Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), feel free to download and print a PDF of the Questions for Reflection we've made just for you:
Landscape or Portrait
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
We share our personal experiences so we can learn from each other.
Beth Demme (00:08):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to, but that you don't hear are being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:13):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:17):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, How Pride Became Personal.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:24):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection. We'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life. So Beth, we have had a good amount of people on this podcast. I mean, we've had-
Beth Demme (00:35):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
... a lot of conversations amongst ourselves.
Beth Demme (00:40):
I mean, we're on episode 139, by the way. So, we've don't this a bit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:42):
Yeah, that's 138 episode so far. We can't count this one. It's not done.
Beth Demme (00:49):
This one's not done.
But this is going to come out in June, which is Pride Month.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:51):
Correct. Yeah. So we have talked about having people that represent each of the letters-
Beth Demme (00:59):
... of the LGBTQIA+-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:03):
Beth Demme (01:03):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:04):
... plus, yes. We got it. We can Google things. And so we had a great conversation with a mother of a transgender son-
Beth Demme (01:13):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:14):
We had a gay man share his coming out story.
Beth Demme (01:17):
Yep. David, that was good.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:18):
And we did discuss asexual.
Beth Demme (01:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:22):
In a previous episode. We'll put a link to that. You can figure out how that turned out. But we've been talking about having representation from each of them, and one that we were talking about was having a lesbian on the podcast.
Beth Demme (01:34):
Yes, which we have done, actually.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:36):
Technically we have, but that wasn't the conversation.
Beth Demme (01:39):
No, that was Des, who came and talked to us about... She's a Suicidologist-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:44):
Beth Demme (01:45):
... and she was talking to us about-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:46):
That was awesome.
Beth Demme (01:47):
... yeah, survivors of suicide and all of that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:49):
Yeah. So we technically did, but wasn't what we talked about.
Beth Demme (01:53):
Right. But we have wanted to do that. We have wanted to have a lesbian, have a gay woman on so that we could really make sure we were incorporating diverse voices and perspectives in these honest conversations.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:06):
But we recently realized that we have actually had a lesbian on 138 episodes-
Beth Demme (02:13):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:13):
... of our podcast.
Beth Demme (02:14):
... how about that?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:15):
Yeah. So that was-
Beth Demme (02:16):
So, spoiler alert.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:17):
... a recent discovery-
Beth Demme (02:18):
It's not me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:20):
... that we're going to talk about today. That might not be news to some people. It was news to me. We have, we've talked 138 episodes about very honest conversations-
Beth Demme (02:32):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:32):
... and about-
Beth Demme (02:33):
Including, "Is Steph Asexual?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:34):
Beth Demme (02:35):
And you're like, "Nope." Well, don't give that away. Well, I guess we are giving it away. Nevermind.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:40):
I think that cat's out of the bag.
Beth Demme (02:41):
Okay, yeah. Okay, so let me read this text message that you sent in a group text recently that I'm a part of.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:47):
Okay. So yes, I've been telling people about this discovery that I recently found out about myself, and I did send it in a group message. This was the first time I just sent it in a group, and this is how I said it, and Beth, she'd chuckle at it.
Beth Demme (03:05):
Okay. So let me just say that a mutual friend posted a picture of herself in a Pride shirt. It was a-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:10):
Beth Demme (03:11):
... really cute shirt that says-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:13):
Beth Demme (03:13):
... "Be careful who you hate. It could be someone you love."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:15):
Beth Demme (03:16):
And so Steph was responding to that really super cute shirt, this really super cute friend. And Steph says, "I just recently discovered that I'm gay. So it's really nice knowing there are church people who are loving and supportive. And that just makes me, I just recently discovered that I'm gay."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:32):
Okay, I didn't say it like that. That's not my voice, but okay. Discovering Our Scars, I've discovered something. I don't know why it makes you laugh so much.
