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Page 9

Community Rainbow Waves

I first Had an inclination my freshman year of college, when I began to have feelings for my best friend(10/06). I kept my feelings hidden for fear of rejection. I became involved years later, (10/11), with a girl and fell in love for the first time, I knew then who I was. I came out to close friends and family shortly afterwards. The best of them had known about my sexuality for years, so it was nice and easy. It has taken a couple of relationships for me to fully embrace myself. I’m very happy and proud of who I am.

I’m 25 from Norway and I’ve been out for awhile now. I first realized there was something different with me when I was 10 years old. Back then I of course didn’t think there was anything wrong with what I was feeling, cause honestly how can a child who’s really open-minded not realize this isn’t “normal”? I noticed I was attracted to girls the way I should’ve been attracted to boys. When I got older ( I believe i was 12/13) i started to see that maybe this wasn’t as normal as I thought at first. That’s when the fear hit me. That’s when I saw that who I was and who I wanted to be was not accepted in the society. So I did what I had to do, hide my sexuality. For a long time I thought I was bisexual, I mean how could I not be? At least I could be into boys, right? I could have a part of be that was “ normal” and I didn’t have to tell anyone about my attraction towards girls. Time went on and I kept dating boys and I kept getting more depressed. I was 15 and I met the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. We became best friends quickly and my feelings only got stronger. It got harder to hide what I was feeling. Everything was so much harder. That’s when I knew I HAD to come out to someone. So I took a few of my friends aside and told them that I was bisexual ( obviously I was lying) and they took it fine. But it didn’t stop there that wasn’t the real me, I wasn’t out as a gay. I kept dating boys, I was still so scared and I still tried to deny it. I knew I had to come out to my parents at some point. By the time I was 17 I have had crush on many girls without anyone knowing. I started to accept myself slowly and I was meeting my fear, I started to realize maybe I wasn’t as weird as I thought. Or maybe people didn’t judge me as I thought. I got my first girlfriend when I was 18 without anyone knowing. That’s when I decided to meet my fear and tell my parents. I wanted to be me and I couldn’t hide it any longer, my friends had known for awhile. I first told my brothers and then my mom, then my dad. Everyone took it amazing except from my dad. I’m not gonna go into details cause it’s complicate but he learned to accept me eventually. I told the rest of my family when I was 21, I felt so free and so happy. I’ve never felt better. I’m never going back and I’m never going to lie about my sexuality again and I’m not gonna go back to being scared and afraid of who I am. I’m so freaking proud of who I am and I’m loving my life now. I don’t miss being in the closet at all. Now I stand with LGBTQ+ and I fight for our rights. Everyone should be able to love who they want no matter sexuality they have. Love is freaking beautiful

I knew since a very young age that I felt attracted by all genders. To be honest never felt the need to say it out loud to accept myself. I had some boyfriends (different races and nationalities) some were presented to my family (just the serious relationships) and then when I start dating my current girlfriend/fiancée (who is from a different nationality) I presented her to my family the same way. No big deal was made, the same questions were asked and she was accepted the same way. I know I’m a lucky woman for living in a very open minded family and country (Portugal). I wish that everyone could have the same luck and be accepted just like they are. I see myself as bi but to be honest that’s just a word, I love all genders, races and nationalities and I’m proud to say it! Be you!

When I was younger I had no idea that the LGBTQ+ community was even a thing, my family never spoke about it and I had never ever witnessed anything of the sort so I didn’t have a knowledgeable background on any of it. I had my first girlfriend at the age of 9 and it was due to the fact she had “forced” it upon me, she kept asking me out and so on. I guess that is where it started and baring in mind I had no idea, I genuinely thought that was normal like any other relationship.

Moving on to first year in secondary school (I was around 12) that was when I realised after doing a lot of research I found out that I was bisexual, I was fascinated by girls as there was just something different about them compared to boys. I told my best friend that I was bisexual and she was very very supportive of me and helped me a lot along the way. A couple months pass and I was starting to get confused, I was thinking “do I just like girls so could I be lesbian?”, I told my best friend and she still stayed supportive, a couple weeks pass and I told her I was bisexual again and that I must like boys.

A year passes and I move away from my hometown to the beautiful highlands and I met these wonderful people who helped me to see myself in a new way. We were out one night and they walked me home (baring in mind it was a new place so I wasnt to sure where to go) and they came out to me, it was such an incredible moment and experience for me. I felt safe so I came out to them that night also. Another year or so passes and I came out to my mum during a lunch break in school, which was just so out of the blue but at that moment I knew it needed to be done. There was fear as I could tell by her tone that she was not a fan of me liking girls. I got home and we talked about it and she told me I was confused because I wasnt of legal age (I must have been 14/15) assuming that since I couldn’t legally be “sexually active” I couldnt know if I liked girls or not. I found it wrong myself because I knew I wasnt confused and we never talked about it after that until I brought home my girlfriend at the time and introduced her to my mum, she was still rather “upset” I guess, I’m not sure how to describe it but she kinda took on board that this was who I was becoming. I told my dad later on in life from my mum (they split up and it was confusing times) and he understood wholeheartedly and loved me for who I am and has always tried to keep me happy and I couldnt be any more thankful to have him by my side.

