FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I Came Out in a Minivan on the Way to New York, How About You?

In this week’s Supergirl, Nia came out to Kara as trans in the car at the beginning of a road trip, and it made me think of my decision to come out to my parents while we were in my mom’s minivan going 70 mph on the highway, about two hours into a four-hour ride from Boston to New York. It retrospect, not my brightest plan.

Remembering this lead me to thinking about all the other places I’ve come out. Because as you all know, despite the way we often pick one of the times we came out as the date we “came out” officially, as queer and/or trans people, we’re coming out all the time. Movies and TV usually depicts all the planned or serious or dramatic ways we come out, the upsetting outings or the heartfelt acceptances. And while those types of scenes are usually true to life for some people, sometimes when we come out, especially after that first time…it’s kind of hilarious.

waverly gay

For example, once after spending the day playing field day games in a park in the mud, my friends and I all went to the closest bar that didn’t mind that we were filthy and took over the jukebox. At one point I took a break from dancing and sat with my friend who was also gay and we talked about coming out to our parents, because it was pretty fresh for both of us at the time. When I got back on the dance floor, my friend Jess asked me what we had been talking about and I said, “Oh we were bonding about coming out.” And she said, “Well bonding usually means you have something in common.” I looked at her, confused. “Yes. We are both gay, therefore, we bonded.” She stopped dancing. Her eyebrows furrowed. “No, you’re not gay, you’re dating Dennis.” Laughter ensued, because I am most certainly gay, and I was most certainly not dating Dennis. It was one of the first times I came out without having decided first (mostly because I genuinely thought she already knew…most of our conversations up to that point had been about Pretty Little Liars) and it was pretty hilarious.

There was also the time I was at a work retreat on a YMCA campground drinking contraband liquor in a cabin and the girls I was standing with were talking about whether or not they wanted to get married in a church. I made some joke about how probably I wasn’t gonna do that since I’m a lesbian, and just then, the song that was playing ended, and in the moment of silence before the next one began, one girl turned to me and said, quite loudly, “You’re a lesbian?!” And everyone laughed and was chill about it, the timing amusing us all. One girl even came FLYING out of the cabin’s bedroom with a towel in her hair, fresh from the shower, yelling, “WHO’S A LESBIAN?”

So a dive bar covered in mud while Journey played on the jukebox and a cabin on a lake with coworkers are two of my most random places I’ve ever come out. I want to hear your stories!

Tell me about the silly, funny, did-that-just-happen coming out stories we don’t see enough of on TV. Times people found out in a random and hilarious way, not in a cruel or non-consensual way. Did you get your memory wiped then tell your best friend, “I think I’m kinda gay?” Did you find yourself in a burning barn in an alternate universe and call your fiance and say, “I think I’m gay, call you later!”? Did you get so excited that the person you were into was also queer that you blurted, “Gay! Me gay!”?

Spill!


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Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 301 articles for us.

146 Comments

  1. When I came out to my parents as bi when I was 14, and they both said I hadn’t had enough experience to label myself. My parents met each other at uni (for context). Went something like this:

    Dad: I mean I thought I was bisexual for a while, when I was at university, but I wasn’t.

    Mum: What?

    Dad: Yes, I thought you knew that.

    Mum: No, you’ve never mentioned it before.

    Dad: Well didn’t everyone think they were, for a bit?

    Mum: I never did.

    [Impasse ending with a meaningful ‘We’ll talk about this later’ look]

  2. One of the weirder ways was definitely during my sophomore year in college.

    I had already come out to all of my friends at the end of the previous year, but one of them had her best friend from home visiting for the weekend.

    Now, he had attended our semi-formal on my arm the year before, but to be fair at that point NOBODY knew yet.

    I came BARGING into the room one night, yelling very loudly about something very gay (with a couple lesbian jokes probably thrown in for good measure), forgetting that he was visiting.

    There was a beat where I realized he was in the room, then without thinking about it I turned dramatically to him, stuck out my hand, and very formally greeted him by saying, “[Boy’s name], I am a HOMOSEXUAL.”

    He took in stride, we all laughed uproariously, and this interaction has since become one of our finest running jokes.

  3. I guess you could say my family opened the closet door and found me inside.

    I didn’t actually say the words. I just kept bringing girls home, or the occasional very gay male friend. I figured being a lesbian is entirely natural so why should I have to make a Big Declaration ? Was I being bold, or was I being a fraidy-cat ? Ah, hahaha, definitely a fraidy-cat.

    Well, one memorable Christmas with the whole family, whenever I’d mention a girl’s name, a chill silence would settle on the room, and everyone would exchange looks, and nod slowly. I was like, WTF is up with them ?? I can still remember the thoughtful look on my mom’s face and how I almost burst out laughing. And then it hit me : Ohhhh, the penny finally dropped, they’ve figured out I’m gay !

    I was pretty lucky all things considered. My ultra-religious uncle couldn’t kick up a fuss when everyone else was so tacitly accepting. Lots of hugs and We-just-want-you-to-be-happy moments.

    The downside is I never actually talked about it with my family, what it means to be gay, how I live it, how they can help me and others.

    • After I came out, every time I mentioned a girl’s name, my mother would ask me if I was dating them. And actually literally in the same car ride that I came out, she listed every female friend I’ve ever mentioned to her and asked if I had dated them. Sheesh!

  4. Coming out seems like it’s never-ending, doesn’t it? You (Valerie Anne) were actually present for both of my family comings out. Both via text, both way less dramatic than I anticipated.

    But one of the…funnier/more inappropriate…comings out I had was when I came out to my college friends. It was our first alumni weekend after graduation and we were walking through a parking lot behind the student center on the way to a bar for lunch. One of our friends (let’s call him…Tommy) was particularly flustered because his brother had just come out. The group exchange went as follows:

    Someone: What’s up Tommy? You seem off?
    Tommy: Well, I just got some news that I’m not sure how to handle. My brother is gay.
    *pause*
    Me: …me too!!
    Everyone: WHAT?!

