26 Fantastic Excerpts From Your Coming Out Stories

National Coming Out Day is this weekend, and in the past, we’ve often celebrated with Coming Out Day Open Threads or similar posts where we encourage you to share your coming out stories (if you have them — it’s obviously not possible or simple for a lot of us to come out to various people in our lives). In 2011, we put together a listling containing excerpts from the stories you told us in 2010, but since then there has been no new listling despite you sharing so many new stories with so many special tidbits on newer Coming Out Day Posts. So, here we have a listling containing excerpts ripped mercilessly out of context from coming out stories you shared with us on other Coming Out Day posts including the 2012 coming out open thread. We’re just trying to get you all geared up for a holiday that either means “a lot,” a “little bit” or “nothing at all” to you! You do you!

1. I helped my mother come out to strangers at the grocery store when I was five: “This is my cereal and these are my bagels and these are my moms they’re lesbians.”

2. True story: I came out to my parents on my way to an Ani DiFranco concert. Yep.

3. We started yelling at each other and he finally bursts out, “Why do I care if gay people can get married?! That doesn’t pertain to me!” and I immediately yelled back, “BECAUSE YOU HAVE A GAY DAUGHTER!”

4. Then my mom told me she had slept with a girl before. And that she thought Halle Berry was hot.

5. I was sobbing continuously and finally blurted “I’m gay!” and then Skype, wonderful technology that it is, DROPPED THE CALL. Bam! “I’m Gay!” HANG UP!

6. Then I told them that I’m a vegetarian. They took that much harder.

7. I came out to my Dad on the driveway of my student house while waiting for the Landlady to show up with the keys thinking that this would get it out of the way and moving my stuff in would be a distraction. She was an hour late.

8. Me: Dad, I’m dating a girl.
Dad: That’s fine. We just want you to be happy. What’s she like?
Me: Oh, she’s great.
Dad: Where does she live?
Me: On the South Side, by Midway.
Dad: So she’s a Sox fan?
Me: Yep, she’s a Sox fan.
Dad: [sighs, shakes head]

9. Hi facebook friends! How are you all so far today? I just wanted to take the time to tell you that I’m a lesbian. I’ve been trying to tell everyone for a while now but I am a social recluse who refuses to wear anything but pajamas 24/7, so that has hindered my progress.

10. I don’t know if you know this, but, um…roller girls have really nice butts. That they like to show off in shiny spandex booty shorts.

11. I assumed that since I didn’t like boys AT ALL I’d just grow old alone and own a lot of cats.

12. My brother advised me to tell him I support gun control first, then slip in “haha also I’m a lesbian” to ease the shock a little. But I just wanted to come out, not give the man a heart attack.

13. I finally admitted it to myself when I was 19, sitting in my car in a Trader Joes’ parking lot. I will always think fondly of Trader Joe’s because of this. And because of those chocolate cat cookies.

14. My mum tried to say it was just a phase. So I emblazoned CUNT on a denim jacket, shaved half my head and ended every conversation about any girl ‘fuck but she’s so hot’ till she got the message.

15. I told my best friend I had something to tell her and promptly started giggling because I laugh A LOT when I’m uncomfortable. One of my friends, knowing where this was going, decided to make it easier for me so he screamed “HEY KELLY. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT?”

16. I cut all my hair off and told everybody to shut up if they asked about it for like three years, then I went to A-Camp and wouldn’t shut up at all ever anymore

17. The week after my coming out, my mum brought over a cupboard that used to belong to my grandma. As we were installing it in my living room, halfway done, I said that it was big enough to fit me. Upon which my mum said dryly: I thought you just came out of the closet.

18. A week later my Mom called me to ask who my first official girlfriend has been. I told her, then heard her yell over her shoulder “You owe me $5!” Apparently she had a bet running with my step-dad over which of my “best friends” had been my first love interest.

19. She was BBQing and I had poured both of us huge glasses of wine knowing what I was about to do. I just kinda came right out with it. She almost burned the steak!