Beth Demme (03:43):
I guess I thought you would say-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:44):
Beth Demme (03:46):
... "I recently realized that I'm gay," or-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:49):
But see, I, okay. I guess the big thing for me was, I didn't want to say, "I'm gay" now, or like I just realized, because it was a discovery. Because I do, now looking back on things, I do think I was always gay, but I never discovered it. So I think that's the perfect word for it, Beth. I mean-
Beth Demme (04:11):
I love it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:12):
... my book is called Discovering My Scars.
Beth Demme (04:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:15):
And it took me, it was a journey of learning things from my past. And it wasn't something that I automatically knew all of these things. It was a journey and I had to be at certain places in my life to really discover them. And so, I think it's the perfect word for it. I don't know why you think it's so funny.
Beth Demme (04:33):
It just really makes me chuckle. It's just very sweet the way that you say it actually.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:38):
Beth Demme (04:40):
But I just want to be a hundred percent sure, you are comfortable talking about this? You're okay doing this episode, this is good, you're ready for this? You're telling people.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:50):
I have told like 14 people.
Beth Demme (04:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:52):
And so I'm going to stop counting.
Beth Demme (04:56):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:56):
... after this episode comes out.
Beth Demme (04:58):
You didn't count all the people on that test run?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:59):
No, I didn't. I didn't count how many people, I did think about that, I was like, "Yeah, it's okay."
Beth Demme (05:03):
Six people have hearted it. So.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:05):
Well then, 14 plus 6, I can't do the math. So I am nervous about talking about this. Yes. Because it's huge, big life-changing news. But this isn't something I just discovered yesterday. To be clear, this is something that has been kind of a three-month journey, which still seems pretty short in time, but it wasn't. So basically during our pause from the podcast.
Beth Demme (05:28):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:28):
This was going on.
Beth Demme (05:29):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:30):
So this was this discovery was happening. So I feel comfortable talking about it. I don't feel like super, like, I kind of feel like anytime I feel the same way when we talk about hard stuff.
Beth Demme (05:43):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:44):
So it's the same feeling. It's kind of like, "This is hard, but I want to do it.
Beth Demme (05:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:48):
Not that I should do it."
Beth Demme (05:49):
You know, yeah. No. I don't want to shit on you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:51):
No, we don't shit on each other. Right.
Beth Demme (05:53):
So, how old are you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:55):
I am 37 in February is when I turn 37.
Beth Demme (05:59):
So any thoughts on why you've just now discovered this about yourself?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:04):
Well, I think if you've read my book, which we've shared on the podcast, some of the book, I think it would make a little bit more sense. I've had a journey, a journey in life of just discovering some past trauma. And for most of my twenties, I was dealing with PTSD from being in a mental hospital for four days. And I didn't have the space and the space and the emotional bandwidth to even really consider relationships.
I did date guys here and there, but the longest I dated someone was probably like two months. That's not a long time. So I just always assumed I was straight. I think that's what society pushes us towards, is especially in the nineties like when I was growing up, my pivotal years, it was like there, we knew the word "gay," but also the word "gay" was used as a insult for very widely, like, accepted insult, which I never used. I always thought that was insane.
But there was nothing in my life that made me think, "Huh, I should think, am I really straight? And am I really attracted to men, or is that just what I think I am because that's what all the movies show and that's what I just have to assume?"
Beth Demme (07:28):
Okay. So, going back to our Is Steph Asexual-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:31):
Beth Demme (07:32):
... episode number 74-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:33):
Okay, good. I'm glad you looked it up.
Beth Demme (07:35):
... you said, and I quote-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:37):
Oh okay, good. Because we have transcripts.
Beth Demme (07:39):
We have transcripts.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:40):
Okay, good. You said, "I'm a girl who was born straight, and I'm attracted to males, and I would love to find a male that I feel 100% safe with to have a healthy sexual relationship with one day. I would love that."
Beth Demme (07:51):
Feel the end quote?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:52):
The end quote. Feel free to replace that with the actual audio, because we have that too.
