Category Archives: Coming out

I’m lucky

I was actually very happy

In the summer I came to the realisation that I was, as I probably should’ve realised sooner, very gay. It was in the middle of the night and I was watching videos of Kate Mckinnon. I wasn’t appealed or afraid. I was actually very happy.

I was confused at first

I was confused at first and didn’t want to come out to my parents and then change my mind. But I felt I had to tell someone, so I told my best friend. I knew that I could change my mind and she wouldn’t bat an eyelid. I told her I was bisexual and she was great about it. I eventually told some of my other friends and they seemed to feel the same. It wasn’t until I started referring to myself in my own mind as gay and not bi that I thought I had told them the wrong thing.

I kept it inside

There were a lot of times that it would’ve been really great to tell my parents but every time the moment passed and I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know why because I was pretty certain they would be fine with it. Instead I kept it inside. It wasn’t until my homophobic uncle asked if I had a boyfriend yet that my mum told me to tell him I wanted a girlfriend that I told her. I was incredibly scared but she was wonderful and we had a ten minute conversation about it. The next day we decided that I would leave the room while she told my dad. Again I don’t know why I didn’t want to tell my dad it just felt awkward to bring it up. I came back into the room and all he said was “as long as you’re happy” then we sat there in silence for what must have been 30 seconds but felt like an hour. Then I got up and left again.

Come out when it’s right for you

I know that my coming out was incredibly easy compared to a lot of people. And I was, and am, so so lucky to have so much support and love around me that it has made me even more aware of the people who don’t have that. But I just want to say. Come out when it’s right for you. You don’t need to. But you don’t need to keep it to yourself either.

Coming Out to My Dad

I stood at the bottom of the attic steps, my fists clenched. Dad had just gotten off the phone with some client for his work, his home office was up there, but not in like a creepy way. The attic office was actually very nice. He fixed it up to look just like a second living room.

I had already backed out of it too many times

I knew I had to do it, I had already backed out of it too many times. What if Dad didn’t want his “precious little girl” to be different than everyone else in this God-forsaken town? Would he find me disgusting and sinful like my mother did? Here it goes…Deep breath in, deep breath out…

The stairs seemed to spin

I turned the doorknob, and slowly opened the door. I walked up the steps, but I swear it was the hardest thing I have done in my life, the stairs seemed to spin and I had to grip the railing so hard that my knuckles turned white.
“Dad?” I called up nervously, trying to keep my voice from cracking.
“Yes, Sweetie?”
“I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t want to talk about it after.” I looked away as he looked up at me from his desk. “Dad, I-I like girls…”

He gave me a big, reassuring smile

I was expecting a big explosion, but the reply was, “Em, you seem so upset, what does it matter? Who you like, I mean… As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters to me,” he gave me a big, reassuring smile. Then he stood up and gave me a hug.
“Well, Mom doesn’t seem to feel the same way about it,” I said, burying my face into his shoulder.

You are always loved

“I will talk to her, but Emily,” he leaned down so that we were eye-level, “You just ignore the people who call you weird or pick on you for it. You are you, and you are perfect. Remember that you are always loved. We love you no matter what. Okay?”
“Okay. Thank you Dad, I love you.”
He hugged me tighter, “I love you too, Sweetheart.”

Some of them know, it’s not that bad

Around Christmas time 2015, I realised that I liked both genders. I told one friend and she recommended an LGBT account on Instagram. I joined and became an admin. Soon after I told my friends and I looked up different kinds of sexuality. All of my friends accepted me.

She accepted me

I was terrified of coming out to my mum, but I shouldn’t have been. It was hard at first, but now I feel like I have a weight lifted off my shoulders. She did say that I’m a bit too young to decide that I was bi, but she still accepted me.

I will tell them when I’m ready

The rest of my family don’t know, but I like it that way. I will tell them when I am ready.

It is not that hard. Just look past the fear you first feel and you will be fine!

Discovering Me

In year 8, I was in French and sitting next to one of my friends. I just thought of asking him out. I, a bit stupidly, did and he freaked out. I was also freaking out and I started reconsidering my sexuality. I just always assumed I was straight and was a bit scared. All the boys in my year didn’t seem approving of homosexuals as they always made sly jokes about them. In year 9, I finally realised that I was bi. I told some of friends but I tried to be discreet as I was unsure of the reactions. By the end of the week, everyone knew. They were all approving. I was slightly surprised but also relieved. Now in year 10, I’ve had my first girlfriend but still searching for the right guy. I’m only one of two out non-heterosexual people in my year so my chances seem small, unfortunately.

