Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Minimalism: How Many Is Too Many Books?

I saw someone online mention that her favorite color as a kid was "rainbow," and now it's "galaxy." So I guess she just added black. I mentioned that I had my Lesbrary arranged by color, in one big rainbow, and that it looked beautiful and she should try it. "No," she protested, "I have thousands of books. I couldn't find anything!"
That's a lot of books. And I can understand it too. Books are especially hard to get rid of. They contain stories or information that you're afraid you'll need or want someday. But if you're anything like me, too many books can be overwhelming. More than with things or clothes, my books function in my mind as a "to-do" list. They "expect" to be read, and I feel bad for them when they're not.

I don't really buy stuff anymore. I go online and buy cheap books. They take almost a month to get to me, but the price is right. I have to really want it, to pay more than four dollars for a book.
My goal used to be to have a majority of LGBT-themed books in my library (mostly nonfiction), and I did not feel at ease until I managed it. If I was going to be a minority in society, having to go to work and see hundreds of straight couples over a tax season, I wanted my books to be majority gay. I would never have thought of getting rid of even one gay book. If society collapsed or we lost power or I didn't have spending money, I wanted access to many gay books.
But now the majority of my books are homosexual, and a few are transgender. (Yes, I think of books as attracted to other books or transitioning to other genders. Some people name and assign genders to their phones and computers, I do this. It's just for fun.) But joking aside, most of my books are about LGBT subjects. I try to avoid books about discrimination and violence, though. I want books that are positive, helpful, and gay.
But now I get rid of LGBT books. Just the ones that I don't like or that I don't want to read again. I'm able to get rid of LGBT books, because I have so many other LGBT books. This is what happens when you have enough of your favorite category of books. You become more comfortable letting go of the boring or less helpful ones, because you have plenty of others.
I have about 150 to 175 books at any one time, though I am always getting new ones and getting rid of old ones, so it's hard to keep track. I used to think I wanted thousands of books, but now I have plenty of my favorite categories, so I don't need that many.
I've also realized that I would rather read my favorite stories over and over, like Timekeeper by Tara Sim and Dreadnought by April Daniels, than to read something new but boring. So the boring fiction goes. Sometimes I don't even finish it. I don't have to keep things just because they are LGBT fiction. It has to have something more also, like science fiction or fantasy themes.
 And I've learned that you become faster at getting rid of books, when you have other books that you love. When you have your own idea of enough favorite books, you become more comfortable throwing out the others. You also become better at realizing quickly that you don't like a book. (I used to write down the books I got rid of, to make it easier to find them if I wanted them back. I don't feel I have to do that very much now, but this idea can help you start to part with your less-favorite books.)

You don't need stuff when you have enough books that you love. Shopping would take money away from books, and you can't read clothes. I wonder how many people shop because they're bored--because they don't have their favorite topic as intellectual stimulation.
So many people think that they have to have a variety of different topics, in order to have an interesting library or to keep their own interest. But there is so much variety of subjects within any given category. And some people are "divers," meaning that they want to know all they can about one topic, before they can move on--if they ever lose interest in the first place. (This idea comes from Barbara Sher's I Can Do Anything (If Only I Knew What It Was)). You may need most of your library to be on one topic, not many!
I think being a "diver" is more common than most people realize. For me, my diving subject is LGBT studies. For my mom, it's natural health, and natural health for animals. I once asked her why she didn't want books that were more fun. She said that reading about health, for her, was fun.
For my dad, it's guns and knives and other things having to do with survival in the woods or in/after any apocalypse. Both my parents have had books on these subjects ever since I can remember, and both of them now also read extensively online about their chosen subject. This may be where I get my obsessiveness from, but this is also what makes me happy--focusing on one thing for years or more at a time.
And it may be the same way with you. What is your passion with regard to books and learning? What is the one book you've been most excited to come across in your life--and what did it talk about? Thinking about this may actually change your life. It has for me.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

