My kid came out last night.
In August 2020, my daughter and I moved to western Massachusetts so I could attend college as part of a non-traditional students’ program. She was a little girl two years ago — she had bangs straight across her forehead, she was obsessed with Harry Potter (especially Emma Watson), and had no qualms about wearing a t-shirt with a panda bear on it and a pair of leggings.
But it’s 2022 now. She’s had two years to glow up, and whoa, y’all. I’m already terrified, because my daughter is a total knock-out and the selfies I’ve seen tell me she knows it.
We live on the campus of a historically-women’s* college, a notorious bastion of leftist, feminist thought, and it’s full of queers and genderbenders and theybies on skateboards. She enjoys hanging out on campus, and she’s an astutely observant kid.
Middle school, here we come.
She has just begun sixth grade, so we are now in a time of concern about appearance, fashion trends, conversations about liking people, and headphones that seem as if they’ve been surgically attached to her head. And of course mood swings, Billie Eilish adoration, slamming doors, “borrowing” my stuff, the works — indeed, we have arrived.
I’ve for the most part prepared for middle school, as much as one can. She’s still very much “mommy hold me” in the moments where she’s not yelling at me to stop babying her. I’m already aware that this is generally a bumpy road, but even so, I was not expecting my kid to drop the gay on me quite so nonchalantly.
How it happened
One of her first projects for sixth grade was drawing an ‘identity portrait.’ She’s quite a good sketcher and she put a lot of effort into it, refusing to let me see it until she felt it was done. When she finally emerged from her cave, she’d drawn a really nice likeness of herself in baggy jeans and a cropped tee, and what I could very easily make out as Vans high-tops, black with a white stripe. Surrounding her were various icons of things that she’s interested in, among them a guitar, our dog, an artist’s palette, musical notes, and a flag.