National Coming Out Day Listling Without Commentary: Selections From Your Coming Out Stories

Last year we all shared our very own coming out stories with you on our National Coming Out Day Open Thread. You then shared your coming out stories with us. The following sentences were extracted from those stories:

1. “I came out to my mom on I-95 on the way to see Dave Matthews Band.”

2. “She started crying and said “but Anne Heche changed her mind. It’s probably just a phase.

3. “They asked if I’d ever had sex with a goat.”

4. “One night we were sitting doing a puzzle and I had got so annoyed with it that night that I looked at my mom and was like ‘i’m gay’ just to get out of doing any more on the damn puzzle.”

5. “I told my dad after sitting around in his workshop/the garage for an hour and procrastinating and talking about his childhood and Ukrainian polka music.”

6. “I was really high on painkillers and I thought I was going to die.”

7. “I figured I would just blurt it out over our game of Scrabble.”

8. “Everyone applauded, and we sat down and watched But I’m a Cheerleader.”

9. “I didn’t care really because I’m out and everybody has dreamed about Shane at least once I’m sure.”

10. “I was convinced I was going to die and I didn’t want to die a Mormon.”

11. “Then my cousin ran in the room shouting “Mom! Mom! You have to take me to the hospital right now! I’ve been farting rainbows, I think I caught the gay!

12. “We went to Smith, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a big deal.”

13. “My poor girlfriend ran out of the house and fell on her face and broke her toe.”

14. “France turned me gay.”

15. “My sister said that she had guessed, because I liked “those twin singers” so much.”

16. “I’m bi. Yeah. See you on Monday.”

17. “All the girls at my campus wear shorts up their ass, and it is terribly distracting.”

18. “Waiting for their emails back was way worse than when I waited for the 3rd Harry Potter book to come out.”

19. “As it was, all she did was conduct an on telephone exorcism to get rid of the Demon of Homosexuality.”

20. “I’m gay, dipshit.”

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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  1. Love this. It’s especially helpful as I’m coming out to my circle of friends today. Wish me luck?

  2. 15. “My sister said that she had guessed, because I liked “those twin singers” so much.”

    My sister said pretty much the same… But about Britney Spears.! Actually i understood i was totally gay when i saw the Im Slave 4 U video for the first time! xD

  3. 12. “We went to Smith, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a big deal.”

    I think my family had been bracing themselves after I came home from college for my first winter break and declared myself a vegetarian.

    So when I came home the next year for winter break and declared my lack of heterosexuality I think it wasn’t a huge surprise.

  4. I told my mom at the grocery store…she started sobbing and told me she wanted to cut her head off…

  5. My parents didn’t believe me the first time I came out to them in eighth grade. And I came out to my high school my senior year because we were talking about relationships during this peer facilitated mental health week thing. Before then it was just my group of friends. I tried to do ROTC when DADT was still a thing and just couldn’t. I hated myself for lying. But I still plan on joining when I finish med school.

    Can we put #20 on a t-shirt?

    • The first part of this was my story too. I told my parents I was bisexual in 8th grade and they went “oh.” And told me I just wanted attention and then totally forgot about it. Now I’m a freshman in college in San Francisco. I haven’t told them I’m a lesbian yet (I made that jump from bisexual to lesbian about a year ago), but between my school location, my veganism, and obsession with the L Word, I’m pretty sure it won’t be a huge shock. My roommate, on the other hand, “doesn’t believe in lesbians”. So there’s that….

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

  7. Ever since I came out of the closet I’d do things like hide in the closet, wait for my mom, friend, co-worker or stranger to walk by, then kick it open screaming, “I’m out!” It gives me a good chuckle.

  8. My mother actually asked me before I came out. I was too scared at the time to do it (still struggling with it myself) so i denied it until a few years later. When I finally did though, my mother came back to me and said, “Your grandma and I have decided that we think it’s a phase because we both went through the same thing.”

    …Words could not describe my face.

    • That kind of sounds like the same thing that happened to me when my mom told me she had slept with a girl before. And that she thought Halle Berry was hot.

