When I say those words, “coming out”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do those words make you smile? Feel scared? Maybe horrified? What heterosexual’s do not understand is that we have to go through this whole “coming out” process. Which personally I think is stupid. Straight people do not experience anxiety telling someone they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Why should we? Well – society of course! We are the ones out of the “norm” so we must “come out” as being different. Regardless, coming out can be one of the most difficult times for someone and for others be extremely easy. To my LGBT community: Are you thinking about coming out? Have you already? If you have, what happened? Was it hard, easy? Please feel free to share your own stories.
A lot of the time it’s easier to come out to people you’re not very close to. The first person I ever came out to was a friend of mine who is bisexual. It was easy because I knew she wouldn’t mind. But as the time went on, I got tired of hiding. I started feeling depressed and constantly feeling like I was a fake when I was around my family. I think more so because I had a girlfriend at that time and she was a complete secret. So in 2007 (I was 20), I came out to my mom first and my sister 2 months later.
My mom knew something had been going on with me. One afternoon it was just her and I at home. I was in the kitchen and she was in the family room. I hid behind a wall that divides the two rooms. I said, “mom, I need to tell you something…” She said, “okay, what?” Right when she said that I freaked and couldn’t say a word. So my mom being her wonderful self started asking me questions. She said, “okay well, you did drugs? You smoked? You had sex? You’re gay?” I almost threw up I was so scared. I started crying. She continued to ask me those same questions, but asked them one at a time. They were all “no’s” until that last question. I was silent. I shook my head yes and cried harder. She was calm and came over to me and asked if it was a phase. I said no. She asked about my girlfriend at the time and asked if she was also gay and if we were together. I said yes and all she said was okay. She hugged me, wiped my tears, and asked if I could take her to the store – lol. The atmosphere was awkward for about an hour. When we got back home my mom said, “well I guess you don’t want those calendars with boys all over them now,” and giggled. Then proceeded with her joke of, “I know your favorite flower now! Tulips! (two-lips, she’s so dirty haha). We laughed and after all that stress and anxiety it was okay. My sister was easy, when I told her all she said was, “Katie, c’mon now, it’s 2007, do you think I really care?” LOL!
Now in some cases, coming out can be extremely difficult. Some parents can be strict or religious and may even tell you that you’re going to hell. I’d advise you to wait until you can stand on your own feet and feel strong enough to do it. I only came out to my dad this year because it was too hard when I lived at home. He’s a very strict man who is stuck to his middle-eastern culture. He was shocked when he found out and was trying to come up with any reason that could have made me this way. He believes that it’s a “choice” that I made. Whenever I see him we do not discuss it and he acts as if nothing happened. Some people need to deal that way. Parent’s have their own coming out process as well. They need time too. Whatever choice he decides to make, either accepting me as I am or not, that’s on him. Not me. It will not affect my life or my happiness.
Can you relate your own experiences? How can you help someone else struggling with their own coming out?