Coming Out in Color: Pauline Park

October 11, 2007 at 11:10 am 1 comment

In celebration of National Coming Out Day I am running a series of posts focusing LGBT people of color and their coming out experiences.

My Coming Out Stories (Plural)

By Pauline Park

pauline-park.jpg

I have a coming out story; actually, I have two. When I was 17, just turning 18, I came out as gay. And when I was 37, I came out as transgendered.

My first coming out – as a gay boy on the verge of legal adulthood – was not easy, coming from a Christian fundamentalist household in Milwaukee. But I was fortunate enough to have gotten a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which had a small but thriving little gay and lesbian community back in the late 1970s.Coming out as gay wasn’t easy, but coming out as transgendered was harder still – far less linear and much more of a process. I knew I was transgendered when I was four, but I also realized that it was not something that I could discuss with my family.

It was when puberty hit that I realized I was attracted to men, and coming out as gay addressed issues of sexuality, but not gender identity. I started to go out presenting as a woman at the age of 22 while living in London, but it would take me another 15 years, two careers, and multiple moves – to Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Staten Island, and eventually to Queens – before I was in a position to come out as transgendered. And somewhat unusually for the transgender community, my transition was entirely non-medical. But there are as many ways of being transgendered as there are transgendered people, and as many ways to transition.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. from james  |  March 2, 2008 at 12:44 am

    the big question?
    here it goes will you marrie me because i dont want to live with out you i want to be with you for the rest of my life and see your beautyful eyes and here yourbeautyful
    voice in the morning and i want be able turn over and
    say goodmorning and i love you and hold you in my arms and on the weekends i can make breakfast for you and i and from there its enybodys guess what may
    happen……

    Reply

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