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The Gray Areas of Being Human


The Gray Areas of Being Human

Cheryl Folland

by Cheryl Folland

Before coming out, I thought that reactions from my loved ones would be black and white. It's easy to expect immediate acceptance or immediate abandonment—what I wasn't ready for were the awkward tense moments.

I wasn't ready for feeling like it's inappropriate to discuss my plans for the summer as I will be taking part in the city's Pride festival as a volunteer, attending a Gay Christian Retreat on the mainland and most likely heading to Pride in Vancouver to meet up with some friends.

I wasn't ready to feel uncomfortable about asking my straight Christian friends to come with me to some of these things because I'm nervous about going alone, and I certainly wasn't ready to feel childish for asking my LGBT friends who don't profess Jesus if they're going.

Before coming out, I knew what the social norms were. I knew what was expected of me—even though I felt caged, like I was a double agent for the losing team. Now it's a whole new ball game. I don't know when I am being "too much.” I don't know if there is a "too much." And I certainly don't want to go around pushing people out of my life by throwing myself in their faces.

What I want is enough space to figure all of this out. I've been spending a lot of time reading, reflecting, being alone. I'm missing connection. I feel ready to be with people, but I don’t know where I fit.