    At the time, it felt like the easiest way for me to tell them this thing that had been eating at me for so long, but looking back, maybe I could have waited until Tommy was done processing his own brother’s coming out. /shrug

    • hahahah that reminds me of how one time my mother called me and went, “I finally figured out how best to tell people my daughter is gay!” (this is because once I gave her shit after I had dinner at her best friend’s house and realized she never told her I was gay) and when I asked her to elaborate she said, “Well my coworker just told me his daughter was gay and I said, ‘Mine too!'”

      :facepalm: That’s all well and good but I have a feeling that won’t be the most common thing!

  5. When I was in college, I was walking with a group of friends, including the guy I was dating at the time. We had the following conversation:

    Male friend: “A number” is such a useful phrase. I was meeting with this administrator about a problem I had, and I said “I’ve discussed that with a number of people who agree with me.” That number was one, but hey, it was effective.
    Boyfriend: Zero is also a number! You could still use that phrase even if you hadn’t talked to anyone.
    Female friend: Yeah! For example, I’ve kissed a number of women, and that number is zero.
    Me, without thinking: I’ve kissed a number of women, and that number is not zero.
    Everyone: *stops and stares at me*
    Me: Uhhh….surprise?

  6. I came out as a lesbian to my mom by locking myself out of my car on a date. The lady I was seeing had to drive me to my mom to get my mom’s house key so I could get the spare key to my car, which was kept at my mom’s house. My mom and I never really talked about that moment but we never had to. Life kept going on and soon all three of us were having dinner together regularly.
    When I came out to my dad I also told him I had a tattoo. He flipped out about the tattoo. Not the reaction I was expecting because I thought that would have been the more minor thing.
    Coming out as a transman to my mom was her asking me point blank if I happened to be trans. Before I could answer she just said she wanted me to be safe and happy because she loved me whether I was Lauren or Brad or Robin or some other name, that I would always be her child.

  7. oh man, I’ve never been great at talking about emotional things without bursting into tears, so I when I was younger, I made a habit of avoiding those conversations altogether. The first time I ever came out was to a friend at a party. I told her I needed to talk to her about something, we went into another room, and I just sobbed. It was way more dramatic than necessary, but it was one of those dam-bursting moments that I couldn’t stop.

    I came out to my sister via text. We were talking about how attractive some actress is and she very bravely told me she was bi, so I just said, HEY, me too, except you know, just ladies for me!

    I came out to my mom via email (I KNOW OKAY). I had just been on a date with an awesome girl and I was like, let’s do this! So I emailed her and her response was lovely and kind and didn’t at all acknowledge that I had done this over email. Then she told me to text my dad. So I did and I didn’t get a response for hoooours, which I thought had to be bad, but it turns out he was just in a long meeting. Whoops.

    I told my best college friend in a letter. It was fitting, because we exchange cards and letters all the time, and she had just sent me a Lisa Frank card with rainbow unicorns all over it and so I was like, OKAY, if ever there was a sign that I should just tell her, this is it.

    I’ve gotten so much better about actually having these conversations in person. The people I’m closest to were the toughest to tell because their reactions meant the most to me. I am very fortunate to have lovely, supportive friends and family and I will never take that for granted :)

  8. I came out as gay to my best friend after I MADE him play “Same Love” in the car on a long drive because I am a Leo and I don’t do anything without a big scene pre-created in my head (obviously).

    But the best twist was that he then came out to me! It was great haha

  9. I’ve never had anything strange or funny happen while coming out as a lesbian, but coming out as transgender to anyone while I was living in the Vail, CO area did elicit something interesting. Everyone I came out of the closet to in that area all said the same thing: “Okay. Huh, I wouldn’t expect this to be an accepting area.” Oh, Vail, you are so very silly.

  10. One of the first people I came out to was my good friend and occasional FWB, who I thought was a cis man.

    Fast forward though several years and many twists and turns. This friend and I are sitting in a bar with moldy ceiling tiles. A week-ish previously, we had sex, throwing me into confusion over my identity and leaving both of us unsure about our relationship. My friend has just come back from a job interview several states away. My friend says, “I’m a trans woman. If I get this job, I’m going to go. I’m going to transition and live my life. I want you to come with me.” One month later, we packed up the van and left.

    And that’s how my wife and I came out to each other and Uhauled into the sunset.

  11. Not that funny, but ironic. We were sitting down in my house, and afriend of 6 years who was livibg with me then came out to me as gay, it was a big deal for him, and I only offered an anticlimactic “ok” (while refraining from blurting “but like you didn’t know?”). Two years later, I come out to him as bi, and he also fails to be surprised. I suddenly understand I should have made a bit more of a celebratory move back then.

  12. I haven’t told many people – mostly a group of gay guys that I worked with. But I have told my best friend – over the phone – that I’m bi and she totally non-reacted and I didn’t say it very clearly, so had to check she understood what I meant and she did, but was completely cool about it. She even recently asked me for advice because she thinks her youngest son is gay but isn’t sure if she should bring it up to him or not, letting know it’s OK if he is.

    My family don’t know, because they’re anti.

    I’ve never outright told anyone I’m asexual in person, though I have hinted around it, when I talk about not being interested in having a relationship/children etc.

  13. Yay! I love this topic and am struggling to think of a time I’ve come out that wasn’t awkward, especially the ones that sprang from unexpected moments of LET’S DO THIS with no planning or thought whatsoever.

    I came out to my professor during a cross-country bus ride in Australia, hoping to improve my grade in an art class. He was giving me feedback about a self portrait I’d made, saying that my lines didn’t really show my skills, so I took a deep breath and explained that the portrait was made up of entirely straight lines because it was a (way-too-subtle) symbolic depiction of heteronormativity/passing for straight! The critique got a lot more heartfelt and thoughtful after that, but I don’t think my grade went up. This professor was also the second person I ever came out to, so for a few months there the only people who knew were him and my boyfriend at the time…

    Once, a friend started asking me if I thought it was rude to ask people what their sexual orientations were, because she’d just learned that someone she’d assumed was gay was actually bi, and wanted reassurance that it would have been weird to ask instead of assuming. My life flashed before my eyes and I was like, “Hm, I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but since we’re on the subject, I’m also bi! So you never know!”