LGBT: How To Stop The Hurtful/Religious Voices

I am reading a great book, Loving Someone Gay by Don Clark. Written in 1977, the only things that seem outdated in it are the legal restrictions and (some of) the general lack of support for LGBT rights and even safety. He even has an entire chapter devoted to what is good, specifically, about being gay.
But in every book which tries to provide an overview of gay life, there is extensive mention of violence, discrimination, and religious abuse. It's great for ignorant straight people to know about these things, but I hate being reminded of them. I try to make everything I write positive or helpful, and I want everything I read to be the same way.
Every time I read of violence and lack of legal rights and protections, or even sometimes when I'm not reading anything at all, I hear all the hurtful things that have been said about LGBT people in general, or to me in particular, back when I liked to talk to people online. They are mostly religious in nature, for me. It's the idea that, after all my years of effort at being a good Christian, now I suddenly don't love God and never have, that hurts me the most.

And though I didn't come out to him yet, I talked to my homophobic uncle on the phone the other day, mentioning that I was afraid of him as a child (which is very much true). He shocked me when he said, "I'm sorry you were afraid of me...I wouldn't hurt you for the world." That meant a lot to me. There is a lot more than sexuality, that has been left unsaid over the years, but if he keeps this up, I'm going to talk to him when I call my grandparents (he lives with them) and slowly reveal more and more of myself.
Since talking to him, the tone of the "hurtful voices" inside my head (though they are not auditory illusions, just hurtful thoughts that I have to struggle through) have changed. It used to be his voice, primarily, that would hurt. Now it's others, strangers and preachers who just don't care whom they hurt. All of them are still religious.

And I'm not sure if this is a good change or a bad one. But I find it interesting that there are always hurtful voices ready to rush into my mind. I take out one, or nearly all of one, and the others fill his place.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore. "Stop!" I said aloud. "Stop hurting me!"
And they quieted. The religious arguments against something I didn't choose, didn't go away completely, but I got a little bit of a respite. But I don't like that I had to say, "Stop hurting me," to myself. Especially after all the effort I put into affirmations and self-love.
People try to tell me, and themselves, that their hurting me is right. That it is from God. But they're not in my life. I've done everything I could to eradicate them all. So why are their ghosts still here?

Hurtful words always echo. You can speak directly to the echoes ("Stop it! Stop hurting me!") or you can try to silence them with self-love ("I love myself. I'm a happy gay person.") Sometimes your self-love can be louder than the echoes, other times you have to more directly silence them.

I used to give in to the urge to argue with myself, thinking that I would be ready if someone challenged me, and that that was the way to silence the "voices" that told me I was sinning just by liking myself as I was, and not loathing myself enough for something that I didn't choose.
But the thing is, after a long time, I was still arguing with myself. The voices just kept coming, sometimes the same arguments over and over. It was so tiring. I made a solid argument in favor of my happiness and well-being, and it wasn't enough. I was still struggling. I got the impression that if I was the only person left in the world, I would still be struggling with homophobic voices.
So I started saying to myself, "I'm having trouble with this," and trying to let the toxic voices just float through my head like water in a stream, washing itself away. My mom had told me years ago that it helped her to relax for sleep if she tried not to "grab onto" the thoughts in her head, just let them float through. I tried to use this technique to relax for life. I pictured myself tying them onto an imaginary balloon, and letting go up, up, and away.
And sometimes it helps, though I find that I need a variety of techniques to combat the negativity. What works one moment, won't work the next.
Typing up my arguments also sometimes helps, though I don't want to publish them, because I want what I write to be positive, not defensive or negative. And I certainly don't want to trigger anyone else's hurtful voices. Or give the impression to future (homophobic) readers that I'm up for a debate about my right to live and be happy.
But if you don't overdue it, sometimes it helps to type up your arguments, in an effort to get them out of your head.