20. Me: “Fraser, I have something to tell you. I’m gay.”
Him: *awkward silence* “right. How d’you mean?”
Me: “…uum, I’m a lesbian, Fraser. I like girls.”
Him: “O-okay. Like Roxie Richter?”
Me: ” *sigh* Yes, Fraser. Like Roxie Richter.”

21. My Dad finished his cigarette and said “Ok I still love you. Now go into mass, do your confirmation and for Christ’s sake don’t tell your Granny.”

22. Mom: does this mean you are going to cut off all your hair and start dressing like a boy?
Me: no mom
Mom: ok good because I just dont get that
Me: I get it and I think its hot
Mom: (awkward silence)

23. I laugh when I’m really nervous so when I came out to one of my friends she told me something like “get the fuck off my bed.” She wasn’t mad that I’m gay, she just thought I was going to wet my pants on her bed.

24. My Mum’s opinion on a particular set of frames that I was trying on while eyeglass shopping was, “Well, you don’t want people to think that you’re a lesbian.” I just replied (surprising myself, I hadn’t intended to come out) was “but I am.”

25. See my entire life, my dad was a southern pentecostal fire-and-brimstone preacher. I just didn’t think it was worth losing them over… then [I came out] and the unthinkable happened, they chose me! My dad stopped preaching and started a new career. You guys, sometimes this happens too! You really never can tell. Seriously.

26. “In conclusion, thank you Canadian Queer Recording Artists.”

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2842 articles for us.


  1. I went to a concert and the band consisted of two Australian lesbians and a drummer dude. They seemed so happy, so free, so HAWT. I had two beers, cried during every slow song, and drove to my mother’s house after the concert ended. Called her and asked her to come out and get in the car. Started driving her around her neighborhood like a zombie. Finally about ten minutes in, after circling the same suburban streets over and over, with my eyes glued to the road, I blurted “YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KIND OF KNOW THIS, MAYBE, I THINK, WELL I DON’T KNOW, BUT I GUESS THAT I HAVE DECIDED THAT I’M PROBABLY ABOUT 85 TO 90% GAY, AND I KNOW IT’S FINE, BUT YEAH, SO BY THE WAY WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS AGAIN UNTIL I TELL YOU WE CAN.”

    And she said “okay,” and I drove her back to her house, and we did a quick car-hug, and I went home.

  2. I took my first girlfriend home decades ago to meet my mother (didn’t go home often), and my mum and I were sitting alone for a moment:
    Mom: “‘Y’ seems a really nice girl, I’m glad you’ve found some nice friends.”
    Me: “I’m glad you think so, … she’s gay.”
    Mom: “That doesn’t matter, she’s really nice.”
    Me: “Great, because I’m dating her.”
    slightly longer pause
    Mom: “Oh well, as long as you’re happy.”

  3. ooooh I have lots of fun coming out stories.

    To a friend who was speculating on someone else’s sexuality:
    “Well, when you first met me you thought I was straight, right?”
    “Well, I’m not.”

    With my dad, there was a headline on the paper about Cate Blanchett being bisexual, and I circled it and wrote a little message. Unfortunately he was busy with power tools so after I had hidden in my room for like an hour I had to come back downstairs and point it out to him.

    My very first coming out involved a 6am discussion after much alcohol – “What’s your biggest turn on?” “Nipple piercings.” “On girls or on guys?” “Both”

    OH, and the best one, coming home with a rainbow on my shoulder and purple glitter on my face and telling my brother I’d spent the whole day at Pride.

    (Just last week, I accidentally aggressively came out to someone because I misheard them. She said “I heard someone here was high?” and I said “What? I’m bi, yeah.” “NO, HIGH” – this went back and forth a few times before I realised she was looking for drugs)

  4. I had told my mom I needed to talk to her a week before, so when I told her, she was anxious and practically yelled, “Oh thank god! I thought you were going to tell me you wanted to go to college out of state!”

  5. I was 16 or 17 and I invited my brother and my mom to an outdoor mall. I bought them ice-cream before I told my mom that I was dating a girl -I guess I thought that the ice-cream would soften the news?

