Q1. What is your earliest memory of realizing your sexuality/gender identity? What was that like?
A: The earliest memory I have would be 1st grade when I was like 6 or 7. I always thought girls were pretty loll this little white girl would sit in my lap during story time. High school is when I actually started being intimate with girls for the first time. I had a connection with one the summer of the year I graduated. I felt more with her than a did with anyone else, but I believe it wasn’t the right time. I still think about her sometimes and we talk occasionally. I hope she’s doing well.
Q2: What is something you wish someone would’ve done for or said to you during your earlier years of finding/accepting yourself? What is something YOU would tell your younger self or others?
A: I wish my parents showed me the support I needed so bad. I wish they bought pride things to show that they really cared. I wish someone told me it was ok to be like this.
Q5: Did you come out or did you just start living in your truth? Do you feel like coming out is necessary/required? Why or why not?
A: I only came out to friends and a couple of family members, but it wasn’t like a dramatic thing, I just said it. I don’t feel like it is necessary for myself, but people are free to express themselves however they feel like. I’ve never came out to my parents because it’s not something I'm comfortable doing personally (coming from a religious background and all.)
Q7: Has religion/spirituality had any kind of affect on your journey to accepting yourself (good or bad)? If so, how does that affect your view and/or practice of religion/spirituality today?
A: Religion has always affected how I’ve felt about my sexuality and fully accepting myself. I grew up in a Christian household and my dad is a pastor. I was always told that who I am is wrong and my parents still don’t accept me. I never felt like religion was something that was for me, it was more traumatizing than helpful. When I turned 18 is when I stopped considering myself a Christian and started opening my mind to different spiritual practices.
Q8: What do you see for yourself in the future? Does the current state of the world have any affect on that vision?
A: Tbh I can’t really see a future for myself anymore. Thinking about it makes me anxious because I'm afraid to fail, especially the way the world is set up currently. I'm optimistic tho. I still say in the back of my head “everything is happening for you, not to you.”
Q9: As someone who identifies as ____, what do you wish heterosexual/cisgendered people were more considerate of/knowledgeable about?
A: I identify as she/her. I wish hetero/cis people understood the difference between sex and gender. I didn’t pay attention in biology but the things I’ve learned from TikTok really opened my mind to a lot of different things.
Q12: On a scale of 1-10, how difficult has it been to navigate (platonic, familial, etc) relationships with heterosexual/cisgendered individuals? How do you hold space for those around you?
A: 4/10. It’s hard to be friends with men mostly because it can never be just platonic for them. Misogyny and heterosexual norms ruined society. It is one of the reasons why I have a strong dislike for most men. The relationship I have with my father I feel affected that the most for me. As I got older and more independent it was hard to be able to be close with him because of our viewpoints especially when it came to my sexuality. He would always say there would be no other man that would love me like he did and I never got that because it was never really shown as I got older.
Q14: What does living in your truth mean to you? Do you feel like it’s important? Why or why not?
A: Living in my truth means being who God made me to be, not what society and religion tells me I should be.
"I wish someone told me it was ok to be like this."
- Tiana, She/Her/Hers