It’s not always so dramatic

I came out a little less then a year ago when I was thirteen, about a month after I worked out that I wasn’t straight. I’ve always been open minded and so I didn’t freak out or worry about my future, because I knew that it was natural. I knew that I wouldn’t allow people to bully me. I was secure in myself and that really helped me. The only reason why it took me a month was because I wanted to do it right. I wanted to come out to my family first, then my best friends and then organise a time when I could get all- well most of my friends in one place at one time and I did. It also needed extra organisation because one of my other friends wanted to come out at the same time. Support from friends makes a big difference. Did my friends reject me? No. Did everyone in the hallways stop, stare and whisper? No. Has it lead to horrible depression-inducing bullying? No. I know that my story is pretty unique but not all coming out stories are bad. I guess what I’m saying is the saying “it gets better” is a brilliant saying but sometimes “it” isn’t bad to start with. Be happy with yourself.

Coming To Terms With Being Me

I had always felt different. It’s such a cliché, I know, but I just KNEW there was something staring me right in the face – I just didn’t know what I was looking for. I was upset a lot of the time for a reason I didn’t understand, but now I can see how blindingly obvious it was: I wasn’t a girl, but everyone kept calling me one.

I felt so wrong and alone.

PE was always difficult. I would loathe every second of the girls’ changing rooms, always leaving them in a bad mood or with tears brimming. The worst part about it was that no one, not even me, understood. We’re raised in binaries, as either male or female depending on what you were born with, and this is reinforced so heavily in our society that transgender or gender variant youth can feel so cut-off and isolated from the rest of the world. I hated my long hair. I hated the feminine school uniform trousers. I hated how people called me “she” or “dear” or “young lady”. I felt so wrong and alone.

It was probably in Year 9 when I first typed “I feel like a boy” into a search engine, and the results confused me. There was a whole universe of genders out there that I’d never heard of. I thought you could only be a girl or a boy, and that for me to be a boy, I had to like girls (which I didn’t!) – I couldn’t have been more wrong. I learnt about non-binary, two-spirit, genderfluid, to name but a few, and I also learnt that to be transgender there is no requirement for your sexuality. So, a person of any gender can have any sexuality. It was an eye-opening experience.

I was so desperate for me to make my mind up

I spent a lot of time after my internet discoveries thinking. I would go to secluded places at school and think. Think about the label I should use for my gender, about the label I should use for my sexuality. I was in a phase of confusion, which was honestly one of the most agonising times of my life. I hated seeing everyone so happy with their identity around me, so happy to be divided into male or female, when I was so desperate for me to make my mind up about this thing that’s deemed so important in our culture. I’d wake up one day and announce: “I’m a boy! I’m definitely male – I’ve finally decided!” only to then realise within a few hours that I was in fact genderless again, or sometimes even female. I would venture to YouTube and watch trans videos which definitely helped, but it drained me: they all seemed so sure in themselves, talking about how they’d always played with boys and action figures. Although I considered myself masculine, I didn’t really do those things, and that seemed to contradict what I was feeling at the time.

I came out to my parents as being confused about my gender, and to my luck, they were 100% accepting. We tried different names and pronouns at home – one day I was Liam, the next I was Phoenix – but nothing quite felt right and this made me more confused. “They” pronouns made me feel awkward, and “he” pronouns felt sort of forced.

I just had to accept that my identity would take time

This continued for a long time and it took me equally as long to realise: I was trying too hard to label myself. I was forcing feelings and thoughts before allowing them to surface naturally, and I was smothering my femininity because I felt it contradicted the male identity I wanted to have. I finally realised that I just had to accept that my identity would take time and I slowly began to embrace every part of myself. I accepted that I was sometimes feminine, sometimes masculine, and although I wasn’t happy about it, I accepted that I might always be genderfluid. And that’s okay.

It’s true what they say: things do get better. Feelings take time to understand. It was the summer of 2014 when I came out publicly after years of confusion and waiting for my feelings to settle – and since then, I haven’t looked back. I waited until I was certain that this was what I wanted, and coming out over the summer was just perfect for me. Some days I’m feminine, other days I’m masculine, and I like men – but I am male. This is me, and although it took a while to get here, I’ve finally found myself.

