The Heartache and Confusion of Coming Into Queerness

Striving for academic achievement put me on autopilot. Now, I am finally feeling my way through liminal space.

Cristina Somcutean
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readNov 20, 2023

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Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash

“I can’t bear to do the same thing over and over every day anymore.”

For weeks, I had been whining to whoever was willing to listen about how I just wanted to be done with the biggest project I had ever undertaken: my Master’s thesis in philosophy. Then, on a random Thursday afternoon, I was in fact finally done.

I was officially finished ‘doing the same thing over and over.’

The banality of the moment when I submitted the document perplexed me. In reality, this is a huge milestone, yet it feels like the enormity of what I have just completed is only dawning on me days later.

I do not intend to walk you through my thesis timeline in this story. In many ways, it was all a blur anyway. The only thing that went according to plan was that I submitted a thesis on time that roughly discussed what I had outlined in my proposal.

No, what is much more interesting about the last nine months is the life that happened along the way and in between. It is because of my development that this project was as enormous as it was. In length, it was a little longer than the typical novella — short of 28,000 words. But I was a different person when I started than when I finished.

The leap that I made from one state to another is what makes my thesis submission particularly destabilizing. It is not uncommon to see marathon runners collapse at the finish line. With an academic project driving me (to the brink of insanity, at times), it felt like I had been running away from my old self without any regard for how tired my legs, lungs, and heart had become. Especially during the last six weeks, all I could think of every morning was that I had to keep going, or I’d be in serious trouble.

My thesis writing process was accompanied by various big moments and events: a self-rediscovery, a gradual coming out as non-binary and pansexual, and a romantic breakup.

Now that I’ve stopped running, it’s time to truly feel what coming into queerness feels like. And the way things worked out…

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Cristina Somcutean
Human Parts

she/they // I can't experience everything, so I'll just make sure to experience my soul // philosopher, artist, feminist // baby queer finding their way