I have never seen any kind of LGBT material devoted to stopping the homophobic, often religious voices in your own head. And yet that is what I struggle with the most. I don't struggle with my own thoughts of me being worthless--I struggle with other people's thoughts of me being worthless, or wicked, or deceived.

So I hope this has helped people like me. In summary:

1) Tell those voices, whether they're hateful or well-meaning, to stop hurting you.

2) Focus on loving yourself, and speaking lovingly to yourself, in general.

3) Acknowledge that you are struggling, and let the negative thoughts drift away into the clouds. Don't "grab onto" them.

4) Type up your arguments, if nothing else works, to get them out of your head.

5) Again, love yourself. Be easy on yourself, because it takes a long time to get over religious abuse. Love yourself even in the struggle.

I hope this helps anyone struggling with unhappiness, whether LGBT or not. Be kind to yourselves. You deserve it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bi Talk With My Little Brother

My "little brother" (the druggie neighbor's baby that my family and I raised) wanted more pants to wear to school, so my mom got him some really stylish women's pants. (He does not know what section of the store they came from.) They're pink and purple, but we're calling them red and blue, because his biological dad, whom he lives with at least half the time,  isn't very enlightened, and we don't want Cody to be ashamed. He loves his new pants! He also wants tennis shoes that are hot pink and black.
I think he would dress a lot more feminine and artistic if he could, at his house.
A few weeks ago we had a great conversation, while I was picking him up, about a kid who in his class who said he was bisexual, and dating a girl, but "called her a boy," as Sam put it.
I asked him if he knew I was bisexual, and he quickly said, "Yeah, and I don't mean anything against it..." I told him I knew that, and asked him not to tell his biological family because I don't know if they will let him come over if they know. He said he didn't tell anyone. I told him I didn't care, as long as he didn't tell his other family.
I also said that especially at that age, people might still be figuring out their gender or who they like. (He's 13.) Maybe the "girl" was actually a trans boy, or still figuring it out?
I don't know what Cody's clothing choices mean, but I was surprised that he brought up the bisexual boy, and I think this means he knows he can talk to me about important things like gender and sexuality.
He always likes to talk to me, when I'm driving him places! :)
It was a really heartwarming conversation, and I hope he can just be himself, whatever he is (if "he" is accurate), as he gets older.

He once described being gay as "It's just another personality." He was about ten at the time. It was very cute. All of this makes me wonder if we will make even more social progress, as both his and my generation (I'm twelve years older than him) get older. I don't doubt that there is probably some homophobic bullying in his small rural middle school, but I have also seen a rainbow heart sign in someone's front yard, in the tiny little town where he has his school and we have our post office box. The future is bleak--but it is also bright.

Did I "Wish" Myself Gay?

 (I use the term "gay" loosely, since I am technically bisexual, but I don't completely like that word, because I wonder if being with a man will make me wish I wasn't "missing out." I often think of "gay" as all but the T in LGBT.)

I always knew that other girls were different than me, and I always wondered what was wrong with them.

Now I am really excited that I get to be gay. I find myself literally thinking, "I can't believe I get to be gay! I get to kiss and be with a girl someday! This is awesome!"
But the thing is...if I am so excited that I "get to" be gay, doesn't that mean that I secretly wished I was gay all along? And if I secretly wished I was gay all along, doesn't that mean that I actually was gay, and was actually wishing that I could be with a girl?
I remember my mom recounting to me a survival show that she watched with my dad, because he likes them, and that's how they spend time together. (I know this is a second-hand account, but I can't be bothered to try to look up the show or the clip.) The man who was alone in the wilderness started complaining about women rejecting him and breaking his heart. "I wish I could be gay!" he exclaimed mournfully. "But alas, I am not gay!"
And it makes me wonder, why does he wish he was gay? To be with men? Well, I've got good news for you, buddy! You're at least bisexual! :)
I've also got bad news: Men might be just as shitty as women.(Hint hint: You're a man--right? Are you sure you didn't give them a good reason to leave you?) Don't be sexist.

