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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. She currently lives and works in Quito, Ecuador but has also found "home" in Taipei, Beijing, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. You can follow her travels at heymiyuki.wordpress.com and email her at heymiyuki@gmail.com


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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