Shaina Weintraub

 

The first person I came out to was a friend of mine in 2008 when I was in 8th grade. I had a crush on a mutual friend of ours and I had to let someone know it. Her response of “if you don’t tell her, I will” was my first lesson in knowing my sexuality wasn’t just about who I had a crush on, it was a means for gossip and a way to be differentiated from others. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that I couldn’t control my own narrative. I went to great lengths in high school to make sure everyone was comfortable — facing the wall in the locker room before and after PE so my classmates wouldn’t worry that I was staring at them, assuring my friends that they weren’t my “type” so they wouldn’t fear I was crushing on them, and even applying the “bisexual” tag to my name so others wouldn’t think I’m all that different, just 50% different. In the twelve years since then, my tune has completely changed. I’m open about my sexuality and treat that part of me as though it’s not different from anyone else, because, in my mind, it’s not. I like a person, you like a person, it doesn’t matter if we’re female, male, or gender non-binary — let’s celebrate the fact that someone excites us and makes us want to write corny love poems and little pun-filled cards. Love and attraction are beautiful and it doesn’t get to be gatekept in a heterosexual partnership.

What are your pronouns?
she/her/hers

How do you identify within the LGBTQIA+ community?
Queer

What is your association with the City of Providence or State of Rhode Island?
I live in Providence and work for the City of Providence‚Äč

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