Beth Demme (07:56):
I, that's what I was just thinking. I was like, "I do not even want to hear me say those words because that, just the quote alone sounds insane."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:04):
Beth Demme (08:04):
I don't want to look it up. I don't want to actually hear me say it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:07):
Was it true when you said it?
Beth Demme (08:08):
Yes, it was true. I think that I, all the information and facts I had at that moment is why I said that. All my life experiences, all, everything that brought me to that, what was that, two years ago, three years ago? Made me think that was accurate.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:24):
Beth Demme (08:25):
And so it wasn't a lie because that was all I knew. But I also, the more older I get, the more I realize that we grow and change. And I think that's why a lot of people get divorced because people grow and change, but not necessarily together.
And they realize, "Oh, this is not the person I want to be with forever." But I have always embraced change and maybe I always thought this thing was right or whatever, and then realizing, "Oh, that's not right. Okay. I could change my thoughts about that, that's okay." And so I've always really strived to be that kind of person and be open to that. So, that is not accurate information anymore, that quote there. But it was at the time. I didn't lie.
You know I hate lying.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:15):
I know for sure you did not lie.
Beth Demme (09:16):
I did not lie. And I think that-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:18):
That's a pretty hilarious quote though.
Beth Demme (09:20):
... I think that-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:20):
That will be on my grave.
Beth Demme (09:23):
We're going to put that on the tombstone. I mean, I do think it's important, and I think that this is our theme in this conversation would be that it's important to being open.
We have to be open to discovering new things about ourselves.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:38):
Beth Demme (09:38):
Also, I will say, I have thought for the longest time, I've had people in the past tell me that, "I'm a lesbian." Like, okay, great.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:47):
Tell you that or ask you that?
Beth Demme (09:48):
No, tell, well, both.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:49):
Beth Demme (09:49):
But mostly tell me. And it wasn't very helpful to tell. It's not very helpful to tell somebody that. But so I had thought about it, like, "Am I lesbian?" It's like, well, no, I'm not attracted to female, so I'm not lesbian. So okay, done. I've had those quick thoughts. But also it's, and when someone tells you you're something, no one wants to be told something about themselves.
It's definitely something that you have to want to discover about yourself, and be open to discovering. And I also thought, a lot of the stories I hear of people that are gay, they knew from a young age.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:31):
Beth Demme (10:31):
And so I always thought, "Well, that time has passed. I am not young anymore. I am 37." So I just assumed, of course I'm not, because I've never thought I was and never as a child thought I was. But when you think back to my past, my childhood was very screwed up and my brain was very screwed up. So even if I was having those feelings, I wouldn't have even understood or probably put the words to them of what they were. That idea of someone telling you who you are or even what your sexuality is, I'm oppositional enough that even if somebody came up to me and was like, "You're definitely straight," I'd be like, "You don't know me." I mean, I am, but "You don't know me." You know what I mean? Like, "You are so straight, Beth." Like, "Don't tell me who I am."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:22):
Beth Demme (11:23):
So that idea of somebody telling you, that's a little bit crazy to me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:27):
Yeah. Well, to be fair, a couple times it was lesbians telling me I was a lesbian. Yeah, no, I think it was more wishful thinking.
Beth Demme (11:32):
Maybe they have a better perception about you than you have about yourself. I would think so.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:36):
I've been friends with lesbians in the past. Like at Apple I had a really good lesbian friend, we were hung out all the time, but I had no attraction to her. It was literally a friend, and she was older than me and it wasn't, that was it. But she always was convinced that I was a lesbian, and I guess she was right.
Beth Demme (11:51):
Yeah, she was right. So now that you have-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:53):
Beth Demme (11:54):
... now that you have discovered this about yourself, does it change your view of past relationships? When you think back on that friendship or that coworker, or you think back about people you've dated, I don't know, as you look back, does it change your view of any of that?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:07):
Well, I have tried to think back to think trying to figure out if I was attracted to females in the past and what that, and even friends, like, was I attracted to friends? And I really can't think of any, there's nothing that I can think of that was like, "Oh, that kind of thing." But when I think back to relationships with guys, I realize, "Oh, well that's why I never felt comfortable with them, and that's why I never felt I really wanted to truly explore a relationship," 'cause I was never comfortable.