    • Or maybe your mom and grandmom are bi/lesbian, but they just gave in to the staus quo.

      Show them a picture of their favorite actress and I promise you they’re “phase” feelings will come rushing back.

      When are people gonna realize you can’t shake what you like.

    • I’m sorry they gave you this…difficult to put into words for me too remark, but it is making me laugh I hope you don’t mind.

    • My mom said that when she was around 13 she felt some attraction for one of her friends, that is now my sister’s godmother, but that it’s pretty normal and it goes away! :-S and i was like “no, it doesn’t, you still act really “dykish” when you’re around her” xD xD she was offended but SHE DOES!! xD

  9. Back in January my brother was stationed over in Iraq so I put together the most badass care package in the whole entire world and mailed it to him with a coming out letter. He took it really well. Maybe he took it well because he’s a decent human being but I can’t help but think that flavored popcorn and Star Wars gummy candies might have had something to do with it.

    • I’d forgive someone of serial murder and the destruction of the lost tapes of Doctor Who if they sent me flavored popcorn (but I’m pretty sure he’s also a decent human).

  10. I came out to my mom via text message. I think I;ve told that story before.

    I also came out to some friends at camp and then wrote the story on my bunk in sharpie cause I was so proud of myself. And then a friend at school went to that same camp a week later and when she saw me she gave me a hug and told me I was super brave and she’d only tell if I wanted her too. That was a good day.

  11. I first figured it out about two years ago, came out gradually over the year between then and National Coming-Out Day 2010, and then came out to everyone. We had a table with notices that people were coming out as ________ so I just put one up that said “I’m coming out as bi”

    All my friends knew already, but it was a complete shock to my parents. They weren’t mad about it, but they were very skeptical at first that I wasn’t just “sexually-frustrated” or something.

  12. i wish national coming out day was in a few months, because then, i think i might be ready. i don’t know what i’m waiting for but now doesn’t feel right?

    also, once upon a time 2 years ago, my virgin self mentioned to my mom i thought i might be a big old lez or at least bi and her response was that i just needed to have sex with a man.


    • I got something similar from my Mum too. Apparently a gay girl at her boarding school had a massive crush on her, told her, and Mum still thinks she was crazy 35 years later. Because of that, she said, she KNEW it was just a phase.

    • The very first person I came out to offered for me to have sex with one of her super horn-dog guy friends. You know, just to double check that I’m not digging the dudes. Yea, I didn’t take her up on that. :)

  13. “Yes, I hear and understand that, but I wonder…have you ever thought of simply…not being a lesbian?”

    Thanks for the tip, mom.

    • Ha. My mom occasionally asks me that about being trans.

      My response is always “….no. It doesn’t work that way. Really.”

  14. When I came out to my mom, I told her I had something I needed to tell her, and then asked if she might already know what I was going to say. She said, “you’re pregnant?”

    • My mom too said that too! Then the next thing she said was “How can you possibly know you’re gay if you’ve never even dated anyone?” Which makes me really question how she thought I could be pregnant in the first place.

  15. Last year, NCOD was on Columbus Day, so there was no school that day. This year, it fell on the day after, so what did my school district do to avoid people coming out? They gave us today off as well.

    Herp derp derp.

  16. I got my mum really drunk and told her. She cried down the phone to her sassy gay friend (I’m not even joking, thank GOD for her sassy gay friend) and the next day was fine but hungover. Then I got her to tell my dad while I was at the theatre watching ‘Hamlet’ with my school. I don’t think I paid attention to the play. My dad picked me up and after asking about the play we spent the drive home in the most awkward silence ever. Then we had ‘the talk’ in the living room. It went: “Are you happy?” I said yes and my dad said “Well, that’s the most important thing.”

    Ten years later they (AND MY GRANDAD) came to an Alternative-Pride event to support me taking part in a poetry reading to raise money for LGBT charities. Coming out was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

  17. Pingback: National Coming Out day links | – Queer news, views and events for Portland

  18. Me: “So, um, yeah, ______ is my girlfriend. Like girlfriend girlfriend. And so yeah, I’m gay.”

    Mom: “I know sweetheart, I was just waiting for you to tell me when you were ready.”