    I didn’t come out to my dad, he let me know that he already knew :P

  6. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 8 years and I was looking for a new place to live.

    I applied to move in an awesome queer household and I was so keen/desperate to move in with these people that I called my ex boyfriend “my ex partner” and I avoided using any gendered pronouns during the whole interview (which was totally silly as they’re the best people ever and they couldn’t care less)

    Anyway, I was talking to my mum over the phone about it:

    Me: “Mum, I don’t know what to do, I feel like I’ve been deceiving them by not telling them that my ex is a man!”

    Mum: “Well, you obviously really like these people and you want to move with them very badly, but, if they decide to let you move in, you must be honest with them before moving in and tell them that you’re straight”

    Me: “But I’m not”

    Mum: “What!?!?!?”

    Me: “What??”

    I hadn’t officially come out as bi to my parents, but I didn’t really hide it either, so I assumed that they knew!

    My mum went on to talk about other stuff for a while as if nothing had happened.

    A couple of days later, she called me again

    Mum: “You know when you told me that you’re not straight?”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Mum: “Well, I thought you just said it to shock me, but then I mentioned it to your father and he wasn’t shocked at all!”

    Me: “Ah”

    Mum: “Yes, he asked me why I didn’t clock it when you were 17 and your “best friend” was staying over all the time!”

    Me: “Well…”

    Mum: “Was she your girlfriend?!? She was gorgeous!”

    Me: “Thanks mum, I’m glad that you approve of her now, 11 years later…it means a lot to me”

    So, yes, my mother in bullet points:

    – She still thinks that at the ripe age of 29 most of my life choices are dictated by my desire to shock her

    – She lives in such a heteronormative bubble that she literally cannot see queer people.

    – She’s a big sweetie anyway

    Final anecdote on my mother certified “queer blindness”

    Apparently when she was very young, but already dating my father, a lesbian woman in her extended circle of friends used to flirt outrageously at her and my mother just thought that she was very nice, until my dad broke the truth to her that the lady was a lesbian and she wanted to sleep with her.
    My mum was very flattered, but also totally surprised that she knew someone who wasn’t straight and that this person would want to sleep with her.

  7. omg, TJ’s chocolate cat cookies! How come noone is mentioning the chocolate cat cookies!!

    And #22, you’re beautiful and awesome. I love that spittake when parents “get it” but really don’t get it. Reminds me a bit of when I came out to my mom about transitioning:

    her: “…does that mean you’re gay?”
    me: “yes, mom. I’m very gay.” (in that you-should-know-this-by-now voice)
    her: “so, you’re going to start dating boys?”
    me: “no. I’m gay.”
    her: …
    her: “oh!”

  8. My best memory of coming out is when one of my cousins came out as a lesbian. She was coming to visit us for a little while, and my mom mentioned that she had come out. My brother didn’t know this until mom said it, and she asked him, like, Are you okay with this? Like basically, don’t be a jerk to your cousin. And he goes “As long as she doesn’t try to kiss you or sister (me) then I guess it’s okay.”

    I’m still trying to figure out if my grandparents have figured out that I’m gay. I called a couple years ago to wish my grandma a happy birthday, and I talked to her, and to my grandpa, and told them I was safe, I’m living with my friend X (girlfriend), I’m doing well in school, yes…
    And as I’m finishing the call my grandpa says “Well, I’ll hang up and let you get back to your girlfriend” and for the past two years I have been trying to parse that statement. Did I hear wrong? Did he mean my friend?

  9. Oh my gosh, that still from But I’m a Cheerleader is exactly what I was looking out when I came out to myself. I was 14, and I had borrowed the VHS from a friend from the GSA to which I blithely and ignorantly belonged and THAT SCENE.

    Megan: Everyone reads Cosmo. Everyone looks at other girls, all the time.
    Dolph (Dolf??): But you only assume they’re thinking what you’re thinking.

    I was BLOWN AWAY.