And I always just acted out what I saw in movies, but not because I wanted to, but because that's what a relationship was supposed to be, because that's what it shows in the movies. But that's not, you know.
Beth Demme (12:47):
This is what people do.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:47):
So yeah, now that I kind of look back, I'm like, "Oh, okay."
Beth Demme (12:47):
So how do you know that you're not bisexual? Since you have dated men.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:47):
Beth Demme (12:47):
Did you date people you were attracted to, or were you dating just because it was like, "Oh, this is what people do"?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:48):
Yeah, I thought it was attracted to them.
Beth Demme (12:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:51):
Yeah. Okay. So, maybe I should tell the three-month journey of how we got to where we are today, talking about this on during Pride month, which is just a little crazy.
Beth Demme (13:21):
The timing is what it is, man.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:22):
I know, I know, it's a little crazy. So I am going to really share my story and try not to share too much of the other person's story because it's her story to tell. But I started texting with a new friend, and I knew she was a lesbian. That was very clear. And she knew I was straight, and we just were friends.
She wasn't like, "Oh, you're a lesbian." She wasn't that kind of lesbian. And we just purely were friends and just started texting a little bit and then started texting a lot. And it was probably like mid-February, and this was towards the end of January that we started texting. And it was probably like mid-February where I realized, "Wow, I am attracted to her. Oh my goodness."
Then I thought, and the thing is, is I was never overly concerned that I was attracted to a female, because I have done so much learning and growing through my life of accepting all people and accepting people in the LGBTQ community, so it's like, that wasn't an over concern for me.
My biggest concern about liking her was like, "What do I do next?" Because all my previous relationships have failed, obviously. And so I'm like, "How do I tell her? And then when I tell her, how do I not fail at a relationship?" So those were my bigger concerns than the fact that it was a female.
And also, because she's a super respectful person, she was never going to say that she liked me because she knew I was straight. And so-
Beth Demme (14:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:50):
... I also realized I was going to have to be the one to say something, which was terrifying. So, I actually talked to my psychologist about it because my mental health is very important to me, and I wanted to see what my psychologist would say and what her thoughts would be. And she was very supportive of it. She was like, "Go for it." And I was like, "No. I thought I was going to have homework and stuff to work on." She's like, "No, I think this is great."
Beth Demme (15:15):
She wasn't like, "Yeah, Steph, I could have told you this five years ago"?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:20):
She didn't, no, she said, she actually said, because she's been working with me since I was 20, and I'm 37. And she said, over that whole time, I had never really talked much about guys. So she assumed I was asexual.
Beth Demme (15:32):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:33):
Which was funny, because we did an episode about that. And then when I talked about the girl that I was into, she said, "I've never seen you smile more than you are when you talk about her." And I was like, "Okay."
Beth Demme (15:44):
I would confirm that as well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:45):
Okay, whatever. So my psychologist said, "Go for it." And I was like, "Mm, that's a lot of pressure." And so it was a month later that I finally told her, and I was terrified. I also had talked to two good friends about it, and they really were helping me through the process as well. But anyways, they finally-
Beth Demme (16:04):
They said you were going to say all the wrong things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:06):
Beth Demme (16:06):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:08):
So initially I came up with five different text messages. I was going to send one after the other of, like, saying what I felt about her or whatever, and I sent it to a friend and she's like, "No, none of that is right. No, don't say that, don't say that, don't say that," I was like, "Okay." And then I was like, "I don't know what to say." And so-
Beth Demme (16:29):
That's a good friend who will just be straight with you. Like no, the angle you're taking on this is actually not the best way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:33):
Yeah. And then I talked to my other friend about those messages and she's like, "I agree that that's wrong, don't say those things." And so she was like, "Just send her a text that says, 'I like you.'" And I was like, "That is not enough. That is not enough." But that's what I ended up going with, and it worked.
