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Community Rainbow Waves

I never thought about liking girls as more than friends until I saw it represented on TV a few years back (my first ship was calzona) and I thought “oH so that’s why I think SO MUCH about girls and what it would be like to hold their hands and kiss them” (I know, should’ve seen it coming).
A few months later I got enough courage to come out as a lesbian to my best friend at the time who was SO supportive. I slowly started coming out to my step-brother and my dad, both of whom took it well and were so supportive. I wrote my mom a letter, and though she seemed okay with it, she later told me not to tell anyone and offered to get me a therapist if I wanted to talk about it. To this day, four years later, we still haven’t talked about it again. Since then, we have not had such a good relationship, mostly because I was already so afraid of disappointing her and not being the daughter she wanted, which I am not, as I have been told by her and, as much as it hurts, I still try to have a good relationship with her, because she is my mother.

I barely had to “come out” after that, it was mostly people already noticing I was into girls or me just casually talking about how cute a girl was, and, luckily, I have never had any bad reaction, except for one of my “friends” who was really weirded out and frequently made me feel like the “odd one out”.
In the past year I have had to “come out” again though, since I no longer identify as a lesbian, I do not feel comfortable with any label right now and that’s okay. I do not need a label.

My journey started young, but took quite a while to get where I am now.

I was 8 years old when I had my first indication. Now at the time I had no idea what it meant. I was on a little league softball team with all girls. There was this one girl whom I absolutely adored. She was older than me and took to me like a younger sister. I loved all the attention. I didn’t really understand at the time, but I remember the feeling. I wanted her to hang out with me, hug me, play with me, and no one else. I would get insanely jealous and do crazier and crazier things just to get and keep her attention. Because when it was on me, I was so happy and warm, and felt like the most special person in the world. At the time, and years looking back, I believed this just to be normal. I just really wanted to be her friend. After that season we drifted, she was older after all and moved on to middle school and I stayed in elementary.

Then when it was my turn to move to middle school, I got a new neighbor. She was exactly my age, only three months younger, so we would both be going to school together. I hated her at first, honestly I’m not sure why, she did nothing. But that hate eventually turned to a strong, strong like. And, since she lived right next door and we were in the same grade, naturally we did everything together. We basically lived at each other’s houses. We were completely inseparable and spent every waking moment together. We became close. We used to cuddle and hold hands, kiss each other on the cheek, hold each other as we cried. Without knowing it, she had become my everything. I didn’t realize most of the things we did were not just friendly things. Not until I turned 12 and came across a show called South of Nowhere. It featured two female leads who fell in love with one another. It was like something clicked inside me, and a piece of me was revealed. I didn’t admit it to myself, but deep down I knew.

With being so young I turned to my mom. I explained everything to her, and I remember she was polite but didn’t understand. She asked me why I felt this way, why that show, with the girl couple, made me think I was that way. I told her it was easy.

Now being young I couldn’t articulate that I didn’t really mean easy; I meant that everything had just fallen into place. I remember she told me it was just a show, scripted, and that life was never that easy, and that if I was into girls it would only make it harder.

I turned to my best friend next. Told her of what I’d discovered and how I felt. She seemed shocked but curious. We stayed close for a few weeks until one day she kissed me. I had read in books how your heart accelerates and you breath catches in you throat. I had thought that was just fiction, but in that moment I felt everything. It felt like fireworks and everything everyone had always said. But then she pulled back, told me that it was a mistake, and ran off.

I didn’t see her for weeks. I was completely heart broken. I tried to talk to her, to get her to even just look at me in class or on the bus, but she didn’t. Finally she came to me with an ultimatum. She was straight and could not be friends with me if I felt the way I did, if I was the way I was. So I told her I made a mistake, that I wasn’t any different from her. I just got caught up in the show, thought it was cool. We stayed friends after that but not nearly as close. And we drifted away in high school.

I had pushed that revelation so far down in my mind that I didn’t think about it. I still had feelings of course. I would see a pretty girl and get this urge to talk to her, to make her like me and be friends. But I always told myself it was just because I wanted a new best friend. Or i wanted to be like her, look like her, that’s why I found her so pretty, so interesting.

I faked crushes on boys and had fake boyfriends. But we never went further than making out and even then it was gross and uncomfortable. But I thought that’s just how it was.

Then finally I went off to college. I discovered this YouTube channel on a fluke, of two women happily married. I watched every single video on that channel. I took “am i gay quizzes” and did so much research you’d think I had a paper to write. Finally after years and years of pushing down who I really was, I decided to try accepting it. All of my research led me to realize what I was feeling wasn’t bad or abnormal. Others were out there with the same experiences. So I started to accept it.

A year later I officially came out to my mom. It took me almost 10 minutes just to utter the words. “Lesbian” stuck in my throat like a brick. I’d never said it aloud before. I cried so hard after just saying it, it was so freeing and felt so good. My mom was pretty accepting which I was thankful for.

I came out to my new best friend who said she really wasn’t surprised and was extremely proud of me.

Next was my dad, he wasn’t as accepting, didn’t understand. But eventually he came around. A few years after I told him he amended one of his statements about my future husband to maybe future wife and I cried.

My sister was a bit funnier. I told her at lunch and she did a spit take. Told me she should have known by my giant pause beforehand. But she had gay friends and was very supportive also.

I was so incredibly lucky that my family was supportive. I was so lucky that they still loved me and accepted me for who I was.

I still have days where everything seems impossible. Where I’m so frustrated at the world for not accepting my community or being cruel to them. But then I have days where I see happiness and love. Where I remember how far we’ve come, how far I’ve come, and I’m so incredibly proud.

Now, at 23, I’ve just come to realized that maybe I’m not so monogamous. That made the term polyamorous also suits me quite well.

I haven’t said this part aloud yet, or told anyone. So if you’re reading this, surprise, it’s my second coming out. I just might be a polyamorous lesbian.

Either way, I’m so glad to be apart of this community. And although I may not have it all figured out, that’s alright. We are constantly evolving and changing.

And I know that either way, whatever happens or whatever way I choose to identify: everything will be okay.

 

The sovereignty I inadvertently created for myself that held me back for so long.
Trigger warnings: physical and emotional abuse, suicidal thoughts.
If you’ll catch this tumultuous wave with me, we’ll ride this journey of love, growth, and happiness together.
Note: All humans are extraordinarily amazing and your sexuality is valid. This is simply my story, my experiences/preferences, and my growth.
Growing up in a Roman Catholic household had me seeing church twice a week due to the private school I attended. Button up shirts, plaid skirts, and rosaries in hand. I knew nothing of the LGBTQ+ community nor did I think it was possible to love someone of the same gender.
It wasn’t until I went to a public high school where everything changed for me. I remember this so vividly: I was sitting in the quad with friends and across the way, I saw two beautiful women being intimate with each other. I asked my friends what they were doing and they looked at me so sympathetically. “They’re together,” my friends said.

And that sparked a fire within me; I felt like I might be…different. Back then, there was hardly any positive representation of queer relationships in the media. So I grabbed at anything I could find. I couldn’t turn to my parents because they wanted a “happy life” for me which meant a husband, a career, and kids birthed from me and my future male spouse.
I struggled for the next 4 years. And though I made friends in the LGBTQ+ community, I still felt I couldn’t have the same love they had because ingrained within me (through religion and my parents) was that a happy life was with a man.

I had a boyfriend. It was the worst.
I had a girlfriend. It was the best.
That was when I knew. I was lesbian. I couldn’t fight it, as much as I tried to for the next 8 years.
Then I was outted.
The part of me I was still figuring out was unwillingly thrust into the hands of my parents. They were heartbroken. They didn’t know how to handle the news because they were like me: they didn’t know anything either. They didn’t understand that I was still their daughter, a human being capable of so many things in life. Except, maybe love. At least, that’s what it felt like. My mom would come to my room every night since the news and ask me if I was going to marry a man, if this was a phase. My dad stopped talking to me altogether.
So I ran away at 18. Still a baby. Still figuring out who she is.
It was hard to leave everything that I had ever known — a family who loved and cared for me despite their own struggles. I was grateful but I couldn’t watch the pain flash across my mom’s heart and the disappointment surface on my dad’s face. So I left.
I moved in with my girlfriend at the time. It was a struggle. I was fresh out of high school and still going to college. We couch-surfed for awhile. We were completely homeless for a couple weeks until we had enough money to get a place of our own.
Just when I started to feel comfortable, things actually turned for the worst.

After moving out, my uncle met with me and proceeded to tell me I was the “devil’s spawn and I would never be granted access into heaven” in front of a Coffee Bean. I haven’t been to a Coffee Bean since then. And then, all my close friends moved away from my hometown.
I lost my family, lost direct contact with my friends, gave up on the faith I had grown up with my whole life, and was still figuring out if being a lesbian was even okay.

Then she hit me.
In her drunken stupor her mind would cloud. Her hands would meet my face in fists instead of the gentle, soft palms I once knew. Her nails scratched at my cheeks and the back of my throat instead of down my spine in ecstasy. Her legs met my stomach instead of intertwining them with my own. Her fingers pulled at my hair instead of softly running them through tangles. Her body propelled into mine to push me onto the pavement, into the bathtub, onto the floor instead of embracing me with warmth. Her eyes, wild with rage instead of the love I once saw.
I thought about just giving up. I felt as if I had no one to turn to, no one to help me out. I tried twice, she caught me every time and wouldn’t let me escape. Unknowingly, I’m grateful she didn’t let me because I wouldn’t be who I am today.
But I didn’t know any better when I was with her. I didn’t know that this wasn’t the love I deserved. She was the only love I knew at the time. She accepted me when no one else did. So I stayed but I can still feel the remnants of her every action.
It took me two years to finally have the courage to leave; to finally realize that this wasn’t right. Luckily, my parents came around and they accepted me back into their home with open arms. It was still a struggle with them but it was also two years too late. The damage was done.

I was 21 when I met my next girlfriend. And she was amazing, completely opposite of HER. Because she was there for me when my wonderful grandfather passed away. She was there for me, period.
Or so I thought.
See, abuse can take many forms and all I had ever known was the physical manifestation of it. I didn’t see that it could take a mental and emotional form as well.
Within the 3 years that I was in this relationship, I continued to lose my way. I was limited in how I acted, in what I could take interest in and in my hobbies.
Book-binding was a “waste of time.”

Hanging out with family and friends couldn’t be done “without me.”

Following and shipping new queer relationships in the media was “weird and you should stop.”
And I stopped. I wanted to keep this love because it wasn’t physically negative.
So I changed myself once again.
Unaware, I built my own sovereignty. A force within myself to govern my actions, words, my own identity. It grew and grew until I couldn’t control it anymore.

When I was accepted into nursing school at 24, she raged at me. Jealous of my successes and treated me like a verbal punching bag instead of a human being. We broke up. I was torn. Less than a month later, I found out she was cheating on me. She was too scared to break my heart to tell me there was someone else and instead used my own success against me, making me feel like getting into nursing school wasn’t a feat of its own.
I was 25 when I realized: I deserve a wholesome and pure love. When I knew that the sovereignty I built needed to be dismantled. But it had to start somewhere.

So I started with myself.
I began to finally accept that being lesbian was just as valid as being straight.
It helped when more positive LGBTQ+ relationships surfaced in the media. It helped when my mom told me that she wanted to come to Pride with me wearing a “I’m proud of my gay daughter” shirt and when she said I could “always visit them with my wife.” It helped when I got my family back. It helped when I got my best friends back. It helped when I opened up about my journey to my clinical group and finally admitted to my mom the abuse I went through.
It helped when I discovered a community capable of unconditional love and acceptance.
I’m 26 now and I’m still growing. I’ve come to realize every feeling is valid, every human is valid. Everyone is capable and deserving of an entirely pure and healthy love. I chose to fight against everything I experienced.
I choose myself. I choose love.
Ea: a Hawaiian phrase meaning a sovereignty where no one, absolutely no one can hold you back.
(inhale, exhale)
I am a lesbian.
I am a human being.
I am here and I stay;

Growing up I always felt different.

This different-ness kept me from having authentic and deep relationships for most of my adolescent and young adult life, before I was even aware of what my “difference” was. I was never fully myself – I had a deep seeded anxiety that I was going to somehow let everyone know this thing that I didn’t even know about myself yet.

When I was 16 I had my first real kiss. I say real because I had kissed a handful of guys and felt a gut-wrenching anxiety before during and after each time. I remember wondering if that’s what the feeling all my friends talked about loving – so why didn’t I love it?

Well my first kiss at 16 told me why. I magically made a new best friend. She somehow rose in the rankings effortlessly in the 3 short weeks that I had known her, getting that coveted “best friend” position. Thinking back on the whole thing makes me smile because as horrifying as it was back then, it’s kinda cute to think about little gay me and how obvious it all was.

At this point I was having fleeting moments of feelings when our hands would touch, or she would lay her head on my shoulder, or she seemed to seek me out the same way I sought her out. These fleeting moments manifested as one of those jolts you get right after you’ve done something embarrassing, or you are carrying a laundry basket down a flight of stairs and think there’s one more stair beneath you but your foot hits the ground too quick. That split-second “oh f***” moment followed by that FULL body halo of heat that disappears just as quickly as it came.

Despite all the signs that were there – I continued to lie to myself and think that these touchy moments and our obsessive need to talk and be around one another and the phone bills from the literal 17,000 texts a month we sent (sorry dad… Also, did I even sleep? ALSO, yes it was long ago enough that you had to pay for texts past a certain amount. I’m showing my age – I digress.) were just the signs of best friendship. So one night she slept over. And as bffs do, we obviously went to bed forehead to forehead holding hands between us because that is just what best friends do, right? Anyway… I could feel her breath on my lips (remember… i was STILL lying to my conscious brain even at this point) and I think my heart rate spiking to the level it did made me actually black out because all of the sudden I opened my eyes and I WAS KISSING HER! I came to just after I had casually kissed my best friend and squeaked out a GOODNIGHT! and rolled over.

I didn’t sleep a M-Fing wink that night. I stared at the wall with my heart in my throat wondering WHY I JUST RUINED MY NEW BEST FRIENDSHIP. Turns out I didn’t. She kissed me the following night and thus ensued a secret 4 year love affair. Yes, I said it… 4 years.

We stayed in the closet together for those four years until I met my first gay friend in college. Coming out to even one person in my life started to make that closet my secret gf and I were in feel really claustrophobic. Eventually we parted ways and I came out to everyone I knew within the next few months. I count my blessings everyday that my coming out was easy for me because I know not everyone experiences it this way. But coming out strengthened my relationship with every single person in my life because the parts of me that no one ever touched were no longer untouchable. I stopped filtering myself (which is also a little detrimental at times) but all of my bonds became stronger because I was letting everyone love me for all of me. All the parts of me.

My story is longer than that but I’ll get off my soap-box for now.

Also to everyone terrified out there – find your one person. Even if you aren’t ready to tell the world and even if it’s a stranger online. Tell your person because even being your true self to just one person can make a huge difference. That being said – it’s okay to not be ready. When you are ready though… you’ve got an army waiting for you.

-Mo

My coming out story isn’t it the happiest, but it’s mine and it’s real. I was raised very conservatively and extremely invested in the church. My father was a pastor and so was my grandfather, my father side of the family were strict Christians for many generations. My mother was born into a wild family, she became a born again Christian after meeting my father. My family almost never spoke about homosexuality and when they did it was usually about how my gay uncle died of aids or my cousin was killed for being gay. At a very young age I had it sewed into me that being gay was a bad thing and resulted in terrible consequences. This affected my ability to understand my feelings when I fell in love with my best friend which made it all that much more confusing. After a good amount of denial and self hate, I was able to find peace and comfort in the stories of other people going through what I was going through. I eventually told my sister and then my mom, they didn’t approve and that made it hard for me to love myself, I was sent to missionary school and after being told I had to choose God or homosexuality I was torn, how do I choose? Between what I’ve been raised to believe, and a part of me that I can’t control. It took time but I chose to love myself after all that’s the second most important commandment in the good book, ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself’. how can I love others well if I don’t love myself? My life is still complicated and my mother still doesn’t approve. I’ve chosen to love her despite our differences in opinion, and it’s made my life richer loving people despite there opinions of me. I’m strong because I’m not alone in my challenge and I believe love is to important to hide from, both for ourselves and the people we love.

I knew I was queer when I was 20. I fell pretty hard for this girl in a summer program I was in while in undergrad but I didn’t let myself admit it for a long time. I came out to myself at 23. For me when I finally let myself admit that I was queer there was this moment where I looked back at my previous relationships and realized all those girls I wanted to be “super best friends” with were crushes. I could admit why I was always seeking out TV shows and movies and anything I could get my hands on that had queer representation in it. A few weeks later I called my friends and came out to them. I told them I was bi but as I’ve come to understand myself more I feel like queer or gay fits better. My friends have been supportive and wonderful. I haven’t been able to come out to my parents yet, but will at some point. They are fairly conservative and right now they are still responsible for much of my financial stability while I’m in graduate school. I’m 26 now and gender stuff has been coming up for me recently. I don’t really know what it is or how I identify gender wise all the time but I’m okay with that. I don’t need to nail it down or put a label on it. I still deal with a lot of shame and internalized homophobia that I don’t always know how to process but I’m working on being proud of who I am. It’s a lot of work and will probably be something I will always have to work on. In the meantime I’m becoming more comfortable with my gender expression and have created a space I can be myself with friends.

I realized I was into girls about three years ago, I was fifteen at the time and I didn’t really understand. With that being said I did the most dreadful thing ever I fell in love with my best friend. She didn’t understand why nor did she feel the same way and this really crushed me. I didn’t tell anyone other than her about my feelings I didn’t even tell her I thought I was into girls. She simply told me it was a faze and I even convinced myself that all it was, simply a faze. Months had passed and my friends would talk about how they thought being gay was wrong. This only made me push those same sex feelings even further down. Here I am three years later, eighteen and I know I like girls 100%. I am too scared to come out and I don’t know what to do. I know my family wouldn’t accept it. Please help me.

I’ve always known I liked girls but I never knew it was a “thing”! Growing up I never had contact to anyone gay until one day in middle school and upper classmen came out. She didn’t care and she told everyone!

She was someone I looked up to in sports and when she came out I thought it was cool! At this point I’ve never put any though into my own feelings! Honestly boys annoyed me I think since I was born haha but I never thought anything of it! I questioned myself and until I was a senior in high school I finally started trying to put things together. when one of my good friends came out to me and I to her! It felt amazing to say I felt something for girls! But little did I know that was the beginning of all the struggles of trying to find and ACCEPT MYSELF!
I went off to college lost not knowing who I was or who I should be! I struggle with the thought of what would my mom say! I struggled so much a becalmed depressed for a couple of years! Those years were awful but those years have got me to where I am now!
I had met someone (a beautiful girl) who made me so happy I didn’t care what anyone thought! I came out to my mom and she didn’t take it to well. Good thing I was on my own in college so the long months of my mom calling me crying or not even talking to me because she thought she had failed as a mother. It was hard because my mom is my world but if she couldn’t accept me then I would live on happy living my truth with my girlfriend.
My mom came around thanks to my awesome stepdad and she loved my girlfriend just as much as I did.

Though that relations didn’t last for long but I was out and I’m proud of who I am.
I still struggle with political officials saying that how I feel is wrong! being that my state doesn’t really like people like me and has made it where they can discriminate against me at work if they choose to. It’s hard but what keeps me going is that I know who I am and I live my truth the best I can!
Peace, love, and happiness ❤

I was in 6th grade when I first realized that I really like girls more than I should. I first told my childhood friend and she was okay with it then some of my other friends when I was in 7th and 8th then I told my brother and he was happy that I’m happy and he’s the only one in my family that knows and accepts me, I’m super scared of coming out to everyone else and I hope one day I’ll be happy. Thanks for letting me tell my story for now at least, I hope that one day everyone will find they’re happiness myself included. 🥰

As a queer woman, I have many coming out stories. The fumbling time I came out to my parents in a pharmacy parking lot, the time I drunkenly sobbed it to my best friend at a bar while an 80s cover band performed Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me” in the background, the multiple times I came out to myself.