I’m almost 20 now and I couldn’t be happier with my sexuality and I’m hoping that since when I came out to my mum till now she has gotten a better understanding that this me, this is who I am, this is who I want to be.

Hello!

I’m Brenn and I realized that I was part of the LGBTIQ+ community at the age of 12 when a girl at school started liking me but I also liked children. For the next 8 years or so it wasn’t a conflict that I liked women, the conflict was that there were stages where I only liked men other times only women, sometimes both and other times no one.

I did not understand what was happening to me, until those stages were over and as I educated myself about the diversity that exists I discovered that being Queer was the closest thing to what I feel and how I identify myself.

When I was 21 years old I came out of the closet with my boyfriend at that time as a bisexual because it was the sexual orientation I knew even though I didn’t feel like I belonged there.

Then I came out at 27 with my parents and brother in a situation that I would not have liked to have happened but it brought my nuclear family to know and they understood the whole situation. Plus they were understanding and took it very well.

So I told my friends, some took it well and others walked away.

In general I always felt that I didn’t fit in anywhere but that also helped me to do a lot of introspection and work on myself, which has made me feel happy with who I am and how that projects on others. It’s true that all those years go by in rather dark episodes but the colors came and now they don’t stop shining and they do more and more.

I live in Mexico in a society in which there is more visibility of the LGBTIQ+ community but there is no education about it, so we have a long way to go but with the hope that we are making a change.

Thank you for everything!

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

For me, understanding my sexuality has meant going through several mental chaos. Before understanding my sexual identity, I had to first understand my sexuality. In my adolescence, while everyone was talking about girls, boys, sex or kissing, I only thought about playing sports and going to the movies. I was not attracted to anyone, neither boys nor girls. And that made me feel like a freak, because everyone was already having a partner or, at least, a taste for someone, except me. I went out with a couple of guys and those have been (until now, 10 years later) the most boring dates of my life.
Also, before discovering my homosexuality I discovered sexual pleasure through masturbation. The first times I felt guilty about doing it because everybody knows that men masturbate, but what a horror if a girl does it. And so, for a couple more years, I was still not attracted to anyone, and did not need to have anyone.
It wasn’t until I entered college that I met the love of my life. This girl stirred up each and every one of my hormones that, until that moment, seemed dead. Unfortunately, it was an unrequited love, because she was suffering for a boy who did not pay as much attention to her as I was suffering for her.
The first person I told about my possible homosexuality was my best friend. His words of comfort (because yes, for him that confession was comforting) were “Relax, you’re not gay, you’re just confused. Let me tell you, there is nothing more confusing than when you are told you are confused. His consolation created a (other) mental chaos for me: how do I know if what I’m feeling is real or if I’m making it up? How do I know if I’m one hundred percent sure of something or if I’m confused and haven’t noticed? Furthermore, what does it mean that I am confused?
With those doubts in my head I entered my first relationship. The first month was a mental chaos because it was my first time (in every way), and it was with a girl. Because of the macho and conservative country I live in (Peru), being gay was seen as something negative. (Level: the same police officers assaulted both gays and lesbians) So, for someone like me, who has always tried to do the right thing and be a better person in every way, the idea of being gay made me ashamed. I mean, I knew it wasn’t a bad thing per se, but I was embarrassed that I wasn’t “normal. I was embarrassed to be something that was seen in a bad light. That’s why I didn’t tell my parents about it. However, as the days went by the mental chaos became more acute, so I thought it would be best to talk about it, maybe I could lean on them to understand me…. The reaction they had was shocking. You definitely don’t really know your family until you come out of the closet. From my mother I expected some rejection for being Catholic, but there was only silence. Not a single word for several days. Until she came over one night and told me to be careful because I could get AIDS. Yes, AIDS. It was the middle of the 21st century and I still believed that you get AIDS just by coming out of the closet.
On the other hand, my father is half relaxed, to the point of letting my brother smoke marijuana in the house. But it seems that drugs are not as serious as homosexuality. As soon as I finished telling him that I thought he was gay, my father started crying. There is nothing more ridiculous than seeing a big, loud person cry because his daughter is a lesbian. He started crying because it turns out that homosexuality is a disease. It turns out that homosexuality is a product of some childhood trauma. It turns out that homosexuality is an impediment to marrying and giving birth to grandchildren. And, in between cries, she began to apologize for whatever she did to make me believe it was “it”.
So far, when I think about that scene, I am aware that my departure was not tragic, it was just disappointing. At that moment I realized that I was alone in all that mental chaos. And I accepted it. You’re not always going to have someone to lean on, so I decided to raise myself to be my own source of support. But, of course, going through that chaos alone is not easy. It took me several more years before I could stop feeling ashamed of myself, and feel truly comfortable in my own skin. And it is only now, at 28, that I feel free to breathe out my homosexuality.
Now, because I’m half antisocial, my story hasn’t inspired anyone (because I don’t talk to anyone), but, if anyone keeps reading this far, what I can tell you is that, it’s not about forcing someone to accept you, it’s about how, as long as you love yourself, little by little things and people around you are going to shape up to you. And, one more thing, Respect. Even if someone lowers himself to the level of disrespect or seeks to harm you, as long as you hold your head up high, little by little you will be the one who wins.
Thank you very much for reading this will. Much love.
Ariana.