So that's the journey. That is the story. And I had never been attracted to a female before, and this was the first time. And also I had never felt that kind of attraction for a guy before. So that's really kind of how I realized, like, "Okay, this is a thing." But during that process, I was wondering, what letter am I in?
Beth Demme (17:11):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:11):
And I was like, "Am I bisexual? Am I lesbian? Does it matter?" And ultimately I decided it didn't matter. I was like, "I don't really care. All I know is I'm attracted to this girl, and that's all I know." And so I wasn't really trying to hash out what letter I was, but just through the kind of weeks I just, I've been leaning more towards lesbian, I don't think.
And because there's different forms and stuff where people identify in different ways, talk about things. And I just identify more with the lesbian. But I also think I might grow and change, and maybe-
Beth Demme (17:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:50):
... that my letter will change, and I'm, so I'm going to put an asterisk on everything I say today, as I should have in the asexual episode, asterisk. I reserve the right to change and grow in life. And right now, this is what I truly believe and how I feel. But if that changes in the future, you know I'll update you with-
Beth Demme (18:11):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:11):
... a new episode about that, and we'll be super comfortable telling that story as well.
Beth Demme (18:17):
I mean, I think that's really why some people just go with the queue. Like, "I'm not going to- "
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:22):
Beth Demme (18:23):
... you know, they're not going to limit themselves to, one, to someone else's description of who they are. They're just like, "I don't fit into your description, so I'm taking this one on." So I understand that and respect that you're not going to limit yourself to one letter because you don't want to close yourself down from being open to discovering new things about yourself and understanding that we change.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:46):
Beth Demme (18:47):
I mean if you're, I don't mean you personally, but if someone is the same person at 37 who they were at 22, what a shame.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:58):
Beth Demme (18:58):
Right? Come on, do some growing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:00):
Beth Demme (19:01):
Do some changing. Do some evolving.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:03):
So actually I should ask you, Beth, when I told you what was your initial impression?
Beth Demme (19:09):
My initial impression was, "I'm so happy to see you happy."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:14):
Beth Demme (19:14):
Right? And that you, I have never seen you giddy before.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:20):
Beth Demme (19:22):
And you probably don't even like that word, but you were a little bit giddy as you were telling me, and that was super fun to watch. I mean, just in case anyone is listening and thinking, "Well, Beth's a pastor, she's probably going to condemn Steph," no, of course not. I have thought about this a lot and I have studied this a lot. And I don't think that because God is love, right, I don't think that our cultural requirement that exists in some areas, that there be this gender difference in order for real covenant love to exist, I don't buy into that. I don't think that that's biblical. I don't think that's how God works.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:56):
Do you believe in gay marriage?
Beth Demme (19:58):
Yes. I believe strongly in marriage.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:01):
Beth Demme (20:01):
Let me just say that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:02):
Just between two people that love each other.
Beth Demme (20:04):
Two people who are willing to make a lifetime commitment to each other and to monogamy with each other, I think that is sacred.
Knowing how happy it made me to see you happy and to see that giddiness in you, I can't fathom that made God sad. Yeah. Right? And that just doesn't compute for me. The idea that we can fully describe God or put God in a box or put our own boundaries on God, literally preaching about that on Sunday. I haven't finished the sermon, but my metaphor is, the metaphor I'm working for in my own mind is, working within my own mind, is when we put together a puzzle, I love to do puzzles, I always start with the corners, and then I build from corner to corner. I do the borders. I have to have the boundaries. And God is a puzzle. And we don't even know the boundaries, right? We can't put this puzzle together.
Being a Christ follower or being a spiritual person or a faithful person is about being in relationship with God, not about making rules. But here's the conundrum for me as a pastor. The only churches that are growing are the ones that give people these very dogmatic black and white rules. Because everything in life is so uncertain that people are really grasping for certainty.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:22):
There's comfort in answers.
Beth Demme (26:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:24):
There's comfort in knowing what you know.