And it amazes me how many people still assume I want a man, even after I've discovered this part of myself. I guess they didn't get the memo. My mom says I don't give off "gay vibes" even at work among the conservatives, but in my mind, I walk through the world like a bull dyke. I already have a low voice and big, heavy feet. And I like my feet. Sometimes I even like my voice, except when it gets tired at work and cracks.
Do they think I am just clueless about makeup, too clueless to put any on? I sometimes wonder if my coworkers just think I'm a simpleton about being a traditional girl. Or maybe the receptionist, who is the most vocally conservative, thinks I don't believe makeup is modest enough to please God. I'm honestly surprised that old woman wears pants, even though she sometimes wears long skirts too.

Looking back, there are some things that probably should have given me a clue about my bisexuality. My jokes in church youth group about flirting with other girls. My grandmother calling me, "You little gay thing, you," when I joked about it with my family. Thinking that maybe someday, if I lost my husband, it might be fun to be an old lesbian feminist in a hippie commune. Thinking that stuff like that was just feminist sisterhood. Thinking it felt strange, the thought of being "the woman" in a relationship with a man--and sometimes it even felt strange to think of being with a man.
My body fooled me, because my feelings towards other girls didn't "feel" sexual, because it felt different than my feelings towards boys. It still does. It seems it took a while for the sexual feelings to catch up. Maybe I was just repressing something.
I have two different feelings, for two different binary genders, but that doesn't make either one less real or intense. I don't know if it means that I only feel romantic towards one gender or the other, or if it means something else. Or if it means anything at all. But I think it would be a shame, if I fell in love with a man, and then that was it--my chances of dating a woman would then drop to zero. And I do like some guys, sometimes very much. But how to tell a guy that he is not enough, or that he eventually won't be?
Dating a woman is on my bucket list. Because I can do that now! And I never realized, before three years ago, that I really, really wanted that. I wanted that chance. And now I have it.

I thought of my feelings for women as "sensual," and because I was distracted by boys, I didn't realize that I could be girl-crazy too. Now I'm in love with everybody, and since I'm an introvert and a very lazy dater, I'm not acting on any of it. Maybe after tax season, when I don't have to worry about learning my new job anymore.
It's a strange feeling, to stumble on something you never knew you wanted. I try to have a loose grip on my expectations of the future, because of the huge rainbow turn my life has taken. What else don't I know? It's like I'm at the mercy capricious, gay gods, who are laughing at me.
I love it, though. LGBT stuff provides endless learning, and through learning about others' lives and perspectives, I hope to learn more about myself. It's endlessly fascinating, and I never get tired of it. When I can resist the urge to argue with the homophobic thoughts that pop into my head, and just focus on good things--or deal with the grief that comes up, so that I can move on--I think it's really awesome to be gay.
Someday I'll know what comedian Wanda Sykes is talking about when she says, "Pussy makes you do crazy things." Someday I'll share my life with another crazy old cat lady--who isn't my mom. Somebody attractive. (My mom got really mad when I once used the phrase, "Like you, but attractive." Even though my mom and I share the same sense of humor, and almost all the same values, I'm afraid she has pretty much turned me off to curly hair or big boobs on skinny people. I don't want to think of my mom when kissing someone.)
Someday I can have an awesome life, centered mostly around women. My life is already more awesome than it was when I thought I was straight. It's like I wished for this all along.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hello Again, And My Life Now

Hello, everyone. I know it's been a while since I've posted, but my new job as a tax preparer has been very trying emotionally, at least for me. It is the first job I have ever had that was "professional" in some capacity, and it involves both the IRS and other people's money. I couldn't even think of writing anything, before.
My nervousness is getting better, because my boss seems nice, and I am sort of used to dealing with clients now, though I still am sometimes afraid of looking incompetent or not knowing what to say to their questions.
I write sporadically, especially during tax season or other trying times. This is something I do for my hobby. I hope that everyone understands that even though I sometimes can't write, that doesn't mean that I've given up on my blog.