    Me: “YOU KNEW? Since when?”

    Mom: “Since you were 11 and made me rent all the Sandra Bullock movies ever made.”

  19. I just barely came out to my dad and pretended to come out to mom so she wouldn’t get in trouble for knowing. He was gnawing on a chicken bone when I told him and continued to chew vigorously on it until about five minutes later when my mom said “oh, wow, I had no idea” and tried to act surprised…
    Conversation has been limited since then.

  20. So, my mom tries to be okay with the coming out thing. She’s polite to my girlfriend, she invites us over to dinner. But then she does things like… frequently inquiring if I’ve met any interesting “people” (aka husband-worthy men) lately. And she likes to say things such as: “I just want you to be open and consider all possibilities.”

    … Does she not know what bisexual means? /facepalm

  21. Came out to my mom this weekend. Best part of the (incredibly awkward but not as awful as anticipated) conversation: Mom speaking to me, “I just want you to know that there is nothing about you that would make anyone suspect this, other than the relationships you’ve had.”


  22. i was hoping for my school to do SOMETHING for ncoday so i could see that there are other queers there, instead this conservative group came and harassed people about an entirely different topic. sigh

  23. I’m actually pretty sure I’m asexual (possibly homoromantic, but the whole damn things fuzzy, really), but I DID “come out” to my school principal about wanting to wear a suit at graduation/prom. She was surprisingly cool with it, considering that she’s Mormon.

    Gogogadget gender-nonconformity!

    • rle?! me too! i was starting to think wiki made “homoromantic” up. confusion’s annoying isnt it?

  24. Me and my girlfriend were at dinner with my mother and her future husband, and during dinner she had her hand on my thigh and on the car ride back we held hands; and seemingly we thought we got away with our daring show of affections, but my father called me the next morning and said,

    “So I hear you’re a lesbian?”

  25. I am awkwardly half closeted which is lots of fun. I mean, I walk around school with a pompadour (shaved on the sides/in the back), a rainbow lunchbox/backpack, and wear bowties or vests to every school function possible, yet I still get asked if “any of the guys have asked me to homecoming” in a nonsarcastic way. *facepalm*

  26. I’ll wake up one day and think I’m straight and then wake up another day and think I’m bisexual. Or I’ll think I’m straight and then I’ll see a hot girl, or I’ll think I might actually be a lesbian and then I’ll see a hot guy.

    So I’m saving coming out until I can come up with something more coherent than “Mum, Dad, I’m really, really, REALLY confused.”

  27. Last NCOD I shot my dad a text that just said “Hey, just so you know, it’s National Coming Out Day and I wanted to say that yes, I still like girls, and I have an absolutely wonderful girlfriend.” I had briefly mentioned it previously, but the topic had been changed pretty quickly, so I wanted to re-come out just in case his silly logical emotionally-stunted head got it.

    His only response?
    “That makes two of us.”

  28. I came out to 145 sorority sisters on Wednesday, and all my Facebook friends today (the status already has 46 likes). Currently wearing my girlfriend’s purple Legalize Gay shirt. Feeling like a bamf. Life is good.

  29. I officially came out to my parents just after my sophomore year of college…but what I discovered is that she already knew.

    what’s more, past conversations started to make a lot more sense once she made that clear.

    full reenactment of one such conversation is here:

  30. I haven’t come out to my parents (for ~reasons) but when I came out to my best friends, their reactions could not have possibly been better. It was basically, “Yeah? Cool. We figured because, you know, the Adam Lambert thing.”

  31. Yesterday I came out to my dad, the last person in my family I hadn’t told, so I guess I feel pretty good. At least no one can say I didn’t tell them… I’m bi but I’ve never had a relationship with anyone, so my mom doesn’t quite trust that I know what I want… she also thinks that wanting to display as queer doesn’t make sense since I’m still “half-straight”. The worst part is that every time she makes a comment like that, I feel a little less secure in my identity.

