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Student Life: In the Closet, Out of the Closet, Ikea Closet

by Marouschka Vink in Columns & Opinions , 24 juni 2017

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Not coming out of the closet publicly with your sexual preference, not understanding what this feeling of being in love exactly means, or simply not being able to come out because of religion or social situations. We have all experienced it, hiding at the back of the closed closet.

That sexual orientation is something to be open about is actually a beautiful thing. It means that sexuality is not just something for in between the sheets, but is something you feel and defines who you are - recognition in a certain way. Getting out of the closet means personal stories.

Painful stories, stories with a happy ending, and, if you’re lucky, stories that make everyone laugh and forget that you’re just simply gay or lesbian. I am one of those people.

The irony of my story began on a Wednesday afternoon, in biology class. It’s not what you think. Two people of the COC visited our school to share their stories. The girl in front of the class had a great sense of humour and got my attention. She told about breaking off her relationship because her ex-boyfriend was gay, while she was totally lesbian.

The whole class started laughing, and so did she. I was laughing as well, and karma slapped me right in the face: three month later, my then boyfriend dragged me into the bicycle shed. Also not what you think. After two years, he told me that he was not attracted to girls at all. Bummer. I was not angry, but it did make me curious. When I realized at a school party that I also wanted to experience how that felt, I tried my best to make a pass at this girl from the city. It worked, and there my ex-boyfriend and I were. At the same point that girl from the COC was: my ex gay, and I totally lesbian.

For a long time over the following years I was hoping I would be able talk about it the way the girl from the COC could. Now, four girlfriends later, I walk hand in hand with my current girlfriend, I am vice-chairperson of a gay student’s union, and my father calls people who ask him if he is struggling with the fact that his daughter is lesbian “idiots”: mission accomplished!

A.S.V.Gay would not truly be gay if we did not pay some attention to closets. On October 11 we drag our pink Ikea closet around town - you really do not want to get stuck in this closet - in order to make people physically come out of the closet throughout Amsterdam. We also have councillors, a special group of members who deal with the more serious issues, such as the well-being of our members.

Also this year, they will organize the so-called “tea sessions” on a topical theme in the GLBTQ+ scene. As a student’s union, we hope to expedite the getting out of the closet, and hope that everyone will start feeling comfortable about their being “different.” Because face it, Ikea or not, everyone is in the closet at times. With our without sexuality.

Marouschka Vink is vice chair of studentenboard A.S.V.Gay.
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In the New Issue of Gay News, 331, maart 2019

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