Since I was a child, even though I still don't identify myself as a lesbian woman, I was never very feminine.
As I have a musical taste focused on classic rock, my adolescence was wearing some blouse with a plaid shirt on top. So, hiding my sexuality was never an option for me because I never had fit in a feminine and sensitive "heterosexual" standard.
About sharing personal information, for a person who unfortunately lives in a world that is still full of prejudiced, it is a matter of security. That’s why, I talk about personal matters only with whom I feel comfortable talking.
Unfortunately, I've heard many offensive comments. I was born into a completely traditional evangelical family. Today I have a friendly relationship with them, but it was very difficult.
People need to understand that being gay doesn't make you uneducated or a threat. The fact that we like another person of the same sex does not mean that we will look at, disrespect or "attack". We are ordinary people who fall in love with people of the same sex, from the moment this person shows interest.
The prejudice that marked me the most was when I was kicked out of a childhood friend's house with her mother screaming at me, because she found out I was homosexual. It was weird. But after a while her mother asked me for forgiveness, and it was fine.
I've already lost people who were my friends, but I've gained a lot of new dear friends too.
Comments and stares are unfortunately a reality that I've learned to deal with and ignore. Once, I was washing my hands in a customer's bathroom, and another employee entered the bathroom, when she saw me, she ran into one of the stalls. I was just thinking to understand if she thought I would be a danger to her.
My way of trying to change people's perspectives is simply to be what I am: an educated person who respects everyone else. I think being yourself shows that we are not a "threat" to anyone, just ordinary people. But not accepting prejudiced comments or being silent about disrespect is a start to resolve so much ignorance on this subject!
Unfortunately, there are still places in the world where homosexuals are killed. Here in Brazil, still transsexuals and homosexuals are frequently beaten. People are expelled from their homes and lose contact with their families simply because they are different from the "normal" imposed by society.
We need to understand that sexuality is not something chosen. We don't wake up with an on/off switch to decide who we're going to be attracted to. We are not a threat. We are people who also want to live safely and respectfully!