The last 16 months we have been told to stay at home, often only allowed to go outside to get groceries or go for a walk. So how has it been for LGBTQ+ people who came out at a time where we all had to stay in? GCN has partnered with Dublin Bus and DoDublin for the Coming Out With campaign, bringing you the stories of six LGBTQ+ people living in Dublin who have told the world who they are during a time where it has been closed down.
For many queer people they fall under the umbrella of LGBTQ+, and while coming out is still a difficult and emotional experience, most non-LGBTQ+ folk understand these labels (even if not all accept them). However, for many in the ‘plus’ part of the acronym there can be the added difficulty of having to explain your sexuality to others when coming out.
This was the case for Louise Blake who identifies as pansexual. When she came out to her dad, she found herself having to educate him on what exactly pansexuality meant.
“After you tell someone that you’re pansexual, you kind of have to explain what that is,” Louise said. “So with that comes more questions like, ‘Oh, well, what’s non binary?’ and ‘what is trans?’ and all this stuff. And then we talked about the whole alphabet mafia, like everything, all the LGBTQ+, but it was really nice. And he was actually writing down some of the things that I was saying, so he could better remember.”
Even Louise herself hadn’t heard of pansexuality until recently, as at first she came out as bi. “But then I personally felt that it was too restrictive. And mostly because I had a massive crush on this person that was in one of my classes in college,” she recalled. “And that was very much an awakening for me. It was like, ‘Oh, well, if they are not on the gender binary, then I really can’t call myself bisexual.’
“So I didn’t know the term ‘pan’. But my friend told me, ‘you know, pansexual, it’s a thing’ and it just blew my mind. It was a completely new word. And then after that I just googled it. And Courtney Act came up on Google. And they were explaining it and what it meant to them. And I was like, yeah, I feel a lot of those things as well. I’m just attracted to the person that I’m attracted to, regardless of their gender identity.”
While she was coming to terms with her sexuality, she told her then boyfriend about how she was feeling. “He just had such a shit reaction that I was scared then to tell anybody else,” Louise said. “And so, I told a small group of friends, and then obviously, the rest of them found out through everybody else, but I didn’t really say it to anybody else. And the only other time that I said it to someone was when I started seeing my current boyfriend, because I didn’t want him to find out through somebody else.”
— dublinbusnews (@dublinbusnews) June 26, 2021
The Dublin Bus campaign is almost a way for her to take back control of her identity. Louise doesn’t like having to sit people down and come out to them. Once she told her dad, she got him to tell her mom and her siblings. And her extended family still don’t know. Until now perhaps.
“I mean, it’s going to be hard to hide buses from them,” she laughed. “And I’m not extremely worried. I know that they wouldn’t pry and ask questions. There’s only one person who I’d be most worried about, but I don’t think it will change things. We just probably wouldn’t talk about it.”
With more stories to share from the wonderful people who feature in the Dublin Bus Coming Out With campaign, be sure to check back on GCN! And catch the campaign on the sides of the Dublin Bus fleet and bus shelters across the city!
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