Coming Out: Yet Another Roundtable

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You could say coming out is universal, but that’s a lie. We don’t all do it, and we don’t all do it the same, or at the same time, or to the same people, or in the same world. But get this – at one point in every queermo’s life they realize, “good fucking lord I am fucking queer as shit, dood.” And that is a big deal. So is everything else afterward. So is your new queer life. Coming out never ends, and for some of you it hasn’t even begun.

If you were at A-Camp today, you’d be watching a bunch of us talk about coming out! And maybe you’d also interact with us afterward, or via questions. I hope that being at a coming out panel would give you happy tears.

Here are the stories we’re sharing. You know it’s only amazing if you share yours, too, right?

Haviland Stillwell, Amazingly Talented and Attractive Human

I feel like I’ve been out forever, which isn’t to say I don’t still have to come out on a regular basis, or that it wasn’t a challenging process in the beginning. It’s getting to the point, though, where that doesn’t have to happen as much anymore. Why? Because more people are coming out.

Coming out is important! Really important! I want you to come out. It doesn’t have to be anything other than just being comfy with who you are and all of your feelings. Life gets better the closer you get to who you really are. And don’t underestimate love – not just the love your parents and friends have for you, but the love you have for yourself – especially when you find the strength in yourself that has always been there. What a strong, sexy woman you are! Try to move through the fear with grace. It’s gonna be okay. We’ve all been through it.

One day, queer kids won’t have to come out, because people like you and me and the incredible ladies and gentlemen before us were brave and full of love for themselves. I think it’s an honor to be born gay. We have this amazing opportunity to teach our fellow humans how to be more compassionate, and how to think outside their rigid lines a little bit more. And it starts with us! Haven’t you ever noticed how inspiring people are who are really kind and above all, comfortable and confident in their own skin?

I believe in you! I believe in love, in kindness, and in community. We are all connected, and are here co-creating. Breathe deeply, love the hell out of yourself, and come on out, little darling. We’re all out here ready to give you a fabulous debutante ball.

Carmen Rios, Contributing Editor

I don’t know when it started. Sometime that summer. That summer my housing plans fell through and I moved in with nine of my best friends. It was the house where I first learned how to skip class without getting in trouble, how to buy alcohol without being carded at the corner store, what I loved to buy at Burger King, how to throw a party. It was the summer I learned the words to every Nicki Minaj song, every Kanye song, every Drake song. It was the summer I cruised in Amanda’s car. I guess it kind of all started in Amanda’s car.

To say I came out of the closet is disingenuous. I was never in the closet because I was far too oblivious to stand in there and switch on the light. Instead I wandered the planet for eighteen years unwilling to even acknowledge the option of being anything but straight. Here’s your context: When I was eighteen I kissed a girl for the first time and I ran away. But now it was September 2010 and we were all sitting in Amanda’s car and someone else I’d known for years put her hand on my back and I melted.

I spent a lot of time in a red dress that summer, a super low-cut thing that I called my lounge dress because I could never be seen in public in it. (This was not a hard mandate, especially when hungover or too otherwise fucked up.) I wore the dress and learned how to rap and then in the sunroom in a cloud of smoke I said, “I think I wanna be a rapper. Lil Carmen.” I laughed at myself and then paused. “She’s a lesbian.” My friends sat in that same room that season when I needed them, shuffling around and pacing. “I don’t know what the fuck I am.” I lived across the hall from someone I was suddenly overwhelmingly in love with. Brandon brought it back down to the level I was at. He gave me a deadline to decide. “Or else you’ll drive yourself crazy.” We were having a huge party when Lil Wayne got out of prison, and we had plans for Lil Carmen to come in her red dress. I had to know by then. By November 4.

Then summer became fall and I was shopping on eBay and biting my nails in my room and I bought myself a leather jacket with my mom’s credit card. I bought fourteen pairs of boyshorts and a pair of leather boots and Eileen Myles books. Lil Carmen was the voice; I wrote coming out tracks as someone else who just looked like me and got drunk and rapped in Brandon’s room about being in love with every woman in the room. But I needed the whole package. So I bought, and bought. I listened to Nicki Minaj in my leather jacket waiting for the bus and waited for the exterior to melt into the interior. I waited to become someone I was creating piece by piece. I assembled small pieces of who I would be for the rest of my life. I didn’t say a word.

I came out on October 29. I whispered it to everyone over a solo cup at a Halloween party. “Libby! Libby, I’ve missed you. Libby, I’m gay. I’m just so gay.”

When I was twenty I put on a red dress and fidgeted my hands and fumbled over words in an attempt to be more honest. I felt more at home in a leather jacket than I had my entire life. I stood still and looked at my life and wrote in rap, like a new language I was just beginning to understand. I was done running and suddenly I was in love with my name and my person and who I was. So maybe it started with a leather jacket, or maybe in Amanda’s car, or maybe in front of 300 people in my house when I was rapping “Pussy Money Weed.” But no matter what, it never ends.

Carrie, Community Managerette

I hadn’t expected to come out to my parents that night, but it had already been a weird week.

I’d just returned home in D.C. after spending the previous three nights in a hospital in the Dominican Republic. My parents were calling to check in, happy they could now do so without having to go through the front desk attendant at Punta Cana’s premiere hospital for sick and miserable tourists. Though relieved I was back home, they weren’t happy that I was rejecting their offer to fly in from Ohio to stay with me while I recovered.

Normally I’d have entertained the idea — anyone who lives alone knows that being sick is no fun. But the truth was I didn’t need their help. My girlfriend, Victoria, had been with me the whole time. And when I say “been with” I really mean that she’d traded her first vacation in a decade for sitting in the hospital watching me puke my guts out. As an Argentine she was far more capable of communicating with medical staff (amazingly, severe gastroenteritis doesn’t do much for helping one remember high school Spanish). She’d spent the week translating my questions and answers to doctors, inquiring about test results and negotiating flight changes with our airline. She’d even managed charm our cab driver en route to the hospital — no small feat considering that I was vomiting into a hotel towel in the back seat for the entirety of the ride. And now we were back in DC she was still taking care of me.

My mom continued with her momly concerns:

Mom: “Well, do you at least have a friend who could stay with you for a day or two? I don’t want you all alone.”
Me: “Yeah, actually. Victoria is going to stay over. She was with me in the hospital too, remember?”
Mom: “Oh right. Wow, what a good friend. Please tell her how grateful we are, okay? You’re so lucky. What a wonderful friend…”

And that’s when I decided to rip the bandage off.

Me: “Yeah, definitely. But the thing is, she’s not my just my friend. She’s my girlfriend. I’m gay.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. After a few long seconds some words bubbled up. “Oh, okay.” my mom said, and voiced a few supportive sentiments before awkwardly hanging up. I sympathized with her loss for words. I didn’t know what to say either. I’d always thought I’d come out to my parents in some highly choreographed manner when I was sure they’d be prepared for it. This was a phone call about my stomach virus.

I was surprised when my dad called back a few minutes later.

Dad: “Hi Carrie. How are you feeling?”
Me: “I’m fine, really. Feeling much better now. Still a little dehydrated, but not much beyond that.”
Dad: “That’s good, but I’m talking about what you told mom — about being gay. Does it feel like there’s a load off your shoulders now? It must’ve been hard keeping that from us. You know it doesn’t change anything, right?”

The next trip my girlfriend and I took together was to visit my family. I didn’t end up in the hospital that time.

Morgan McCormick, Contributor/Calendar Girl

Back in 2009, I was very hairy and very sad. I looked fit for felling trees, yet all I wanted was a sparkly skirt that lifted to waist level when I twirled. One of my best friends had asked me out and she and I went on to have 2.5 months of happiness I never thought possible for the freak that I felt was me.

One night, under the auspices of going to a Vicars and Tarts party as “lesbian” tarts, I shaved my beard and my girlfriend helped me look as gothy as I could. Trapped in a car outside the party, waiting out a rainstorm, I turned and asked “Do you like me, looking like this?” She looked at me, puzzled, and said “Well, no. I mean, I’ve never been very attracted to girls.” I tried not to show I was hurt. After all she didn’t know what question I was really asking.

I decided to end things before I started feeling like I was leading her on in a heterosexual relationship that couldn’t last. Sitting in her car a week or two later I confessed my feelings through bawling eyes, telling her that I understand that we need to break up, that I hope we can be friends, that if not I’ll miss you and thank you for these months and thank you for you and thank you. And goodbye. Then she said “Wait,” that she needed some time to think. I said sure, of course, assuming that like other people I’d met, she just didn’t want to see a man crying.

What I didn’t expect was that she would spend that night, and every night for days, reading every website she could find from googling transgender, gay, transsexual, lesbian, relationships. She asked me questions, she held me, she said she was afraid for what people might do to me or to us, what they might say. I thought, thank God, she’s going to stay my friend. I’ll take no romance and a new ally over her absence any day. The friend zone, contrary to what I’d been told, had an awful lot of amenities.

A week passed since my outing to her, and while I walking aimlessly through the city streets wondering what kind of life I wanted now that I actually wanted to live my life, she called.

“Hello!” (That was me.)
“Oh, umm…I thought I’d get your voicemail.”
“Umm, well, here I am.” Dammit this sounds like it’s going to be bad, I’m going to cry in public.
“I was just…” You could practically hear the sound of her index fingers pressing together nervously. “I was just…umm…I wanted to, umm, ask if you would be my girlfriend.”

I did cry in public. For all the right reasons. And three years on we’ve learned that, when we’re expecting the worst, not to expect the worst.

morgan with laura jane grace of against me!

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I got slightly misty-eyed at Carrie’s and then started fully crying tears on Morgan’s. Great writers, brave women!
    My best coming out was when I told my grandma and she came out back to me, telling me “one time at girl scout camp” stories and how she was never that into my grandfather.

  2. I laugh about coming out because apparently I did it wrong. Not in the sense that I ended up getting hurt because of it, but in the sense that I sucked at communicating. I THOUGHT I had come out to two of my closest friends in the summer of 2008. A lot of my friends had already come out at that point, so I knew that we didn’t have any homophobes in our midst. When they didn’t react at ALL I was like, “Yeeeah I surround myself with awesome people. NBD.”

