I’ve worked as a DJ on Church St for the last nine years, at both Crews and Slack's. When the booze is flowing and the music is playing, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a wide variety of Torontonians in a setting that provides a safe place for people to be fully themselves and confide in the DJ.
I’ve listened to people afraid to come out, those wanting so badly to come out and others who recently exited the closet. These brave lesbians inspired me to write a short guide about what to expect once you’re out. The first thing to know is it’s going to be okay.
So, congratulations and welcome to a whole new sense of freedom!
Although we are all beautiful individual butterflies (or huskies, depending how gay you are), there are a few unavoidable stereotypes and other pitfalls you will inevitably fall victim to.
You will soon discover that people may find it hard to stop themselves from saying, "That's so gay!" They will likely then look at you with terror and an apology. Others will try to relate to you: “Ellen DeGeneres is so hilarious!”
Everyone will assume you're an athlete, or at the very least you're now "that guy" when someone needs help moving into a new condo.
Or you’ll hear some variation of this: “I’m not a lesbian, but do you think I’m hot? You don’t? Why not? If I was gay, I’d definitely date you. If I was drunk I would totally make out with you. I’m not gay, but I’m sure if you made out with me, you’d think I was hot. I think I like you, and I don’t know what that means . . . I know I’m straight, but I get jealous when I see you with other girls. Can we just cuddle and not label it?”
Let's jump ahead. You've met your first girlfriend! Obviously online. You don't like to rush into things. The first date is going wonderfully. You had no expectations, but she's perfect. And you love her. But you haven't even ordered dessert yet. That's okay. In the gay world, it's acceptable, for some reason, to put all your proverbial eggs in one basket.
Speaking of eating, like meat? Not for long. One of the best dates I ever went on was to a Korean barbecue place. We consumed nothing but meat. It was wonderful. Then, out of the blue, a month later, she says, "Babe, I watched a documentary" – lesbians love documentaries, something else you should know.
I love meat. My girlfriend has never forced her newfound "lifestyle" on me, but every so often she'll make something delicious, and when I'm greedily consuming it, she'll slyly ask, "Do you like it? Hm. It's tofu, you know."
Home Depot. That's such an inaccurate cliché. Or is it? Wouldn't it be nice to do a project together, honey? Maybe a hat rack for all your baseball hats and that one fancy fedora. What do you think, babe?
Wednesday night is the best for TV. Staying in and relaxing. Except you're gay now, which means somewhere there is dancing and beer. You need to go there. Now!
Do you love her? Really? Well if you truly did, wouldn't it be cute to get matching tattoos? I hope you didn’t enjoy showers all that much, because you’re not allowed to have them anymore. For some reason, we’re all about baths. Bubble baths, music, maybe a glass of wine. Isn’t it cute when the cats come in and sit by the edge of the tub?
Gia, Bound, Tipping the Velvet, But I'm a Cheerleader. These are all movies you will inevitably share with your partner. For some reason, you're partners now. Not girlfriends. And do you like dogs? No? I guess it will have to be fish. You'll need something to nurture with your new ladylove.
Above all else, remember to stop, enjoy yourself. It is a difficult, brave and wonderful thing to acknowledge who you really are. Breathe and smile. There is a wealth of support, and above all else, you are not alone.