Take your time

So, if there’s any moral to learn from my story, I guess it would be this: take your time. Don’t rush so much to give yourself a label, because sometimes, it takes feelings a while to settle, and are often far too complicated to define by a single word. But, most important of all: don’t try to suppress parts of yourself because society dictates that you should feel a certain way. This is something I wish I’d realised soon.

Now that I’ve learnt this, I am me, and I couldn’t be happier.

Coming out to a Catholic Family

I realised I was gay when I was about eleven. Well, it wasn’t so much that I realised, I already knew – but I finally admitted it to myself around then. I didn’t tell a single person until I left secondary school at the age of 15. School would have been completely unbearable if anyone had found out. It was bad enough as it was. I was also convinced my parents would disown me when they found out. My mum is Catholic and I’d heard her say that being gay was a sin, that it was evil.

I used to self-harm a lot and I smoked a lot of cannabis

I was really, really unhappy as a teenager. It was hard keeping a secret and living in my own head for so many years. I used to self-harm a lot and I smoked a lot of cannabis. I still worked hard at school and eventually I found some good friends who made things easier. I told one of them I was gay when I was 16.

One of them had read my diary

I went to a sixth form college to do my A Levels. Around about then, my sister told me my mum was downstairs crying because she thought I might be gay. Great. It turned out one of them had read my diary and found out I was seeing someone (I’d met and started dating my first girlfriend by this point) and doing God knows what else (Drugs? Smoking? Sex?). It was awful – I knew they knew and we just didn’t talk about it. I moved out as soon as I could, after my last A Level exam. I moved about an hour away from where my girlfriend was studying and I got a series of rubbish jobs that paid enough for rent and eventually for a bit more too. That was when I was 17, and my parents and I didn’t talk about me being gay until I was 21. I brought it up. My parents just didn’t talk about that stuff, I don’t know why. But I had to break the ice. And actually, it was okay. I found it excruciating at first, I still do sometimes. But they didn’t disown me. It turned out my dad really didn’t care and my mum got used to it, I think. She’s met a few girlfriends and liked most of them. I think she’s had to change her mind about what being gay means but we have a great relationship now.

Don’t assume the worst will happen

A few years later I had to come out to my parents again as transgender. It was hard, but I had more resources to talk to them about it. I’ve really had to be the one to push the boundaries and that’s been uncomfortable, but it wasn’t the disaster I always thought it was going to be. So I guess I’d say don’t assume the worst will happen, but make sure you have a plan for if it does. There are loads more organisations that can help now, that you can reach out to. I almost couldn’t imagine being happy when I was a teenager, I was convinced I’d end up killing myself. But actually I am happy – things got so much better, I got through it. I’m doing okay.

It’s easier once you’ve come out

I didn’t really care for crushes in primary school. Everyone seemed to care about that sort of thing, I just held the opinion that it was stupid. Then in year 6, I began to hold this girl in really high opinion. She was pretty, kind and could sing (this obviously mattered to ten-year-old me). But I just thought it was a deserved appreciation, because of course girls couldn’t get crushes on girls. I never really knew LGBF sexualities were as common as I now know they are. I would say I actually started questioning when I hit high school. I go to an all girls school so I realised that these people were attractive to me. I was suddenly aware that sexualities other than gay and straight existed (mainly thanks to extensive exposure to internet).

I was 13 when I actually started using bisexual to describe myself to myself. It was also around then I began to believe that my parents’ attitudes to LGBT people weren’t exactly positive. I started to talk about sexualities and gay rights more. I read as much as I could, learnt as much as I could. I guess that I’ve probably changed some of my parents opinions.

I started self harming as a distraction

But sometimes my parents would actively say things against gay people (nothing big, just small things that I spun out of control in my head) or my brother would tell me he thought homosexuality was wrong and he thinks it’d be weird to have a gay sister. Having been surrounded by fairly accepting peers at school, I realised that a lot of people still were against it. I started to become sad and worried. I started self harming as a distraction, and that continued for a few months.

Then I saw that my family’s attitudes were changing – they said they’d be fine with their children being gay, as long as they were happy. They spoke out against bigotry in the news. I realised that I had been so insecure about my sexuality and their reaction I failed to notice that damn, they were pretty open minded. I got myself off self harming, and told my best friend that I had realised that I liked girls and I thought I was bisexual. I was happier than I had been in ages.