    I started telling everyone after that and stories do travel. By NYE of that year, they heard I was gay and were offended that I hadn’t told them. We then split a bottle of champagne as I tried to remind them I had come out to them FIRST. Afterwards they each face-palmed themselves saying, “OH that’s why you kept dragging me to a dyke bar! OH that’s why we went to that concert. OH that’s why you kept saying…” Then I had to go around asking the rest of my friends if I had been clear enough on the first pass. One day I will learn to enunciate.

    Also, my mom’s reaction? “Don’t tell your Dad.

    …. while he’s driving, because that could be dangerous. You should wait until he’s dropped you off at your dorm, or I could tell him if you want.”

    • I had an experience like that where I thought I had come out to all my friends and I hadn’t. In my junior year of college when I was at the point where I was pretty damn certain I was bi and not just “bicurious” or what-the-fuck-ever, and so I decided to tell some people who I thought it was pretty damn important to tell, and kind of let the rumor mill disseminate it to everyone else.

      Anyway here was this one friend I wanted to tell but I was kind of too chicken to do so because I kind of had a crush on her, and she was straight with a boyfriend (who I ALSO kind of had a crush on at the time… #bisexualproblems) so I was kind of ashamed of that crush. And I figured it was NBD anyway because we had a lot of other friends in common and she’d probably hear from the rumor mill, right? But then, a year and a half later, I went to her for comfort after my first bf broke up with me and it was clear from the way she responded that she wasn’t aware that I dated people other than dudes. And at the time I already felt too vulnerable to come out to her, so I think she still doesn’t know….

      • I assumed I’d been outed as bi to the whole school, after a girl I barely spoke to sat beside me in class and handed me her phone, which read, “Be careful what you tell your friend.” And after that, “She’s telling everyone you told her you’re bi.” Turned out she’d told like three people and they’d told like three people and it stopped there. I was a little annoyed, actually, I thought the rumour mill had done all the work for me. But no.

        • Bless the rumor mill. In college I told only a handful of people, one of whom I gave the additional stipulation to “let the girls know”. You’d better believe the next time I entered the cafeteria the table full of the cool cute ladygays stopped what they were doing and stared, in unison, as I walked by. Best feeling ever!

      • Also I think one of my friends forgot/didn’t believe I was bi, because we were discussing superhero movies one day and I mentioned that I’d hated G.I. Joe but damn, Sienna Miller looked fine with dark hair. And glasses. And a catsuit.
        And my friend awkwardly laughs, “Okay, BIT lesbian,” and I say, “Only half.” And she goes, “Ohhhhhhh, yeah.” And we started talking about Harry Potter instead.

  3. My coming out involved drunk me yelling out my crush’s name at a concert on the last day of classes. There were a lot of questions to be answered the next day… haha

  4. On speakerphone with my parents while they were driving:

    Mom: So you went on a date this week? What’s his name?
    Me: …her name’s ******.
    Mom: Oh. Ok…so we’re sure this time?
    Me: Yeah, we’re sure.
    Mom: Ok, that’s fine. She’s totally welcome to come home for Christmas with you if you want.
    Me: Wow. We’ve been dating for a month. Also, I’m pretty sure she has her own family to spend time with.
    Mom – (deadpan) Oh, I didn’t know people like you had families.

    And then my dad laughed so hard he almost crashed the car.
    My mom is the fastest Uhauler in the land.

  5. Amazing stories. I love Haviland’s line about feeling it’s an honor to be gay, I feel that way too. My best friend said something similar to me when I came out to him the first time. I was sort of scared the day I told him, and he told me to feel proud about being gay because it was going to make me a better, stronger, more open minded and understanding person, and it’s the best advice he could have given me. And coming out genuinely got rid of insecurities and self acceptance issues for me, so I’ll always be proud of it.

  6. These are amaaaaazing.
    My best coming out was to my brother who got super excited that we have exactly the same type so we can be each other’s wing(wo)men. Best bro ever.

  7. Also, has anyone else found that when you come out to someone they have this inexplicable need to tell you that they have had a crush on a girl/like kissing girls/think they may be queer… etc?
    Even my Mum told me how she had feelings for a close friend when she was younger.

    • Yes! After I came out I had like 6 friends telling me about their confusing feelings/crushes/potential gayness.

      • My mom was trying to bully me into “changing my mind” by asking me how my friends felt about my “decision.” She was shocked when I told her that 3 of them confessed they had crushes on me all along. Baller!

    • Oh yes, I’ve had this so many times.

      Or some explanation of how they’re not gay (e.g. “I can tell which people of the same sex are attractive but I definitely don’t feel things for them like I do for guys/girls.”)

    • I am definitely guilty of this. It just feels so SAFE to come out to someone who has just come out to you.

    • Yes! When I came out a decade ago I was the only person at my high school participating in the Day of Silence, sporting rainbows, etc. Being as out and proud as I was gave a ton of my friends the courage to come to terms with their own feelings. It also meant I was a ton of girls’ bicurious experiment, which eventually got old, but the number of kids whose first discussion of their own sexuality was whispering to me that they thought they might be queer, or were really confused about person X and how close they were, more than made up for that. I even found out that some girls I knew then and lost touch with for a long time are now happily living with other girls and initially realized they might be queer because they had huge crushes on me! Missed opportunities be damned, I’ve made a big gay impact :)

  8. I never got the chance to tell my dad who I really was. Carrie’s story made me cry for the missed chance for my dad to be a great as hers.

  9. These stories are all so moving and from such good writers, I <3 y'all!

    I've had some rough coming out moments, but my dad hasn't been one of them. I never actually came out to him and so far he's the only one who's ever guessed I'm gay (#femmeproblems). I just dropped lots of hints, like telling him all about Pride and going to my university's GSA events and being pointedly ambivalent in his attempts to have conversations about boys and bringing him my leather jacket and combat boots to fix on his 45 year old sailcloth sewing machine. I was only sure he had noticed, though, when we were in Sally Beauty Supply buying me some purple hair dye recently and he, a novice to beauty stores, commented absentmindedly on how it was absurd to have a whole aisle of straighteners. I said it was definitely absurd, especially since none of them work on me (meaning my hair actually won't straighten). His reply? a deadpan "No. No, they wouldn't would they."

    Followed up in the car by, "if you were hypothetically to marry a girl, does that mean I'd only have to pay half the wedding?"

    I love my dad.

  10. I love all these stories, I wish I were at A-Camp! <3

    The first time I ever came out was to my little sister- I had been dating this guy who I wasn't at all into (shocker), but was planning on breaking up with him a couple weeks after recovering from the earth-shattering realization that I was queer. I called my sister to tell her about it:

    Me: So, I think I'm going to break up with him.
    Her: Oh! Why?
    Me: Well, I think I'm gay.
    Her: Yeah, that's a pretty good reason.

    It was so seamless and deadpan that it was really easy to talk about after that. I've had some worse coming out moments since then, but my favorites, honestly, are always when people just don't really care.

  11. These stories are all so awesome, and so much more interesting than my own coming-out story!

    (In a nutshell: The L Word is how I figured it out. Just like every other queer girl on the planet these days. See, not interesting.)

  12. I came out to my closest friends in year 9, and it went pretty well all things considering.(straight best friend crush; religious friends; small town)
    Course, we were only just back to normal and comfortable when my parents told me I’d be moving schools for year 10, so I had to do the whole process all over again. *face palm*

  13. I love reading these. I’m out to everyone but my father and his family. I’m jealous of the stories that have parents that respond with kindness and humour. I finally came out to my mother last week and was asked to not mention anything to my father. I’m too old for this. Too old to dance around the subject and play the pronoun game. It took me a few years but I’m finally comfortable with myself and accept it. I love the sentence about feeling honored to be gay. I have nothing to feel ashamed of and I won’t hide it anymore – it’s my life and the rents will have to deal. Or not.

    • I was super drunk when I called to tell my Dad a year after I told everyone else….haha Dad’s can be fucking weirdos, especially my Hillbilly, Conservative, Republican, Sheep Farmer, Bigot, Racist Dad.

      I love you Dad

    • You will. Maybe it will take time, maybe it will mean having to change your situation to make it safe to come out, maybe you can never be out to everyone, but if you’ve recognised that it’s something you need to do in order for you to do you then you will.
      If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be out (if not yet to everyone) and happy I would never, never have believed you. I denied it so strongly.
      But there gets a moment when the need to be honest and the need to be happy just so outweighs the fear that comes with coming out.
      I hope you get to a place where you’re able to leave that horrible shitty closet.

      • I love this comment so so much.

        I’m still not out to my relatives, because they’re all very religious and conservative and homophobic.
        But I can honestly say that my relationships with friends have greatly improved since coming out to them (esp my older gay friends because they kind of took me under their wing and provided the sort of support I really needed but couldn’t go to my parents or other family members for). And it’s been wonderful.

  14. I grew up in a household of five, my three siblings, mother and myself. We were all very close (being crazy poor forces bonding, I think). I was 15 or 16 when I sat down and told my siblings about the feelings I had for one of my older sister’s friends.

    1st Sister: Yeah, I figured as much.
    2nd Sister: You just kept STARING at her.
    Brother: OH THANK GOD!!! (#overprotectivebrotherproblems?)

    They all sat down with me to tell my mother. Who barely reacted and continued cooking dinner like I’d just told her the sky was blue. I’m thankful and beyond grateful for my family’s never-ending, absolute unconditional love and support. I never came out to my father, a friend’s tagged photo on Facebook did that for me. Deadbeat-turned-preacher-desperate-to-make-up-for-lost-time thought he could save and/or preach “the gay” out of me. I think I maybe cried once about it.

    Being super femme with an ALH, I find “coming out” isn’t a one time thing. Every time you meet a new friend, start a new job, try to purchase an anniversary gift and the sales lady says *HE’S* just gonna LOVE that watch: you gotta come out all over again. And every time, I just remember that those who I hold closest to my heart, already have my back.

    Carrie’s dad: all the points!

