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Coming Out Stories

Coming Out Stories – Miyuki

Before I knew what a lesbian was, I knew of my attraction to girls but it seemed only natural and complementary to my attraction to boys. My continual interest in art gave me a nice excuse to have pictures of nude women up on my wall, and I punched my guy friends in high school for telling me that my new haircut made me look like a dyke.

It wasn’t until I got to college that I met intelligent, attractive and out queer friends.  When I learned that a friend of mine was queer, I asked many questions to try and figure out if I might also be queer. During my sophomore year, my suitemates were a gay male couple. They were probably the biggest influence on my coming out, since I knew that they had only come out a year earlier.  It was their example that was inspiring and comforting.

Coming out at college wasn’t the big deal to be honest. I found my first girlfriend within a few months of my coming out and at my liberal college, the news was certainly talked about. But if anything, the reactions were extremely positive.

Last year when I went to Beijing to do research and study Chinese, I was curious to explore the queer scene.  I met lots of queer men and women and felt extremely nourished by getting to talk to so many Asian queer folk. Then when I got to the queer capital of Asia, A.K.A. Taipei, Taiwan, I entered an incredibly positive and welcoming queer scene.  I first discovered the lesbian specialty shop and meditation center, Love Boat (http://lesloveboat.com/) and from there got to know dozens of Taiwanese and foreigner lesbians, including my Taiwanese girlfriend.

Nine months later, and eight months into a relationship with a Taiwanese woman, I decided I needed to tell my parents. I’m back in the U.S. which is important because I wanted to make sure I told them face to face. I did a lot of research for tips on how to come out to conservative and Asian parents. Finally, I chose the date and went into it expecting the worst. To my surprise they were supportive, calm and really great about it.  That’s the thing; you never know what will happen unless you try it. You can image how liberated I feel and now that I’ve gone over this hurdle, I can do just about anything!  Not too surprising, given the fact that prior to coming out to my parents, I had to live two separate lives: one that was parents friendly, the other for my friends and lover.

About Miyuki Baker

Miyuki is a resident of the place where circles overlap. As a queer, nomadic, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist activist and healer, she uses common or discarded objects, personal anecdotes, public spaces and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, she traveled for 14 months as a Watson Fellow to fifteen countries documenting the intersections of art and activism in queer/trans communities in blog posts and self-published magazines while making performance art. The eight magazines Miyuki created on this trip (queerscribe.com) and their strong media following exemplify her illustration/graphic design, storytelling and people skills. Her work has been featured in several magazines such as Hyphen, Broken Pencil and Knik, blogs and radio shows, well-known for their interactive and eye-catching mixed media approach to activism that utilizes both online media and on-site performance and workshops. This fall she will begin the PhD program at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies. You can follow her travels at heymiyuki.wordpress.com and email her at heymiyuki@gmail.com

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Coming Out Stories – Miyuki

  1. Hi Miyuki, We didn’t get to talk at BOLD. You mentioned you got a copy of one of our booklet. I’m glad your coming out to your parents was a success. Your parents love you for who you are. Keep on bonding with your parents. Hugs, Belinda (apifamilypride.org)

    Posted by Belinda | July 29, 2012, 12:56 PM
  2. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by Apple | March 29, 2013, 4:24 AM

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