  10. I came out to an old friend from high school last night! It went like this:

    We were drunkenly dancing at a straight (but hipster) club and she was laughing at her dude friend who was hitting on a dude friend of mine.
    Her: (laughing) I think he’s “puto” (a slur in Spanish, kind of like “fag” but less offensive)
    Me: Hey, don’t say that! He’s probably gay or bi, not “puto”
    Her: Oh, oops! You’re right.
    Me: Btw, I’m bi.
    Her: Yaay you do your thing, girl!

    Apparently her using a slur was just out of ignorance and not hate? I’m still confused.

  11. I get #22 so hard.

    On the phone with my mom, she made some joke about wanting grandchildren.
    Me: Mom, I’m not getting pregnant. I’m queer. I sleep with girls.
    Mom: That doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.

    She then told my dad, who was excited that he will always remain the most important “man” in my life. Adorable, clueless parents, I tell you.

  12. I’m sorry but none of these even come close to my girlfriend coming out to her mum. It went like this:

    Mum, I have something to tell you.

    HER MUM:
    Oh god, are you pregnant!?

    What!? No! No! I’m a lesbian!

    HER MUM:
    That’s it!? That’s all!? Don’t scare me like that!

  13. I was talking to one of my friends and she was saying that she must be bisexual, because she’s been drinking beer, dressing “weird” and watching soccer a lot (sic.), and I said “haha you’re describing me basically” so that’s how I came out because i couldn’t resist an awkward comment even though I didn’t really want to. But I just love her definition of bisexual, man. It’s THAT easy, y’all.

  14. I came out to my parents via email. I sent the email as I was walking out the door of my friends’ apartment to go camping at a Muslim festival on the top of a mountain in Albania. I was gone for 3 days at this festival that involved slaughtering thousands of sheep, roasting them, drinking lots of a alcohol, circle dancing and hitchhiking – not a bad way to get my mind off of this major decision. I hadn’t told my parents I was going though and came back to a slew of emails that went through the entire emotional cycle, starting with “CALL ME” and ending with long soliloquy of acceptance. While they are totally cool with the gay part, I’m not sure they’ll get over the radio silence.

  15. First time, when I came out as bi, to my dad when I was 17:
    Me: So, dad, I wanted to tell you. I’m bisexual.
    Dad: Oh. ok.
    pause pause pause
    Dad: So, does that mean you need to be with a man and a woman at the same time to be happy?
    Me: uh, no.
    Dad: Oh, good!

    To my lesbian neighbors (duplex) 9 months ago (also first coming out since separating from husband and realizing I really am so very very gay)
    I wake up to a text at 6:30 in the morning from my neighbor that my toilet has been running all night.
    Me: okay. I’ll fix it. sorry.
    Neighbor: cool. just thought you’d want to know.
    Me: Hey, do you know any good places to go out?
    Neighbor: What kind of places?
    Me: gay bars. I’ve been straight for enough years!
    apparently she turned to her girlfriend and said “So Kate’s a lesbian!”

    Today, I came out on Facebook.

  16. My sister, Aidan, came out to our family friend Stewart one day last summer. He’s a really sweet guy, so it didn’t seem too big a deal. We were all sitting outside on the deck and, as you do when someone’s at college, he asked if she had any guys she was into. Aidan said “No, but there’s this girl I am crushing on. I don’t think it’s gonna work out though, she lives all the way in San Francisco and she doesn’t know how to drive.”
    Stewart said “You know, I have a problem with that…”
    My mom, Aidan, and I all braced ourselves for the worst.
    He said “I think everyone should learn how to drive!”

    We all burst out laughing, and Stewart didn’t even realize why. What a gem he is.
    It was some of the funniest shit I’ve ever experienced, and I will never forget it.

  17. The first time I came out, I told my BFF “I wanna tell you something.” and she was like what “what is it?” and then I got super nervous, so I fumbled my speech and stuff, and she was like “What is it, are you GAY or something?” And so I told her yes, and she went like “ooookaaay… awkward!”

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