The shooting in Pulse Gay Night Club, Orlando has the LGBTI community grieving and re-evaluating how visible we are. As anger kicks in as part of the grieving process, members of the community are choosing to be more visible as a “fuck you homophobes”. I bought a rainbow necklace because I want to be more publicly visible than I already am. I was always going to create art about the years I hid my whole identity.
The Teen Years
I worked out at 12 there was something wrong with my family. I didn’t feel like I could be honest with mum about who I was. Mum is emotionally abusive. She wanted me to be like her. Therefore I lied. It is not possible to lie so thoroughly and so long without loosing much of the truth about yourself. During those years I was hiding my identity I didn’t even realise I was bisexual. Never mind I was a teen at an all girls school. I would sometimes look at my classmates boobs, and I had crushes on some of them. Once I was 15 I was depressed and suicidal but didn’t feel I could get help.
Interpreting “The Years of Hidden Identity”
The yellow oval in “The years of hidden identity” is about what I was pretending b, a happy ordinary teen. The cross is yellow because once I started dealing with my mental health problems I left the church, for the simple reason the Christianity as practiced by church goers was making me feel worse about myself. The black is for the depression, red for the anger, and combined for all the pain I lived with. The red and other colours breaching the yellow oval is about how sometimes what I really was sometimes leaked through. Particularly the anger. After a fight with mum, Dad would ask me to try and get along with mum. I’m not sure what made it my responsibility; mum was the adult. Dad likes a quiet life, he may have asked mum too. The remaining colours are from the bisexual pride flag.
When I was 18, I kissed my first boy who was also the first boyfriend. My friends at uni were in the majority either bisexual, hetero-flexible or heterosexual. One of those quirks of demographics meant we had few lesbians or gay men. By the end of the year I was out as bisexual. I figured it out and came out to my friends very quickly because I knew I would be supported. When I had I came out as bisexual, I had already amicably broken up with my first boyfriend. The next year my relationship with mum deteriorated further and she ended up asking if I was dating my now ex-girlfriend in the middle of a fight. I told her the truth,
Next week I intend to have a painting commemorating the Pulse shooting. I didn’t have time to do one this week.