Bri Surma's Coming Out Story

I always felt different my entire life. Whether I was on the construction site with my dad or trying to out-compete the boys in any sport, I never felt like an average “girl”. I realized I was so much more envious of my brother’s life in almost every aspect, and I was only jealous of my sister’s life because she was the golden daughter that everyone could be proud of. It was shortly before I turned 12 that the big old gay bus hit me, and man did it hit me hard. I slipped so far into a fantasy world that I never believed could be real for me.

Because of that, I found myself obsessing over the movie D.E.B.S (an early 2000’s lesbian movie), because it was the only thing that made me feel the happiness that loving a woman could feel like. So here I was dreaming of a life I never thought I’d have the courage to chase, and I was just so ready to settle down with a man and force myself to live a life to make everyone else happy. I never knew in a million years the extent of the community that surrounds me now.

When I was 12 years old, my first girlfriend ever wrote me a love letter and mailed it to my house but I never got it. My mom did instead, and I lost what felt like all control of any aspect of my life. I had barely come to terms with myself, I was definitely not ready to take on coming out to everyone around me. I continued on living the most secretive, unhappy life because I felt like the embarrassment of the family and didn’t want to disappoint them any more than I already did. I bounced from relationship straight into the next constantly searching for the unconditional love I never found. Until one day the most amazing angel to ever walk this earth strolled into my life, she was so beautiful. She was confident, smart, funny and most importantly not afraid to be herself. Alecia taught me to deal with my emotions that I have been hiding for years and once they all started coming out, so did the real me.

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For the longest time, I didn’t believe I could come out ever, let alone more than once. I went through the struggle, everyone learned to accept who I was, that should have been enough for me, but it wasn’t. About 10 years after I came out as a lesbian, I decided that I finally needed to go back to therapy after I began getting so angry and aggressive over the smallest things that never used to bother me. During the year of therapy, I began to realize it made me extremely upset to be referred to as beautiful and the more I heard it the more dysphoria I began to experience. It was scary because every morning I woke up and had something new that triggered me to completely lose all of the confidence I had. I knew I had to reach out in some way to figure out more about myself, so I messaged a queer friend to help me dissect my feelings. It terrified me thinking about not being able to still identify as a lesbian while not feeling like a woman. It terrified me thinking about how hard it would be to explain all of this. I felt like I no longer had any idea about who I was or what I felt because I thought that I knew exactly who I was all along.

For a long time I settled on the term gender fluid because it felt easier to not have to explain as much. The more I read, the more I realized my identity, and even that scared me. I think everyone can empathize with the feeling of being an inch too short from whatever it is you want so badly. It’s scary to think I may always feel that, but for the first time ever I am HOPEFUL. After a long time of going back and forth and fearing the labels I knew fit me, I finally learned my true identity. It took 25 years, but I can finally admit that I am a Transmasculine Non-binary Person and I’m super proud of it. It took so much for me to finally say it and live my truth but now that I did, I feel so free and happy. I’m not one to push the idea that it always gets better, but it does always get easier. The more I come out, the more courage and bravery I feel to be unapologetically me with no concern for others’ judgements.

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