  15. Morgan’s story aghh, all the tears. Your girlfriend seems wonderful.

    Sigh, I really want to tell my family. All my friends know, I’m leading the GSA at my school so pretty much everyone else knows, but I can’t seem to tell them. I can’t figure them out at all, and I don’t think they’ll totally flip out but they might be really mean, or invalidate my feelings or something. I know that sounds so minor but I don’t want to do anything that’s going to make it weird and not okay. Yesterday we were watching this UK show “Mr & Mrs,” with a gay couple on it, and my dad said “Mr and Mrs with two men? Eugh.” Things like that. They’re not like super religious or anything, but they’re from this really isolated corner of the north of Scotland where it’s just not a real thing for them, it’s on tv, it’s a novelty. I sont think they know anyone openly gay.

    • Same same same. My parents are from an isolated corner of the north of Scotland and their view of gay people seem to have been cobbled together through images of Freddie Mercury and Boy George. Glamorous, hedonistic people who can’t/won’t grow up, are just ‘greedy’ and there is ‘no need for it.’ I told my parents about me earlier this year and it was pretty much exactly as you fear, I’m sorry to say. Mediocre negativity, heavy dismissal. Negation and invalidation of me, my words, my truth, my world. But I didn’t have to come out as a lesbian to feel invalidated by my family. My mother’s first reaction was that I ‘always did have too much imagination.’ Oh well. And yet, and yet, they are still talking to me. They are coming to me for Christmas. I am old, too old, to lie. My mother thinks she can clobber me with strictness and I will eventually toe the line, marrying some poor man I do not want in order to please only her. How is that morality? And yet, and yet…my guilt weighs a ton. I know what I have told them was not on their radar. They see it as a sexual perversion. Indulgent. Pervy. I know how it looks through their eyes and I know my mother was genuinely very hurt by this. They go through pain to give birth to us and to the traditionally-minded mother, it is a slap in the face, a shattering of all the normal and peaceful aspirations they ever had for us. There is a deep fear and to see it as we see it would require a depth of self-reflection that many people of that generation are not capable of. My guilt still weighs. Yet, typically, we don’t mention it any more and we are still talking. In reality I am dating a beautiful girl in a sweet and respectful situation that is no more and no less about sex than the next couple, straight or gay. For the first time in my life I am with someone I am actively attracted to. I am not just enduring. Yet I cannot explain this calmly to my mother without the risk of her trying to guilt and shame me with her assertion that I have ‘always tried to be weird’. It’ll get better… Baby steps. Good luck x

  16. I giggle when I’m super nervous so came out to more than one of my friends laughing hysterically. This led to one friend not realizing I was being serious and another screaming “GET OFF MY BED!” (she then told me she was afraid I was going to pee on her bed.)

  17. These stories are all wonderful, but Morgan’s especially made me tear up. It’s good to be reminded sometimes how wonderful human beings can be.

    I came out to my parents about a month and a half ago and we’re still in the slightly awkward stage of them clearly being a little bit freaked out, but far too right-on liberal to say anything about it. I think it’s going to be okay in the long run. I’m also in the weird position of being completely out to everyone that I know in my current town (I moved here to get my MA about a year ago) but not having really mentioned it to most of my older friends- it feels weird to just contact people in order to bring it up, but equally I’ve had a couple of people doing the equivalent of cartoon spittakes when I casually mention my girlfriend.

  18. I really, really enjoy reading all the comments and stories this has brought up. It makes me wish I had enough courage to come out.

    I don’t think I’ll ever consider myself as fully out until my family knows, but I’m 100% certain I wouldn’t have them anymore. And they’re all I have. :(

    • Aw this is so sad :( One day you WILL have enough courage and whether your family are supportive or not, you will feel so much happier.
      You just need to form that support base by making friends with open-minded and/or queer people. Surround yourself with acceptance and love. Then you could come out to anyone :)

  19. So many feels flowing from this outstanding piece!!! Oh Morgan, your story (and may others I’ve found) give me hope that one of these days I’ll finally find so meone in my area to be that safe space, that support structure. I have a ton of acceptance in my life, but I still struggle to find truly deep connectivity, luckily hormones have started to help me come out of my shell! :3

    My coming out story involves months of tearing my hair out, a couple frantic days of emailing and a late night phone call. I’m terrible at making myself do things that I’m afraid of or emotional about so my senior year of high school I ended up signing up about 6 months early for the Queer & Allied Youth Summit that the local org. (Outright Vermont) puts together, and then waiting and panicking as the deadline drew closer and I still hadn’t come out to my parents. As the deadline started hanging over my head by a thread, I finally nutted up and sent my mother an email Sunday night (here’s the message I sent: then I waited…Monday went by, Tuesday went by, finally I sent it again Wednesday and 10:45 a night she calls me from work. We talk for about 20 minutes, she told me she loved me and that she was scared for me, and finished with asking me how to pronounce my name (it’s pronounced El-lissa btw!) and that was that, it was very anti-climactic. She told my father that Friday and my brother on Saturday why I was off at the summit have a queer old time and feeling free for the first time in 18 years.

    Since that time I’ve had a few rough patches with them, but over the past two years they come to totally accept me as their daughter/sister and as a result of my transition we’re closer as a family then ever before! I’m almost 5 months on hormones now (started April 20th!!!) and my life finally feels as if it’s on the right track, I love my flabulous body and I feel just so fucking happy!!!

  20. I’ve been out to my closest friends for a few years and my parents for a year. I’m so fortunate that everyone’s been really cool so far. I did just have a new coming out experience, though…I’m an RA of an all-girls floor and I came out to two of my residents yesterday. We were hanging out at a [poorly attended] floor event and one of them was all “ you guys have boyfriends?” and the other girl answered that she didn’t and I said that actually, I date girls but I do not have a girlfriend. There was an ‘oh!’ and a slightly awkward pause, but later in the conversation the same girl casually came out as bi which made me feel really good for creating an open, safe environment for her.

  21. coming out as pansexual wasn’t a big deal for me, which is pretty fortunate… but it also means i don’t have any interesting stories. my friends were already kind of aware, since i’ve always acted major-gay and said things like “if i was into girls i’d totally date her” etc.

    i let my dad know after he and i argued with a conservative relative about gay marriage. told my dad i really don’t care about gender, and he was really proud that i had such an openminded view and was aware of myself. my mom didn’t care at all, just told me a story about a crush she had on a girl in college. nobody i meet is surprised and it’s listed on my facebook, so while it’s a constant process, it’s not an arduous one.

    coming out as genderqueer is much more frightening. one close friend knows, and he only knows that i don’t identify as female… he doesn’t know that i’d like to change my name and use neutral pronouns. i think i’m going to wait until i go to college to actually live as myself.

    • Yeah, for whatever reason, coming out as trans* seems a lot harder than coming out as gay.
      Still hoping to get my parents to work with me on this so I don’t have to find the money for transition on my own. :\
      All of the friends I’ve told have been really supportive, though. :D I guess you’ve just gotta pick the right people to tell. :)

  22. The stories here are very interesting. I’m fairly boring, so I don’t really have anything to share. I tried telling my sister “I’m bisexual,” but I don’t think she really cared.

    • I know!!! I already berated her for being so adorable and awesome and I’m soooooo jealous because I just started listening to Against Me! and I’ve totally fallen in lesbians with them!!!

  23. My Mom has a habit of calling me every week to chat and see how I’m doing. Normally, I feel a combination of happiness and dread when I see her number pop up on my phone, happiness because I genuinely enjoy our little chats, dread because I know that I’m still not ready to come out to her and Dad, and so I’ll have to choose my words carefully, not let it slip that I have a girlfriend. Until a few weeks ago.
    I got to the point where I was ready, I just wanted everything out i the open, I didn’t want to have to hide my girlfriend anymore, so I called Mom, had her put me on speaker phone so Dad could join in too, and let the cat out of the bag. I haven’t heard from them since.
    I guess this is kinda what I expected, but I keep wishing they’d call like they used to.

    • I accidentally liked your comment. It was an accident. I’m not a heartless bitch revelling in your misery.
      But I did want to say, this sucks and it makes me sad to know this happens to people. However it sounds like your parents love you very much. It seems unlikely that they won’t get over this. Good luck!

      • Thanks.
        I hope they come around eventually, and in the meantime the rest of my family’s been really great, I’m so thankful for that

  24. I first came out to my ex-best friend (ex because she’s a bitch but not over me being gay) over MSN. A few days (or weeks) later I came out to my still best friend, face-to-face while we were in Manchester after a day out with our group of friends (at that time, we’re not friends with them anymore). I told 3 girls in my high school science lesson (in year 11) I was gay (and it turned out that 2 of them were big ol’ queerios as well!)
    I also came out to 2 other close friends via facebook chat because I was too scared to do it face-to-face.

    I also have a close male friend who came out as gay at the very beginning of college, which gave me a HUGE boost of confidence to come out as nothing too bad happened to him (he lost some of his friends, but he has a million friends now and is much happier, and his dad isn’t too accepting).

    So at the moment I’m out to all of my friends but not my family. AND ALL OF MY FRIENDS HAVE NOT GIVEN A SINGLE FUCK ABOUT ME BEING GAY! Seriously, they are the best and most awsesome group of mates I could have. Me and my male friend are the ‘token queers’ of the group and we ALL make jokes and laugh about it.

    I am SO happy at college because I don’t have to hide who I am anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever been as comfortable with myself as I am at the moment, and that is down to having an amazing group of people to surround myself with.

    However, I’m still working up the courage to come out to my family. I’ve done what Carmen did and set a dead line for me telling my family (well at least my mum and sister as I live with them), which is before my 18th birthday in a couple of months.

    so, wish me luck with telling the family!

    • I just came out to my mum today (sat 15th september)!

      She said she still loves me and when I asked her if she hated me she she said ‘NO! You’re my daughter, i’ll love you no matter what’.

      I’m just on cloud nine right now and feeling all fuzzy and warm inside.

  25. Well… I’m 27 and came out to myself last year. I was on a work assignment overseas with 2 co-workers who became my friends and the first ones to know. I had a huge crush on this lady we worked with so I told them about it, but I never did anything about that but feel it. Then after that I’ve been openly gay at work and came out to my closest friends online, since I live away from them. I’m openly gay to everyone I meet and I believe I have an openly gay online presence that my family probably don’t notice even when it’s right in front of them. Sooo… they don’t know.