Beth Demme (26:25):
Yes. And there's so much comfort for people in saying, "Oh, if I know that they're out, then I know I'm in."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:32):
Beth Demme (26:33):
And that is a lot of what the church has become, and it's not of God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:38):
Yeah. Well, I know once we talked about sin, we talked about sin in an episode, and your very simple definition of sin is anything that separates you from God.
Beth Demme (26:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:48):
Beth Demme (26:48):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:49):
It's so subjective and so personal, what sin is. And so to have somebody that doesn't know me, doesn't know, no one that knows you, no one knows you better than you. And so to have some rando Christian tell you that "You're sinning because of X," is the most ignorant thing. You don't know my life. You don't know what's separating me from God.
Beth Demme (27:10):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:11):
I will personally say that I have prayed more during this last three months-
Beth Demme (27:15):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:15):
... than I have in a long time, and I do feel closer to God.
Beth Demme (27:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:18):
Yeah. So it wasn't an intentional thing of, "This was something that was separating me from God, but I think it was in a way." And then once I realized the more about myself, I was able to even be more open.
Beth Demme (27:36):
So you've gone from being an ally-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:39):
Beth Demme (27:39):
... in terms of Pride, this is-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:40):
We talked about it. Yes, for sure.
Beth Demme (27:41):
... in [inaudible 00:27:42], we're both allies. But now you're not an ally. You're a member of the community. You-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:46):
Can I not be an ally also?
Beth Demme (27:47):
You have discovered that you're part of the community. So, well, I guess that's my question is, does that change anything for you in terms of-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:54):
I guess it makes it more personal.
Beth Demme (27:55):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:56):
Okay, I'm going to tell you this weird story, but my mom has gotten really into Pride over the last year, year or two. She really got into Pride. She got a Pride watchband, she got a Pride shirt, she got me a pride... Also, this is all before-
Beth Demme (28:14):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:14):
... my realization to clarify when we were both allies. And so she was so into Pride, and so I started getting a couple Pride things 'cause I was like, "Man, I can't have her show me up," like okay.
Beth Demme (28:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:25):
And so in December, I was looking at, I have a Discover card for my credit card, and you can do over a hundred different designs. So I was like, "I want to get a new design." So I was looking at the different designs. There was two designs I was deciding on, and one of them was a Pride flag, because I thought it was so cute.
And I was like, "I'm an ally. I can get this on my card. That would be great." So I got that as my credit card in December. And now it feels different to have it on my card.
Beth Demme (28:52):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:52):
The fact that it now represents something different.
Beth Demme (28:56):
Isn't it also purple though?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:59):
The back is purple-
Beth Demme (28:59):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:00):
... it's so pretty. Yeah, I know. So I am debating on maybe changing that so it's not like a calling card. Still, it's a journey. I can't say I'm going to be going to, like, waving the flags, and like here we are-
Beth Demme (29:17):
You went to Pride Fest, We had Pride Fest here and you went.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:19):
I did not share that, but okay, I will say that now.
Beth Demme (29:22):
Well, you can edit it out, but you can edit it out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:25):
So I did, yes. So the girl that I was into that didn't know I was asked me to go to Pride with her, because as I said, she was a very proud lesbian, which was cool. I had no problem with that. But she asked me to go to Pride. And I knew I liked her, but hadn't told her yet. And so I thought, "Huh, this might be awkward," but I feel like I probably need to go because if she is perceiving me as a straight person in society that says they're an ally, how can I not go? You know?
And so that's why I went. So yes, I have gone to Pride. In Tallahassee, it's small, Tallahassee's is small, there was no parade. So, I'm not saying that I would be super excited to be in a parade, but I'm also not saying I wouldn't go to a parade. I don't know. It's very new. This is the first public thing that I've done, by the way. I don't know that I'm going to do anything on my YouTube channels or anything like that, because that side of me was never part of my channels either anyway.