    I think this conversation happened at a very rushed breakfast? Anyway, she seemed surprised but was cool about it, but then THE NEXT DAY I learned that she’d told a third friend about our conversation (making an unsuccessful attempt to conceal my identity), although that person unfortunately didn’t continue the chain of surprise coming out moments. I felt a little strange about being outed but was mostly just amused at the concept of someone repeatedly running to people to unpack surprising revelations about friends only to find out that everyone is queer.

    When I finally came out to my parents, I made sure to do it wearing sunglasses, so I wouldn’t have to decide where to look.

    • “My life flashed before my eyes” is so relatable. ALSO SUNGLASSES! Brilliant. I 100% came out in the car because I was in the backseat and they couldn’t look at me hahaha

      I had a friend who used to out me (she never saw it as this, to her it was nbd…eventually I realized she was actually doing me a favor) by introducing me to people like, “This is Valerie. She has a hilarious bad date story” and would force me to tell her favorite story about a very series-of-unfortunate events date I went on with a girl once.

      • I’m glad your car coming out went relatively safely and well! Yeah, it’s like, promising yourself a certain amount of control and distance as you do this big thing, even if you’re going 70 miles per hour or you end up looking like an expressionless and unapproachable bro…

  14. I VIVIDLY remember the first time I ever said the words “I’m gay.” I was drunk off my ass, and my best friend was dropping me off at the campus apartment I shared with the first woman I ever loved. I was sobbing hysterically because I was drunk and soooo close to coming out of the closet and overflowing with lesbian love for the first time. We pulled up outside of the building our apartment was in and I said “I have to tell you something.” I’m pretty sure my best friend KNEW what I needed to tell them but they played along.

    “Shit!” I blurted out. “I have to pee.” So I hobbled out of their 2 door pickup that I was way too short for and I started peeing basically all over their tire though I was aiming for the ground and I was still crying and it was really cold outside and over the sound of the truck running and with pee splashing everywhere I poked my head into the truck, hiccuped, and said “I’m gay” and then burst into tears again. To their credit they feigned some surprise and showed no disgust as I pulled my pants up and climbed back in.

    The second time I was attempting to sleep with a man for what would be the last time and it was NOT working for unrelated reasons that I now understand a lot more. Finally he asked if this was my first time with a man and I laughed heartily and said “No, but it will probably be my last” and he looked shocked and got pissed and left.

    The third time I was drunk again (junior year was not my friend y’all) and told a whole party so I pretty much didn’t need to come out again after that.

  15. I came out to most of my friends at 4 AM during a cast party for a school play and I just dropped it casually in the conversation and went on with what I was saying without letting anyone react.

    I came out to my mother in the car (what is it about coming out in moving vehicles??? this seems like a terrible idea) and I came out to my dad when we were visiting colleges in New York and went out to dinner with some of his friends and I decided to just say “Can you pass the salt? Oh, by the way, I’m a lesbian.” and not give him any time to react to it.

    I generally like to just drop the fact that I’m gay in a conversation and then move on really fast before the other party has a chance to react. It’s worked out fine so far.

    • My mom actually pointed out what a weird idea the car was! She goes, “Not for nothing but, if you were afraid we wouldn’t react well…why did you choose the highway??” hahaha I just had envisioned my mom storming out of the room and didn’t want her to be able to! And also didn’t want to have to look them in the eye! I DIDN’T THINK IT THROUGH!! haha

      • Oh my coming out to my mother was a ridiculous impulsive decision because it was Valentine’s Day of my junior year of high school and I’d told my (v straight) best friend/crush that I liked her the night before and it had gone better than I expected (she didn’t like me back obviously but she was really nice and handled it well and we’re still close) and I was sort of riding the high from that and just…blurted it out without thinking. Not a great idea on my part.

  16. Most of my comings out (is that the plural version? Coming outs?) have been fairly low-key or some version of “What took you so long?” The funniest one was coming out to my brother a couple years ago, it was at night after our parents had gone to bed and I sat him down and told him. He just kind of nodded and said “Okay….so this means we’re still not talking about our dating lives though right?” And I said “OH GOD NO” and we went back to watching TV.

    These days what happens more is when I meet someone who is queer and I nearly trip over myself to announce that I’m also queer, exactly like this scene in One Day at a Time.

  17. My mom was visiting family so i called her and my dad separately. From 500+ miles apart they each had the same reaction: “are you going to start wearing button-own shirts tucked into khakis with a belt?”

    I was almost 30. My mom, who I called first, said it must be genetic because I have so many gay cousins on her side of the family. When I mentioned this to my dad he responded cheerfully: “The lesbianism is definitely from your mom’s side of the family. The late-blooming is from mine. The [REDACTED]s are all late-bloomers!”

  18. I came out at 19 to my mother during what I’d hoped would be a quiet evening alone with my teenage angst, my crush, and AIM (yes, AOL Instant Messenger). It was like 2am and I had my headphones on; my family was asleep… or so I thought. Turns out my mother was standing directly behind me reading my instant message conversation with the first girl I had ever done anything remotely sexual with. She read “Have you told your mom yet?”, ripped my headphones off my ears and started rapid firing questions at me. “What haven’t you told me? Are you on drugs? Are you pregnant? Have you been arrested?” Um… I like girls.

    It was even more awkward with my father. He found a super dirty letter I had written my girlfriend. I guess it had fallen out of my backpack or something. Thankfully I wasn’t home, he asked my mother, and she came out for me. My father and I NEVER spoke of the letter.

    I’m the oldest of five kids and there is a 10 to 12 year age gap between myself and the three youngest. They had already met my girlfriend a handful of times but didn’t know that’s who she was to me, my girlfriend. My mom decided to tell them their big sister was gay while I was out of town. This is how the conversation went…

    Mom: You know [insert gf’s name] ? And you know how she comes over a lot?

