Q4: How did you come to understand your identity? Are there some things you do still don’t understand about yourself or others within the LGBTQ+ community?
A: It took me so long to understand what/who I found an interest in. From elementary-high school I always like bother genders... but after graduating I dug deeper into what actually made me happy and felt natural. Which was dating guys.
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 came out to only my immediate family, but with everyone else I just decided to live in my truth.. and yeah, there was a lot of talk in social media, but it was more than worth it. Although, I don’t feel like coming out should be required but when it comes to having multiple partners or just even releasing that burden of living in secret it’s necessary!
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: I am a Child of God before anything, so loving who I love does somehow interfere with my relationship with God. I pray every day that if it goes against God will for me to remove the feelings. There are times where I feel convicted and times when I don’t. So, it’s all so confusing and scary, but since dating guys my relationship with him has become stronger and my urge to- understand his word.
Q11: How important do you think it is for people who “accept” you to be knowledgeable about your identity? Do you feel like language is important?
A: I feel like in general it’s very important for people to be knowledgeable about one’s identity, and how to address them. It’s always about respect.
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: On a scale of 1-10, I would say 2. those that I hang around or become cool with tend to feel very comfortable in a space with me. I just keep it neutral!
Q14: What does living in your truth mean to you? Do you feel like it’s important? Why or why not?
A: Living in truth to me is just being comfortable, confident, and happy with who I am and what I have interest in. Living in your truth should and will always be important, because that’s who you are!
Q15: What do you identify as? Have you always identified as ___? What led you to identify in that way?
A: A lot of times I don’t feel okay with putting a label or identity on myself except for being a child of God. So, I don’t identify as anything other than that, but to world I guess you can say “gay”, but I would “still figuring it out” 😂
Q16: What do you think your younger self would have to say/think about who you are today?
A: I think younger Kiesen would be happy, because since the age of 5 and 6, I knew. I was crushing on guys then. We were confused though, cause younger me loved girls as well! but younger me would be happy that we aren’t confused anymore ❤️
".. but younger me would be happy that we aren't confused anymore"
- Kiesen T Arnold