I go by Elis. I am 21 years old and identify as agender pansexual. I used to think I was bisexual between the ages of 14 and 15. There was this one girl who used to write to me who eventually told me that she liked me. She asked me, “What do you think about gay people?” I replied, “I do not oppose them. In fact, I am bisexual.” It was the first time I told someone that I was not straight. From a young age, I found nothing wrong with same-sex attraction. I felt like I was capable of loving anyone, I saw interested in the person, not their gender. At the age of six, I was into both a boy and a girl at the same time. There was nothing wrong with that, nothing abnormal about it. Oddly enough, I felt I should hide it from my mom and my family. It seemed unnecessary to tell them. Many years had passed since, and I have done my research and found out a great deal about gender spectrums and sexual orientation. In my 11th or 12th grade, I fully embraced that I was agender pansexual.
Let’s answer the main question. Initially and officially, I came out to my classmate. Her reaction was better than I expected. She was neither supportive nor degrading of me. No name-calling. Instead, she told me that I knew myself best and she would respect my choice. And then, cutely enough, she nagged me about what I did in the sheets. I also came out to two of my guy friends, and they took it in stride, “Ah ok”. I expected negative reactions from them, but since I came out, our friendship has only gotten better. None of my close friends gave me a hard time, there were no dirty looks, no name-calling, nothing derogatory, no one cut me off and our friendships remained the same. I feel like I am a very lucky person. I am grateful for God for granting me great friends.
Forward two years: in my freshman year, I decided to come out to my closest uni friend. Coming out to my other friends was not as nerve-racking as this time. I was so nervous. I practised what I wanted to say beforehand and then told her, “I want to tell you something. Please do not think wrong of me. I am still the same Elis. Ok?” She listened patiently and said, “Go on” as if she knew already what I was about to tell her. At that moment I just blurted out that I was pansexual. Then I began sobbing hysterically. My friend simply hugged me and said, “It is okay, I’ve known for awhile.” Once again, I felt that I was so lucky. I asked her, “How come you didn’t tell me if you knew?” She said, “I wanted to hear it from you.” In retrospect, every time I came out to someone, it contributed to the process of me accepting myself. That was how it was for me. Earlier, the key phrase of my coming out was “I have a girlfriend.” But to finally be able to say out loud the correct and proper term that I identified with was something different: it was both awesome and frightening at the same time.
In terms of my family, I tried telling my mom indirectly in a variety of ways. Then eventually, I told her plainly that I had a girlfriend. She was neither supportive nor upset. She told me, “Unless you want to end up in the gutters of the Mongolian society, you’d better stop all this nonsense. It is just a phase.” I thought about it in two ways: on the one hand, she was trying to accept me, and on the other, she was just worried about my future. Now she is quite openminded. Little by little, I gave her with information about LGBTI people. Compared to before, she is quite accepting of LGBTI people now. Therefore, don’t think that people are against us, they simply do not know much about us. Similar to animals, the immediate human instinct is to distance themselves from the unknown because the unknown is perceived as negative.
As of now, I choose to be out to my immediate circle of family and friends, not the entire society. Although I am not fully out, I still support the LGBTI community in Mongolia. So, this is my coming-out story. I am thankful to people who founded the Center that is working to support people like me.