    Siblings: Yeah.

    Mom: Well, that is your sister’s girlfriend. They are dating and in love. Just like how mom and dad are in love.

    Siblings (without skipping a beat): At least we like her.

  19. North Alabama 1997. Circle K parking Lot. Pay Phone. It’s one week after the Ellen ‘Puppy’ episode. 17yr-old me is ready to bite the bullet and come out to my parents (who have moved ahead my graduation to Las Vegas, NV. I stayed behind in AL with my grandparents). I pick up the handset, punch in my phone card info in, dial my parents.

    Mom answers.

    Mom: Hello?

    Me: Hi Mom, it’s me.

    Mom: Oh Hi, Hon. Listen, we were just headed out to pick up Lyn (Mom’s BFF) from the airport.

    Me: Oh.. I just… I..

    Mom: You okay?

    Me: Yeah, I just needed to tell you something.

    Mom: Okay, well tell me quick. We’ve got to go get Lyn.

    Me: Well, um, it’s kind of hard to say.

    Mom: Can it wait? We’re really in a rush.

    Me: No, I… I have to say this now, it’s just hard.

    Mom: Well, sweetie, we’re really in a hurry.

    Me: Ok, I just… Ok, it’s just… I have to tell you…

    Mom: What, honey?

    Me: I’m.. I’m… uh, I’m gay.

    Mom: Oh, honey, we knew that. It’s ok honey. We knew. Listen, we have really got to leave to get Lyn right now. We’ll talk about this later, ok? We love you, honey. Bye!

    [click… dial tone.]

    Me (standing alone in the Circle K parking lot, staring down the receiver in my hand): YOU KNEW??!??

    End scene.

    • :standing ovation:

      My mom had 9000 questions after I came out but my dad had stayed quiet and just kept driving. So finally I asked, “Do…you…have anything to say?” And he was like “Oh I’ve known since you were like 12. As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.” and I was like YOU COULDN’T HAVE TOLD ME?!?!?

  20. I accidentally came out to the teens I work with at the library once. There was a group of them talking about one teen’s relationship problems – he had just broken up with his first serious girlfriend – and they asked me my thoughts. I was distracted and said “Well, if I had married my first girlfriend my life would be very, very different.” And then there was this silence while they all stared at me? And I just smiled back at them and waited.

    Then – predictably – one of the teens said, “You don’t look like a lesbian?”
    So I asked “Well, what does a lesbian look like?” And that led to a long discussion about presentation and orientation and gender identity that was much more nuanced and open than most conversations I’ve had with grown ass adults.

    In the days that followed I had a few teens tell me about someone they knew that was gay, and a few teens tell me that they might be queer and a few teens whisper behind my back. I didn’t intend to come out to them like that but I’m ultimately glad that I did.

  21. i love all of these so much! i came out to my mom after going to a Rosie Burgess Trio concert – i texted her, told her to come outside and get in my car, and we drove around back roads while i told her i was “maybe like 65-90% gay.”

    why did i think i needed to define the exact percentage? NO ONE KNOWS, lol.

  22. I’m very open about my sexuality with new people (kind of, I’m out of the closet and you’re coming into my house so keep up) so I don’t remember many coming out moments. No matter how many times I do it there’s still both a bit of anxiety and a huge thrill.

    I’m on my way to signing our new apartment lease. My stomach is in knots because even though I know it’s a done deal, i can’t stop thinking that something will go wrong. I mean, i know it won’t. BUT WHAT IF IT DOES AMIRITE?

  23. Well I don’t know if this counts as weird, but here it is. This is me, coming out for the very first time. To a bunch of lovely strangers on the internet. I may be a little terrified.

    Hello! I’m Rose, and I’m a lesbian. It’s lovely to meet you all.

    Honestly I don’t really know why I’ve never felt able to come out in real life – it’s never been the right time, there’s always been some complication, some fear to hold me back. I still can’t, and every time I’ve dipped the odd toe into the wlw web I’ve ended up bailing out, feeling like a fraud. But after five years of keeping this secret to myself (not to mention the many many years of repression & denial that came before), I guess I’m ready to say these feelings are real, I want them to be real, & at some point I’m going to have to deal with that. So, I suppose this is the first step. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a much better answer to this question.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go scream into a pillow!

  24. I think my funniest coming out story so far is when I came out to my boss during a summer internship. I worked with another gal intern and two new guy interns had just started and my boss was trying to set us all up. One morning he came to my cubicle and greeted me with “the studs are back” and in true lesbian fashion my brain went to building studs first lol. Once my brain realized that he meant the guys I said they weren’t my type and when he was like “oh?” and I said something like “I’m super gay” and my middle aged straight guy boss was immediately very flustered. He apologized and we moved on and I don’t think he tried anymore matchmaking. It was awkward at the time but so hilarious afterwards.

    • making straight people uncomfortable just by making a joke about being gay is one of my favorite pastimes. (don’t tell straight people though, it makes them uncomfortable.) one of my go-tos is when i help someone do something like open a jar or carry a box and I say “this is why you keep lesbians around” – they never know what to say!

  25. The shitty story: I knew and came out at 11, and nobody believed me, and everyone thought it was a phase and I’d grow out of it, and I figured they were right because they were Wise Authority Figures, and then I started mistrusting my own intuition, and I’m still trying to figure out how to trust myself again two decades later!!!!

    The thank u, next story: I left a note on my brother’s pillow while I was visiting him in America and then promptly flew back to Europe.

    The funny colleague story (henceforth referred to as the lolleague story for brevity and punnery’s sake): My femme privilege and/or queer invisibility means my appearance doesn’t “come out for me” so I spend a lot of time weighing whether to come out to acquaintances, colleagues, etc. I’m very averse to drawing attention to myself or sharing personal information of any kind, so I generally ascribe to the notion that it’s none of their business, but. One time, our former HR person was like “My ex-boyfriend was a Scorpio” and I was like “Oh, my ex-girlfriend was a Scorpio” and then our very Bostonian techbro who’s surprisingly nice for his ilk did a total spit-take and was like “Wait, WHAT?”

