Molly's Coming Out Story"Coming out is never ending and I encourage you all to never stop the fight"
All my life, I have challenged things that were taught to me. I was taught to discuss crushes and I was told monogamy was the only thing. I was taught that one day I’d get married to a man and have kids and a house with a big family.
As a white-passing biracial (black) woman, I grew into understanding my blackness from lessons my father taught my siblings and me, micro-aggressive behaviours from others, and racism ingrained in those surrounding me. Impostor syndrome is something I’ve experienced both with my racial identity and my sexual orientation. I grew into my queerness similar to how I grew into my racial ethnicity, only this time it was through community and podcasts.
“I had no idea that I was queer”
I was taught to be straight. I grew up liking boys in school, so I never really questioned my more queer tendencies. Instead, I think they were played off as being envious or jealous. It seemed I wanted to be friends with the cool girls or wanted to look like the older girls. Even though I had what I now realise could have absolutely been crushes, I never acted upon them because I didn’t think I was gay. I played lots of sports so I knew several bisexual girls and even a few lesbians. My main friend circle was gay men and athletes and even my brother is gay. It was because of the people around me who were so confident in themselves or at least appeared that way that I really had no idea that I too was queer.
I just never saw myself like them because I didn’t have crushes on girls but always wanted to be around them and other people in the LGBTQ community. I thought I was just a super supportive ally! I have several friends who originally came out as bisexual but now identify as just gay or just lesbian. I really did have crushes and deep feelings for boys/men early on in my life so it made me never second guess my sexuality. When you are taught that girls like boys and boys like girls, as a bisexual, it’s too easy to just slip into the norm and not understand anything else!
Going to college at art school so many people seemed so secure in their sexuality. I was so focused on school I didn’t even really have many crushes at all throughout the first few years. I was however really into a workout buddy who was a lesbian. I used to get super excited when she was at the gym and even more excited when she wanted to work out together. We had a great friendship and she introduced me to The L Word. Looking back, I definitely had a crush on her, and sometimes I regret not understanding that.
“Once I stopped seeing myself the way others saw me, I learned who I actually was.”
After graduating and moving to Dallas I felt depleted of my queer community. Living in Dallas was the first time I had been without queerness since before I can even remember. It was this time in my life that I was able to understand how badly I needed to be surrounded by the LGBTQ+ community, not because I was an ally but because I was one of them! I actually accidentally outed myself in an article online as well as numerous times in my artwork. Once I stopped seeing myself the way others saw me, I learned who I actually was.
I joined Bumble after breaking up with my college sweetie. I remember halfway coming out to him as bi and taking it back feeling ashamed because of his reaction. After the breakup, I was on Bumble BFF to make friends and when I would get drunk I’d change the settings back and forth between men and women. It often got confusing the next morning having matches I thought were friends and friends I thought were matches! I told myself there was no way I could get into another serious relationship with a man without at least kissing a woman.
After about a year of crazy confusion, I found myself interconnected with several new friend groups. One group was gay, another group was just bringing to explore queerness through bisexuality and I felt we kind of got to grow into our queerness together!
“I could hear my own biphobic thoughts”
Several gay parties and events later I did meet someone. Shortly after our fling ended, I found myself swooped back into the straight clubs. Everything is so easy with men. This made me feel a lot of guilt. I had always heard all the negative things people say about bisexuals. I really put myself through the wringer of self-hatred for being with only one woman and then going “back to men.” I could hear my own biphobic thoughts running effortlessly through my head.
I found myself trying to convince myself that I enjoy women but prefer men. But occasionally when I would daydream it was always about the soft kisses of a woman and how much I missed it. I remember exactly the street I was on the moment it truly clicked that I was definitely bisexual.
It wasn’t until I met my now partner of three years that I officially came out to my family, friends back home, and my friends in Dallas. I was 25! She really changed everything for me as I effortlessly fell for her hard and fast! I came out to my parents after only two or so weeks of knowing her. I know deep down I was ready, but it was my intense feelings for her that really sealed the deal for me. I really should have known when I obsessively watched The L Word.
Liking men and women may be confusing, but I’m so happy to have finally figured out who I am and who I want to be! It’s hard to pinpoint exactly one coming out story since I feel coming out is something we do all the time. While I’m happy to be out and accepted by my family, we cannot stop fighting for our rights and the rights of our black and brown friends.
Coming out isn’t a one-time thing our community does, it’s more than that… I come out as gay every time I kiss my partner in public, every time I apply for a job or submit an art proposal. I come out every time I meet new people or hold my partner’s hand on vacation. It’s never-ending and I encourage you all to never stop the fight.
Coming out stories
Molly Sydnor (she/her)