By Un Jung Lim

“We have such diverse stories. We have such diverse experiences. We might identify as gay, as lesbian, as queer, as transgender; we have such different and full lives. For me, that’s what coming out means – to be able to share with other people who I really am. Being able to say, there isn’t a barrier between you and me, no matter how much money you might have in your pocket, if you grew up with your grandparents, with your aunt, if you grew up with your parents, or in a separated home.

I’ve been out since college, since 1998, more and more my parents try to understand. But they…don’t have the words to understand, they don’t have the words to communicate. When I try to have conversations with my mom…she tries to be as involved as possible, but for me, not being able to speak as much Korean, her not being able to speak much English, something like the Dari Project allows me to make some sort of bridge between what might be between us…

When I first came out to my mom, I told her, ‘Mom, I think I like women.’ Her immediate response was, ‘Well, I like women, too!’ And I said, ‘No, Mom. I think it’s a little different.’

But that we have shared experiences also, whether or not we might acknowledge the fact that we have a connection with same-gender-loving people. I am hoping that my parents also get to talk to other people about me openly, without having barriers.”