Private: 5046 – Amanda Laforet

"Life is like a Narnia closet, on the other end there's no way to walk through, but on the outside all the wonders can go on if you put your imagination to use, no matter what goes on in the closet, the sparkle awaits one way or another."

I was 13 and knew something was different. My father had passed away three years before and at first I thought my depression was from his passing, but I knew it was actually due to the fact I was different. I didn't think much about it growing up as a child, when my friend and I would play in the townhouse complex she lived in for an all-complex hide and go seek. I was running off to hide when I passed the pool, passed the brick wall meeting area and saw two lesbians making out. It didn't seem different to me. That was in the second grade and I knew I liked boys and girls, however I was more fond of girls so, I would say at age 9 the feelings were there, but never experimented/acted upon.

The following year, my friend moved back to Korea and I didn't think much of it. The years went by, middle school, and it was my 8th grade year when I realized I was Bi. I was attracted to both genders, again favoring women to men but I never acted upon it because I didn't know how to tell my mother. High school came, and there was only one attraction for a guy who ended up leading me on all during high school and my first two years of college. In my first year of college, I'd gone back home for a weekend and a friend asked me to go to a football game with her. We went to dinner, the football game, and the park afterward and as we were on the swings drinking Starbucks she flat out asked me if I was a lesbian. That was the first time I actually got choked up. I couldn't answer her, because I was embarrassed, shy, and my ears were burning because someone actually knew I was different. I quickly said "No" because I wasn't ready to answer it.

I came out on MySpace, back in the day when MySpace was the coolest thing, by putting "Bisexual" as my sexuality, and my brother ended up telling my mother, who simply said, "You don't know what that means." To this day, she still doesn't want to have the discussion. From 2003 to 2009 I attended PFLAG where I met some of the most amazing sponsors who always made me feel welcomed. I would tell my mother I was "going to theatre practice" when I was running off to Binetwork, the GLBT radio station, at the hour it was Binetwork hosting, and running off to PFLAG when I was able to get away. In fall 2005 I just got back from youth group at church when I ran in the door after listening to Twist Radio going "I didn't know Chastity Bono's gay!" My mom took me by the hand and asked if there was something we needed to talk about. I said "No" though to this day I regret it very much, as I'm still far from being out to her. Two years later I was playing in a wardrobe closet, almost like Narnia; you walk in and then on the other side a world of imagination and magic appears. My brother was hungry and we were in his classroom. He said "Come out of the closet" and in my mind I was about to open the door and be like "Okay I'm gay!" But he shot that down with "Literally, not figuratively." That same year, on MySpace, I posted a bulletin saying "Goodbye" and some people got worried and ended up messaging everyone in my top friends list.

One person happened to message my best friend of 27 years asking her if she had talked to me. When my best friend mentioned she spoke to me the day before, that same person who messaged her said "I think she's going to commit suicide." It was Wednesday October 28th, 2007. I remember it so clearly because it was two days after the 9th anniversary of my dad's burial. He passed of lung cancer when I was 10. I always thought I was better off with my dad. My best friend showed up at my door and simply said "We're going for dinner." It was 10pm and I said "Okay." On the way there she asked me what was going on. I mentioned to her how things were rough, and how I didn't feel myself anymore. She told me she received a message in concern about how I was feeling, and when she asked me to tell the truth I told her "I'm Bisexual.." She was still driving and asked why I kept that from her; she would always love me because I was like her sister and she didn't know what she would do if that's the reason I had killed myself, because I wasn't able to come out to family. She's my best friend to this day.

In 2007 I told my cousin, who told her stepmom (my aunt) and her father (my uncle). They didn't believe her, but when I told my aunt in 2010 she mentioned how my cousin told them three years prior and they wanted to actually hear it from me to know if it was true. I ended up telling my uncle two weeks later on Thanksgiving and it didn't go so well the next day because he ended up making gay jokes that got me upset, and my aunt made him apologize though my mom didn't know why he was apologizing.

In the past two years I've crossed the fence to Rainbowland and have realized I have very little attraction to guys. Though I still identify as Bisexual, I can see myself with women more often. My mother's still not accepting any of it, but over time she will have to realize this is my life. It's difficult, but though there's technically no "coming out" story, since each time I've tried to come out I've been pushed further back into the Narnia closet, I still know I'm my own being, and I know who will love me for me and not for what I have done, but what I will do will make the difference in the world. Until then I'm still stuck in Narnia and quite happy here.

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