It became common knowledge and it was fine

At 14 I came out to my class. I say come out, it was completely unplanned and just sort of happened. How it played out was more than a bit weird. A group of classmates around me were talking about how me and my best friend should “totally get together”. A friend of mine (who knew) then said “aren’t you bisexual?” It could have gone either way really. I could have denied it, or I could use this to come out. So I said, “yes”. And that was that. It spread, it became common knowledge and it was fine.

I told my mum soon after, although she didn’t quite believe me. She thought I was too young to have any idea. A few months later I said I was serious, and she told me it wasn’t what she wanted for me, but she wasn’t going to make a fuss because it would be stupid to push me away for something so (comparatively) small. She has since become more accepting than I could ever have hoped.

I try to talk as openly about it as I can

For my dad, I couldn’t pluck up the courage to say anything. I just asked my mum to tell him so he could deal with it without me being involved. He did, and while I don’t think he particularly likes it deep down, he hasn’t said anything negative about LGBT people for a while apart from a slip of the tongue. My brother knows too, mostly because I try to talk as openly about it as I can.

At 15, I started use ‘queer’ now as a label, simply not knowing anymore (I don’t use that now due to issues to do with it being a reclaimed slur). I often felt that I may be gay, as men didn’t actually seem that appealing, but then I’d just end up confused. Now, in my opinion, you can use whatever label you want, or none at all – and if you come out as one thing, you can come out again as another if you realise something later on. I also dated someone at my school now, who was pretty, kind and could sing (which I don’t think matters as much to me anymore), and although we’ve broken up now I am still good friends with her. I’m openly LGB at school. People who know don’t care. I think a lot of things I picked up in what my parents said were minute things that I highlighted and was just the result of paranoia. I don’t worry about it anymore. I’m 16, love girls and am just going with it.

‘Sinner’ in a house of god

I was a Christian child, I grew up going to church, praying every night, remembering bits of the bible and keeping a copy with me everyday. I believed that homosexuality was sin. It wasn’t until I was about 13 when I found out that I liked girls too. I kept quiet, never told my parents, not even my friends. I thought the phase would pass on quickly and I’d like boys again.

Why would you be opposed to being different? Love is love.

A year or so before, I had a kiss with a boy at church. When I was 14, I found out that this wasn’t a phase when I kissed a girl. I liked it. When I was 15,  I came out to my friends, they were all okay with it and were really accepting. I had several girlfriends over the next several years and I was really happy being myself. Why would you be opposed to being different? Love is love.

They were fine with it

When I left Texas to go to University in Conneticut I decided to tell my parents. First I told my siblings, they were fine with it. My older brother was worried and told me it’s just a phase, but my younger siblings were fine about it. Two weeks before I left, I told my parents. They both screamed at me and yelled at me about going to hell and being a spawn of satan. Why should people be opposed to love? Isn’t god all-loving and accepting? I decided I wouldn’t stay in my bigoted little home and moved in with my girlfriend.

If people are hurting or bullying you about who you love, tell them to piss off and get a dictionary, because love is love no matter which gender. I support you and accept you for who you are. Parents don’t accept you? Move out! Friends don’t accept you? Forget them, find better friends. You deserve it!

Coming out feels impossibly hard

I realised I was gay when I was about 21 and kissed my male roommate whilst drunk. Although not attracted to him, I did start to contemplate the idea of kissing guys more and more. This lead to me starting to talk to more gay guys and becoming comfortable around them, knowing that inside I may be the same. A few months from that first kiss I came to terms that I could be gay, or at least bi. A few years after, I told my friend – the one who I initially kissed – that I thought I was gay. He was incredibly supportive and told me about coming out.

I’m yet to tell my parents and I’m scared of what they might think or do

This year (2015), I went to Edinburgh for New Year’s Eve with my closest family member (a cousin of the same age), his girlfriend (a close friend) and another close friend from University. I decided to tell them when we were there because I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I told myself that when we were in a coffee shop I would just come out with it. I was scared as hell and could feel my heart pumping out my chess. I told them “Guys, I have something important to say. I’m gay,” and to my relief they were all okay with it, as I had expected and hoped. I’m yet to tell my parents and I’m scared of what they might think and do, especially given their Catholic background.

There is more acceptance now than you might think

One piece of advice I will say is that although fear and terror will overcome you, don’t let them win. There is more acceptance now than you might think. It will get better. Not just for you but for all in your position. So when and if you decide to come out, raise that flag high and represent the LGBT community because without struggle there can be no progress.