Beth Demme (30:26):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:26):
So it's kind of like, do I change my whole perspective of everything? But I thought it just was a disservice to not talk about it on the podcast because we have honest conversation about things that make us different. If this is not one of them, oh my gosh, what is? So it just felt very natural and important to talk about in the podcast. Whether I'll be talking about it on social media and things like that, I don't know. I am not there yet.
But I'm just taking everything as it comes and what feels right.
Beth Demme (30:52):
I think it's good to take space, give yourself permission to have whatever Discover card design you want, you know?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:00):
Beth Demme (31:00):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:01):
... "Discover- "
Beth Demme (31:01):
... change it, it's all-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:02):
... "Discover," "Discovering Our Scars," I never put that together.
Beth Demme (31:04):
No wonder your favorite-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:05):
That's my favorite credit card.
Beth Demme (31:05):
... credit card.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:06):
I know. Discover card people, I'm just saying. I love it. Have you had a Discover card? That was my first card ever.
Beth Demme (31:12):
Yeah. So as we've been talking, I've been thinking about a couple who I know, this great couple. They're married now, they've been together a long time. Two women. And-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:22):
Beth Demme (31:23):
Yes, well, that's the thing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:24):
Beth Demme (31:25):
One of them said, describes herself as a lesbian. And her wife says, "I wouldn't say that. I would say that I fell in love with you, and that you happen to be a woman, and I'm a woman." And so the world looks at us and goes, "Yeah, there's two lesbians." But I she just wouldn't describe herself that way, because she fell in love with a person, not a gender.
What do you think of that? Interesting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:49):
I agree. I've definitely, through my journey of learning about all the letters, I've heard people that identify as queer, I guess, where they talk about just falling in love with a person and not, it has nothing to do with the gender. So based on having learned and heard those stories before, I could totally see where that person's coming from.
I think, yeah, and like I was saying, I didn't really know which letter and didn't really matter. And it also doesn't matter because I don't think there's any box I have to check somewhere that says, "Which do you identify with?" Well, are you in a relationship now? Would you say that? So that's how you're going to be? That's how you're going to do it?
Beth Demme (32:33):
Yeah, because I'm thinking about this other couple, and I'm thinking about how one of them is like, "Yes, definitely this letter applies to me, and one of them does not." And you are saying, "This letter definitely applies to me."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:45):
Okay. Well, all I can say is I've only been attracted to one female. So if we are going with your story, I think it's just makes more sense to identify as a lesbian if I like, pretty much attracted to females, but I've only been attracted to one female. So maybe I can say I was just attracted to the person and maybe I am not a letter. I'm just me. I don't know.
Beth Demme (33:09):
Or maybe you're you and a letter. We don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:12):
Yeah, I don't think the letters and all of that stuff really matter. All I know is I like a girl and she's my girlfriend. So that's all I could say. And I'm probably a lesbian. But I mean, I do think probably liking girls makes you a lesbian. But again, I'm not here to label anybody.
When I told you that I liked a girl, were you like, "Mm, yeah, I can see that"?
Beth Demme (33:42):
The part of it that surprised me really was the, like you said in that text message, "I've recently discovered I'm a lesbian." I'm like, and I told you this, I was surprised that you didn't just say, "Oh, recently started dating a woman," or "I'm discovered that I'm attracted to woman." It was like, "No, you've discovered that you're a lesbian." I think that's interesting.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:02):
Well, I've said it differently to different people. And at first I was telling people about being attracted to a female, but then I felt like it was not, then I thought I should start saying, like, first that I'm gay, and then the secondary is that I'm dating somebody.
Beth Demme (34:20):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:20):
I don't know, because I didn't want it to be like-
Beth Demme (34:22):
Because it's about you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:23):
Yeah, I guess it's my stories-
Beth Demme (34:24):
And it's about what you're realizing-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:24):
Beth Demme (34:25):
... about yourself.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:25):
And I also didn't want people to think, "She made me a lesbian," because that's not-
Beth Demme (34:30):
Right, not her.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:31):
... obviously not, right, not the case at all. And it's really my story and my journey, and she just happens to be a big part of it. But I think I would've discovered this at some point. But I do think that all the timing and the person, I think it all was, like, exactly how it's supposed to be. But no, I've just had some people tell me like, "Oh yeah, we've known you were a lesbian. The things, you like, the stuff, da da da da da." So.