    I have never been on a lesbian relationship, or even go as “far” as kissing a woman [:'( cry cry]… so… coming out to my family feels unnecessary.

    They will find out when I get a woman, change my status on Facebook to “In a relationship” and post a photo of us kissing with a “My Girlfriend” description under it. :D! Yup! No one ever comes out to their parents and says “I’m straight”, before they even get into a heterosexual “relationship”, so I won’t.

    I’m not sure how they will take it… I just know that my mom felt bad for my best friend’s mom, because my friend was going to hell for being gay… hmmmm… oh well.

    • I agree, I didn’t really feel the need to come out ‘officially’ while I was single. They found out I was not straight when I brought my girlfriend-at-the-time to my mom’s house for a weekend family gathering.

      And actually, I still haven’t given my family any label. This is mostly because I don’t identify as a lesbian, or bisexual…queer is probably the closest label but I don’t think my family would understand that term and I don’t feel like explaining it. Plus I don’t like labels that much anyway.

      • yes, this is where i’m at with labels, the define us in relation to other people. i’m 28 and newly single after ending a long relationship with a guy, partly because of my girl-desires feeling too overwhelming, and partly because it just wasn’t working any more. i’ve always understood myself queer, in a no-labels kind of way, esp before i had the term ‘queer’ to throw around. i now understand myself to be attracted exclusively to women, though i am hesitant to id as ANYTHING because i am single and how can i KNOW what label will fit? a challenge i have is that after my relationship ended, word spread rapidly (to parents, friends, colleagues) that the relationship ended only because i was a lesbian. it’s months later and i am still struggling with that outside interpretation, trying to explain to myself and others all of the complexities that are eclipsed when someone else narrates your story so simplistically. i don’t feel like a lesbian. how can i be a lesbian if i was in a genuine relationship with a guy for 5 years? some days i find myself in a panic over who or how i’m supposed to be, but i need to chill the eff out and let it all unfold.

        • I totally understand those feelings. I just got out of a relationship with a guy I dated for 4 years and a few months later I came out to my best friends who have all been really supportive. Even though I have not had much sexual experience with women nor a relationship with a woman, I still felt the need to come out to my mom. Sometimes I feel like it was a mistake and I was jumping the gun, like how do I know if I am really a lesbian if I have not had a relationship or whatever, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My mom reacted okay. It’s still gonna take time. She kinda avoids conversations when I bring up gay topics and for a while she would tell me stories of people she knows who thought they were gay but are now married (to the opposite sex) with kids. I still feel like she is crossing her fingers that I will change my mind, as if it is some decision I made, but I’ve told her not to expect that outcome.

          • I’m so glad there are people here who have come out even after long term relationships with men & who haven’t been in relationships with women. I pretty much came out to my mum in a weird ‘i have no idea what i was doing the last 4 years, it was all so weird and i don’t know what the fuck my feelings are but girls are so much cuter than boys’ kind of way. I still feel like I need to kiss a girl (for obvious reasons), maybe then it will feel more real.
            Some days I wake up and I’m like ‘I’m probably gay and I think I can deal with this’ and others I’m just like ‘why are you so weird, get over yourself, you’ve never even kissed a girl …. *&^%$£’ ffs.

  26. Morgan’s story was just lovely! :D

    My coming out was a bit of a whirlwind. I realized I was gay after crushing on my friend for a while and not understanding what it was I was feeling at 16. A few months later, my parents found out and it was a very hard period of my life. Among a number of other limitations that were put on me, they barely spoke to me for months and when they did, there was always a very bitter undercurrent to it. I shouldn’t have come out when I did. I was too young and naive and didn’t anticipate the crushing guilt and shame that comes with hurting your parents so much.

    The first friend I came out to was a very strange situation. She simultaneously claimed to be on board with me being gay but refused to sit near me or touch me at all. I had a big crush on her and in retrospect, I just needed someone to say I was a worthwhile human being while the rest of my life was collapsing. In a way her rejection hurt more than anything because I was so dependent on her. 2 years later we ended up going out but she cheated on me and it took me such a long time to get over that this person who had held such a huge sway over my life, really didn’t give a shit how I felt.

    I’m now out to all my friends and they’re OK about it (not amazing tell me about your relationship girl talk good, but better than anyone so far). My parents are better about me being gay, but it still operates on a DADT policy. I go to my girlfriend’s every weekend and no-one asks where I’ve been, they know her name and where she lives and not much else. I’m not going to say I regret coming out, but its been very hard and I think the media (Glee, It gets better) portrays a very idealized and potentially dangerous vision of what being young and gay means. Don’t come out without fully comprehending what might happen if you can’t deal with it.

  27. Okay, I have lots of coming out feelings, as I came out for the first time earlier this year. I’d come out to myself a year before that (after years of thinking that women were really hot but Jesus wanted me to marry a man). I was in a new situation with new people (some of whom were gay!) and away from the Bible belt. Suddenly I felt safe and coming out didn’t seem so incredibly terrifying and unimaginable. Eventually it just seemed wrong to keep hiding, and I blurted out that I was gay. Best feeling ever, and yet I still thought I would vomit and I had butterflies for a week.

    The funniest reaction I got was “What?! I had no idea! I just thought you were a straight girl who seemed really gay!”

    I’m back in the Bible belt now, surrounded again by very conservative friends and family, and I’ve retreated back in the closet. Having come out already, though, means that I can leave the closet door cracked. I’m going to my college’s GSA meetings (and then making sure no one else knows I’m there…), and coming out seems possible now. I just need to wait until I’m financially independent from my parents.

    I get really emotional about all this, and I’m not a very emotional person. For the first time ever I heard my mom use the words “gay and lesbian” without a look of disgust and without whispering those words or stumbling over them or saying “…those people” instead. I was so happy that went to my room and cried. I heard my dad talk about supporting Chic-fil-A and I went to my room and cried again. I cry every time I read about someone coming out to supportive parents, because that’s not going to happen to me. I kissed a girl and then we talked about how our fathers are going to hate us, and we binge-drank and cried together. I don’t want to be this person. I want to be the happy, confident, out gay woman, but this is really hard.

  28. “or maybe in front of 300 people in my house when I was rapping “Pussy Money Weed.””

    Carmen, I want to know you.

  29. Does anyone else here know the feeling of being the first Homo someone has ever consciously met? Even though I’ve been out for almost 10 years now, I still get really uncomfortable when people react strangely to my coming out. It makes me uncomfortable seeing them become uncomfortable when they “get it”. It would be totally fine, if they felt like asking lots and lots of questions (“Since when do you know?”, “Do you have a girlfriend?”, “Is your family cool with it?”…). I just don’t like it when people think it’s inappropriate to show any kind of reaction to my coming out at all. It’s ok, if you are a little surprised. I’m not going to bite you, just because you assumed I was straight. Please don’t stare at the floor, turn bright red and then walk away quickly/change the subject. Why do you people have to be so weird sometimes..?

  30. Ian McKellen did an interview (with Parkinson, I believe) some years ago, where he spoke about how having gone through the coming out process is an experience that will teach you so much about yourself and the world. I also remember being deathly jealous of that experience, that I as a straight person would miss out on…yeah. That’s some very deep and intense denial right there.

    A couple of years later I’m in a Starbucks on a Wednesday morning, so hungover that I can barely even form sentences, trying to inform my sister on the phone that the night before I’d made out a lot with a girl that I possibly liked very much and also some other girls that I didn’t like as much. Somehow I had expected my first coming out to be a bit more dignified…

    • I’ve so been there. I discovered that queer women existed in year ten or so and decided that if I couldn’t be gay at least I could be a feminist.

      Somedays I think being gay is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    • Haha I had the same kind of experience. I used to wish I could be bisexual at least, so I wouldn’t just be a boring heterosexual, and that way I wouldn’t HAVE to be with a guy. xD Aw my cute little “straight” self.

      In conclusion, I am very happy to be gay. :D

  31. I told my best friend I’m bi like.. an hour ago! I had no doubt that she would have been cool about that, but I just feel soooo good anyway! :)

  32. All of these stories are leaving me a little verklemmt, you guys.

    Ahem. I suppose I’ll share mine as well. I didn’t realize I was gay until my first year of college. I was fortunate enough to be attending a small liberal arts college FAR AWAY from the conservative little suburb I grew up in. All those years of liking something about girls, but never quite being able to put my finger on what I was feeling. It was hard enough coming to terms with that with yourself, not to mention coming out to the world in general. Apparently I wasn’t the only one going through this. My twin sister and I came out to each other at the same time. Go figure.

    I thought it was a one-time thing. Coming out, I mean. It gets really exhausting having to out myself to people on a regular basis. Anyone else feel that way?

    • Oh my God, that’s how I feel too. I just feel like I always have to come out to people everywhere, or debate whether I want to or not. I don’t think I’m hiding anything, but I also don’t think it’s my job to just tell everyone around me, if it doesn’t come up and nobody asks me. I don’t know. I guess I’ll figure it all out as I go.

    • Yeah I just moved to a new city and I’m meeting all new people, and it’s really my first time feeling like I should come out to people I don’t really know that well. Before it was just my family and close friends. It’s definitely strange. I have all these confused feelings about whether these new people even need to know, but I’m entering a grad program and we’ll all be together for a long time and I want them to be my new friends, and anyway, I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW. I just went through a three day orientation in which everyone talked about boyfriends and husbands, and I felt so alienated.

      I’m trying to say things like “yeah I don’t have a girlfriend” when the single straight girls are talking about all the couples, or mentioning HOW MUCH I love queer theory, but there’s always a lot of us talking at once and I don’t know if they hear me, much less get it. Also I have an equality sticker on my Klean Kanteen, so that should help, but yeah. It’s weird.

  33. I unintentionally sort-of came out to 2 work colleagues this week. After weeks of sidestepping questions about my thesis proposal they finally cornered me.

    Me: ‘Ahh it’s about ‘queerness’ online, belonging and desire’.
    Them: Wow, innnteresting. *Faceslightupwithrealization*.

    So I suppose that’s out of the way.