I first realized I might not be totally straight when I was in college. Sure, I had been attracted to other girls before, but I marked it up to general admiration. Everyone had thoughts like this, right? It was during my junior year in 2009 that I noticed a girl waiting in the corridor for our class to begin. There was nothing ordinarily special about her, but the way she carried herself captivated me. So, I kept an eye out for that girl, thinking maybe I wanted to be friends with her. She was sporting a baseball cap with the horrible baseball team I cheer for. That’s enough to want to be friends, right? The semesters changed and I didn’t give much thought to the mysterious girl whom I never ended up talking to; though I continued to work my part-time job at a queer owned deli, telling myself I was just an enthusiastic ally.

As fate would have it, who walked into my senior thesis course the following semester? Why, none other than baseball cap girl! Since there were only six of us in the class, we all got familiar, and for the sake of anonymity, let’s name her Kate. Kate and I became fast friends and the need to be near her became too much to ignore. It was like my true self was festering under the surface, but all the years of my small town, conservative upbringing made me scared of what the outcome would be if I let this part of myself out.

In coming to terms with my sexuality, I did what I always do when I don’t know an answer: RESEARCH. I scoured the internet for any helpful articles, I even got books from the library on human sexuality. I searched for representation in the media to little avail. I wanted to find stories like these, from real people who knew the struggle of accepting yourself. I was lost and confused but finally said the words “I’m gay” to myself, out loud.

Meeting Kate was a “click” moment for me. She was the one who turned the light on in corners of my brain and heart that I was trying to suppress. She came into my life abruptly, threw me for a loop and for that, I am forever in her debt. Though the story between the two of us is a phantom for another day, I will always be thankful to this woman and cherish my memories with her because she helped me see my true self.

Personally, I have never been a fan of labels. I don’t like to be put in a box when there are so many little things that make every one of us unique. I never really referred to myself as a lesbian, but that is what most people I know decided to categorize me under. Again, I don’t care for labels, so I never really minded. Then, a few months ago, I was cleaning up at the bar I work at with a coworker. We were having a pint while sweeping the floors when we started a candid conversation about the queer community. He is an open-minded straight cisgender man, so I honestly answered any of his queries to the best of my ability. It was in this conversation with a friend, that I came out once more, but this time as queer. I told him that though I usually prefer women, I would never close myself off to the opportunity of being with someone based on their gender.

So, in closing, much like the world around us, we are never done evolving. You are allowed to be a work in progress. You are allowed to readjust your labels. You are allowed to unapologetically be who you are, because who you are is beautiful and more than enough. No matter how you identify, you are deserving of all the fucking love in the world. <3 AM

 I came out to my family and friends at age 21. I am 30 years old now, but I came out in college. I didn’t come to the realization that I was truly gay until then. Now looking back, so many things made a lot of sense and pointed to this truth long before I even knew myself. I always had intense emotional relationships with my guy friends, but I never wanted it to go any further. I was always attracted to women, but I think I pushed that down for quite a while. I thought that maybe I didn’t want to be with anyone if I didn’t want to be with a guy. I realize now that it just wasn’t the right fit for me to be with men. I have incredibly close friends who are guys, but I didn’t and don’t want the physical intimacy with the opposite sex. I met a girl in college who gave me the feelings that I always wished I had for guys. It just fit and felt so right, and I then realized what had been missing all along. I wasn’t waiting for the right guy after all… I was waiting for the right woman. The woman I met in college wasn’t the right woman, but it opened the doors for me to find love in its most true and authentic way someday. For that I am forever grateful.

I’m an elementary teacher now, and I encourage my students to be who they are. We talk a lot about loving ourselves for who we are and celebrating our uniqueness. I want to encourage them to be their own unique self and that they should be proud of who they are. Being kind to others is what matters. I want to help them see how incredible they are in hopes that they take that with them throughout their lives. If I believe in them, then maybe they will believe in themselves too.

Thank you, Dominique for inspiring me to continue live my truth. You are an incredible human.

I started realizing that I liked girls in grade 7. I always thought that it would go away but it never did. About a year later I realized that this wasn’t a faze I was going through and that this is who I am. I was terrified when I finally realized that. I had no idea what to do or who to talk to. So as a very intelligent individual, I took a million ‘are you gay?’ quizzes. These rarely helped solve any of my problems but now I knew for sure I was into girls in more than a friendly way. I knew I liked girls but I didn’t know if I liked boys. I kept going back and forth in my mind if I was bi or gay. This drove me crazy. By grade 9 I was finally comfortable and satisfied with calling myself gay. I still hadn’t told anyone at this point but the possibility started entering my mind. Whenever I opened my mouth to tell someone my fear stopped me. All of grade 9 was a roller coaster of wanting to tell someone but being to scared of how they’d react and how they’d treat me after I told them. By September of 2019, grade 10, I came out to my brother, full on tears and everything. The way he responded couldn’t have been better. He told me that it was fine and he didn’t mind one bit, and he treated me the same after. That gave me so much courage to tell other people. So, little by little, I told my close friends, then my not so close friends, and then my mom. My step dad was the person I was petrified to tell, because he grew up in a very closed minded family. Every terrible thought came to my mind: “what if he wants to kick me out?”, “what if he hates me?”, “what if he never talks to me again?”. In December of 2019 my mom told me it was time to tell him. So, we all sat down in the kitchen, and I told him. He took it as good as he was able to. He had a few questions and needed some clarification to understand how sexuality worked, and he still loved and cared for me the same he did before I told him. Now here I am, in 2020, out to the world and proud. It was a very long journey to get to where I am now and I know there is still so much exploring to do and things for me to figure out about myself, but I am proud to call myself so so gay. 🙂

I grew up in a very conservative environment, where women are taught to aspire to have good grades and a good job just to impress people and lure the right man in to have a big jolly family… And that’s alright and fair… If it is what you really want, which is never true for most. These sort of expectations have one BIG thing missing… Where is the part about knowing thyself? Well that was basically me for the first half of my life.

All I knew was that I should be on the look out for this boy who would sweep me off my feet, lift me up from the ground and took me on his horse to a shinny happy ever after. And for that to happen I needed to be pretty, and girly, and not play ball with the other boys or act silly after a certain age, or speak out when I saw or heard something that I disagreed with… Basically be a slave to stereotypical standards… And I was great at it! Straight A student, shy and proper, church on Sundays’ great! (with the exception of Barbies… I still have no idea what’s the point of them)
Since I didn’t know anything else, I was OK with this reality. It was not until my bubble got burst, that I realized I was missing out.

In my early 20’s I had the chance to travel, and soon enough that shy, insecure girl started blooming. I was fortunate that life aligned the right people on my path, understanding, brave and genuine, that helped me grasp that all that I had conceived as “wrong” it wasn’t… It was just unknown.
It was incredible how fear was replaced with curiosity once those walls started to come down… I make it sound quite romantic but really my process was: go party, get drunk, have existential and trivial conversations at stupid hours of the night… But the important bit… It was all with the right people, with people different from me. That’s when I understood that everyone has a different path, essence and meaning, for themselves and for you.

One of these people was a girl… Chan Chan Chaaaaan.
At this point I had have relationships with boys, serious and… Not so serious (let’s leave it like that haha), but I was always looking for reasons not to stay with them, even if they were amazing; but with this girl I was instantly hooked, and it was not because of what she could give me (marriage, kids, economical solvence… whatever that means) it was because of her beautiful smile, stupid but histerical humour, her support, I even found adorable when she was being a brat… Yep… I was done…and somehow… she felt something for me too… And the rest is history…

Not the right kind of history because we didn’t end up together haha Buuuut that was when I realized that I didn’t care what the wrapping was, I loved the content, I love discovering what is inside of people, what drives them and motivates them and more importantly, finding that satisfaction for discovery in myself, the more I learn from people, the more I know myself and the more is to learn. We are in constant change, evolution and flow.

Today, I am not in a good spot, I have fallen again into trivialities and vanities that don’t make me happy. But writing about this, makes me smile, and I am motivated to continue this journey that brightened my soul.

I am a Queer woman. I fall for passionate and calm, for intriguing and simple, for silly and mature, for anything that knows how to love.

I’ve always liked science and reading about anything and everything I could. I grew up as a very curious kid, and was mix of sporty and bookworm. I loved structure and the sense of control that sports gave me. But what I was never able to achieve was to be feminine enough to be seen as a traditional girl and of course I was not a boy either. I was once again a dycotomy, and that mix in my gender expression translated for over fifteen years in being a loner. I love learning and as much as reading about society and history makes me passionate, I came to recognize that I had been avoiding knowing about myself, my truth self. For years I tried to model my behaviour and looks to fit into some image others had created of me and I was so thirsty to fullfill, specially what I thought my parents wanted me to be. I admit now that I was scared of the knowledge that was already deep inside me: I liked girls. The simple thought of it felt to me like I was flirting with something that was out of my reach. I tried to numb it during my teen age years until I relapsed into an episode of severe depression. Now I wonder how many years of deep sadness I could have avoided if I had listened to myself instead of letting the outside noise damp my own voice. I have always known I am gay. Proof of that is how many times I had crushes with female superheroes (Hallee Berry as Storm in XMen was maybe my first) and how many times I craved to be more similar to certain strong female figures (like Ronda Rousy). The knowledge was always there, waiting for me to open that chapter of my own life. My self-acceptance felt like washing my worries away while getting soaked in pouring rain: cleansing and comforting. Then came my very first real relationship with some girl I met in college that quickly morphed into a psychologically violent relationship. It still stings to think of myself as an intimate partner violence survivor as well as a sexual assault survivor. I failed to protect myself because I focused on filling an image that wasn’t my own. Now as I work as a therapist and have made peace with my past I wonder, how many other queer kids like me are in a greater danger to be hurt because they feel the need to hide? How many adults grow up as broken humans because they get denied the chance to shine in their own light? I mourn for the queer kid I was. For that little girl who loved sports and to dress like a boy, who loved climbing trees and wanted more than anything to be able to be the red Power Ranger instead of the pink one. I mourn for all the queer kids like me who are still waiting to shine. If one of you is reading this I can tell you, it gets better, you are loved and wanted just as you are. I finally made peace, I am in a relationship sith a wonderful woman who showed me her acceptance and love to my truth self when she looked for sciencey facts that she knew would make me happy to know. Now in my ribs shines my tattoo with the first fun fact she looked for me: Sunsets on Mars are blue.
I am not longer afraid of knowing myself completely: I am a therapist, still love science, I love sports, I still dress a lot of times more masculine. I am a gay woman and proud. I am loved. I am valid. I am wanted. I belong.
So if you are still seeking, still waiting, if you feel alone I tell you this: I got your back, always, I am your family now. You are wanted, you are loved, please keep shining with your own light.

It took a really long time for me to accept that I was a part of this community. Straight out of high school I met an amazing person and very quickly we became inseparable. We were the very best of friends and would often talk about growing up and having families and children that would also be best friends (childhood dreams right?!). After around 18 months we realised we had stronger feelings but assured one another it was just a “temporary thing” until the “right” people came along. After some time we had to admit there was no one else we wanted to be with. We wanted to spend every minute with each other. Despite feeling this way we couldn’t bare to come out to the wider world. Shortly after this self revelation, as fate would have it we ended up at universities 5 hours apart. We spent the next four years making the five hour drive every weekend to see each other. After graduating and moving in with one another we still couldn’t bring ourselves to have “the talk” with our families. A year later we were pregnant with our first child and had to bite the bullet. This exciting news was met with tears (not the happy kind) from some family and shock and plenty of behind the scenes chatter from others. I think one person congratulations us. We had never hid our relationship specifically and there was a million obvious signs however everyone criticised us for not officially “coming out” sooner. That we never said the words “gay” or “lesbian” and made a clear declaration. The problem was that those words were synonymous with “less” and “a disappointment”. Someone who was different and it was acceptable to mock within our families. This is not how we saw ourselves and not how we wanted our families to see us. After having our daughter we got lots of practice “outing ourselves” to every random person who inquired about of beautiful little girl! We connected with local “rainbow family” groups and really began to feel we belonged to this community. 18 years on from meeting one another, we now have three gorgeous children and are grateful everyday for finding each other and never steering away from what always felt so right. The shame and “difference” associated with being a “rainbow family” has unfortunately still impacted us and our children as times but we continue to step forward and stand proud for we are a family filled with love.

when i found out, it was very confusing and when i decided to share it with my friends they super welcomed me with open arms, being just one of my lgbtq + community friendship cycle, i feel welcomed by them and a lucky woman for that💙

When I was about 11-12 I started to feel a little different from the other girls. They started to have crushes on the boys and I didn’t really have that. There was boys that I thought was good looking so I just thought that meant that I had a crush on them so that’s what I told my friends when they asked. I realized I didn’t really have a crush on them pretty quickly so I thought to myself “maybe I’m gay”. So went online and took 2 or 3 “am I gay?” quizzes. When I took them it said something about that I could be gay or bi. I then thought to myself “it could just be because I just hadn’t gotten to that age yet and it would be stupid to make a fuzz about it, so I kept on trying to be straight. When i was 14 about to turn 15 I got a crush on my best friend. I knew exactly what it was. I was no longer questioning if I liked girls since I now knew exactly how I felt about her. I chose not to say anything about it to her because she is the best friend I’ve ever had and I didn’t wanna mess that up since I thought she was probably straight. 6 months after I still had a crush on her and it had just grown and was stronger than ever and one day we talked and she came out to me and said she thought she might be bi and I said “me too” and explained that I had this crush on a girl, so I could just sit there and talk about all the feelings I had been hiding from her without revealing that it was her. I felt better for a few weeks. One day I had a meltdown(as I sometimes have) and ended up mentioning the crush because it had been stressing me out they said something about “the dude” and I said something like “it’s hard because it’s not a dude” and they understood. So that’s pretty much how I came out to my friends. I feel even more proud now than ever. I wasn’t ashamed before, just scared of everything changing. I’m still not out to my parents because I know exactly how they feel about homosexuality and everything in between. I haven’t really hid it I’ve just never said “I’m gay” straight to their face and I’m not planning on it for a long while and I’m okay with that. I’m out to my sisters because I know that they’d understand. I’m feeling great, proud and i feel free to love whoever I want at the pretty early age of 15 with my entire life ahead of me.

I always knew i was different but i didnt know what that meant. I grew up in a very secluded rich neighborhood where being straight was all there was. I was in high school when i met my first gay person and a light went off and everything just clicked. I finally knew who I was. I became me.

 I was 15. Had a “boyfriend” but was more attracted to his best friend who was a girl. As she and I got closer, my family began to notice. My aunt duringblack friday shopping, asked me if I were gay. Having only the knowledge of just gay and lesbian, and what it meant, I replied..”I think so” I was also very afraid to speak of anything more because she was very into bible verses and Church Sundays. My parents would ask questions about her and I would tell them truthfully. But my father had a huge problem. He would forbid me from hanging around with her, going places with her, and just speaking of her. She had a beautiful smile, a smile.which would brighten my day in an instant. One day my dad caught us in a small kiss and threw her out of my house. Grounded me and took everything away from me. I couldn’t see or speak with her unless it was at school. We tried to make it work, but as in most relationships, things go wrong. People change. Feelings change. My dad and I had the worse relationship for almost 10 yrs and it caused me so much pain and often thought about just putting an end to all of it…and end to me. For some reason, I never let it happen. I wrote a small screenplay about it in college as I went away just to be on my own for a while. My professor hand picked mine to be read to the class because he got chills when he read it. As I grew into the changing world, I worked on reprogramming my mind and my heart to be able to love me. I worked on finding myself. The moment I said to myself, before you can love anyone, you must love yourself, in came the girl who “whoa-ed” me the second she walked into the building. Not really looking for a serious relationship, it just grew from there and 5 years later I asked her to be my wife. Just last week we celebrated out 4th year being married and i have to tell you….she is the only thing I have ever been sure of. My wife and I are happytogether and she just gets me. I wrote a screenplay just recently on reflecting on my hardships growing up to what I worked hard to just become and how I wish I could tell the kid back on that day where I almost went through with it…that your life is going to be so much better than it is now if you can just be patient….my dad and I have a better relationship than ever. He loves my wife and he treats her like his own. I work with teens who often are discovering themselves just as I was at their age…and I try to be the person I needed when I didnt have anyone….in hopes that the suicide numbers go down….to anyone who needs it….

Be patient. It does get better.

When I was younger, all my attempts at imagining myself marrying a man felt… off. So naturally I assumed that I just wasn’t someone who wanted to get married.
On my facebook account that I started at the age of 9 (dont arrest me) I had mistaken the sexuality question on the profile description as a question about what friends I would like to make. My facebook profile read “I am interested in girls” for everyone I know to see. I was 9 and had no clue what a lesbian was, but I certainly pretended to know when everyone at school started calling me that.

There were countless times where I would think to myself “the next boy who walks through the door will be my crush” just because I was so tired of my sister asking me if I had any crushes on the boys at school. In reality, I had no interest in them at all. In fact, I didn’t have any crushes on anyone and didn’t even feel attracted to people, which was very confusing and made me feel somehow defective.
Both of my sisters had relationships and crushes on guys and talked about how people were attractive but I just didn’t get it.

The first crush I had was in middle school, and it was my best friend. I still had no idea what was going on at that point, and only realized until it was too late and she had moved away. I put a lot of effort into research after that. By high school, I knew for sure that I was gay. Luckily at the school I attended, almost everyone in my friend group was part of the LGBTQ+ community and I even had the opportunity to join the LGBT club there! For the first time I felt seen by the people around me. There was no stress on coming out because we were all growing up with the same pressures and expectations that we hated. ‘Be normal’ ‘Be straight’ ‘Do what you’re told.’

My research also lead me to the asexuality spectrum. An infinite spectrum of the gray area of sexual libido on which I have come to fully recognize I will never find my exact place. However, knowing that my lack of sexual attraction was not some kind if mutation but instead just the way my brain worked was more than I could have ever asked for.
I felt safe to be who I was at school without the fear of being called names or being bullied for it (not to say I wasn’t bullied for other things, of course).

Coming out to my parents was not hard. For a while I felt bad or somehow inadequate because I didn’t have some tragic story, but then I realized that it was a fact that I should be greatful for.
My parents aren’t the only republicans in the world who are accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is not common to positively associate those two things together.

I came out to my parents as graysexual the week after I did extensive research on it. It was a non-issue. My gayness, however, I kept hidden for four years.

Not because I purposefully hid it, though. Not once did I ever tell my parents “I like boys.” I never in my life wanted to ever have to LIE about who I was to anyone. They simply did not ask about my sexuality.
Except one day when I was 18, while I was sitting outside with my mom, she finally had the thought to ask if I liked boys at all.

I was nervous; caught completely off guard with the question I had never expected her to actually ask (despite the fact that she has previously asked about my gender identity and pronouns). Shakily, but nevertheless determined, I told her the truth.

“No, I’m gay.”

She seemed shocked at first, and asked me if I was serious (because sarcasm is a true commodity in my family). After I told her I was serious, she smiled, shook my hand, and said, “Alexa, play ‘I am Woman’.”
I distinctly remember the corner of my lips trembling anxiously as I tried to fight the smile that wanted to break out across my face. I had never been so open with my mother before about anything, and it was an odd feeling to feel accepted by her.
The rest of my family soon followed. My older sister thought I was joking and wasn’t paying attention the first five times I said it, so I had to grab her by the shoulders and say it directly in her face. She quickly hugged me and congratulated me then.
I told my dad, eldest sister, and her boyfriend all at the same time after hearing my sister’s boyfriend sing “I’m coming out”. I thought, why not? So I told them right then, and my sister said she already knew because she had seen all the gay shit I watch on my netflix account, haha.

I got hugs from all of them, and felt proud to be part of such an accepting family.

I did not know then that coming out was not an isolated experience. It is a constant task. A box that needs to be checked every time you make a friend. By the time I got to my third semester of college, I found I was tired. I wanted to see what it was like to not come out to friends for once.

Really long story short, I didn’t come out to a group of friends that I had incorporated myself into and I ended up accidentally going on a date with one of the guys who probably didn’t believe me when I told him that I’m gay. He then outted me to the entire group, and they proceeded to question if I really was a lesbian or if I just didnt want to date that guy.

It made me feel so inadequate. As if being a lesbian is some kind of last resort to get out of a bad date.

I started to feel very insecure about myself and after that incident I stopped hanging around those people, bought a ton of rainbow-themed clothes, and wore my rainbow bracelet obsessively for nearly a year. After that I never purposefully hid my sexuality again. I had seen the other side and the grass was putrid and yellow.

Due to some amazing friends and supportive family, I have become proud of who I am. I don’t hide anymore. I advocate for who I am and who I want to be. I get angry when things are unfair. I get sad when people are being hurt. I feel happy when I see part of who I am on TV more and more often as the years pass.

Other people have it a lot worse than me. Many of those people are my close friends, and it breaks my heart.

What my experiences have shown me is that I am lucky. Every day, I have people who support me and love me for who I am, and I am so damn grateful. I hope more than anything in the world that I am that person for someone else.

when i was 12 i had a crush on a girl. after a year she tells me she liked a boy. it devastate me, so for the next 6 years i lived a lie. i even married a man, had two kids, then after years & years of trying i told him about it. he said that i can find someone to try if i like it. i did find a girl & so we got a divorce. after 12 years, my girl & i broke up, but alls good. after 24 years of being in relationships i finally am having fun dating women, i have had girlfriends but nothing lasting. my sister knew about me so that was great but telling my mom was hard, i did. she is still trying to accept it but all is good. most all my family is ok with it &the ones that are not can suck it. my daughters were 9 & 10 when i told them, it was a struggle but after 6 months they loved my girlfriend. 5 grandkids later i’m living my best life, my oldest grandkids are ok with it also. so that’s my story. love is love so be your true self. thanks for reading. ❤

I think that an internal battle with yourself is one of the hardest things.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. What do you do when your heart is telling you one thing, but your mind is telling you another?

In my case, my internal battle with myself was my sexuality.

When I was in middle school, I had my first girl crush. I didn’t really think anything of it. I was just like, “Oh, whatever, this will go away.” But it didn’t. The feelings persisted and I found myself in a situation I had never been in before — I had feelings for a girl. I remember being so confused and so scared to be myself. Those feelings resulted in me pushing the girl away and ultimately ending our friendship.

After that, I tried to focus on liking boys. And I did like them, even dated a few. I suppressed the part of myself that liked girls and did what my family, friends, and society told me to do — I liked boys.

When I would get a crush on a girl, I would ignore the feelings and focus on a guy that I thought was cute. That continued in high school. I hid a part of myself from everyone I knew and even from those I didn’t know. I was scared, alone, and struggling. Coming from a family who doesn’t talk about feelings, I suppressed what I was feeling even more. As long as they were happy, I didn’t have to be, right?

Wrong.

My suppressed feelings turned into anger. I was angry that I couldn’t be myself, angry that I couldn’t love a girl because of what others would think of it. How could I be living my truth when I was lying to myself? I was in a constant battle with myself; in a constant battle with what my heart was telling me and what my mind was telling me. My heart told me to take that leap and be unapologetically me, but my mind told me to push those feelings so far down to the point where they would become nonexistent. I had to decide if I was going to let society win or if I was going to let my truth win.

And then, when I was a Sophomore in high school, I stumbled upon a show that changed my life — Wynonna Earp. You’ve heard of it, eh?

I fell in love with the show at first glance. The writing, the cinematography, the acting, but, ultimately, Miss Waverly Earp and her being bisexual. I related to her right away and instead of fear, it brought me comfort. For the first time in my life, I was comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was, dare I say, proud.

From that point on, I looked forward to Friday night’s. I could watch Wynonna Earp on the TV in my room and be myself. When I was watching the show, I didn’t have to be the Skylar who only liked boys; I didn’t have to be the Skylar who did what everyone else wanted; I didn’t have to be the Skylar who was scared to be herself. Wynonna Earp gave and still gives me the courage to be myself.

Shortly after I started watching Wynonna Earp, one of my best friends texted me one night and said that he had something he needed to tell me. A few texts later, he came out to me.It was late at night, maybe midnight or one o’clock in the morning, and he asked if he could come pick me up so that we could drive around and talk. So I sneaked out of the house and got in his car.

I remember feeling so free when driving around with him. We were both in a safe space and we had a new sense of comfort with each other. Before we ended our night, we went to Walmart and bought Fruity Pebbles. We ate them in his car and talked, laughed, and made a memory that both of us will remember forever. I almost came out to him that night.

But fear took over again and I pushed those feelings away yet again. It felt like all of my progress flew out out of the window. I was at a loss. I was 17 and, once again, scared, alone, and struggling.

What to do, what to do, what to do…

I lived in that fear for the rest of my high school career. When someone speculated that I was queer, I just shrugged and shook my head. When my mom looked at me weirdly for wearing skinny jeans and a baggy t-shirt instead of more “girly” clothes, I turned away and hung my head. When my family made jokes of me potentially being queer, I laughed along and cried when no one was watching.

I felt defeated, like I was never going to find the courage to be out.

But then I started making friends who were out and proud and that made me feel peaceful. I started being more myself, more my beautifully queer self. And, boy, did it feel good.

I’m 19 now. I’m no longer scared. I no longer have an internal battle with myself. Through my journey so far, I have realized that love comes in many different shapes, sizes, and genders. And with that realization comes the beautiful fact that I can now live my truth. I love humans. I love love. Ultimately, though, I love being queer.

It’s been a long time coming, but all those moments with my friends, family, and society full of fear, uncertainty, and struggle helped shape me into the person I am today. And that is a queer woman, out and proud.

With all of this being said, I want those reading this to know that it’s okay to be scared and confused. Your feelings are valid and you are not disposable. You’re not alone. If you ever need anyone to talk to, you can reach me on Instagram and Twitter @sky_counts.

Here’s to being here,

To being queer,

To being unapologetically you.

Spread your beautiful, colorful waves and remember that in light there is love and in love there is happiness.

#OutIsTheNewIn

hi. my name is Pao. i’m 18 and currently, i am attracted to girls.

i was always low-key queer since i was in grade school, but without any knowledge about anything being queer, and like every cliché christian kid; i was always left confused and lost.

i really tried to repress it because i was raised in a household where being gay is kinda not okay, and at that young mind i thought being different is not great. and i was just a kid and when statements like “why do you act like a boy” and “be more like a girl, don’t ya” were thrown at you, you tend to question everything and start to hate the things about you and start to lie to yourself that you’ll try to really forget or remove THAT part of you and. I. Hated. It.

then i grew up being socially awkward, had a low self-esteem, accustomed to follow rules, became really scared in crowds and the society itself, and i just tried to be normal.

but alas, i kept receiving statements that i look like a tomboy and such and they all irked until highschool.

same shit happened and surprisingly, they became less cruel because slowly— SLOWLY —people my age that time were starting to become aware, open and attentive. highschool was like the place i really tried to let the “queer” part of me come out as i met people like me, shared stories with them, hid from the society with them and just became low-key gays in our christian school (and i kinda had the biggest crush on a girl who is really, really straight), and i and my schoolmates (not everyone, unfortunately) started to build ourselves. and i gained the greatest friends i ever had.

then i came out.

ONLY to them at 10th grade. and that was like the first step of really accepting who i truly am, and we’re all learning stuff about the broad spectrum of sexuality.

and i built my self-esteem and i learned how to become less awkward. it was and still is a slow progress but i’m learning.

i’m still not out to my family because they’ll definitely kick me out. but i’m trying to open them up to the community, trying to let them understand that we exist and we’re still human beings like everyone else (just more fab) and maybe someday, they’ll accept me.

i’m still not really open to everyone about my sexuality, i just let them figure it out (especially boys) and now i’m a freshman, took criminology as my course (imagine the patriarchy bullshit i go through everyday, it’s sometimes fun), and life is hard and it’ll get harder but you know what— WE ALWAYS PUSH THROUGH IT 🌈🌈

it took a lot of courage for me to share my story but i feel a little better. thank you so much for this opportunity 💛

that’s my gay life story and thank you for reading them.

(sorry for the mistakes, english is not my native language ✌)

I first questioned things when I was 5, but a negative reaction from my mother led me to suppress my queerness until I was 17. That was when I tried binding my chest for the first time. It was a life changing experience, and over the past 5 years I’ve continued to explore my gender. Now I can confidently say I am a non-binary man, and I am no longer ashamed of it.

My name is Rashard. I come from the great state of Maryland.
I came out as bisexual to myself when I was in my senior year of high school. It was slightly difficult, as I went to an all-boys Catholic private high school.
It wasn’t until college that I joined an LGBTQ student group. I went to my first Baltimore Pride in 2018, then went the next year.
I’m out to some parts of my family, including my parents and siblings.
I came to the conclusion of being queer around this time last year.
I want to be an actor and filmmaker, and I really love film so much.
I have a DVD and Blu-Ray collection damn near so vast you could probably mix it up for a small-scale movie store.
I graduated from CCBC in June of 2019, and now I’m taking classes at Towson University to get my Bachelor’s.

In conclusion, this is me and I’m learning to be proud of myself.

Growing up in England I was abused by my grandma and mum. I don’t remember a time in my early childhood when I wasn’t looking outside the family for a “mother figure”. Growing up my dad told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, just not gay.

I came to America at 20 and went through 9.5 years of counselling to free myself from my past. For a long time I had wondered if I was gay or still just looking for a mother figure like I had in childhood. At the end of years of counselling and with my past behind me, I was able to say definitively: I am gay!

Then I had to tell my homophobic dad…he and my step-mum were stopping in LA for a few days on their way back to the UK from NZ. I went to my dad’s hotel and asked if I could speak to him alone. My heart was racing and I felt sick to my stomach. I had rehearsed what I was going to say to him for days. I looked him straight in the eye and told him I was very, very, VERY happily gay, then gave the biggest smile I could muster. He stared at me and started crying. I told him everything would be okay. He drank 5 PINTS of gin and tonic at the bar that night, and the next night.

He returned to England and I didn’t hear from him for 6 weeks. Then I got a 9 page, hand written letter in the mail from him. He wrote that I had crushed his dreams of me marrying a strapping American man who I would have kids with that would grow up to play rugby for England. My 3 1/2 year old nephew had died earlier that year and my dad compared me coming out to the death of his only grandson. It was devastating beyond words.

That was 12 years ago. 7 years ago I started watching “The Fosters” and 4 years ago I started watching “Wynonna Earp”. Both had positive queer representation with no strings attached. I realised through watching these shows that any lingering elements of self hatred were not mine, they were imposed feelings from others that I had taken on as my own.

I knew then that I could only be responsible for my personal truth and living my life in the most authentic way, no matter what. I would lead by example, I had NOTHING to be ashamed of.

I boldly introduced my dad to my then-girlfriend and he was amazingly accepting and positive. He could finally see how happy I was and after all I went through growing up, he knew I deserved happiness.

Today my dad has come full circle. Not only does he embrace who I am and is so proud of me for fighting so hard for the life I have, he also told me at my sister’s wedding that when the time comes, he would want to walk me down the aisle too.

Coming out wasn’t easy, but not being true to who I am was a WHOLE lot harder. I am happier with who I am now more than at any other time in my life!

I knew from a very young age that I wasn’t like “normal” girls my age. Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, it wasn’t easy or accepted to be gay. Growing up I would hear my mom say terrible things about gays and it would break me. I came out to my parents after my first year of college. At 28 my mother and I have never been closer. She has held me together when my heart had been ripped into pieces. It took awhile for her to come around but she never once stopped loving me. Dom, you are a light in a so very dark world. You’re bravery and the human that you are make me strive to do and be better for all those I encounter. ” I’m here & I stay.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I always love deeply. Through my adolescence I loved so hard it hurt. I was truly confused at the difference between what I felt inside and what I saw all around. I even went as far as determining another type of love that I just knew existed to try to explain in a more “acceptable” manner what I was feeling for other people. This was when I was 15 and knew little of other cultures that describe a myriad of types of love. I dated many people of both genders pretty quietly for too many years. Then I met Molly. Our love was so luminous . So able to easily penetrate through all the bullshit that had been and that I had allowed to be built around me. And that was that. We loved each other. We came out to our families and friends. Years later I proposed, we are married and have a beautiful daughter and a son on the way. It is intense how my capacity to love grows exponentially each day. Allowing this love has allowed all the love.

I knew when I was 14 that I was a lesbian. I actually had a friend in the LGBTQIA+ community that I had talked about for a while. When I was questioning my sexuality and trying to understand why I was feeling disconnected from all the girls talking about the Hemsworth brothers. We would be up at night, and he would just ask me questions. “What attracts you to a person? What do you imagine your partner to look like? What type of people catches your eye? Is there someone that you like now?” It just helped to have someone asking and just listening. A year later, as a kind of joke later when I was telling him about the people that I’ve told, he said, “You never officially told me you’re a lesbian.” Anyone who studied the performative understands where this is a little funny. He has just been such a great rock for me, and I am so lucky to have him in my life.

I came out to people in so many different ways. I told someone at dinner at IHOP. A friend I already came out to gave me an opening, and I said, “I haven’t told my parents this yet, but I’m gay.” She didn’t make any jokes or say, “I hope you aren’t trying to make a move on me” or anything like that. She was just supportive, and I could not ask for better friends in my life. It became a game of who have I told and who can they say things in front of. I sent someone Ally Hill’s Coming Out song, others from texts, during ice skating, and now just from passing comments rather than me announcing it to everyone.

The person I was most scared to tell was a teacher that became more of a friend over the years. I wanted to tell her because she saved me from myself and gave me the best chemistry education I could ask for. As she was my teacher, she couldn’t discuss her stance on things, so I had no idea how she would react. She moved schools, and I felt like telling her deserved more than an email, so I waited for when she visited, and I gave her a letter. It explained I was gay when I knew why I wanted to tell her, and why I am so scared. She emailed me later and said, “there is nothing you can do or say that will make me love you any less, ok?” It just made me feel like everything is ok and that I’m not going to lose someone over this part of me.

I tell people that I feel are important in my life, and I refuse to tell people that would put me in a bad situation or disregard it in any way. I’m 17, and I haven’t told anyone in my family, but I’ve told the people that I feel comfortable with it. Coming out will be something constant, and everyone has the right to come out when and how they want. There is no time frame and no expectations other than being authentically you. I’ve had a very positive coming out experience. Still, a lot of people don’t have that, and I want people to know that you will always have this community in your corner. You’re not alone, and we will all be here for you.

My entire life I was raised to be independent and Culturally open to everyone around me. As an African-American I can state that, we are “open” to everything/one but not really “everything” as I modestly like to put it.

Being born A Haitian-American female was A defining factor in determining my sexuality. The cultural restrictions made me feel blocked, lost, and burdensome to my family. I was fortunate enough to have a family that loved me regardless, which in my community is VERY RARE.
My mom like Dominique, is my ROCK.
I have been blessed with a family that supports my love regardless whom that maybe with.

I self identify as a (Queer-Cultured Woman) for all of the young QUEER brown girls who have never felt they could come out. Especially, in my country of Haiti.

(you WILL survive, you will find happiness, you will become whole)

I was 18 when I first fell in love.
I am 28 today, with so much more now!
I have experienced so much more of life,
I am so optimistic for the future with huge thanks to this forum and Dominique 🙏🏾❤

Today, I am making another “WAVE” by telling MY story. For the first time.
“OUT IS THE NEW IN ❤

I have known I was gay my entire life. I grew up with an accepting mom, but the rest of my family was not as accepting. I didn’t tell a soul until I was in middle school. I told one of my closest friends, and she was very accepting. This was helpful for me but unfortunately she left the school a few months after I told her. I felt more alone than ever. My mental health was horrible. My anxiety was out of control and I become quite depressed. I was ecxited for highschool as I thought it was going to be an opportunity to finally be myself. Unfortunately that ended up not being the case. I become friends with people who were not accepting of the LGBTQ community. This largely affected me as I started thinking I was wrong for liking girls. I tried really hard to like boys. I coundnt think about anything else, I started self harming. It was the lowest point in my life. I then met a girl who changed my life. She was in the same grade, and we become close friends. We spent all our time together. I realized I had feelings for her but was ashamed. One day she told me she had feelings for me. I was so happy that she felt the dame way. We started dating, and finally told my mom everything. I hit help for my mental health and made a decision to be myself no matter what. I git friends who accept me for me. I am now the happiest I have been in my life. I realized that I am me, and that j can change who I am. I also want to add in here that Dom has helped me greatly. I have looked up to you ever since I saw the first episode of wynnona earp. You are a truly beautiful person who is saving peoples lives. I hope my story can help someone as I wish I would have had someone to help me.

Hi , I’m a 17 year old girl and I don’t know really what I am or who I like .I guess I haven’t lived a life full of experiences yet and to be honest I’ve never experienced love . But not knowing who I am has caused me to be severely stressed , I feel like I’m holding this constant weight and judgement on my shoulders . I am constantly aware of what the people around me think in regards to what I am watching or reading . It’s so tiring and frustrating . And I feel guilty for not having the same bravery and courage as many others . I am basically unsure as to who i like and I guess what label I should put upon myself . Ive liked boys in the past but I’ve recently starting liking girls . Even now writing that sentence made me feel like I should instantly delete it , exit the tab and move on. I am in this early stage of my life where I’m just not ready or happy enough to tell this truth to myself and the people I am surrounded by.
How can I understand life and all it’s treasures if I can’t even learn to understand myself . I wish i just didn’t give a shit about what anyone else thinks but i think being self critical and utterly indecisive has been woven into genes and I’m just not sure on to break the thread .This is my first time talking about this to anyone and wasn’t really sure as to whether or not post it. But what the hell , let’s start a wave .

I knew I was a part of the LGBTQIA+ when I was young, like- as young as 8. I just never knew what it all meant. My father being homophobic and being taught by him that it was wrong for like the same gender. I was confused. I first kissed a girl when I was around that age that led onto a lot more confusing thoughts and depression. I got diagnosed when I was 11. I moved far away from where my Dad lives and I started year 6. In year 7 I lost my virginity to a girl I don’t know the name of. I started smoking (cigarettes & weed) a lot. I came out to my Mum in Year 8 (last year) She just said okay. I was crying and she asked why I was crying. I couldn’t answer. My sister already knew and my brother wasn’t surprised. I cut my hair short earlier this year and when I told my Dads side of the family about they said ‘why?! You’ll look like a dyke!’ Which I just ignored. I am now in a relationship that I really care about and I’m not scared about being with her. Yeah, I still get bullied at School for being and openly gay 14 year old. But, at least I’m happy. Until the inevitable. She leaves. Which is what I’m most scared about right now. Everyone always leaves.

I guess all through primary school I was always boy-crazy I had crush after crush, then when I got to high-school I met my new bestie group of friends, in that group was a girl for privacy reasons let’s call her Kate, she was already out she had been a while and I guess I liked hanging out with her I thought I just really liked her as a bestie but we grew closer until I was in art class one day and my friend(not real name) Lauren was talking to me and I completely zoned out and she just looked at me and asked me “are you thinking about Kate” I was Co fuse because I was and she just knew by how I looked at her that I had feeling s for her anyway moving on from Kate we dated for a little while and now we are just friends but we are still really close friends and those feeling are gone. I really didn’t know what I was because I had never gone out with a boy properly just a girl when I was quite young so there was no way of knowing my sexual identity. I knew this boy (not real name) josh liked me and I guess he was nice so I decided to ask him out and we really didn’t click so I still didnt know. I then heard of this show wynonna earp and my gay best friend keira (not her real name) told me about it she said it is what helped her discover herself and that the two gay charecters in it really spoke to her so I watched it and by season 2 I was so into it and I defiantly had a huge crush on the actor who played nicole so I guess I had girls down on my checklist to sexuality. After a few months if figuring myself out I realised that the people I liked I didn’t see gender I just liked who I liked boys, girls, FTM, MTF, so a day or 2 ago I was searching things about what my sexuality could be and I came across this website and I read through dominique provost chalkleys story and it helped me identify myself and who I loved and I am very greatful for that so now I am out to my mum, brother and my friends it’s just my dad left to tell which I am terrified about but I think with the right words I can do it
Thank you all who helped me discover myself (“kate”,,”Lauren”, “keira”, kat barrel, dominique provost-chalkley.)

The signs probably started showing when I was 10, but I didn’t have the courage or freedom to admit this to myself until 16. Becoming self-aware was a whole other milestone that caused stress, anxiety and depression because I didn’t know how to deal with it alone.

When I couldn’t take it anymore, the first person I came out to was my brother, and I did it by email when he was in the room next to mine. I remember shaking and crying when I hit send. I told him not to reply because I didn’t want to know if he hated me for who I was, but he stepped into my room to hug me as I broke down. This gave me the courage to tell my friends, who already knew and were just there waiting for me to be ready. I felt blessed and so lucky that the people around me accepted me and still loved me the same way.

So I eventually told my mum, and she cried – not out of happiness, but disappointment. She told me she was disappointed and I can still remember the physically pain that hit my chest till this day. I don’t think I could ever forget the way it made me feel when the most important person in my life didn’t want to understand me. Even now, it’s something we brush underneath the rug and it still destroys me. My own father (who I don’t have a good relationship with) is still stuck in his own traditional ways of thinking. He’s pointed to a TV screen with LGBTQIA+ people and told me that ‘these people are disgusting and don’t deserve to get married’, so I’ve decided he doesn’t deserve to know me.

For as good as the world is, it’s still hard to comprehend that those who don’t accept us are not actually bad people.

I knew I was a lesbian when I was 12 but coming from a big Irish catholic family. I felt that I had to hide that part of me from everyone for so long and as Dom said, it can cause other problems trying to fit into the “normal” way of life and suppressing those feeling and that was VERY VERY hard. I finally came out to all when I was 35 now I am married to a wonderful woman and we have been together 19 wonderful years. There is never a right or wrong time to come out. I wish I did it a lot earlier, it wasnt until my mum was dying of cancer that she said to me and my wife on a visit “Oh I always knew you were gay” That was my mum all over, I think mothers have a sixth sence with their children. Wanted to say that Dom is an inspiration to all young and older queer people. Her brave statement shows to people you are never alone and even if you are, you WILL find your place and be happy to just be you. Xx

So I pretty much knew I was gay from a very young age. I have always been attracted to women. But as most people I just hid how I felt and had a few boyfriends. I just kept it in for so long and always felt alone and I just wanted too scream some days ” I’m Queer” .. but was always too scared to say anything to my family or friends. Just one day I couldn’t cope any more I didn’t want too be in the relationship I was in and I just cried most nights, I was so confused and scared. So I just braved it up and got my Mum, Sister and Brother together and told them I was GAY !. My Sister and Brother were awesome and just said we kinda knew really. My Mum not so much or my Dad actually.. They both disowned me, wanted to get me help .. I moved out of home and didn’t speak to them for years, not that I did want too, they just couldn’t deal with the fact I was gay. My friends on the other hand were fantastic, so supportive.. The ting is as much as it broke my heart about my Mum and Dad, I just felt so liberated and best of all FREE to be me just ME ! And that was the game changer in my life. I would always advise people to come out as your people around you that love you will always support you. Holding in who you are is the WORST! . I’m there for anyone that wants to come out as I know how scary and hard it is. Be yourself and as Dom said you will SHINE !!!

 I don’t remember the first time I figured out I was not straight.

I only remember a series of moments along the way.

I remember playing the Sims on my Dad’s computer and having my Sim adopt a daughter on her own and keep a close female best friend around. She had a beautiful garden and a swimming pool.

I remember being obsessed with some girls in primary and middle schools. Girls who were pretty and intelligent and popular. Girls whose blogs I could recite by heart. Girls I would have on the phone to ask them what colour their bedroom wallpaper was.

I remember being obsessed with Naomi and Emily when I began watching Skins in high school. Watching and rewatching their episodes and never being able to put my finger on what it was that I could relate to.

I remember my second trip to England, being in my exchange partner’s bedroom at night and reading her diary entry about having a crush on a girl.

I remember watching Brittany and Santana in the first seasons of Glee and being confused by their definition of friendship.

I remember noticing girls in my high school. The way they dressed. The way they talked. But I also remember noticing boys in my high school. And having crushes. A lot of them. I remember hugging him in the cafeteria and feeling like my heart would explode out of joy. But I also remember my friend’s voice when she ventured to say that maybe, just maybe, I had crushes on boys that were out of my league so that I would not have to date them for real.

I remember seeing my best friend falling in love with someone else and getting closer to them and my heart would break a little. I remember telling her how I felt. We grew closer and closer every year and we would tell each other that it was only a phase we would grow out of to eventually marry men, have children, and buy houses next to each other.

I remember spending hours and hours writing in my diary: I know I am not straight. But I know I am not gay. What am I? What am I?

I remember watching Faking it and finally being able to relate. Thank you to Dana, Julia and Carter for developing the character of Amy Raudenfeld.

I remember being on a bus to Clifton in Bristol and seeing that girl and thinking that maybe, just maybe, I would not mind dating a girl after the phase with my best friend was over.

I remember being in my bedroom with my best friend. Looking at each other with heart eyes and speaking of spending our lives together. I remember her telling me again that it was all a game. And I remember telling her that I was tired of playing this game and that I deserved better.

I remember creating a profile on a dating app for the first time and being faced with the preference choices. Show me boys. Show me girls. Show me both. I remember the answer being instant : both. What. Oh wait. I’m bi. I’M BI.

I remember going on my first date with this boy a couple of months later. How it felt wrong from the get go, but I couldn’t understand why. We were the exact same age, had a lot of things in common, listened to the same music. He was kind, respectful, good-looking. And yet, all I could think of was “please, don’t kiss me”. After this date, I remember changing my app preference to “show me girls” only.

I remember coming out to my mum on a beautiful afternoon in Spring. We were holding cups of coffee, sitting on my sofa. I was nervous. I chose the words : “I like boys, but I also like girls. I’m bisexual”.

I remember breaking off all ties with my best friend because I realised that I could not be happy living in a world in which she was dating someone else. I remember crying my eyes out for months and wondering how I could be happy living a life she was not a part of.

I remember watching Wynonna Earp because I had been told Waverly was a positive representation of bisexuality and be happy that a relationship could be so natural and uncomplicated. Thank you to Dominique, Kat and Emily for imagining and developing the Wayhaught relationship and giving me hope.

I remember coming out to my dad over lunch on a beautiful summer day and deliberately not using the word bisexual. I chose the words : “I like girls, but I could also end up with a boy”.

I remember my therapist frowning when I would tell her that I liked girls but invariably precise that I didn’t mind boys either. I remember being angry at her for making me question my sexuality. I remember her telling me I could be a lesbian and that it would be just as fine. That day, I left her office and felt as if I had grown wings. But I was not a lesbian : what about all those crushes I had had on boys?

I remember being with a male colleague in my car at night. I had just given him a lift to his apartment. We had spent a lovely evening. Instead of leaving the car right away saying good night, he lingered a little and was looking at me. I knew I had feelings for him. But a voice in my head was also screaming : “please, don’t kiss me”.

I remember her sitting on my sofa. We had met the week before, at a party. I remember my mind going blank when she went for it and held my hand. How when we walked back to her car, the voice in my head was screaming : “please, please, kiss me”.

I remember coming out to my grandparents and telling them about my new girlfriend. My grandmother said : “I knew”.

For a while, I was obsessed with labels. I wanted to embrace my new identity. Be proud and loud. But I constantly outgrow the label I choose. I claim I am bisexual, and then cringe when I have to admit that I can’t quite picture myself dating a boy. I say I can only picture myself loving a girl, and then cringe again when I have to admit that I am developing a crush on a male colleague.

I don’t know if I should identify as a bisexual, pansexual, queer or lesbian woman. I don’t mind people assuming for me, and I don’t correct them when they do. But I no longer use these labels anymore when I come out to a new colleague or a new friend.

The only thing that I know is that, sometimes, I bump into other human beings who are so beautiful inside and out that it makes my heart beat faster and my eyes glow. And I feel lucky to walk this earth and meet these people and love them and lose them and feel alive.

I was working a summer season and, for the first time in my life, was around people who were LGBTQ+ (mostly gay ladies). Obviously the question of sexual orientation came up a few times – I had never been with anyone – and a few of my friends suggested that I might be into the girls. I rejected that, having never really considered it as a possibility, wasn’t against it in any way, just never really thought of it as an option! (I come from a very straight white village in the UK)
Anyway, long story short, eventually I realised that maybe actually girls did it for me more than I might have originally thought, I got close to one particular girl, and one of my little brothers came to stay with me. Now, there were a few rumours going round due to a complicated situation involving her ex and a healthy dose of gossip, as often is the case on a season and I thought it best to tell my bro before he heard it from someone else. So, we were in the car and I said look you might hear some things about me and this girl, nothing has happened, I’m not saying I’m gay but I kinda like her and I thought you should hear it from me.
He went silent for a couple of seconds, then he looked at me and just went
“Haha. Gay.”
And that was that.

For the record, he was correct, I am a fully fledged gay, rainbows and all 🏳️‍🌈

ever since I was 10 I knew that I liked (but was super picky with) girls and boys. I’m surrounded by people who are absolutely phased at the idea of that, something different, I live in the south (big surprise). “Strange” (queer) people around here receive stares and hatred, not acceptance. What truly hurts my heart though is that these acts of rejection come from my family and friends, the only people i have. I’ve tried so hard to spread the word that things out of the, what our world has established, “ordinary” (aka anything that doesn’t fit in the little cis, straight, “perfect” box) is okay, but people still don’t get it. So I have realized that maybe one day people from where I’m from might understand, and instead of trying to change the mindset of others, I have to FIND a community that will let me in with open arms and warm hearts, which, I can only hope, will be lucky to find someday. The point is that sometimes, finding “your people” is the only thing you can do, which has taken me years to realize. How do you expect people to express their most genuine selves in a world filled with hate? You don’t. This is why things need to change. The only way our world can have a chance for a better future is if we teach love and the power of acceptance for the generations to come. I find hope in knowing that in the future, I WILL find my people, and a refuge in the community of those who do choose to value, accept, and embrace LOVE. knowing this will be my motivation to come out to the world, and even though it may be a while, a happiness found through the “weird, unusual, and absurd” love that is QUEERNESS will most definitely worth the wait. – Iris, 16.

 I knew when i was younger that I’ve always felt different, I would only hang out with the boys in my class in would find it way easier to talk to them. But when it came to girls, I always became shy and felt kinda wierd. Now 4/5 years later I know what it is. I like girls. As easy as it sounds, but it isn’t always easy. My coming out was really nice but unexpected though… my two best friends (both girls) were joking with me because I’m always really curious. So one day they said they had some secret of some sorts, I kept on asking what it was and in the end they said that they were dating. And I freaked out, in a good way though. I said to them that I support them no matter what is happening. Then one of them said if I had to tell them something (as in am i gay), and I said yes and I tild them my story and that I had been struggling a lot with it just a few months before it. Lucky for me they were so supportive, i was really shaking when i told them because it was the part that i’ve hidden for almost my whole life. And on top of that, one of them also came out after I told them (lets just call her Laura for example). Laura told me she had been struggling with the same thing… After that we talked the whole night about. It was probably the best thing that could’ve happened. I haven’t come out to my family yet but i think they and actually know that they know because it’s pretty clear. I know that my parents are going to be fine about it, but I don’t know how Laura her parents going to react. They are really religious, but that isn’t my story to tell.

So I’ll introduce my self real quick…
I’m Karlijn, I’m 15 years old and I am Gay🏳️‍🌈
And I’m proud of it!
If you ever want to talk to me about your situation, I’m pretty much always awake so hmu at @karlijn_dmooij on ig. Because I’m here for you❤

I think I’ve known I’m a lesbian since I’ve been a little kid, but it never occurred to me, because it wasn’t the norm? I was always told that I’d find my prince, I’d marry a beautiful man, get some kids one day and all my scars would fade away the second I’d give my heart in the hands of a guy. I was confused and overwhelmed when I got into a relationship with a guy, because everyone did it with 14, so we thought we should do it too since we were good friends. It didnt last long. I broke up with him after a few weeks because I’ve noticed that I dont want this. I didn’t want to hold his hand or kiss his lips. I was scared, I thought I’m not capable of feeling those shiny colourful emotions. Till a lesbian character showed up in my favorite soap opera when I was almost 15 and that’s when it hit me. She showed me that there’s a world besides those stupid stereotypes and it’s okay to like girls. I started to figure it all out, opened up to my closest friends and at the end I told my mother about it. Even though I can say it’s definitely better to share this with anyone if you accept yourself. I didn’t love myself back then, because I was scared of being different. I was never confident so to realise that you’re “different”.. let’s just say it wasn’t easy, so when my mother didn’t accept me i went immediately to a big black hole of hatred. But I fought my way through it and I’ve never been happier. Once you’re truly yourself, you start to see life with a positive attitude and since then I’m doing everything I can to support other people who have the same struggles, I had back then.

Thinking back on my life I have memories of being attracted to both boys & girls but had no examples of what that was. It didn’t help living in the South and the buckle of the Bible Belt. The world, friends & family spoke negatively about “gay” people. So I pushed that part of me away, to the back of my mind. Then fast forward, I’m 28, married to a man & pregnant. I remember watching X-Files and crushing so hard on Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) while my husband thought I was into Mulder (David Duchovny). I began having anxiety, vivid dreams, fear & confusion.
Questions about my sexuality consumed my thoughts. Can I be gay or bisexual and still believe in God? I was “tomboy” but I still like wearing makeup…. Can you be gay and wear makeup?
I continued to hide my feelings. Symptoms got worse. I wanted to die.
I was 32 with 2 kids and miserable on the inside & living a lie. It was when I was ready to swallow 60 Xanax that I looked at my kids and thought I want them to grow up in a better world. I have to be that example!
I found the courage to tell my husband and file for divorce. Everyone chose ” his side”. Threatening to take my children away from their “perverted mother” & raise them the “right way”. I’ve never felt more alone. My own mother told my children their mother was going to burn in hell. I had to set boundaries and distance myself. I had to learn who I was and it took a lot longer than I wanted but it is the best most freeing thing I’ve ever felt. I described as feeling healed.
I slowly tried to make those I love understand that I’m still me and that my sexuality is not the only or most interesting thing about me. It took my mom 8 years to accept me. It was worth it, when I my son & daughter are becoming the loving, kind, & nonjudgmental people the world needs now.
A little advice for those not out and/or struggling is take your time, learn about yourself, research what LGBTQ+ support is available near you, but most importantly, stay safe. Also, before I told anyone, it made me more comfortable & confident to practice saying “I’m gay”, out loud, to myself. Sounds silly but it helped. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Thanks Dom & Start the Wave for providing such a wonderful & safe space!
Wishing Peace & Love to all! 🌈❤🌍✌🏼

 I am from India. I was about 13 or 14yrs old, when I had my first real crush on my school teacher. I grew up very tomboyish and I always knew in the back of my mind that I was a bit different from the girls that were around me. When I realized that I was developing feelings for my school teacher, it was soo overwhelming but I wasn’t fighting the feeling. I accepted and told myself that “I always knew that I am different. Now, I get to be very unique from others. Probably, the only one feeling this way in the whole world.” I didn’t know anything about LGBTQ community because of the country I am in.
I never hid my craziness for that particular teacher in my school. All of my schoolmates knew how much I liked that teacher and even the teacher knew it. But I wasn’t treated badly or anything. I guess, I got lucky for a while or they dismissed me as I was a teen kid.
When I reached 18yrs, things got real. I watched Friends and saw Carol and Susan being lesbians on-screen. I was soo relieved to see that lesbian is the term and I never knew it was a real word. I searched for the word and came across so many articles and news regarding LGBTQ community and TV shows even.
My fear to live in India started peeking. There was a girl in my school who confessed that she was having feelings for me. I was very pleased and saw how brave she was, telling her feelings to me. She and I started a relationship that went on for 7years while we both were in the closet. Unfortunately, we had to split up as neither of our parents would accept and its India. Section 377 was imposed that criminalizes homosexuality. I suppressed my real feelings and hid myself in the closet. That break up tore me down as I was all alone and couldn’t talk about it to anyone. I shutdown myself. To the people in my life, all they witnessed is “Two best friends stopped talking to eachother.” But I couldn’t say who I was to her – to anyone. The society sucks!
Then one day, I went so far away from my home and texted to my loving elder sister that I wanted to talk to her about something. I was crying so much because I was about to type the truth about myself. Couldn’t stop the tears nor wanting to hold back.
I wrote to my Sister – “I don’t think I am straight.”
She replied, “What do you mean – you don’t think?”
I said, “I mean, I am not straight.”
She replied, “Okay. I know. Where are you now?”
I said, “You know?”
She replied, “Ofcourse. I have been around you and I know. I am here to support you. Also, I knew the moment you left Beckett (Castle) and ran towards Rizzoli (Rizzloi & Isles).”
This moment with my Sister made me laugh so much and at the same time, I felt like my walls are falling. She has always been a huge support for me since 2015. I am still not completely out. But I hid myself and my lifestyle till 2014.
The helpless feeling where I would get panic attacks thinking if I have to live this life in a closet forever. Those feelings pushed me to come out and I am so grateful that I did.
India is still not a better place in terms of love. I came out to my important people and majority just said “We know.” There I was shocked that they already knew and they were talking to me as always.

I guess my fear made me a prisoner for a long long time. But I still tear up when I confess that I am a lesbian. The shivers will be there for a longer time?
Now, I have people whom I made friends with because of TV series like “Rizzoli & Isles, Wynonna earp and Lost Girl”, a huge LGBTQ fanbase via Facebook. They are my family now. I am thankful to everyone in my life.

One particular person in my life. She is my best friend, my family. We are online friends for 6yrs now and we met through the Rizzoli & Isles Facebook Fanpage. I haven’t met her in person yet but she makes me and my life soo much better. She belongs to LGBTQ as well.
I have 9 close friends, who are from different parts of the world belonging to LGBTQ community – 2 wonderful ladies from United Kingdom, 1 wonderful woman from Denmark (The one who suggested that I should watch Wynonna Earp), 1 wonderful woman from Australia, 1 wonderful woman from Sweden, 1 wonderful woman from Lebanon, 2 wonderful ladies from Germany and 1 wonderful woman from Belgium.

I believe in kindness and love! #LoveIsLove

I think I knew I was gay before I knew I was gay. To a lot of people that will make no sense and to so many others it will make perfect sense! I used to write on my diary about people I liked and make up boys names to use instead of the girls name, but still I didn’t reall realise i was gay. I have this clear memory of sitting with my friend when I was about 13 and telling her that when I imagine myself when I’m older and settled down, it is with a girl and my friend said cool so your gay then? And I remember being like what?! No, of coarse not…. It wasn’t until a few years later when I couldn’t stop thinking about my best friend at the time that it finally started to sink in, I think I might be gay. I came out when o was 15. When I told my friends they just sighed a breath of relief that I’d finally cottoned on. When I told my mum, who I was terrified to tell. She told me ‘ive known since you were 3 and wouldn’t wear a dress’ as soon as she said that I knew we would be fine. I mean it took a few years but we got there eventually. She may still say the odd comment here or there but she doesn’t mean to offend when that happens usually it’s just a lack of understanding and then we talk and it’s better. I came out when I was 15 and I’m now 31 so I have been out longer than I was in and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be my age and only just being able to be your authentic self. My dad came out when he was 40 and I felt so much sorrow for him that he had to live so much of his life not being himself. He was always a bit of a grumpy man but that completely changed when he came out. He is 60 now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him grumpy for even a minute on the last 20 years since he has been out. For anyone out there who is struggling with coming out, who is worried about what the people around them think. just remember you are part of a community, a community full of love and acceptance and we will always accept you. ‘the people who matter won’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter’

Deep down I knew I liked girls at a very young age; but I didn’t know that it was a normal thing…that it had a name for it. I was probably in preschool about five or so when I had my first crush. It was on one of the ladies that worked at my preschool. I remember being on the swings and her pushing me. And I remember thinking Oh my what is this feeling? I really like this girl. My little five year old self just confused not knowing what it was just let it be. Now going through elementary I had “crush’s” on a few boys thinking yeah I like boys. But now looking back on it I just wanted to be them because it was normal for them to like girls. I wanted to be “normal” so yeah I tried to like boys. In the fourth or third grade I was playing outside at recess when my older sister came up to me and introduced me to her girlfriend. I was confused and asked her what she meant so she explained. After doing so I had so many questions wondering is this okay? Is this normal? Is it wrong? What are people gonna say? Knowing more information then I did before on sexuality’s I still didn’t think anything of me liking the lady from preschool. So I kept thinking for some darn reason I like boys that I was straight. I guess I was scared of people judging me and that no one would want to be my friend. Then middle school came I was doing great, back with my old friends after moving schools for the millionth time. A few months in and then again I was going to a new school. Yep the new kid yet again like always most of the boys came rushing towards me to ask me out. As always I said no because I wasn’t really ready for any of that. So I’m in the sixth grade and I’m with my new foster family watching Camp Rock in the living room and then I see Demi Lovato. Thinking wow she’s amazing I want to be just like her. I admired her so much that I start to watch camp rock like all the time. Finally I realized omg I have a crush on Demi Lovato. Still scared of what people would think I told no one. Seventh grade came around and I had a crush on one of my best friends now. We weren’t friends at the time but we shared a friend so we hung out together at recess. Me being the flirtatious person I am started to doing things that I guess got people questioning. One day I heard from our friend that we shared that she was starting rumors about me being about me being a lesbian. I was very upset and even though it was true I denied it. I cried that night and prayed to be straight because I was scared of what others thought of me. Now when the eighth grade came I only told a few of my closest friends that I liked girls. When they found out they were very supportive and I was glad. Later towards the middle of eighth grade I hinted to my siblings and foster family that I wasn’t into boys. They eventually figured it out and were supportive as well. During the summer I kissed that best friend and a lot of people found out about it. I was nervous and people asked about my sexuality and I just told them I didn’t feel comfortable telling them. But then later on freshman year I told people. Now a junior in high school I’m proudly out, I mean I’m still a little anxious of telling people but I’m happy to be me. To live life and love who I want to because I know that there are others who support me and love me for who I am.

When I realised I had feelings for a close friend and freaked out. At that time, I already had another friend come out to me as bisexual so I knew that there was hope of me still being normal even though I was not straight.
I was forced out of the closet after I tried giving a family member some advice who then outed me to their homophobic parents. They threatened to tell mine unless I told them first.
I hope we can continue to spread love and acceptance to all and that we’re able to create more safe spaces. Thank you all for the work you do

Hi, my name is Amélie but my friends call me Waméliz (don’t try to understand).
I’m 18 years old.
And sorry if my English is disastrous because I’m French.
Anyway, since primary school my thing has always been to hang out with boys, to play at fights, to dress up as a pirate for fancy dress birthday parties, to hate dresses, tights, ballerinas etc…
For a long time I was regularly at my grandparents’ house.
And like all self-respecting old people, I had the right to a classical education: a girl doesn’t dress like a boy, two girls kissing “my gods what a horror” and the racist thought…
As a child I didn’t understand all that.
I just wanted to put on jeans and a T-shirt and go have fun with my friends.

As time went by, I started to feminize myself more and more, imitating other girls my age, having boyfriends and hanging out with girls only.

It wasn’t until I was in 9th grade that I realized that I liked girls.
There was a new girl in our class, at the time I didn’t pay too much attention to her.
But one day she had a lot of trouble carrying her bag because as she was handicapped sometimes her knee joints got blocked.

So I helped her carry her bag home, and I continued to help her like this every night after school.
She was very much on my mind and I loved spending time with her.
In college, being gay wasn’t very well accepted, even though harassment had gotten under my skin, so when I imagined coming out, I didn’t want to take any chances.
So I decided to keep my thoughts to myself (something that should never be done, it seems).
But I did tell my loved ones about it.
Starting with my mother, I told her about this girl with whom I shared the road every night.
To tell her in the final sentence “I think I am in love with her”.
And my mother replied, “I thought so, my daughter”.
Yes, well, there are better things, but at least it went well.
Then it was my father’s turn, as there is not much communication with him, I wanted to tell him quickly.
That is to say, just before he went to sleep, “Good night daddy, and I also wanted to tell you that I am in love with a girl”.

Might as well tell you that he didn’t have a very good night, the next day he told me that I didn’t have sex with a boy I couldn’t know who I really loved, I asked him if he had slept with boys to find out if he really loved my mother but he took it the wrong way and ended the conversation.

Months went by and I decided to tell the girl how I felt.
To make a long story short, she told me she didn’t feel the same way and stopped seeing each other (no my life is not a TV show), so what can I say except unicorn poop?
When I arrived in high school, that’s when I could fully assume who I am, a PANSEXUAL girl who wants to be friends with everyone and who loves people big, small, white, black, yellow, green, multicolored etc…
My last two coming-out dates were this year.
One to my friends who took it very well except for one who asked me if I ever fell in love with an animal and I said “yes of course be careful with your dog the next time I come to your place”.

And the last one to my grandmother, she must have had at least three heart attacks but she finally accepted it.

I’m proud to be part of the LGBTQ2SZETRWU community… there you go.

My story starts very similar to Dominique’s. I know now that I always knew I was into girls as well as boys, but it took me 26 years and falling head over heals in love to accept that. Growing up I didn’t have anyone in my life that identified as anything other than straight and my passion for escaping life through tv, movies, and books, there was never any other representation other than straight. As I grew into my womanhood, I have fond memories of my mom and sister asking me if I was gay and telling me that it didn’t matter, they just want me to be happy. I was lucky in that aspect, but I couldn’t accept that it was okay and continuously fought them on this claiming I liked BOYS. I was scared. One day my mom and I were watching our favorite day-time soap show All My Children and a beloved character on the show came out as a Lesbian, my mom hoped that this was inspire me to come out as well, but all I remember is how terrified the character was and how people started to treat her differently. Added to that, gay people weren’t treated nicely where I lived. In high school I can vividly remember the girls who came out and how horrible they were treated by fellow classmates. In college, I lost my dad to cancer and dived head first into being a role model on campus and making a positive change, but the one organization that worried me was the LGBTQ+ because by this time I was so worried that they would be able to see a part of me that I had buried deep inside of me. I liked guys and that was that (even though I had yet to have an actual relationship with one).

As life went on there was always a nagging voice in my head asking what if, but by this time it surely must be too late to come out and now that I worked with students full time, what would that mean for my career? Would I stop getting jobs because I may like girls? Nope, gotta be straight, there will be a guy one day that I will fall in love with.

Then it happened… that moment that I was scared would one day come. I met her. I had just started a new job where I would be living onsite with 14 other educators teaching outdoor education and on the first day of moving into my new house, a group of girls walked into my room and asked if I wanted to go grocery shopping with them. I remember the first time I looked at her and felt the butterflies.

She was going with them and I was going to get to know her. She would become my best friend, I would make sure of that. As our friendship grew (it felt like finding my other half) we both quickly became to realize that there was more to what was between us than just friendship. I started fighting that, it wasn’t right, I am straight. For 4 months I fought my feelings for her until 1 night I couldn’t fight it any longer and we shared our first kiss. It was like FIREWORKS going off. Honestly the most passionate kiss of my life.

We navigated life for the next 6 months as life threw everything against us. For starters, my new partner wasn’t keen on being out of the closet (understandably so), my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and just a mere 8 months into our relationship, my girlfriend (which omg how exciting to say that!) had to return back to the UK due to her visa. Needless to say we didn’t last as a couple, though our love for one another has never died and we continue to be very close friends. My life also sent me from the USA to Australia unexpectedly and with a breaking heart, I left my mom with promise to return, but she had other plans and passed the day after I arrived in Australia. She accepted me for everything I am and told me to go be free for once. If only for that, I could never thank her enough, but she was also just an incredibly, loving and amazing woman for whom I was blessed to be raised by.

In Australia I knew no one my age, and lived in an area of Sydney predominately non English speaking, so I looked online for a way to meet people and I discovered The Sydney Gay Girls on meetup.com. What would it feel like to just be gay??? To meet people who automatically saw me as a lesbian and didn’t care?? For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel judged. I went to my first meetup with 6 other girls and felt like I was finally living as my true self. I quickly started hosting meetups with a friend and now 8 years after coming out (spending the first 2 years still in the closet), I am getting ready to marry the most amazing, beautiful woman and continuing to spend the rest of my life living true to myself.

I share my story because I was afraid when growing up what society might think of me. I only had Xena as a model and as amazing as she was, even her show was afraid to fulfil that last confirmation. Today there are more and more representation of the LGTBQ+ in culture (thank you Dom for being a HUGE part of that), and I hope that the more stories there are and more acceptance, that one day people wont even question who you love and how you identify, it’ll just be normal being you.

The world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people.

Sometimes we just need a little storm to let the rainbows shine brightest.

Come out and shine with me <3

#OutIsTheNewIn

when i was in 7th grade i was confused why all my celebrity crushes were female. I asked my friends that was it normal to have all female crushes. They didn’t know what to say. Time went by and then i had my first non-celebrity crush. Then i did the test and it said im bisexual. But i lied to myself that i like boys too. I’ve always been attracted to girls but i didn’t realize that. So finally i was sure that I’m not straight and i told my friends that I’m bisexual. Then i started to watch Wynonna Earp and that made me realize that im into girls only. So i came out to my friends as lesbian.
It took me a very long time to come out to my family but my sister, brother and dad were supportive. only my mom was like “it will go away”. Now i have been out over a year and im very happy and proud to be a lesbian.

Growing up I was taught “God didn’t make us to be gay”, but now I’m an atheist so I say fuck the rules.

When I turned 14 I was met with the biggest challenge in my adolescent life ‘love’, I was told from a very young age that I will one day have my first crush and my first kiss with a boy I really like, but instead that ‘boy’ was changed into Rachel Lewis, a girl in my grade who stole my pens and my heart, she helped me accept a part of me I never thought I would and that was the fact that I was queer.

Rachel was a pretty toxic person to have a crush on, she played with my head, was super bipolar and ignored me for no reason other than the fact that she was bored. But even though she was a condescending bitch, a really pretty condescending bitch might I add, when we were talking about how we were in love with our English teacher every bad thing she had done just disappeared.

When I was 14, I assumed I was a lesbian, because of my lack of interest in boys at the time and my love for Katie McGrath, but then I later realized that……

I’m Bisexual

I think the reason I was so quick to diagnose myself with ‘lesbian’ was because of the lack of representation and understanding I had of bisexuals. I hear people talk about internalized homophobia, but this was internalized biphobia.

When I hit the ripe age of 16, I experienced for the first time, Homophobia and from my own mother, she had found out I was Bi by going through my messages, I was yelled at, hit, had my hair grabbed and dragged across the floor, I felt completely helpless.

But then I woke up

My body was in pain and my head hurt and at that moment I felt truly alone. My mother moved me to Australia with my Aunt forcing me to leave behind my friends, my sisters and Rachel Lewis.

This was a year ago and I still have the scar of that beating I got physically and mentally, I love my mum and am still in contact with her, I call her constantly and miss her a lot.

The part of her that doesn’t hate me deep down for being bi

I’m still in the closet with everyone. I haven’t had a girlfriend or boyfriend, yet which is depressing but writing this gives me a false sense of freedom I can only get from coming out, so I’ll say this once

If its love, fuck the rules

I’m Bisexual and proud

I don’t know how to start but I must say that I’ve had a lot of boyfriends back then. I like boys, I like the way they court me, gives me flowers, chocolates, and stuff like every guys that I’ve dated… You know, they’re really in love with me, and they care about me.
This is not me being conceited, but this is me telling the truth. I love dating boys, yet I feel like I’m loathing about them–fed up and eating the same food every single day. I always think that there’s something wrong with me for they always give what I deserve, what I want, and what I need, but I’m always stuck of thinking that if I get attached, they’re just gonna leave me after all. Well, it’s for me to find outttttt, though I used to be a man a hater…
When I was young, I told myself that I’m just gonna play with boys and their shit. Why? Coz’ my childhood is kinda rough. I remember, I didn’t get the chance to be with my parents that much. My mom got pregnant with a very young age, and she needs to work far from us, while my dad is a drunken master. Lol! Like he always come home drunk as fuck with another woman. Hahaha! Things didn’t work out for them, so I guess, you know where I’m coming from? Jeez! This is so emotional. Hahaha!
Going back to dating boys, I always think that they’re all the same, like if they get what they want they’ll left you hanging. I was wrong, coz’ actually good guys exist, and I was very lucky to have them but, yah know something is quite missing. I really felt their love for me sadly, I don’t have that much love to offer them, that’s why I tend to date a lot of boys, like collecting toys. It’s like a routine man! My life is in black and white, and I feel so sorry from the bottom of my heart. I know there’s something wrong with me, for I think I am seeking the love that I really want and I really need, maybe they are not for me, or I’m not just into guys? I’m just in denial? I don’t fucking know what to do!
What is the feeling of being in love?
What is the feeling of being in love with the person who loves you back?
FUCK!
I’m gonna tell you this, IT’S FUCKING AMAZING!!!
Here it goes…
I met this girl in 2016, we’re schoolmates. One time she needs to survey for a subject and that’s the time we met. I saw her staring at me for a plenty of times, it’s like every time I check on her she’s there, literally staring at me as if she’s drooling. Lol! After several days, she added me on Facebook and told myself, I remember this girl… So, I accepted her request and boommm! We can’t stop exchanging messages, sending voice clips, pictures like I never felt this excitement and butterflies in my tummy before.
It felt so different, however it feels really really good. Legit man! Knowing that we’re just talking. At first I’m scared coz’ it feels new to me, everything is new to me– you know I’m so confused for the reason that we live in a world where we should be what people wants us to be. We should choose and fit in what we think is right and we tend to deprive and disregard happiness. In short, we’re scared of being judged– I feel like I’m in a war and I got no bullet and gun to survive. I’m also afraid of what my family, friends, and people would think if I told them about it. Good thing I’m a very spontaneous person and I don’t care what people will say, again (I’m scared and afraid but I know this will be worth it) so I risked, (FUCK JUDGEMENTS). People are shocked of me dating a girl but, I told myself I’ll just get used to it.
People are judging me and they keep on telling me whom I should date, and that this kind of relationship is bad, but you know what? I always show them kindness. These people didn’t know that this girl changed me on how I prospect life, and made me realize a lot of things. She helped me with everything, she’s been there supporting me through my ups and downs when no one else would. She’s been very patient and persistent with me because I am a messy and impulsive person. She loved me so much. She loved me at my worst, and best, and embraced me for who I really am. I must be very blessed to have someone like her in my life, and as time goes by my feelings are getting deeper and deeper. I have never been this comfortable having her around. I’m enjoying her company, never loathe, she makes me laugh, smile, she keeps me warmth. Every day is a different day when I’m with her, I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love her. I love her so much.
Our love story is not perfect, in fact she knows that I’m scared, but she guided me in every way. We fought and faced a lot of judgments and problems, but we managed to conquer all of it by just supporting and being there for each other. All those black and white has changed with a lot of colors– colorful, brilliant, and glowing I must say. I never thought that she would make a huge impact in my life and will make me become the better version of myself.
I didn’t regret a thing for choosing her and being with her.
I never thought that she would make a huge impact in my life and will make me become the better version of myself.
We share a love that no one will ever understand, except if you know that happiness is what matters in life then it’s the right thing to do. This is so cheezyy!
I’ve also contemplated that embracing difference and accepting who you really are is such a powerful and revolutionary thing, and you won’t need anyone’s approval, acceptance, and judgments in your life—thus, these would just drag you down. Just always remember to be who you are and show kindness even if they don’t.
Time flies so fast and I’m living the best years of my life, and I’m happy to say that we’re celebrating our fourth anniversary on April 1, 2020 and I wanna thank her and God for everything. Peace y’all.

My name is Lucia and I am almost 30.
I don’t identify myself as gay or bisexual or queer…Honestly I have never think about this when talking about myself.
For all my life I have always had crushes for boys…So I thought things were good in this way. I was happy with myself…
Well, two years ago I met this girl, we started to text every day, I wanted her to come and visit me, u know…just for fun like friend do. She had a girlfriend that was so damn jealous about our friendship, I didn’t know why…It was just me who was trying to be a good friend.
What I started to realise is that I liked texting with her, she made me smile every single second and I wanted to see her whatever it took…Just I didn’t know what was the reason…U know…At that time I thought It was impossible I could felt something about her…
Well some months later I met a guy, we started to see each other but something felt wrong…this new relationship didn’t was right for me…Well he left me by the way and I was disappointed with all of this.
So, this girl I met broken up with her girlfriend…We were sad and single at the same time…To make me happy she decided to come and visit me for the first time, we wanted to sleep in a B&B room, I didn’t want her to be alone…Well, that night we kissed, I didn’t realise I kissed her until I felt her lips met my ones…It was…new, breathtaking and scary at the same time! My mind was over running with so many thoughts ‘WHAT IS APPENING?? WHY ME?? I LIKE HER? I LIKE GIRLS NOW?’
What I knew is that I didn’t wanted to lose her in any way…We have never part ways from that magical kiss…We talked about what happened and one month after she told me ‘So…What u want to do about this?’ And I was ‘Well, I don’t want to lose u, What I know is that I like u!’ And she was ‘So…Say it!’ And me ‘Well..I…Like u?’ And she ‘No…Do u want us to be girlfriends?’ I was so damn happy and scaried at the same time! For the first time in my life I had a girlfriend and not a boyfriend! I wanted to screem, but what I told her was ‘YES!!’
One week after I left home to work in another city and I was free to see her because I didn’t want my parents to know this…They weren’t supportive about me being with a girl.
Well, six months later I came back home and one month later my mom just found about about me…I still don’t know how. She told me she was disappointed! That happiness come with boys (WTF??) That this isn’t me because I have always had boyfriends and she couldn’t accept this. However she told me that she couldn’t forbidden me to live my life but she wasn’t happy. Is she does know about me, my dad isn’t aware about it…And it will be hard to tell him the truth…
Things are different with my friends, I am not out with all my friend but I am trying to be honest with them…Whose are close to me know everything about it and I am proud to say that I have the best friends I could ask to! They are 100% supportive.
I can say that I am very happy, I’ve never been so happy with anyone like I am now with my girlfriend…It seems like a dream with her…Just from our first kiss she made my heart beat like crazy! I,’ve never be in love with someone, I mean…really madly in love…I can’t describe all these feeling, we have been together for 2 years and it’s awesome…She is special to me, she is my life, my universe…She is the love of my life!

What I say is that I do not identify in any way…I am jus me…A girl madly in love with her girlfriend.

I accepted within myself that I was apart of the LGBT+ community in late middle school. I’ve always known I was attracted to the same gender, but when I was younger I expressed it as an appreciation for women before I was able to understand how I really felt about both men and women. I denied it for years as there are a few VERY vivid memories I have of people assuming I was lesbian before I even knew what I was. I guess these traumatizing moments can really hinder a person’s ability to be open up about themselves, but I finally met a girl in my junior year of high school that didn’t make me want to hide anymore, and she happened to be the first person I ever came out to and the first girl I dated. I became comfortable with myself, with my sexuality, and with living my honest truth from there on. Having other LGBT friends has made me feel accepted and sharing my inner thoughts have reaffirmed a feeling of validity. I don’t feel the need to share a coming out story in mass viewing on social media, but I know I can freely express myself to new people and not feel judged. I struggled with family acceptance for a short while as my older brother is completely gay and my parents always knew and easily accepted him when he came out, but they weren’t expecting their second child, their daughter, to be LGBT as well and so when it was my time, I did not receive the same enthusiasm. It took about half a year for my parents to settle into this reality of mine, but in the end they love their children no matter who my brother or I love. Coming out to friends was easier, most of them weren’t surprised, but they were very supporting and I am always thankful for the love I continue to receive from those even after sharing the part of myself that I’m always most anxious about. Love is love.

I am not fully out yet. Sometime, I still need to shield my sexual identity for several different reasons. First, maybe because I don’t really want to be labelled. Second, perhaps just simply out of fear.


Hi, I am from Indonesia. I am at my 40s, and I am a single mom. I had came out as bisexual in small circle of my friends & fam a long ago, but it wasn’t because I was feeling anxious or “awaken” to my queer side. It was purely that time out of curiosity and adventurous sense.


I was in highschool when I read Freud’s. I came to conclusion that somehow everyone born with both male/female potential in them. I began to notice my own, and tried to explore that part by admitting that my past attraction to the same-sex was not mere platonic or so so. It was the same kind with my attraction to the opposite-sex. It also brought me to revisit my childhood girl crush when I was in 2nd grade junior high (12/13 y.o.) which I did not fully aware that I was making a courtship attempt toward her that time.


In highschool, after opening the lock to my universal self – and let me free to identify myself as sexually fluid, I started flowing with same-sex crush, though not doing anything about it.


There was no different, come to think about it now, between my feeling to girl before I am aware of my sexuality and after admitting it. The feeling were the same, but by making a name on myself, I then know how to name the feeling as well. “I had crush with girl”.


Despite so, I did not make any attempt to experience. It was pretty rare for me being bisexual in my small city, with no meeting of the same type of peer, and honestly I didn’t feel comfortable either to be involved or being identified marginal in society.


I am an aquarius, my choice is not to be identified with others, I am just being honest with myself and simply being me. So my sexual identity is MY identity, my choice, my own – yet I didn’t feel the need to act on it.


Later in my life, after my first divorce when I was in my early 20th, I decided to explore the notion of love. I was thinking that I had never experienced feeling in love before, as my head was focused on goal and success. But being a divorcee revealed the need for me to understand love. So again, I made my exploration and adventure. Brought up in conventional and religious environment, I started to experience the pre-marital sex with few men, and I also embraced the feeling of falling in love for the first time with my female friend. Nothing went well (nothing last).


Then in my late 20, I got pregnant. A consequence of my wild free spirited. The guy wanted me to get an abortion as he was married and with me it mere a fling. But never crossed in my mind to take that journey. I was ready to be responsible so I refused. I asked him to marry me instead for the sake of the future born child (as it was mere for legal sake) – he did, for a while, before then he ran away when I was 8 months pregnant.


My course of life changed of course being a single parent. Wanted to build my future success again, I also took a shift in career-wise. I moved to a village as a general practitioner (medical doctor), a stepping stone to collect fund to continue education. I left my son with parents. This decision, would be the milestone of my love life as a queer.


There I met a colleague. A “straight” wife. We found the attraction quite instantly. Divorced her abusive husband, we started “living together”. We had an affair during that time in a scrutinized village environment. I was not scared, I even brought her to meet my family and admitted her as my lover to my best friends. I met her family too, but everything was mere an “unspoken truth” to them.


Not like me, she was not fully embraced her sexuality. To her she was not ready to live truthfully within bigotry society. She chose to leave and marry man.


It was the first time that Love trully changed my life and forced me to go on self journey to find out more about who I am. It was also the first time I realized that I may love woman more than a man. My sexual exprience with her was off the chart. I never felt it before with men. I never realized this before.


When Dom (before coming out) shared her opinion the difference between intimacy with male vs female, I relate to that 100%. It was exactly how I said it a long ago, it was also later how I felt when I finally being sexual with same-sex.


Now, I am just a Self. Enjoying my singlehood. Still looking for my truelove/soulmate/twinflame. Not yet decided for sure if I want to be identified publicly as queer. And fully occupied in planning for my future career as again I make an “adventure” toward it after many defeats.


Nevertheless, I want to send lots of love to people who is unique and marginal. Who are unable to see themselves fit the norm or societal tagged. I believe that we all one, the spark of the Universal Mind, the spark of the Divine Love. I believe that we all chosen to learn and to let others learn about love, inclusivity & diversity. I believe that love is love and that love is “God”.


I wish one day, I gain the opportunity and time to join the “wave”. Be part of the community who fight for the values I mentioned above. For now, I am happy within my shell, watching you guys creating your momentum in life.


Love, light.

CONTENT WARNING: THIS COMING OUT STORY CONTAINS DESCRIPTION AND/OR DISCUSSION ABOUT SELF-HARMING BEHAVIOR.

I started discovering who I was in 8th grade. I was among friends who were discovering their sexuality too so I came out to them first and they were really supportive. My parents found out that year and yelled at me for it. Told me it was a faze and that if I found god I would be “healed” and wouldn’t feel this way anymore. I was really taken back by that because I thought that when my family told me that they love me unconditionally that they would love every part of me. But they didn’t, and still don’t. I fell into a deep depression that to be honest am still struggling to come out of all these years later. I put a mask on and pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I hated that version of me to the point that I was harming myself. I thought that if my own parents couldn’t love me for me then how could I or anybody else. But because of the friends I had and the support they gave me I slowly began to accept myself. And even though I am not exactly out and proud around my family I am out and proud on social media. Even though it is a silly thing….I am typically the happiest when I make tiktok videos because I get to just be myself. And that is the best feeling in the world!
Also if you want to….. idk…. maybe

I am sorry if this isn’t what you are looking for and it may
not be appropriate for this format but this was the only place I felt
comfortable to send this in. This is a small part of my journey and a
part that I found not many people openly discuss including myself but I
feel its a very part of my ongoing journey.

Confidence……Sexual confidence

Some will admit this, some will lie and some just flat out refuse to
talk about it. I annoyingly fall into later category. Sex is important,
sex is a large part of our lives, whether we are not having any, too
much, not enough, average sex or the best sex of lives. The thoughts
about sex are never from far our minds. The real difference is between
those who discuss it and those who don’t, its not the quantity or
quality, its confidence.

Sexual confidence is not always based on how good you are or think you
are its about how feel when you discuss it, if you discuss it at all.

Recently, although not really that recently I have come out and been
working through the many phases of becoming comfortable with my new
found normal and who I am. I am ashamed to admit that although I have
seen many come out before me I never really understood what it meant.
That it changes everything, its like hitting reset when your are already
halfway through the game. Everything about who you are and the lessons
you have learnt and comforts that you have afford yourself are all
thrown away. The toughest part is that unlike when you go through this
crucial stage of life in your teens most people have already completed
these levels and moved on, leaving you behind, constantly both reminding
you of the challenges you have ahead and making you feel intimidated at
the same time.
I have been working through these phases and I haven’t been able to
let someone (the person I trust the most in the world) really help me.
This has bothered me because why can’t Iet her help me? Why do I feel
that I have to do this alone? Why? These were questions I could not
answer and it felt like I was in canoe unable to paddle on both sides,
around and around I go but never progress up stream. It wasn’t until I
was given ‘homework’ from a stranger whom I sought out to help me
find a way to paddle on both sides that I realised why.

The stranger challenged me to have fun with it. To have fun with my
sexuality. Fun! Really?! Sure no worries, I will get right onto
that…..quick question how do I do that?

Everyone loves fun right? We have been doing it since we were kids, the
laughter that comes with fun is one of the first sounds we make as
babies which is associated with a smile. And yet here I am a 28 year old
woman who doesn’t know how to find one of the most fundamental things
in life. I sat and thought about this, I went through my life like a
rolodex flagging the cards that provided me with smiles and laughter.
Fun! I thought about those moments, they included my friends, family and
activities that I was good at. Although they were all different there
was one commonality in all of them. Confidence.

With my friends I was confident in who I was, confident in the people
around me, the people that I had chosen to spend my time with.

Activities I was confident because I was good at was I was doing. I knew
I could do it and had a sense of achievement, accomplishment and value
in that field.

Family I was confident with them, they have known me for my entire life
and in the kids case for their entire lives. Family is a little
different because my confidence ebbs and flows with them, sometimes in
rare fleeting moments I am at complete ease and find myself smiling just
because and in other moments I find myself withdrawing. Withdrawing
because I sense unease with who I am and what I stand for. As is the
case in most families although we are the same we are very different and
this can be attributed to our life choices and paths we have taken. In
my family I am alone, I am alone in many ways. My career, my sports, my
friends, my locality, my relationship status and…… my sexual
orientation.
I grew up in a family that replaced hugs and emotional support with
sarcasm and sport. I felt this worked until I discovered I was
different. Until I worked out that the sarcasm and sport left with me
void and sense of loneliness. I sought comfort in tried to fill that
void with the other parts of my life that gave me fun; activities and
friends.

I moved through my teens and into my early 20’s slowly finding my own
path and in doing so I realised that there was people out there who
provided love and support to each other. One problem, I didn’t know
how to accept or reciprocate it. I did what I knew, I stuck with my
sarcasm (which I am rather accomplished at) and developed a somewhat
charming manner (modest I know) that made people feel comfortable around
me. They were free of judgement and could have a laugh. I built their
confidence but in doing so I neglected mine. We would discuss their
work, their friendships, their relationships and in turn their sex
lives. I was and still am happy to discuss it all with them and even
their sex lives but only if they didn’t discuss mine.

WHY?

I enjoy it, I have never had any complaints about it so I must be ok at
it so why can’t I talk about it? I get physically uncomfortable and
tense up. And now, I cant even have any fun with it. If I indulge myself
there is an seem secrecy required and at times bordering on shame.

That strangers home work continued circle around and around in my brain
like that bloody canoe.

Then it hit me, confidence, whether it be sexual or otherwise stems from
conversation. A sense of comfort and support to have those
conversations. Unsurprisingly in a family based on sarcasm and sport
open conversations were made in jest not to mention they were few and
far between. When they did happen it was uncomfortable and glazed over
as soon as humanly possible. I never had discussions around
relationships with my siblings let alone conversations about sex. We
would sit around the dinner table a joke would be made that would from
time to time turn sexual in its nature, we would each jump on it,
stacking on each others previous one liner, Dad would just look down and
continue eating, Mum with shake her head attempting to stifle a giggle
and tell us all to stop.

The was it.

No more discussion, nothing to normalise it not even between siblings. I
remember when I was dating a guy and I got the implant contraceptive
rod, it was the same time as my sister in laws hens day. My entire
family had come together and my second eldest brother saw the bandage
that was wrapped around my left bicep. He straight up questioned me in
front of everyone; other siblings, in-laws and parents about why I
needed it. I got uncomfortable, made a quick retort and withdrew to the
corner of the room as my brother made jokes about having never met this
guy and reference his skills with a cricket bat. But don’t worry it
was over quickly as the footy was on Tv. I am pretty certain that is the
only time any of my relationships have been discussed.

Over the years I developed a core group of friends where we would have
numerous wide ranging conversations that developed a comfort and support
system for me. As that friendship circle tightened we all assumed our
various roles and they worked out what I could and could not discuss.
They wouldn’t push unless the perfect storm struck were we were drunk
and they honestly worried about me. Their questions came from a place of
love and support and I was finally able to start to have these
conversations and built the associated confidence. I felt like I was
building a level of confidence that I was happy with but then things
changed.

With increased confidence came an increased sense of self. It was then
that disaster struck, I knew I was different. Different from my family
and friends. All of a sudden that confidence was gone, I was back to
square one.

This sense of disconnection from my family and friends left me feeling
like a lone wolf, fighting through the paralysing self doubt, fear and
unknown. Not knowing if it would ever stop, the sense of trying to
survive the arrows bombarding me from all directions because there was
no shelter in sight. And just spice things up a ‘fun’ side affect of
rewriting of who you are is anxiety because everything had be
reconfigured and required conversations that had previously never been
considered.

Square one has forced me to look inwards and have some honest and
uncomfortable conversations with myself about my inadequacies and my
strengths. Through this I have identified different areas of my life and
the associated challenges. I had broken them down into bite sized pieces
and slowly consumed them. Now I am back to the same issue that plagued
me in my 20’s. Sexual confidence. The only difference now is that my
family don’t even know how to make the jokes about it but in fairness
I haven’t changed in the fact that i still can’t have the
conversation, even in jest.

Request of fun can only be fulfilled once I have sexual confidence to
enjoy it again. I have identified why I have this deficient in my
personality. I am trying to re-program my brain that sex and
relationships are not a taboo topic and that is something everyone does,
thinks and fantasises about including me. Relationships and sex are
meant to be fun.

Now, how do move out my own insecurities long enough to enjoy it? To
find fun?

The answer…….

CONVERSATIONS, so here we go.

 

Hello! I’m a 17 year old girl and I’m gayyyyy but I’m
not out yet. But feel free to put this on the website! Ok into the
story. I first realized when a certain situation happened *ahem when I
was play fighting with one of my friends who was a girl and she kinda
got on top of me and just started to hold me down cuz we were sort of
wrestling. Anyways after that I freaked out and was like WHAT IS THIS
FEELING NONONO GO AWAY HORRIBLE FEELING. So I strictly was against being
attracted to girls in any fashion for a couple months and I grew up in a
homophobic Asian family where my parents would always say EW GROSS WHAT
IS THIS whenever they saw any LGBTQ+ representation on tv. And every
time my parents did that I would get a tight knot in my chest and I
would have the urge to cry. I realized that a life where I felt so
anxious around my parents, wasn’t a life that I wanted. So
eventually… I told my best friend that I was gay and I knew she would
be fine with it bc she was Bi and it was the best thing ever bc I felt a
weight being lifted off my shoulders. I am still in the process of
telling everyone around me but I’ve told my close friends and they all
were like “yeah we knew” haha. I’m still really scared of telling
my parents that I’m gay but I’ll get there soon enough 🙂 ps thank
you so much for an inspiration to me and representing the LGBTQ+
community in a way that they deserve

CONTENT WARNING: THIS COMING OUT STORY CONTAINS DESCRIPTION AND/OR DISCUSSION ABOUT SUICIDE.

First of all sorry in advance for the mistakes, but I am not a native english speaker…
I was about 16 when I realized I was gay. The story is simple. I fell in love with an extraordinary girl, who was my best friend. I really felt lost, and alone, and scared. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship so I stayed quiet for a while.
She had a really difficult time with her adoptive parents, who wanted to get rid of her, so I really didn’t want to make things even more difficult for her. But as my feeling were eating me alive I got to a point where I knew I have to admit I love her. And I did. And quess what? She felt the same. And I was the happiest girl in the whole word. For a while…
Then we started to came out to our closest friends, and they were all amazing about it. Except this one girl who outed us in front of the entire school. That is when things started to go down. We were afraid to hold hands, becuase incidents happened. Someone threw stones on me. Someone spat on me. I started to feel worthless. I was afraid to come out to my family. I was, well, I still am a Christian. I couldn’t match my belief and my sexuality. I tried to pray the gay away… But nothing helped. My grandmother just suddenly died, and that was the last drop in the glass.
I tried to commit suicide, as you can see without success. And I didn’t want to tell my family the reasons. As I was in the hospital my sister found my blog online as it was trending, and she told me she knows about me being gay. She told me she loved me no matter what. I am very grateful to her to this day, becuase I really needed to hear those words from her. Then I came out to my mother, which was the scariest thing. It was hard. She acted like everything was cool, but I knew something was wrong. One day I saw her cry, and asked what happened. I asked if she is crying becuase of me. And she said yes, and my heart broke into a million pcs… That’s it. I was thinking she doesn’t love me anymore, and she’ll kick me out. And then she told me she cries becuase she doesn’t want me to be afraid to hold my partner’s hand on the streets, she doesn’t want me to be unhappy. And that was it. We cried for a long time in each other’s arms. The rest is history. This was more than 12 years ago. Now, as I am near 30 I am fully out. To those who are not out yet and are struggling, please know that it gets better. You are not alone, you have a whole army behind you. It will get better.

I think I knew in 7th grade. There was a girl named Sarah that I thought was pretty but I was drawn to her in a way I couldn’t fully explain. Looking back now I definitely liked her and wanted to be with her. There have been plenty of times since then where I’ve questioned whether I was a lesbian or not. I still struggle with that at times, especially because I think, maybe even more-so than any other identification, bisexual is the most often considered a “phase” so it’s been extremely hard ein okay living in that so-called “phase” space. I am truly and completely attracted to both women and men, but I wouldn’t identify as pansexual either. I am 100% about people being comfortable in their own skin, I just don’t find myself romantically drawn to transgender people. Coming out to my friends was easy because I surround myself with loving and accepting people. But my parents to this day still do not know.

I know growing up was hard , not know what was wrong . I always had the feeling in my mind I wasn’t born the right gender. Wondering why I thought the way I did . But I never never understood it but growing up i lived in a fake Christian life style trying to make my family happy. As I got to my teen years got into my dating years only dated men . I noticed I started to look at women also but I had to tell myself it wasn’t right and went on with my life . But four years ago after I had my son I realized that I was attracted to both men and woman possibly trans after I got out a ever abuse relationship with my sons dad . But several years later I met a couple and became a poly relationship. They have accepted me and I have came out to them that I am bisexual and trans and they love me for me and I am finally happy !

Coming from a household we’re you’re put into boxes from a young age I struggled discovering who I was. I was either straight or gay there was no in between as my mother put it so kindly. My parents are the kind of parents that don’t mind gay people but as my mom and dad explained “it’s different when it’s your own kid”. Things like that are very hard to hear especially growing up being all confused as it is. I finally discovered that I was into boys and girls around the age of 16, but was still ashamed to say it out loud due to the idea that had been planted in my head as a child. Eventually it started eating at me and I went to a party and told my friends crying on the kitchen floor in my best friends arms. I had never felt support like it. I didn’t expect them to react like that. The next stage was my sister who I was pretty nervous to tell as we’d obviously grown up with the same parents so who knows what she would think about it all. I eventually plucked up the courage and told her, crying again – it seems to be a theme, and the outcome was pretty surreal. She told me she loved me no matter what, to not worry about mom and dad and that WE would handle it together. That made me feel a lot more confident and sure about myself. Next step is the parents. I don’t know when or how they will react but fingers crossed 🙂

Well I came out when I was in 3ed grade so about 9 years old and I dint quite remember haw I told everyone but I remember camping with my older sister and brother who are also bothe gay and twins. We where only 3 years apart roughly and I met this girl that I just gruled over and both hannah and alex where like giving me shit about it bc I was super close to them and we talked about everything anyway we ened up having a cheesy kiss under the slide at the park near the lake and then ran 2 my mom gushing about it and she was like WOW THATS GRATE. Then when we left she said t ok her mom this is my new BOYFRIEND and I was like I’m not a boy and she never spoke to me agen but I naw new that I didn’t cair who new. Naw some advice the bigidt risk in life is never taking any cuz then you will never know. And sorry my spelling sucks.

My journey began when I was 16. I found myself being completely infatuated with a girl at school. I had huge butterflies in my stomach every time I saw her. I found myself checking women and freaking out that I was doing this. When I was 17, things were changing again because I was starting to have fantasies involving women. Again, I was panicking because I didn’t want to be gay. At 18, I accepted myself as a lesbian but I was still scared of coming out to my friends and family.

Moving on to being now 22 years old, I went to London for a working holiday and to meet a woman (a fellow South African) who I had been chatting with online for a long time.

While I was there, I spent a lot of time with my now ex-girlfriend and we went to a club together called Heaven. I saw people being who they are, not being scared. That was the moment that I felt I have to come out to my family.

I felt that I had to tell my mom that I am lesbian and did so via email while I was in London.
I spoke to my Mom again when I got back from London. She was OK about as long as I was happy but also curious to know if I wanted to get married and have children.

(This was when same sex marriage was not legal yet in South Africa)

My sister was surprised and I never told my Dad as he was homophobic.

It’s great to be open and free to be who I am.

Firstly pardon my english, I’m actually brasilian.
We all want answers. When we are kids almost EVERYTHING amazes us, and when we grow up, our questions gets more and more complex and complicated…

But Well… I KNOW Love is not one of them. I felt it before.

When It gets complicated, then it’s not love, cause Love transforms a messy knot into a beautifull colorfull line (like a rainbow haha)

Love is understandingfull. Love is kind. And love is not just a feeling itself… It is a way to see the world, and the lackness of it, in some moments, disconect us from the BEST within us.
If you don’t believe me just remember that everything we make with loving, end up beautifull, colorfull, organized (just look at the sky at night), sweet… like a gentle breeze sliding through every strand of hair…

Love is not only about ourselves, but about others too, cause we can donate from us this beautiful energy. By admiring someone, by giving importance to that person,
by touching and being touched by everything that ever happened to that person.
But also love is NOT the absence of pain! Love is a way of living that allow us to be STRONG when pain comes, and not being complainfull about it…
there is actually a spoiled side of us to think that EVERYTHING is ALWAYS destined to end up well… (and by “well” I meant the way we WANT it to end up) Cause It won’t. Which is good, cause pain help us grow. If pain make you feel more scared, then you’re not loving.
I KNOW everything has a purpose. Nature shows us EVERYTHING has a purpose. Sometimes we just don’t know what for.
I do care about LGBT comunity, cause it is important to talk about LOVE diversity. There is many many ways to get to this sea.

As I discovered those paths I realized few important things… You don’t NEED to change everything you are because you realized something new about yourself, but if you WANT TO, then so be it: Change!
But Change for better! Use comprehension, not hate. Otherwise isn’t it hipocrisy to fight hate and exclusion with hating and exclusion?
Does EVERYTHING has to evolve through pain? Does peace has to arrive through battle wounds? Can’t we just KNOW it by heart?
It doesn’t mean we should trust everyone, It is DUMB. It means we should always hope for the better of someone, as much as we hope for ourselves.
But remember… you are still you! With new improves haha. Don’t you EVER forget who you are. What you truly believe. What you really want. And most importantly don’t you ever forget about love. And if there is no love, then you shouldn’t content yourself with less!


And I guess that’s my flag. I don’t know, but ONE DAY, I’ll be strong enough to make people around me feel like this: powerfull, bold, strong, important, seen and happy.
I am nobody. But a nobody with a lot in my mind, I guess…

Aaaaand that’s how I came out.

I have known all my life I was attracted to girls. My first memory was telling my mom when I was 4, that I liked my sister’s girl friends. My mother has been aware of my sexuality since I was born. She claims that all my relatives told her that judging by the shape of the belly, I was for sure a boy… well, they weren’t wrong nor right.

In my younger years it was weird. I used to dress like a boy, play sports and so on, so girls wouldn’t be my friends and boys weren’t comfortable with me, because I’m a girl.

When I was a teenager, I changed schools and I was determined to fit and have friends. So I began to embrace my feminine side.

It wasn’t until University that I realized I could be a women attracted to an other women because I met a bunch of gay people.

However, the process was tortuous because I couldn’t face that reality. And I had fought so hard to be “normal”. So it took me a couple of boyfriends to call it quits and stop hiding from me and my feelings.

However, no one except my sister and my mom knew I was gay.

One sunny day I met this girl and I fell madly in love with her. The feelings were so strong, I just couldn’t hide it. One little detail. She was straight. But I will always thank her because, to be able to process all I was feeling for her, I came out to almost everyone in my life.

A year later I met my wife and we’ve been together for 8 years.

However, even though I’m a grown ass woman, I haven’t been able to come out to my father’s very religious family.

My parents are very supportive but they are afraid my relatives could make a bad comment so they keep discouraging me to come out to them. I feel a heavy weight on my stomach because of this. I’m looking forward to just be able to be, without fear of my relatives and hurting my parents.

Being 90% gay means that you’ll keep coming out over and over again. In every doctor’s appointment “are you married? What’s your husband’s name?”, meeting a new colleague, and so on.

That slight fear that digs a hole in my chest each and every single time someone asks about my partner, never seems to go away. But that is just 10% of the time. The other 90% I’m just happy I get to love who I want and most of the people, don’t really care what I do on my free time.

This is the story of how coming out changed my life.

I was 16 years old and a junior in high school in the close-minded region of small town, Texas. I grew up a tomboy, with seven older brothers and a single, survivor of a mother, never wanting to be the damsel-in-distress or victim of the story. It was when I got a little bit into my teen years that I realized embracing the feminine side of myself didn’t make me weaker or less than at all. That’s what my mother taught me.

My beautiful, strong, hair-brained, peachy pink nails-for-days mother. I remember the night she looked at me with that stubborn spark in her eye and told me, “you’re gonna break the cycle, baby girl”. She wanted more for me than that somber cycle of violence I watched her go through growing up, that she watched her mother go through. I remember feeling empowered. I remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t let her down and I would never apologize for being who I was.

Well, needless to say I carried that experience and many more like it into my years of high school. The first few of which I was rather awkward (naturally), all converse and band t-shirts, but all the while unapologetically myself. Social norms weren’t my thing and I really didn’t care about impressing anybody. I kept mostly to myself and my small circle of friends. Beside theater, I kept mostly out off extra-curricular activities as well, which looking back on I do regret.

Up until this point I had only dated boys and only ever thought of myself as straight. I mean, of course I knew queer people and would (rarely) see a queer character on a tv show or movie that I’d watched, but I never thought of myself that way. It never, ever occurred to me that there was a reason I never really felt that spark when I kissed guys, never felt 100% myself when I was in relationships. I thought maybe it was just because I was young and needed more experience, I thought it was normal.

Junior year is when things started to change. I met a girl. Cheesy as hell, I know, but true. And I guess “met” isn’t the right word. We’d known each other since the 8th grade but our only interaction consisted only of harmless banter in passing. Friends of friends and in completely different social circles. She was a cheerleader. She did beauty pageants and coached gymnastics to kids on the weekends. She was gorgeous and funny and smart. In other words, she was on the other fucking end of the spectrum in relation to where I was. Me, the girl who read books in the back through 90% of my classes, played guitar in a garage band, drove a motorcycle to school and had to physically restrain myself from answering every question ever with a sarcastic one-liner. We shouldn’t have had anything in common… At least, that’s what I thought.

We got a bit closer Junior year, having an advanced English class together, and it was in that class I started to realize little miss perfect didn’t exactly have it all. It was obvious she was struggling with something at home that was weighing on her.

Later that semester she eventually confided in me that she was gay. She told me she’d been with girls before and when her parents found out it was bad. They sent her to church camp. Made her shut that shit down so hard the light went missing from her. I remember how much it hurt my heart to see it. We became even closer after that, as you do, and the fact that I knew she was gay brought a few things to my attention:

Like the way she looked at me.

Or the way I felt when she looked at me.

And I was suddenly very interested in watching movies and tv shows about lesbians. It was like I desperately needed to see myself in something that could validate what I was feeling. Like I needed to see that I didn’t have to act a certain stereotypical way to be feeling the way I was. Where I could see a gay character that wasn’t one dimensional. That showcased a variety of authentic gay relationships that weren’t pervy or flat. And when I did find shows like that, it made all the difference in the world. #WayHaught

By that point I was in full gay panic. I was sorta kinda dating this guy who wasn’t even horrible but definitely didn’t make me feel the way she did and I did not know what to do with this new information about myself. Was I gay??? Did I like her??? Suddenly I was spiraling into a void of self-doubt and fear with a dash of excitement and hope. I didn’t exactly know what I was going to do, but the answers came soon enough…

We decided to have a sleepover with my best friend and watch Girltrash the movie (if you haven’t seen it you’re missing out, it’s literally about lesbians in a rock band AND it’s a musical). Anyway, so there we were. Laying next to each other in my bed. My best friend was asleep by that point, or at least we thought she was at the time (we found out later she wasn’t actually asleep but didn’t want to ruin our moment so shout out to her, thanks for being a homie). Meanwhile, I was painfully aware of every breath I made. Every move. I was finding it extremely difficult to keep my eyes on the tv. Finally, after sitting through the entire movie in a state of stomach-turning anticipation, the protagonists in the movie had their climatic kissing scene and all I remember is her turning to me with this smirk on her face and asking me, “so are you gonna kiss me or what?”

So I did.

And a fundamental shift took place inside me at that moment, like a light finally getting turned on after years in the dark or a giant puzzle piece clicking into place. It was easy. It was carefree. It was scary, sexy, and safe all at the same time. It was in that moment, making out with a cheerleader in my lap, that for the first time I thought… I am SO fucking gay.

Now I’m definitely not saying we lived happily ever after and that was that. No, high school is never that easy. We had a very intense run that was destined for failure simply due to the fact that she could never be fully out and openly gay due to her family. She ended up moving to the city and a different school, and being my first love of course I thought we should keep trying anyway and well, it just didn’t work out.

I have some very dark self-reflective memories from back then, as well as some really beautiful ones with her. All in all I’m extremely grateful for the experience and for that girl, who had such a crucial role in helping me discover myself, and a truly hope she’s doing well these days. After all, if it wasn’t for that self-realization, I never would have come into my own the way I did at the end of high school.

During my senior year I finally decided to act and compete in theater instead of just being behind the curtain. I became the mascot because why the fuck not? I ran for homecoming queen as a joke and actually won. I was friends with anyone from any side of the social spectrum and I graduated high school in a much more positive place than I started.

Because after everything that had happened, I completely and utterly embraced being a girl and being gay. Everything just made so much more sense. Why couldn’t I be all the things that made me feel more, well, me? Like guitar, leather jackets, makeup, and motorcycles? Coming out completely changed my take on life. I didn’t just come out of the closet, I came out of my shell.

Now at almost 22 years old, I’ve done things I never would have thought I’d have the courage to do. I survived the death of my mother, something I thought surely would have killed me. I learned to support myself completely. I started a career as a 911 dispatcher. My band recently went to the studio to record our first EP and have shows lined up later this year. I decided to stop being so scared all the time, that if I’m being true to myself and who I am, it doesn’t matter if I fail at times. I’ve continuously kept trying to do what makes me happy and the results have been boundless. I’ve learned SO much about who I want to be and the positive impact I want to make in this world. All because I was completely, truly, and still unapologetically me.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk, have a nice life nerds, and don’t forget to love yourself!

First of all, my first language is german.. so if i make mistakes (and there will be many I suppose) i apologize!

I want to make it short: I´ve never felt as a woman and I´ve never felt as a guy. i don´t know, I mean, it´s not important for me. biological i´m a woman, yes, and if you would see me you would also say that i´m a woman- but i don´t feel it-i like unisex clothes, sometimes i watch soccer and shout and drink beer, the next day i watch a walt disney film and cry- i´ve never liked or was even interested in things most girls like and also in things most guys like- as a kid or teenager i felt like an alien, now i´m happy the way iam. i don´t like the expectation society has on women- so what, yes im biological a woman, yes i don´t want kids, no also not in ten years, no i´m not married to a guy, blabla..

my coming out was a difficult- i always knew that i like women. i´ve never, and i´m 33 years old now- had feelings for men- maybe i fall in love with a guy when i´m a granny, who knows, but it never happened to me.
when my family found out (for me, it was always okay and normal) my parents throw me out of the house- i was 17. i had nothing, i didnt know what to do with my life, there was no perspective.
because i had to switch my places to sleep (mostly sofas of friends, we were young, not many of us had an own apartement or something like this)
i couldn´t concentrate on learning, doing my school etc… so i also lost the oppurtunity to do my final exams in school.
i had many difficult years, and i was so young…when i think back now, there was too much alcohol, too many parties and too many risky situations.


it all sounds very sad, and heartbreaking, but you know what?
I´m married know, to a wonderful woman, i finished university and i´m a social worker now- and try to help people manage their lives. in the past i always wished to have a social worker who helps me- now i try to be the person for other people.
so, there´s a happy end, i had good people in my life and i always trusted in myself- maybe i was just lucky, who knows 😉

I was always attracted to both men and women and deep down I knew that I like both men and women as I don’t look them as genders I look them as beautiful heart. I am from India and I never got the courage to share this with my family that for me love is love but hopefully soon I will let them know that I am QUEER !!

Hi, my name is Melissa, I’m 19 years old and two years ago I came out as bisexual.
This coming out was a long and tough journey….. 6 years and it’s not finished yet.
Since I became sexually aware, I think I always had a part of myself that liked girls, in addition to boys, but I was really confused about it.
Because, when I was a young teenager, I thought that there were only two different sexualities: straight or gay. But I didn’t fit in those two sexualities.
So for a couples of years I was in total denial of this part of me that was attracted to girls and I focused on boys only. But I wasn’t happy at all, it’s like a part of me was missing and I wasn’t truly and entirely myself.
And I think that bisexual characters from the series that I watch helped me soooo much to find who I am. Like for example, Calliope Torres from Grey’s anatomy and of course Waverly Earp. They are the two characters who helped me to understand what was happening with me and to accept it.
There was no problem with me, no I am not weird or broken: I am just Bisexual and it’s normal, it’s okay.
It took me a year to accept this and it was a real source of anxiety. At the beginning of high school, I started to have panic attacks about it, I was crying all the time and didn’t sleep at night: because I was scared about judgment, scared to be rejected by my family and friends because I am « different » from them and also because I wasn’t really myself with them and it became more like a burden to keep this part of me hidden.
So I told my best friend first, I burst into tears as if it was bad news or something serious. And the first thing she did: she hugged me really tight and told me that it wasn’t a problem, she’ll love me and support me no matter what. And at this time, I understand I wasn’t supposed to be ashamed about it with my friends.
In senior year, I fell in love with a girl. This girl confessed to me that she’s bisexual and she seemed really open about it, no complex, nothing…. I confessed to her that I was Bi too because for the first time I wasn’t scared to be judged because she was like me. Anyway, we had a really strong connexion and something was happening between us. It kinda pushed me to come out to all of my friends and also my parents (brruuhh, the toughest part).
My friends totally accepted it even if they were disappointed that it took me so long to tell them but I think that I just needed to be fully ready and it was something I had to work on.
Then for my parents, I decided to write a letter because I was not capable of telling them face to face. I put the letter on the stairs before going to school and had written that they raised me with an open mind, communication and understanding. I said that I was into all humans, I don’t care about gender, I just want to love freely so I identify myself as Bisexual but I hadn’t changed. I was, I am and I always will be the same person.
Their first reaction: they didn’t reject me and they still loved me: yay
But then I had to talk about this letter. And guess what? They didn’t believe me…And I started to doubt myself…again, and all my confidence collapsed.
During this time of doubt, I really found myself in music. It was a way to escape and forget all my fears. I started writing songs and playing different instruments. And music became my best friend, a part of me and it saved me.
A couple of months later I went to my first pride and I think it was one of the most beautiful day of my life. I felt like I was at the right place, where I felt myself, truly and entirely, for the first time ever and GOSH it was so good and liberating. Everyone was so incredible, open minded and supportive. This day I saw my true colors and I saw that those colors were beautiful. I think this day changed my life forever because I finally found this wonderful community and I made friends and I didn’t felt lonely anymore. It helps me so much to accept myself and be less scared of judgment.
Today, two years later, my parents still didn’t believe me and still think that you can only be gay or straight, and don’t understand all the different sexualities in the middle. So they still don’t accept me yet. My father seems more open minded than my mother on that. It’s been really difficult with my mother because she is full of prejudices. So we have had kind of a hard time but I know that someday they’ll accept it and I know that it can take a long long time, but i’ll try to be patient.
My brothers and my cousins were really open minded about it and accepted me immediately.
And,for the rest of my family, I am not out and I don’t know if I will be one day because both sides of my family have strong religious principles from two different religions and I don’t know how they will react, so I am not ready.
Oh and recently, I learned that the international day of Bisexuality is on the 23rd of September and guess what? It’s my birthday! Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I think that each coming out story is unique, because everyone is unique in their own way and have their own story and each story is as beautiful as the others.
No matter what we’ve been through, no matter who we love and whether we’re out or not: LOVE IS LOVE. You’re valid, you’re not alone, you’re beautiful just the way you are. Show your true colors and you’ll shine brighter than the sun.
« Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow ».

I have been misgendered from a very young age.

Whether it was a stranger seeing a boy but being told that I was a girl or by my parents who only ever knew me as a female. Then came my next identity crisis. In primary school, I also had my first crush on a girl which created a new bunch of questions that I didn’t know whom to ask. I hadn’t been taught about the vast spectrum of genders and to the extent that I had a sense of sexuality it was faint at best.

I have always been lucky to be surrounded by people who support me and have loved me for whoever I want to be. However even at the tender age of 11, I was well aware that the world around me was not always going to have my back. This fear of whether or not I would be accepted for who I am kept me from yelling from the rooftops how I felt and how I wanted to look.

I went to a girl’s school in Melbourne, Australia. While this only further awaked my sexuality, it did nothing to help with my doubts over who I was. As a 14-year-old I never felt more different to everyone else around me than when I was at school play acting at being a girl surrounded by other teenagers who were definitely female. Yet due to the limited education that I had received about the gender spectrum I only felt alienated and different, without the comfort of having an identity that I could cling to. Believing that there are only two genders in the world, boy and girl, and that you are what you are born as, sent me to a terrifying and dark place.

Even so, I had the comfort that my friends were supportive of me when I came out as queer. I was so shocked when they shrugged and moved on like it was a completely normal thing, I had to ask them if they had heard what I said. Every LGBT story I had ever read led me to believe that I would receive a negative reaction. However, I believe I have been lucky for my parents were the same, reacting with joy and support.

Later, I discovered the gender spectrum and I have never been more relieved. I found a place that I could home and an identity that I could feel comfortable in.

You would think that after coming out once, a second time would be like a piece of cake. Unfortunately, it was even harder. Before I had known my parents friend who were queer. They had been over for dinner and they had tucked me into my bed. Although I wasn’t certain, I wasn’t too worried. Now I was about to tell them that the daughter they had known for years could no longer be their daughter. Perhaps blurting it out at the dinner table ten minutes before our favourite tv show started wasn’t the best idea but they couldn’t have been more supportive.

Although, with my parents I am now in a place where I can talk to them comfortably about me being their son, I have not reached that level of comfortableness outside, in the real world. It is the sad truth that we do not live in a world where every single person is guaranteed to support you. But from my experience so far, there are many people out there who have my back. As someone who is still afraid to go to public toilets, stutters out that they are girl when questioned in the female bathroom but is too scared that they might be thought of as a fraud in the male bathrooms, I applaud those who stand strong and say I don’t care what the world thinks, this is me and I am proud. As a person who does not correct my grandmother when she calls me Sophie, even though my name has been Charlie for three years, I read Dom’s message and I smile, for a person who I have looked up to for so long has stood up and paved the way for many people to truly be themselves.

With the courage from Dom’s coming out, I stand here and I yell from the rooftops that I am a Queer Trans Male and I could not be more proud of who I am.

#OutIsTheNewIn

I knew I was gay when I was in 5th/6th grade. A year later I came out to my best friend, the same month I got in to psychiatry because of depression. There they forced me to come out to my mother because “it would help me”, she just said its just a phase and she didn’t believe me, while I sat next to her crying. 2018 I was on my first CSD and my stepsister picked me up. As she saw me she was like “oh but you’re not one of them, right?” and I just started giggling. Thats how I came out to her. 3 Months later my stepsis, stepmom an my dad sit in our garden and my sis told them I wanted to tell them something, which I definitely didn’t because I wasn’t ready yet, I was the whole time like “no I don’t” so my stepmom starts to ask “did you smoke” “hell no” I replied, “did you got a tattoo?” “no” are you a lesbian?” and I instantly started to cry. Thats how I came out to my Papa. One and a half year later on new years eve 2019/2020 I came out to my mom(again) my stepdad, my foster mom and dad, friends of them. Now I am OUT AND PROUD 🙂

I knew when I was 10, I think, I first thought I was bisexual, but two years later I found out that I was gay. I came out to my friends way sooner then my parents. I came out to my parents in the end of 2018, when the president of my country was elected. I cried so much and told them that I was crying because I am not straight (he’s a sexist homophobic man). I’m not out to my whole family, just a few relatives, and now that I have a girlfriend I want to come out, but I’m really scared. Oh! By the way, I’m 13, turning 14 in August.

My story starts when I was young, about the age of 10, though I did not realize until more recently, and I am approaching my 26th birthday. When I was younger I had a bit of a struggle with my gender identity. I was a “tom-boy” and between the ages of eight to thirteen, I refused to wear clothes from the girls section, in favor of baggy “boy” clothing, and wearing short hair. I just felt more comfortable that way, but if anyone mistook me for actually being a boy, I got angry, and couldn’t understand why it was so hard for people to get that girls can like boy things too! To be fair, I did look like a boy so I didn’t have much of a right to be upset, and now I look back on those years and laugh a little. It was also around this time that I found myself becoming more and more infatuated with female icons or characters in movies and T.V. Moulin Rouge was my all time favorite movie at age 12, but instead of being obsessed with Ewan McGregor, I was in love with Nicole Kidman. I thought nothing of it besides admiring a great artist, who just so happens to be gorgeous, I didn’t think anything of this behavior, but my uncle, who lived with my mom and I at this time, and who is gay as well, clocked this behavior and starting making comments about being gay or a lesbian, and poking fun at me about it. This of course made me furious because, for one, his words rang true to me, but I am suborn and would not stand for someone else telling me what I was, or who I liked. And two, because I would get flustered and confused and thought that there was no way he could be right about me. That wasn’t what society said was right, and surely a whole group of people would be right and he, as one man alone, must be wrong. So I did what many many people do, about all conflicting and scary feelings, and I buried them away, deep down so that I wouldn’t have to confront them myself, or give anyone else to opportunity to tell me what my sexuality was again. Besides, my family already had a gay member, there couldn’t be more than one to a family, right? Isn’t that how it works??

When I reached puberty, I started to feel much more comfortable wearing more feminine clothing and became a lot more comfortable in my own skin, which as I’m writing this, I realize that is a little ironic because puberty is when most people feel the exact opposite… non-the-less, I was feeling more like “myself” despite having an occasional moment or feeling of attraction to my friends, the female friends. I told myself that those feelings were just there because we were so close and such good friends, and like in all relationships, it was normal to feel a little jealous when you had to start sharing your time among other friends or an occasional boyfriend. Except, I wasn’t feeling jealous of their time being spent with others, I was jealous of the boy holding my best friends hand, or talking all night with her on the phone, and getting to hear her profess her love for him. And when they would inevitably break up, I would feel a little bit relieved, and all too happy to through my arms around her in support and wipe her tears. But again, for years, I would lie to myself by saying that I was acting as any friend would, and that there was nothing more to it because there couldn’t be.

So, I fell in love with men out in public, and women in my mind. And for many years, I was content with this being my reality. I met an incredible man to whom I am now married and it has been with him and the security of our relationship, that I was finally able to start letting my feelings and attractions to women come to the surface to explore. There is a small part of me that wishes I had come to that point much sooner, and before we were married, especially given that I was quite young when we did so, and at twenty-two years old, there is so much life left to live and years to spend figuring out things like sexuality and love and attraction. But we were firm in our decision to marry and it was the best decision I’ve made.

I am not a particularly spiritual person, but I have truly been blessed with finding my husband who loves me for exactly who I am, and for being there to listen to my ramblings and vocal realizations about being bisexual. He created a safe place for me to talk about my feelings, when I had not created one for myself, and for that I am very thankful. Eventually I felt more comfortable talking to friends about my realization, and my sisters who are nothing but amazing and supportive, and honestly didn’t have much of a reaction to my confession, besides making it seem like there was absolutely nothing different about me to them. And I mean that in the very best way. I was still the same “Chelsey” that they grew up with, I was still me, only with a very big realization, which to be honest, some of them knew before I did. I became more and more comfortable with this as my new truth over the last four years that this discovery process lasted, but through all of it I was certain that I would never be comfortable telling my mother. I didn’t think that she would be angry or upset about it, I just didn’t want her to make some kind of snarky comment or mention the fact that I’m married to a man and the obvious complexities of sexuality and marriage. These were issues I had been navigating, quite gracefully with my husband for years and I wasn’t yet ready for her input.

Now I find myself in a strange position, along with the rest of the world, where I have not left my house for anything other than walking the dog and taking out the trash for twenty-one days. During my time of self-quarantine, I have been finding ways to stay creative. I am a writer and a photographer, which are mediums I have used quite frequently to express myself and other issues dear to my heart, but the topics of sexuality, lgbtq, gender norms and freedom have been taking up more space than anything else in my mind. I have written poetry and done a couple photo shoots with myself eluding to my sexuality, to use as my own full coming out to my mother. I don’t exactly know what shifted in my mind or in my heart about it, but I have come to a place where I would just so much rather be completely out and free to express and talk about who I am with everyone in my life. So when my mother asked to read my poem, as she is my biggest fan and I love her dearly for that, I sent it to her happily and without reservation or fear. It is as follows:

In all the land of milk and honey,
when all the land was warm and sunny
there stood a girl, and in her eye
she saw the long day pass her by.
She stood and stared, then sat to cry
for there was none to hold her high.

She had in mind the arms that would,
forbidden as they were.
For in those arms her heart did lie
though there was one thing more.
Their lives had parted long before,
still, longing filled her soul,
to hold the one for whom she’d die,
great love must come with a tole.

Devoted she was to someone new,
though torn, her mind had split in two.
With one for him and one for her,
but in the end with what to do,
she knew not who to choose.
For if she did, the choice she’d make,
well surely two would stand to loose.

But in the night, her dreams held true,
the love it was her heart went to.
Though with the dawn her sadness grew,
the warmth she felt was gone, she knew.

And though she woke, she could not rise.
Her mind was lost beneath her eyes,
instead it soared beyond the seas,
and weaved around among the trees.
It fluttered to the place she knew,
this place it was where her heart grew.

It found it’s way and hoped to stay
into the arms where lovers play.
And in those arms she loved so dear
her eyes began to shed a tear.
She wasn’t sad, or mad, but glad,
for it was her she’d wanted so bad.
And as it was her that her heart had belonged
she knew from the start that it had all along.

So I sent the poem off to my mom, and awaited the questions I knew that she would have for me. And she did have questions, and I answered them by explaining my journey to figure out who I am and who I want to be, and how I want to be seen and fit into the world. I explained that I have come to realize that I am bisexual and I am married to a man, and I would not change one second of this life I have been given to figure out. Her response was very simple, and to the point, and not what I had expected. She said “I thought so.” and added the “thinking man” emoji to her text. I am thankful to say that her response made me feel so relieved, and seen, and loved, and I will never take that for granted because I know that there are many other people out there with stories similar to mine, who do not get the same warm feelings in response to their coming out. I love my mother to pieces, and everyone who has been there to support me in everything I do in this life. I will take none of them for grated, and I will be living my life, doing the best to spread love, understanding and light to those dark sides of society as I go.

Thank you so dearly, from the very bottom of my heart, and from the depths of my being where I had been hiding away my true self for so many years. Everyone living an out and open life, and everyone who is trying to get there right now, you are all my heroes, and you are not alone in this crazy world!

All my love to you,

Chels

Hello, my name is Sofia from Peru.

Well, I was really aware of my attraction to women when I started to like a new girl in my third year of high school, at that age I was about 15 years old.
After that I fell in love for the first time, with a girl at the end of that same year, I ended up madly in love with a girl from another country, the truth was I could never reveal my feelings because she could not forget her ex and she needed help from her friends I did not want to take advantage of their vulnerability, despite having many opportunities, we became very intimate.

Gatme, she, unfortunately I waited a long time and fell into the friend zone, ended up falling in love with another girl, something very painful. In the end I managed to get over it, but it’s still an important part of being able to really accept myself as a bisexual girl. The process really took me almost 3 or 2 years.

Now that I am 18 years old, and I start to remember small actions, feelings and behaviors, I realize that I have always been attracted to girls, at least since I was in 2nd grade, I just did not know how to differentiate things.

As I said before, I am 18 years old, I am only openly bisexual with some people … I still do not feel ready to come out, I suppose it is because I am afraid that everything will change with my friends and family. At least my family only knows my brother, but I have not touched on the subject long ago, after all he only knows that I go out with boys, currently I go out with one.

I really hope I can have the courage to tell my loved ones (friends and family) what I feel, what I am.

This is kind of like a super summary Lol.

I realized I was not straight when I was 25. Up until then I was sure that I was straight but hadn’t found the right boy yet. Once I realized I wasn’t straight, my life changed.

I told my friend that I had a crush on that girl and it was driving me nuts. She said I was just overthinking it. Nothing made sense anymore.

Quick background – I come from a deeply religious family and the country that I live in just a few years ago legalized lgbt+ relationships. My friends teased anyone that was different. I just wanted to be normal.

I didn’t want to be different and stand out. I wanted it to go away cuz up until then I had only dated boys. Maybe I thought that if I focused on the boys, I didn’t have to think about girls. I never thought twice on kissing girls on a dare or when I was drunk because I thought it was ok and not weird.

Finally after a lot of reading I realized I was not alone or confused. Coming out stories helped me accept my truth. I said the words – I am bisexual and it’s ok. Accepting it for myself was the biggest challenge. I know I’d be teased and ridiculed and I knew life was only going to get difficult from here. My closest friends became more understanding and became the support system I didn’t know that I required.

Last year I got a tattoo that said “to each his own” in Latin and watercolor. I was always bisexual but didn’t come to terms with it till a human made me look closely at myself and accept me for who I truly was. Without her I might not have been here. I might have never accepted myself for who I was and may have never ever been so clear about any of this.

When did I know?? I had inklings and moments of suspicion that I was not like other beans in my teens. I was never into the boy beans. But my upbringing was very Christian influenced, enveloped in values that made it really hard for me to grow. It took leaving home for university, going to Vancouver, to open my eyes. I met a lot of queer beans and attended ClexaCon it’s first two years. I started consuming a lot of queer media. Eventually, this gay bean accepted herself for who she was at the age of 21. It’s been two years now and I can honestly say nothing else has ever made me happier than loving women and accepting myself for it.
When did I come out? You don’t come out once in your life. You come out over and over and over again. The first person I told was my dad in the car, on the way to lunch. Then gradually, I told my friends- most of them had a hunch anyway. Everyone I’ve told has been seriously loving. But I’ve consciously kept some people in the dark, like my mother, her being the source of the religious influences in my life. Recently, I moved to Europe. I still go to church and only three of my friends know my sexual orientation there. The first, is a bisexual girl who came out to me drunkenly at a bar. Bless her. The second, is an intern at the church who I asked for advice because I had fallen for one of the girls in our community. I specifically asked, was a relationship with her realistic? And the third person, was the aforementioned girl. She was becoming my friend and if we are to talk about love, romantic relationships, and past experiences openly, then I wanted her to know the real me. She is in fact, not queer, I’ve established. That’s okay. There are other rainbow beans out there.
Being out and openly queer in my country in Europe is very much allowed, but not common, I’ve learned. I’m going to keep my orientation to myself from now on. I fear I’m not strong enough to take on the social obstacles that I might have to face, should my orientation be widely known in my social circles. That’s okay for now. My hope is that… I can live openly one day because I’m not good at pretending to be something I’m not. People like Dom inspire me, of course. I know, in turn, I’ve inspired others as well. If I can keep that going… this nice cycle of receiving and giving, I have a lot of hope that I can get through anything life will throw at me for being “different”.
– a lezbean

My coming out story isn’t much different than the next person, I suppose. It boils down to the fact that I grew up thinking that being a straight cis-woman was the only option. While I wanted a family, the idea of fulfilling the role of Suzy-homemaker never appealed to me. I didn’t want to be a brainless baby making machine. I wanted an education, a career, and a partnership. I didn’t want what my parents had and it made me sad thinking that I would never get what I wanted, simply because I didn’t think it existed.
Fast-forward a few years and I was a High School Junior with a best friend (I’ll call her L). A best friend, who I thought would stick with me through thick and thin for the rest of my life. Oh how I was wrong. Anywho, through a long series of events L took a chance one night and kissed me. She was more shocked by my lack of negative reaction than I was. I remember thinking “wait, that was it?” and wanting to try it again. And try again we did.
For a little bit of background, I grew up in a Mormon household where I was taught that homosexuality was a sin. I knew that I had an uncle who was gay but I also knew that my Grandma had disowned him back in the 80’s at the height of the AIDS epidemic. So what I knew at that point in my life was being gay was wrong and I’d definitely go to hell if I was gay. So I never said that I was. When friends started to figure out that L and I were dating, I would say “Oh, I’m not gay. I just like L” or “I’m only like 5% into girls, so not really gay”. I was wrong, but I thought I was in love so labels didn’t really matter to me.
As most High School relationships go, our relationship only lasted about 6 months before it was over. I was devastated as she moved on to college and I was left to navigate the rest of high school by myself, without a best friend or a girlfriend. In hindsight I don’t think my devastation was caused by the loss of a relationship but rather with the mountain of questions she left me with. Was I gay? Was it just her I loved? Am I going to hell? Will I ever find someone who loves me? It wasn’t just the usual post-breakup mountain of questions I had to deal with. I was also left questioning my identity. Who I was, down to the core. So what did I do? I tried to get “rid” of my gay feelings and dove head first back into the world of heterosexuality, which didn’t last for long.
I went to college in the very liberal, LGBTQ-friendly state of Massachusetts, where I told my first college roommate that I might be bisexual. I think I chose that label not because I couldn’t pick a side (obviously an incorrect stereotype), but because I never had even kissed a boy before so I felt like it was “safe” to identify as someone who could go either way. So I gave it the good old college try and dated several men during my four years at school. Through many hookups and short lived relationships I kept finding myself saying “Hm, I’m not into him, maybe it’ll be the next guy”. I was always left with an empty feeling in my chest and the thought that maybe I was broken. I couldn’t understand how so many of my peers were able to find a partner and find happiness with that person. Maybe it just wasn’t my destiny?
I never dated any women in college despite all of my friends encouraging me to try. It didn’t feel right to me, probably since my 4 year experiment of dating men wasn’t quite finished yet and a part of me didn’t want to potentially skew the results by adding the gender I knew I had a connection with into the mix. I do have respect for the scientific method after all. It wasn’t until a cold night in October, as I was about to have sex with yet another man who’s name I never bothered to remember, did I realize that this wasn’t for me. I’ll spare you all the graphic details that helped me come to this conclusion, but ultimately I left that guy’s house at 2 A.M., without my socks and the newfound realization that I am, without a doubt, gay. I finally felt free.
I told my friends the next day and I was met with overwhelming support. I waited several months to tell my mom and again, nothing but support. A few months later I told my extended family, and to my surprise once more, full support! I felt a profound sense of relief and also guilt. Why the guilt? Well, I knew I was one of the lucky people in the LGBTQ community and I was thankful for that, but I realized that I just spent the last 5 years of my life battling internalized homophobia. Could you imagine how utterly disgusted I felt with myself? I never had a problem with homosexual people so long as I wasn’t one of them. Here I was with complete support from my family and friends and I felt like a fraud. I felt awful for identifying as part of the LGBTQ family all while I had feelings that it was wrong. I blame a lot of my internalized homophobia on my Mormon upbringing, but I also knew it had something to do with the fact that I’m a perfectionist and wanted a life that was normal. I had a life plan to get a college education, get married in my early twenties, and have children before I was thirty. In my mind, being a lesbian totally derailed that plan and it made me angry. All I ever wanted to be was “normal” and it took me until I was 24-years-old to realize that being normal, is totally fucking overrated.
So, I had officially come out to my family at 22-years-old, but something still felt off to me. I was out, I had gotten over my internalized homophobia and guilt, AND I was actually dating women. What else was missing? I didn’t figure it out until my job had moved me out to Northern California, just outside of San Francisco, and until I had met my best friend. H is a beautiful straight blonde woman and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t totally have a crush on her. But life isn’t like some of the movies out there and as much as I’d wish she was secretly in the closet and would one day fall in love with me, I know it won’t happen. Oh well, I’m over it. Mostly. Anyway, what I love most about this woman is her confidence to be her authentic self. She doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks about her and does whatever she wants simply because it makes her happy. My mind was blown. Who actually lives life like that!? I certainly didn’t.
Eventually, after months of internal debates with myself, I decided to take a page out of her book. I was going to do something because I wanted to do it and I didn’t care about what anyone thought about it. I cut off my long brown hair. I went from having hair halfway down my back to using a buzzer. It was fucking liberating! It took a few haircuts to get the style that I wanted but once I did, damn I looked good. A few months later I went through my entire closet and donated all of my dresses, feminine shirts, and shoes. I started shopping almost exclusively in the men’s clothing department and even bought a custom tailored 3 piece suit. I went from a shy tomboy to a semi-confident soft-butch woman. I was starting to feel a little bit better about myself, but I still wasn’t quite there yet.
Shortly after my extreme makeover, something weird started to happen to me. I was getting misgendered. A lot. But something even weirder caught my attention. I didn’t mind getting misgendered and I never corrected anyone who referred to me with male pronouns. What the hell did this mean now!? I had just gotten comfortable with my sexuality and now I was questioning my gender identity. Was I ever going to find a label that I actually fit into? I felt full of questions again.
I wish I could say that I’ve figured it out, but I haven’t yet. Do I think I’m trans? No, probably not. Am I non-binary? Maybe? Androgynous? Possibly. Am I just a soft-butch lesbian woman who doesn’t give a fuck about labels and loves women? Could be. Will I ever figure it out, who knows? What I do know at this point in my life is that I don’t really care. I don’t care what gender people think I am. I don’t care if the woman who I will eventually fall in love with has a sexual past with partners of different genders. I don’t care what people think because I finally, FINALLY feel some sense of peace within myself. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t think I ever will, but I’m finally living my truth. I don’t hide who I am anymore and I do the things that make me happy. Some days I can’t believe that I spent 24 years of my life living in shame and other days I’m so happy that I’ve spent the last year of my life embracing myself. I know my journey isn’t complete and I know I have more things to discover about myself and my goodness, I can’t wait to see how this goes.
If this ever gets published, and it’s okay if it doesn’t because quite frankly this was cathartic for me to write, but if it does, I hope someone can identify with my story. I hope this helps someone else realize that we are all on our own journeys and there is not one specific timeline you have to follow. It took me 24 years to live my truth. It took my brother 17. It may take someone 5 years or another person 75 years. All that matters is that you are true to yourself. If labels make you happy, use them. If you don’t care for them, that’s okay too! There is no right or wrong way to be yourself so just do it. You’ll be amazed at just how brightly you can shine.

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