[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Chelsea M. Cameron

Hi friends! I really hope you’re enjoying the series of Pride posts we’ve got up this month. I am – I love the new “faces,” the different stories and perspectives … I know I’m all over the place but you know, that’s normal for me.

TODAY we have Chelsea M. Cameron – another first time guest, with a post I just loved. I wont say any more – just read it.

StyleOne week after National Coming Out Day (October 11, in case you were wondering) in 2015, I had what I call my “queerpiphany.” I had had a discussion with my mom somewhere along the lines of “if I met a girl and was attracted to her, I’d date her. But I’m totally not gay though.” I’d had similar conversations before, but this one was freaking me out. As I drove home, something hit me: WHAT IF, I was attracted to girls?

The first thing I did when I got back to my place was Google “How do I know if I’m bi?” “How do I know if I’m attracted to girls?” and other such things. The answers were decidedly unhelpful. I wanted a flashing sign that said YES, CHELSEA, YOU DEFINITELY LIKE GIRLS, but life isn’t like that.

The following week, I talked to my therapist about it. She gave me some really good questions to consider: when I pictured my ideal life, who was my ideal partner? I kept telling myself OF COURSE I was going to marry a tall handsome man and stay home and be a writer while taking care of the kids and baking cookies like a 1950s TV show, only with feminism in it.

Something I had NEVER let myself do was picture my life if my partner WASN’T a cishet man. What would my future look like with a woman? With someone non-binary or genderqueer? Fireworks exploded in my brain and a voice screamed THIS THIS THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT. When I imagined my life with someone who was not a man, it was SO easy to picture. So… happy.

Peaceful. Right.

I barely ate or slept for days. It was a pretty hellish time and I’m glad I don’t have to go through it again.

I was 29, when this happened. When I looked at resources for dealing with coming out, most (if not all) of them were for kids/teens and parents of those kids or teens. I just… didn’t find much help for someone who was older. A few interviews and articles, but that was mostly it. Instead, I relied on my already-existing online queer family. Whether by accident or unconsciously on purpose, many of my friends were queer. I don’t know what I would have done without them, honestly.

Coming to terms with your gender or sexuality being NOT what you’ve always thought they were is life-altering. I know it changed my life. Completely. Nearly two years on and I’m now writing queer romances, dating a girl, and flying the rainbow flag whenever I can. I had my whole life all mapped out and I had to throw that map away and draw a new one. Of course I’m a million times happier now that I’m not living a lie, but still. It’s not easy no matter how old you are.

One of my goals in sharing my story is to help other people who may be older and telling themselves “it’s too late to deal with this change in my life.” It’s not. It is NEVER too late to live how you want and need to live. I have many friends who were in their twenties, thirties, forties before they came out.

It’s never too late to live a happy and free life. Ever.

~*~*~*~*~

Such a positive message. I’m glad you shared your story with us, Chelsea! I also hope people (across the board) are encouraged by it! <3 Thank you again!

2 thoughts on “[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Chelsea M. Cameron

  1. Limecello

    Thank you for sharing such a personal experience (story?) with us, Chelsea! I think it’s so important – for everyone – to “realize” that … it’s okay to learn things about yourself at any time in life, and it’s never too late. I also love your term “queerpiphany” 😀

    Reply

Join the conversation!