Beth Demme (34:57):
Yeah, no, if I had had to apply a letter, I probably would've, like Jill said, I probably would've been like, "Oh no, I'm probably asexual."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:01):
Beth Demme (35:02):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:03):
Beth Demme (35:04):
But I mean, we did a whole episode on it and you were like, "No." And I was like, "Okay." And you were still kind of like, "Mm, maybe though."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:13):
It did seem easier, it seemed easier to just accept that I was asexual, actually, yeah, when everyone kept saying that. But it just didn't feel right-
Beth Demme (35:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:23):
... to say that. So, I'm just me.
Beth Demme (35:25):
You're just you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:26):
I think that's all I can say, really. Like at the end of the day-
Beth Demme (35:27):
You're just you.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:28):
... I'm me, and the things that I like, I don't apologize for.
Beth Demme (35:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:32):
And I never have. I've always kind of liked things that aren't the typical norm things. And I've always done things that just I want to do and not because society tells me I shouldn't be doing them. I'm like, "No, these are the things I like." So I'm just me. Fearfully, wonderfully beautifully, incredibly made you.
Well, if you liked this episode, which, how can you not? I mean, that was pretty great, right? Pretty great.
Beth Demme (36:03):
Some of it, I was little rambly, I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:05):
Some of it, some of it.
Beth Demme (36:05):
No, I was going to say in some of it, I was a little rambly. I don't know. Maybe people don't like that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:09):
I mean, that will get cut out. They will never know whatever the rambly part was.
Beth Demme (36:13):
Oh, I thought you only cut out my pauses where I was like-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:16):
Oh no, I cut out milk chunks of stuff. Do you not listen to them after and be like, "Wow"?
Beth Demme (36:20):
I do, but I don't remember what we've said.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:22):
Oh, okay, look, yeah.
Beth Demme (36:22):
So I never miss anything.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:23):
Well this one-
Beth Demme (36:24):
And I never noticed what's missing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:25):
Yeah, this one, I won't have to take too much out. It's 51 minutes right now, so it shouldn't be too bad. But if you enjoyed the podcast, we will are committed to doing one podcast a month for the foreseeable future.
So that's what we are committing to right now. And that episode each month will come out at a random time. You won't know when, it's going to go, "Boom," and then your phone will be like, "Podcast episode available."
Beth Demme (36:49):
If you've subscribed.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:51):
Yes, you do need to follow-
Beth Demme (36:51):
Then you will be alerted.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:52):
... or subscribe, correct.
Beth Demme (36:54):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:54):
And another good thing to do is to rate the podcast in the Apple Podcast app, five stars will be preferable.
Beth Demme (37:02):
Go ahead and give us five stars. If you want to give us less than five stars, instead of doing that, give us a call at (850) 270-3308 and tell us why.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:13):
Give us feedback. Tell us why we have not been five stars, and we will maybe change. Probably not-
Beth Demme (37:21):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:21):
I don't know. It might be helpful. I don't know. It might be good information. We're open to learning and changing and growing and listening and talking.
Beth Demme (37:30):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:32):
Oh, what more words can I say? And that, I should have music playing now.
Beth Demme (37:37):
We are a thesaurus.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:39):
Beth is, I pretty much know like five words, it's fine.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (37:45):
At the end of each episode, we end questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that we will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer to yourself, or you can find a PDF on our website.
Beth Demme (37:55):
Number one, what was the last big thing you discovered about yourself? Were you kind to yourself about it? Number two, how do you interact with the LGBTQ community? Why? Number three, does Steph's discovery about herself change how you view her or this podcast? And number four, have you ever reflected on your own sexuality? How would you describe yourself?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (38:24):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.