Happy National Coming Out Day!
I’m going to be writing this loosely as I have had an amazing weekend with some sweet new lovers and while I wont kiss and tell too much, I will say that I have had 48 hours of orgasmic bliss and hardcore loving, and am still reeling from the affection. I’m now home after all that and have had a nice cup of sake and hopped online to surf the web a bit and remembered thanks to an amazing network of friends that today (as it is nearing 2am) is National Coming Out Day!
I am out about many things, and being out is a process that is often a daily occurrence. Being queer in a number of circles means being open that I love having sex with queer cisgender men. I love frisky genitalia of all kinds. In other circles, it means I’m not a vegetarian. (Seriously. Why does everyone think that?)
I’m also genderqueer. I feel gender-neutral throughout most of my day. I was assigned and socialized female, yet don’t quite feel I belong with most women. When I identified as transgender a few years back I quickly realized that becoming male was not my calling, and then discovered the word genderqueer which for now is a fluid, non-conforming and safe space for me to exist and express myself as I am. It’s also a daily process confronting pre-conceived notions that I am a “girl”. I reply with a smiley face and something non-confrontational in hopes that I don’t off-put the persons’ well intentions. However I do want to be clear that I don’t feel that way about myself. And when I’m addressed in a way that does feel right, it makes all the difference!
I recently sat down to dinner with my father and came out to him about sex work and being genderqueer. (He already knew about my being queer and later about being polyamorous.) The talk went amazingly well, and I was in tears feeling grateful to have a dad who was so open-minded to accept me. And call me gender-neutral, though he wondered how I got so “radical”. We talked about pornography, gender pronouns “them” and “they”, and I shared with him my going to Berlin to shoot with Cheryl Dunye and my awards that I won at the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto and my Best New Web Star nomination at AVN. Things which have happened in the last five years, and things I withheld from him in fear he would be judgmental. Quite the opposite, he was curious. I told him about the works of Tony Comstock and he took out his iPhone to note the name of directors I love such as Shine Louise Houston.
He told me that if I “further the genre”, he’s proud of me.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t holding back tears as I type this. It just feels so damn good to have acceptance from my dad. And going back home recently was golden: spending time with my family, eating a lot, playing rotten guava wars as we hiked my favorite waterfalls, burning as I fell asleep buck-naked under a hot sun, long-boarding in Lahaina with my dad, brother and his water-loving surfer-baby (my nephew), and good friend during a surf session in a bath-water temperature ocean glowing under a hot-pink sunset. I only had 7 precious days to live it up, and promised to come home more often.
Coming out is complicated. Whether it be a matter of passing and not-passing, assertion, or validation, it takes courage and strength to be vocal.
If there are three things I can say now for National Coming Out Day, quite simply: I’m genderqueer, I’m polyamorous, and I’m a sex worker.
I’m also coming out that I’m trying better to assert these things. Because like any relationship, whether it’s to your loved ones, your family, and especially yourself, coming out is worth it.
What are you?