Leslie Losby

As interviewed by Holden Murphy, April 12th, 2015

Leslie Losby: In Her Own Words

I graduated with a degree in nursing. Took me five years, ‘cause I didn’t know what I wanted to do right away. I think.. Pretty comical, I started out as a pre-pharmacy major, and it only took me 1 semester to realize that that was not going to happen, so then maybe I thought I would go into business, so I took a couple of -’cause you have to take prerequisite classes to apply to get into the business school. So I started taking those and I don’t remember why I decided that I didn’t want to do business, but I kinda thought about it and really enjoyed science classes, which you don’t really take any of those while you’re in business school, and I enjoyed ... The thought of being able to give back and and help people and have that fulfillment in my career, so I switched into a bunch of prerequisite classes for nursing and ended up getting in, and so yeah. “Registered Nurse’ is my degree I guess.

I was really lucky because I had a great group of friends and support system, and when I was in my first relationship I … It was a secret for a while, just ‘cause, even though you know you’re 99% sure that your friends don’t care and would be totally fine with it, there’s still that 1 little percent of doubt that you … It’s scary. It was a secret for months, and once people did start finding out, it was welcomed with open arms, nothing different.. Happy that I could just be myself and be with who I wanted to be with.

(When asked if there was anyone who wasn't supportive of her coming out)

Not really in college and I think it’s because I went to such a huge campus with people that accepted a lot of political and social views on everything but… Madison tended to be a liberal city. So no, not really in college but I remember once I realized that I was gay and having to tell my High School friends, that was probably the hardest group of people to tell, other than my parents. It’s not like we grew up in a small town really, but if I really generalized it, the majority of them had kind of a narrow mind towards it, they hadn’t really been exposed to a lot of other (gay) people. I remember telling two of my best girl friends that I was dating a woman and they were shocked, which kind of surprises me because I didn’t really give them any inclination that I -we grew up together and I never really dated any boys so you’d think that it wasn’t a complete shock, but it was. My one friend… She is, was, very religious, and I remember them kind of being OK with it to my face, and then she said “Love the sinner, hate the sin”. So that one was really tough to swallow and to kind of, how do you forge a friendship from here, knowing that she doesn’t really like what you’re doing, feels like it’s a sin to be blatant… Yeah, that was the toughest one, ‘cause I really had nothing to say back to that because I find a lot of times when people have religion as a backing for not liking it, there’s nothing you can say to sway them. It’s just that’s what they believe, and of course I’m generalizing, I guess. I find there’s nothing really you can say because BOOM, that’s their belief, and you can’t change that with a conversation saying “Well, it’s really not different, it’s the same, we’re all humans”. So, that was the toughest one, I would say.

(When asked how she came out to her parents)

I should start off by saying they have been wonderful throughout this whole, I don’t want to call it a process, but throughout everything. But as I said before, when you are a certain percentage sure that they will be fine with it, if there’s still that little bit of doubt that what if, what if they’re completely not OK with it? You think you know someone and then once you actually tell them and once they have to deal with it as their own daughter it’s different, and they might not be OK, they might, you know, excommunicate me from the family.. All these things go through your mind, the worst case scenario. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” kind of situations. So this is one of my biggest regrets, that I was so scared to tell them in person that I emailed them. I laugh, and it’s really not funny because.. I just, putting myself in their shoes I would’ve just been really hurt that my son or daughter didn’t feel like they could come to me and tell me something like that. So, in that regard, I really regret how that happened, and of course they responded in an email and it said something along the lines of, “We love you, this may take a little time getting used to. This isn’t how we imagined your future, but again we still love you and we’re here for you”, pretty much. So there’s nothing but positive support for the most part, and of course after the fact you’re like “Why did I do that? Why did I doubt it?” So yeah, that was bad. But since then, they have been absolutely fantastic with everything. I’m engaged right now to my fiancee. Her name is Francis, and we’re getting married this Spring, and they have just been really supportive throughout this whole... Journey, I guess, and you know, weddings are very traditional, man and woman. If you go to a wedding, you know that a lot of the things that they do is very obviously for a man and a woman, And so I’ve been really happy with the way they’ve just been rolling with it. They’ve been curious, they ask questions, they’re.. Yeah, it just feels like a normal engagement, which is what it should feel like.