Newborn Syndrome

Newborn Syndrome

Back in the day, when Callie was a fairly newborn bisexual on Grey’s Anatomy, she met Arizona in a bar, kissed, and then Arizona found out how recently Callie had come out.

Okay, see, this is what I try to avoid. You’re all exploring and experimenting and— Yay! This is a really exciting time for you. But, I work in Peds. I spend my entire day around newborns, so I try not to in my personal life. Thanks for asking though. I’m super flattered. Super.

Flash forward to 2016 and Alex, newly out to herself and her sister over on Supergirl, takes it upon herself to kiss the woman who encouraged her, Maggie, and receives a similar talk.

Well, we’re at really different places. And everything is changing for you. And everything is going to feel really heightened and shiny. And, um, you should experience that for yourself. Not just to be with me. And I shouldn’t get involved with someone who’s just fresh off the boat. Those relationships never really work out.

There is a lot of difference between the two. Arizona was very much against the idea of dating anyone newly out. In fact, her whole demeanor changed the moment she heard Erica was Callie’s first girlfriend. On the other hand, Maggie was there as the first person to whom Alex came out, and was her lesbian god-mother, helping her come out to Kara.

The tone of the speeches are different. Maggie is encouraging Alex to get out there and be gay. Arizona, as we later learn, is very biphobic and much of the drama in her early relationship with Callie is that Callie’s not gay enough.

With both, however, there’s an underlying sentiment that feeds pretty similar. Experienced lesbians don’t want to date newbie lesbians. This can be true for a lot of people. In Arizona’s case, her worry was being used as an experiment. In Maggie’s, she just was well aware that she  and Alex weren’t in the same headspace.

While it’s very painful to watch the newly out, in their moments of bravery, get shut down, it’s important to see that people don’t magically come out and are loved and embraced and trusted by all. That they’re turned down. That they struggle and make the mistakes we did. And it’s important to see that not everyone is the accepting kind of lesbian. It’s important to see that hate from heterosexuals, from family, isn’t the only pain you’ll be running into.

The newborn lesbian syndrome can be difficult to explain and portray, but it tells a journey that is equally as important and representative as anything else.

About Mika A. Epstein

Mika has been deep in fandom since she could say 'Trekkie.' With decades experience in running fansites, developing software, and organizing communities, she's taken on the challenge of delving into the recesses of television for queers long forgotten. Making this site with Tracy is nothing short of serendipity. Mika lives with her wife and their cats in Southern California. Of course she has a hybrid, but she'd rather ride her bicycle.
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