Natalie Hansen, Transgender, Queer, Pansexual
Sophomore, Electrical Engineering
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
Open Doors, SpeakOUT! and Asterisk (Athens Area Trans* Advocate)
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
Mainstream culture doesn't typically consider queer people as people. Instead we're one dimensional caricatures without a real personality. We're the drag queen with obvious beard shadow and clothes from the 70s, the sassy gay guy, the butch dyke. We are taught that bisexuality is only for teenagers, that trans* women are just "dudes in dresses", that sex and gender are the same thing and there's only two options. We are taught that gay relationships have a "Male" role and a "Female" role, or that you're either gay or straight, with no in-betweens. Just by being out you're showing that there's more to LGBTQ people than stereotypes. You are practicing resistance to these notions by showing your fabulous multi-dimensional self to the world.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I'm proud to be a queer, pansexual, trans-woman. I'm proud that I know myself. Not everyone gets to experience sexual orientation and gender identity in the way I do. My life will certainly never be boring, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
Dreading what reactions you get from people, especially those you love can be the hardest part of coming out. Sometimes people are okay with you being queer or trans*, sometimes they never speak to you again. It can be hard to know which way someone will react.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
Sometimes it sucks, but the people you meet, and the feeling you get from being true to yourself is worth it a million times over.
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Remember that being queer is just one facet of LGBTA peoples' lives. We have just as wide and varied interest and lives as straight, cis-gender people. We are just as multi-dimensional as you, with our own hopes, dreams, worries, and problems.Do your research and never assume something about someone. Recognize your own privilege. Most of all, (and this is a cliché) be open-minded! Other people have different experiences from you. This is okay! Learn from them!Suggested Trans*