Every day now, my mom drops me off in her old van. I leave the queer books I've been reading on the way down, in the van, and take my "straight" books with me to read at lunch. I really love my Lesbrary, stocked carefully from books ordered online. This job even lets me order more than I would otherwise. But bringing them in might start a conversation that I'm not ready to have, especially with the conservative receptionist.
My mom calls me her favorite fruit, and reassures me that I don't give off "gay vibes," as I thought I did. I try to remember how straight girls act, from the time I thought I was one. But did I ever really know how straight girls acted? I always knew the other girls were different than me, and always wondered what was wrong with them.
My mom says that, unless I am attracted to someone in the office, I have nothing to worry about. Thankfully, the sign waver, a local celebrity, is a guy. He is attractive in a "dirty hippie" type way. And he is terribly nice to everyone. Probably an extrovert, when I am an introvert, but he could just go socialize without me. He seems to want to socialize with me, though, which I don't mind. He doesn't seem to smile at others in the office, as much as he smiles at me.
The conservative receptionist thinks I'm as religious as she is, because I was homeschooled. I assume she thinks that includes homophobia. Right now I just want to worry about learning my job, rather than correcting her.
She is one of the most materialistic people I have ever met. She literally gushes over any expensive-looking car in the parking lot, or if a client is dressed to show off wealth. This is just typical of conservatives, that I have met. And that I'm related to.

I just want comfortable clothes that I like, and a reliable car. If you have those things, you are already in a position to count your blessings. I have both those things, and I know how blessed I am.
I love my twenty-seven-year-old, hand-me-down car. I love all of my clothes, most of them bought at a thrift shop, when I was shopping probably too much. I have a lot of clothes, but I don't have any desire to buy any more. (At least, not ready-made clothes. I may make some clothes, or let my mother help me make them, because I like to be creative. But then I am very particular. I don't care about designer clothing.)

It feels good to write again, even if it is about little bits of this and that. I may do it some more, maybe even between now and the end of tax season. But it may be sporadic. I don't do well on regular writing schedules, and I think that should be considered okay by society, if it isn't already. So thank you for bearing with me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Religion: Random Thoughts, And Dismantling The Bars In Your Mind

I hate driving past Christian billboards. I hate seeing churches. And I can't stand those little wooden crosses around town with the words "Only Jesus Saves" spelled out on them.
My old Christian self would love them. But now they are just painful reminders of bad times.
Long before I knew I was bisexual, I knew I was not a good enough Christian. And that I would never be, no matter what I did. No matter how hard I tried.
And by "good enough," I don't mean perfect. I just mean good enough.
I always knew, deep down, that I secretly wanted to rebel, to just be free of all these rules and fears about whether that book, song, or movie was bad or good, or the constant obsession over controlling my very thoughts.
People say that atheists and non-Christians just want to sin. And that's not true. I just want to relax and be happy. I just want to enjoy my life. I just want to worry only about whether my actions hurt others or not. (And people say, "Why have morality, when you don't have God?" And to that I say, "Why NOT have morality?!" Society and life in general is so much better with it, don't you think? And isn't that reason enough? It should be.)

I once heard a pastor ask, "Can you even take one breath without sinning?" And I felt like I couldn't. I was walking, breathing, living sin. And this was when I was trying so hard to be a good Christian, that I couldn't sleep at night because I was too afraid of the thoughts I would think if I let go and relaxed. I could be literally lying there and doing nothing, and still sinning. I could literally be drifting off to sleep, and have to rouse myself to beg for forgiveness.

