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Coming out twice

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by Rylee Binns

From a young age I realised I was ‘different’ from other girls.

I enjoyed football and playing with Lego and Action Man. Basically I was a tomboy, but as time progressed I realised I was very different to the other girls at my high school.

By the age of 15 I had my first experience with a girl, who was a friend. This then led to us having a secret love affair, which prompted me to sleep with guys as well to ensure people didn’t think I was gay.

Back then coming out as bi was more accepted – so that’s what I did.

I continued to sleep with countless guys to cover up the gayness, but it soon shown through like a rising sun.

However, I then moved back to my old high school where I was bullied horribly as there were rumours I was gay. Eventually one girl asked me if I was gay and I politely explained I was bi. I then asked why the rest of the girls weren’t talking to me, and funnily enough it was because I was gay.

At this point I had a couple of alcoholic beverages one night with my dad and I broke down, explaining I was being bullied for being gay and I wanted out of that school.

So my dad did just that. I moved to a new school where I was accepted for who I was. By this time I was accepting of myself of being gay rather than bi.

Back then I thought if I sleep with men as well then it wouldn’t be such a problem, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.

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Fast forward to 2016 when I began to realise my gender no longer matched my biological sex and I rejected all feminine traits as much as I possibly could.

But I knew deep down I didn’t feel like a man. So what was I?

Then I met someone who identifies as non-binary, so I thought what the heck! Let’s ask some questions because you really need these answered.

I had questions about my gender and whether I identified as non-binary, which to my amazement I did. To me I feel masculine as opposed to feminine. I bought my first binder and then changed my name to Rylee.

Funny story – I chose that name on a train journey back from Edinburgh Zoo with two options, and for the life of me I cannot remember the other name, so Rylee must have been the best choice.

I first came out to friends at university and slowly people would see things on Instagram, but it wasn’t time for Facebook to know.

Eventually in October I went up north to see my family to celebrate my birthday and for me it was my time to come out again.

So I did just that. I won’t go into too much detail but it didn’t go well and I ended up leaving my mum’s house in tears.

Come Christmas I was terrified of how things would go, but they went smoothly. My brother tried his best to call me Rylee, my granma got me a pen which had ‘doesn’t have your name’ inscribed on it – which for me was a win! – and then several days into January I got a card from my young cousins to say thank you for their Christmas presents. They addressed it to Rylee.

I can’t begin to explain the excitement but also the anxiety know knowing that all of my close family knew.

Then we fast forward to the 8th of February when I got a new tattoo on my wrist – ‘they’, which are my pronouns. I took the plunge and posted a coming out status which was liberating yet terrifying.

I was leaving myself open to nasty comments and awful judgements, however the whole experience exceeded itself. My mum even commented under the status explaining that 27 years ago she gave birth to her first child and regardless of whether I was they/them, he or she, I was still hers…

Reading the full comment I was reduced to tears. Finally my mum was accepting me for me.

Being able to write all of this down has been an incredible experience and if anyone reading is questioning their gender or sexuality please reach out and talk to people. I am more than happy to chat to anyone about LGBT+ things  – and coffee is always good!

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The Features section of Brig, Stirling University's student newspaper.

Editors: Elizabeth Ross & Warren Hardie

The Features section of Brig, Stirling University's student newspaper.

Editors: Elizabeth Ross & Warren Hardie

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