    My sister says she doesn’t “understand why people have to tell everyone”, which has made me feel uncomfortable about telling my friends. I’m afraid they’ll wonder why I’m telling them.

  32. #18 perfectly corresponds with how it felt when I was waiting to hear back from my sister over email. And then of course once I got the email, I was so terrified at her response that it took me several days to read it, and then I found out she was totally cool with it.

    I also want #20 on a shirt.

  33. The weirdest reaction I’ve gotten so far was definitely one of my friends. She was leaving the next day to study abroad and had driven to our school to hang out with everyone for the night.

    I told her I had something to tell her and promptly started giggling because I laugh A LOT when I’m uncomfortable. Like, I was laughing so hard I was crying into the pillow on the couch I was sitting at. One of my friends, knowing where this was going, decided to make it easier for me so he screamed “HEY KELLY. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT?”

    This only made me laugh harder because seriously… Jennifer Love Hewitt? That’s the first celebrity you thought of? Is she even famous anymore?

    By the time I choked out “I’m a lesbian” I had been laughing for so long said friend thought that it was an elaborate practical joke and starting rolling on the floor laughing too. Then she realized none of the other people in the room were laughing except me and her and stopped mid-laugh and made a face of recognition.

    Um yeah… no one probably cared about that.

    TL,DR – I laugh a lot when I’m uncomfortable and therefore people sometimes don’t believe me when I come out.

    • Oh my god the laughing-when-I’m-uncomfortable thing has caused so much undue drama! I feel your pain.

  34. I came out to my mother the summer before sophomore year of high school.

    This first thing she said? “No, you’re not. You’re too girly.” The most recent conversation we had about it ended in “Anak ko, boys are fun. You know, never say never.” This is also a woman who believes my lesbian cousin has been going through a seven year phase, and supposedly did her Master’s thesis on homosexuality.

  35. I’m out to a lot of my friends (mainly the queer ones/people I met after I started figuring this shit out) and to my sister, but not my parents. My mom’s actually asked me twice, once when I was in high school and TOTALLY not ready to deal with it (let’s just say awareness came upon me late…) and once after first year of college when I was super deep in the questioning zone. I’ve finally come to a sort of uneasy equilibrium in terms of knowing that I’m neither straight nor gay, but it’s awfully hard to know what to tell people. With people I don’t know that well, “I’m bi” works pretty well, but I don’t particularly like the term. With closer friends I’ve approached it more as acknowledging that I’m attracted to people other than cis men. I feel like I should come out to my parents at some point, but I just don’t know what to say!

  36. I realized my parents knew I was gay my sophomore year of college. My sisters and I were sitting around talking about our awkward sex talks with our parents.

    Both my sisters mentioned that before they back after break, one of our parents would hand them an envelope with some condoms in it and deliver an awkward speech about not doing it with boys who wouldn’t wear them.

    I was always told ‘be safe, we love you’. No condoms, no mention of boys. I was annoyed they didn’t even pretend I wasn’t just in the closet. I put effort into acting straight! Plenty of straight women wear docs and men’s leather jackets. And have buzzed hair. And wear gay pride earrings all the time (maybe they like rainbows or something). And rant about gay rights at dinner at least once a week. And read lots of novels with women standing really close together on the cover, and who the fuck was I kidding.

    • My mom didnt give me “the sex talk” either!! She did with my sister but not me… Years later she told me “i knew i had nothing to say to you, you had your theory at school and you weren’t going to practice, i just knew”… I told her I was disapointed.! That I really tried to look straight… And she said “really? With those pants?” xD

  37. I’d been working up the nerve to tell my folks and was doing a poor job of stammering through it when my Mom interupted with: “Honey..We know..You’re gay..And if you don’t already have a girlfriend, your Dad and I reeeeally think you need to get one..Soon”

  38. My mom said “How can you go from men to women just like that?” I tried to explain that I didn’t just switch… I always preferred women, I was trying really hard to make it work with men and finally just accepted that it wasn’t going to. We haven’t talked about it since. She’s never met my girlfriend, I don’t think she even knows her name. I’m not pushing it right now, I think if I give her some time she’ll come around… I hope…

  39. I’m not going to tell my parents, they can find out themselves by creeping my FB or the equivilent XD

    My friends were all cool with it. I laugh at them when they take birth control.

