Grandmont is out, proud and not going to change

Amy Maffattone, Reporter

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Photo by Amy Maffattone
“In my eyes, the way that those hateful people act towards those in the community is absolutely disgusting,” junior Emily Grandmont said. “So I am pretty proud of it. However, in every other way, I just feel like an ordinary person.”

When junior Emily Grandmont was a freshman, she found herself crushing on both boys and girls. Before this, Grandmont had identified as straight, but once she “let herself be more open” she discovered what she truly liked.  

This was her first insight into her sexuality.

“I was surprised that I found myself leaning towards bisexuality,” Grandmont said. “Then I was afraid because of my parents and grandparents.”

Grandmont’s grandparents made it difficult for her to accept and come forward with this part of herself. They are a very old school religious couple who Grandmont said would take it upon themselves to “shove their religion down [my brother and I’s] throats.”

When Emily and her brother Ethan were over their grandparents’ house, they had them read bits from the Bible and learn from it.

“One of the times we were over there they had us read one of the stories,” Grandmont said. “At the end, they told us: ‘Homosexuality is wrong and if you’re a part of it, you’re going to hell.’”

When her grandparents told her that, Grandmont said she was still identifying as straight, so hearing that made her feel bad for the people that were in the LGBTQ+ community.

“[My grandparents] can believe what they want to believe,”Grandmont said, “and I didn’t have anything against that. But when they started saying things that were derogatory towards other people and the way that they live, then it started to hurt me. I knew if [LGBTQ+] people heard what they were saying, then they would be offended too.”   

Grandmont’s relationship with her grandparents was hindered by their attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community, but it also had been rocky due to her wardrobe choices. She naturally leans more towards boyish or less feminine clothes, choosing for fancy occasions to wear a shirt and pants instead of a dress.

There was one time when Grandmont was going over her grandparents’ house and she wore a shirt with a sugar skull on it. Her mother told her to change it because of what her grandmother would think.

“At first I was annoyed because they shouldn’t be the ones to choose what I wear and what I don’t wear,” Grandmont said. “Then, I figured I would just face my grandmother rather than just cower and be uncomfortable because of her.”

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Grandmont came out as pansexual during her sophomore year of high school. Pansexuality is when someone is attracted to a person with any sex or gender.

Grandmont ultimately wore the shirt that made her most comfortable, and, to her surprise, her grandmother did not say anything to her about it.

“I spoke to my mom and told her I was sorry for going against her, but she told me she was proud of me for standing up for myself and wearing what I wanted,” Grandmont said. “My grandmother admitted that she was going to say something about it, but she kept her mouth shut, which shocked me.”

Grandmont, even with all this against her, still found it within herself to come out to her family. She wrote a letter to her parents telling them all about how these experiences shaped her and how they made her who she was; someone who was not going to change and go against herself to please anyone else.

“I just handed [the letter] to my mom the next morning before school,” Grandmont said. “I was mortified the entire day, but when I came home, she told me that reading it was really hard for her, but it opened her eyes and she definitely wasn’t mad. Hearing that reaction after being so scared of what would happen was definitely uplifting. It was really nice to hear.”

Presently, Grandmont is fiercely proud and protective of the LGBTQ+ community and her place in it.  

“There’s this group of people that despise you because you’re different and because you go against old religious values,” Grandmont said. “I don’t like going against tradition or going against what people are used to, but that whole religious aspect surprisingly makes me feel proud to say that I am a part of it. In my eyes, the way that those hateful people act towards those in the community is absolutely disgusting. So I am pretty proud of it. However, in every other way, I just feel like an ordinary person.”

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