Bio not provided
I recently came out to my family as being genderqueer, and it's the most meaningful and brave act I've taken to date. Ever since I came to this conclusion about my gender, I've lived in a pool of anxiety where I knew I could never come out to my family and be accepted for who I am. So I was out among my friends and acquaintances, but when I came home, I'd put on the facade of being the "daughter" that they thought they had. And I was miserable. And I started pulling away from my family and avoiding them and making excuses for not calling, not coming to visit, not responding to their text messages.
I got depressed and anxious and afraid. I started getting panic attacks. I started struggling in my university classes.
Finally, with the help of therapy, medication, and a WONDERFUL amazing supportive network of friends and chosen family, I sent my parents, sisters, and grandma the letter that explained my identity and what I wanted from my family to be happy. And I knew that no matter what happened or how they reacted, I'd always be proud of myself for taking that step that I thought for years I'd never take because "they'd never be able to understand". And their first responses were predictably terrible, full of concern-trolling and denial. Two weeks later I went to my parents' house for an in-person conversation. I got a close friend of mine to come to Staten Island with me and wait outside in case the talk went really poorly and I needed to escape.
Amazingly enough--it went well! My parents still don't get what a non-binary gender is, but they're making the effort to call me by my chosen name, at least to my face, and they've passed on the information to my extended family, saving me the trouble of coming out. I am less anxious and happier than I've been in over a year and I'm recovering a range of emotion I didn't even know I was missing. A friend of mine says that "life rewards those who follow the path of greatest courage". I believe that. With all my heart. <3
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Whose Life is it Anyway?
@RebeccaDalmas This is such an important addition to Dan's post. Thank you for the addition! Even if you are on the large side of the numbers, you absolutely have agency and are a complete person with complete power to do anything you can. Even if you continue to struggle with eating disorder or addiction and have to remain on guard against relapse every day of your life, you can still overcome that struggle and live happily.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on The small side of the numbers
This has been beautiful and incredible--both the original post and the current one. I have become really cynical about religious people in general because so many of them are the kind of awful people who promote hate over love and violence over kindness. I'm still an atheist because I still believe that belief in the supernatural doesn't make sense, but I'm always happy to read about religious folks or theists who can promote love and kindness and friendship. The world is a better place because of you and because of all the brave people on pages 4-8. I love you.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Powerful Responses to ‘I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.’
@Plastic-Free Ericka Moderator Stony Brook University. To clarify, the department still exists, but it used to be much larger (and even had an entire separate campus in Southampton devoted to Sustainability Studies). Now it's operating out of a small office in the library on the main campus.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Meet Ericka, My New Intern!
Hey Ericka! Welcome to the blog; and congrats to Beth for having some help!
I look forward to seeing how the blog grows and changes now that there's two of you.
My university's Sustainability Studies department was one of the first things to get slashed in the most recent round of budget cuts, which is very disheartening, but I'm still trying to cut down on plastic wherever I can.