  40. 2. “She started crying and said “but Anne Heche changed her mind. It’s probably just a phase.“

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

  41. I told my then-seventeen-year-old brother I liked girls while he was playing Playstation, and he didn’t even look up from the screen. “Yeah, I kind of figured,” he said, and kept playing. I had to clear my throat a few times and say “That’s IT?” before I got a more appropriate response. My sister, on the other hand, decided to show acceptance by telling me about the time she and her friends got drunk and had kind of a lesbian threesome, which was equally not the response I expected.

  42. I totally feel all the comments about bisexuality… that’s a tough one because people don’t take it seriously. I knew I was attracted to girls from puberty, and started secretly dating older girls when I was in high school, but I never ‘came out’ to anyone. When I went to college I had a girlfriend at first and was open about it so all the people I met there knew, but then I met the man who is now my husband. Just because I’m married to a man doesn’t mean I’m not bisexual anymore, but people don’t get why I identify as ‘queer’ – and in fact the reaction that I have gotten from many gay friends and acquaintances is that I don’t belong in the queer community. I hate the term bisexual because people associate it with either an ‘experimental phase’ or putting on a performance for the male gaze… they don’t believe that this is something that is just part of who I am and isn’t going to go away.

  43. After my dad died, I started declaring myself all sorts of crap to try and stabilize my identity, including announcing to every single soul I met that I was bi. I snapped out of it and hid in my closet for a few years until Milk won the Oscar for best screenplay and I started weeping at the speech. My mom was like ‘are you sure you aren’t gay?’ and I’m like ‘Fuck you mom stop judging me I like penis’ but then a few years ago I discovered Karen Gillan and was like ‘oh. sorry. Turns out I would stab a baby and drink it’s blood for a piece of that ass.’

    So that’s my self discovery story. The coming out was more like ‘God that woman has some fine legs’ repeated until I didn’t really have to come out to anyone. They just knew

  44. This list is hilarious!! I love it!

    I’ve never been asked this one though:
    3. “They asked if I’d ever had sex with a goat.”

  45. Coming out has been a trip and a half, honestly. I have way too many funny coming out stories, partially because I hang out with a bunch of comedians. The two funniest, though:
    1 I came out to my grandmother in quite possibly the smoothest way possible: we had just finished watching the imitation game on a rare occasion where both she and I were visiting my parents and she said something about how the story made her angry. “I’ve known a lot of homosexuals in my time,” she said “and it’s really horrible how they can be treated.” I, known for taking risks in the pursuit of a great line, responded by saying “I know, you’re speaking to one.” Mom’s over here with eyes about the size of the first generation of computer, I’m deliberately being Chill (dangling yarn in front of the cat) and Nana just says “I love you. And don’t worry, things are better now I think. You’ll find someone– and if you don’t, well, you know your aunts so you know the heterosexuals don’t have it so great either.”
    2 A friend in high school who had a crush on me told our mutual friends he was gonna ask and he needed them to keep it a surprise, which about 75% worked. I was told I needed to go to the art room for something and followed, dread building but not really surprised, and he was there in class and the art teacher– who was two hundred years old and pretty checked out– was missing which I assume was also a part of the plan. The guy starts in on how we’ve been such good friends and he really likes me and I must have a face on that says this is going nowhere good because his face just looks more and more like he’s about to throw up. He keeps talking, at this point babbling, because that’s what he does when he’s nervous and I just like wait for him to stop for a breath. He finally does and I blurt out “I’m gay.” and he, poor innocent soul that he was, has the immediate reaction of “thank goodness. I was worried you were gonna say you hate me.” Flash forward to the present and he’s also come out as gay, so I think it’s safe to say it super wouldn’t have worked.

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