01: Finding Your Pride

Why I Wanted to Write✍🏻

I came out to two people in the first week of July;) These two stories feel ultra special to me, because they are from a older generation. I wanted to write them down in a blog post because:
1. I am very proud of myself for becoming more comfortable with my sexuality.
2. I sometimes forget my own experiences, despite them being memorable.

When you meet a new circle of friends, or when you enter a new workplace, you will have to be ready for coming out again. Not like you to, but to me, I feel more like myself when I don’t have to constantly hide about a part of myself. Of course, I will first have to ensure that I will be safe being publicly queer.

Before Coming to Australia🇭🇰

A lil bit of a back story: I don’t think I have physically come out to a lot of people before coming to Australia in September 2018. It was always an unsaid thing — most people assumed I’m not straight in high school. It was totally understandable, and I didn’t mind it either. I was always close with some senior girls at my school, and I guess if you’re very close with someone not in your grade, people will start to suspect that you two are not . I had a lot of friends in years above me, because I genuinely enjoyed talking to more mature and experienced people, and I clicked with them way better than the people in my year! But yes I did date someone older than me for awhile, and even after our relationship ended, we remained friends and I hung out in her classroom all the time. It was pretty obvious to everyone else — that I am at least a little bit queer.

New Country, New School, New Life🇦🇺

Moving to a new school was definitely challenging, the process of adapting is always a bit yucky. I don’t know if I’d call myself a pessimist, but I always expect for the worst case possible, just so I could be mentally ready for anything that comes at me. So I had moments where I’d prepare myself for things like, what if I don’t have friends, what if people are homophobic, what if people are being racist, etc. There were moments where I was literally scared that I couldn’t find any queer friends, or there aren’t queer representation at school. The fear was so huge that it was almost the only thing that bothered my mind. BUT luckily, within the first week of school, I’ve spotted some visibly queer figures in my year. Not saying that stereotypes are healthy nor are they always accurate, but seeing people that radiates gay vibes and rocks their buzz cut really makes you feel safe, like you’d wanna shout 👀

Within the first weeks of school, I got this question thrown at me, AH PANIC AND CRINGE. Assumptions! And there are more interesting stuff about me that you could ask about? I believe I denied immediately and told her that I ain’t the straightest person (just to test the waters). She was the first person I came out to at this new school — it turned out fine but it wasn’t a memorable one.

Then I got the chance to meet the “very gay presenting friend” and I remember vividly them asking me, “Why this school?”. I replied “My parents wanted to send me to a girls’ school so. They wanted to send me to a Catholic girls’ school at first but that didn’t happen.” We glanced at each other chuckled. “Woah that’s good for you;)” “Yea yea.”
*In case you’re confused why I used a , my friend is gender-queer and use *

A rainbow with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, drawn with chalk on concrete.
Photo by Alex Jackman on Unsplash

How It Has Changed Me✨

Since moving to Australia, I have definitely become more open about my sexuality. Instagram has been a great platform for me to talk about stuff, whether they are world-wide LGBTQIA+ issues or just my personal stories. I find talking it way easier to initiate a conversation on the Internet. When I want to talk/ rant about something, I simply make a story or a post. If people are interested and they respond to me, ; if they don’t care/ disagree and ignore my content, . (Also if I don’t want someone to see it, I block them) I’m not super good at dealing with criticism or opposing views, and making conversations on social media platforms has alleviated some of those fears.

Even though moving to a new school was challenging, it also gave me a very good excuse to start everything over. By that I mean I could first “display” my sexuality, then look for friends who would be okay with it. Not everyone likes to do it this way, but this is what has been working for me. Why I was hesitant in talking about my sexuality previously, was because I have friends/ working partners who are not so LGBTQIA+ friendly. They are people who I had to be in touch with constantly, so I couldn’t distant from them from my life at that point. I didn’t know how to deal with homophobic people, so I thought it was easier to not bring that topic up at all.

I prefer making friends with someone, only if they are going to be okay with my sexuality. I don’t want to spend all my energy to build a connection with people, only to realise that they won’t fully accept me. Distancing from people takes as much time as getting close with them, so I’d rather not go through that process.

I don’t remember when I first decided to put a Pride Flag on my Instagram bio, but I believe I first started with a Rainbow emoji, just to start it off low-key, in case I felt self-conscious about it. But so far I like it being there!
1. It attracts fellow queer people
2. It repels homophobic people.

Now I’ve given you the back story and justified myself enough, I can finally talk about the cool coming out stories! To be continued…

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18 HK×Syd. I need a platform to contain my overflowing thoughts about what matters to me or constantly bugs me. Hope it inspires you in some way;)

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Leticia Liao

18 HK×Syd. I need a platform to contain my overflowing thoughts about what matters to me or constantly bugs me. Hope it inspires you in some way;)