I don’t know how much I ever officially “came out.” I realized that I was queer when I was talking to a friend during my freshman year of college. I told her, “Everyone is a little gay. Everyone wants to kiss girls.” In response, she said, “No babe, that’s a queer thing.”
That helped me own my queerness. It really helped give me a sense of power from it.
I have been lucky in that the only different treatment I’ve gotten as a result of my sexual identity has been friends now pointing out both cute boys and cute girls. I’ve had a few people say that I don’t “look gay,” or that they wish they could be queer too, which has a lot of different connotations. I do think my boyfriend gets the worst of it.
Having a hetero relationship with an openly queer person is still confusing for some people. I think coming out will always carry with it difficulties for everyone. Whether we like it or not, coming out puts a person in a vulnerable place.
You are revealing something about yourself that was previously only yours to know and now is highly public knowledge. I hope it becomes less scary and that queer people don’t fear homophobic backlash, but I think that is still the case for so many people.
I don’t know if homophobia has gotten definitively better or worse, but it’s gotten different. Much of the homophobia I encounter now comes in the form of people saying, “You have the right to get married, so now you should shut up.”
Marriage equality was one super important goal, but there is still so much more to equality than just marriage rights. For instance, in terms of queer representation, we have a long way to go until we achieve our goals of social justice and equality. I think the media need to include more multidimensional queer and trans characters to movies and TV shows. This, I think, will motivate and educate more people on the importance of the current social justice movements.