  34. My coming out experience has been overwhelming positive and supportive and sometimes I feel pangs of guilt when I compare myself to those who have not been met with the acceptance I have. I suppose because I am femme and didn’t come out until my mid twenties I bypassed a lot of the homophobia some of you lovely ladies have experienced. I am 29 now, but my best friend since I was 14 is a flamboyantly gay male who I witnessed get ostracized and abused on a daily basis. I am well aware and often full of guilt that I did not go through that by his side.

    Coming out at work has been difficult for me and I have not seemed to be able to nail down a non-awkward way of doing it. I live in a very queer friendly city (toronto!!) but work in an extremely corporate environment. Because I am femme I often get asked ‘so do you have a boyfriend?’ and ‘what does your boyfriend do?’ etc? After 5 years I still do not know how to handle this in a confident and comfortable way. I should specify that I am the type of person who struggles with drawing attention to myself. But at the same time I don’t want to hide or act like its a dirty secret. So when I get cornered this way I usually use genderless pronouns for as long as they will take me until saying ‘ well actually i have a girlfriend not a boyfriend’ and turning deep red. This is a minor if insignificant problem in comparison to others I know…but if anyone has any advice it just might save me.

    • I finally have got the hang of how to respond to questions like this. Just keep it super casual and nonchalant.
      If people ask you what “he” does for a living, just be like, SHE does xx
      Or drop it into conversations like, “oh my girlfriend and I went to see that movie this weekend”. I use this line even when I am single, ha.
      If you act like it’s no big deal then other people will act like it’s no big deal. I promise. Most co-workers or random people are too busy being concerned with their own lives to worry or care about who you date.

    • I hear ya. Coming out at the workplace is such a foreign concept to me. How do you answer the question, do you think he’s cute? What’s your type of guy? “ACTUALLY, I like girls.” or “ACTUALLY I’m gay”? It just seems so awkward.

      Question for everyone – is it better to go into a job gay as fuck or do you wait to drop the bomb until your job’s probation period is over?? That way you know if they fire you afterwards then you can sue for discrimination (It sucks that I even have to think about this).

  35. I came out on Facebook by pretending that I was already out, and just started talking about my girlfriend like everyone already knew. Best way to come out without making it a big deal or some big pronouncement.

    • Yeah, because then nobody wants to seem like the idiot who didn’t know/realize, so everyone just calmly goes along with it and privately is like OMGWTH!?!?!?!?!?WHOKNEWNOTMEBUTTHATHAIRCUT…

      I had a friend (who I 100% suspected for a really long time) do that and it was hilarious. Everyone wanted to be supportive but not come off as if they hadn’t known before.

  36. I tend to make jokes when I don’t know what to say, so one time one of my friends was talking about boys, and I said

    “I like my men the way I like my coffee.”
    friend: ….?
    me: “I don’t really drink coffee….”

    She didn’t really get it, and I had to explain myself and it was awkward.
    You guys, I am so funny in my head, it just never translates into real life.

  37. I’m out to a pretty general “everyone” but I just hate when you meet new co-workers/potential friends and you have to mentally size up when it would be appropriate to come out to them (if at all). I typically just use she/her pronouns when referring to relationships or chime in when people are talking about attractive female celebrities because I’m not one for ~big announcements. Coming out isn’t a big deal for me, but I dislike how it’s a continual process that will last my entire life.

    • Exactly! I didn’t realize I’d have to keep coming out til the end of days! But it sounds like you’ve got a good system treating it non-chalantly and throwing in contributions to conversations like that.

      I’m the only female bartender at one of my jobs. Now, I look pretty damn gay. It’s obvious to most people. Doesn’t stop guys from asking me out, though. And when a “no, thanks” doesn’t cut it…mentioning that I wish Milla Jovovich was my girlfriend usually gets the job done.

      • OMG, the celebrity-trick!
        Once I overheard two of my guyfriends talking about me in a “Ask her out to the movies… I think she really likes you.”-kind of way. When he did ask me to go see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I was like: “Yes, oh my god! Doesn’t it have Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz in it? I heard they make out with each other… we should totally go see that movie!!!”
        It totally worked. He never asked me out on a date again. Instead he keeps calling when he has girlfriend-problems. Hah!

  38. This article is great!
    I want to come out to my parents so bad! but i keep telling my self no yet, no yet. im not quite ready :s
    also, i realize, one of my closest friends tends to make very homophobic (not funny at all)jokes, and it hurts so much.

    in another note, im happen to be an argentinian, if anyone needs a translator girlfriend ;)

  39. hmmm i came out to my best friend as bi over a text message at a car dealership and then a few months later confirmed my gayness after i broke up with my bf and realized she didnt make the connection why, my two gay friends who were wondering why i was going to SF pride if the person i was going with wasnt gay, and just a few days ago one of my other close friends who overheard a conversation -____- awkward… and then she didnt mentioin she had heard until the next day in a text message, mad that i hadn’t told her sooner… and then she told me that i was lucky i didnt have to deal with guys and i laughed at that :P so basically out o 4, it’s been pretty successful… so i guess that’s four down, rest of the world to go? haha

  40. Awww Carrie…. just awwwwww. I really wish my coming out to my rents was that cute. If positive at all.

    Morgan… that is the cutest most perfect ending ever. And you are such a cutie :)

    Gosh these stories are so positive & beautiful :)

  41. All of these stories individually made me cry, even though I gave myself time in between each of them to collect myself and then the next one got me going even more. Especially Morgan’s story. Oh my god…

    My coming out as trans was kind of weird, and possibly unhealthy. I basically had no friends or contacts with anyone other than my family before I decided to start transition. I withdrew even further once I started therapy and eventually hormones, fearing judgment from those around me who saw me, but didn’t know me. I graduated from college the same year and told my parents, who spent virtually every conversation we’ve had from that moment to this day trying to invalidate my gender identity. It’s kind of sad, especially since they’ve practically encouraged me to be a gay man instead. However, contrary to my darkest expectations, I’ve made more friends and a wider network of acquaintances since coming out than I ever though possible. So I guess it was ultimately a positive coming out story, but that whole thing where I completely severed all of my (admittedly limited) relationships from the past, including my family, gives me mixed feelings about it.

    My coming out as lesbian is a bit weirder. The interplay between my insecurity from being born and socialized male and identifying as female really complicates this whole thing. Part of me feels like I don’t deserve to call myself lesbian. In fact, to those few friends and acquaintances I’ve told about it without ambiguity, I’ve never actually used the word “lesbian” for fear I would get laughed at or something. I guess this is still a work in progress, though I’m not afraid of what people will think of me as a girl who loves women so much as I’m afraid I won’t be taken seriously. It’s especially hard to tell friends who are also queer women, since I feel like rejection from them would cut especially deeply. Since all of my attractions have so far been unrequited, I suppose I can assume I have plenty of time before that facet of my identity even becomes something worth telling people.

    • I can relate: my coming out was even delayed because I read far too much second wave feminist thinking, as a teenager. It’s a strange place to be in, when you hurt yourself to, essentially, try and protect other people from you; and, really, they never notice or appreciate it. And it still kills you when they don’t, when you finally spill it all, because the pressure is too much, and they just look at you in incomprehension; kindness, if you are lucky.

      It took me a while to feel comfortable enough to drop qualifiers in my speech. It took a scare with club security to stop using male bathrooms… I guess fear, self protection is also part of it, but my experience is that the heart of the issue is self confidance and self esteem. It comes with time and it’s easier when you find good female friends to talk to about it: you don’t need to lay it all on the table, you can talk about it in an indirect way if you have to: talk about it they way you do here.

  42. I didn’t realize I was gay until the summer before my senior year of college when I was suddenly making out with a girl in the bathroom at a bar. We wound up in a relationship and I decided to come out to my parents when I was home for Christmas break.

    Me: Mom I have something to tell you
    Mom: (pauses TiVo) Yes?
    Me: I have a girlfriend…
    Mom:…I’ve been waiting for you to tell me something like this!
    (20 minutes and many tears later)
    Me: Can you just tell dad for me?
    Mom: Sure.

    I left to go meet up with my friends and a few hours later I came home to find my dad sitting in his chair watching tv. I sat on the arm of his chair (like I always do).

    Dad: So, I hear you have a girlfriend.
    Me: (mumbles) Yeah…
    Dad: Um… congratulations!
    Me: Thanks. Do you know what we are having for dinner?

    End of discussion.

  43. Morgan, your story is so amazing and gives me so much hope that there is beauty and love in this world. Most of my friends know that I’m gay, but I’m terrified of ever telling my family. I wish I were half as courageous as you.

    Sidenote: I can’t believe this, but I actually met you a few weeks ago when I interviewed for the DCRCC! You seemed familiar, but I felt awkward asking if you were an Autostraddle calendar girl. LOL, now I wish I had! :) Anyway, you’re lovely and your girlfriend seems absolutely wonderful.

  44. There’s a part of me that really hates everyone’s nice coming out stories. I didn’t have a great experiance. I’ll just stick the gist of it down and say my father told me he hated me, refuses to actually LET me be queer, drove me to SH and depression, an eating disorder or two, and then told me he hated me again and got angry when he found out about them. So I hate hearing nice coming out stories, but it’s only because I’m jelous as hell and want to swap places…

    • Mine was horrible too. I like to think that our happiness comes later, and this pain & suffering will be worth it.

  45. Aw, this article warmed my heart. The nonchalant responses to coming-out always make me laugh. I didn’t struggle with knowing I was gay. I always knew something was different and as soon as I heard the word and knew what it meant I was just like “that’s me” and finally having something to call it was a relief. I came out to my mum at age 17, the day after the coming-out episode of Ellen aired in the UK. I had actually planned to tell my mum during the episode which we watched together but she fell asleep before I got the chance! Anyway, it was just burning away inside of me & I spent most of the next day crying in my room with frustration & worrying. Eventually I just got up the nerve & went downstairs to tell her. She thought there was something really wrong because I was crying so much a& then when I told her she was just like “oh, is that it? Well, a mother knows these things”. I felt like a right dafty! She was the most important person to me so after she knew and accepted it then I came out to my friends and have been open about it ever since. My sisters were quite young at the time so I waited a few years and then eventually came out by email (chicken, I know). Both were fine about it, one said “well, you never talked about boyfriends so I figured” and the other just asked me if I still wanted to borrow that CD we’d talked about (as if my taste in music might have changed accordingly!). I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve not faced any homophobia directly as a result of coming out but I think I’ve surrounded myself with pretty decent people. I do however get the odd bit of abuse in the street for my alternative-lifestyle haircut but I don’t care what anyone thinks.

