thinking about, seven years into a happy straight-passing relationship with a cis-het man. It would be easy to continue in this relationship without coming out: just go on, …

It took me 25 years to come out the first time. I didn’t consciously know I was queer for a long time, so it didn’t really feel like I was ‘holding it in’ until I finally came out and thought, “wow, where’s that weird sense of indefinable tension that I’ve been carrying around for literally …

In 1998 I rode with the Dykes on Bikes at the Brisbane Pride March. I had just got my bike licence and riding in the parade had been a dream of mine for many years. I had a pissy little Virago 250 and it was dusty and scratched up. I was nervous about how big …

During the marriage postal survey, I was drowning in a sea of talk about relationship coupledom and romance. Even in my poly subcultures, I often struggle to relate to the competitive search and play for multiple catches in the little dating pool. Queerness is often imagined as existing through coupledom. When I was first trying …

There are several problems with being a writer: one is that you’re convinced everyone cares about what you have to say, and another is that even if your opinion or situation changes, your words are there on the internet, available for anyone to read or find when they Google your name. Around three years ago, …

Television is America. America is sex. And sex, of course, is the biggest sin of them all. Those were the reasons my parents gave me for prohibiting the viewing of Sesame Street in our home. I was raised in the church by my ultra-Greek Orthodox parents, and I remember from a young age feeling at …

Smug. That is how I felt in my marriage. I was almost 36 when Paul and I met randomly at a bar in Brisbane. I figured that I must have applied the right amount of patience and discernment, because the alchemy of my relationship with Paul had resulted in a near perfect mix of respect, …

My very first images of masculinity and femininity came from the pictures that hung in my family’s prayer area, inside a small hallway closet with doors that opened like an accordion. Inside I saw gods and goddesses, either balanced on one leg in a dance pose, or standing with their palms together in prayer. At six …

It’s been eight years since I first kissed a boy, and two since gender loosened its grip on me, yet I never came out to my father. I’ve made my peace with never coming out to him, or the rest of my extended family, for that matter. For someone straddling two cultures, this is a …

This story was first published on Staying Negative, a website that aims to emotionally engage and inspire gay/bisexual men, including trans men, through the sharing of personal stories. I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. When I was a few months old, my mum found out that I couldn’t hear anything when she …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity