I came out seven years ago and it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I was eighteen and dating my first girlfriend. Out of the blue, my mom asked me if she more than just a friend. I cried a lot. She was only upset that I didn’t tell her sooner. I let her tell my family and I am so, so lucky and grateful to have a loving and accepting support system in my life.
I was really scared to tell my friends, because there were a lot of rumors about my sexuality in high school. I denied the rumors constantly because I couldn’t even admit to myself that I was a lesbian even though I was kissing girls since I was six (my first kiss was in a closet! the symbolism!). The hardest part of coming out for me was admitting it to myself. It’s scary. Maybe this day could be that day for you. When I told my three closest friends, two of them said “We know and we don’t care” and one of them wrote me a long letter about how sad she was that I was going to hell. She has since come around and has apologized for the letter. Maybe things are bad when you come out, but maybe they will get better in time.
The most important part about coming out is showing people who might not know any LGBTQI people that we are human beings capable of love and deserving of rights.
Coming out stories are often scary, but sometimes funny and typically awkward. Two years ago, some Autostraddle writers shared their stories, which ranged from Taylor‘s really awkward mom moment, “And then, as though she was possessed suddenly by some sapphic demon whose realm was twentysomething nostalgia, my mom came pouring out with this entire sense-memory-ridden stream-of-consciousness tidal wave about her very close friend in college” to Laura‘s super funny teacher, “…When I used an adjective with a feminine ending, my teacher corrected me saying “no, make sure your nouns and adjectives agree.” I said “I know” and she started to explain again but then it hit her that I wasn’t stupid, just gay.” Crystal‘s mom’s reaction is eerily similar to how my mom took the news, “Oh. Okay. Do you need to talk about your … [super awkward pause] … feelings?”
How did you come out and what changed after you did? Are you going to come out to your family today or maybe you just wish you could come out to your boss but it isn’t safe to do so? Share your stories in this open thread!
I came out after purchasing Rufus Wainwright’s Want One & Want Two. I listened to the albums in the dark of my bedroom and I thought about everything that had happened in my short life thus far. And I thought about how much was left, how much could happen. And I wondered if I would be happier if I didn’t have to keep such a big secret. I wasn’t sure, not entirely. So I called my best friend at eleven o’clock on a school night and I told her. It felt right, and eventually telling people became a small thing instead of the scariest thing in the world. I think its one of the best choices I ever made.
Today was the third time I’ve called my grandmother on coming out day and chickened out. This time we talked about how much fun I had at my “best friend” (aka gf of a year)’s family’s house last weekend. That’s my not-coming out story.
But I am out to my parents. Several days after I came out, my mother called my Auncle (her lifelong friend who is sometimes male, sometimes female) and said, “Celery is gay! We don’t have to deal with penises!” Did I mention my mothers are flaming homosexuals themselves? My five year old self helped them come out to strangers in the grocery store. “This is my cereal and these are my bagels and these are my moms they’re lesbians.” Luckily it was Berkeley and nobody cared.
“This is my cereal and these are my bagels and these are my moms they’re lesbians.” Amazing.
This makes me want to be a mom even more. Also I’d buy candy for any kid that said that to me in a grocery store.
I’VE ALWAYS KNOWN CELERY WOULD MAKE AN AMAZING NAME
Before you get the idea that I’m cooler than I am, it’s not my real name. Though I do respond to it when people call me that. ;)
I am so excited there are two other people out there who think Celery is a good name! (My girlfriend disagrees.)
Holy Maddow, your life is so much easier than mine. I’m eternally jealous.
YAY a gay gayby *does super secret gay gayby handshake* *wishes that were a thing*
That totally is a thing. It’s a combo of the upward-nod-of-knowingness and the half-grin of, “I feel you, my family is just as wacky as yours.”
ADORBS. I totally need a kid who will do this for me! Because I suck at coming out. (Also, \o/ Berkeley represent!)
I’ve been out to my family and close friends for about three years; everyone else seemed to follow shortly thereafter. My policy is now “Ask, Tell”, in that I’m more than willing to share and out myself to anyone who asks. I’ve come out via email, texts, after dinner face to face conversations, amazing exchanges with friends who are also queer and grew up in the same conservative environment, drunken admissions after wedding receptions. Short of hiring a sky writing plane or advertising on a billboard, I’ve pretty much done it all to tell people “Hi, I’m a lesbian. Kthanks!” Each and every time, I have been amazed and overjoyed at people’s reactions (fortunately, all positive). To anyone here in AS land who is coming out for the first time, I’m sending you good vibes and hugs (if you’re ok with them). :D
I’ve been out to most friends and some family for about 6 years but, as I imagine with most, it was hardest for me to come out to my parents. My parents are insanely liberal, too, which is always baffling for people to learn about my reservations to come out. This is actually something that happened about 3 months ago, as I was spending most of my time with this girl I had intense feelings for. I realized that there’s really never a comfortable time to engage in discomfort, so I just went for it. Honestly, after coming out to them, it felt like I had come out to the world. I’ve found myself engaging in this really bodacious, sort of feminist, lifestyle that embraces all-things-lesbian! :) I feel FREE and that has been the best part for me.
I “came out” to my mum via slipping in an I’M GAY during an intense feelings parade about religion, moving through life, etc. She reacted with DON’T CHANGE THE SUBJECT! I never really know what reaction I want people to have when they learn of my homo-awesomeness, like whether I’d feel better with a shrug n a “whatevs” or something heartfelt.
True story: I came out to my parents on my way to an Ani DiFranco concert.
It was my first year at a women’s college and I was home for Thanksgiving break. My friend Lindsay was upstairs getting ready, and I sat my parents down in the kitchen and told them I had something important to say. I figured it would be fine because my mom had gay friends and we watched Will & Grace together a lot, but I was still all kinds of nervous. I told them that I was sort of dating someone at school…and being that I went to a women’s college, that someone was a girl. “So. I’m bisexual.” (Which was true at the time but is not true now, though the bi thing gave my mom hope for a return to something she could call hetero for many years.) “Are you sure?” “Yeah. Very sure.”
Lindsay came downstairs and asked if I was ready to go. I had my hand on the doorknob to leave when my parents looked at me very seriously and said, “You know we’ll always love you, right?”
“Yep. I know. Bye!”
(…And then the next month, my formerly-gay-advocate mom started watching more Fox News and decided that she wished she could “cure” me with medication. And wanted me to know that I could be gay and still be right with God, but only if I didn’t have sex and really, sex wasn’t that great anyway and so I wouldn’t be missing anything. [That part made me more sad than offended, actually.] And then my formerly-homophobic dad became Mr. PFLAG and made legitimately funny jokes about flannel shirts and birkenstocks and Home Depot but then swung back to being my emotionally abusive mom’s lapdog and now I don’t talk to either of them at all and my life is infinitely better without them in it. But, you know. At least the coming out part was good?)
I feel sorry for your parents that they don’t get to have you in their lives. You are clearly super rad and cool.
My dad is extremely conservative and we’ve always gotten into really lively political debates as far back as high school. I left my tiny South Texas town for the “hippy capitol” Austin to go to school and our political views became polar opposite. I came out while at the university and had always planned on telling my parents when I moved to Los Angeles after film school. Well… one day I was at home and my dad picked up a political conversation with me. We were sitting at the dinner table and like I said, we always had lively debates. This one started getting out of hand when social issues came up and I could see my mom giving me the “cut it out” look. We started yelling at each other and he finally bursts out, “Why do I care if gay people can get married?! That doesn’t pertain to me!” and I immediately yelled back, “BECAUSE YOU HAVE A GAY DAUGHTER!” The room went completely silent and I’m pretty sure I was sitting there for about an hour… okay it was probably 30 seconds. My mom ran up to me from where she was sitting and gave me a hug and told me everything was okay. My dad took a little longer but he also told me it was alright. By then I was bawling because I had NEVER intended on coming out to them anytime soon but hey, I like winning arguments.
That’s amazing. It takes a lot of courage to just go for it – there have been times around my extended family (to whom my parents don’t want me to come out) when I wished I could say something like that. Plus, that’s something really important about coming out – making people who don’t think marriage equality matters to them change their minds. I guess what I’m trying to say is FOUR FOR YOU CRISTINE C., YOU GO CRISTINE C.
I came out to my parents and siblings in March 2011. I couldn’t do it in person or on the phone so I wrote my parents a letter, both of my brothers a letter, and I text both of my sisters. I had known I was gay for 4 years at that time. I was in a relationship with this girl for almost a year and NO ONE knew. Not even my best friends. My gf at the time was from a super religious family and she was afraid of what would happen if her family find out. This is ultimately what caused her to break up with me. (She started dating this guy a couple of months later and then married him 9 months later. Oh, he’s a Jehovah’s witness and now she is too.) I waited 3 years after our breakup to tell my family. In that 3 year period I started telling my closest friends so I had an excellent support system when I finally came out to my family.
My coming out went better than I expected. There are still a few issues but for the most part it has gone well. My mother says she will always love me but she just wishes I wouldn’t “broadcast my sex life” (she’s referring to different news articles and funny things I post on FB. WTF?). She pretty much wishes that I didn’t tell anyone I was gay. I am trying to work on that with her!
I enjoy reading everyone else’s stories!
I was out to everyone but my parents for years. See my entire life, my dad was a southern pentecostal fire-and-brimstone preacher. I just didn’t think it was worth losing them over. And then on the phone one day my mom outed me saying that they’d guessed for awhile.
And then the unthinkable happened, they chose me! My dad stopped preaching and started a new career. You guys, sometimes this happens too! You really never can tell. Seriously.
Wow! That is amazing!! :)
I updated my relationship status on Facebook to “in a relationship with [my first girlfriend]”. So someone was like “is this real?” and I was like “yup, we’re dating”. That’s how my cousin and brother came out. At school I just kind of mentioned it in passing, and it spread. I get people who just think I’m gay though, so it’s always kind of fun to be like “nope, I’m pan! No, that doesn’t mean I’m sexually attracted to crockery.”
My parents still don’t know, but if they don’t at least have a suspicion then they’re blind.
“‘nope, I’m pan! No, that doesn’t mean I’m sexually attracted to crockery.'”
This made my life. <3
You just haven’t met the right Le Creuset yet.
I’m totally gay for LeCreuset. Have you seen those tiny little pots with their matching lids?? Makes me want to whisper sweet nothings in french…
I love that you have a gay brother. I do too. I’ve always been fascinated by how my parents managed to go 2:2 on having gay children! It has to be genetic.
First off Shane made me gay. Second I came out to my parents over Skype while in another country. I was sobbing continuously and finally blurted “I’m gay!” and then Skype, wonderful technology that it is, DROPPED THE CALL. Bam! I’m Gay! HANG UP! After a few terrible scrambling moments we connected again. My mom looked solemn, “We don’t care that you’re gay, we just wished you had figured it out earlier…like before you got married.” Touche mother, touche.
I have to say, this is my coming out on here too, so bear with me :)
I was about 14 (I’m 18 now) and the most beautiful girl in the world started at my school. I was convinced she was an angel, even though she really wasn’t. The sweetest South London accent ever…I’ll carry on. I had sort of fallen for girls before – when I was 6 I remember wanting to become a boy to just ‘hug’ my best friend, but I didn’t think girls could go out with each other (it wasn’t talked about much) until my best friend came out as bisexual. She drove me so crazy that it started to affect me at home, so I wrote a letter to my Mum about it. It turned out she knew I was gay before I did! I expected a song and dance but the only song and dance is at the coming out party that is still at planning stage. My Mum is pretty liberal; she’s admitted all her girl-loves. She’s sort of in love with Mariah Carey.
I came out to my friends about the same time and again, they were liberal. I mean, there were so many people in our group that were gay or bi or questioning or whatever that we joked that people had to come out as straight instead!
I haven’t come out to the rest of my family but I think it’s obvious. I only started watching Coronation Street for Sophie and Sian, only started watching tennis when I saw what the costumes were like and I’ve never had a boyfriend (not had a girlfriend either) so I think it’s pretty obvious to them.
My family’s reaction was perfect: They were totally bored. A lot of shrugging and “Okay, so ?” It just doesn’t matter at all. Then I told them I am a vegetarian. They took that much harder.
About an hour after I came out, we were all sitting in the living room watching TV and it was a little awkward so I lifted my shirt sleeve and said, “Well since it’s letting it all out day… I have a new tattoo too.”
My mom was way more upset about that and my dad just shook his head.
OHMYGOSH it only less than an hour to come out?!?! good lord, my mom insisted on a (and I kid you not) FOUR HOUR conversation!! it was awful.
Haha oh yeah. We didn’t really discuss anything after. My mom said, “I always knew it!” and I was confused by that (but not really, I mean, c’mon…) … and that was it.
omg I know. My parents hate hate hate that I’m vegan and freaked out when I first became veg. Being gay? No big deal. Don’t eat meat? IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD.
If I recall, that kinda makes sense considering where you’re from.
omg yes. In Alberta eating meat and killing animals is a national past-time.
This happened to me too. They were totally uninterested in me being gay, but it took months to persuade my dad that the vegetarianism thing wasn’t a joke, and it put a strain on our relationship for a couple of years. But then everything came around full circle, and now he’s experimenting with vegetarian cooking and even *gasp* veganism!
Exact same experience. My parents are liberal Midwesterners, so maybe that explains it?
My parents were cool with both my queerness and vegetarian-ness, but my extended family had a way harder time accepting the vegetarian part. It wasn’t until I started cooking tasty veggie-based things and sharing them at big family dinners that they started to think maybe it made some sense. =P Carrot ginger soup = the path to acceptance.
My partner isn’t out to her parents, but I can imagine this is EXACTLY how it would go! Her mom is always worrying about her juicing veggies and not eating meat…she thinks its unnatural. #irony
Halfway through my first uni year I started noticing this really cute girl who kept looking at me during lectures, and I found myself staring back until one of us ended up smiling and/or looking away. So that was my “dang, I’m gay” moment.
The first person I told was my gay guy friend. I was really nervous, and the first thing he did was squeal “my first lesbian friend, how fun!” with this little clapping and it might sound silly but it really helped to take weight off of it. I had made it this big, secret, scary deal out if it, and he made it so easy. He told me how being able to discover myself this way would allow me to become a better person, how I had to look at it as something good and not something to be scared of, and that really stuck to me.
Then I came out to my mum, whose reply was “I know” followed by a depicted narrative of all the signs that helped her realize I was not into boys, and then she went “you need to tell your dad though, I won’t do it for you” and then the next day in the morning she went “so I already told him and it’s all fine”, and continued telling me about these lawyers she knew that she was super sure were lesbians too.
it went really well.
is that just something mums do? cos mine was like ‘i’m not telling anyone for you’
the count currently stands at my dad, aunts and gran
haha, that’s amazing. I really don’t know! She also told one of my aunts when she asked if I had a boyfriend, and discussed it with one of my cousins as well!
I’m not out to my parents out–I’m just not ready for the shitstorm that will inevitable ensue. And I know I shouldn’t care because I don’t believe prayer does anything, but something really, really bothers me about the idea that my parents would be praying for me to be straight (I already tried it–doesn’t work!).
I actually have never had an “I have something to tell you: I’m gay” type of conversation. I just let it slip casually and move on (or try to–more often it’s followed by a bunch of “wait… what? Do your parents know? When did you first know?” questions. The first time I ever came out I had to leave the room right after because I thought I was going to throw up.
I didn’t throw up. Instead I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted. It was a weird mix of anxiety and happiness, but it was one of the best feelings ever. Today I’m thinking of everyone who isn’t able to feel that yet.
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All of my coming out stories are a little odd.
I came out to my Mother in the car outside of the local biscuit factory, she was good about it. A few months later, after having put it off all of the holiday I came out to my Dad on the driveway of my student house while waiting for the Landlady to show up with the keys thinking that this would get it out of the way and moving my stuff in would be a distraction. She was an hour late. It was ridiculously awkward, he sort of stood a way away from me and would ask me questions occasionally.
I came out first to a group of my friends through referencing ‘In Your Box Office’ then having to explain Autostraddle and why I was so familiar with the site. So this is kind of meta.
Then there was the time I accidentally came out to a comedy club full of people…
that last story sounds interesting.
I’m out to everyone in my life except my relatives.
I read an article today about the “digital closet” and I was thinking about changing my interested in to women and accepting my dad’s friend request.
The problem with this is that I don’t want to ruin my cousins’ and my relationship because I’m looking forward to Christmas.
You can just do what I did, and put all your relatives on a list under “Family”, and make your “interested in visible to everyone but your relatives.
So when I first read this article, I was like, “my coming-out story is boring and lame,” and then I started reading everyone else’s, and they are all amazing and I realized that I really do feel the need to share it after all.
I’ve only really known consciously that I’m not straight for less than a year. For the first few months of figuring it out (which was triggered by totally falling for my straight best friend) I only told a few people, so I could talk through my confusion with them, but as I got more sure I started telling my friends, a few at a time. At first I was really nervous with everyone but it felt so good just to say it that I wanted to tell my parents, even though I’d originally decided not to. They’re both super liberal and pro-gay rights and I share an unusually large amount of personal information with them, but my mom used to go on rants all the time about how bisexual people are confused or just want an excuse to have sex with everyone and why can’t people pick a side. I identify as pansexual, so I thought telling her could only have a negative impact on my life, but one day I blurted it out anyway.
She was supportive but she said something like “but just don’t tell anyone in case you change your mind.” It was a short conversation, but a few days later I discussed it in the car with my dad on the way to see Blind Pilot. We talked about how ridiculous he finds the term (neither of my parents had ever heard it before) and that my parents are okay with it and how he was surprised because I’m “just so feminine” and stuff like that. Mostly, though, he reiterated what my mom had said, with things like “you’re too young to be having sex so we don’t think you really know your sexuality yet,” and “just don’t make a final decision.”
My parents are supportive in theory but it’s clear they still don’t really believe me. They have all these gendered rules for me that, in addition to annoying me for being so gender binary, don’t really make any sense when applied to me as a person. And yes, I have on occasion taken advantage of all the freedom they give me with girls, but it doesn’t really make up for all the fun things I miss out on with my male friends simply because they’re male. At least I don’t have to live with my parents for much longer.
The short version of the story is I’m not out to my parents. Because I’m a first year at an amazing private college and need the small amount of financial assistance they can give me. And I can’t be sure that I’d still have that were they to know.
The slightly longer (but still comparatively short) version is that I may not be out to my parents but I don’t really care that much. Because the journey of coming out to and accepting myself was a whole lot more difficult and filled with problems than I believe coming out to my family ever will be.
Coming out to my friends was super easy, because: 1. Some of them were gay and 2. They already kind of knew. It was a nonevent to them.
I came out to myself in 11th grade (somewhere between age 16 and 17). The first person I came out to was my (extremely gay) best friend, whose only comment was “you’re still an amazing person.” It took rumors from a girl I later stopped talking to to make me question my sexuality. I kept swearing I’d come out to my parents for the next three years. I didn’t come out to my parents and immediate family till senior year of college. When I told my parents they said they’d ‘guessed.’ It wasn’t till I came out that I found out dad is the faculty advisor for the glbt law student group at the university he teaches at. Perhaps if I’d known that i would have come out to them earlier.
Me: Dad, I’m dating a girl.
Dad: That’s fine. We just want you to be happy. What’s she like?
Me: Oh, she’s great.
Dad: Where does she live?
Me: On the South Side, by Midway.
Dad: So she’s a Sox fan?
Me: Yep, she’s a Sox fan.
Dad: [sighs, shakes head]
I have this shirt that says “Gay? Fine by me” and when I came out to my parents they said they guessed partly because of said shirt.
And when I came out to my parents they told me I should tell my grandmother. (I have wanted to since 2009 when I came out to them but so far it hasn’t happened.) Then last summer dad told me maybe I shouldn’t come out to her because he wasn’t sure how the rest of the family would take it. I suspect some of them wouldn’t mind. I suspect some of them might also have figured it out (or at least have an inkling) now.
Maybe I’ll just come out to my (supposedly bisexual) aunt and leave it at that.
Today my school had a coming out party in the plaza and for the first time I wore one of our love=love shirts all day and feel proud about it. So many peeps were supporting the LGBT students, it was just awesome.
I came out at 16 when I realized I had a crush on a girl. Turns out, National Coming Out Day? Also my birthday.
I came out to my parents after my mom walked in on my girlfriend and I, when I was 14. I came out to my community at 13, by making out with my girlfriend in public all over… I didn’t really do any telling, just showing!
I had a friend in freshman year of high school ninja what had started as a hug into a kiss on the lips. Just like that, I knew I Liked girls. I’ve been out to my friends since then.
8 years and several girlfriends (and two boyfriends that were both more feminine than I was) later, I came out to my family, which is best summed up by my favorite Aunt/Godmother’s reaction: “Oh honey, we know.”
My mother, good repressed Catholic that she still is, was most disturbed by recalling all of my sleepovers when she let “the girls” sleep together (heh)
I was truly blessed: I grew up just outside of San Francisco so I’m sure that helped immensely. The biggest benefit to coming out is no longer evading my mother’s half-hearted attempts to gift me/stuff me into feminine clothing.
Coming out MoC is my current “outing project”, we’ll see how that goes…I just bought my first tie! :D
I like to think I’m out, really I do, but in reality I know I’m closeted.
I always knew I liked girls, always knew I preferred them, and the few guys I did get crushes on as a kid had the same look and style of the girls I crushed on, so in middle school it was easy for me to put 2 and 2 together and in a fit of teenage drama tell my parents I was gay.
Then came high school and I fell in love, but with a boy. We danced around the topic, and I held tight to the relative safety of my queerness. This was something I KNEW, had known since I had fought a boy in grade school for the right to kiss the girl I liked (and won fyi), I didn’t want to admit that I could have feelings for a guy, I’d already come out! 3 years later, we ended up dating, but because no one in my family or school had ever met my ex girlfriend (she was very closeted), and was only seeing me in this long term relationship with a male my sexuality was up for questioning again. I retaliated by throwing myself into bisexuality and gbltq activism, presenting myself as someone who was sure of themselves when I had no idea who or what I really was. When the boy and I broke up after 2 years I threw myself into promiscuity, searching for the same fuzzy, breathless feelings I’d had when I first met him, I even started dating a guy, hoping they would develop. Instead I fell in love with a girl. I doubt she ever knew but I constantly mentally replaced him with her when we cuddled, kissed, or had sex, but I thought I was damaged. What lesbian would want a fucked up bisexual case like me?
Again, when the relationship ended and I started dating and talking about women again everyone questioned my sexuality, I started saying I was gay again, even though I knew deep down that if I found someone who made me feel the way my hs boyfriend had I wasn’t going to be concerned about gender.
Finally, thanks to lots of therapy, eating disorder treatment, and journaling, I have it figured out. I’m a fluid bisexual with a fetish for engineers and girls with short hair and sometimes that means I’m just as confused as anyone else. And I finally don’t care what anyone else thinks about that. Because any person I love and loves me will be able to accept it even if they can’t understand it. And today I came out to a bunch of my closest friends over brunch and though some of them made some jokey comments that hurt about being questioning it feels a lot better to have it in the open instead of constantly feeling like i had to pick one side or the other and play the part right when all i wanted to do was cry. Here’s a Mimosa to freedom :)
You are super fantastic. Way to embrace the fluidity. I wonder what life would feel like if there were no labels… Cheers!!!
Mimosas to freedom are the best idea.
I’ve been out to my friends for close to three years but after moving home from being away from my family I finally made the decision to come out 3 months ago. I sat with my aunt who I was living with at the time and told her I had to talk to her about something, she replied, “are you pregnant” my response was “no just the opposite of that” and after a long pause she said “oh…yeah I know! duh, Doug (my uncle) and I were concerned that YOU didn’t know you were. We laughed then went on to other conversations as normal. I came out to my dad about a month later. I just looked at him and said “Dad, I’m gay” he told me “That’s okay honey, I love you and I just want to see you happy”. I was i complete shock over how cool he was about it, I started crying out of happiness and said “that means I’m going to eventually marry a woman” and he told me “I know, and that’s okay.” I cried, we hugged, it was beautiful.
My favorite coming out experience was definitely my little sister. She was the first family member I decided to come out to, and I was extremely nervous, even though I was pretty sure she would be super supportive. I did the whole sit her down, fumble through a practice speech and all of a sudden she asks if I’m pregnant. I was laughing so hard I started crying and say “No I’m gay stupid”.
She helped me come out to the rest of the family… I was very glad I came out to her fast :)
I came out to myself in February when I started dating my first girlfriend. This was after 8 years of essentially blocking all the feelings I had about ladies and focusing on my long term goals re:theatre and convincing myself I hadn’t dated a boy because I just ‘wasn’t ready’. I was 22 when I finally started to accept myself. I came out to my mom about a month later because I tell her everything and I needed to talk through some stuff. She told my dad and unintentionally told my sister who was in the car when I was on the phone with my mom. The only immediate family member left to tell when I came home for a visit was my brother. I was nervous but I wasn’t sure why. My bother is one of the most kind hearted people I know who accepts people from all walks of life for better or worse. I lost sight of that. His reaction was my favorite. After i told him he just laughed and gave me the thumbs up then said his friends sister was gay. It took me a moment to realize he was trying to set me up. It was the best.
I’m from Texas and my uncles are pretty good’ol boy redneck so I was hesitant to come out to the rest of my family. The thing is though, my parents raised me to be true to myself and I’ve come to realize that not being honest about who I am and not living authentically creates more problems than it solves and actually really annoys me. So a few weeks ago I sent them an update email telling them where I am in my life and I attached a video coming out to everyone.
I love my family. To them I’m just Steffy. Gay, straight or otherwise I’m just who I’ve always been: that quirky little girl who goes her own way. I am so very lucky that my family is not only accepting but loving and supportive and I count that blessing everyday.
Coming out started this big process of self-discovery that I’m still kind of going through and probably will always be going through because we are all constantly changing. A lot of things make a lot more sense now and I’m discovering new things about myself that I’m still trying to work out. And that’s ok. Because at least I’m finally being honest with myself and everyone around me.
“The thing is though, my parents raised me to be true to myself and I’ve come to realize that not being honest about who I am and not living authentically creates more problems than it solves and actually really annoys me.”
I really love this.
TRUTH. And it comes in its own time, too.
I DID IT. I CAME OUT AND IT WAS ALL OKAY AND NOW EVERYONE KNOWS. For those interested, this I what I posted on facebook:
Hi facebook friends! How are you all so far today? I just wanted to take the time to tell you that I’m a lesbian. I’ve been trying to tell everyone for a while now but I am a social recluse who refuses to wear anything but pajamas 24/7, so that has hindered my progress. I hope you will join me in starting the next chapter of my life. Happy National Coming Out Day!!
To those of my friends who I didn’t tell in person: I’m sorry. Please don’t take it personally. I already feel weird enough doing this over facebook. And trust me, I’ve thought of how each and every one of you was going to react to this news. But I’ve just turned 22 years old as of yesterday and I’m too old to keep lying to myself and lying to everyone I know. I love you and I promise we can talk soon if you want. Thanks for listening.
To those of you who so kindly listened to me hem and haw about my confusing situation (some of you since early high school): Thank you for being there for me. Your support and friendship have meant more to me than I will ever be able to say. I’m one of the lucky ones. I love you guys.
I really want to do this by the end of the day. Most of my people know, but I’m really concerned about a couple of them.
I believe in you!! :)
ME TOO ME TOO! YAAAY and congratulations!
Courage is a beautiful thing. CONGRATS!!! Take a deep breath – that’s what freedom tastes like. :) :)
wow, that must be such a liberating feeling.
National coming out day is kind of weirdly special to me, because four years ago is when I first really started taking steps to be out as SOMETHING (I think I had mentioned vaguely to three people beforehand that it might be a thing but nothing came of it…)
but on this day in 08 I legit went online, changed my myspace orientation to bi (DON’T JUDGE, MYSPACE WAS STILL KIND OF A THING–also it turns out I wasn’t bi but I still hadn’t figure that out yet) because there was a girl I had a crush on, and I thought she might be crushing back, but I didn’t know, and I hoped that she internet stalked me enough to find out what I’d done. She did, and she actually did the exact same thing, and my first gay kiss was actually that night. (or technically the next morning).
Then she stomped my heart into a million pieces several times, and legit dated a couple years later, and then stomped it again, but it’s a cute story. Also she’s the one who introduced me to Autostraddle so maybe I still came out ahead on this one, despite the trust issues and paranoia of LDRs that I now have.
Your myspace coming out led to your first gay kiss. I think this might be the best contribution that myspace has given the world.
(Also, I came out on myspace long before I came out on facebook, and, true story, found an old high school classmate – one of the most popular but also really smart cheerleaders – who changed her orientation to “lesbian,” messaged her immediately, and then awkwardly hooked up with her a month later. Thanks, myspace.)
Thank the baby (lesbian) Jesus for Myspace. :)
i kissed a girl on the cheek on the schoolbus circa 2nd grade.
and my bus driver saw and told my parents.
I’ve been out for awhile to my siblings & really close friends, but today I took the big step & posted on facebook very clearly. I am still buzzing with adrenaline! Ahhhh! But it’s good to have it there amd a done deal and I actually feel kind of proud of myself. I’m not really an announcer kind of person, especially about things I consider private, but I really am coming around to the Milk idea that being out influences everybody in a positive way. Plus now I can enthuse about my love of queer culture & girls without worrying. Yay!
Thank you!!!! I feel dumb because I misposted, but man has today been sooooooo positive. It’s been really really fantastic. Yaaaay!
Craaaap. Did not mean to reply there, fonseca, sorrry. But I do want to know why your bus driver thought he was king of the universe and what did your parents think?
This is the sweetest thing ever!
It is SO good to see others saying they’re not fully out yet, being terrified of super-religious parents, etc. I am out to a few close friends (and a couple random strangers), but that’s it. I’m certain my parents suspect, as they’d have to be pretty blind not to and have come damn close to catching me and my girlfriend in somewhat compromising positions and there have been hints all growing up. Given how they’ve treated my gay brother, though, I figure it’s a hell of a lot safer to wait. Ironically, though, my mom did once ask if me and gf were dating. I did say yes, but I think she thought I was being sarcastic and that we’re just good friends.
Telling complete strangers is NBD. Even friends aren’t so bad, but family… ugh. I too am not looking forward to letting my uber-religious parents know. The awkward silence followed by dark warnings of hellfire and probable estrangement will be pretty epic!
I just changed my “interested in” on facebook. My cousins are going to feel awkward around me when they notice and my uncle is probably going to hate me when my aunt tells him. I grew up super close to them. I probably just ruined christmas.
But at least I’m not a liar, right?
I did that too, but I don’t think anybody noticed. Maybe my profile was set to super secret or something, but nobody ever said a word.
MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS, especially given what you feel you might face with your family. “But at least I am not a liar, right?” – you get to be authentic honest you, and that (in my experience) feels fucking great.
My facebook posts were the way that my conservative uncle has likely heard about my life/lifestyle/sexual orientation – through my cousins. It’s never come up. I have been out to my family about relationships, but they live across the country, so I don’t have to face real time convos about it (at least since I started dating women).
My mom told my grandmother originally, who is Catholic and conservative – and at first, she said, when coming to visit and knowing she would be hanging out with me and my partner at the time – “I just don’t want to see them being overly affectionate.” I told my mom I would just be myself – I wasn’t going to make out in front of grandma (as if) but I was going to be “normal” – i.e. handholding, etc. It totally wasn’t an issue – she even came to see our house and we all went out to dinner together. I took her to see a play that (to my surprise) featured a surprise gay love story. Ha!! At the intermission, I was like “I totally didn’t know that was in the storyline,” and we both kind of laughed. She said “This would have been very taboo when it was written” (30’s), and then we moved on. We don’t really talk about it directly, but she has told my mom she has lesbian elder friends, and it seems to be a non-issue. She even sent me a big cheque when my ex and I started broke up and I was starting grad school and life was falling apart. That seemed really supportive, without her actually saying anything.
Goodness, I can’t even think about my grandparents right now. I think half of them will be okay with it and the other half will be really uncomfortable. But I know that there have been rumors floating around my family that I have neither confirmed nor denied, and I’ve reached the point where even lying by omission is exhausting and ridiculous and just whatever happens happens. I also have a wonderful support group that is essentially my adopted family, otherwise I would probably just stay partially closeted forever.
a) That support group / chosen family may very well save your heart if things go as badly as you fear with your fam. I’m so glad you have them and am so glad you recognize how important they are / will be.
b) Don’t necessarily make assumptions about your family just yet. I’ve talked to a surprising number of gays with super conservative families lately whose parents turned out to be fairly accepting. Not necessarily PFLAG parents, but knowing that someone you love deeply is gay? That changes a lot of people in a really profound way. It might not change things for your parents or it might take a long time to change things, but also? It might end up being ok. My wholly unsolicited advice: get your ducks in a row for if things go as bad as you fear, but don’t set up your expectations for the worst, either. Leave the door open for them to surprise you.
Also! CONGRATS on creaking that closet door open. That’s a big, really brave thing! Hooray!
when I got back from camp and slept for 2 whole days straight at my mom’s place she decided to do my laundry and found the a camp shirt and tote bag and google the shit out of that. so there’s that.
now only ma dad is left.oh, if it wasn’t for the only daughter/only child guilt…
I feel your pain/guilt. I’m an only child too, and raised Catholic to boot. As a result, one of the first things out of my mouth after stuttering “I like girls” was “I SWEAR YOU ARE STILL GETTING GRANDCHILDREN!!”
Considering my parents are crazy religious, my coming out story is relatively painless. After Thanksgiving dinner:
Mom: So you and [girl]… are you two…?
Me: *lots of blushing and incoherent stuttering*
Mom: It’s ok, I get it.
A week later she called me to ask who my first official girlfriend has been. I told her, then heard her yell over her shoulder “You owe me $5!” Apparently she had a bet running with my step-dad over which of my “best friends” had been my first love interest.
I’m still not entirely open with my parents about my relationships, which is hard. I know my parents both love me and my orientation is just something we don’t walk about. I’m going through a rough break up right now and I spend a lot of time wishing I could just crawl into my mom’s lap and cry about it, but I also know things could be worse.
I came out to my parents when I went home for the winter break of my second year of college. My mom stopped me as I was leaving the house one night and asked where I was going looking so dressed up. I replied “I have a date with the really cute girl who used to sit behind me in Calculus class. I’m probably staying over at her place tonight, so I guess I’ll see you tomorrow morning”. I then walked out and turned off my phone for the rest of the day. When I came back the next morning, my dad was sitting on the front porch waiting for me. He said “Mom says that you have something to tell me about what you were doing last night. Please do not tell me you are pregnant, you are 19 and I am way not ready for grandbabies”. I responded “Not going to be a problem, I’m not planning on ever sleeping with men again.” And then I walked into the house to take a shower.
In retrospect, both conversations could have gone a bit better. It took both parents a bit to get used to me talking about girls. They’ve since fully come around to the idea (which I’m pretty sure is only because they are absolutely in love with my girlfriend, and they are trying their hardest to adopt her into the family).
I’ve come out to my parents a few times. That doesn’t make sense, unless you realize they keep “forgetting”.
The most notable of those times is when my phone was confiscated for spending too much time texting, and they read my texts to my then “Smoochy-buddy” (who possibly identified as a boy and just didn’t know how to say it without telling a huge, hurtful, made up story about them and their somehow identical female twin (male and female twins aren’t identical) and how I was sort of dating both of them because one day the female twin would come to school and the next day the male would). Those texts were mostly “I love you”s and other cutesy, lovey, poorly spelled messages. I was about 13 years old, and so, two counselling sessions ensued. One with the vice principal, my parents, the person I was dating, and their Mother, and the other with an actual counsellor who didn’t say much that I remember. After both, my parents asked me a bunch of questions, and then promptly forgot all the answers.
On a lighter note, my Dad’s current girlfriend recognized the flaming homo in me immediately (she’s lived with a gay guy as a roommate for several years, I contribute this success to him), and has had no problems remembering, although she does skirt the topic whenever my Dad’s around.
I came out 3 years ago. Can’t remember being in the closet. REALLY glad I came out.
Although, I have a bit of counter advice for gaylings thinking about coming out: you know how everyone says “don’t worry about those people who don’t accept you for you, you’re better off without them in your life” GUYS don’t worry if that advice doesn’t make you feel even a little bit better. I read that a thousand and four times before I came out when I was googling like a twelve year old boy who’d just managed to disable the parental block on his PC. It made me feel shitty, because you don’t stop loving someone just because they don’t love you / something about who you are. You can’t turn it off like that. Fact is, you have to mourn those people and miss them every day, but you do HAVE to do that, because however much you miss them, you’ll love yourself a billion times more.
Googling. So much googling. Telling yourself that if stop googling you would have time for better things, like meeting girls.
Thank goodness that is over. But it really does come down to realizing that some relationships might change, but life is always changing.
Thank you for this.
I had the following conversation with my mom:
“So I’ve been dating someone.”
“Is it a boy or a girl?”
“It’s a girl.”
“Oh really? Does she want to come to your birthday dinner?”
So that was pretty easy.
I came out to my family about a year ago (on facebook). My mother told me that her first reaction to finding out I have a girlfriend was “thank god, I have a normal daughter!”. The rest of the family treated it as nothing much, which I am relieved about.
Aaand then I came out to my classmates and acquaintances today. On fb, again. Because fb is the perfect tool for telling people things without actually having to talk to them. School tomorrow will be interesting. I do not look forward to the interrogation I know I’ll be getting, but I feel so elated anyway!
facebook just helps make things quicker. good luck tomorrow =^.^=
I first came out to two of my friends on the last night of a school camp. Their reaction? Brief silence followed by ‘oh, that explains the hair then.’
I’ve had the “pleasure” of coming out twice. I figured out my sexuality before my gender identity, so I came out as lesbian freshman year of high school. And about febuary last year, junior year, I started to come out as trans*. It’s a lot harder this second time. I’ve told people multiple times and I’ve tried to switch names and pronouns but no one cares. It’s like no one will acknowledge the fact that I’m trans* and want them to call me he and Jake. I’m nervous that after this year when I graduate and shortly after legally change my name that my friends will just kind of either ignore it still or won’t try to stay in contact because I’ve changed my name even though I’ve been trying to do that for almost a year. Sigh, it just hasn’t gotten any better. 0 people call me my preffered name, its like a slap in the face constantly everyday.
heh i’m a year in to having told people ellie, it’s getting a little better but they’re still confused as fuck.
Like not working out that a new facebook thing with a changed name and gender listed as female entails the pronouns and name, or either of them at all.
But yeah, it will get better at some point.
Jake – I send you a huge hug (if that’s okay) and I hope that this gets better. Way to have the courage to be yourself – I am sorry your friends don’t get it.
Having come out many, many times to various different people (most of them twice, as trans and queer) i still think this one from my flatmate last year is the best.
Background on the guy, literally the second most oblivious straight guy i know, Sheltered from any sexuality related anything (until that summer, when one friend came out as bi)
He comes back up the stairs to our flat, while those of us already there decided it would be fun to put a mattress in front of the lift door, because we’re teenagers and dumb. Immediately his reaction (due to clothes is ‘WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WEARING’ and stands dumbfounded for a couple of seconds until the lift pings, another flatmate squeals because they can’t get out the lift, and he runs to keep them in. Next up cue 15-20 minutes of him not saying anything, sipping on whisky and the rest of us laughing at his reaction because it was exactly what we’d expected.
Later on he and his ex who had not been speaking got left outside by the rest of us and through whatever mix of him being surprised by me, a little drunk and possibly tired of the flat being so goddamn awkward they started talking and our flat was a much nicer place to be. I like to believe now that I harmonised the flat with that action. Which was also my favourite way of coming out, get dressed up, wait for reaction, laugh.
Another memorable one was just many repetitions of the phrase ‘what the shit’. A phrase i had never heard before and have never heard since.
I’m currently in the midst of taking steps to come out as a lesbian to my family. I have a handful of friends who have known for quite a while, but today I took my first big step by telling my brother.
First of all, I love my brother. What a cool kid he is. Despite our super-religious background (and all of the cognitive dissonance that has already caused me), he wanted to make it clear that he still loved me and that nothing would ever change that.
We had a good chat, and I can only hope that my conversation with my parents will go as well. I am planning on telling them when I go home for Thanksgiving, but I’m content for the moment knowing that, at the very least, I’ll always have my brother.
Anybody have advice on how to come out to super religious parents? (Mormon/LDS in particular if any of you come from that background)
Oh, and Happy National Coming Out Day!
I’m in Salt Lake, land of LDS a-plenty. You should look up the Utah Pride Center–I believe they have a lot of resources about coming out specifically to Mormon families.
Good luck on Thanksgiving! my sister is also supportive of me & it’s so good to know that you’ll always have a sibling in your corner.
I was outed on National Coming Out day so happy coming out anniversary to me…
I imagine this outing going something like this:
Q: “Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?”
A: “Dinah Shore.”
I came out recently to my parents, all of my friend knew so I thought I better tell the ‘rents before the gossip circle made it’s way to them… I know this sounds awful but I came out to my Dad when he was drunk, it made it a lot easier for me because I knew he had no filter and what ever he was actually feeling he would say, also he kept pestering me about not having a boyfriend so I told him why. He was like “I KNEW IT!!” it was pretty funny but then he started asking all these questions like ‘did we fuck up as parents?” and so forth… It’s like I had to reassure them that I was ok, I am fine, just because I am gay doesn’t mean you guys fucked up. I think my Mum is still trying to process everything though.. she is all like “I thought you weren’t gay?”… oh gosh Mother, should I repeat what I said. As much as I felt like crying at the time, I feel AMAZING now!
My friends and classmates usually just figure it out, so I’ve never had to put forth much effort into coming out to them.
Whenever I tried to subtly bring the topic up to my parents, they reacted horribly, therefore, I refuse to come out to them until I am thousands of miles away.
When I came out to my best friend, he basically said something along the lines of “Well I’ll always be your friend but my religion tells me I can’t accept it.” We didn’t talk about it at all for a few years after that. Then this summer we had a huge conversation about God and sexuality, and he ended up saying that maybe he doesn’t understand everything, but he believes me and what I experienced, and he loves me. Think I freaked out the Panera Bread employees by losing it and bawling all over the place, but it was just such a relief.
Hugs to all who need ’em today.
I had a similar experience coming out to a friend who lives in England, who originally was not pro-LGBTQ+ rights due to religious reasons. After I came out to him as translesbian and gave him my transition journal to read, he suddenly became accepting of queer people! Yes! Another convert to the cause! >:D
Whenever someone asks me “when did you come out?” or “what was it like when you came out?” I always have the same response, “which time?” Coming out is such a process. I think, if asked, few people would say they only came out once. I come out all the time. My friends knew first, and then some of my closer siblings, followed by my less close siblings. When it came to my parents, I settled on a method that I felt took a little bit of the awkward out of coming out. My dad knew first and I just texted and told him I was bringing my girlfriend home for the weekend. Since then, it has been my preferred method of coming out. Just spit it out like they already knew and if they ask questions, act shocked that they didn’t know. Eventually, I did drop my mom an email just to confirm that, yes, those girls in high school were my girlfriends. But I emphasized that this was not something we needed to discuss, because I was irritated that none of my straight brothers and sisters would ever have to have this conversation. Now, coming out is easy. When I meet someone new, it eventually has to be mentioned that I live with my partner. And most people can put “partner” and my incredibly butch appearance together and solve the equation. Although being butch has it’s difficulties when navigating a heterosexual world, I am happy that most don’t assume that I am straight and nobody has to ask. It’s sort of a “don’t ask, don’t tell basis.” But in a good way. At work, I am fortunate enough to work with predominately lesbians. It’s great to spend eight hours a day not being a minority.
Ive been looking for an excuse to come out to my sister but this is so inconvenient because I’m about to go visit for the weekend and I don’t want our weekend to be about me coming out cuz we had so much other shit planned :C
maybe next year, congrats to everyone who came out today!
Velvet Goldmine made me realize I was gay when I was 14. I had never even considered the notion of gay people until watching that movie and I was just like, ‘whoa, there’s two guys kissing! Hmm, I kind of like that idea! Wait, I think I WANT to kiss a girl!’ and it happened just that fast. And then in the next year there was this girl I had a crush on and I wanted to touch her butt and then I realized I was really gay, not just sort of gay or kind of gay but really really gay.
I came out to my mom on National Coming Out Day in 2003. She took me to my first pride parade the year before so I thought we were golden and she knew I was a big lez. But then for some reason she THOUGHT I WAS STILL STRAIGHT and asked me what it was like to be straight and really involved in the gay community (like, what?) and I was totally shocked and said “YOU THINK I’M STRAIGHT?!” and it took her about a whole two hours to get over it.
When we joke about it now she says she really had no idea EVEN THOUGH SHE TOOK ME TO MY FIRST GAY PRIDE PARADE. I think she was in denial. She denies this.
I feel like I have a million coming out stories because we come out all the time, every day or every week or every month, whenever we get a new job, or meet a new friend. I sort of really appreciated my best friend because she outed me all the time to new friends (with my permission). I was grateful to her because she normalized it for me and had my back and then eventually I was able to do the outing myself.
I’m 25 but in the last three years I’ve been able to come out to people without going red in the face or without being awkward and I feel like it took me that long to finally and fully and completely live “out.”
I don’t remember the exact moment I came out to my mom because it happened during a particularly traumatic year where I remember very little. Coming from a very conservative religious background, it was a shock to everyone, including myself, but it’s gotten better. I figure it took me years to come to terms with it myself and I should give my parents the same opportunity. My mom even told me aloud the other day she doesn’t care who I marry as long as I’m happy.
Coming out to my dad was different. He’s more religious than my mom, very very smart (so I’m always scared to argue with him) and we’re super close so I didn’t want to hurt him. I did it in the car. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Dad, I heard a great cheesy come-on line the other day.
Dad: What’s that?
Me: Baby, I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves.
Dad: That’s hilarious!
Me:… You know, I like curves, too.
Dad: That was still a funny come-on line.
We still don’t really talk about it, but he’s never told me he’s disappointed or mad. Now we’re in a place where we just sit on the couch and watch TV and he’ll be like “She’s hot” and I’ll say “Yeah she is.” Then we both take a drink and let it be. I like it. Despite the fact I know he’s still working through his feelings, I feel like we can have these little bro moments and it’s okay. Not every coming out needs to have a ton of processing involved :)
For years I had been attracted to women but never really acknowledged it. So when I figured out that I was for sure 100% gay, I immediately told my best friend. He said he knew. He said everyone knew. After that I told almost EVERYBODY over the next couple months.
I can’t sit on a secret like that I mean geez. Plus I wanted to date this girl I had a crush on. So. This all happened last year.
My dad and I are still trying to be okay. He thinks it’s a phase and doesn’t want to talk about it. But he’s coming around.
Coming out for me was more gradual then a “this is the one time I came out!” story. My friends got to mostly witness the whole thing, ranging from “I like someone and it’s a girl” (the general response was, “cool, is it someone I know?”) to “yeah I think I like girls pretty exclusively.” Other friends probably figured it out but I never told them. My Facebook “interested in” selection is set to women, but I have no idea who actually looks at those.
Mostly it’s just never come up with a lot of friends. I have never dated anyone. Or kissed anyone or really had any kind of romantic relationship. (Not by choice, I am unpopular and have social anxiety which makes meeting new people hard.) So who I want to date… never came up.
On the other hand, I have been trying to convince my mother for about two years now that “no I really do like girls and pretty much just girls.” She seems to conveniently forget every time I tell her. (Well, once she said I was bisexual, which I am not, and recently she referred to me as “a lesbian this week” which just hurt more than anything.)
I am never coming out to my dad. This is just a fact. I’ve always joked that we’ll talk at my wedding… I mean it though. I don’t intend to tell him until absolutely necessary.
I should have realized I wasn’t straight when I had this dream in middle school where I kissed Angelina Jolie. She and I were at one of those boardwalk gift shops near the postcard rack.
Somehow I didn’t put two and two together until about a year ago, and I just have to say it feels amazing to be out!
I love reading these stories.
I am finding the coming out process to be heartbreaking and hilarious, sometimes both at once.
I came out to one of my best friends when I was still working for a conservative church, and still believed in celibacy, at least for me personally. And she was the best ever. And journeyed with me to my current state of being out to almost everyone. Best comment from her was “so can’t you just marry a guy and just put up with hating sex?” She has come a long way though haha.
Then I got confirmed in my new church the other day, and talked about being queer in y testimony. And people from my old church were there, and it was great coz I didn’t have to listen to their responses, which I know would be negative.
Now I think I’m out to everyone who matters, and I’m dealing with all the organizations I used to volunteer with making decisions as to whether or not I can stay, and it’s breaking my heart.
Although at one stage after coming out to my parents, I wouldn’t get out of bed, and my best friend/ housemate tried the tough love approach and said “at least you weren’t tied to a fence and beaten. Your friends still love you. Your parents will get over it. Now get up.” Which actually kind of helped, and I remind myself of it.
Speaking of, I should get out of bed. Blergh life is sucky.
I’d told a lot of the important people before that, but I told my larger social/school community on Coming Out Day 2010. Omg, it was so awkward and hilarious. But so worth it.
We were hanging up these signs by the GSA’s table of what we were “coming out” as (the straight ally members or the LGBT ones who had already come out were having fun coming up with weird things they could “come out” as that day) and I decided to hang up a sign saying I was coming out as bi.
I don’t ever really “come out”. I just sorta let people find out. It seems to work great.
Although I did come out to my catholic grandmother who’s response was, “We are what God made us.”
I went to a really small private school for K-8th grade. It wasn’t religious, but it was still really sheltered. I knew I didn’t like boys, I didn’t realize liking girls was an option or something that was actually a thing. I was completely oblivious that my obsession with Gwen Stefani was actually a massive celebrity girl crush. I assumed that since I didn’t like boys AT ALL I’d just grow old alone and own a lot of cats. At some point my mom figured it out before I did and bought me a book for “the questioning teen.” Everything made a hell of a lot more sense after that. I came out to everyone gradually throughout high school and now I am out to all of my family and friends and am so lucky they are all supportive….
I’m in my second year of college and I am still trying to figure out how to come out at the dance studio that I’ve danced at for 8 years and taught at for 3. My teacher/boss is incredibly supportive, but the studio is still packed full of conservative religious parents and their brainwashed children that love to think they run the show. Anyone with views different from theirs usually just stay quiet.
wow me too! exactly the same! except I’d deny it at the ballet school where I work still…:l
my coming out went as followed
“mom, i’m getting divorced because i’m gay. i’m really scared and i’m not entirely sure what to do.”
to which she replied “okay, well i have to go to work. bye.”
it was really awful and i have honestly spoken to her maybe 5 times since.
she told my family or well i think she did. my aunt, the other lesbian in the family, told me that my mom told her and my grandma and so i assume everyone else knows.
Anybody have any coming out as trans* stories?
I am currently in the strange space of questioning my gender and having a interest in learning about trans* experiences.
Some of my friends know (to varying degrees) that I am questioning, but it is something I have a hard time talking about. It is interesting the varies responses that I have gotten. One is almost 100% encouraging of transitioning and has commented that she sees me as male a lot of the time. A few are supportive, not pushing me an any direction, but waiting for my cue. A few other friends had a more of a “why would you want to do that?” sort of response.
I’m sorry I don’t have a trans coming out story to share with you. But if you are seeking online support/encouragement, I’d spend the evening scouring Google for anything related to/written by/written about Dean Spade. His intelligence and humor have served as a big comfort for many people I know.
No coming out story from me, I’m not trans* and am still working on my gender coming out story, but for a questioner I have a couple of resources that might help as a jumping off point:
Sugarbutch Chronicles, (L)earned Masculinity, and Butch Wonders are all great websites, and have links to other similar websites. They delve into the complexities of gender and its intersection with biological sex, and what that may mean to you, your potential partners, your family and the rest of the world. And sometimes some nifty fashion tips too :)
Well my trans coming out has been largely ignored. So I hope you have a better response. I’ve talked to my mom a few times about everything involved and stuff. Our conversation about changing my name to jake pretty much ending with her saying “so since you can’t change your gender marker, are you just going to be a woman named jake”. Facepalm. In general I also have a hard time talking about it which might not be helping the non-response I get, since I don’t push it on people and assert myself.
I have a trans* coming out story! *waves hand*
I already posted it, though. Press Ctrl+F and type “Maiya78” and then sift through until you find it. It’s below this comment somewhere. :)
Oh, and I’m MtF. Not really sure how much that’ll do for you since you’re FtM, but, hey, it _is_ a trans coming out story. I imagine a lot of it’s universal, anyhow, lol. :)
Actually, just search for “Maiya”. I forget that Autostraddle uses our first names and not our handles here, lol. :)
When I was first starting to figure out my gender identity, I was also in a relationship with a straight, cisgender dude. He wasn’t mean or hateful or anything about it, but he couldn’t really wrap his head around what it meant, because a) he was used to dating me as a girl and b) I was so terrified that he’d stop liking me that I did a truly awful job of being clear about how I felt because I was scared that honesty would result in us breaking up. I kinda wish I’d been more upfront about my feelings, looking back, because we broke up anyway, both because of that and for a host of other reasons, and it probably would’ve been better if the relationship had ended sooner.
On the bright side, college has been a great place to sort out my thoughts on my gender. On my first day of campus I got asked what my preferred gender pronoun was and I was so happy I almost cried. I’ve also gotten to meet, befriend, and date people who think that my genderqueerness and the trans* spectrum as a whole are fine and dandy, which rocks. I’m even on pretty good terms with my ex now, since after a year of animosity he apologized sincerely for the way our breakup went and is friendly and supportive of where I’ve gone in my life.
I’m a bit tired of how many times I’ve had to come out, though. First as bisexual, then as pansexual, then as genderqueer, and now I’m discovering that being in a polyamorous triad is totally fantastic and comfy for me and I haven’t come out to many people yet about that part of my life…
I do, in fact! I just came out to my sister as a trans male, and she responded in the most positive, supportive, beautiful way. It helps that she’s bi herself and has had trans* acquaintances, but her reaction still basically blew me away. It was along the lines of, “I love you no matter what and I’m so proud of you, I’m behind you all the way, and I kiiinda already suspected this was going on anyway”.
So I feel really lucky that she handled this coming out so well…though I wasn’t totally surprised since she’d taken my previous coming out (as gay) with similar aplomb. Now I’m writing a letter to tell my parents, which definitely has me a little more nervous, but I think they also suspect something’s going on, and have still seemed fairly supportive.
Also, I recommend the following resources for questioning gender stuff: Sebastian (a former AS contributor)’s xxboy tumblr archives, The Art of Transliness blog, Neutrois Nonsense tumblr, the book Nina Here Nor There, Kate Bornstein’s book Gender Outlaws. All of those were instrumental in helping me come to terms with my identity.
Jesus Christ, that photo of Dianna…<3
Sorry, I no longer know what this thread is about.
I came out three months ago by breaking up with my boyfriend two weeks before we were supposed to move to another state together for grad school. We went through with the move and now live next door to each other in what is sure to become the basis of a sitcom. He kind of nudged me out of the closet because he was convinced everyone would think he’d done something awful to cause the breakup, so he kept asking me if I was going to tell people until I finally got annoyed and wrote a big loud sparkly HELLO I AM SUPER GAY blog entry.
Family and friends have been supportive. I sense a current of vague cynicism under it because I’m thirty and apparently that means it’s a phase, but the only person who’s been weird about it is my dad. My brother advised me to tell him I support gun control first, then slip in “haha also I’m a lesbian” to ease the shock a little, but I just wanted to come out, not give the man a heart attack. He reacted basically like I thought he would – totally supportive in the most offensive way possible.
To be honest I’m more worried about the fact that I now live in Mississippi and I’m afraid I’m stuck in a celibate nightmare for the next three years because all the lesbians on this campus are undergrads or deep in hiding.
” Family and friends have been supportive. I sense a current of vague cynicism under it because I’m thirty and apparently that means it’s a phase”
totally supportive in the most offensive way possible.
To be honest I’m more worried about the fact that I now live in Mississippi and I’m afraid I’m stuck in a celibate nightmare for the next three years because all the lesbians on this campus are undergrads or deep in hiding.”
– I identify with all of these things, very well said.
I would totally watch this sitcom.
Subtlety has never been my strong suit.
When I was 17, I was making out with a girl in my car at red light, in the middle of the day, at a busy intersection. A friend’s dad pulled up next to us, saw it all, told his daughter, who told the whole school. Then I decided to tell my mom, who cried for about 3 months and didn’t speak to me for about 1 month.
Five years later, she’s the most supportive, loving confidant I could ask for! But it’s been a while since I’ve made out with a lady while operating a vehicle. -_-
I can relate. When I was 14 I was kissing and holding hands with my then gf at a high school football game. One of my dad’s friends from work saw us and told him everything. Things got pretty ugly for a minute, and I wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers with girls anymore. I kept it quiet for a few years. After I graduated we went on a road trip and I ended up coming out to him all over again. Things went much better that time!
i’m really only out on facebook but honestly it doesn’t seem like much considering not that many people look at the ‘interested in’ section of profiles. i did have one brief relationship with a girl which i made public on facebook and a few people congratulated me and most just seemed indifferent. one guy said i wish there was a way to like this without feeling creepy which made me laugh because he’s far from it. that relationship didn’t last though (online-only thing. ugh. never again) so i didn’t have to deal with any of the ‘having to introduce her to family/friends’ parts of coming out.
now i am dating a very feminine boy and we’re disgustingly cute together and i don’t really feel a need to inform most people i’m not straight. (well, a handful of friends know and are accepting of it) i will most likely need to do it if we ever break up because i really can’t see myself continuing to date men. feel like my dad would be totally nonchalant about it but i have no idea how my mom would react. we’ve never been close but things between us have improved slightly this past year and i don’t want to screw that up and ahhhhhkdskfdjfkjf.
I am still trying to figure out how to come out to my brothers. Coming out to my parents did not go so well and they have successfully scared me away from telling my brothers, too.
Often when I come out here in the US by mentioning my girlfriend, I get really weird looks and people have actually explained to me that the term girlfriend cannot be used for casual friends…. and then I always have to clarify that even though English is not my first language I am well aware of the difference between “my girlfriend” and “my friend who happens to be female”.;)
I currently live in Brazil where Portuguese is not my first language. When I make the purposeful and calculated decision to mention my girlfriend, I often get corrected to which I reply “No really, GIRLFRIEND.” Eyeballs literally pop out of heads. Three months after outing myself to a few colleagues, in the heat of a super-heated discussion about gay rights, they were all “Why do you care so much!? Are you gay or something!?” Turns out they had no idea, they just thought I was speaking crappy Portuguese and are not nearly as accepting as I’d thought based on their prior nonchalance. Epic, awkward second language fail.
I came out to my mum whilst shopping for eyeglasses. Her opinion on a particular set of frames that I was trying on was “Well, you don’t want people to think that you’re a lesbian.” I just replied (surprising myself, I hadn’t intended to come out) was “but I am.” She asked if I was sure, and then she practically burst until the next time she was alone with my dad to tell him. They’ve since said that they love me unconditionally, but it is definitely never overtly spoken about.
I was pushed out of the closet. My mom sat down after finishing a cigarette and asked me “Are you gay? I’m pretty sure you are.” I kept trying to keep it a secret but finally I said “Happy Birthday?” (not even her birthday) Incidentally, that moment will be a year ago next week.
I was pretty much in a glass closet to my friends though. Whenever I told them I was a lesbian, they all pretty much said “Duh.” and my dad’s side of the family doesn’t know.
Everyone here is so brave! I feel like I completely chickened out of doing the thing properly. I pretty much only told my friends through jokes/facebook messages. And when it came to my family, I didn’t come out so much as build a fort in the closet, fall out of the tree, and accidentally knock the door open…
If I recall when I came out to me mother we were a car (why do people always come out in cars? I was terrified- I said “what if I liked girls? would you support you me?” because I felt like it was too much to ask her to keep loving me. She smiled and said she would always support me and asked why I was asking. Cue an awkward 15 year old me saying “Maybe I sorta Kinda maybe like girls?”. She cried. She begged me not to be gay. She made me promise that I was lying and I actually liked guys. A year later she didn’t fully accept it until I came out to my dad (he was giving me the “don’t get pregnant” speech before I went over to a friends place. I blurted out “I like girls” and he looked surprised, then said “we have something in common”) and brother (whom learned it when my dad blurted it out) knew (they accepted it right away, it wasn’t a big deal- except my brother said it was a phase). She finally said she didn’t approve but accepted it. I didn’t like coming out. In the following week my dad made off beat comments and said something has stuck with me my entire life “As far as children go, your like the fruit someone gets at Halloween”. No one likes getting fruit on Halloween.
:( Eternal hugs. I’d dig some fruit on Halloween.
Fruit is the best.
The hardest person to “come out” to was myself, I’ve liked girls since I can remember but I just kept waiting for the “phase” to be over. Obviously, it wasn’t a phase. I finally admitted it to myself when I was 19, sitting in my car in a Trader Joes parking lot. I will always think fondly of trader joes because of this, and because of those chocolate cat cookies.
Damn. This. I definitely went around & around with myself on this, mostly because I’ve internalized incredibly negative stereotypes of ‘lesbians’ and ‘dykes’. I think being on autostraddle has really opened my eyes to the whole real world out there that is not stereotypes and is definitely super attractive. *sigh* I still have days where I really interrogate myself, but then I see like Olivia Wilde or t&s and go oh yeeeaaahhhhhh…I’m gay.
These stories are so brave and encouraging. While this isn’t exactly a “new” issue for me (the rumors started in high school and I started wondering in college), acknowledging it, accepting it and dealing with it is….pretty much since the Chick-fil-a sage.
The first group of friends/co-workers I told, I told about two years ago during a 4 hour happy hour that involved some very strong margaritas. It was kind of funny because we had only known each other a couple months but I was so comfortable around them that (even though it probably was more the alcohol than me) I told them.
It was about another year before I told someone sober. She had become a close friend and (though I had moved away by that point) during a visit, we were talking about one of my crushes and I got tired of switching gender pronouns and told her.
While I dated a few girls during the time since then, I really didn’t process the whole being gay thing until the Chick-fil-A issue flared up and I was forced to confront the conflicting Southern Republican Christian upbringing and belief system that I still have and this growing urgent realization that I can’t deny who I am any longer. So, in the past few months I’ve really started to accept who I am…. I went to my first pride festival, I’ve been talking to my friends who know about it (and have been super supportive…originally after I told them that was that- I didn’t bring it out again) and I came out to two of my co-workers/friends in my new office last week.
I’m not afraid my family will disown me- in fact I think my mom tried to get me to come out before… and most of my friends won’t either (I hope- all though a lot of them are more conservative than I am/was) but I’m afraid of what they’re going to have to go through. I’m from a small town and even though I’m not living there now, I’m well aware of how news of people coming out spreads around town like wildfire. I still fight anger and resentment towards myself, partially because this wasn’t the life I had “planned” and partially because that I’m going to make my family go through the gossip, the looks, and the judgements. That’s the biggest thing holding me back I’d say, but I’m just so tired of keeping this in.
So, I’m still trying to figure out how/when/if to come out in certain situations and how to fully accept myself. I still feel like a noob at times and lost and clueless at times but I’m trying to get myself into the community and get to know awesome people like you all and your stories to help get me goin. I’m also having a hard time articulating my feelings and getting the words out (I still choke on the words “I’m gay” when I’m telling people) so if anyone has words of advice- holler at your girl! :)
I came out to my family a couple weeks before A Camp because I figured it was time as I was heading to California to hang out with 200 queers in the woods.
Coming out never ends. I’ll have to tell all my future friends for the rest of my life. So hopefully I’ll collect some funny stories along the way.
I would prefer not to come out to my parents, but I’m starting HRT in December and they’ll know when I get back from Spring break. The funny thing is, they would be totally okay with me being just gay; they just can’t accept me being trans, or trans and gay (I’m the lattest, yay!) I came out to my sister today, but it was awksaucy because it turns out she was trying to sleep when I called. I then wrote an essay which I intend to send her via Skype tomorrow. :)
Oh, and I came out to the LGBTQLIHSADLFKJDALKSJ group at my school today, mostly because I hadn’t seen them before their pride event. There are 6 TS people that I know of in my school, including me. I’m the only one who’s able to get HRT; apparently all the therapists and endo’s in Tallahassee are douches. Thankfully, my parents live in Naples, so a friend is going to drive me over to Miami during Winter break. Woohoo, estrogen! :D
Coming out to my friends has been a surprisingly pleasant process. The general opinion has been sort of “Wait, what?” and “Are you serious?”, but they were all super supportive. Some bordered on militarism, actually. One close friend replied with “No, don’t even call yourself transgendered. You’re a girl. Period.” <3 Brandon lolol
I only wonder if my parents would be willing to accept me if mom had never watched Boys Don't Cry. What a terrifying movie that was.
Well, anyways, happy national coming out day! :D
I came out just now on facebook as sexually fluid and bisexual. Only three people in my life know this and some of my facebook friends include my mother, my friends’ parents, and other adults in my life. I’m not so much worried as curious to see their reactions if they even notice it at all. At any rate, I’m done not saying anything. I was never hiding this fact about myself, instead I think it was just easier to let everyone assume what they wanted to around me and not confirm or deny anything.
I’m done not saying anything. Happy coming out day!
It is not an exaggeration to say that the only reason I am the happily out, flaming femme-dyke that I am today is because I discovered roller derby.
I’ve known I was a lesbian ever since I learned what the word meant when I was nine, but I wasn’t able to admit that to myself until two years ago, when I was sixteen. Though I was able to stay (extremely unhappily) closeted throughout middle school, my lady-loving tendencies became harder to deny as I entered high school, met actual out lesbians, and began to realize that the reasons I stared at them went beyond the fact that I had never seen girls with hair that short. However, I was still deeply resistant to idea that I could be “one of them”, and desperately clung to the illusion of heterosexuality that I had created for myself. Then I started playing for an under-eighteen roller derby team, and that illusion was pretty much annihilated.
I don’t know if you know this, but, um…roller girls have really nice butts. That they like to show off in shiny spandex booty shorts. Plus, skating gives you an extraordinary amount of self-confidence and places you in the midst of a family of hot, strong, fierce women of all professions, body types and racial and sexual identities. Little “straight” me didn’t stand a chance. I’ve since come out to all my friends and my immediate family, and I’ve been lucky enough to have al of them accept me unconditionally and continue to love me to death. Really, though, what was most difficult for me was simply gaining the courage to come out to myself-and roller derby played a crucial role in helping me get there.
I think roller derby was also a major part of my coming out process. My sister took me to a bout before I was out (March 08? so long time ago) and two really hot rollergirls fell in my lap.
I knew enough to be like ‘this is nice.’
Because roller derby is the best.
Also, I am insanely jealous of you whipper snappers who have things like out lesbians in high school and roller derby as Things That Happen. This was not the case even just a short while ago (and still, in certain parts of the country/world) when I was in high school.
I started coming out to my close friends and some colleagues this summer and it has been great. I feel like I can finally breathe. My mom is coming to visit this weekend and I’ve decided that I need to tell her. I’m not worried about her accepting me it is just so nerve-racking waiting for that moment! I don’t know what to do with all the other people in my life that I don’t feel like owe it to them to tell them in-person, but I want them to know. Not sure how to handle all of them!
This is more of a post-coming out story, but I think it’s good enough to share anyway. (I came out to my knowing-smiled mother at thirteen on what I had not realized was April Fool’s.)
This summer my partner-in-crime and I were supposed to wash dishes while my mother ran errands, in the process of which we got… distracted. Which meant strewing our clothes on the floor and sneaking up to my mother’s bedroom because we were too lazy to go up another staircase to ours. ”Don’t you think we should take our clothes?” she said. ”Nah. We don’t need ’em.”
We commenced making out when suddenly we heard the sound of the car driving up. We froze. Then we listened in horror as the door creaked open undoubtedly revealing two dresses and two pairs of underwear at my mother’s feet, signalled moments later by an exasperated ”Oh… Girls!…”
At this point, still naked in my mother’s room, we alternate nervous laughter and bouts of horrified ”How can I ever, ever look at your mother in the face again? How?!”
I proceeded to dig out old clothes from the closet for us to put on and cover our birthday outfits and walked awkwardly past my mother who had folded our clothes into a neat bundle on a trunk.
My mother was not upset we were having sex. She did not even comment on the fact we were in her room. She was, however, very disappointed in us for not finishing the dishes.
That’s awesome. :D
I don’t think it is an actual post coming-out story, though, because it’s not as if your mother didn’t know (or rather, didn’t hear) we were having sex instead of doing chores.
Then again, her only concern was that the gardener, who probably heard us too, might have been a homophobic psychopath.
I came out 4 years ago via email. I live across the country from them and remember being grateful that the interweb existed so I didn’t have to tell them in person, over the phone, or wait two weeks for them to get a letter.
It was the scariest & hardest day of my life. I was terrified that it would be the end of my relationship with them–and my parents mean the world to me.
But it got to the point that finally being honest was worth loosing a family. As loco as that sounds. Being paranoid that they would “find out” was slowly killing me.
So I sent an email and they said they understood and wondered if it was a phase and it was never talked about again. We don’t talk about anything personal but I’m so happy I took the leap and am living authentically.
PS–Everyone’s stories are amaze. What awesome, brave people!
I laugh when I’m really nervous so when I came out to one of my friends she told me something like “get the fuck off my bed”
don’t worry, she wasn’t mad that I’m gay, she just thought I was going to wet my pants on her bed.
I had no idea it was National Coming Out Day! This explains the ‘coming out’ theme at my LGBT campus group which I was late for today. =)
I consider my coming out to my parents as my official coming out. It was when I was 21 and I told them I was bisexual. I’d been out to my friends since I was 16 (one friend told me to just date guys) but I felt if my immediate family didn’t know, then it didn’t really count as being ‘out’. My parents are liberals so I wasn’t worried about telling them, it was just a matter of finally feeling I was in a place to accept myself and not be afraid anymore. So of course I cried when I told my mom because it felt like a big deal to finally say the words ‘bisexual’ out loud, to my mom. She said what she’s always said to me which was that she loved me unconditionally and she would support whatever made me happy. She says this to me at least once a year so that’s why I knew it wouldn’t be a big deal to her. After telling me to stop crying, she said she would tell my dad (bonus!). I’m not sure if she did because I never asked and he’s never brought it up but I have a great relationship with my dad so I’m not worried about it.
I told my brothers from thereon. My sister’s known long before I did so she didn’t care and neither did my brothers. When I told my older brother, “I need to tell you something…” the FIRST thing he said was, “Are you pregnant?!?” LOL which would be his worst nightmare since he’s pretty much chased away and threatened any guy who expressed an interest in me. When I told him I was bisexual he was extremely relived (good, not pregnant) and said he would prefer that I be with girls since quote, unquote, guys are gross. :-/ Yep.
I only told my immediate family. I haven’t told my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I honestly just don’t want my small town knowing and feel if I told my extended family, word would get out. As great as my parents are, my town is still pretty traditional and though they don’t all regularly attend church a surprisingly large amount are bible thumpers who strongly believe in the traditional roles of men and women. Plus, because of the positions my parents have in the community our town is divided between supporters and non-supporters. I feel people would use this as arsenal to bad mouth and I don’t want that. It’s enough that my parents know and that my friends know and they all accept me.
When I came out to my younger brother, we were on our way to McDonald’s (factor in that he, at the time, was a 17 year-old boy…so McDonald’s is a Big Deal) late at night…super hungry….
ME: Riley? I have something to tell you….
BRO: Ok? *still looking out the window for McD’s*
ME: Before I tell you, just know I’m still the same, I still love you the same *blahblahblah*
BRO: Yeah, what’s up?
ME: Well, I’m gay.
BRO:………………………WTF BROOKE?! ARE YOU SERIOUS? SERIOUSLY?!!?!! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!
ME: I’MSORRY,THISISHOWIWASBORN,ICAN’TCHANGEIT,I’MSTILLTHESAMEPERSON *word-vomiting out involuntary “excuses”*
BRO: What? What the hell are you saying?
ME: Didn’t you hear me? I said I was gay…
BRO: Yeah, I heard you. But you passed McDonald’s 3 blocks ago, damn it!
I was 16 and I was out to everyone but my family. After a series of relationships, I didn’t start dropping hints around the family until I began seriously dating my current girlfriend. And by dropping hints I mean alt. haircuts, bikini kill, hanging out way more with my already out lesbian cousin, etc.
My girlfriend came over all the time (woot for no-boys-over rule and girls night sleep overs!!) and my brother kept flirting with her. Even my dad would teasingly call her names (which is creepy saying this out loud now).
Then finally I just said during a car ride with my brother, “what if we were dating?”
He was just silent and said whatever I don’t care about that.
And then he told my mom who told my dad, who told my other brother.
Not much of a coming out story, but I’m glad it happened cause there was so much anxiety for me coming from an Asian family. Amazingly they didn’t care!
Coming out at a young age is scary but life was so much better after that.
I came out to myself four and a half years ago, when I was eighteen. It wasn’t until February of this year that I found the guts to come out to my boyfriend and break things off. One afternoon shortly after, my dad asked where my guy had gone. I just blurted out without thinking: “I broke up with him. I’m gay.” He replied: “Like, totally gay? Really?” It wasn’t a huge deal, although I don’t think my dad entirely believes me yet. It could’ve been a lot worse given how conservative my parents are though.
The traumatic part arrived about a month later. A close friend outed me to my boss and I was fired. It was a childcare job I’d been at for about six years. Losing it tore me apart. I still don’t know why my friend did that. I never saw it coming.
It’s taken about six months, but I’m just now starting to feel like coming out might be a good thing. It sure feels like a huge weight has been taken off of me. The friends I’ve made have helped, too. I go to support groups and meetings full of old lesbians. They’re a fiery bunch, and very welcoming.
Wow… it’s been a year since the last national coming out day when i thought… next year, a month ago i was like one more month! and then i totally forgot about it today until like an hour ago -_____- I guess I procrastinate a lot. I’m kind of stuck in this awkward circle of who to tell first, my parents or my friends haha. But I do have like the 1/2 of my coming out so far to tell :D
So i’m 16 now and when i was 14, towards the end of freshman year, i started crushing on one of my straight friends. After about a month of confusion, i texted my best friend saying that i had a lot on my mind she asked me if i was gay, and i said that i thought i might be bi (still denying the whole lesbian part of me), and she was super cool and accepting, although it was a bit awkward to talk about at first. And then over the summer i got with my first bf and after 3 months of going nowhere i broke up with him after i realized that i really didn’t want to have anything to do with kissing a guy, that’s when i told my best friend that i was totally and completely gay haha. I spent most of sophmore year coming out to myself and then at my choir retreat one of my friends came out as bi (i didn’t have any gay friends whatsoever, well that i knew of, before this). About a month or two later in a pathetic attempt at coming out to her i asked if she wanted to go to pride with me and my best friend and then she asked if my best friend was gay and that’s where i slipped in the “um… well about that…” and then she got super excited and hasn’t stopped talking gay politics with me since. I ended up taking CalTrain to SF pride with my best friend, my parents thought I was at the mall… I had to disassemble and hide my newly acquired rainbow flag when i got home. :P My friend also told me that one of my other choir friends was bi and then i had her tell that friend, so that all worked out pretty well.
At the start of junior year i joined the gsa and someone had the brilliant idea to have us all go around and say how we identified -______- so i came out to them… but luckily there were only about 10 people at the meeting. For the next month i dragged one of my other best friends to these meetings (she was still confused as to why we were going) and then the teacher that supervises the meeting talked to me after the meeting and said something along the lines of “I now you’re not out to a lot of people, but would you mind….” And yeah… my friend was right behind me… we both pretended that that didn’t happen until i get a text from her the next morning saying “I see how it is -____-“. Turns out she was just mad that i hadn’t told her, and then i explained everything to her and she’s totally cool with it too.
So basically, i’m closeted when i have a very liberal and accepting family and friends… hmmm i guess i’m just too caught up and school and drama too really make it a priority :/ or at least that’s my bad excuse haha. And i also have a twin sister who i have a feeling is possibly bi-curious according to my friend, so i really don’t know what i haven’t told her yet… Well i told myself i’d be out to the world by the end of junior year, hopefully they connect me being vp of gsa, on the wrestling team, my excessive collection of plaid flannel, and my unusually single life, so that they do the coming out part for me :P
Came out to my mom and sis on Sunday. I thought my mom would be cool about it, and it wasn’t a terrible experience, but she said, “No, you’re not.” :/
My 12-year-old sister on the other hand was awesome. “Oh my god that’s so exciting!” she squealed as she hopped up and down and clapped her hands. Love her <3
Comming out has definitely been a multi-step process (that will probably never really end), but here’s my summary: I realized in high school that I was attracted to my female classmates as much as or more than I was to the males. But it took a few more years, awkward make-outs with a couple guys i didn’t really like, several of my friends coming out, occasional participation in my campus’s Queer Student Union, and an amazing song by the Pipettes (http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=u0LjsnPzG_4) before I was comfortable enough with myself to tell my very best friend. She was already out to me as queer, and she sent me back a long, delighted email about how she was so happy that I was finally figuring myself out and she had always assumed that I was Not Straight. With that confirmation, I told the room-roommate, we both sang ‘I Like a Boy in Uniform’ while eating dessert, and I didn’t bring it up again unless asked point blank for nearly two years. Now I’m dating the most amazing girl ever, and I want to tell the whole world that I don’t know if I identify as bi or pan or straight-up lesbian, but I love her to bits. I’ve been just casually dropping comments about “my girlfriend this” and “my girlfriend that” in conversations with my classmates and coworkers and so far it’s been really, really easy to just normalize it that way in my everyday life.
Several weeks ago I finally told my mom via phone that we’ve been dating for a few months, and I said I’m really happy and she can tell whoever she would like (with the hope that she will bring it up tactfully with my dad and youngest sister). My parents are both (mostly) pretty awesome, accepting people, but I was really nervous because I’m the oldest and WHAT IF??? My mom has been absolutely fantastic about it, in that we simply haven’t discussed it at all since (because it involves Feelings, which are not discussed, except briefly and uncomfortable at weddings, funerals, and when someone’s being particularly disappointing).
Lastly, for National Coming Out Day I sent my middle sister a text basically reading “Thought you’d like to know I have a super-awesome girlfriend. Hope you’re having a good day!”. My fingers are crossed that the ~8 months she’s spent in the barracks with a lesbian roommate have made her more accepting – she’s the only family member I’m *really* worried about. (I wanted to die on the inside when I overheard her and some of her friends talking about how gross the news coverage of the Navy lady kissing her girlfriend was, and there was her alarming overreaction when a really hot girl hit on her at a concert a few summers ago.)
I realised I liked boys and girls equally when I was about 5, learnt the word ‘bisexual’ when I was 13 and came out to someone for the first time when I was 17. Since then, I’ve rarely ever explicitly ‘come out’ to anyone – they just sort of find out via casual conversation.
I think everyone in the freakin world – dad, siblings, cousins, friends, enemies, co-workers, neighbours, even strangers – knows I’m bisexual… except for my mum, grandparents and extended family. I’m not too bothered about grandparents etc. knowing, but I’m terrified of my mum’s reaction. I think she kind of knows, deep down, but has been in denial about it for years.
My parents aren’t divorced or anything, my mum is just biphobic. Not even homophobic, not even religious. Just biphobic. Apparently we “don’t exist” and are “disgusting”.
I’ve never been one to talk to my parents about my personal life – I’m fiercely private at home – but I’m sure my mum will react badly if I ever properly come out to her directly.
It’s funny because she’s asked me several times in the past. “are you gay?” and when I answer “no” she never takes the extra step of asking if I’m bi. I think she knows deep down and doesn’t want it to be real.
After all, I never directly came out to my dad – he found out last year when he realised the number on a phone bill on which I spent $970 on texts and calls belonged to a girl.
Um I realised that the “my parents aren’t divorced or anything” sounds unrelated – what I meant by that is that despite this, my dad still hasn’t told my mum because he knows she’ll flip the fuck out.
I used to go to an all girls’ Christian school, and being part of a school that was so scathing in their condemnation of homosexuality made me really hesitant in confronting my sexuality in my own mind. I’ve never not been attracted to girls, but I didn’t realise that ‘coming out’ was ever even an option until I left that school.
Now I have friends who just took it in stride when I mentioned being sexually attracted to a certain person of the same sex, and the way they didn’t even question it or respond to it made me feel that it was completely acceptable and normal to feel the way I did.
I’ve still yet to come out to the rest of my family, except for my sister. My parents are relatively close-minded, and although they would still love me (I hope), they’d always see me differently, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that. My mother used to say things like ‘you’re not gay, are you?’ when I dressed a certain way, and I’m not sure why I always immediately laughed and denied it.
I did my big coming out on the 16th or 18th (depending on if you count everyone on facebook or work as well) of January 2011. Before that, I had told a friend in Everett via text and gotten a really supportive response which pushed me to come out to more people.
After that, I came out to my best friend while he was driving me back home. I was really surprised when he said he had pretty much already worked it out beforehand. Protip: coming out to someone while they’re driving is an awesome idea because you have a captive audience and they’re already sort of busy with driving around. Then I told my second best friend and there was some awkwardness, but nothing bad.
My Dad and Pamela (my stepmom) were next on the list. I didn’t actually mean to come out, but it just sort of happened. Basically, as a thoroughly awkward Christmas present, Pamela was going to buy me lessons for a date coach since I hadn’t gone on a date or had a girlfriend yet. Fast forward to us being in the kitchen and her asking me when I wanted to set up the meeting with the coach and me bursting into tears to the surprise of both of us. I told her that I felt like a girl and that I still liked girls and that the date coach thing would have to wait. Then Pamela walked out of the kitchen and telling Dad that “Tony’s a girl”. Dad just looked up from reading, a little bit disoriented, and said “Okay”, and that was basically it.
About a week later, on the 16th of January, I composed a coming out letter and sent it out to nearly everyone I knew on Facebook. Everyone was supportive and great. I printed out a copy of my letter and took it to work (Goodwill) on the same day.The store manager didn’t really seem like he knew what to do and basically left it up to me to figure out how to do this. So I did some slight editing to my letter and posted it up on the announcement bulletin board the next day.
The day after that, on the 18th, I came to work in girl clothes (it feels so weird to write that now, since they’re just my regular clothes) and prepared to deal with a massive shitstorm. The results were really, really mixed. Four or five people were supportive, some didn’t want to be near me, and most people tried to ignore me. One of the assistant managers ended up having to call a quick meeting because some people didn’t want to work with me at all due to religious reasons. The assistant manager told them that they didn’t have to approve of me, but they did have to respect my decision. So, kinda good and kinda bad. I didn’t end up getting to use the right bathroom until a year after that though and proper pronoun usage is still spotty at best, but things could’ve definitely been worse.
you are so cute and I love you and your dresses!
I realized I was gay very suddenly at a party talking to a friend of mine. Something just clicked on in my brain, and it just became apparent to me that I had some funny feelings for her. I struggled internally for months about it, but eventually started to talk it out with some other friends. (I actually began one conversation with “Hey, you know I’m straight right? But uh…”)
My roommate at the time liked to ask really invasive questions about my life, so naturally the fact that I was having queer thoughts was brought up. I wouldn’t elaborate on it though, because I still felt uncomfortable talking about it. She started acting really weird after that, and it turns out she assumed I had a BIG LEEEZZZZBIAN CRUSH on her. She told all of our mutual friends I was creepy and decided we shouldn’t live together anymore. For the longest time I couldn’t shake the thought that I might actually be creepy and it has really affected my interactions with girls. A Camp was the first time that felt like it was starting to break down and that I could maybe be more confident and comfortable from now on.
My parents were fine with it. I was completely terrified and started crying which concerned them obviously, and then I said I was gay. My mom said, “Oh! We thought something was wrong!” which was probably the best thing she could have ever said in that moment.
More recently I had to come out to my coworkers, because one of the guys asked me out. That was pretty awkward, but they were all totally cool.
One of my friends posted on my National Coming Out Day FB status, saying that he never really thought about LGBTQ rights before I came out and now he’s like a hardcore activist. That was really awesome.
well, i’m 15 and confused about coming out. i have crushes on girls and guys, have done for about a year. there is a girl i really like that i think knows i like her, but insists that she is straight (she has been asked out by 3 or 4 girls before though)i know that my parents and friends wouldn’t care, but i don’t want to tell everybody that i am bisexual and then have to turn around later and be like- just kidding. anybody got any advice?
You don’t need to come out until you want to/feel comfortable. Coming Out Day is not meant to force you out of the closet or make you feel uncomfortable about not being out. It’s about being in solidarity with the community, saying we love and support you, however you choose to identify and whatever you choose to tell people. So you choose when and how you come out, nobody else can do it for you. But I promise we’ll always support you here.
Some of these stories are hilarious! Kind of wish these were better…
Due to my use of neutral pronouns, my friend assumed I was interested in a guy and said “if he doesn’t like you too he must be gay and penisless.”
I responded with “weirdly enough, gay and penisless is kind of what I’m looking for”
And last week I got outed to my new roomies by inappropriate gestures courtesy of a friend during an awkward conversation about sucking dick that I couldn’t join in with.
I have many coming out stories, but my favorite starts with my divorce announcements. Yup, divorce announcements. I sent these out to some family and close friends with my new address and a picture of me with the biggest smile my face is physically able to make. On the back of each one I wrote:
Dear (insert name here),
I’m finally free of that jerk! Hope to see you soon!
P.S. – I’m gay.
I got really positive responses, and my family and friends loved that I treated it like I treat everything: with humor.
A couple of years ago I was at a music festival with my mom, and we were sitting watching a band, and she asked me to point out my type (of dude). And I couldn’t answer her, because dudes aren’t my type. So I just sat in silence for awhile. And then she said “you can say a girl, you know”. And I was so petrified (and stoned tbh) that I still said nothing. We sat there for like another hour in silence before she changed the subject.
Fast forward a couple of years and I just give up on withholding info and bring a girl to her house for a weekend away. I still haven’t officially came out, mostly because I’m not sure how to explain my sexual identity, but most of my people know that I date women now.
I’ve been out to my friends for five years. I decided yesterday that I would tell my parents. Thus, the following conversation:
Me: Mom, you know those literary magazine meetings I say I go to every thursday night?
Me: they aren’t really literary magazine meetings. I’m going to the Queer Women’s Collective because I like girls…
Mom: Is this a joke?
Mom: oh…oh…okay. How did you know?
Me: ummmm, I don’t know.
Mom: then how can you tell?
Me: would it be better if I just said I think I’m queer?
Mom: as long as you stop using the word queer, then it’s fine.
We haven’t talked about it since. It’s not awkward, but it’s just obviously there. Not an elephant in the room, but a rather tall giraffe.
Plus, I don’t like using the word gay, because I identify queer, so now I feel a bit strange, and I don’t want to drop it on my mom that I’m grey-a either (which kind of works with the I don’t know how I figured out I’m queer sort of thing) or genderqueer. So basically, one step forward, and who knows if the other steps will follow. Right now I’m just sneaking back into the closet with my parents.
But I feel okay, because my best friend understands (she’s queer and grey-a as well!).
I was in my mom’s mini-van, alone with her, driving down the highway at no less than 65mph (I’ve noticed her trend of asking me in-depth questions when she knows I can’t exit the vehicle safely at the time).
I had been hanging out with a bunch of girls from my high school, known to be “in the gay crowd” … and she legit asked me “Well, how do you manage to stay straight when you’re surrounded by all ‘those people’?” .. and I gripped the door handle while staring straight at the dotted lines on the road ahead, everything getting blurry.. And I said “Well.. I don’t. I mean, I’m not. I mean, I’m not straight.”
To this day, she refers to my girlfriend as my “friend”, even though we live together, you would think she had three heads and eats baby animals alive. My mother is very against same-sex anything.
So I got that goin for me. Thankfully, all the kids in my family have been pretty independent and on our own from a young pre-teen age, so her disapproval hasn’t changed me much. I just worry that my gf will take it personally.
Love you AutoStraddle. I’m doing me, you’re doing you, and we are one big fat beautiful rainbow. :)
edit:: I just Evey’s story, and I can see that she totally gets me about the whole “trapped while driving” ploy. Lol well played ;)
I came out to many of my friends when I was 20-22 then I got serious about what I was doing with my life and my transition. I guess my parents would have figured it out but I was a pretty manly guy so it went unnoticed. They were really confused by long hair, nose ring and other piercings and stuff. I kind of half chickened out while home for thanks giving/my birthday when I was 23 and said good bye and started to drive back to college. Then I stopped in a parking lot about a mile from home and called them in tears and talked to them for hours. Then I drove back home and ended up talking to them a lot longer, I made it back to school that night late and it was a pretty rough time since then but it has worked out.
I finally came out to the first of my friends on coming out day last year and had come out at work by Christmas. I was first aware of my gayness when I was a pre-schooler! (as much as you can at that age) Why it took me until I was 30 to actually BE who I am, I have no idea. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time I could have been happy but you can’t wind back time.
Anyway, my friends are all AMAZING and nothing has changed other than they’re keeping an eye out for an awesome girl for me instead of a guy (I’m the singleton of the group),They just wished I had told them earlier! I have the best friends ever and I’m always so thankful for that.
I’m not yet out to my parents, the time just never seems to be right, but I will. I do know they’re very anti-discrimination so I’m not afraid of that, it’s just that it always feels really awkward.
As a nice little post-script to my comment, I did finally come out to my parents after having a good old heart-to-heart with a very wise friend.
My Dad driving at the time (decided from this thread that was a good tactic to use!) and he was just like ‘Oh right, you’re gay’… and that was that, and the conversation went on to something else.
Then I came out to my Mum and she said she had already realised ages ago and that it changes nothing.
And then life went on as normal.
So that was so much less scary and awful than I ever imagined and it’s a relief finally to have that off my shoulders at last!
Fuck I don’t even know where to start with this.
I had a girl crush at 12 (with someone I had hated for a year why brain why) but it wasn’t until I started fantasizing about my now-best-friend that I went “yknow maybe I’m not so straight”. I did tell my mum about it but it kinda felt like in one ear out the other, mostly because they still conceive of me as a 6 year old.
When I was 21 I got my first boyfriend. He knew I was queer coming into the relationship. We were very happy. Two years later that damn Katy Perry song played over and over and I realised that while I liked my guy a lot I wasn’t willing to spend my whole life never experiencing what it’s like with a woman. Yet I didn’t want to throw away a beautiful relationship just because I was horny.
We opened up the relationship, which actually did wonders for our sanity and communication skills. I kissed a friend, but that didn’t go anywhere.
After a year of opening up the relationship I connected with an old friend of his who pretty much ticked every box for “dream girl”. I was so into her and she was into me too! I nearly left him for her, that was how much I was into her. But things got bad, and then they went horribly horribly wrong. The dream became a nightmare. She is no longer friends with either of us out of her own volition and it’s taken me a long time to recover from her.
The other complication was that I went to an all-women’s play party and was raped by someone there. It fucked up how I conceived sexuality for a while – maybe still now – and has led to my vaginismus and trigger around dildos. What I felt most guilty about was that my first reaction was to find *more girls to have sex with*, rather than be the shut-down frigid woman; I really did not want this to be the only experience I had of lesbian sex. Even now I’m ambivalent about counting this as an experience.
About a year after this girl I met this older woman who was deliciously enticing. We hooked up and it was grand! so so hot omgs. We were trying to make plans to reconnect but then she moved and got all weird on me. A few months later I met this other chick (who I’m still good friends with) and hooked up with her – and I felt this massive realisation, the thing people talk about when they say “this is what it’s supposed to feel like”. That’s when I realised I am more than just queer – I am an all-out lesbian. I didn’t want sex with cisguys.
I came out to my guy, and to a bunch of other people. Mostly to myself really. We still tried to make the relationship work because we had built up years of trust and affection and we loved each other greatly (“guilty”?!) but I was still feeling conflicted. Soon after that I went to San Francisco for the summer and pretty much had more sex in those 3 months than I had in, well, ever. It was a little sad to return to Brisbane and pretty much losing my mojo (didn’t help that a few traumatic events happened soon afterwards and I was alienated from much of the local queer community).
A little while ago my guy finally found another girl and we’ve had threesomes which are a lot of fun. I was planning to return to SF for grad school. I was going to leave us as “unorthodox friends” because I wanted my energy to be in the Bay Area. Yet I still felt pressured to maintain this relationship somehow – there was a point where we nearly got engaged for visa purposes (and pretty much because everyone we knew expected it to happen) but I thought it would have been way too much stress before a move.
I went to A-Camp and heard a relationship story that was much like mine: primary male romantic partner, largely asexual, non-monogamous. It was the one time I felt outside affirmation for my relationship and I was deeply heartened. But unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
A couple of weeks ago I met this girl here in the Bay and we got together. The day after we talked about being girlfriends I freaked out and started analysing what was it about the term ‘girlfriend’ that spooked me, wanting independence in a relationship (which I was already getting anyway, no one was chaining me to anything) and all the conflict. I realise that I didn’t want to be in a relationship with my guy anymore. I felt like I was living a lie, that while I loved him dearly I didn’t want to be his girlfriend, my gut was yelling at me.
I broke it off with him. He said he was sad but relieved; we both knew it was coming, talked about it, but no one wanted to make the first move. I’m not sure if he’s internalised it yet. Six years, y’know? It’s not insignificant. It wasn’t fake. It just wasn’t sustainable. It was on life support but at some point I had to pull the plug.
That same day I rang my mum and properly came out to her. I had to explain why I wasn’t going to marry this guy she had completely adored. She was mostly speechless. She said she knew enough to know that it wasn’t something I could change and I’m still her daughter no matter what – and then launched into an half-hour spiel of how i should call more often, which is every conversation anyway. It was as good as I could expect, I guess.
My sister’s known for a long time but at one point felt I was being too openly sexual and told me “I feel like I don’t have a little sister anymore”. That’s when we stopped being close.
I haven’t told my dad. I’m his baby. When things were going wrong with him everyone else expected me to fix it since apparently he listens to me more than anyone. But I have heard him say homophobic things, and I don’t know how much I want to risk things. I wonder if mum told him.
I have several first coming outs. I officially came out first when I was twelve years old, after trying to drop hints to my friends in middle school and failing. I went to a summer camp that was my safe place, with counselors that I admired and trusted. I had gotten enough courage to buy lots of rainbow jewelry at Claires, and a gorgeous rainbow ring at Amazon Bookstore (RIP), the feminist/lesbian bookstore that was only two blocks away from my house. I wore it until the red jewel fell out and it wasn’t a rainbow any more.
So, that August, I was sitting and talking with one of my favorite counselors, who offhandedly said “I like your ring.” I took a deep breath, stared at the ground and said “I have a lot of rainbow things,” and when I looked at her again, she was smiling at me and I knew she understood what I was trying to say. That year, I came home and told my friends I was bisexual, and the next year when I got to camp, I had a conversation with the same counselor (who I am now honored to call a coworker and close friend) about how much bullshit it is that boys told me I hadn’t met the right guy yet. She told me anyone should be at liberty to love whoever they want, and now the two of us, as the queer lady counselors, try to be that role model for all the queer kids we teach, just like she was (and still is) for me.
My coming out to my mom was different. I was a freshman in high school, fairly confidant that I liked girls in some capacity, but coming off of a rough breakup with my middle school boyfriend. There were some older kids in my German 3 class who did theater and dyed their hair cool colors and adopted me as an awkward but enthusiastic baby queer. In October, on her 17th birthday, one of the girls asked me (in incorrect German) whether I would be her girlfriend. I said yes, and then realized on the way home that I had never told my mom. In the car, late at night (I remember driving through a construction zone) I asked her if she would mind if I dated someone older than myself. “Well, how old is the boy?” she asked. “It’s not a boy,” I stammered, “and she’s 17.” My mom never had a problem with the gay thing – I have gay family members so we’re all pretty used to it – but she took issue with the fact that the girl (and her best friend/ex, who I dated immediately after, also 17) was three years older and partied pretty hard. In retrospect, I’m glad she didn’t let me see the two girls outside of school, because I would be a much different person if I had started partying at age 14. But that girl was the catalyst, and I thank her for that.
I went on to come out as a lesbian, lead the GSA, go to an all-women’s college, date several girls, and write for Autostraddle. So…pretty queer, I think.
Happy Coming Out Day, guys.
a week before i moved from east coast to west coast:
me: mom, i’m gay.
mom: do you know it hurts the first few times, honey?
me: yup. still gay.
mom: okay, (crying), I still love you
I’m pretty sure everyone knew I liked ladies when my super queer bff starting to get huge hickies on her neck around the same time we started sleeping over at each-others’ places all the time.
so um I considered myself pretty OUT, but last night I posted a status on facebook (and made sure to block my Mom to avoid hateful text messages about internet conduct and this being a phase we still need to sort out) and I got like so much support from a lot of friends who I guess didn’t know before yesterday. My best friend from Girl Scouts Dad actually wrote that they send their love..which I hope means they are accepting but yeah it kind of felt like getting to reclaim my coming out story which is nice because I was outed and had felt kind of like I missed out on getting to pick my label. BEST DAY!
I came out about 4 months ago…FINALLY! I’m 27 now and just broke up with my long term boyfriend, which made for a fantastic conversation with my mom. Before I told my mom I first came out to my best friend who is also gay, which made things much easier. I waited about a month to tell my mom which was the day after my birthday. She was BBQing and I had poured both of us huge glasses of wine knowing what I was about to do. I just kinda came right out with it and she almost burned the steak! The first thing she asked was if this was the reason my boyfriend broke up with me. It wasn’t, and I’m pretty sure he still has no idea…I think ;) The next issue was the grandkids talk. I was basically expected to get married to this ex boyfriend so she was thinking that grandkids were right around the corner. I’m still trying to assure her that all her hopes and dreams for me have not died and all these things can still happen – it will just be with a woman.
I’m pretty much out to all of my friends too, except for one who is super religious. She has been my friend since high school and we are pretty close. She kinda freaked out when another friend of ours came out so I am expecting the same reaction. I recently posted a pretty gay video on facebook and have allowed her to see my complete profile. I hope she can put 2 and 2 together. I will tell her soon if she can’t figure it out herself.
I have a LOT of coming out stories. I first came out to someone in early Spring this year, to a guy friend who was having his own “issues” at the time. He’s one of those people that doesn’t shut up unless you shout at or hit him, so mid-sentence I just said “GAVIN, I’M GAY.” And he was pretty cool about it, even if he has outed me against my will to a handful of people. I told all of my friends individually; I didn’t want to make it into some big announcement. I just think that if I don’t make it into a Massive Deal they won’t either. My favourite story involves one of the last friends I told:
Me: “Fraser, I have something to tell you. I’m gay.”
Him: *awkward silence* “right. How d’you mean?”
Me: “…uum, I’m a lesbian, Fraser. I like girls.”
Him: “O-okay. Like Roxie Richter?”
Me: ” *sigh* Yes, Fraser. Like Roxie Richter.”
I thought it was hilarious. I tweeted a general “hey y’all, it’s Coming Out Day so I thought I should inform you lovely peeps that I am Pretty Darn Gay” yesterday, and have already been appointed gay best friend of one of my friends. I am enjoying having a title.
I actually came out to my first family member yesterday-my 12 year old sister. It didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. I’d always planned to tell her first as she seemed like she’d be the most supportive. So, we were walking up the road from school yesterday and I just said, “I’ve got something to tell you…I’m gay.” She gave me a VERY stern look for a 12 year old and just said, “WHY?” “I…I just am. I like girls.” And she has said nothing else on the matter. I have no idea whether or not this is a good sign.
That’s why I’m so worried about coming out to my parents. I have absolutely no idea how they’ll react. They might be really good or they could COMPLETELY FREAK OUT. My dad has been known to be homophobic, and he always seems confused when I challenge him about it. I know for a fact that none of my grandparents on either side, or most of my extended family, will react badly, at least at first. Just last week I was being shouted at by my grandmother and great grandmother for not having a boyfriend. I could have come out to them then, but it wouldn’t have been fair. It might have been hilarious, though.
So I’m probably going to wait a while to tell my family. A LONG while. But most people I’ve come out to have been really great, and I’m extremely grateful that they have.
P.S I have spent the last two days reading everyone else's stories and I am loving all of them.
I’ve had various levels of success with coming out. Some friends have been supportive, others have treated it as a non-issue. My mother is a work-in-progress. After feeling really guilty about lying to her about what I was doing during A-Camp, and having my sister tell her I was at a “lesbian feminists camp” anyways, I decided to broach the subject a few weeks ago. She told me she had completely blocked it from her mind since my sister mentioned it. Then she kept honing in on the “feminist” component as if that were the surprising word in the sentence. After a long conversation where we established that its OK to be feminist, and she said something like “so it sounds like any other women’s gathering!” I clarified, “Yes mom, except that all the women there liked women.”
Her response: “Oh, well you can *like* women without being *attracted* to them! You know, want to spend time with them, relate to them….Still, I think its better we not tell your stepdad.”
It was sad and confusing. She has a long history of burying her head in the sand over things she doesn’t like or can’t handle, but I wasn’t sure how much more direct I could have gotten other than sharing sexual info. no one wants to discuss with their parents. So I’ll try again some day, but for now I can live with more of a clear conscience knowing that I tried communicating my truth to her.
I came out at age 12 to my father… at my confirmation.
Actually 10 minutes before my confirmation started.
Outside our church. In rural west Ireland.
He finished his cigarette and said “Ok I still love you. Now go into mass, do your confirmation and for Christ’s sake don’t tell your Granny”.
Unfortunately when I was in highschool, my parents found out about my girlfriend and I, so the coming out process to them was a bit rocky. They have come to terms with it since and I am so thankful for their love and support.
I’m currently in my 4th year of university. Most of my good friends from my hometown know and have been great about it, but very few people at my university know. I have struggled a lot lately with trying to come to the conclusion within myself that I’m gay. I’ve been in 3 relationships with girls and I think this is the type of relationship I want to be in, but I’m just worried that I’ll make the decision to come out fully and wish that I’d given myself more time to be 100% sure.
I agree with several of you on here. I hate when people ask how I came out because I never ever know what to say. I’ve come out so many times to so many people and as several different things. I never once thought of myself as heterosexual, but I never told people that. The first time I ever talked about my sexuality, I told people I was “bisexual but leaning more toward women,” then, for a short period of time, I came out as “pansexual but leaning more toward women,” then I came out as “mostly gay,” and finally, I came out as “just gay.” Frankly, sometimes I wish my family had been a bit more conservative because they’re very liberal and so I never thought it was wrong to be gay. I never had internalized homophobia or anything, but I also knew that my peers and others did not think it was okay and that I shouldn’t tell them (I was in a very liberal family that lived in an incredibly conservative town ironically enough.). I sometimes think that if I had had a more conservative family, I would have questioned myself a lot sooner and figured out that I am gay a lot sooner. Instead, I just never questioned it. I had feelings for girls and I didn’t really think it was wrong, but I chose to ignore it because I knew my peers and others didn’t think it was okay. I never thought I could actually BE with another girl. It wasn’t something I ever really saw in society. Another thing that made it confusing for me though was the fact that I can be “emotionally attracted” to guys every once in a while. It hasn’t happened in a long time, but I was always confused because I was highly emotionally and sexually attracted to girls but I had only ever been emotionally attracted to a couple of boys in my life. Thus, I thought I must be bisexual or pansexual because I had never heard of the separation of emotional and sexual attraction before. I had had sex and/or made out with so many girls for years before I finally came out to myself and to others as gay. It wasn’t until my first girlfriend who identified as a lesbian though, that I came out to myself as gay. Prior to that I had only been with bi-curious or bisexual girls, and while bisexuality is real, these girls were only sexually attracted to women and not emotionally attracted to them. Therefore, it wasn’t until I got into a relationship with a girl who was sexually and emotionally attracted to me that I finally realized that this was what I had wanted all along and that I am absolutely gay.
Oops, this kind of turned more into a “when did you realize you were gay” story than a “coming out story.” My bad.
I am so late on this, but I feel like sharing is worth it, if only to make myself feel ok.
I have been out to myself since probably age 7 or 8. In middle school (10? 11?) I once asked my clique of friends which of us they thought was most likely to kiss a girl. Shortly afterward, I began exchanging (for the age) risque “love notes” with another friend.
Through first and second year of high school, these notes continued, first diminishing in intensity, then intensifying again. By this time, people were already calling my bluff, spreading rumors, etc.
Junior year, 2 teachers had called me out, though I answered their inquiries half-honestly and continued what I thought was flying under the radar. I dated a boy I knew was gay (although also closeted) and slept with him, both of us denying any notion of homosexuality.
Senior year, I made jokes about liking women with a friend I knew was an ally. I finally kissed the girl from the “love notes” although it was not the first time I had kissed another girl. I had been an active member of the school’s GSA for about a year. I finally felt okay, except I wasn’t ever really “out”.
Freshman year of college I fell for my roommate, we dated, she broke my heart, she came out to everyone, I didn’t. Junior year, my mother kept questioning why she was hearing that I was gay. I told her I didn’t know, she got weird. She kept pushing it. At the end of the summer, she asked me directly if it were true. I told her I wasn’t going to answer her because if I told her the truth, she would be angry; if I lied, that wouldn’t be right. She hasn’t asked since.
I am closest to 3 people in my family-my mother, an aunt, and a sibling. All three strong republicans. All 3 at least slightly homophobic. All 3 I cannot stand to lose. So even though I have not come out directly, I feel as though at least one of them knows. All of my friends know. When I meet new people, I don’t shy away from telling them upfront (read: when asked). I feel as though I have done what I can until now. I feel as though I need a little push to be out completely. I want to be out completely, but I am waiting for something that I cannot identify. I tell myself that when my family asks directly, I will be honest and tell the truth. For 3 tears, I have been waiting for this day. Still, now feels like the right time to share my story..here, at least. So good luck to everyone, thank you for listening, and be strong always!
This year has been the ‘coming out’ year… I have only properly known a year! But I think it’s lovely now that my friends know because I am honest with them and can truly be myself! Its awkward telling them and scary but exciting all at the same time. I don’t think all my “coming outs” have been the same! I have just joined an LGBT group at University. I have no idea how I feel about gay rights or if this is the right thing for me. I have met to many different people but I have no idea if its making me feel more comfortable or just isolated because I am 3rd year… But “coming out” isn’t the problem its the fact that I am not fully comfortable about being gay yet.. I think I am coming out to my mum tomorrow which should be interesting. I am nervous and also looking forward to taking a deep breath and letting everything out. Thats the best thing about coming out having that feeling that your free because you really are. Can anyone answer my questions to gay life? I am betting on it all getting better!? Lets just hope so! :)
I am so lucky to have parents that have supported my lifestyle and even encouraged it since I was a little girl. Sadly this is not about me coming out, actually the opposite. With my parents and sisters, I’m not afraid to be me, but around school and my friends, I have no idea how to come out. In school I am an openly gay supporter and an officer of our GSA, but I still have no idea how to tell my friends, let alone my classmates. I don’t know what to do, I’m so afraid that I will be made fun of, or that I might loose some of my friends. I want people to know but at the same time I don’t. I live in Columbia, MO so even though we are the little blue blip in a sea of red, there are still a whole lot of judgmental conservatives. I was treated horribly all through elementary and middle school, and I don’t want it to start up again now that I’m in high school. I just wish I knew how to make this easier.
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I came out when this girl I was interested in called up my brother to come hang out (They used to date) and I didn’t know he was coming but then she started making out with me and then I look over and my brother is yelling “Fuck you!” at me….. It was awkward for a few minutes but he got over it and outed me to my family but it didn’t phase anyone one bit. My little sister came out a month later and no one batted a eye. lol And my friends are really awesome actually.
I’m only vaguely out to myself at the moment, but I kind of came out to myself and my best friend at the same time. We had gone for a weekend away having not seen each other in months and when we were getting ready for bed she said ‘I’m pregnant’ to which for some reason my response was ‘I think I’m bi.’ She was nice about it but I don’t think she actually believed me.
It was only a month later when I was having a little meltdown on the phone with her over whether I was straight or bisexual or gay, with her gently pointing out that I was probably straight, that she asked ‘do you fantasise about kissing girls?’ I said ‘yes’ which led to a short silence, followed by her laughing and saying ‘Then you’re probably not completely straight.’
well, you see, it went like this (famous last words, gimme a thumbs up if you get that).lol
so i came out to my mom who is bipolar, we were sitting in her boyfriends trailer (he was there just to clarify. not together anymore) and it started out as something completely unrelated, i had finally mustered up some courage to talk to her about me discovering i was unipolar (yes its totally real and completly fucked) and that i discovered that by almost cutting my wrist, then that lead to a talk about why i was depressed at all, then part of the abuse that my older brother and i went through with my father’s mother that he had left us with. so there they are both sitting on the couch (lol ironic huh;)) bawling, and me, sitting there calmly, so then she asks, ok is there anything else you havnt told me yet? so i sit there a moment cause i thought that would be obvious so i say, yeah but none im willing to share but this, im bisexual but lean toward the females. got up and walked out. while halarious to me i would not advise this technique as my mom is still insisting i cant know that yet.
All I know is I’m not straight and I feel the need to tell someone. I really need to know what I am. I’m at least bi-sexual with a strong leaning towards females, but I don’t know if I’m all lez. Oh what to do….
So I was absolutely convinced that I was straight for the longest time,and tried to reassure myself of this by dating only men despite the fact that I knew I found women to be more attractive. It took me going on a date who the guy was great through most of it, and should’ve been everything I wanted, right up until he kissed me. The moment that should’ve been fireworks was just three very distinct words in my head. “F**k I’m gay.”
I didn’t actually come out to anyone until a week later on what happened to be coming out day. I was playing Cards Against Humanity with a few friends of mine, who all happened to be in the lgbt community and they were swapping coming out stories, and not even thinking about it, I just blurt out “S**t I didn’t even think about how my family is gonna react.” And the four of them turn to look at me with really confused looks, and I just clammed up for a minute before I force out, “I may or may not be really f**king gay” and for a moment there was an awkward moment of silence before Alex turned to her girlfriend and said “Called it”
I didn’t actually come out to the rest of my friends and family until later that night through a post on facebook saying ‘In case any of you didn’t know, I’m a lesbian.’ I avoided calls from my family for three days until my dad called my then best friend (now girlfriend) to ask her to tell me that they had known for years and it wasn’t a big deal.