  26. I set a goal of coming out to my parents over winter break freshman year. Then i delayed and delayed until finally I blurted it out on the last day of break, maybe fifteen minutes before my dad was going to drive me back to campus.
    The conversation went fine. And then we all went to the front door to say goodbye. And I grabbed my suitcase… which had a vibrator in it, from which i hadn’t removed the batteries… and it started to buzz.

    “Oh, it’s my iPod!” I said cheerily.

    “Well, don’t you want to turn it off? We’re in no rush.”

    “No, it’s fine! Really!”

    And so my vibrator buzzed the whole ride to campus, during which we didn’t talk about my sexual orientation nor about my sex toys.

  27. I try these days with my coming out to cis-het people. I am usually now just technically come out to others in the community when I introduce myself; Hello, I am Al, and I use they/them pronouns. I learned that from interview Janet Mock did on Colbert Report. It works out well and in lgbtq spaces people for the most part have bene cool. On the plus side I will be at cuties coffee again this Sunday.

    I’ve been low energy for most of the week and kind of sad. I did spend part of my Sunday at Cuties Coffee for a femme event, which was great. I drank a lot of tea, and got to spend time with some lovely queers. The sad part is cause I was suppose to hang with my bff, but she flaked on me. I am still trying to figure out how to be a better friend to someone who just going on bingers due to various reasons and spending time with problematic people(cheater and my the other woman and knows is cause she doesn’t want to hurt gals and other pals by dating them while in her state of being). This is all kind of new to me. I kind of feel heart broken, but I am realizing I have to just sit and be a friend cause anything I may due might make it worse(kind of did by being eager in wanting to hang out).

    I don’t have any interesting images to share this week and it’s raining this Sunday so I might not having any nature opportunities either.Thank you for reading my post have a positive and warm weekend!

  28. I came out to my brother in the middle of a league of their own!! It was paused and I stood in front of the tv while he grouched at me to turn it back on and I told him to shut up and that I liked girls. And then we had a great talk while he was like “girls are just…so much better” and I was like “I know!!!”

    Also when I came out to my parents my dad said “well I can’t say I’m surprised” went and got a snack and went back into his room, which was honestly perfect.

  29. Mine was in an office where my boss had ask me to call maintenance to do something very simple we could have done ourselves by standing on a chair.
    It was an L shaped room and my boss was round the corner so when the maintenance men came they were clearly thinking I was a bit of a feeble woman/girl for calling them and I couldn’t even explain it was my boss who insisted. Part of the conversation went like this:

    Maintenance men: You don’t have a boyfriend, do you?
    Me: No
    MM: You’re not gay, are you?
    Me: Yes

    Followed by embarrassed (on their end) silence.

  30. I came out to a few people during my teens/early 20’s. Everyone was fine. All these people are no longer in my life though. Not because I came out but you know, life happens.

    My mom has never been accepting and now that I’m married to a man I’m sure she has conveniently forgotten.

    My husband accepts me wholeheartedly and that’s enough for me. If I ever make some meaningful friendships I will probably come out, again.

    Also I hate that because my partner is male, I’m defaulted to straight. I’m the farthest thing from straight! Stupid heteronormative society!

  31. I forgot to add that coming out to my husband was super chill.

    Me: I’m REALLY attracted to women. Before you I only wanted to be with a women.

    Him: I know. You made me watch The L Word, Carmilla, and a ton of lesbian movies. I’ve known for a while.

    Now we constantly talk about women who we think are hot.

  32. Sorry for adding again. There really needs to be an edit button.

    I recently came to the conclusion that I’m an emotional bisexual, meaning that I’m emotionally and sexually attracted to one gender (women) and only emotionally attracted to the other (men).

  33. The first non-family member I came out to (other than my bestie, who is basically family, also came out to me when I told him, and doesn’t count for the purpose of this comment) was one of my roommates in my sophomore year of college. We didn’t have too much in common, me being a politically grunge brown girl and her being all-American wonder bread on the volleyball team, but we had bonded over the past few months over our four other roommates freaking out at each other over weird roommate stuff and us not understanding why.

    The two of us were driving to get ice cream one night and I think she mentioned her gay uncle or something and I just couldn’t help myself – I blurted it out. She almost hit a pole because she is sweet but surprises easy and also I was probably crying, but once we assured each other that, ‘no, it didn’t touch the car, we’re fine, everyone is fine,’ she was totally supportive.

    But yeah, idk, even though cars are murderboxes, let’s be real, something about them makes everything feel a lil’ safe.

  34. I’ve only come out as bi to 2 people so far, and my second coming out happened in a moving car. I wasn’t in the backseat though. I was the one driving while my sister sat in the back next to her baby. I didn’t even plan to tell her that day.

    It was funny how I just figured since we were talking about using your voice and expressing yourself, that I should just come out to her right then while driving onto a highway. So I said something about how keeping feelings and things bottled up inside can affect your voice physically–like a knot constantly being in your throat becuz you can’t vocalize your true feelings. And I slipped in “btw that happened to me a lot, for years cuz…um…cuz…I’m not straight…I’m not gay either….” All I got from her was “wait, what? what do you mean?” I started sweating big time. Meanwhile my subconscious gave me a boost: just say it already dammit! you’re not explaining this well!! And I said a little more confidently while avoiding eye contact through the rear view mirror–“I’m bi.”

    It took a little adjusting to that new info for the first week because apparently she never really suspected it lmao. But I’m so thankful I did it. It was the best decision to come out to her. Even if she was second in this, so far, very short line of comings out lol. It was definitely the greatest decision for me to come out to my teenage niece first, who is so precious telling me she’s even more proud than before to have me as an aunt and honored that I came out to her first. My heart grew even more with what she said!

    Valerie Anne–as soon as I read your Supergirl recap and saw that caption about coming out in moving vehicles, it was a revelatory moment of “wait?! you mean this is a legit common place for us to come out to people?!” I showed it to my sister and she laughed too, remembering how it went with us two. So thank you for that, Valerie!

    This is why I love Autostraddle! I knew I found a safe space when I bumped into this wonderful community while going down that rabbit hole 8 years ago of questioning who I really was and if I also liked women more than I cared to admit years before that. After all this time of being a wallflower here, I’m finally ready to join the conversation too. Thank you Autostraddle! 😊

    • Yeah, I also came out to one of my groups of friends while I was driving! I think I was driving them home from dinner one night and I was just kind of like I HAVE NEWS haha

      ACTUALLY now that we’re talking about it, I just had a recovered memory of telling my cousin I think I like girls before I even knew what to call myself and I was in the passenger seat…

      I guess I’ve done it in all the positions hahaha

  35. Coming out has never been my forte. The first time I came out it was to my best friend via text message after my parents forced me to move 1500 miles away from her when I was sixteen. The second time I came out I came out to a friend I thought I could trust. Little did I know that six months later, while sitting with a group of friends, she would just blurt out the fact I was gay. That one burned for a while.

    After that one friend refused to accept it. I got tired of it and eventually yelled, during gym class, that I was really fucking gay and that she needed to get over it. Since then I have been open about my sexuality. I literally have a friend group that gets together and talks about sex, exes and alcohol. I’ll admit some college acquaintances didn’t know until I brought the girl I was seeing to an event. I didn’t really see the need to tell them without prompting and it didn’t come up before then. You just get tired of coming out, you know?

    Now noticed I have not mentioned my parents. Yeah, that coming out is more of the elephant in the room. They know but they pretend not to know. My mom likes to say she erases unpleasant things from her memory. I guess the whole being gay thing and my coming out is one of them. I swear if she asks me one more time if I think Mark Harmon is attractive, I will pop an aneurysm. Though, screaming lesbian at the top of my lungs as I die might finally make the message sink in.

  36. Only formally came out to somebody once and I should of taken the response as a warning sign but I didn’t know better or hoped things would get better. I was a just a kid and so were they.
    I tried to formally come out to my mother once and I think she outed herself as asexual but I’m not sure because that conversation was like on an alternate timeline in another plane of existence.

    For the most part among other people I just be myself and not hide my interest in either gender at all. At work, well my job doesn’t interact with main staff just the receptionist cause it involves bouncing from location to location doing “specialized” clerical work in a very conservative field.
    But I can say with out a doubt if I had short hair I wouldn’t have the job anymore because my gender neutral clothes would then become quite gendered to those people and not the one I was assigned at birth which is not okay in such places.

    Saw Bohemian Rhapsody this week as part of a birthday thing for my dad, I’ve got frustrated bisexual feelings about it. The cast was excellent and all the concert scenes blew me away and I felt the ending was triumphant rather than the tragedy porn I feared it might be.
    And fuck who ever chose to use Un Bel Di Vedremo in the background during the proposal scene, I strongly resent the implications of that song.

    Made my dad Reniece’s stuffed spiced apple for a dessert/birthday gift, he got puppy excited about it.

    Also made this week some sample cakes for mango extract and guava jelly experiments. About to assemble a mini layer cake and make frosting tonight and use the mango extract in the frosting.

  37. i deliberately didn’t come out to my parents til college because i knew they would want to like, talk about feelings and have a big conversation and whatever and i was Not About It

    so on coming out day my freshman year (2014, which will become relevant) i sent them a ‘surprise bitch, bet you thought i was straight’ meme

  38. Most of my coming out stories are relatively uneventful, but I’ll tell my favourite one: I’d bumped into my cousin unexpectedly so we went for a drink, and she suggested we make a short video and send it to my mum. What she didn’t know: I was reeling from the end of my first serious relationship with a woman, and had called my mum crying the day before, so I was like “maybe we shouldn’t send my mum strange impromptu messages right now in case it worries her, I’ve been a bit down lately”

    Cousin: “why, is it friend stuff? Family stuff? Boy relationship problems? Girl relationship problems”
    me: “the last one”
    Her: “I’m sorry, let me know if anyone’s hurt you so I can FIGHT THEM”

    Some bonus context: no one else in my family is LGBTQ+ or even really knows any LGBTQ+ people, so my coming outs haven’t always been smooth. My cousin asked zero intrusive questions, immediately respected that the relationship had been real and serious and that I was hurting, so made me laugh and made it clear she supported me. It was brilliant, and still makes me smile to this day.

  39. I work in construction so I tend to wait before telling people I’m gay to figure out how the many, many men I work with will respond (97% of construction workers nationwide are men and I have literally never had a problem with a sister. Some are probably non-binary folks, but I don’t know any that are out as such even to me). I time it until they’re talking about their wives and then I’ll mention my wife, Jen, casually. Some are very cool, most are vaguely uncomfortable, and a fortunately small minority like to pitch a fuss.

    Anyway I worked at a site for over a year with a great crew of guys and I was out to them. One day, the safety guy, we’ll call him George, comes by when I’m installing trim plates over outlets and switches. He said to me, “Patty, do you know what you’re doing?!” I said, “yes, George, I’ve done it about a 100 times now.” George responded, “Good! Cause you know, I want you to go home safe to your hubby!” (sidenote: construction is the only place I have been pegged as straight. It is very confusing). Anyway, working nearby is this journeyman from my crew who also happens to be my friend. I look over at him and he meets my eyes and just starts smirking. We share a knowing glance of shared amusement. I turn back to George and I say, “Or, in my case, my wife.” George goes, “Oh” and walks away in embarrassment. Later, I tell him it’s not a big deal, but I don’t have a husband. He tells me it’s always bad to assume. He is correct.

  40. I was closeted in High School and told only a few of my High School friends afterwards. Until we had a class reunion.

    Not even 5 minutes in, everyone is chatting loudly so my best friend leans in and askes ‘so who here doesn’t know?’. Coincidentally the table had just gone silent and my friend was the only one speaking so everyone looked at us curiously and goes ‘uuh what don’t we know?’.

