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Coming out day interview

October 13, 2008

I was asked to do this interview for a site called excloset. I have gotten a great response, thanks for the compliments!

Name or Nick Name : Holly Hahn
Country or City you are from: : Columbus, Ohio
Your Age : 35
Your Gender : female
What did you come out as? : Queer
What other words would you use to describe yourself? : breeder?
How old were you when you first realised your identity? : 13
How old were you when you first told someone? : 15
Did you plan it? If so, how? : I didn’t really tell anyone. I had kind of a secet life, I snuck into gay bars in Dayton and made out with girls but pretended I was straight in school and dated boys during the day. This lasted for years. I fell madly in love with my best girl friend and was devastated when she went to college and joined a convent. I was so devastated, I talked my longtime boyfriend into getting married at age 18, because I thought maybe that would cure me.
What made you choose that person to tell? : It didn’t. I met another girl a few months later and realized I couldn’t just pretend. It was very tough for me I think in part because, I couldn’t reconcile my femme-ness with the dominant culture of flannel and mullets in Dayton Ohio at that time. I also knew I HAD to have children, and in 1992 being a lesbian meant I would never be a mother. Another problem I had mentally was the rigidity of lesbian sex at that time. The gold star, ‘i.e. never been with a man, was highly prized and Ihad a hard time accepting the fact that really for me, sexually- well- I am just not picky. I enjoy sex with men occasionally, and I don’t hate them. It’s hard to imagine the taboos of the culture then. I still identify as lesbian, because I can never really love a man like that, and I prefer women but in 92 it was an all or nothing propostion.
Can you remember exactly what you said? : I called my mom, I was crying.  I told her I was leaving my husband of 3 months. I told her, I think…I might be gay…and my mom said
How did you feel? : I was so frightened of the words. So frightened of the commitment to ‘ruining my life’.
What was the person’s reaction? : long pause.
What did they say? :
“No shit, Sherlock”
really, that’s what she said.
I laughed/cried and said wtf?? You could have told ME!!
SHe was mad, kind of and said, well how in the hell would you have liked me to bring THAT up??
What was your relationship with the person like afterwards? : Fine. She refuses to call me a lesbian, or queer. She insists I am bi because I have had relations with a boy and have children to boot. Oh well.
What’s it like now? : Great, she’s happy she had grandchildren and likes my girfriend now, so cool
If you’ve been outed unwillingly, who did it? : It’s easy for me to ‘pass; as straight, although I never try. I am very feminine, wear lipstick and have kids. I joke that the lipstick is my cloaking device. In reality I am very out, not just in social circles, but in the PTA, the neighborhood and in every aspect of my life.
This year I started working at a non profit and one of my very young co workers thought it would be cute to ‘out’ me to one our board members by asking to see a picture of my girlfriend on my laptop. The board members mostly don’t know, not because it’s a secret but because I just don’t have much contact with them.
What happened? : We were siting around a table at a large fundraising event, just relaxing. I had my laptop with me and S. said, apropos of nothing, “Hey Holly, do you have any pictures of your girlfriend on your computer? I think we would all like to see a picture!”
What were peoples’ reactions? : Non-profit staff generally lives and dies by the board of directors; a few other staff members looked pretty horrifed but said nothing and just stared. The BOD member just looked at me- I said, SURE, I’d love to show you a picture! I found a picture on my laptop of my family- not only Jules and I, but a picture where all my tattoos were fully visible, and including my kids. HA. Take that chica. I’ll see your queer and raise you queer tattooed freak with children!
I refuse to hide, from anyone. Ever.
If you’ve experienced homophobia etc, please give an example. : I did, I even had a gun pulled on me once at a gas station in Dayton Ohio. But I don’t anymore. Patially because I live in a great community but I think partially because I refuse to see it, or hide in any way. I am visible, I volunteer in the schools, I bring my partner to events, I don’t ever avoaid the subject. I refuse to be ‘careful’ Maybe there is whispering, but nobody has the guts to say anything to my face anymore
Since coming out how out are you at school? : all_out
Since coming out, how “out” are you at work? : all_out
Since coming out, how “out” are you with family? : all_out
Since coming out, how “out” are you with your friends? : all_out
What does being out mean to you? : It means never ever apologizing about who I am.
What differences, if any, did your cultural background make to your experience of coming out? :
What does the concept of the closet mean to you? : It means being afraid to live a complete life
What advice would you give someone wanting to come out? : Cmon out, the weather is fine 🙂
If you could do it all again, would you do it any differently? If so, how? : I did what I could at the time. I don’t think I could have done anything differently

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2008 4:48 pm

    thanks for a great interview

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