Submitted by: A. Nolan Westwick
1. Please write a brief autobiography:
I grew up between poor and middle class neighborhoods. I am a student, and a straight male Ally for the LGBTQA community. I encourage everyone to follow what’s in their heart, no matter what the future holds.
2. When and how did you discover your sexual / gender orientation?
I’m straight. I’ve been straight all my life. I discovered it at age very young age, maybe 6 or so, when my 1st grade girlfriend gave me a kiss at recess.
3. When and how did you come out to friends and family? If you’re not out, then please explain why.
I’ve never told anyone my story, until now.
4. If applicable, please describe the reactions you’ve received from others during your coming out process. If you’re not out, then please describe the reactions you would expect to receive by opening up to friends and family.
I haven’t received any reactions, but I hope to receive positive reactions from my family and friends. I’m not homosexual, but I think possible persecution from those who know me will be minimal.
5. Please describe your current religious, spiritual, or faith experiences and practices.
I have a growing antipathy towards organized religion, but I do own a copy of the Holy Bible.
6. Lastly, please share any lessons you’ve learned by integrating your life, faith, and sexuality. Also, provide any advice (nuggets of truth, etc) that you feel may be helpful to someone just beginning this process.
So much to get off my chest, but only so much confidence. I may post more entries of how the rest of my year went, but I’m not completely sure. I have never told anyone this, but the first week I moved into college, as a Freshman, I was surprised to learn that my overly sincere roommate that I was going to live in the same room with for 8 months was a not a guy, but a transexual.
Day 6,813, First day of college (move in day)! Yea! So many things running through my nervous head. So many people to meet. So much to do! Finally the freedom of living alone. I can’t wait to meet my roommate, find out how much of a “bro” he is! What type of sports he likes. Is he gonna be cool? Is he black, white, asian?
I didn’t really know what to expect coming into college. I wasn’t so sure about living with another person. Growing up, I always had my own room. I had a television to myself, my own remote, my own videogame system, my own computer. I felt no need to share living quarters that intimate with another person. My room was my room.
It’s finally move-in day, Room 334, it’s all mine! I’m surprised to learn that my roommate hasn’t moved in yet. “Oh, maybe he’s coming from afar?”, I thought to myself. The University of @#$%^&*$ being very diverse, that wouldn’t have surprised me. That night I’ve said my farewells and adieus to my loving mother and sister who helped me move in; I’m watching t.v., relaxing, just chilling. I think to myself… “I’m officially a college boy.” What an accomplishment for me, being a black male in college. You know, “I’m proud of myself”, I say. It was hard to graduate with honors but I did it, and I’m here. Night falls, I’m still wondering if my roommate is going to show up through the night.
Day 6,814, Next morning comes, no roommate. I venture into the residence halls talking with other freshman, making acquaintances, and going about my day. I soon return to my room, as I do prefer a nice bit of solitude during my free time. I start reading my favorite book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I try to emulate Holden Caulfield’s view on life. He’s got a lot of regrets, but his perspective on the ever-changing morality and ideals of human society, or the lack of for that matter, is something we both agree on and something I can’t do without every so often.
“Boom” “Click” “Knock, Knock” Frantically, I get up to see who’s coming in. It’s my roommate. “He’s here!”, I think to myself. I’m a big boiling bowl of anxious nerves and psuedo confidence. “Finally.” I have the chance to meet my roommate. Walking in comes a geekily, baggily dressed yet suavely mannered $%$@# guy. We meet, he’s cool, seems like he probably has a lot of lady friends. He even has a cool name. His parents help him move in, they’re immigrants, but seem to have been in America for a long time, and my roommate seems to be a first generation $#%#@# – American individual.
We immediately talk and cordially introduce ourselves. I’m $%$@##, I say. He says, “I’m $%#$@)”. His parents were nice. “He was going to be an awesome roommate”, I said to myself. So he immediately pulls out his computer on his side of the double room, and gets to it. He’s obviously in love with the social media website ^^&&$@. Even though, I barely used Facebook for all that matter.
