At 23 posts I suppose it’s about that time I share my “coming out” story with my readers. My apologies for my lack of posting (if anyone cares). I’ve been a tad busy trying to be a real adult, which is rather challenging… And my apologies for how wordy and unnecessary the following stories will seem:
I consider myself quite fortunate to be one of those lesbians who subconsciously knew she was different at about age 10. I recall chasing girls around the playground and wanting to hold their hands much more than the boys; and that didn’t seem strange or abnormal to me at all. I just knew that it was girls who made my stomach do backflips, and it felt good, and I wanted more. To this day I still remember the girl that stole my heart at the jungle gym. She’s married now (holy shit I must be old. 23 isn’t old), but even still when people ask me when did I know I was gay, I always mention her and my heart flickers a bit because she’s the one that started it all.
In 8th grade when girls started to experiment with boys and talk about them all the time I remember participating in conversations but I felt disconnected. But like every year of my life it seems, there was a girl I had a crush on and we had this (what I thought) was an unspoken attraction. I didn’t know what we had and I was probably misinterpreting everything per usual, but there was a reason I cried the day she moved and I never saw her again. Such a sap I am. In between her was another crush on someone who used to be my best friend (I know we were 2 way crushin’ on the first girl) and we played softball together. GO FIGURE. All the attractive and cool guys wanted her and she eventually picked one of them to be her long term boyfriend. I was devastated especially because I thought we had some weird unspoken attraction as well. I’m hardly wrong about those unspoken attractions. Fast forward a few years and what do you know she’s dating a woman and they’re still together to this day! All the while with these crushes, my ultimate crush was on this “gothic” beauty Amy Lee from Evanescence.
If you took a peep at all of my notebooks and binders from 7th grade though High School there was a 96% chance that Evanescence symbol would be scribbled somewhere. This woman was the first significant female celebrity crush I had. I owned every poster, magazine cover and article, CD, saw her in concert, and even had some autographed concert tickets and a belt buckle she apparently wore during one of her concerts. Needless to say I was completely obsessed. Fast forward to the latter days of High School and I was ready to come out to my friends.
The great thing about my High School friends (who are still my good friends) is that they were and still are the forward thinkers, the intellectuals, and the “hippies” so to speak. I couldn’t ask for better friends. I told different groups of friends at different times and they all had the same reaction: Explosive laughter and a bunch of “we’ve always knowns.” What a relief. I knew they would react that way but your first time coming out to meaningful people is difficult. Fast forward to my freshman year of University and I was ready to come out to my parents. *cue foreboding music*
Ah yes, the dreaded coming out to your parents. What a stressful and anxiety ridden period. Before I came out I bought Chaz Bono’s (then Chastity) book Family Outing: A GUIDE TO THE COMING-OUT PROCESS FOR GAYS, LESBIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES and studied the pages as if I had finals that week. Once I felt confident enough in myself with the backing up friends and my roommates, I plotted my plan (I’m so grateful for the friends I made at University because they really helped me through a lot and I truly could not ask for better confidants). I decided the best way to communicate with my parents would be to write two heartfelt letters because I wanted to make sure I was as thorough and clear as possible. My parents are divorced so I had to do this twice. I strategically gave my dad his letter a couple hours before he left for a week long vacation. Mind you it took me at least an hour to build up the courage and hand it to him before I ran away and buried my head under pillows. He read it, cried, hugged me, and apologized for making gay jokes in the past and proceeded to explain to me the kind of environment he grew up in and their opinions on gay people. I eventually gave him the Chaz Bono book and he still has it in his desk drawer. I’m unsure if he ever read it or not. Overall I think it was a pretty successful coming out. Although I was told a year or so down the road that he thought I was going through a phase. That was about five years ago and surprise I’m still falling in love with ladies. Giving my mom the letter was much easier. I stopped by her house when she wasn’t there and left the letter in one of her drawers. I called her and asked if she got it and of course she didn’t because I put it in the one drawer she never looks in. After she read it she called and laughed at me saying she’s known since I was in 6th grade. Who knew?! She then called the local PFLAG organization and had a conversation for whatever reason. Coming out to my mom was a success as well. I’m sure there were some feelings of sadness because I am her only daughter and you guys know how moms are.
At 23 years old I have the joy of saying I’ve never been rejected by any family members or friends. At least not explicitly rejected. My parents and I have never talked about my sexual orientation since I gave them the letters, which is understandable. My family doesn’t really talk about dating or people we’re interested in because we’re all very much our own private entities. Whenever I do have the pleasure of finding a girlfriend I will not hesitate to introduce her to my family.
One thing I didn’t talk about in my story was the depression and void I felt before coming out. I think I touched based on it in my previous post, but if you can imagine it was horrendous. I didn’t even feel like a real person. It was more as if I was watching someone else on a little television with bad reception in a dark room. The closet is truly suffocating and you’ll never be able to start your life until you acknowledge those feelings. It’s one of those clichés that are overwhelmingly truthful. So for anyone that has yet to come out, I highly encourage you to. Seek the right people out if you need help whether it’s a friend or a stranger online. Seek me out. Life is much better on the outside, I promise.