How to get a relationship off the ground is a big topic for King-Miller’s column readers, since many are newly out or in the process of coming out. But dumping a partner is another matter she takes on in her book.
“Anecdotally, I think that queer women are more likely to remain friends with their exes than straight people, but we’re certainly also more likely to have them in one way or another remain in our lives,” she said.
“Queer social circles are just smaller,” King-Miller said. “If you wanted to avoid your ex altogether you might end up feeling like you’ve been ex-communicated from your gay social scene. Learning to co-exist with exes in a peaceful and non-adversarial way is probably a good life skill to have across the board. It’s maybe even more important for queer women because it’s really hard to go through a lesbian breakup. If there’s one gay bar in town you’re going to see your ex there.”
Coming out is one thing, King-Miller said, but being rejected by loved ones in the process is quite another. It’s an area she is asked about quite a lot by her column readers. If familial rejection is likely, she counsels, “there’s no shame in waiting to come out to them until you’ve saved up some money and are prepared to move out and support yourself.”
Unfortunately, the supply of LGBTQ-friendly shelters doesn’t always keep pace with the demand of young people who find themselves on the streets. And internalizing the rejection, she said, can be a struggle.
“If you do walk away from the people who raised you, you still won’t be alone,” King-Miller reinforces in the book. “There is a world of LGBTQ and allied people out there, many of whom would be thrilled to share support, friendship and mix CDs with you. While you’re mourning what you lost, don’t forget to be excited for what’s ahead.”
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