I came out as genderqueer/gender non-conforming/trans to a friend of mine that I've known off and on for a while now. Her first question was..."when did you decide that?" This was a good exercise for me as I had been sifting through the dreaded myspace on that particular evening trying to figure out how far I had or hadn't come in the past 3 or 4 years. I decided that I became "definitely other than lesbian" three years ago. I told her that I'd always known I was a "bad lesbian". Something just didn't feel quite right. I also told her that a recent roommate of mine let me know that I was also a bad androgynous person. I thought for sure after seeing all the andros in Austin that ...yes that that must be what I was. But my roommate pointed out that I wore all men's clothing.
And after much self-reflection I started to see that...well, I'd always actually seen myself as a boi or more "masculine of center" though I'd never categorized myself as butch/dom/stud/ AG,etc.
There have only been about 2 years in my (adolescent and adult) life that I didn't wear men's clothing. What can I say? It just always "felt" right. I've always been a boi and I don't think I ever really "decided" on that. It's just what I've been. What I did decide to do was to deliberately tell (or not tell) people once I began to acknowledge that I was outside of the binary.
I find it comical that a handful of people from my past who I've come out to in the past couple of years have said that they've always sensed this about me. (Just like when I was coming out as lesbian how people said- 'Oh yeah I knew that.') How could people know this before I did? Is that possible? I guess having terminology and a community of people who identify similarly has helped me to acknowledge that I am different. I wonder if I'm better off for going and buying into all this queer theory- and queer politics. A lot of queer people of color I know don't care about being politicized. They just are. I miss the simplicity of just being. Damn liberal arts colleges and queertopias. Now I guess all that's left for me to do is reconcile who I was with who I'm becoming and decide if these labels really represent me and if I want to use them when coming out.
Check out this article on the harm done when closeted and when dealing with subtle discrimination or microaggression, stigma, and social inequality: