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Community Rainbow Waves
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I first thought I might be gay when I was 11 (2011). It occurred to me that every ‘crush’ I’d had on boys had only ever been for show. Boys weren’t something I ever thought of that way unless prompted by peers or parents. I remember thinking over in my head ‘no, Jeni, you can’t be gay. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to me’ and then I pushed it far back in my mind for years.
By high school (2013), I started to notice I was different. I happened to be in an all girls class so it was easy to notice. I was spending every day with 30 other 13yo girls and all of them obsessing over boys and I started to feel like something was wrong with me. Funnily enough, 13yo me didn’t even consider that I might be gay, I was just pleased to not be distracted from my school work and went on faking crushes on boys, barely realising that was what I was doing.
It took one of my close friends coming out as bisexual, in grade 9 (2014),to make me start thinking about that again, and I didn’t fully admit it to myself, that I liked girls, until I couldn’t deny my feelings for that friend.
I wanted to tell my best friend first but she was away sick from school the day I planned to do it. It made me sad all day and in English I ended up coming out my bi friend/crush as bisexual. I saw being bisexual as more ‘normal’; I was too scared to admit to anyone or even myself that I didn’t like boys. She took it well of course. I texted my other friend that afternoon and told her and she was supportive too.
The next person I told was my older sibling and they were great about it but warned me that our parents didn’t ‘believe’ in bisexuality.
Those first ‘coming outs’ went down in August 2014 right around my 14th birthday. By that September I told a classmate of mine (later became my best friend, now still a good friend) after she’d gushed to me about the boy she liked and then asked who I liked. And, after some nervous hesitation, I told her. She didn’t even question it she just said it was cute and wanted to hear more about the crush not my sexuality which was a huge relief.
The rest of my family (mum, dad, other two siblings) I came out to that October, when I started dating my bisexual friend, simply by telling them who I was dating. They weren’t not supportive. I didn’t expect them to have any ‘issues’ with it. But I can’t say I was happy about their reactions. All that sticks out to me is my dad joking ‘at least you won’t get pregnant’ (which hurt because I’ve always really really wanted to be a mum) and one of my siblings chiming in with another joke. And I can’t ever complain about that because they support me which is ‘lucky’.
My other friends and peers just found out by seeing me with my girlfriend, from what I remember. We didn’t hide it much at school, but there was still hate. I remember holding hands once on the way to class and some guy called us f*gs.
It took me a couple more years to let myself be just gay. I’m almost 20 now and still struggle to talk directly about how I’m attracted to women, unless I’m saying it in a joke. I still feel a bit ashamed at times when watching intimate moments between 2 women in shows/movies and even when no one else is in the room and it’s just kissing. I still have to worry about how anyone new I meet could be moderately to extremely homophobic. I still feel the need to come out to new people I meet. I still have to hide it from my homophobic grandparents. Some of it just really sucks.
But some of it is beautiful too and I try every day to focus on those parts more. My new goal, inspired by Dominique P-C, is to remind myself daily that my queerness is beautiful.
I always knew I was gay, even before I knew what being gay was. I was always just interested in girls. But I never told anyone. When I was 18 I got my first girlfriend, and I was sooo in love. She dumped me 6 months later, and I was heartbroken. So I finally decided to come out to my best friend. And it turned out I was worrried about nothing. I was sooo nervous before saying the words, but I was just met with love and understanding.
I had quite the easy journey of coming out, I was lucky. Thankfully I live in a country where it’s easy to be open. For the past 12 years I have lived with my girlfriend, and we have 2 beautiful kids together. Live your own truth, and be with the one you love
I’d love to start with the reflection on Dom’s inspiring story. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate … I just want to say that Dom has almost expressed what I had in my mind in the past few years ever since I started dating girls. I come from a family that seems “democratic,” as my parents always put it, but to me, in some way, my family is quite conservative. I don’t blame them. Actually, at first, I blame myself because I’ve tried to live up to my parents’ expectations through my life. I don’t want them to see me differently, ’cause I’m too afraid to look into those eyes, as if telling me that I did something wrong or trying to show me that I just lost myself, got bad friends… you’ll find a better life after you pull yourself back to the “normal” part of the world…something like that. Also, my parents care so much about their reputation and afraid that if there’s “rumors,” our life might be affected in a way they don’t expect. And I can’t bear to see their hurtful expressions. So I just couldn’t…
Nonetheless, after reading Dom’s story, I suddenly felt energized by courage and hopes. The positive values Dom’ shared were mostly what I tried to share with people in my everyday life. And I couldn’t be happier to see people sharing the same positive values, causing positive ripples, since positivity is one of my core values.
So here I am to share my story… even though I haven’t come out to my parents, but I know some day I will…
To most of my friends, I’m the kind of person who brings them joy and be there when they need someone to talk to or rely on. I love to see people smile, laugh, their happy faces, even though I might not be the reason. But anyway, I truly enjoy the moment bringing happiness to others and sharing positivity.
I’m the kind of person who reflects on myself almost anytime, anywhere, especially on the emotional and mental part since I’m kind of a good observer in people’s emotions. I tend to observe people’s expression, gestures, and emotions, whether stranger or not. Then I would start to wonder what caused the emotion. Maybe out of curiosity, or maybe it’s just for the reminder for me to be a better self.
About more than half a year ago, I ended a four-year unhealthy relationship with a woman. Along the way in the relationship, I kept reflecting on the life we lived and the values we shared. It turned out that it just couldn’t work out. But it’s okay. Every argument, every breakdown has led me to see what matters most to me. Even though it’s kind of the hardest moment in my life so far, I’m still working hard to gather myself together while at the same time enjoying bring joys to people around me, for happiness is my motivation to move forward.
After the end of the relationship, the sudden emptiness struck me, which gave me plenty of time on introspection. So I started to contemplate the life I lived in the almost past 30 years (yeah I’m about to turn 30 in April), if I could remember. In the past, like Dom said in her story, I focused on boys, without realizing I’m also attracted to girls. I know I enjoy being close friends with them, but what I didn’t know is that they did attract me. I remembered clearly when my high school classmate, a boy I think I adore at that time, asked me if I was into some girl in our class; I denied firmly and felt hurt. I was so afraid to be labeled as weirdo or someone that doesn’t fit into the mainstream and also afraid of not going to get a boyfriend on the thought of people might think I’m into women. I didn’t know what I really like or want back then.
Now I know, I just want to be someone that can love freely, whether boys or girls, what matters most is I’m true to myself, to my heart. I just want to enjoy my everyday life, make my life as colorful as possible, for I don’t want to have regrets.
I enjoy being myself, no matter when, especially the sincerity people feel in me when we get along. I enjoy helping others, not to expect anything in return, but a happy smile on their face can make my day. 🙂 I enjoy living a colorful life and cherish every happy moment. As Dom said, “When we’re happy, we shine.” I’d like to shine as brightly as I can and bring happiness and share positivity to those I meet. Let’s shine together!
My coming-out story is a loooong journey. I first faced my homosexuality when I was 18. I’d left my family-nest to pursue my studies, and it really was the first time I was left alone with myself. It became a journey, during which I discovered myself entirely.
And I met that one girl. She was gay, and I completely fell for her. That moment was the starting point of a really long thinking about my sexuality and myself in general. Each step was full of sadness and pain … but also full of joy. It took me 6 months to tell my closest friends about being in love with a woman. More than a year to completely accept and embrace my homosexuality.
But the hardest part was telling my family. I’m really close to them, we share everything and love each other so fucking much. Taking the risk to lose all of this by telling them my truth, it was unimaginable for me. So I kept it inside of me for 4 (very long) years. The thing is, I was exhausted. Exhausted of lying to the ones I love, of hiding my feelings and a huge part of my life.
That is why, on January 1st 2019, I confessed to my family about my homosexuality. And, damn it, all the feedbacks I received were full of love and acceptance. I was scared of crying because they would reject me. Instead, I cried only tears of joy because they accepted me. Whole of me.
Nowadays, I’m a very happy 24 years-old gay AF woman.
I kind of had an inkling I wasn’t straight back in late 2015. I was really into The 100 and I remember I was unreasonably attached to Lexa and Clarke. It was the first canon LGBT relationship I’d ever seen on TV and for some reason, that meant a lot to me. Then I started watching Wynonna Earp in 2016, because I’d heard about WayHaught and I got really excited that another show might have a canon couple (of course, I got totally hooked on WE within an episode.) And the whole time I’m watching Clexa and WayHaught especially I remember thinking “I wish I had that.” I started seriously thinking about my future and realised that, when I didn’t actively think “I want a husband and kids and etc” if I closed my eyes and tried to picture getting married…it wasn’t always a man. Sometimes, it was a woman I could imagine marrying. And right as I was having that realisation and trying to reconcile it with my religion (Christianity) the whole Lexa thing happened and I got angry. That was one of 2 representations I had to try and figure this out and they just get rid of her?! I decided that I wasn’t going to think about it anymore. I’d kind of figured out I was definitely bi at that point but because of the whole religion thing I decided “hey, at least there’s still a big chance I’ll end up with a guy.”
My nephew was born in the June of 2016 with a serious heart condition and for a decent few weeks, I thought it was God’s punishment. I’d figured out I was bi and God didn’t like that so he punished my family. I was 15 and I didn’t really process things right so I legit thought for weeks that it was my fault. And then I started going online more and I found the Earpers and that whole community made me feel a lot more comfortable. I found people of my faith that weren’t straight and talked to them about everything. And the whole time, I still had WayHaught on Wynonna Earp showing me that girl/girl relationships were alright. Right after the season 1 finale of WE, I told my sister that I thought I was bi. My mum figured it out within a year and told my dad for me. I didn’t officially come out to any of my friends or anyone from my high school until the end of 2019, after I started uni, but most of my close friends kind of figured it out because I stopped fighting it and actively started talking about LGBT stuff.
I was out and proud from my first day at university and that felt so amazing. It was the first time I hadn’t hid my sexuality at all from anyone and that was one of the best experiences of my life. Turned out a decent number of people I started hanging out with, both in lectures and society meetings, were also LGBT+ so for the first time in my life, I had a significant amount of non-hetero friends, one of whom is as big of an Earper as me. I found my people, both on and offline.
I knew it since I was born. That I was different. But I didn´t expected I could be different in this way. I hated dresses and skirts when I was a kid. I hated when my hair were loose. I said to my parents I won´t get married because I hate dancing in pair( I was in kindergarden). When I played with my friends I always wanted to be a boy. In one game I even married my best friend. I had never any romantic feelings for her, it was just a game. I probably wanted to play boy characters because in a game everything was possible. And I wanted to be a completely different person. I wanted to escape from reality, that was the reason.
When I was eleven years old I wrote in my diary that I felt like a boy. I had no idea that something like “transgender” even exists and that was good because if I knew it I would definitely label myself as trans. And it would make me really confused. Because I´m not a boy.
When I was twelve I started choosing more girl characters in our games. Maybe it was because I was ashamed of running through our garden with my friends, using male pronouns. That was the time when I started thinking romantically about every boy who was nice to me and I was ridiculous, honestly. I had no idea what love is, I was too young. In those times I didn´t know anything about LGBT. I thought the term gay and queer were just rude words for boys. I knew homosexuality exists and I didn´t pay attention to it. I thought it´s weird. Sooner I was called a lesbian at my classmate´s birthday party. I said a name of a girl who was my friend when the other girls were talking about ,,Who do you think is best in our class?” They were talking about boys they liked. And I didn´t like any of them so I just said the name of my friend because in the question were not exactly mentioned boys. Those girls laughed at me and I was embarressed.
I was thirteen when I wrote on a small paper that I think one girl is the most beautiful in our class, boys included. It was some kind of game where we wrote who do we think is the most intelligent or the most annoying of our class, etc. And I thought… Why should I write there a boy´s name? I can think a girl is more pretty, right? So I wrote it. Not a big deal.
I turned fourteen and I started surfing the net. I watched one girl youtuber who was bisexual. I was amazed because I had no idea such a thing has existed. I searched for more information about LGBT. I started following a lesbian youtuber. I thought her videos are really funny. I like your videos, I wrote her to a comment section, though I don´t think I´m a lesbian. And then… I fell in love for the first time. I noticed I´m paying pretty much attention to one of my classmates. And then I realized I like her. I was terrified. What should I do now? It´s disgusting. I´m disgusting. I don´t want to like her. She doesn´t like me back. Why do I have to feel like this? I really didn´t want to be a lesbian. I hated that word. I was thinking that I could be maybe bisexual. I hoped I was just confused. But it really didn´t feel like some confuison. First, I didn´t want to tell anybody. Never. No. Absolutely not. But after few months it was unbearable. I felt the need of telling one of my friends. I started to making small hints before my friends and brother. I thought they will be prepared for the truth when I´ll tell them.
I naively believed the feeling about the firl will just desapear with time. But it didn´t. I finally took courage and told my best friend. I thought she knew it already because of those many hints I was making long months ago. But she was surprised. She had no idea. And then she ignored the fact I told her my big secret because she thought I don´t want to talk about it. I was angry at her but didn´t said anything.
I didn´t want to be in love with that girl anymore but I still was and I felt desparate about it. I noticed I´m starting to thinking about other girls, too. I thought some boys were kind of good looking but it was nothing to compare with the way I was feeling about some girls. I watched some series and read wattpad books just because couples of two girls in it.
The biggest twist was when my brother came out to me as gay. I cried and felt even more desparate than before. Before his coming out, I wanted to tell him- someday. But when he came out also to mum, I lost every piece of courage I´ve ever had. Mum was kind of supportive but she was expecting me to be straight, obviously. I didn´t know if I even can have feelings for boys but I knew I have feelings for girls. I started thinking, what if I was just confused because I watched so much youtube LGBT content?
When I thought I´m after two years finally over that girl, I texted her that I liked her before. I just wanted her to know. I knew she hasn´t ever liked me and I was okay with it. She was probably straight or ace. Her reaction was great but it was always little bit awkward between the two of us since that moment. Anyways, I don´t regret it.
I still didn´t identify as anything, I was too scared of the lesbian label.
I was sixteen years old when I fell for another straight girl. But this time it wasn´t so clear she was straight. It was like she was giving me some hints, she danced with me the whole evening, she convinced me to go for a competition with her, to dress up with her in one toilet cabin, she slept on me in a car. I was so confused and then it turned out she is just that kind of “ally” who likes gays but doesn´t care about other members of the community. I cried and felt desparate again. I told few more friends that I´m maybe into girls. The situation between me and my best friend became clear and we talked about it openly for the first time.
I was really thinking about the labels(What if I´m just confused straight girl? No, I don´t think so. What if I´m a lesbian? Oh, geez how I hate that word. I won´t say this about myself EVER. Am I a bisexual or a pansexual? Do I really like boys at all? I haven´t fell for any boys yet but does that mean that I don´t like boys? What if I´ll start liking them when I´ll grow up? How do I know now? What about transgender people? I know just one trans boy and he´s just my friend. Could I be ace? Well, I´m kind of scared of sex. But I haven´t ever been in a relationship before. How can I know?) and I stayed with my own: I like this girl and that girl and I don´t know who else, yet, whatever.
Then boys started liking me. That was the moment I was hoping for when I was thirteen and fourteen. But now I was seventeen and I felt bad for them. I wanted them to just find another object of interest so it would be easier for both of us. One boy was really unrelenting. He really fell in love with me. I felt horrible because I knew that feeling when you like someone who doesn´t like you back. But I was never so obtrusive to those girls as he was now to me. Yeah, he was funny, trustworthy, responsible, loyal, honest but I couldn´t imagine kissing him. So I said that I´m sorry but I´m not interested. Now he was the one who was desparate.
,,There´s someone else,” I explained. ,,Someone who I like.”
,,What did he do so you like him and not me?” he asked. I didn´t know what to say.
,,Well… he was nice and good looking – and then he asked me to dance and-“
,,Oh, I get it,” he said bitterly. ,,He was handsome. I´m just not attractive enough.”
,,No, that´s not it,” I groaned. ,,That´s not something I could change.” He didn´t seem like he understands. So I decided to tell him the truth.
,,Look. The person that I like… it´s not a boy. Alright? I don´t like you because… maybe I just can´t. That´s it.” And I thought he understands now. Well, he didn´t.
,,But… no. There must be a way to change this,” he said. I couldn´t believe my own ears. That was absurd! He continued. ,,Everything is possible if you want to. It´s all in your head. How could you know if you haven´t even kiss anyone yet? Maybe you didn´t like the girl, you just wanted look like her!” It was like he has read some psychological book about sexuality.
,,Anyways,” I sighed finally. ,,Even if I liked boys, I would stay just friends with you.” He wished me good luck in life then. We´re not really friends or whatever but sometimes we just send to each other memes.
Now I´m almost eighteen. I see a change between present me and the past me. I don´t mind dresses, skirts or dancing in pairs. And I like having hair loose. When I was eleven years old I thought for a while I´m feeling like a boy. But now I don´t. I´m a girl and it is one of few things in my life I am sure about.
I didn´t came out to my parents or to my brother and I don´t plan it. What should I say? Hey, family! You thought I´m straight, right? Well guess what, I´m not! No idea what my sexuality is but I fell in love with two girls so far and that´s it. SURPRISE! Haha, no. Never. I told it to nine people in real life (not counting the internet), the obtrusive boy included. I´m still not sure about the labels. Having to choose one of them is making me feel uncomfortable. I just kind of like fluid labels like gay or queer. I will come out only if there is a reason for it. For example when I´ll start to date and it will be serious. I will come out if it is a boy or a girl. I have to tell my family anyways. Even if I dated a boy, it wouldn´t be easy for me to tell them because I´m a very shy person. Coming out in every case, haha.
So that was my story. My main point is – labels sucks. I don´t want to put myself to any concrete label because I don´t want to be judged. If you don´t know what label suits you, you don´t have to use any of them. If you need to label yourself, feel free to do it. Life is too short to trying beeing someone else. Just be yourself. Good luck!
I guess I started questioning my sexuality when I was 10, I’d experimented with girls and was just very confused. I didn’t know what it meant to like girls, but some part of me, did. As I grew up, my friends would ask me if I was bi, because they’d noticed how I looked at our vice principal, who happened to be a woman. I denied it. I denied liking anyone, until I met my boyfriend. He was my safety net. No one really questioned me anymore, because I had a boyfriend, so pretty much everyone just assumed I was straight, except the few people who knew. *Coughs* The girls I’d been with behind closed doors, and my therapist. When I was 15, my therapist outed me as bisexual to my mother, I was terrified because I grew up in a very closed-minded, judgmental, “Christian” “family”. Being too scared to tell the truth, I chickened out and said I was bi. This came with more questions, mainly from my mother. “I thought you liked boys, you have a boyfriend”. Then came the shame. “It’s a sin, you’ll go to hell”. And at the time, I didn’t know better, and wasn’t taught better, so I believed it. I believed I was going to go to hell, if I was myself. If I liked anyone but boys. So I tried. I tried to like boys for as long as I could. I dated boys. In secret, I also dated girls. I didn’t know how to stop how I felt, I was so confused. I was too sheltered and didn’t have any guidance or anyone to talk to about these feelings, until I discovered the TV show South Of Nowhere, in 2005. I was still 15, and didn’t have much supervision at night when my mom was at work, so I could watch whatever I wanted on TV. South Of Nowhere is a show about a girl very much like me, came from a very closed-minded, “Christian” family. She met a girl and started questioning everything. Ironically, the same character that made her question everything, made my brain go crazy. I’d liked this character way more than what was considered “normal”. I started deep diving into my thoughts and feelings with every new episode, and slowly, eventually I started realizing who and what I was. The show had a bunch of different perspectives so it really helped guide me to figure out what MY beliefs and opinions were. By the end of the series, 5ish years later, I had finally admitted it to myself. I had to come out to myself first. I was gay. There was guilt, I was still ashamed of who I was. It took a few years for me to be okay with who and what I was, but eventually I was. When I was about 20 my mom and I were in a heated argument about gay and transgender people, and she made me pretty upset so I told her that she was hurting my feelings because I’m one of the people she was being so hateful towards, she didn’t really understand and sort of just blew it off, didn’t really say anything. About a year later, when I was 21, the same argument happened, again. (We’d had a lot of those arguments). And again, I told her she was hurting me because I was gay. This time, she heard me.
My name is Hope, and I’m an out and proud, gay woman.
i first realized that i wasn’t quite straight when i was 12. it was the scariest thing that had ever happened to me, and i tried to suppress my feelings for a couple years before i realized that i couldn’t live my life like that.
a couple months before i turned 17, i decided to stop pretending and stop hiding. it was both the most daunting and most relieving thing i’d ever done. i was extremely lucky to have friends that graciously welcomed me into their arms, and i am so incredibly thankful for them.
people that i grew up with were forced to see that lgbtq+ do exist, and that their existence is normal. my coming out may have been uncomfortable and scary at the time, but now, i’m so proud of myself for being open and true to myself, as well as opening the eyes of people that had previously held negative ideas about the lgbtq+ community.
i’m here, i’m queer, and i fucking love people.
Stars have always been present somehow in my life. This may seem like a weird way to start off, but trust me; it’ll make sense. I always would take a moment and pause when getting out of the car at night to look at the stars, even if there were barely any in the sky, I’d try my hardest to point one out. My first and middle names are named after my grandmothers names, which in greek translated to “shining star”. To me, it connected the stars to who I am and my roots. For me to have this weird connection to them, it was only fitting they’d be there in the moment.
It was the day after new years, 2017, and I had only just turned 16 a month prior. I was worried about going into my senior years of high school, who I was as a person and so many other things a 16 year old would be worried about. Turns out I wasn’t the only one, so two of my friends at the time, one of their mothers and I planned a small trip to one of their grandparent’s alpaca farm for three days to ease off some of the stress before we started one of our last years in high school. It was spacious and cozy, the alpacas’ fleece had just been cut a few days before and they all ran around along with the dog.
It was on the second day we were there that the three of us decided to set up a tent outside of the house and camp out. We talked about the most random things. A lot of it was me randomly interrupting conversation because I would mistake the noise of a wild kangaroo for a person, but that’s besides the point. We were all comfortable in our company and relaxed. One of my friends got tired and left the other and I outside the tent as she went to sleep. We continued talking for about everything and nothing till 3:30 in the morning. I don’t leave Sydney much, and when I do it’s usually to other cities;
I had never seen a sky so clear. I felt like I was looking upon galaxies, I’d never seen colour in the sky like I did then.
So, as the conversation naturally flew into the topic I told my friend, “I don’t think I’m straight.”
It was odd that I didn’t feel scared as I thought I was going to, I don’t know if it was the fact my friend was also queer that calmed me or the fact I was looking at a sight I had never seen before but felt so connected to. In that moment, even though I felt like there was still so much of me to figure out, I knew that was my truth and I was finally comfortable and confident to let someone know.
That whole conversation under the stars remains one of my favourites. I’m not as close wth the girl I told anymore but she told me it was one of her favourite conversations as well, which brightens a special place in my heart.
Since then, I’ve come out to all my friends and my sister. Though I still don’t know it all, one thing I know for sure is that when I pause for a moment to look up for a star in the sky- I’ll know even if I can’t see any, they’ll still be shining a light, somehow saying they see me. All of me.
And they see you too.
– Styliana | 19 | Queer | AU
This isn’t really the most interesting coming out story in the world but I thought I’d contribute my story anyway.
I figured out that I was attracted to girls in the seventh grade. It wasn’t so much a “Oh shit! I like girls! I’m not straight!” as it was a “Oh, so the magnitude of my fixation on *insert any female actress* is NOT experienced by everyone”. However, I didn’t really process what that information meant until one of my classmates had offhandedly mentioned that she had a girlfriend and that she identified as a lesbian. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew that people could like someone of the same gender identity, but the meaning behind being queer held no weight to me until someone put a label onto it. It sort of clicked in a way that made me realize that maybe I was bisexual. Because of that realization, I did the obvious thing and took hundreds of “What is my sexuality?” quizzes and found solidarity and comfort among the dozens of famous or slightly relevant LGBTQ+ Youtube videos and Youtube series’ that were available in 2014.
Before my descent down the rabbit hole that is the numerous quality LGBTQ+ media available to the public, I decided to come out to one of my former best friends. She did not realize that was trying to come out to her, and I had to come out to her again 4 years later.
It took me 2 years after I had realized that I wasn’t straight to actually come out to someone, 1 year to feel comfortable with a label, and like 1 month to decide that- if someone asked me what my sexuality was- I would tell them the truth. So basically, it took 2 years for one of my other best friends to outright ask me if I was asexual before I could say that I was pan/bi. It took me a year after that to come out to my best friend since elementary school. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to hide my sexuality from her as it was that it wasn’t something I wanted to be defined by, nor was it the most important detail about me. Despite my resolve to just come out to her if I ended up liking someone who happened to have the same gender identity as me, I panic texted her. This was after a friend of ours asked me if I was straight while my best friend was sitting there with us. I ended up giving that friend a roundabout answer and then came out officially to my best friend at midnight over text.
Now, I am luck enough to not experience extreme homophobia directed at myself and I am extremely lucky to be, and have been, friends with open-minded and accepting people, so I didn’t really consciously feel internalized homophobia/biphobia until years after I realized that I was indeed NOT straight. I didn’t feel that way until I was asked by my mom to warn her if I happened to be attracted to a girl or, better yet, just not like girls at all. Because of that, I grew conscious of the underlying yet ever-present homophobia found in my relative’s uninformed opinions about the LBGTQ+ community. I wasn’t afraid that my family would disown me or stop loving me, but I became afraid that I would have to compromise who I am in order not be seen as an outlier by my aunts and uncles. Honestly, I was more afraid because I wasn’t sure how my parents would react. I ended up hiding who I am from both my parents and my older sister, who I knew didn’t care and didn’t hold the same “traditionalist” values that my extended family and my parents did. I was too afraid that, if I told her, my parents and extended family would somehow find out. I made the same resolve that I had made before with my elementary school best friend: I would just casually introduce my girlfriend to her when I eventually started to actually date girls (or people in general). That, however, did not happen. Instead, I came out to her when she asked me how I identified while we were watching Bon Appetit Youtube videos.
These aren’t the only coming out stories that I have, and I definitely didn’t elaborate on every detail, but these were the moments that actually held some importance to me. Each time I came out to someone that held/holds an extreme amount of importance to my life, none of it went as planned. I had to take a leap of faith and trust that I was loved enough that, a detail about who I was, wasn’t going to change how my friends and family viewed me. I’m still not out to the rest of my family, but knowing that I didn’t have anything to hide from my sister lifted a weight I didn’t even know I had on me. Even without me coming out, my parents have started to become more welcome to the idea that girls like girls and that’s okay.
Just having even one person to talk to, who knew I liked girls, helped me to become even more comfortable with my sexuality. Without the positive LGBTQ+ representation in the media, I would have felt alone before I even knew what I identified as. I was okay with my sexuality until I wasn’t, but, even then, I had enough support to continue to take leaps of faith.
I don’t think there’s really a right way to come out, nor do I know when the right time to come out is. However, I do think that having even one person (whether it’s someone online or someone you know in real life) know and support you for who you are is by far the most freeing thing in the world.
I’m out and proud to the people that I get to choose to include in my life, and I am so excited to see the world continually progress and become a more accepting place (with better LGBTQ+ and PoC representation in mainstream media)
I chose to indentify as gay, because I feel like I can use that as an umbrella term. To me the word lesbian doesn’t seem quite right, because it completely rules out men, and though I’ve never fallen for a man before, I don’t think it’s impossible.
Some family members and most of my friends know I’m not straight, but I fear to come out the the public, not only because I’m scared of their reactions but I also kind of feel like it’s none of their business? I’m not in a relationship nor have I ever been before, but I don’t feel like disclosing my sexuality without reason you know?
However, your story did inspire me to at least write my story somewhere, and perhaps, with all sadness going on in the world right now I might as well put this story up somewhere else, to share some colour and be true to myself.
I realised that I was different when I was 14 years old. I grew up in a pretty strict christian family, so I was scared. I believe in god myself and that’s why I prayed every day for two years for my “problem” to go away, to “turn” straight. But at one point something was telling me that nothing was wrong with me. That I was born this way and that I should be proud of myself for what I am and what I’ve been through.
I started to tell some friends that I’m into girls and for most of them it wasn’t even a big surprise. After that I told my family. First my mother, after that my brother. The last one was my father. He was homophobic in the past so I was really afraid of telling him. But he told me that he loved me anyway und our father-daughter-relationship has never been better. He is really proud of me and of who I am today. Together, we even talk about how “complicated” women are, haha.
One day, not long after telling him that I was gay, I called him on the phone. He was driving home from work and it was the first time I told him about a girl. He said to me “I wish you could see me right now. I have tears in my eyes. I’m so happy for you and so proud.”
People can change. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes people won’t understand. But, YOU are precious and worthy, remember that! Be good to yourself. You’re not alone. We’re all in this together. It will get better!
Shows like Wynonna Earp that have LGBTQ+ characters in it really helped me getting through the rough times.
So thank you for that!
Now I’m 22 years old and still waiting for the love of my life. But I’m optimistic that I’ll find her one day.
Greetings from Germany,
I think some part of me always new that I wasn’t a girl. I dressed in boys clothes and I hated wearing anything that made me look feminine. When I was diagnosed with autism (aged 12) I assumed that that was the reason I felt different. About a year later I started questioning my sexuality. It took about 2 years before I accepted myself as gay. I came out to a few friends who were really accepting and I finally felt happy with myself, but I didn’t feel whole. Like I’d just told people something so they’d understand, but it wasn’t me. For about 2 years I kept having lapses in thoughts about my gender. It got to the point where I gave up and decided to just present myself in a way that made me comfortable. So I cut my hair short and changed my name. A couple of months later I had a sudden realisation moment where I realised that I’m nonbinary. Two days later I came out to my friend who I had previously come out to as gay. It took a couple of months to come out to my family. It took some time for me to fully accept the dysphoria I have about my chest and I got a binder. I recently started causually slipping into conversations that I’m nonbinary to anyone who doesn’t know yet. I feel like this isn’t my definitive coming out story though. As someone who is queer I am constantly coming out to people whether it’s my gender or sexuality, but this is how I found out who i am as a person.
I started thinking I was into girls when I entered 6th grade and this girl just made me feel different. I questioned my sexuality for while not really knowing if I just wanted to be her friend or if I liked her. And then after I finally knew I definitely like women I started wondering if I even liked boys plus now I knew there was also non-binary people and was so confused !
But I just wanted people to know I wasn’t straight so I came out to one of my friends when I was 14 and slowly people on my grade ever assumed I liked girls or heard it from someone. No one made fun of me or bullied me and I’m so grateful for all the lgbtqia people who made it possible for that to happen.
And last year I came out to my parents on my 16th birthday and they kind off already know my dad’s response was actually « we know you like girls » sooooo guess I wasn’t really subtle but I like to see it as my parents quietly watching grow and understand myself.
So yeah I’m pretty lucky and to be truthful the only real problems I’ve had are with my own insecurities. I just don’t really talk that much about my sexuality because it feels like I’m taking to much place so I have to sit through my straight brother explaining homophobia to me (and my family, he definitely an ally I just don’t always feel like I’ve experienced enough to actually debate about it with him )
I am so happy that there are safe spaces like this for the community and I just want to say that if the people around aren’t accepting of your sexuality they’re the problem and you are beautiful and strong and loved
When I was only eight I realized that I liked girls, I didn’t understand the world like I do now and I didn’t know homophobia in it self. So I told my friends when I was something like 9. At the young age of eleven I decided to tell my mother of what I forced myself to be bisexuality, thinking that if she did not accept my homosexuality she wouldn’t be so mad. I am extremely lucky to be in a very understanding and open minded family. My mom said she was very proud of me to have the courage to speak my truth and to know who I was and accept it at only 11. At about twelve a girl in my class literally screamed that I was gay. I thought I was ready and whenever I would come out to one of my friends, it would this time be as lesbian. For two years I was bullied. I started having panic attacks everyday and I didn’t want to go to school anymore. When it became to overwhelming I thought about hurting myself (and I sometimes still do)… I did once or twice but nothing”extra”. At that point my dad knew I was gay and he helped like my sister who is, herself, an asexual biromantic. I had my friends and family to relate on and went to see a therapist. I’m now better and help a lot of my queer friends come out and know that it ok to be who we are and that we shouldn’t be ashamed. For a while I thought I was genderfluid and soon I realized that I felt like using they/them pronouns all the time. It felt right. Although it wasn’t easy understanding the gender confusion I was going threw, people were there and they had my back. I felt safe. I now use the term non binary/genderqueer and the pronouns they/them & she/her. All of that said I am only going to turn 15 in a few months and I still have a lot to learn and emotions to go threw. I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by open minded people. I know some don’t have that particular luxury. And I want to do everything in power to help them.
I hope my story will make a difference somehow. Love and know that you are not alone.
I realised that I was gay at around age 14, I was never interested in all the boy talk my friends seemed to always want to have but until I started becoming unwell I didn’t think too much of it. Unfortunately at the age of 14 I started developing chest infections and viruses, one after the other which eventually caused my body to develop a chronic illness. I was forced to leave school and spent 3 months housebound, which gave me wayyyy too much time to think!
I didn’t want to be different, there was already too many things that made me stand out, I was fat, short, and shy, along with other things and I couldn’t handle anything else on top of that.
Over those months where I was housebound and then only doing a few hours of schooling a day, I started to knock down all the layers of negative self-esteem that had built up through my life. It was the hardest time of my life but now I know that true happiness comes from the little things, that you don’t need a lot of friends, just a select few that bring light into your life.
I’m out to my close family and friends but there’s still some family members I have yet to have the discussion with. When you first come out it is terrifying, not because of someone else’s reaction but because you are opening up your heart and giving them permission to see you, the complete you for the first time. That’s the scary part!
I used to wish and pray that I was straight or at least into boys but that was never meant to be, I am who I was always supposed to be and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I still have a lot of insecurities but I’m gonna keep working through them because above it all, I am proud to be a gay woman.
Well, I realised I was in the community when I was 15 but I’m still figuring out myself. I started coming out when I was 16 and now I just don’t really care who knows cause I love myself and that’s all you need.
I was in high school and started to realise that I liked both girls and guys at that time I had a lot of homophobic, I wouldn’t say friends but I knew them and I hung around with them for a while so at first I didn’t want to come out because I was scared but then I found the right people and they were accepting so when I finally came out to them they were fully accepting and helped me come out to more of my friends who were also really accepting of me. So basically the thing that helped me was finding the right people to trust. And now if someone asks me about I can answer them without being scared because I know that no matter what I’ll always have the people who helped me in the first place.
I knew I was a member of the community since middle school. I attended a private christian school that told me since I was 3 that being gay is wrong. Growing up with the mindset made it difficult for me when I had my first girlfriend in 8th grade. I had so much internalized homophobia and didn’t want to believe that I could possibly be a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Being raised in a way where your whole relationship is “wrong” and “goes against the natural way of life” made me push down my romantic capacity for women. I first told my closest friends who accepted me with no hesitation during my freshman year. Now, I’ve told both of my parents and all of my friends as a freshman in college. I have never felt such unconditional love as I did when I came out this past year. I realized it was better to live my full truth rather than please others by refraining from sharing that side of myself. As my father told me when I came out to him, “I just want you to be happy which makes me happy, and I haven’t seen you smile in years until now. I finally have my daughter back and am so proud of the woman you have become.” All in all, being your authentic self is worth it. Those who truly deserve to be in your life will accept you sooner or later. You may be going through a rough patch right now, but I promise you it does get better. My own mother didn’t accept me at first and told me I will always be straight in her eyes. Now, she asks if I have a girlfriend and is ecstatic to get to meet my partner. Acceptance is becoming more widespread and only will continue to grow over the years. There is hope for a brighter future and you have a support system behind you. Be true to you!
I’ve known since a young age that I was attracted to girls. I kissed my babysitters niece when we were 8 or 9, a few years later I found my dad’s playboy magazines – and I wasn’t trying to read the articles, I was lucky enough to have a computer in my room when I was in 6-8th grade and I found wlw fanfics online and I remember the one time I took a 1 megapixel video recording of two (2) girls kissing from a TV show on my flip phone when I was in the 9th grade (of which a friend saw and I’ve never panicked more than I have then, but someone got them to drop it and move on). The point is I’ve always known, I just always felt like that part of me had to stay hidden, even though I later became a very outspoken ally of the LGBTQ2IA+ community. I even sat with several friends as we cried together while they came out to me and I loved and supported all of them, but yet I felt that I couldn’t do the same. Maybe it was just my body insecurities, or whatever but I felt, and I guess still do to an extent, that I didn’t belong. That I didn’t physically look or dress and certain way so I couldn’t be anything but straight.
Even though I supported and had friends in the community I felt that I still needed to hide that part of myself, like it was ok for everyone else but it was wrong that I felt that way. I kept that part of me isolated to my apartment, my second tumblr account, etc. I let others make their own assumptions and just ran with it. That felt a lot easier to me than actually saying those words out loud.
I also struggled as the years went on with my age (I’m 28) I started thinking that I was “too old to come out” and what if I come out as this but later figured out that I’m that or none of those. Would people take me seriously? Would that perpetuate the bisexual stereotype of just being confused? Thinking about coming out is stressful enough but add those questions on top of that with no one to ask or have provide some kind of reassurance that everything I was feeling and thinking was normal and valid and all I had to focus on was me was torture.
And then one day I was scrolling through Tumblr and saw gifs of WayHaught and I read the comments and found out about Wynonna Earp (Funny side story: I didn’t watch the series immediately so I was just going off comments and tags and I thought Nicole was Wynonna for the longest time and was a bit confused when I first started watching the show lol) Watching Waverly grow to understand and accept herself and how brave and sure she was of her feelings for Nicole really hit me. I knew it was just a TV show but her journey was so authentic that if helped me be a bit more comfortable with what I was feeling. As soon as I started the show I also sent out my #EarperGreet tweet and was floored by how friendly and accepting the fandom was. Everything combined made me feel like I had a safe place to be myself. I started getting bolder on what I posted or liked on my main twitter and eventually got the chance to hang out with other Earpers from my city. Being able to hang out with other queer people naturally made me feel more comfortable and confident to be myself. It would be another 7 months after meeting my fellow Earpers in person, of subtle hints and whatnot online before I finally came out on twitter, on national coming out day no less. I came out as Bi and I couldn’t be happier. I’m still a bit shy in person talking about it, but I think that’s just my normal introverted, awkward self. It sounds silly, or maybe it doesn’t, but Wynonna Earp, WayHaught and Earpers as a whole really helped in making it possible for me to be me. If I hadn’t found wearp I honestly think I would have continued to be a closeted ally. So thank you.
Disclamer: I am not a writer by any means and have major scatter brain when I try to write so this probably reads as a word vomit salad so I hope it makes sense.
I don’t even know where exactly to begin as coming out happened over a long period of time for me. From the time I first admitted to myself that I wasn’t straight to the time I knew I was a lesbian, about a year and a half had passed.
The first time I questioned my sexuality, I was about 15 years old. I was in 10th grade, had a mediocre standing in the class hierarchy and had realized long before that I was in some way different compared to the other girls but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that made me feel different. Until I did. One day a friend of mine came over, at that time Magic Mike was THE movie in our class, and this friend happened to be a big fan of the main actor. For some reason she couldn’t stop talking about the actor and, I guess, wanted to convince me that he was the hottest person on this planet so she pulled out her phone and started showing me pictures of him, abs pictures included haha. Anyways, what I realized in that moment was that I had no emotional reactions to any of the pictures she showed me. I didn’t feel even the slightest bit of attraction while my friend could barely look at a photo without blushing and fangirling over it. That night I had a lot of questions to myself. I didn’t understand why I had no reactions to the pictures – maybe he just wasn’t my type? Maybe I was just a late bloomer and attraction is something that still has to develop in my body? But then again almost every girl in my class had been in a relationship or at least talking about boys during break for years, and me not doing any of that stood out like a sore thumb to me. What is my problem?? So in a quest to convince myself that I was in fact capable of being attracted to boys I started googling actors, musicians etc. just any boy or man I found attractive. Long story short, I didn’t find a single one. I was so frustrated that the next morning I went to my mom and said: „How come, I can’t find a single dude that I find attractive but I could tell you about so many women I find incredible in a heartbeat!?”. You may think that I already knew in that moment that I liked girls, but no. Homosexuality was never discussed in our home. Not because my parents didn’t want me to hear about it but because they never thought about telling me about it. So the only „information” I got on it were prejudices and slurs against, not even queer in general, but only homosexuals, at school. So I knew the word homosexual but I couldn’t define it, all I knew was that it was used as a joke or an insult. But it was nothing I had a personal connection to back then. Because I knew I was straight. „I mean, I’m a girl so I’ll fall in love with a boy eventually because that’s what everyone’s saying”. I just accepted that but now with the whole googling my non-existent crushes that vision didn’t really work out. It was just for a short moment in that confusion that I thought to myself: „What if I don’t like any boys that way but that will never change? What if I just don’t like boys?”. I didn’t know what exactly that would mean but I knew that it didn’t feel like a far stretch. I never had a boy crush, I was never interested in boys and the only thing I really ever wanted to be with boys was best friends. That’s the moment my questioning phase began. I mean at first I went to my mum and told her, tears running down my phase, that „I think I’m a lesbian”. She reacted good. It definitely took her some time to switch from „your future boyfriend” to „your future girlfriend” when talking about my first relationship but once she realized I was being serious, she became super supportive. Still, even though I came out as a lesbian I didn’t know what that meant. And the realization of being different from the other girls in my class hit me like a rock. After coming out I had to take a step back to truly understand who I was. I couldn’t just say I was a lesbian when I had no proof for it. That’s where my questioning phase began and boy, it was a shitshow. I was watching every coming out video on YouTube after school. At that point I was in 11th grade and I was faced with a huge problem: I couldn’t tell any of my friends about this, because the second that information got to school, I feared, I would get bullied because the leading bully in my grade was a homophobe. So at school I acted the straightest I could and the moment I came home I was on YouTube, watching every second of content that would bring me closer to the question who I was attracted to. And I learned a lot. I learned about the LGBT+-community, I saw that queer people aren’t „weird” people (which was what I thought due to the intolerance at school) but just normal people like you and me. At night my brain would feel heavy from all of the new information but in the morning and at school I had no one to talk to about the journey I was going through because I couldn’t talk about it and my mom didn’t really understand what I was saying and feeling. That was very emotionally draining. The more I tried to suppress my feelings the more difficult it became. Plus I wasn’t getting the answer I was looking for: Every YouTuber kept telling me that only I could know my sexuality and that time would tell but I wanted an answer now, I wanted to know who I am and I didn’t understand why no one could tell me. The best I can describe it is that I’d think of myself as an astronaut who just kept floating around in space without a planet in sight. Just infinite nothingness. But I needed something to hold onto because that nothingness was scary and it meant that I didn’t know who I was – I couldn’t accept being „nothing”. It was the moment I stopped stressing myself out about figuring out who I was that things got better, even though it was out of exhaustion. Before, I couldn’t read my emotions clearly because I kept overanalyzing every little emotion I was feeling for people. In my head it would for example be: „is that attraction? That is definitely attraction, oh, you like that person! Yeah, you must be gay!” about feelings such as simply finding a person nice. But it was just my want to have a person I find attractive to be able to answer the question of what my sexuality is. But forcing feelings on myself was very unhealthy. So I stopped. And after some time these feelings came to me naturally and even caught me off guard sometimes which made me finally able to understand them. It took a long time for me to differentiate between finding someone nice, finding someone attractive and loving someone. But once I understood what each feels like, I was able to see that I had been attracted to girls and women from as early as 6th grade. Which is why, after almost one and a half years of trying to find out who I was attracted to I was finally able to say that I’m a lesbian.
Now there’s way more to say about my journey but that’s how it all began. During those one and a half years I also stumbled upon Carmilla and Wynonna Earp which to this day remain my two favorite series and it’s also the reason I even ended up on this page. Seeing positive representation as portrayed in both of these series helped me so much with being ok with my sexuality. Starting my journey I felt so much guilt and being different that I was not comfortable, but I have come a long way now and leaving school and afterwards coming out to everyone in my life that’s important to me and everyone being supportive is the best thing that could’ve happened to me. So today I read about this page and about Dom’s coming out and – oh, how beautiful it is! Everyone has a different journey but there is something so powerful about coming together to share our journeys. And what better person to lead the way on here than Dom. You have helped so many people Dom, including me, to come out and be our true selves and I love that it is partly us that have helped you to come out now, it has come full-circle 🙂 To everyone on here that needs to hear this: you are not alone, you are valid, and I wish you all the love and kindness on your journey that you deserve! – Laura
I think, deep down I’ve always known. I’ve always been into the other stuff. Growing up, it was never the boys that I liked or looked up to. It was always the girls. And now, looking back. It kind of makes sense. How I always preferred Clary over Jace, and Isabelle over Simon. Although I’ve always loved Alec, but let’s face it. Who doesn’t? It’s always been Hermione, not Ron or Harry.
Only recently, I’ve come to see that, sometimes, yes, I do like boys, as well. Which came as a shock to me, because I’ve been out for close to three years now. But, my friends are the best. And when I told them I wasn’t entirely sure that I was “just” gay, all they said was that labels suck anyways and that they find them quite annoying and they themselves had struggled with that for quite some time. And I totally agree with that.
I don’t like labels. I think they suck. At least, I haven’t found one that fits. I’m just me. And I’m going to live whoever I’m going to love. And I’m going to be whoever it is that I’m going to be. Already am. And it’s great.
Hardest part of me was coming out to myself when I was younger. My immediate family could have cared less. One of my sisters response was “well, duh”. Several of my nieces have identified as bi and I think my being out has helped them. I think most people that know me person know I am not straight, but I don’t necessarily constantly come out to people as for the people that are important to me it is a non-issue.
When I was 16 my BFF and I started an intimate journey together really seemed out of nowhere. We weren’t intimate all the way but one afternoon we were making out and I burst into tears saying over and over again ‘I don’t want to be gay OMG I don’t want to be gay’ it was quite the melt down. Very long story short I spent the next 20 years of my life in the closet hating myself when I was with a woman because I couldn’t be honest and out. Then hating myself more being with a man and being miserable inside. Eventually I figured it out and here I am 48 and in love with a wonderful lady. She’s my everything and I’m so glad I finally was brace enough to come out. My baby sister was who I told first and she was fine and herself is bisexual. Who knew. We could never learn to be brave and patient if there was only joy in the world.
I was going to make up this fake encouraging story to help people in the closet see a story where the journey out isnt always painful and hard. But that’s not my truth. It’s time to stop being ashamed of my past and start being honest of my coming out. Or rather lack there of.
I was outed.
I was outed in a large scale, it could seem small to some but it felt like everything I knew was crashing down on me.
I’ve always been told I feel. I’m a feeler. I feel greatly and deeply. Everything goes in my ears and directly to my heart.
My parents always say they’re so proud I came out so young and not many can do such a thing, they deny their part in my “coming out”. I would do anything for love and affection to the point where I let them believe that’s how it went just for their praise. But this isn’t about them. It’s about me.
My story starts at 12 years old, in 7th grade at a new school. I had sunk so far into myself I’d pushed all my friends away because I thought this world didnt want me. I acted on those thoughts and tried to escape to no avail.
I spent a lot of time at home, watching shows and reading books because relating to the characters gave me a sense that I wasnt alone. Soon enough I’d stumbled upon a show that I’ll never forget, Wynonna Earp. Through that show I learned that girls could love other girls. I soon pondered if I’d felt those feelings aswell. Scared of my own thoughts I turned to my mother, “mom,” I’d said “I think I like girls. Romantically.”
She said I had time to figure it out.
The next thing I know I’m at my dads house he starts talking to me about what I told my mom, I cried myself to sleep that night, my trust so violated.
Soon all my siblings new, my dads new girlfriend too. I tried talking about it with a girl who I’d been best friends with the year before. Suddenly that popular girls at school knew everything. I was terrified in my deeply homophobic school.
That summer I went to a wedding away for a cousin of mine. We were having fun and talking at the rehearsal dinner out on the patio when my dad brought up the fact that I liked girls. Everyone looked at me as I immediately stood up and sprinted into the bushes, I didnt leave for hours sobbing even when it started pouring rain.
I’ve had more than just those experiences, and a few good ones after when I’d actually got to come out.
But even through all that pain, I came out stronger (no pun intended).
Now almost 3 years later I’m an out and proud lesbian, advocating for our community in the ways that I can. At 14 years old, I’ve planned and attended Queer Proms, Attend a Queer Youth Group, Had my own Billboard with a Queer relationship on it in Time Square, Planned a Queer Youth Trivia Night, started a Gender Sexuality Alliance, brought in a Queer Non Binary Public Speaker to educate my homophobic school how to have common decency, Helped all my friends come out, and so much more. I’m so proud of myself.
Ps. Dom I’m so proud of you!!
This story will include a lot of binary-ness in order to properly convey my thoughts and feelings, since that’s how I saw the world for most of my life.
It was sometime around 7th grade when I began to realize that I liked girls. Of course, there were signs way before then – always wanting to be the “man” when playing house, always using the pronouns “she/her” when making up love songs, constantly removing the clothes from my sister’s Barbie dolls…and this all happened when I was in the single digits. But around 12 years old was when I became curious about other girls in a way that – looking back now – was more than just friendly. I liked boys, they made good friends since I had more in common with them than with other girls, but something about girls was more alluring to me. I had a curiosity for them that was indescribable. Of course, now that I’m an adult, I know exactly how to describe it…GAY AF.
There was this one girl that I found really attractive…we’ll call her Anne, for the sake of anonymity. Anne was in my class in 7th grade, and I found myself looking at her (AKA, checking her out) quite often. In 8th grade, Anne was in the same P.E. class as me. When changing out in the locker rooms, I always chose the locker close to hers. At the time, I thought it was because I just liked that particular locker…NOPE. Turns out it was just because I liked that particular Anne. I would steal glances at her body, which I’m a little embarrassed to admit now because it seems very stalkerish, but if you’re not creepily stalking your crush at 13 years old, are you really even 13 years old? See, I had no idea it was possible to even be attracted to girls like that, because my parents did an excellent job of shielding me from the “gay lifestyle” (nice try, ‘rents). So, I didn’t think anything of it. I just assumed that I was obsessed with her because I wanted to be her, not because I was attracted to her or anything. So I proceeded to carry out the rest of my middle school career with the carefree mindset that I was just like everyone else my age. Ah, the serenity.
Then I went to high school…and 9th grade was a game changer for me. I found out that, plot twist, you actually can be gay! (insert well-known Home Alone Macaulay Culkin picture here)
I started to notice myself paying more attention to (eye humping) girls around me, and I began to question my sexuality. Do I like girls? Am I gay? I like boys too though, right? I mean, I must, because obviously in every single movie and TV show I’ve ever seen, girls like boys…I’m probably bisexual. Yep, that’s it. I’m bisexual. Mystery solved!
…that lasted all of three days after making the dreadful mistake of looking at porn sites with naked men on our home computer while my parents were out of the house. *shudders*
Nope. Definitely not bisexual. I only like girls. 100%.
But then, a thought occurred to me…”can I really say that if I’ve never had a boyfriend before? I don’t think I can…I need a boyfriend!”
A couple months later, after daily bartering and promises to a god that I didn’t believe in that I would do my chores every day in exchange for a boyfriend (as if god somehow cared that my room was kept clean and the dishwasher was emptied regularly), a miracle happened…the very awkward boy in my P.E. class that I had never spoken more than two words to passed me a note that said, verbatim, “I like you. Will you be my girlfriend?” And of course, I said ‘yes’. I was beyond excited…until the next day, when the initial excitement of the thought of having a boyfriend had worn off, and I realized that this guy was my boyfriend. Before, I was only thinking about the label ‘boyfriend’, not about what the job actually entailed. I took one look at him and had this sinking feeling in my stomach that something wasn’t right. I had a boyfriend…not a girlfriend, a boyfriend. I had to hold this guy’s bulky hand, and hang out with him outside of school, and converse with him while he looked at me like I was special, and kiss him. And none of that sounded appealing to me. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last very long. And honestly, I’m not even sure if I can call it a relationship since we never held hands, never kissed, and never spoke outside of that P.E. class. In fact, I barely even spoke to him *during* P.E. class. I avoided that boy like the plague, and the only thing that dictated that we were even together was the fact that I had changed my status on Myspace to “in a relationship”. I mean, I had a better connection with my dog – who was a female, ironically.
It wasn’t until I was 15 and nearing the end of 10th grade that I had finally told one of my friends that I liked girls. She was one of those friends that I was kind of close to, but not super close to. I specifically chose her because I knew she would be okay with it, but just in case she wasn’t, I wouldn’t be super heartbroken about losing her as a friend. I texted her (of course) that there was this girl that I liked – not Anne, someone completely different, because teens move fast – and she was super cool with it!
A couple of months later at band camp, I was eating lunch in the dining hall with the guys on the drum line with me, and an attractive girl from another camp walked by, and one of the guys said, “Whoa, that girl is hot!” The rest of the guys at the table verbally agreed, and I naturally nodded my head in silence. He noticed, and with a surprised look asked me, “You think she’s hot?” I paused, doing the whole internal dialogue of do I lie or do I use this moment to come out? I chose the latter, and nodded my head. With an even more surprised look, he asked, “Are you gay?” I nodded my head again. The guys at the table looked around at each other and basically said, “Oh, cool.” Some were surprised, some were not so surprised, but nobody said anything negative. By the end of band camp, pretty much the entire band knew, and I was out!
After that, I decided to change my newly created Facebook profile to say “interested in women”. I set it to where only my friends at school could see, since they already knew, and it felt really freeing.
…turns out it was set to public, and my mom saw it. This was a couple of months after band camp. It was a September day, and she was driving me home from a lesson I had with my percussion teacher. With a small laugh she asked, “Why does your Facebook profile say that you’re interested in women?” She obviously thought that it was a mistake – and a very amusing one at that – and I did the internal dialogue thing again. Am I ready? Do I take the opportunity and just run with it? There’s never going to be a good time, and everyone at school already knows. Might as well just get it over with now. With a very small voice, I said, “Because I am.” She stopped laughing, and the car got really quiet. The amused smile was wiped from her face, and was replaced by a look of something that resembled a mix of pain, disappointment, and confusion. I had never been more terrified in my entire life than I was in that moment.
You see, I come from a very religious, very conservative family. So, to say that she wasn’t okay with it was an understatement. (Author’s note: What the FUCK was I thinking??)
She was quiet the rest of the ten-minute drive home with a frown plastered on her face, obviously trying to figure out what to say to her ‘confused’ daughter, since she had been completely blindsided. And I just sat there looking ahead at the road, trembling with sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat, realizing that I had just made a terrible mistake. I wanted so badly to go back inside my comfortable little closet, but it was too late. The damage had been done.
When we got home, she forced me to tell my dad. My dad has the same personality as me – witty, unassertive, avoids confrontation, wouldn’t hurt a fly, nerdy. Growing up, my mom was the ‘scary’ parent. I wasn’t afraid of what my dad would say in response, because he’s a very calm man, unlike my mom. Not that she’s a man, but she’s not the chillest cube in the tray if you get what I mean.
But as soon as she said I had to tell him, I began to freak out, because it meant that I would have to come out again. Having to unexpectedly come out like that two times in a span of 15 minutes is a lot for a young 16-year-old. Not only that, but I had never actually said the words “I’m gay” or “I like girls” out loud to someone before. I told my friend through text, I nodded my head at band camp, and the only words I had said to my mom were “because I do.” In order to tell my dad, I was going to have to actually tell him that I was gay, which terrified me more than anything in my entire life. I wasn’t ready for that, and yet I was being forced into doing so.
I walked up to my parents’ bedroom where he was lying in bed reading a book, with my mom following closely behind me. She told him that I had something to tell him, and he got up and just looked at me with confusion. I stood there, frozen, unable to get the words out. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.
“Go ahead, tell him what you told me.” My mom said as she waited impatiently with her arms folded sternly across her chest. I instantly broke down and started crying, and my dad just hugged me. I finally was able to choke out the words “I like girls” through my sobs, and my dad just audibly swallowed in response and proceeded to hug me tighter.
The rest of that day is a bit of a blur, considering that was over 11 years ago, but basically once I had calmed down, my parents told me it wasn’t right. That I was confused, that marriage is between a man and a woman, that two women can’t even have sex together because their “parts don’t fit” (lol…I wish I had drawn them a diagram), blah blah blah. After that, my mom would sit down with me every night and we’d do ‘bible study’ together. This was on top of the Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night church services I had already been forced to attend since I was born. I was never a religious person, and even as a little kid I hated going to church, so you can imagine how awful it was having to read a book I didn’t believe in every single night with my homophobic mother, basically hating myself. This lasted pretty much until I graduated and left for college, two years later.
I never officially came out to my older sister. My parents told her, and she and I never really talked about it because I was too afraid that she would treat me the same way as my mom, but she was respectful. Everyone at school was supportive though. Nobody in my life had a problem with it except for my parents, so I began to gravitate towards my friends and away from my family.
In 12th grade, I had this friend that I was getting really close to. I worked up the courage to tell her that I liked her, and it didn’t go as well as planned. She blocked me on Facebook and never spoke to me again. Whenever she saw me in the hallways at school, she would move to the opposite side and avoid eye contact. That was a bit difficult to get through, seeing as it was the first time I ever told a girl that I liked her. But a few months later I got my first girlfriend, so it was okay. I didn’t need that girl anyways. *holds up ’90s ‘talk to the hand’ gesture* Oh, and I was with my first girlfriend for almost a year and a half (with the first year being long distance), but we weren’t compatible. Honestly, we were both tops, and even more honestly, I would’ve said yes to any girl at that point. But she was cool, and we still talk from time to time. So it’s all good.
When I got to college, I wasn’t shy about my sexual orientation. I got my degree in music education, and the majority of the guys at the music school were gay, so I knew it was a safe space. Nobody had a problem with it, and I was actually pretty popular and had a lot of friends. There were a lot of gay guys, but I was pretty much the only gay female, which made me pretty well-known. So, college life was great! Whenever I would have to go home for breaks, I felt sick to my stomach. I didn’t want to go back to that house. I didn’t want to go back to my parents. I wanted to stay in my safe little world with my supportive friends where I could make my own decisions, be who I truly was without feeling ashamed or embarrassed, and wasn’t forced to go to church. My college was only two hours away from ‘home’, but thankfully it was just far enough that I didn’t have to go back often.
Skip to 2020 (two bad relationships later), and both of my parents are still unsupportive. But at least they don’t say anything when I bring my wife to family get-togethers. They’re polite. My sister LOVES my wife, and we often hang out with my sister and her husband. Even though religion is very important to her, she’s way more open-minded than my parents, and is accepting of my sexuality and recognizes my marriage as one that’s equal to hers. After I came out to my parents, I kind of lost that relationship I had with them. I’m not super close with them, since they never truly made me feel loved and accepted. They supported me in every other aspect of my life, but couldn’t fully embrace who I was, since they don’t believe that my sexuality is real but rather just a sin and a man-made thought put into my head by modern society.
I currently only live 30 minutes away from my parents, but only visit them for special occasions. I don’t have the best relationship with my parents, but honestly, at this age I am 100% okay with that. I don’t rely on them for anything anymore, and I have an amazing wife, wonderful friends who I consider my family, and a supportive sister. I don’t need my parents to accept me in order to feel validated about who I am, and that’s okay.
So, if you’re a young person who is currently in the closet or who has come out and is having an awful experience with it, just know that it truly does get better. I know everyone says that, and it’s probably difficult to believe at this point in your life, but it really is true. I promise.
And if you’re a parent whose kid is struggling with their own gender or sexuality, then my advice to you is to be supportive. Tell them that you love them. And tell them that you support them, even if you don’t. The last thing you want to do is make them feel like who they are is invalid or wrong, because you will lose them. Even if you’re there for them through everything else, if you can’t get on board with something that is an integral part of their very being, then you will lose them.
Thank you for reading my story, and I hope this helps someone out there
First of all i want to thank Dominique for her incredibly inspiring and emotional story. i truly don’t believe i would be where i am today and feel as open as i am today if it wasn’t for her. Confusion is an understatement. To not know who you truly are and how you truly feel because you have to mask your identity to satisfy those around you because you’re different is a pain myself, and many of my queer friends that i’ve made along this journey of realizing who i am, have felt. I have yet to come out to my family and a majority of my friends mainly because, it’s terrifying to me. the thought of it truly scares me. For a long time i even felt envy towards those who were able to be who they were, wearing no mask shielding away their true self. Since then i’ve come out to many few, and you would think the more people you come out to, the easier it gets. but that’s not the truth. at least for me it wasn’t. Many have told me that when the time is right to come out, you will know. I’m still exploring who i am and figuring out exactly what i’m meant to do in this lifetime. All i know is that i love people, not genders. i see past that when i look at someone i am attracted to. and i’m proud that i can say that. Reading your story helped me realize that i’m not the only one who feels this way when it comes to who we are. I’m tired of wearing this mask and one day i will be able to take that mask off and live openly as a queer woman. but until then, i will continue to strive for my best self, by learning new things and meeting new people along the way. It is definitely a relief of some weight of my shoulders to be able to express myself on here without any judgement and for that i am grateful. It’s incredible what you are doing. So, Thank you!!
I don’t know who will see this but,
My name is Josephine and i am queer.
#OutisthenewIn these colors look good on me
I was in a “secret” relationship with my best friend. It started out great, but soon the stress of keeping the secret and not wanting to admit that what we had was “real” started to eat away at me. After a roller coaster of a year, and a full on depressive spiral, we finally ended things for good. After this, I made a point of going out and making new friends and a new me. Though it wasn’t easy, I started to embrace my queerness and eventually felt comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t come out to my family officially until I met my now-wife, though it was more because I never wanted to discuss ANY relationship with them and not out of fear for their reaction. I was lucky enough that once I felt comfortable in myself, I found a supportive community that helped me grow and become queer woman I am today.
I have two different coming out stories. My public coming out was a lot sooner than coming out to family. My public coming out happened in college. At the time I wanted to identify as bisexual. I didn’t want to classify myself fully a lesbian and stuck to the safe choice (in my mind) of labeling myself as bisexual. My thought process was that as long as I also like men then I can find some way to relate to my peers.
That all changed Fall semester 2006 of my freshmen year in college. See the thing about me is that I’m afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I don’t like to put myself out there for fear of being awkward or saying something wrong. So with that in mind. My normal M.O. being to hide, I signed up for a religious retreat. Oh, I forgot to mention I was going to a Catholic university in good ole New Orleans, La.
Anyhoo, I signed up for the retreat and ended up going for a full weekend in October. I didn’t know what to expect. Well, I had my assumptions of being told that my feelings are wrong and that I couldn’t be who I was and that God thinks I’m a sinner. All these negative things.
I’m so glad I was way off. That weekend I went on a journey of love and acceptance of myself. It was so profound to meet strangers and see their love and acceptance of me shining in their eyes.
I remember there was a moment in the retreat where the newbies like myself had to close our eyes and trust fellow peers to guide us and shower us with hugs and dancing. It sounds so wacky but it’s probably the most profound feeling of love from complete strangers. The fact that we had to put trust in strangers and in return got shown unconditional love? That to me was unheard of. But the message was received. I may not be able to see my creator, but know that the person you are and the person that is seen is soooooo loved. It blew me away a but it was in that moment I could let go of my past labels and truly embrace me as who I am.
There were so many other parts in that weekend that solidified how loved I am for just being me. After that weekend I came out. To all my friends. People knew I was a lesbian and they accepted me. Ironically, I became heavily involved in the ministry at my university because I wanted others to feel that love I felt and that they could find someone they could relate to. I met my best friends there and I wouldn’t trade it. It helped me live my truth at least outside my home life.
My coming out to my family was rough. I’m Hispanic and my mom is a single mother that raised three awesome kids. She’s an immigrant and was raised with very strict ideals of marriage and life. Since I was the baby I could do no wrong.
That changed when I came out at 22. I was in graduate school in another state. I had just had my first real heart break and called my mom crying. She thought I was pregnant. Nope. Mama, I’m a lesbian. She was hurt. Hurt because she couldn’t understand why I turned out the way I did. Hurt because that’s not the life she wanted for me. She didn’t talk to me for a week.
But after that she slowly started talking to me. She wouldn’t bring it up and for a long time she couldn’t deal. But I got help from someone. My sister helped her see so many things I couldn’t express.
See my mom is a stubborn woman and set in her ways. But she actually opened her mind for me. She had a very strict mindset and no one could really change her mind about things. But she did for me. She opened her mind. She accepted me. My siblings didn’t care.
But my extended family is a different story. I have aunts that know and aunts and uncles that don’t know that would probably not approve. Most of my cousins know. I’m still navigating coming out to my extended family. I’m not out to everyone and I’m 31.
It’s not easy. It’s not easy to see how people’s faces change when you’re out.
But I won’t hide who I am. In public it’s a bit easier because the people that matter most have my back. I know family will come around if they don’t agree. I’m blessed. I got lucky. It could have been worse.
My faith didn’t suffer because of my sexual orientation. My family loves me (the ones that know). And my friendships and professional relationships are great. My truth is not a weakness. It’s my strength that I’ve learned not to apologize for.
Looking back at my sexual awakening. I always knew I was ‘different’ but didn’t fully understand what meant. I thought at first my feelings towards women had to be wrong because of what happened to me when I was 14 with a trusted female adult. Those feelings were tied to shame. A shame that I am now beginning to deal with and understand. Then of course being bullied about being queer growing up- it forced me want to bury any of those feelings and never let them surface. Then when I finally, sort of started to acknowledge my feelings towards woman; it was with a woman that physically assaulted me- more than once. I always blamed myself and thought if liking a woman means some sort of trauma happens, I don’t want a part of it. So back to hiding I went. It wasn’t until I was 23 when I realized I couldn’t keep hiding this part of me and had to see what it meant. That is when I gathered some courage and asked out my kickboxing instructor. I got shot down but it was because she was already in a relationship. She didn’t let me leave feeling discourage. She introduced me to the queer community. I met so many great people who were welcoming and comfortable with who they are. I had my first healthy female relationship and I knew there was no going back after that. Despite the cruel things that would happen walking down the street holding hands. The pain of hiding my truth was more painful than the pain my traumas had caused.
After awhile of just accepting and exploring this part of myself. I decided to tell my sister, who was overall supportive but thought it was a phase. My Dad asked if I was gay because I was living in a city. Like somehow a city turned me gay? I wasn’t sure how to unpack that question. He also thought it was a phase and I just needed to get it out of my system. When I told my childhood friend about this part of me, she forcibly tried to kiss me. When I denied her, she was like, “see you aren’t attracted to women”. Holy terrifying. I knew that was a completely inaccurate statement to make and that she didn’t understand.
My family and friends had only ever known me to be in relationships with guys. I didn’t know I needed to choose. I knew I was attracted to both sexes. It confused me too. Eventually, I realized that I am attracted to guys and can be with guys but I feel a deeper connection when I am with women. Once I realized that part of me, it was much easier to communicate and accept my sexuality.
Things aren’t always going to make sense or be easy but never let it stop you from your truth. Know that in the what seems like the darkest of times there is always a light, even if you have to look really hard for it.
I was a freshman in high school when I realized that I liked both guys and girls. Most people always say that they always knew. But I didn’t. I found out that you can like the same sex when I was in middle school. The thought of me liking girls never really crossed my mind until the eighth grade. I had never been attracted to any girl at that point, but a little voice inside my head told me to explore that idea. So, I did my research. I took tests online, looking up ‘how do you know if you like girls’, and watched endless youtube videos on the subject. It wasn’t easy but I finally came to terms with my sexuality (thanks to Rose and Rosie for the help!). After I accepted this is who I am I told my best friend first, then my parents, then the rest of my friends. I still struggle with being proud, which is why only my parents know and not the rest of my family. But I’m thankful for such supportive parents and friends as well as the amazing representation on Wynonna Earp. It really helps normalize my feelings and makes me feel like I’m not alone, that there’s not anything wrong with me and that it’s ok to love who I love.
Because after all, love wins.
I’ve been out for a year and a half now and it feels so freeing like I can be myself. All my life everyone ! Has said that I’m into girls and just come out but did feel it yet but at the same time I dated guys but didn’t feel much with them either. At the time I found out I was in a really bad place I had no friends no job and my ex friend stole all my money from my account I was planning on ending my life while my mum and lil sister where at work the next day.The night before I was in YouTube and wayhaught came up and I started watching a few videos fans had made I instantly feel in love with them so the next day I started watching Wynonna Earp and from then I was hocked so Wynonna quite literally saved my life and I have no made it to my 24th birthday that I recently just celebrated on 4th of March and have been out for a year and half now and have been dating a beautiful women for 2 months nearly and I’ve never been happier if it wasn’t for the 2 beautiful souls who play Waverly and Nicole (Dominique and Kat) I wouldn’t be here today. Last year back in November on 29th of September I was fortunate enough to meet Dom and was totally amazing experience being around so many people souls. Unfortunately didn’t get the chance to meet Kat due to work commitments. So I really hope to meet both of them again as well as the rest of the cast to thank them even more !
Growing up, I had these weird attractions towards female leads of a couple of shows. At the time, my 13 year old self thought that maybe I respect them a whole lot and that is the only reason I feel this way. And even though I did respect them, I always knew at the back of my mind that it wasn’t the whole story.
I was fundamentally different from the people around me when I was growing up. My environment was somewhat of a rigid structure. It still is. Where I live, there is only one way to be a girl and one way to be a guy. You wander off from those norms and you’re considered weird and forced to act and put up a face that’s ‘normal’. I was a tomboyish kind of a girl, always into sports and wearing jeans and tees instead of proper lady dresses with makeup and jewellery. And for that reason, I was always made fun of. It did bother me but thankfully I never let it destroy my identity.
When I was around 15, I realized that I had a crush on my best friend. That my attraction to her was more than a friend. And at the same time, I realized that I was not like the girls around me crushing over guys. Because I had been crushing over girls the whole time.
This led to me focussing a little more on what my heart was saying. And with some introspection, I realized that i had been pushing down a huge part of me for very long. And now I had a concrete proof that this was not just a one time thing with a movie character, I had actual feelings for an actual person.
It took some time to understand that my sexuality is an essential part of me that is not meant to be hidden away.
It’s been 5 years since I accepted that I am gay. It is a hard journey since the environment around me is not one that is supportive. But even though I can’t come out and be open with other people, I am still glad that I was able to be open with myself. Because for such a long time, there was no direction in my life and I felt there was something missing. But when I accepted who I was, I truly started on the path of self discovery for the first time.
I am now more open and loving towards myself. I am still trying to practice patience with my journey. But I am happy. I feel complete. And I hope that the people around the world who haven’t given themselves a chance yet to be open with themselves, find a way to peace and happiness. Because it is worth it. Because we are all worth the love.
We deserve to be loved and respected by ourselves and others.
Even as a small child I knew I felt a strong need to be around certain girls and women. From friends to teachers to celebrities, I would always be drawn to a woman. In those days I just thought everyone felt that way. I knew it didn’t feel especially normal cause I never really saw it anywhere, but I just thought I really enjoyed certain people’s company or really wanted to be their best friend.
It wasn’t until I was 15 when I had my first experience with another girl. It was once again a thing where I naively thought we were just incredibly close and best friends. I knew I felt very strongly for her but I didn’t really make it a sexual thing. That is until she kissed me. Finally everything made sense. Experiences I had kissing and being close to boys never felt right. But just a kiss with this girl sent my heart racing. It all made perfect sense.
I didn’t grow up in a house where LGBTQ+ folks were a bad thing. We were just ignorant to the fact that they existed. I knew queer people and I was friends with them, but I know people would not be kind about them behind their back and they were always a salacious topic of gossip in my very small town. I didn’t want to be the odd one out. I was popular, I played sports, boys liked me, so I just kept this part of me to myself. It always helped that the girl I was infatuated with lived 40 minutes away in a different town. So my worlds never needed to collide.
While that aspect of my life was a roller coaster of feelings, I was good at compartmentalising it. I focused really hard on sports and really didn’t let the whispers of me possibly being a lesbian get in the way. I also still dated boys to keep the rumours at bay for the most part.
It wasn’t until I was 19, dating a different girl secretly, that I was sort of pushed out of the closet. My mom was making dinner one night and she out of nowhere asked if I was dating the girl I was always spending time with. All of my instincts told me to lie. Just say no like I always do and move on. But that evening I said yes. My mom without skipping a beat said “honey I’ve known since you were 10. Nothing is going to change. Now do you want spaghetti for dinner” and that was that. Truly the easiest coming out I could have ever imagined. I actually hold a bit of guilt about that because I know it’s so much harder for so many others. I want them to have friends and family who let them be authentically themselves.
While I came out as a teenager, I think now as a 33yr old I’m realising that sexuality is an ever changing thing. I always identified as a lesbian until 4 years ago when I was feeling attraction to men. Last year I dated a non binary person who made me once again reconfigure my orientation. I feel like queer is a great label that I feel comfortable and proud having. I have a beautiful partner and life really is magical despite all the really tough moments.
To coin a popular term, it really does get better.
Love, light and rainbows to you all
Looking back (on my *very* old and *very* cringe-worthy social media) it seems like I should have known that something was up WAY EARLIER. I always felt more drawn to girls -be that in real life or in characters of books and movies- found them to be more interesting, enticing and mysterious. Beautiful. Next to them my brain equated men with dull, boring and uninteresting. Mind you I value men and I am lucky to say I have some incredible guy-friends and always had them throughout my life. I also grew up in a very openminded and accepting family so my inhibitions and repression truly came from ‚society’. Never in my dreams would I have thought that I would be gay! Where would that thought have come from. I just always thought I wasn’t into relationships. (This is what a heteronormative society does to queer folk!) Turns out I am actually interested in love -what a surprise that was. But my period of self-reflection would never have started had it not been for positive representation in the media I consumed. Most notably Carmilla and Emily Andras’ work on Lost Girl (and later Wynonna Earp) played a big role in that. There were more but non as impactful.
So then I knew. Well I suspected. Then debated with myself for a few weeks and THEN finally I knew. Honestly that was the hardest part for me. The coming to terms with myself. Guess there must have been more internalized issues there than I would have thought possible. Then I told my two best friends -old school style- via actual physical letters I sent them. They were great and I knew they would be. Then came what I like to call my ‚closet-Phase’. It wasn’t long but it was hella awkward. I soon told my sisters and then a few days later I blurted our my truth over lunch to my parents. Not the most graceful move but effective. At this point I would have thought there was no possible way for me to be more openly queer. (I’m talking RAINBOWS EVERYWHERE.) Still I continuously came out to more people in my life. Some were surprised some already knew. Some came out to me in turn as well. On the anniversary of coming out to my besties I got a rainbow tattoo on my ankle. Now I wear a rainbow necklace I was gifted that same year and have never taken off since. My earrings, piercings and watch-band are rainbow. Still some people need to be told. I feel like I will never be done ‚Coming Out’ but I am happy and proud to do it. For all the people who can’t yet themselves live their truth.
Aquí vamos, siempre supe que me atraían tanto las mujeres como hombres, es decir si siento algo por una persona no me detengo a pensar en el género, eso sobra, pero igual me percate que tengo tendencia mas hacia las mujeres, que como lo supe? desde que tengo uso de razón incluso en las películas de dibujos animados me atraían mas las mujeres jaja chusco pero cierto, en algún punto de mi adolescencia me dije a mi misma que no quería ocultarme al menos no con mis padres, cuando tenia 15 años decidí dar el paso y hablar con ambos aunque lo hice por separado, gracias al universo por la familia que tengo pues no todo es color de rosa, mis padres me aceptaron y me hicieron saber que no era ninguna enfermedad y que lo que sea que me hiciera feliz, a ellos por ende igual los haría felices, a veces pienso que a pesar de que ya pasaron 15 años desde que me abrí a mi realidad aun mi mamá siente algún tipo de aversión, nunca me lo ha dicho pero tal vez sigue en el camino de la aceptación, mi papá es un sol e incluso tengo la confianza de hablar con el de las chicas, como dije he tenido algún novio hombre pero mi familia sabe que es mas probable que llegue con alguna chica, y como también lo dije no todo fue lindo pues, a pesar de que mis padres me dieron su total apoyo desde el principio, mi hermana con la que he convivido más, al principio me hizo ver una realidad muy cruel llena de humillaciones y de asco por el solo hecho de que a yo no veía la vida de la misma forma en la que ella quería que la viera, eso ya fue, al pasar de los años lo comprendió e incluso es una buena confidente cuando llego a necesitar sus consejos, recién me pregunto un compañero de trabajo que soy? Entonces me quede pensando, es acaso obligatorio que llevemos una tarjeta de presentación indicando si nos gusta una cosa u otra? Porque a pesar de que sé que no tenia ninguna obligación de contestarle incluso me sentí intimidada al punto de pensar si mentiría en mi respuesta solo por seguir siendo parte de una sociedad a veces inclusiva, otras no tanto o depende de la conveniencia según se dé? No esta no soy yo, ya han pasado 15 años como decía, que salí a ser yo misma sin miedos, sigue siendo difícil sin ninguna duda a pesar del tiempo que ha pasado el pensar en la señalización de la gente, pero siempre que algo trata de detenerme sé que tengo a mi familia de mi lado siempre apoyándome y ahora aun mas bendecida, los tengo a ustedes que igual se que de ahora en adelante siempre contaré con esta hermosa comunidad dispuesta a brindar solo amor sin juzgar quien soy o como me veo, entiendo mucho y admiro de sobremanera a Dom porque al abrirse ella comentó la parte de esos miedos de no encajar o ser juzgado, cariño, aquí tienes una legión dispuesta a respaldarte y deberías saber que de la misma forma en que tu nos has llenado de amor, de bondad, de gratitud y demás hermosos sentimientos, nosotros lo haremos de vuelta a ti, eres la persona mas hermosa, valiente llena de convicción y entereza que conozco, ese amor desinteresado que tienes por la vida, por el ecosistema, por nosotros, siempre te será multiplicado, comienza a disfrutar esta hermosa vida que tienes por delante ya sin ataduras, que a pesar de las adversidades, no hay placer más bello que vivir tu vida plena y libre, todos te amamos y siempre vamos a estar aquí para ti y para quien sea que lo necesite con el amor que nos has enseñado a repartir a los demás.
I was always very feminist and had a lot of female role models. I would be very into specific actresses and just chalk it up to wanting to be their friend, or look like them, or love their personality, etc. It never really fell into that “I want to be /with/ them” category. I never thought anything of it. I was on Tumblr and everyone was that way, and no one was gay (at the time, now we’re all LGBTQ+ but that’s neither here nor there) that was doing it so it just seemed pretty “regular”!
I’ve always been pretty introverted and had anxiety, so add those things together you don’t really venture outside of comfort zones too often! I dated a few guys in high school but that was high school and who really knows what they’re doing anyway, right? After some less than ideal “boyfriends” I went into college single and definitely not looking for anything except an education. I made a good group of friends and we went out fairly regularly. My friends were always asking “are you gay? I never see you flirt with anyone.” I’d always said no, not because I was ashamed but because I really didn’t know. It’s a scary thing to dig into yourself and really question things about who you fundamentally are. It’s even scarier to go in and admit that you’re any type of “other”.
I started to really wonder about my sexually my senior year of college. I was nearing the end of my studies and being a psychology major all you really do is introspective work. I was taking a lot of gender/sexuality classes and in writing all these papers and researching all these things I started to really wonder, what if I’m not into men because I’m /not into/ men. Huh, who would have thought! I started watching more tv shows and movies that gay characters (Orphan Black, South of Nowhere, The L Word, etc) and I felt connected to them. I could feel that tingling in the pit of your stomach when 2 women would kiss on screen. I never felt that when I watched straight couples, or when I kissed men. So when I went out to bars with my friends I would be more open to just realizing that women are great and sometimes they flirt with you and you flirt back! And it’s not so scary.
After realizing I was definitely not straight I had been asked out on a date with a woman but I was worried because I hadn’t actually told anyone I was gay. I just, wanted to be. Why do I have to “come out”? Why can’t I just be like “this is my girlfriend” and we all move on. These are the annoyances I still feel. Because even though I’m 29 I come out every time I meet someone new. It’s always different but it’s always coming out. It’s always that moment of fear from when the word “girlfriend” leaves your lips to the moment the person you’re speaking to actually says something that you fear what they will say. No matter how comfortable YOU are with your sexuality you have to make sure those around you are okay with it to. And that blows. Anywho – I could talk about that for years so I’ll move on – I decided to come out to my family on my 22nd birthday because who could be mad at someone on their birthday? I was sitting at the table with my mom and dad and waiting for my sibling to arrive and I was nervous AF. My parents have always supported me in everything I had done and I knew this would probably be the same but that fear is real and it doesn’t matter how nonsensical it is, it’s SCARY. So I blurted out “I think I want to date women”. And then I had to backtrack and tell them that I’ve been thinking about a lot of things and I’m pretty sure I’m gay. They were supportive and by the time my brother showed up for dinner they were already joking about things with me. My dad was encouraging me to ask out a cute bartender and my mom was embarrassed to be at the table with us. Business as usual! I still struggle to really find the “box” that fits me, I like the term Gay because it’s all encompassing. For me Queer has always felt… Not me, and I don’t want to be called Queer, but I know others feel that way about Gay! I don’t quite feel like a lesbian because I do sometimes find men attractive, but bisexual doesn’t really fit either. I’m somewhere on the Kinsey scale and “gay” hits the nail on the head for me. Anywho, that’s me.
I know that my story is definitely on the more rare side of being accepted by family with such ease and I hope that as time goes on the stories like mine get more regular and the ones where parents react badly become the odd ones. I know that’s where we’re headed as a society and I can’t wait to get to that place.
Just remember the most important thing, if your given family doesn’t support you, turn to your chosen family because they will. You always have support whether it’s virtually through places like this or real life framily (thanks, Sophia Bush for the best term, friends/family = Framily!), lean on your people when you need to that’s what we’re meant to do. You are not now, nor will you ever be alone.
Looking back, it should’ve been obvious to me that I was gay since preschool. I had so many little kid crushes but because I had never learned that gay even existed it never even dawned on me that that’s what I was feeling. I just assumed I didn’t get crushes like my friends did. By 6th grade I’d come to the conclusion that I just wasn’t built to feel romantic feelings or attraction of any kind. Then in 7th grade I had a best friend and we were really close. I remember so clearly, after school one day not long after I turned 13, we were working on something on the floor in my bedroom. We were laughing about something and she leaned in to whisper in my ear. In that moment I felt what was like an overwhelming wave of emotion and the thought that immediately popped into my head was that I wanted to kiss her. I didn’t- but in that moment it finally all clicked on my head that it wasn’t that I “wasn’t built to feel attraction or have a sexuality”, I just didn’t feel that way towards -boys-. I wouldn’t come out until 2 years later. Not because I thought my family would react poorly, just that I am a very private person and I did and still do feel extremely vulnerable talking about intimate feelings. When I’m really anxious I can go mute, so I decided to come out I would write “I’m gay” on a notecard and show it to my mom. I did when we were out on a weekly mother-daughter trip. And I’ve been out and proud ever since.
I came out on my private facebook page in October 2018, when I was 25. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever written.
I’d never been fully, openly truthful about who I am. While I had told a few close friends, I hadn’t told anyone else. As scared as I was to do it, it was time. I’m still scared of how it may affect my career (I’m also an actress), but I refuse to live in that fear forever.
I identify as a demisexual-lesbian. I’m not a huge fan of labels, but I use that to help others understand.
I grew up in a conservative family, in a conservative area. I’ve known since I was 11 years old. For many years I was hoping and praying it was a “phase”, repeatedly begging God to please help me; fix me.
It never worked.
I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 12 years old. I developed panic disorder and depression.
In high school, I told a trusted friend. Not long after, what seemed like the entire school knew. I lost friends. I was blackmailed, harassed, bullied, humiliated, and was even physically threatened. My school did nothing. I didn’t want to live anymore.
I’ve grown tired of worrying about who knows and who doesn’t, worrying if people that I didn’t want to know found out. It’s too much to worry about. I know I will lose people that I care about over this, but I can’t change who I am. Like I’ve said, I’ve tried.
I’ve accepted who I am (even if I still don’t always like it.) If you can’t accept me and support me as I am, please respect me and refrain from trying to “change” me or “save” me.
If God be God, and really can do anything, that means that I can be changed. Then why haven’t I been? Maybe it’s because I’m SUPPOSED to be this way. Why? I don’t know. It is what it is; I am who I am.
I would hope that I deserve to love and be loved just as much as anyone else.
To those who stick by me; your support means more than you could ever possibly imagine. 10 years ago I thought no one ever would, so it still surprises and moves me every single time someone does.
I definitely still have more self-discovery to do, but I’m learning to be less afraid. I’ll get there.
Sending all the love and light to my rainbow family.
When I was around 13, I started identifying as a lesbian. I didn’t struggle with it internally. But I did worry about telling others. I don’t know why. I knew my friends would be accepting. But I guess I worried word might get out and school kids can be unkind sometimes about that sort of thing. Thankfully, word never got out. I told my friends one by one, some face to face, some over text and one I told through a game of truth or dare. It made it a little more lighthearted to make it into a game. However, fast forward 10 years and I’ve discovered a lot more about myself in that time. Things have changed. About a year ago I started realising I really don’t want a relationship, with anyone of any gender. I realised I feel really strong platonic love, but that’s really as far as I can go, and it’s as far as I want to go. I worried for ages there was something wrong with me, and I started searching all sorts of things on the internet to try and find an answer. I came across a site that talked about asexuality and aromanticism and I instantly identified with those terms. I don’t feel sexual or romantic attraction, and now that I realise that’s completely fine and I’m not the only one, I feel so content, happy and secure in myself. To tell people I’m asexual and aromantic, I just wrote out a big paragraph in my notes on my phone, screenshot it, and posted it to Twitter. I didn’t want to go through the process of telling everyone over again and having all the questions, which I don’t mind, but I wanted to try and answer everything as best as I could in the note. I had an outpouring of support from everyone and it was a really beautiful moment. I even had other asexuals and/or aromantics getting in touch saying they felt the same way initially, that something was wrong with them. It makes me so sad that a lot of us felt that way. But I’ll always be vocal about my sexuality so others can become aware of it, and hopefully if they’re having those feelings too, then they’ll know they’re not alone.
Thank you for letting me share. Love to everyone x
My name is Athena.
P.s sorry if my English is different, I’m Aussie. #RE-UPLOAD
In the beginning of 2017 I started to realise I had feelings for one of my friends (a girl) and I was very confused by it. Although throughout my childhood I had crushes on girls, and knew I did but thought it was normal and fine, which it was but I was told that it wasn’t. After the same sex marriage approval and vote to be legal started l, my parents began to have conversations at the dinner table on why it’s wrong and that they shouldn’t let it happen. I love my parents with all my heart but it did not help me at all with my journey of figuring out who I am and how I identify. So I shut it out my thoughts and feelings for girls out.
In late 2017 I moved schools.
All day long, I’d have this voice in my head, this haunting voice that wouldn’t leave me alone, “your not gay. You not gay. Your not gay. Your not gay.” On repeat.
I would go home crying and not even realise why. I’d stay home and miss school because I was always upset.
It affected me for a really long time until one day I just shut the negativity out like I had done with my feelings.
In late September 2018 when I was 12 ( I know, very young) I realised while watching a Television show (Atypical) with an lgbtq couple in it, that being gay was ok and normal. That liking the same sex was ok. But I was confused for a long time thinking,” Ok I like girls but I also like boys.” What? Is that even possible? Although I knew that my parents wouldn’t agree. So I didn’t tell anyone for a long time.
In the beginning of 2019
I was sitting around a table with about 6 other friends. And one of our friends randomly said that she thinks she’s lesbian. And this wave of shock and somewhat reliefs just came over me. I didn’t say a word but look at her shocked. No one responded besides one of our other friends at the table. She wasn’t too supportive and said some… well, not nice things.
It was later that day when I realised that I’m not the only one, there are others like me, confused.
I hadn’t known what any of the queer terms meant, LGBTQ Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. I didn’t know anything about it.
Until I decided to text my friend and tell her that i was feeling the same way she was.
She told me that she thinks she’s bisexual and I had no clue whatsoever what she was talking about. So I researched.
For a very long time.
And I decided to label my sexuality as bisexual. A couple months later I told some of my closest friends who I thought would be supportive. Most of them were. And I told my sister who later on told me she’s gay. I wasn’t very surprised
And my sister had told my parents about her being gay.
Although I still wasn’t ready to tell them. I surrounded myself with the people I thought would accept me. Most of them did and were supportive but others, it took a little while for them to accept me.
In my the middle of 2019 I started finding more lgbtq couples and tv shows and became more interested.
And then I found the show that changed my life……
This show had a massive positive impact on me. And I am so grateful and lucky to have such an amazing show with an amazing cast. I found the ship couple Wayhaught and instantly fell in love with Nicole Haught and Waverly Earp. I had massive crushes on the two (Still do)
I watched the full three seasons and became obsessed with the show. Telling some of my friends and family about it. And I got one of my friends hooked on it as well.
I then discovered Dominique Provost-Chalkley’s Start The Wave which changed my life.
The way I saw other people, how I looked at the Earth, becoming more interested in climate change, how I should always no matter what, treat people with kindness, forgive and forget, love each and every person that comes into your life, and live with compassion. My love for animals sky rocketed when I watched a few documentaries recommended by Dominique on her Start The Wave.
She inspires me so much to be the best I can be and live with love.
I later on realised that I don’t really feel the need to put a label on myself other than that I am Queer. I’m a young 13 year old queer girl.
Dominique inspired me to come out to my parents. So thats what I did. And I am out to everyone now.
Dominique YOU gave me the courage to come out. And I couldn’t be more grateful to have someone like you in this world that I can look up to. Your coming out story made me ball my eyes out the whole time I had been reading it. Your amazing!
Thank you for being you!
I am queer
I am out
And I am proud
I know I was a lesbian at age 12. I didn’t come out til I was 26. I grew up in a catholic family and being gay was not ok. I hide my true self for many years because of it. I came out to a close friend one night over drinks while getting ready fir a singing contest. I will be forever grateful to her. She loved me for me and without judgment. My family didn’t handle my coming out well. They are not apart of my life because of who I am. I have been very lucky to have great friends and family of choice who love me. I also live in a city that is very accepting and has a large LGBTQ+ community. I work at a LGBTQ+ safe space coffee house and mentor young queers, loving and supporting them over coffee.
The first time i had a crush on same sex was when i was 6 and i had a huge crush on one of my school teacher. I used to go to washroom in every lecture just to see her teaching in another class and as the years went i had many more crushes and it felt normal cause i did not know that i was meant to fall in love with only a boy. In high school when i was in 6th grade I really like a girl who was 3 years older than me and was a basketball player and i told some of my friends that i liked and one of them questioned that am i a lesbian? The way she asked was as if it was a disease and that really scared me. I live in an orthodox society where being gay is a sin and i still have problems excepting myself. I told my mom that i like girls when i was in 12th std and she told me that I cannot feel this way and i have to stop feeling these feelings. After that incident I don’t talk about these stuff with my mom or any of the family members. I told about this to some of my close friends and only they have been the ones supporting me.
The only thing helped me accept myself is waverly earp character played by Dominique. Her character has taught me a lot about loving myself and accepting myself. #loveislove
I have always been a tomboy and ever since I was in elementary school I had crushes on girls and boys. I was the one who hopelessly fell in love with their best friend… twice. I never felt like it was necessary to “come out” to anyone around me. There was probably rumors and gossip around school but no one ever had the nerve to say something to my face and when my family finally put two and two together there was no discussion, just acceptance. And for that I consider myself lucky. I am glad to be a part of a community that loves so intensely and I’m happy to apart of the generation that is paving the way for younger people to live and love freely.
Despite considering myself objectively rainbow adjacent, I’ve never officially “come out”. My journey to wear I am now, and how I understand my sexuality has been challenging.
When I was in secondary school, a lot of my friends use to tease me that I had little interest in dating. At the time, I understood that I didn’t like the idea of kissing a boy, but not that I’d prefer to do it with a girl. I continued to argue my point that “boys are gross”, which eventually lead to a lot of my friends questioning my stubbornness on the topic.
Being gay was first mentioned to me by a teacher, who over heard one of my friends arguing that I must be lying about not fancying any boys in our class.
“Maybe she backs for the otherside!”
I imagine I would have felt a lot worse at the time, if I understood the joke he had just made, but I joined in with my classmates laughter.
From that point on I faced daily homophobic jokes and name calling, as I fiercely denied all of it. I had built up such a wall to protect myself, I couldn’t even stand the idea to question wether I might actually be gay.
It wasnt until I was in college, that I felt comfortable and safe enough to explore how I was feeling. When I was 18, I dated a girl for the first time and realised just how spectacularly lesbi-tastic I am.
I’ve never come out and told the world I’m gay, but it’s not something I hide behind walls anymore, either. I’m happy, and proud of who I am today <3
I developed my first ever crush on a girl October of 2019, in my second year of high school. I’ve only ever had one crush before, and it was on a boy. Liking this girl scared me more than anything else I have ever known, and I still like her. I didn’t really know what to do, but I eventually told a friend who it was and I felt better. What’s weird is that I ran away before I could see a reaction. I guess I thought she would be disgusted. But she wasn’t. I then told my best friend because I felt like it was eating me up inside that she didn’t know. We were hanging out and she was talking about this boy she liked and the whole time I was thinking it’s now or never. I told her I like someone, and of course she wanted to know because I never like anyone. I almost started crying trying to tell her, hoping it wouldn’t change anything between us. I finally told her the name of the girl and she just smiled. She wasn’t mad. I was terrified. But she was okay. And I am okay. I told another friend a few weeks later. I was insanely nervous about this one because I honestly felt like she would become immediately uncomfortable. I was with the first friend I told and I kept avoiding it. But I did it.
Last week however, I decided to tell my sister. This TERRIFIED me. My sister is not at all homophobic but I felt like I couldn’t breathe just by thinking about telling her. She kept asking who I like, and I finally said it. It was weird. It still kind of is. She doesn’t treat me different or anything, I just thought we would talk about it a bit more. But it’s okay.
And that’s it. I am out as a bisexual to the 4 people closest to me.
I became aware mostly thanks to a very open minded friend while we were in middle school, she had an account in Tumblr and she recommended the app to me, while she was teaching me how to use it she told me “here we all are anonymous and you can even delete your search history” and this gave me my first step to look for the queer community because I wasn’t being monitored by my parents and there I realized so many people were happy with having different sexualities and I came to realize I liked girls as I liked boys and it broke me at first ‘cus I was already bullied so I didn’t want to add a stone to it, so I mostly just buried it and only made some side comments to the same friend who introduced me to Tumblr, on my last year of middle school this friend asked me if I didn’t have a crush in one of our girl friends and I denied it completely and went home but that comment bugged me a lot so I kind of did a little of soul searching at the tender age of 14 and accepted that I liked this girl and basically cried on the phone while talking with my friend about it and she helped me out to a stand point were even if I didn’t want to make it public I accepted that I was different.
That lasted about 3 months because a guy who mocked me found out by eavesdropping my conversation and he kicked me out of the closet to my whole generation and it felt like the end of the world! I haven’t even come out to my mom and my whole school already knew! Thankfully, no one cared and the ones who cared didn’t have a problem with it and they help me control the panic and the kid was expelled of the school.
After it came high school, I started it being more comfortable with being bisexual and I found this little web series called “Carmilla” which help me see such amazing characters being so casual about their likes that I started to get a little of confidence, then I was recommended this weird series called “Wynnona Earp” and well, the rest is history, I came out to my mom by accident and she had a little melt down for a few weeks but it ended well, she has even come with me to the Pride Parade this last few years, my dad was chill and was just glad I figured out early so I could be happy and my mom told everyone in my family by being overly enthusiastic, at the end I’m just glad I have the support of my family and friends and now I’m 19, ready to face the world one step at a time 😀
I knew I was attracted to the same sex since my early teens, I am 32 very soon my sister has ways known and she is so supportive and amazing about it, I came out to my close friends a few years ago, but recently came out to my co-workers and my other friends, I was in a long-term relationship with a guy and I have now ready to explore new horizons and enjoy my sexuality, I have recently joined the local LGBTQ community and I happy that I have new friends from this too. I am happy and feel like I can be myself and I feel like weight has been lifted off my shoulders now I’m out, everyone took it all very well and is very accepting of my being part of the LGBTQ community. Moving on and being accepted into the LGBTQ community and making new friends has made me a happier person and a new lease of life and opened doors for me I thought I wouldn’t have thought I would never had opened. I am super proud of myself being part of this new community I am now a part of.
And to quote Dom:
Out is the new IN
So proud of you Dominique
Sending my love
Your personal journey to finding yourself¬–whether you’re queer or not¬–is a universal thing we all experience. As unique and individual those journeys may be, the feelings and emotions are something we all share, and I find that to be so beautiful!
Love is love, hurt is hurt, heavy is heavy, hard is hard, joy is joy. Remember we all experience these things together and no one should judge anyone’s story and compete over struggles, but rather find connections and how much we all share as people. Let’s all continue to grow, love and support each other and continue this wave of self-love and discovery!
So that said, I would love to share my experience publicly for the first time, in the hopes it helps someone else find their truth. <3
I’m Kaleen and I identify as lesbian, queer and gay. I am 28 years old and I’m an art director and actress in San Francisco. For me, and I’m sure many of you, finding myself and accepting myself are two very different things and came at very different times in my life. Next week, I proudly celebrate my 4 year wedding anniversary with my amazing wife (we’ve been together for over 8 years) so my story has a very happy ending! But it definitely didn’t start that way.
For most of my life, I did not realize I was gay. I didn’t even consider it as an option. I grew up in a religious household with a mother who I believe after years of therapy to have Borderline personality disorder (BPD). It was not a healthy or emotionally safe environment for me. I truly believed that I was just an amazing Christian who was waiting till marriage (for you know)… but waiting was super easy for me because I had ZERO desire to be intimate with a man. Even when I had boyfriends and would kiss them, I would find myself counting down the seconds till it was over. I truly thought everyone felt this way and it was something I would learn to like and we all just have to get over that hurdle of disgust. I would see my friends falling head over heels for their boyfriends and wonder how they got over that hurdle, and think I’ll get there soon too… that day didn’t come for me.
Knowing myself now and looking back, there were so many “clues” that I was gay, but it still did not cross my mind. I remember watching the show House and there was an episode when Olivia Wilde’s character, Thirteen, came out as bisexual. The scene where she kissed another woman, I remember rewinding and watching it a few times. This was one of the first times I’d seen this on T.V. and it was the start of my eyes opening into what is possible. This is why representation is SO important!
Fast forward to college. This is when my life flipped on its head! I found myself in a relationship with a man and we got engaged (for his privacy, I will call him John). He was a wonderful human, and I truly thought I was “in” love. I did love him, but just not the way he deserved to be loved, and not the way I deserved to experience it. At this time, I also built a wonderful friendship with a girl and we became best friends. When I got engaged to John, something in me snapped because my mind knew that eventually I will have to have sex with this person. This tossed me into a deep depression and in doing so, also opened my eyes to a past I had bolted shut. I realized all in one moment, that I was gay, in love with my best friend, and I also had PTSD with memories of being sexually abused by a family member for half my childhood flooding my mind, all while going to school full time and holding a job to pay rent. It was a lot to discover all at one time and I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. The only person I felt comfortable sharing all these pieces of myself with was my best friend Kay. Little by little I had to confront and try to accept all these things happening in my life.
At this time, I asked John to give me space. He understood that I was having trouble with my PTSD and needed to distance myself from him. We were fully separated for over 3 months with no communication as I worked to find myself again and heal from my past.
Kay was patient and helped me heal, and through all this we became unbelievably close. At this time, she was not out as gay either. Funny enough, we did not even realize that our relationship was different than other girl/girl relationships because it felt so natural to the point we didn’t stop and ask ourselves if this was “normal”. Needless to say, we figured it out together. At this point, I still wasn’t sure if I was going to allow myself to live an authentic life because I knew in doing this, I would lose family. Before I said yes or no, I gave myself one day to openly (in the privacy of my home) love Kay and acknowledge how we felt for one another. We spent the day just holding each other, laughing, and enjoying how we felt. As the clock drew near to midnight, our hearts began to sink as we knew we only had this moment. To this day, I can’t watch All Dogs Go To Heaven because that was on in the background. We shared one last amazing kiss and then walked into separate rooms. Oh, did I not mention we were also roommates! Yeah… that made things even harder!
Days turned into weeks of me pretending like I could live without her, till I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided I would let myself be gay if, and only if, my sister could be ok with it. Lucky for me, she was open to trying to understand. It was at this point I officially ended my engagement with John. I returned the ring and we had a wonderful moment of thanking each other for all the good times and wished nothing but happiness and healing to one another. A few months after this, I began my first true relationship with Kay.
I came out to my family and my father and stepmom were amazingly supportive and even helped pay for my therapy during all this, but my mother would not accept my truth. She said to me “I would rather you be unhappy in this lifetime, but forever happy in the kingdom of god” and asked me to deny myself love and live alone. I gave myself the best gift I could and will ever give and decided to fully embrace my love for Kay regardless of what this person thought. It was hard, it’s still hard to think about, but it’s what was best for me. Years later when we became engaged, my mom officially removed herself from my life and we haven’t seen or spoken since.
Like I said in the beginning of the story, Kay and I have now been together for over 8 years and we are about to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary on April 2nd. She is my absolute best friend and I don’t have words for how much I love her. She is the first time I have experienced unconditional love, and I value her with everything I am. Deciding to accept myself and live an openly gay life is the best decision I’ve made for myself and it’s a privilege I will never take for granted.
I wish everyone who reads this love and acceptance within themselves. You are love, you are here and you stay. Xoxo