Morgan Frierson, Kentucky
Queer to me encompasses bits and pieces of all identities/genders/attractions. It is a term that illustrates purposeful ambiguity in the spectrum of love. This ambiguity brings confidence and comfort. It is freeing.
When first coming out eleven years ago, I felt I had to identify as “one” sexuality, “one” gender, and following suit of this, play “one” role.
My identity has fluctuated as I learn more about myself and gain life experiences. Past relationships, literature, friendships, new environments, strangers, family, and self-reflection have all helped me be able to have a more solid idea of who I am today.
When I was 17, I honestly didn’t even really know the difference between many LGBTQ terms regarding gender or sexual preference. When I first came out in high school, I identified as bisexual. A year or so later, I identified as lesbian. I am still learning more everyday as a member of the LGBTQ community. I honestly think I am still growing and finding my place. I’ve FINALLY learned, (and feeling very at peace with) the idea that it IS okay to view identity as a lifelong process.
Continuous self exploration brings continuous enlightenment. Most recently, I’ve discovered/explored/questioned my gender.
I don’t necessarily feel I identify as female, but something in between and closer to the male gender. I tend to dress more masculine and my sexual/relationship preference is women.
If identifying myself, queer/gender fluid/lesbian feels right.
I am originally from Scranton, Penn. and I’ve lived in Bay City, Mich. as well. The majority of my life, though, I have lived in Louisville, Ky. I have been here about twenty years and I consider Louisville to be my home. This city definitely helped me to feel comfortable about coming out. I feel grateful to have grown up in a city where I believe the LGBTQ community members are embraced. There are of course still issues, but I do believe Louisville to be more queer-friendly than other cities in Kentucky.
Aside from Louisville friends and family, the city itself brings safe spaces, bars, and events to promote the community. Overall, Louisville has been a great place to start my identity in the LGBTQ community. I’m excited to see how much more this city will progress.
Having this luxury, I have never felt I have had to hide my partners, refrain from holding hands or showing affection to women I’ve dated publicly. In my younger years, I had basketball teammates and track teammates who were also unafraid at an early age to be themselves or come out in the Louisville scene. Seeing others do this successfully made me feel more encouraged to come out. My best friends at the time were amazingly supportive but also had been suspecting/waiting for me to tell them. And I could feel that from them.
Once I built up the courage for this conversation, it was certainly a relief but honestly not as difficult of a task as I know others have had to deal with. There were a few friends/acquaintances that sort of distanced themselves, but years later some of the same people came back to apologize that they didn’t understand at that time.
I think I felt the most fear in coming out to my parents. My mom was mostly concerned that she felt I had been “hiding” something from her. She felt more of a disappointment in me that I had waited so long to tell her. Luckily for me though, my parents quickly adapted to my sexuality.
I know that coming out stories don’t always go that way for some. With that being said, I whole-heartedly appreciate and love the ability of my parents to grow and expand their minds as I was also doing the same in understanding more about myself everyday. With their open approach, they now have reached the level where they sincerely want me to be happy with another woman.
Any effort, no matter how small, towards self-reflection should be considered a success in revealing yourself to you. I have come across people/friends/family who have been able to state their identity firmly and quickly. However, I do think there are plenty of people out there, including myself, who have a longer journey of self-exploration. You are not alone.
Do not deny your greatness for someone else. Do not let partners, strangers, friends, and family tell you that you have to be a certain way.
If dressing, acting, loving or just being a certain way is not what someone else agrees with, fuck em.
Do what makes you feel good. Follow your intuition. Be free. Don’t be afraid of personal change. Keep an open mind that is always accepting of new experiences, people, genders, love, and opportunities. You benefit others as well as yourself. Be patient throughout this process.
I feel like I have had to “come out” several times in life as I discover more about myself over the years. If your heart wants something or someone and it is not what you’re used to, go for it. If you are questioning your gender but someone doesn’t understand your reasoning, that’s okay. You figure out what works for you. Embrace that.