    I made them guess, they all thought I was pregnant… ha ha ha

  41. I’m super late to this but I wasn’t sure I wanted to share since my story was traumatic. I didn’t realize I was gay until I was 25. Up until then I thought I was asexual. I first came out to a woman I had fallen helplessly for (and I thought she felt the same) but she rejected and I was devastated. Not just because she rejected me but also because part of me hoped that if she felt the same it would legitimize my gayness and I’d have something to hold on to when and if I had to come out to my religious family. Being so wrong about her made me question being gay and my existence so much that I fell into a deep depression.

    My dad is a southern baptist minister but we were still close despite me inching slowly away from religion. When I would talk to my parents or visit, they expressed their worry and I could see they hurt for me especially after I started drastically losing weight. I’d gone back home to help my parents clean out my room because they were moving into a retirement community. I was down 40+ lbs and rail thin. When I got tired from lifting just a few things, my mom started sobbing and my parents begged me to tell them what they could do to help me.

    I was the golden child. I’d never been in any trouble or let them down in any way. I knew me being gay would shatter all of that. They both told me they feared I would die of the pain they saw sitting on my soul if I didn’t reconcile it and said they could feel me wasting away. I felt it too. They capped it off by saying that they loved me and only wanted what was best for me. I began crying just feeling the love they had for me but also out of fear and hope. Hope that maybe being gay wouldn’t stop that love from pouring out and maybe just maybe I would have something to hold on to. I took the risk that everything that I’d been indoctrinated with by my father and his church would be cast aside because they loved me and I spoke the words out loud. In a matter of nanoseconds my mother’s tear soaked face changed from hurt and anguish to something close to disgust.

    Annndddd that’s all I’m willing to share. It’s still so fresh 7 years later.

  42. Well I don’t know if my story is really funny or not, but it was definitely unexpected and emotional.
    When I came out to my dad, he actually came out to me as well! It wasn’t too much of a surprise to hear the news, but I definitely didn’t expect it to happen when I was coming out to him. We went out for ice cream afterwards and bonded about our new common ground (I was 26 years old at the time). :)

  43. I hate that I got so triggered by the title of the article that I didn’t even read the article to know that the stories were supposed to be silly or awkward. My bad.

    Here’s one of many

    My bff was deployed in the middle east most of my coming out period and we didn’t talk much at all. Plus I felt coming out to him when he was literally at war was kind of insensitive. He’d been back for a few weeks and we were hanging out by the pool at his apartment when I blurted it out.

    Him: Yeah I suspected.
    Me: How?
    Him: It’s the way you walk.
    Me: What does how I walk have to do with anything?
    Him: You walk like my ex who’s gay now
    Me: What?
    Him: You remember my ex [name], right?
    Me: Yeah (knew of her but we never met)
    Him: She’s gay and you walk just like her.
    Me: That doesn’t make any sense.
    Him: You walk the same and you’re both gay. Makes sense to me. I think I still have her number if you want it (takes out his phone). We only ever did over the clothes stuff so it won’t be weird if you hook up. Or maybe it will. I dunno. I wouldn’t be weirded out so you shouldn’t be.
    My phone dings. He texted me her number along with a photo (she’s really cute).
    Him: She’s a good girl. You should go for it.
    Me: Because we walk the same?
    Him: No because you’re both gay as fuck, she’s hot, you ain’t half bad and I’m trying to be all about happy shit now.

    Then he changed the subject to how he was certain that at least 20 people in that pool every day.

  44. Because I am apparently a living lesbian stereotype, the first time I ever came out to anyone was to my best friend over the phone after attending an Indigo Girls concert solo. Once J stopped laughing and could breathe again (and got their then-girlfriend to stop cackling and teasing me in the background) they were awesome and very much, “I’ve known, but didn’t want to stress you out. I love you!”

    The second time I came out it was to a friend and former college roommate. We’d had a serious falling out a couple of years earlier that I thought kind of centered on her “gays are going to hell” boyfriend-of-the-time (it did, but not in the way I thought) and I was incredibly nervous that telling her was going to undermine our still-recovering friendship. I can still vividly remember sitting at the top of the stairwell of the geography building and trying very hard to believe that this wasn’t about to completely derail our friendship again. It definitely didn’t as my friend immediately announced, “I’m going to hug you right now!” and told me that, yeah, she’d kinda known but was really honored that I’d trusted her enough to tell her given all the bs that had happened before. I can happily report that our friendship is way better off now than it ever was then (undergrad was a mess, ya’ll).

    When my dad died I hadn’t actually come out to my parents or anyone in my family, and actually didn’t get the chance to come out to my mom because she beat me to the punch. I was greeted the morning after arriving back home for dad’s funeral with, “Just because you’re a lesbian doesn’t mean you can wear an ugly shirt to your dad’s funeral.” (I was barely awake and did NOT react well to any part of that statement.) I still maintain the shirt I intended to wear is great, thank you, and that plaid is perfectly acceptable at most occasions.

  45. Valerie this is such a good open thread! I LOVE reading everyone’s stories — it’s so fun to remember that not every coming out needs to be stressful or traumatic (though it’s definitely fine if they are) but sometimes it’s just silly or goofy or NBD!

    I used to feel the need to out myself all the time because I’m femme and people often read me as straight and it would bother me. So my funny coming out stories are like, all the times I worked it into conversation very unnecessarily — like buying a book at the bookstore, “THANKS SO MUCH THIS IS A GIFT FOR MY GIRLFRIEND SHE IS A GIRL!!!!!” or to my next door neighbor “HI GOOD TO SEE YOU SORRY I’M IN A RUSH HEADING OUT TO MY GIRLFRIEND’S HOUSE, I’M GAY!!!!” etc etc etc.

    Now I don’t even preface it, I just tell new people I’m a dyke within the first few minutes of conversation. It’s my favorite thing about myself, why not front load all future interactions with it?? 🌈🌈🌈

  46. For the most part my coming-outs haven’t been that interesting, but this was one of my favourites, on the phone to a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while:

    Me: So… I have a girlfriend.
    Her: Omg!! Really?!
    Me: Yep
    Her: …I want a girlfriend!