The prayer and bible study were bad enough, but they were nothing compared to the constant mind-prayer and self-policing of my thoughts. Reading the bible was a chore I got tired of, and felt bad about. But the prayer never really stopped. Imaging an introvert trying to constantly maintain a one-sided conversation. It could drive one insane.
I begged God constantly to help me do better. And when I felt like I was finally doing good enough, I wondered why I couldn't maintain that all the time, and the thought of trying exhausted me. I hated my life.
I even felt guilty for feeling guilty. Supposedly God was enough, and I had to be easy on myself because I could never be perfect. But then Christian leaders would talk out both sides of their mouths, as they had a minimum standard you had to meet, if you really loved God. Prayer, bible study, and thought-policing--the basic, bare minimum Christian level--even that was enormously difficult for me to maintain! And that was without going to church. I knew I "should," but could never find a good one, or the thought of it would be exhausting and stressful.
I begged God to show me he was real, so that I could continue to believe in him. And in spite of that, I sensed my grip on my own Christianity slowly slipping away. It seemed so cruel, when I would supposedly go to hell for not believing, and God was not making it possible for me to believe.  (I could no longer "make" myself believe, or make myself act like I did, go through the motions hoping that it would "catch" and come naturally to me once more.) God was sending me to hell on purpose, and I was livid.

Now I hardly think about these things. But my thirteen-year-old self is still a part of me, and so I find myself still constantly wondering if I'm doing something wrong. At my new job especially, my first professional job as a tax preparer, I've discovered that I'm still feeling like I'm constantly sinning, only now I'm replacing sinning with "messing up someone's taxes," and God with my boss. But somehow, the consequences still feel eternal!

The thing about being a Christian is, someone is always judging you. And I don't mean the ultimate Someone, although that is always used against you--I mean there's always someone here on earth that tells you you're doing something wrong. If you wear pants as a girl, someone will call your salvation into question just because you're not wearing an ankle-length skirt. And I never wore ankle-length skirts, or any skirts, because they were always associated in my mind with particularly cult-like elements. I was judging those elements, and I still do, because...well, they're cults. Their female members especially have to give up so much of what makes them their own unique persons, just to be good enough for God. And their husbands.
And this, what one wears, is just one example in a sea of debates that about things so small, but that are all made to be larger than life. Is this movie, that book, this song--is it worldly or demonic? How can one tel? It's either, "Don't be so worldly!" or "Don't be so legalistic!"
And I didn't know which one to tell myself.

I have trouble deciding what exactly to call myself with my own sexuality, and I also have trouble when it comes to religion. All I know is that I'm not straight, and I'm not evangelical. And I'm never going to try to be either one ever again. I want to be happy.

It's like I knew all along, deep down, that if I let up on myself even for one minute, I was going to mentally bolt for freedom, make a mad dash away from Christianity and choose happiness over God. And as much as I tried to deny it, I knew that that was my only choice. That I couldn't have both.

Now I do what I want, and then feel guilty about it. But it's better than it was, for a long time. And the more I'm aware of my guilt, the better I feel, and the easier I am on myself.
Someday, I hope it will be even better.

The thing about religion is, everything that feels good is wrong. Masturbation is wrong, because it feels good, and you can only feel that good with the church's authorization. Music that you can actually dance to is wrong, because again, it makes your body feel good, without God or religion. Even thinking rebellious thoughts, even dreaming of freedom, is wrong. And anything that feels too good and brings too much pleasure is an idol. Even if you would otherwise be allowed to do it. If it feels good, it's wrong.

I got free. And I hope everyone eventually gets free. But the work comes in dismantling or escaping the prison inside your own mind. And sometimes it's hard to even know it's there. But acknowledging and seeing the bars makes it easier to stop banging against them, and try to go around them.

LGBT: Which Is Harder--Coming Out, Or Getting Your Driver's License?

Years ago, I did not have my driver's license, and I wanted nothing more in the world than to have it. I just wanted to be done with the driving tests, for the rest of my life, hopefully. The thought of trying to get it terrified me. But I knew I could not be happy until I was at least trying to get it.
I finally realized that I could do the driving test, and secretly think of it as a "practice" test. I was just practicing. It didn't take away my panic, but it was something. It was something, at least.