Day 6,815, we both get up pretty early and I start to walk around the dorm, he stays in the room most of the days until leading up to the first day of class, I come back, we talk about guy stuff and we go back to sleep for the first day of class.
Day 6,816, @#$%^ and I are talking, about what I don’t remember, because what came after eliminated all preceding thoughts. I will never forget the look on his face and what I was doing. It replays in my head, crystal clear as the day it happened. As I was reaching down to get a can of Sprite out of our mini-fridge. @#$%^ says ,“Oh by the way, there’s something I think I should tell you”. “What’s up”, I reply not knowing what daunting news was to come next. “I’m a transexual”, @#$%^ says. OH MY GOD! That thought was going off like a 10-fire alarm in a fire station in my head, but the only thing that comes out of my frightened mouth is “Oh, ok”. “I hope it’s okay”, says @#$%^. “Of course”, I say apprehensively. As I sit down on my bed, dazed and confused as of to what tragedy just took place, while he is staring at me, the entire time, I remain cool as a cucumber, not showing any signs of discomfort; only vague interest and signs of acceptance with my body language are being displayed.
What does this even mean? Trans..? Transexual! Is he gay? Does he have both penis and a vagina? Is he a woman? Is this some mystical third gender? WTF am I getting myself into? Too scared to say no, too scared of what I’ll do if I’m tempted to change rooms, and blab to my other roommates about, “What a freak my old roommate is”. Knowing that is not like me, and knowing that I am an individual with a lot of integrity and of a much higher character, I choose to stay. “What exactly does that mean?”, I asked. “I was born female. I recently had surgery”,@#$%^ replied. “On what?”, I asked. @#$%^ proceeded to lift up his shirt to show me the fluid bags hiding underneath his baggy hoodie that were connected to his chest. “It’s definitely cool that you’re like that”, I say reassuringly almost like a confused yet semi-astounded mother to their gay child who has just come out of the closet.
For the rest of that day and night, I stayed up. Staring at that sprite can. On top of the mini-fridge. That one I never drank. For I was afraid to, It was the last remnants of the old me. That sprite was all that was left of my life before I was abruptly introduced to the new me.
By the time the conversation was over, in all three-five minutes that the conversation took place in, my life was changed forever. I went from living the college dream in a dorm full of booze and girls to living with a ftm(female to male) transexual who just had surgery on removing her…I mean his mammary glands.
Day 1. The next day, I was reborn. Because I had accepted my fate. I was no longer surrounded by black males, and their persecutory chants of homosexual hatred and their ironic endeavors, but sleeping 10 feet away from a person; not a transexual, who risked his social life in the hands of a complete stranger, let their his fate of communal & social progress within the college environment hang in the balance of nature, and came out to a potential gay basher; I was in awe. I saw the fear in @#$%^’s eyes, when he said those words to me; the embarrassed, insecure, yet somewhat accomplished and relieved facial expression as well.
I have never told anyone that. If I decide to post anything else, it will always be truthful, because living with @#$%^ for 8 months changed my life, and I will forever be a part of the LGBTQA community as an Ally. Whether it’s about how @#$%^ changed before my eyes, how I still have not told my mother, closest friends, or siblings about my transexaul roomate, how @#$%^ told certain people, how our entire dorm never question @#$%^ sexuality, or how I have tens of many other personal and intrapersonal memories and stories with @#$%^ that we shared from school freshman year that shaped me as who I am today, I will always tell the truth, for it’s the best thing to I ever told. Because ??? days into my new life as an Ally, it’s the bigotry and hatred towards the LGBTQA community that never makes me regret my decision in posting this.
It feels great to be able to say that. For what ever the cost, never be afraid of who you are. I am an Ally.
This is a memoir from my life. 100% truthful, 100% of the time, I still can’t believe my life, so I laugh at myself, it never hurts, only helps.