  47. I had come out to my parents as a trans woman a year earlier so I knew coming out as bi would be whatever in comparison. So, instead of having a big huge speech prepared or waiting for the perfect time or anything like that, I waited till a commercial break during Jeopardy.

    Me: mom, dad, I’m bisexual.
    Dad: what does that mean?
    (I give brief explanation)
    Mom: does this mean you’re not trans anymore?
    Me: sorry to disappoint, I’m still trans. They’re not mutually exclusive.

  48. Last week at the doctor:

    Dr: Have you ever been pregnant?

    Me: God no!

    Dr: Do you use birth control?

    Me: Yes.

    Dr: What kind of birth control do you use?

    Me: I fuck women.

    Dr: Obviously, it’s been effective.

    Me: And rewarding, very rewarding.

  49. I never really ‘came out’. I’m also convinced my mom at least had to know or have some idea. The summer of my junior year of college my gf got into a bad car accident and broke her collarbone. Which led to me spending basically every day at her house (we both still lived at home and none of our family knew we were dating).

    My mom couldn’t understand why I wanted to spend every day at her house or why I was so upset and then in the hopes that I would open up to them they threatened to send me to Florida to stay with my grandma the rest of the summer (I unfortunately lost her the following February) and while I was arguing with them about not going I wrote on a piece of paper that we were dating and gave it to my parents — I’m a little emotionally stunted.

    And that was kind of it. Some arguments after the fact and them having to realize that things would be different than they thought but they’ve always been accepting of me and my gf. Going on 9 years now and my nephew calls her aunt

    As for anybody else important in my life, after my gf’s parents found out and stopped her from seeing me it was more or less blurted out in the midst of tears to little fanfare. I’ve been lucky that nobody in my life has ever made it an issue, including my ultra Catholic grandpa

  50. Ooh that’s tough. I think the best was in a student film i created in eighth grade that got shown to the entire school, and then was shown at a student film festival in my city that a relatively famous museum out on for the first time. (It is a relatively well known museum, especially for international tourists so i won’t name it in case they still have it) I was already out to my school simce seventh grade, and my parents so when they were like “hey how do you feel about submitting your film” I was like “yeah fine whatever”. But there were maybe fifty people in that auditorium who were mostly other students and there parents and i had to go up with my partner and make a speech and aaaaaa. Then the part in the film came where i said i was gay and i was embarrassed because it was such a bad piece of filmmaking in hindsight. The lighting the voiceover just ugh. But my dad started crying and my mom started hugging me so that made my artistic mortification a lot better. Some parents in that audience where sure surprised though.

  51. Oh wow. Well, there was the time I was hella drunk in Venice in the middle of the night and came out to my best friend by telling her I was in love with her. (I do not recommend.)

    Then there was telling Mum, to get an “I always thought it would be hip to have a lesbian daughter.” Cool cool cool, well, would have been nice to know that being queer was even an option before I hit my teens but yeah. I told Dad late one night and all he said was “I know.” Cue me bursting into tears.

    My sister was via email, she, having harassed me for a couple of years to give her a nibling, replied with “oh, so no nieces or nephews for me :sadface:” to which I then had to explain what my turkey baster response meant.

    Then there was the time I was telling Mum that I was stressing as I didn’t know if I needed to or should come out to my grandmother. Ol Mum drops the bomb the next time she speaks to her, doesn’t she; “Oh, did you know [I’m] gay?” Thanks, Mum. Luckily the answer was yes, but still.

    Twice I outed myself to gay guy friends while talking about them being gay, only for both to be surprised at my forwardness as neither of them was out yet. Whoops, but hey my gaydar was on point.

    The best was my current group of friends a couple of months after meeting them. I’d been out for years but only just moved overseas. I didn’t think I needed to come out because I was pretty freakin gay by then. The sexuality spectrum came up in convo and I said I was homoflexible, and a roaring cheer erupted from my now-bestie going “I knew you weren’t straight!” and everybody burst out laughing at her excessive excitement.

  52. On the phone with my parents…

    Me: So, you know I’m bisexual, right?
    Dad: What?
    Me: Wait, you didn’t?
    Dad: I mean, we love and support you uncondi—
    Me: OMG DAAAAAAAD I knew that already, don’t insult yourself like that
    Dad: —tionally!

    In hindsight, I’m not sure why I thought it was so obvious…

  53. I only recently came out at the age of 33.

    After months of psyching myself up, I finally sat down to tell my Mum. Instead of the reaction I was expecting (best case scenario being disappointment), she just said to me ‘oh yes love, Ive known that for quite a while’ (seemingly before I even realised myself!)

    And then she went on to say that she has always suspected that she herself might be a lesbian, as she had fallen in love with a few women in her lifetime!

    Such an anticlimax! Lol

  54. My most random was when talking with a house inspector about a house we were thinking about buying. He said he would be happy to go over the report with my husband, and I said well my wife, but my mom would be the one most likely to possibly have questions.

    He said, “Did you just say what I think you said?” And I paused trying to make sure I remembered correctly what I had said. Then he added that you just don’t hear people say that very often. And it ended up that his son was gay. But for a moment I was a bit worried.

    I don’t necessarily ping as queer, so I do try to mention my wife when relevant, especially as we live in a relatively rural, Midwestern town and greater queer visibility is good!

  55. Coming out as not straight was easy. I can’t even remember coming out, I was like 12 and had an openly gay uncle who was the greatest ever so I was lucky to not have to worry about that.

    I had to come out as a lesbian to my (male) fiancee.

    My college roommate and I were both lesbians and I accidentally found out because her username for the thing I was helping her with had lesbian in it. Later that day I literally pulled my rainbow flag out of the closet and attempted to flirt with a very pretty girl who is now one of my best friends (And also pan and could probably benchpress me.) Half the floor I was living on was not straight in some manner and it was beautiful. One big queer family. And I am going to miss them all so much.

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