Now I feel the same way about coming out to my mother's family. I can't be happy until I do. At least, I can't be completely happy. And I also can't be completely happy until I tell the uncle who emotionally abused me as child, that what he did affected me. This is what I obsess over now. And no matter what my mother says, I can't stop. I think about it every day, and I feel miserable until there is some kind of plan of action.
My anxiety prevented me from getting my license for a long time. But there are more factors than my anxiety that complicate my plans here.

One is that my mom has mixed feelings about me coming out, and I feel like I need her support.

Another factor is that I don't know how my grandfather will take it. But I sometimes feel like I will grieve him no matter what I do--that even though he is always so happy to see me, that he secretly worries and obsesses over my salvation because I don't go to church. I feel like I'll never be Christian enough for him.
So why not just come out?

Another factor that keeps me up at night is that I don't know exactly how to say that I'm not straight. I use "gay" in my everyday life to refer to all but the "TQ" in "LGBTQ," basically, but other people think of it differently. I suppose I am technically bisexual, but I don't like the term bisexual, because it implies that I can just marry a man and be happy, even though I would feel that I was missing out on at least kissing another woman or two. And I don't like the term lesbian/gay, because that implies that I don't like men at all. So I use "gay," even though it's an umbrella term in my mind. It makes it easier, especially, when my own sexuality is so unpredictable even to me.
But how to explain all of this, when my uncle especially will probably just assume whatever he wants? And I don't want to get into these complicated explanations with them, anyway. They wouldn't understand, and might use it to say that I'm really straight, which I know isn't true.
So do I say gay, or bisexual? Gay would imply that it's not a choice, which it isn't (being bisexual/not straight), at least for me. But bisexual might give my grandfather hope that I'll marry a man, which could ease his transition into accepting my non-straightness. Would bisexual give them "permission" to deny my gay side? It is just as important as my straight side, and I don't want them to refuse to see the real me. As much as this makes my uncle right about LGBTQ I have to "flaunt it" until they get the message? :)

And if my grandfather has a good enough memory, I am out to him. He once used the word "husband" to talk about my future, and I replied using the phrase "husband or wife." Boy, was he shocked! "You need a husband, not a wife, baby," he said. I let it go at that, for now. Perhaps I'll use that phrase again sometime. Perhaps I won't. I have to play it by ear whenever I see my family.

And finally, there is the fact that there are so many ways to come out, and I have no idea which one would be best. I have no idea what I want my coming out story to be. If this is the story I will tell for the rest of my life, if the occasion arises, what kind of story do I want to tell? I really don't know. Not at this point.

It feels good to admit that I obsess over this. I obsess over both coming out, and "coming out" as affected by my uncle's mistreatment. Sometimes they both seem equally daunting, and other times, the emotional abuse seems harder to bring up or acknowledge. But I know I won't truly be happy until I do both.
I feel like I shouldn't obsess over this unless I'm going to do it tomorrow. And that's exactly how I felt about my license. But the thing about obsessing is, I can't stop doing it. So maybe I should just acknowledge that I do it, and embrace the obsession rather than fighting it. If I had done that before, would it have been easier to get my driver's license? I guess I'll never know.
I keep trying to think of ways to drop my gayness into conversation, but it seems impossible. I am still getting used to talking and joking about my bisexuality with my completely supportive mother. When my first instinct is to hide it, not talk about it, rarely mention it--then how much of mentioning it is natural, and how much is forced into the conversation? I have no idea, so I just keep trying to be natural, trying to get more comfortable being more of myself. My voice still strains or cracks a little when mentioning my bisexuality "casually," so I have to practice.
And this is with my mom who says affectionately that I'm her favorite fruit. So I guess I've got to practice more.

I obsess, but it scares me. Just like with my license.
And even though coming out casually would be ideal for me, I don't know if that's possible. And I don't really know what the solution here is--not yet. But talking about my obsession really helps me feel better about it. Maybe I should just focus on accepting myself as obsessed, rather than trying to change.