  46. I came out officially to my best friend first. You guys, I have the best best friend.
    Me: So, can I tell you something random?
    Her: Of course!
    Me: I’m pretty sure I’m gay.
    Her: Congratulations! I’ll always support and love you no matter what.
    Congratulations, you guys. She really said that.

    • It was so hard for me to come out to my best friend! She is self-proclaimed EXTREMELY conservative/republican (how we are bffs is beyond me). I finally told her one day and her response?
      “Well, though I don’t understand this whole homosexuality situation, I love you nonetheless.

      …but I will NOT help you come out. YOU deal with that shit”

  47. This article is very good! And I am pleased to share my story! Autostraddle you have never failed to show articles on ‘coming out’. This subject really should be everywhere, to help those who need it or just those who are part of the LGBT community. Not that everyone finds it difficult or even easy. I know that I’ve spent many hours searching through the internet for the problems/issues I have faced. I have found it so hard finding the acceptance in my sexuality and it really did get me down when I didn’t really feel as if my questions were being answered or thoughts even matched. I have been through the typical questions like, “I fancy my friend who is a girl, what does that mean?.” and “How do you know when your Gay”. As well as many other questions which I am sure most of you have thought about and tried to ask but didn’t really get anywhere.
    So my ‘coming out’ has just begun. About 4 years ago I came out to a close friend and I really just had to do it I just felt so worried and scared about it. Two years before that, I had a very close relationship with a best friend and one night we started something. It wasn’t planned or was it even what I would call a relationship now. It was just confusing kissing each other. Anyway the friendship/relationship ended eventually, I don’t really remember the details as such because it all happened when I was around the age of 14 and it was so confusing at the time. I look back on it now and feel fine. But these past 6 years I have felt confused, heartbroken, stressed, worried, upset, angry, depressed, hurt and pretty much anything else that made me feel horrible inside. Until I realised I had to meet up with this ex best/girl friend and just get some clarity and tell her how I have felt all these years and ask her questions about what happened. This happened and we met up and talked through it, but still I was the person in control of the conversation and she acted like it never really happened. Before we met up I had no idea what to do. I spent ages thinking about what I could say, until I realised that I needed to come away from this happy or at least proud in some way that I had an experience of a relationship with a girl. – So I made that promise and managed to end the conversation asking for her to say what she remembers about the friendship and I told her what I learnt. – I think you can learn a lot from a person even if you get hurt. So there we have it, now I am fine. – I rarely think about her now.
    A few months on I still felt lost and knew I had to take some other step. Because I knew that the only way I was going to accept myself, as being Gay was to take steps towards easing my self and casually growing into the place where I belong. So before I knew it, I was writing an email to a member of the LGBT society at my university, asking about what I should do. And eventually I met up for a Coffee with a very nice guy who listened to me. – So I should say, in between all these steps towards acceptance, there were times when I would feel down and I wouldn’t feel good at all inside. I have never felt suicidal, but sick to the stomach at times, just under confident, unsure, worried etc.
    Therefore, to deal with the agony of the in between stages of acceptance, I wrote a lot of poetry. I am not really the writing kind but I love music and the lyrics that fit. Lets just say I wrote a lot of poetry and didn’t bottle up my feelings as such I made them into something creative. Aside to these steps I have come out to many friends at diffenernt places and times. Not all at once and there are still friends who I haven’t told. But to be honest they probally know anyway. I haven’t had anything negative from any of my friends. But I was never worried about what other people think just about myself accepting it. I didn’t want to tell people till I felt comfortable with being gay. However I realised that wouldn’t come without starting to open up to friends as the only way to feel comfortable was to tell the people who I know care about me. I just had to trust how I felt. I then began to tell people when it just felt right and I think that is the best way, I don’t think you can push it out. However much I wanted to, I knew that I wouldn’t get to where I am now.

    To finish, I am going to tell you about the responses from others about ‘coming out’. There were friends who said we kind of knew because apparently I had told them I was in a secret relationship with a girl – who I mentioned earlier! By the way it was a secret. I wasn’t allowed to tell anybody, that’s what she told me and I think I was scared too anyway! So those 2 childhood best friends knew all along. I think the easiest ‘coming out’ was with my flat mates who are all guys and one evening they were talking about a girl they knew who liked girls. In which they were discussing the fact that she was re-questioning her sexuality and wanting to like guys. – They turned to me and said, “Jo have you ever liked a girl before?” I paused for a moment went a little red, as you do! And then said, “Well yes, I am actually gay”. They said, “oh really? That’s cool, is it?”. I replied with “yeah, oh my, wow I just came out to you didn’t I?” – I went upstairs turned up the music and after that I couldn’t stop feel excited and well just a little hyper.
    Does anyone else get like that? When you just feel really excited and you feel like dancing along to just really loud music? – I think I love that feeling.

    So there we are. I probably haven’ said absolutely everything! But I am there people; I am really very nearly there. I feel good like the way I should! And now I am a new member of the LGBT society. Here goes the last year of university!
    Oh and most of my friends know but not my family – I think that will just come out when it does you know? I know that they’ll be fine with it. I am lucky I guess. But I bet coming out isnt the hardest bit though is it? It’s going through all that dating stuff isn’t it?

    • Hey Jo. I like you a lot. :) This is all so similar to the things I have felt, both before coming out to my family/close friends and afterwards/now. I definitely have bad feelings about being gay sometimes. And it’s weird but I feel guilty about having those bad feelings, which makes me feel even worse, haha! But I definitely feel kind of uncomfortable with being queer/gay sometimes, and yeah, sick to my stomach. And there are a lot of moments where I just get so frustrated and sad and angry and I just can’t stop thinking about how much easier things would be if I were straight! And I hate that I feel that way sometimes, because I want to be happy about who I am. I think it would help if I had gay friends. I have a few queer friends but they don’t display their queerness/don’t actually live queer lives. Like my best friend: she’s bisexual but she never talks about it, has a serious boyfriend and has always dated guys… it’s a little isolating sometimes, not to have anyone close to me who lives an openly queer life. Anyway, I hope that you and I will stop feeling this kind of sad, sick, angry feeling eventually. :)

      Also I wanted to say that I DO think that the dating scene is incredibly stressful. I’ve only dabbled a bit in it, but my experiences were kind of negative and I decided to take a break so I could feel more confident about myself first. Anyway thanks for sharing. :)

      • Hello Samantha!! Thank you :) I like that you replied! I think thats the first time I have written it all down! I think I’ve almost passed the stages of feeling angry about it because I have realised there are people who are gay too and straight – I know that sounds a bit basic, but its too true! People have always been gay,straight, bisexual transexual etc, but now we are just putting a name to it and more and more people are being open about it – it just comes to a shock that you realise you are one of them. But thats ok, because like people say thats just who you are and theres no pint in suppressing it however much you want to.
        True with having gay friends, but I think it makes you a stronger person if you are the only one in the group, you know? Also, those gay friends will come in time – I have met some while being at uni. It’s a bit strange joining the LGBT society as it is different to other societies as there is no activity that surrounds it. It’s just we could be friends because, oh, I am gay and so are you! I actually just met up with a girl recently she’s nice but I know we don’t click, but I just want to like her because she’s gay, but I know I don’t. Its strange I think I am at the stage of wanting to start dating or at least meeting other girls who I might just click with! – I am sort of at that needy stage… I’m a little bit lonely, to be very honest!
        I feel as if i am so nearly there… but it’s so hard at the moment to just understand that I will get there and If i just wait, i will get to meet someone and many others to be friends!
        Where are you in the world by the way? I am in the UK!
        All the best for you :)

        • Haha I THOUGHT you were British! *high fives myself* I’m in Seattle in the US! And I feel lonely too, but also because I just moved to this city and it’s a little intimidating and strange still, and I don’t have that friend base yet.

          I love that you said that you want to like the gay girls you meet just because they’re gay. I definitely have that feeling too! Like I need community so badly that I just NEED every queer girl I meet to be super nice and funny and for us to just CLICK. But that doesn’t really happen, and then I feel all disappointed, haha.

          Sometimes I feel like I’d like to have someone special, and other times I feel like I’m just not ready. But I think I’ll always feel like I’m not ready, so I can’t let that get in the way. But I just really don’t want to date either, haha. The last time I did I ended up dragging it out too long with this one girl because I wanted so badly to feel a connection to her, even though I didn’t. I felt like I HAD to. And I’m not going to put myself through that again. I feel like if it happens, it happens, but I’m not going to stress too much about not having that yet. :)

          • Arwh!! VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE ;) Yeah for sure I am! oh Seattle thats so cool :D oh really are congrats on moving!
            Oh good I am not all alone in that I want to like the gay girls!
            Yeah I am more or less the same, I do want to meet a girl but damm things would be different! For once I wouldn’t be so independent I guess.. I’m a little crazy, I love my own company :P But I know I am ready to meet someone as well, I don’t think I have felt like this before.. It is quite exciting too!! Well, in a few weeks uni starts so I’ll be meeting the new people pretty soon!! How very daunting in a way but exciting! I like your philosophy of it happens when it happens. – I think there is part of me who says that and also says go on find her! aha.. I don’t know who I am in the dating/relationship world, I just know I am gay and want so much to show it. :)

          • I think that’s a very good place to start! :D

            And yeah every time I think about being in a relationship I feel like I could never do it because I relish my independence so much. I like being the only one I have to think about when I make decisions. :P But I suppose that’s part of life, learning to let other people be that large a part of your life.

            Good luck at uni! I just started grad school and my classes start in a week… Nervoussss.

