Out For Orlando

Originally posted to www.emilyroseduea.com on June 12, 2016. Some content removed due to privacy updates. 

I am currently in bed, sparkling wine in one hand, Ben & Jerry's in the other, scrolling on facebook on my other hand, and watching the Tony's with my other hand. 

I am perfectly content. I am safe. I am loved.

Between the live updates about the awards and pictures of people's food, there is the lingering grief of the events of this morning. As there should be. Although 15+ hours may seem like a decade in social media hours, it still was today. It still matters. It will matter for many more hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Years.

For anyone to stumble upon this blog post, remembering perhaps only that a gay club in Orlando was attacked let me remind you: over 50 people of various LGBTQAA* status were killed, and over 50 of that same community were injured. This is the most deadly mass shooting in American history. I can't bring myself to say much more than that. 

 L- lesbian G- gay B- bisexual T- transgender Q- queer A- asexual A- ally*

We've seen this group of letters change, transform, be butchered, be misunderstood, over and over throughout the years. Each of these groups has their own community, their own beliefs, but there exists a commonality among them all: we all face hate. 

This was a hate crime. These victims were killed because of who they were, what they believed, and who they loved. They were in a safe haven where they could be themselves. We don't know who was "out" or who still had yet to embrace who they truly are, and now we never will. But they were seen by one another, and I am inspired by their bravery. Bravery I have not been able to muster up in myself. Until now.

I am a bisexual woman, I am 24 years old, and I've been too afraid to come out. 

I am afraid of what my family will think...but I will never be as afraid as someone texting their mother from the bathroom that they are about to die.

My family is full of love, acceptance, diversity, but it's not unlike me to fear the worst. I didn't want the questions, the bi-erasure, the stigma. But I'm ready now. It's worth it. 

I am afraid for my job...but I will never be afraid as the employees at every gay bar or club in America now must be.

I work in a several fields dominated by women: yoga, makeup artistry, and acting. But each of those are fields that encourage, if not REQUIRE, authenticity. I do not want to make anyone uncomfortable. If this is the case, lets talk about it. I am no different than I was in the last class that I taught, no less true than I was when I was helping you get ready for your date, the same person as I've been every time I've created a new person on stage. 

I am afraid of what my students will think...but I will never be as afraid as a middle or high school student on the verge of coming out in in this dangerous climate. 

My job is to serve you. To support you. Please support me in this. Nothing has changed. Sexuality has never been and never will be a part of my teaching. Love is love. 

To be honest, I don't know of any WLW (women loving women) at the yoga studios I teach at. I would like to see that change. 

I am afraid of what my friends will think...only because they will wonder why I didn't tell them sooner. I love you all. 

Why now? Because I can't sit back and see this community, my community, suffer while I stay silent. I can't hide behind the "straight default" anymore. I am big, bi, and beautiful, and I want the whole world to know Orlando is not alone. For those of you who are not out, it's ok. For those of you who are questioning, changing, it's ok. I wish I could explain why I feel I need to do this. All I can say is that if it were me in that night club, I would want to know my loved ones knew who I was. Completely. #outfororlando

 

 *I include allies in this post to include those who have not come out, and to make space for victims who may not have identified as queer.