  48. I came out in middle school. My mom just said “okay, but if you ever bring home a Republican, I’ll disown you.”

  49. Oh my god, Carmen’s story had me nodding so much it almost made my head hurt. “I was never in the closet because I was far too oblivious to stand in there and switch on the light. Instead I wandered the planet for eighteen years unwilling to even acknowledge the option of being anything but straight” – thank you thank you thank you for putting this into words.

    • YES.
      This is me, except in my case it was 23 years. And now I can’t understand why it took me so long to actually consider the possibility. Because it was kind of really obvious, but for the longest time I just thought I wasn’t 100% straight.
      I very slowly realized that it was more than that, but it still didn’t click until a few months ago, when I finally sat myself down and decided it was time for some Real Talk. Like this: ‘Ok look — I know you think lesbians are awesome and that makes you wish you were gay, but let’s be real: if you were a lesbian you would still be you. You wouldn’t magically become awesome. Nothing would change except that you would date girls instead of boys.’ And that’s when my mind and heart and soul exploded into feelings and rainbows and it hit me that OMG if I were gay I could have a girlfriend!!!!!!!! Which I had apparently always wanted without realizing it and was the most beautiful thing ever.

      So that’s how I came out to myself. My sisters know and are totally cool. I haven’t worked up the nerve to tell my parents yet… I want them to know, but I don’t want to actually TELL them. Sigh.

      • YES 23 YEARS. I was so oblivious. It never even crossed my mind that I might not be straight, except for briefly and I’d laugh it away bc I thought I must be trying to be special or something. Haha oh god.

    • 22 years for me. Once it clicked, I started looking back at my life and thinking to myself, “How the hell did you not know?”
      Seriously, I was the last of my friends to realize just how gay I am, and when I came out to them, pretty much the only response I got was, “Yeah, we know. Glad you finally realized it.”

  50. I try to make my mom realizes Im gay everyday, already used the:
    -Im going to pride
    -Everytime we watch a movie I mention how hot is the girl
    -Im going to a gay bar
    -I reaaallly want to take a queer theory class
    And she still doesnt know :S
    I came out to one of my friends today and it was really funny
    Me: I went to a gay bar yesterday
    She: Why?
    Me: Because I only want to be with girls now, well girls and Justin Bieber
    Her: Whats wrong with you?
    Me: *freking out* Why?
    Her: How coul you like Justin Bieber?! Hes the worst.
    My brother knows because I got drunk once and tried to kiss a girl I had a crush on and he totally saw me. The nex day he told me that he must be a bisexual because he has a crush on Lenny Kravitz.
    And most of my friends know, but they are always asking me if I find them atractive which is kind of annoying.

  51. I love this so much.

    I am happy to tell my coming out story with you guys! I am 16 years old, almost 17, and I came out to my parents in October last year. I had only told 3 of my closest friends before them. Well, that day my mom dropped me off at my dad’s house (they’re separated) and decided to stay and watch TV with us. She stayed to watch for about an hour, the entire time I just sat there thinking about what to say and trying to muster up the courage to do so. Well, after that hour was up my mom decided it was time for her to go, and my father got up to show her out. This was it. I had to tell them both. No turning back. So I said it.
    Me: “Mom? Dad? I have something I need to tell you.”

  52. Oh, I love this so much.

    I am happy to tell my coming out story with you guys! I am 16 years old, almost 17, and I came out to my parents in October last year. I had only told 3 of my closest friends before them. Well, that day my mom dropped me off at my dad’s house (they’re separated) and decided to stay and watch TV with us. She stayed to watch for about an hour, the entire time I just sat there thinking about what to say and trying to muster up the courage to do so. Well, after that hour was up my mom decided it was time for her to go, and my father got up to show her out. This was it. I had to tell them both. No turning back. So I said it.

    Me: “Mom? Dad? I have something I need to tell you.”
    Mom: “Oh god. Oh god. Oh no..”
    Dad: “What is it?”

    They both looked SO serious. It was a little unnerving.

    Me: *deep breath* “I’m gay.”

    My words just hung in the air as my parents turned and looked at each other and then back to me.
    Then my mom suddenly starts hopping up and down, smiling, and pointing at me yelling “OH MY GOD. I KNEW IT. I FUCKING NEW IT! ..Oh thank god. I thought you were pregnant or something.”

    While my mom is freaking out, my dad is just standing there with this sort of shocked look on his face. I don’t think he had any words, but he was sort of obligated to say something, literally anything.

    He looks at me and goes, “Huh.. Alrighty then.” *long pause* “Whatever makes you happy, sweetie.”
    Then both of my parents chimed in with a “We love you no matter what.”

    I was a ball of feels after that. It felt so good to finally tell them. feelsgoodman.jpeg

    After that we all sat back down on the couch and talked about it for a couple of hours. Then we all went our separate ways AKA my mom went home, dad went to the bar, and I went upstairs to 1) write everything that had just happened down in my journal, and 2) call more friends and tell them the news.

    It’s now almost one year later and coming out has gotten a lot easier. I told my the rest of my close-ish friends about a week ago, my cousin on the way back from the airport a couple days ago, and as of about an hour ago, all of my Facebook friends. I’M OUT. AND IT FEELS GOOD! Now all I have left is the rest of my extended family, half of whom are fairly conservative, but you know what, I think I can do it. Scratch that. I know I can do it. This little baby gay is ready to be herself.

    I hope this gives you other baby gays out there just a little bit more courage to come out. I’m sending positive energy your way. :) You won’t always get a positive reaction, but believe me, it’ll feel good to finally be yourself.

    • I have a related question: I’ve put on my facebook “interested in: women”, but does that count as being out on fb? Do I have to make my status “I AM GAAAAY PEOPLE” in order to be out? I always check that part of people’s profile (out of curiousity and a hope for more queer friends) but I don’t know if other people, esp straight people, do that.

      • I say don’t paint it all over Facebook but then again follow this quote of: “People that mind don’t matter because, people that matter don’t mind.” If you want to come out on Facebook do it… :D

        • I feel like most of me doesn’t care about people who would mind, but there’s this nagging part that just doesn’t want to lose anyone, even if they’re people I never really talk to!

          • Last night, I did it.
            I thought I feel ready, I don’t care if people know or people know and don’t understand!
            I just know that I like women not men. I may as well state it, because thats who I am. But I don’t think it is necessary.. it also gets it around more, especially to those guys who fancy me. I think I have one guy. bless him!
            So I have painted it on facebook but I don’t think I’ll ever announce it in a status. I think strangely enough everybody who has a facebook account has their own genre and style of writing! Some people write a cool and funny status and some just write what they are eating. And some don’t do statuses. Maybe I spend too much time using it. But facebook is the new generation and I feel weird saying that. But being gay doesn’t change anything or does anything really. – But I guess I’ll find that out.

      • I had my info set as interested in women for a while too, but honestly, almost no one checks that. What I did was I posted this photo to Facebook, and in the caption/description I wrote, “Hi. Just thought I’d let you all know that I’m gay. Really, really gay. Yep.” and that was that, all positive feedback from people. I may have had a few people unfriend me, but honestly, who needs them. If they’re willing to give up my friendship because of something so trivial like being gay, they SUCK and I don’t need them in my life anyway. Don’t worry too much about losing friends, I think the coming out process is built up to be a lot worse in our minds than it actually is. I know I thought it would be 1000x worse than it really is, but that may just be because of where I’m from. I don’t know, I just hope some day soon you’ll be able to let go of your inhibitions and just tell people. There’s no shame of being in the closet, I just want you to experience that feeling of being free. Taking that weight off your shoulders will really help your back:))

  53. the only people that ive ever come out to are two of my best friends. it feels a little unnecessary to come out to anyone else, due to my forever alone and queer status. but, i got really, really close to a guy this summer and ive been procrastinating telling him for about a month now. so i guess what im saying is: heeeeeellllllppppppppppppp how do i come out to people that havent known me my entire life and dont know that i had a list of girls id ‘go gay for’ (i was in some deep denial for a long time. thanks for this article though, it gave me a little more courage :)

    • Sophie,
      For me its easier to come out to new people because it feels as if I don’t have to be expected to be someone else. I just say how I feel and because they are new friends they have accepted me as they don’t know me as well. I think thats really nice having that and there is no pressure to pretend to like guys or even pretend that I am not interested in relationships.
      So is this guy just a friend – or do you feel something more? – And still confused between liking boys and girls?
      Keep swimming through, you’ll get there :)
      Jo x

  54. I came out for the first time ever just three weeks ago.

    It took me two years of struggling to realize that I might like girls, another year to actually accept that fact, and another half a year to even consider telling anyone.

    It was just after my first week of college when I came out to my best friend. We were sitting just outside the dorms around midnight drinking coffee. I sat out there in nervous agony until the very last minute. We were just about to go back up to the dorms but I said, “Uh, hold on a minute. I have something to tell you.”

    She sat back down and as soon as I was going to just blurt it out, a huge crowd of vaguely familiar people walked past us unbelievably slowly. And I, being such a nervous wreck already, couldn’t come out with a crowd of people I may or may not have classes with. So I sat there awkwardly avoiding eye contact for nearly 5 minutes.

    And then we were alone again.
    I said, “I’m not gay, but I like girls.”
    She said, “Oh. I thought it was something bad.”

    I haven’t even considered telling my parents yet. My whole family is very Christian and conservative. My parents believe that, while being gay does not constitute treating anyone any different, it is still a sin in God’s eyes. They say that to act on homosexual urges is a sin and that if someone were to be born gay, it is just another challenge and temptation which one must resist. I know they wouldn’t disown me, wouldn’t hate me; but our relationship would never be the same. And I hate that.

    • I like: I’m not gay, but I like girls.

      I went through a stage of hating labels now I am fine with being labeled as Gay. But don’t really like Lesbian. I had a conversation with my best guy friend abut this and he said, He doesn’t like it either and really despises the word Penis.
      But still I think I am trying to accept everything in the LGBT community and linking it with me. I am also pleased that you have said it took two years to question liking girls and another year accepting it! Then half year after that to tell everyone. Most people I know part of LGBT community haven’t really said about how long it took.
      I guess for some, like us it takes time for things to settle.
      I think I have always been the type of person who takes little steps.

      With your parents, I think you are really brave and although they might not accept homosexuality, they might be different if they knew more about the subject as a whole and how it relates to you. But seriously you shouldn’t let it worry you. If you have some support foundation you’ll be ok :)

  55. Oh god. I feel so bad for the crap so many of you have to go through. I love you all so much.

    I came out to my dad via hangman. Which sounds weird. I stole some chalk from inside our house and wrote ‘_ _ Y’ with a big arrow next to it pointing towards the entrance to our porch, then when he was dropping me off at a friends’ said ‘let’s play hangman’. He turned around and my head was exatly where the arrow was pointing. He was like ‘right now!? On the front of the house? So that’s what you were… You are?’ I was like ‘yeah’ and he was like ‘okay cool’. It was a bit awkward in the car because I was so scared and he was processing and wanted to ask some stuff but that’s all.

    Hangman only narrowly won out to spelling it on the road using skittles. And that’s because skittles were too expensive mainly.

    I’m kind of needing all these amazing stories/inspiring pep talks right now though. I just came from a secondary school where I was totally out (to the point where the gay PE teachers found out and would dyke nod me in the corridors) and have moved into a sixth form college in another town with only a few peoplw I know attending. Which means I’m having to out myself all over again which is just really frustrating because it’s only been a week but it’s been so long since I had to that I just want to post it on the school board and be done.
    It was fun watching the new friend I’ve bonded with most click though. I’d been dropping hints for a week and she finally registered when she asked about a guy being cute and I just went ‘I really wouldn’t know’. For some reason her talking about her mum’s experience of being hit on by a girl and me going ‘we’re not all like that!’ didn’t cut it but that did. She just went ‘because you are…’ and trailed off. And after that I was just like woah gay with her, like I was at my last school. So now it’s just the rest of the new people to tell.

  56. I’m one of the word nerds, and when I learn a new word I feel compelled to incorporate into my personal vernacular immediately, especially if it sounds really cool. Like ‘phantasmagorical’. I was nine when I learned the word ‘lesbian’ and I remember thinking, “Oh, that is definitely me. Cool.”

    Later that evening as I ran into my mother as she was getting something OUT OF HER CLOSET(!), and I said to her “Mama, I’m a lesbian,” like it was the most natural thing in the world.

    Well, she flipped a shit. Albeit in the calmest manner possible.

    What did she do? She sat me down and gave me “the talk”. She told me all about the birds and the bees, and why women need to be with men. So they can procreate. I didn’t understand the logic of the progression of that conversation, and I thought it was all really weird. The next day I relayed “the talk” to my best friend, who was a guy, and then promptly shelved my attraction to girls.

    It wasn’t until my senior of high school when it resurfaced. A new girl moved to my school from California and she was kind of a tomboyish, surfer girl who was also a little girly. At first I just thought I wanted to be her friend because she seemed really laid-back, like me, and there weren’t any other girls like her at my school. Then, out of nowhere, I realized that what I really wanted to do was make-out with her face until the end of time.

    I would go to church on Sundays, and when they would open up the altar for prayer, I would kneel and pray to God to just please make it stop. He never did.

    Then I went to university almost 900 miles away, and developed a new crush on the prettiest, nicest, sorority girl, who was also a little tomboyish. I think I liked her because she was genuinely and sincerely nice to me (and she still is). That crush lasted for the entire four years of my undergrad. However, she is very straight. And I am so very shy and I was still a little ashamed, so nothing ever happened. Now we just wish each other Happy Birthday on facebook, and that’s okay. It’s actually really nice.

    But, now I’m totally comfortable with the fact that I’m a gay lady. I’m actually very happy about. And while I do believe that I was born gay, I don’t think I would choose to be straight if I had the choice because that’s not me. I honestly can’t see myself being happy with a guy. Whereas, when I think about the possibility of one day having the cutest girlfriend, it makes me all giddy.

    I still haven’t told anyone, but it’s not because I don’t want to. It’s just that I would prefer to do it face to face, and I currently live in England, while my family and three or four close friends are in the States. But I do plan on telling them in the very near future. Fingers crossed that it turns out well.

  57. im 23 and every one in my family knows im gay and have never really given me and problems over it but ive never dated really so when i do bring friends hope i always get funny looks of people woundering if im lieing when i say this is my friend_____ but they really are just friends they would know if it was a girlfriend by the kissing and touching but they dont know this yet … i cant wait to see how they take it the first time i bring a girlfriend home for a family event … is it wrong to hope the aunt i dont get along with is so freaked she leaves??? no one in the family likes her even my uncle that is married to her dosent really like her and i know if she left he would stay lol

  58. These stories are great to hear, even the sad ones it’s good there’s somewhere to share everything. Realising you need to come out is a massive step, certainly one I had no idea I even needed to take for a long time, kinda like Carmen.

    That’s until I started uni a year ago and fell absolutely head over heels in love with a girl in my class, who was openly gay. After weeks of hanging out on our own, her staying in my bed, becoming really good friends and getting to know each other, I just had to tell someone how I was feeling after having a panic attack when I was told she was going on a date with someone. (I remember I was in a friend’s room when my mate showed me a text she got from her on how the date was going, it read, ‘this is so awful. I am so bored. Please help me find someone I care about’. In my head, I was thinking how that person should be me. Please let it be me).

    I hinted to my best mate that texts from said girl made me feel like ‘you know when a guy texts, a guy you fancy….’ and we finally had a long talk sat on the steps of our local art gallery. After hours of tears and explaining how I liked this girl but could never tell her in case she didn’t feel the same, I told my best mate how I’d felt heart broken when she’d announced she was going on a date and I could see the realisation in my friend’s eyes of how in love I really was. We ate comfort food whilst agreeing that I could definitely NEVER tell her. So, I tried to avoid seeing her.

    Two days later, we were lying on my bed watching True Blood (me and the girl I liked), and before you know it she was telling me, kinda subtley at first, how much she liked me. I instantly told her I felt the same way and the next day we confirmed that actually we’d probably been dating all along and this was definitely already a serious relationship.

    Almost a year from then, we are still together, still extremely happy, and I’m even out to all my friends and family who have been very supportive. I wouldn’t exactly say I came out though really, seeing as I didn’t suffer years of harbouring secret feelings for liking ladies, only years of being very lonely and thinking that I must be asexual seeing as I didn’t want to do anything with anyone. My girlfriend is the only person I’ve ever been attracted to and have ever loved, so telling everyone was more about saying ‘hey, I’ve found the love of my life!’ than being gay.

    Good luck to anyone coming out. It’s worth being yourself. And it does get better.

  59. Whenever the few people who know about me ask if I’m still in the closet, I say, “kinda.” I feel like I’m sitting in the closet, with the light on and the door ever so slightly ajar, so that whoever is curious enough to open it will find me sitting there, looking up at them and those who don’t, won’t. It’s very lassez-faire. You would think that my grandmother being gay/ myself knowing I was gay at a very young age would actually make it easier…

  60. My best (male) friend: “Look, well I just wanted to tell you I like dick, but I presume you already understood that”
    Me:”Look dude, where are the moving scenes of crying and dramatic discourses? You could have told me in a prettier way.Anyway I like vagina better”
    He:”Well I kinda figured out when we were at a concert with a male singer half naked and you stared at the female dancer’s ass 99 per cent of the time”.

    Weirdest thing ever. ahahah

  61. I actually find the day-to-day coming out to be harder than I found coming out to my closest friends and family. I know those guys love me, for cryin out loud!
    It’s the whole, “So do you have a boyfriend?” “umm…no. *that’s not a lie I do not have a boyfriend I haven’t said I’m gay but I didn not say I was straight so I didn’t lie HA*” “Really? Ah you’ll meet the right guy one day.” “OhheerhhhaahahAWKWARDLAUGHTER”
    I’m still not out to the people I work with. I kid myself like I haven’t had an opportunity but I totally have, I just don’t know how to come out to people when, technically, it’s none of their concern. I wish I could convince myself that, in those cases, you come out for YOURSELF not for them, because if they knew I was a lesbo we could kid around about it, they’d make fun of me for it like we all make fun of each other for everything and I’d feel more comfortable. It’s just getting the words out with people who don’t LOVE you, you know? :S

  62. I reeaally liked reading all these stories!
    “I was never in the closet because I was far too oblivious to stand in there and switch on the light.”
    Carmen, thank you so much for putting this into words. I could totally relate. I did not even dare to look inside the closet when my best friend asked me if I possibly liked the ladies.

    My parents were always joking that my (male) best friend (to whom I came out to first) and I would marry someday. My mother and I even had a bet going on.
    So my coming out to my mother went something like:
    Me: Sooo you remember that bet about S. and me?
    Her: Yeah..
    Me: Well, I guess I won that bet.
    Her: Why? Has S. a girlfriend?
    Me: No.
    Her: Do you have a boyfriend?
    Me: No.
    Her: Is S. gay??
    Me: No but you’re almost there..
    Her: Are you telling me that you’re a lesbian?!
    Me: There you go!
    She took it alright ;)

  63. Reading these were great and I felt like I was reading other girls’ journals, so when I got to the end I felt the need to share mine.

    I was home for a weekend in college my freshman year and I had written a letter to me mum – tear drop stained of course. I left it under my pillow and purposefully left my room messy because my mom always looks for things I have left behind. It had her name on it so I knew she read it. And she did.

    But before going further I should add I had already come out to my older sister and she knew I was leaving the letter to my mom that weekend.

    As I was driving home I called my sister and asked her if she thought mom had found it yet. My sister informed she definitely had and does not want to talk to anyone and went for a drive. I was sort of shocked because I was like, “wow, that bad huh?” My mom likes to go for “drives” to ease the nerves. Probably smoking a j on the back country roads. Anyway.. my sister then replied with, “yeah, but its probably because I told her I was pregnant today too.”

    Sweet, sis. Ease the blow, ease the blow.

  64. Oh my god every time Morgan told us some part of her story I cried. EVERY TIME. In the panels. In broad daylight. Gotta stop doing that.

    • Thank you for the space and support to tell my story. I really didn’t expect the outpouring, IRL and online, for me and my little life.

  65. “Life gets better the closer you get to who you really are.” <–THIS

    Seriously, Haviland. I got chills. The feelings coursed through my veins.


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