I really wasn’t aware of my sexuality until I was about 21 or so. Before that, I just thought I was suppose to have a boyfriend, and never really questioned it. Not out of fear or being closed up, it just didn’t occur to me TBH.
However I never felt truly content in my relationships with men.
Later I joined a theater school/company which had a lot of LGBTQ members, and that’s really when I kind of realised that there was this whole world of possibilities; it sounds like I was living under a rock LOL, but I guess my head was elsewhere, and my path to find this part of myself was supposed to be this way.
Once I had this realization, everything changed. Love seemed more possible somehow. And I truly belive this is the feeling everyone should have, without even needing a label or specific rights. We’re humans, that’s all. There are so many things to fight for in this world, and the freedom to love whoever our hearts want should not be one of them. It is, after all, the most universal practice/feeling; and it shouldn’t be caged into one ideology.
I’m grateful to have a wonderful and open minded family, and coming out wasn’t an issue. I wish it could be this way for all of you; and that soon enough the term “coming out” will not even exist anymore. We will just love who we love, no questions asked.

I’ve always wanted someone to talk to and I would say that this is my therapist right now. I haven’t exactly fully come out yet but I came out to some of my friends and my mom. I feel really weird in this place right now because no one really quite understands me and I never REALLY talked with someone about this. I first started to identify myself starting middle school. I saw this beautiful girl hanging out with me and my friends. The more she stuck around the deeper I fell in love but unfortunately she has a boyfriend. I respected her and her boyfriend so I just still became the same. I’ve never felt like this before so I wanted someone to help me but there was really never no one at the time. I have always been hiding every single detail out and been left as mysterious and quiet. No one REALLY knows me until they get me. I hope that one person I need right comes into my life. I honestly wish I had an epic coming out story but I don’t! It’s ok I guess and so I wouldn’t really call it a coming out story. The way I came out to my mom was wrong. I was talking to some friends on Instagram which I was not suppose to have but I was a wee rebel then so I did it. I told them that I love girls the way that I’m supposed to feel about boys and they were supportive but couldn’t tell them the story quite right. I clicked on one of my friend’s live and left my room with the live on to check on my dogs outside. My mom grabbed it and asked me why I have it and I said because I wanted to and not the way you think I said it but yeah. She was reading my dms which I should’ve deleted but didn’t and she kept hinting me that she’ll always love me no matter who I am and I was like ok? And I kinda got the clue but it was too awkward at the time to talk about it. And the most iconic coming out stories happen in the car ride, … no I’m just kidding but this is where she asked me who I identify myself as and at the time I said bisexual but as I grew older I keep questioning it so now I identify myself as that. She asked me when did I know and I told her when I got jealous of a boyfriend from the girl I really liked and I left it at that which was just utter awkwardness and I felt uncomfortable when I should have felt comfortable. I don’t want to feel shamed for I who I am and I don’t want to feel guilty of something so “wrong” and so I hid it. The worst part of that is that when someone uses “gay” as an insult to me I say “no I’m not!” But like in a defensive way which made me feel ashamed of who I truly am on the inside. I never want to feel that way. I want to feel free and expressive. You know, everytime my friends mention the word “boyfriend” I get uncomfortable and fade away into my own world which is something really good. I always feel left out of conversations like that because they think I really have no relationship advice. They go to other people instead of the person in front of them, me. I am an introvert, shy person and I can’t even stand up for myself so I think of myself as weak. I just really want to be sure of who I am you know like to be proud of my identity to what makes me, me. I truly know that this community will make me strong and bold enough to know who I am. I give myself to this beautiful community and truly trust myself that I will know who I am, even if it takes thousands of years.

Now when I think back, I realized that I always felt this way, but growing up in a heavily religious country I didn’t know this was normal.
The talk was always “when a men and I women love each other” (fill in the rest). This construct of what love and partnership is supposed to be, leaves no room to be truly open and explore feelings.
I thought I was weird, I thought something was wrong with me and so I didn’t say anything to anyone.
 
On top of that, the message that everything outside heterosexuality as “unnatural and sinful” was present in society and even school. There was no reference to same sex couples, gender fluidity or anything else.
 
I remember having feelings for girls and when they became friends (that is how I explained it) is friendship and nothing else, but it also happened with boys, which added to the predicament.  
 
Then around grade 8 news about violence against “those people” were more visible (or maybe I noticed more) stories of rape and murder with no one being brought to justice.
I can’t like girls it is dangerous…. fear really intensified in me!
So I concentrated on the boy part of my feelings, pushing my feelings for girls way, way down!
 
I didn’t want to admit it but I still felt not quite myself, there was more to me.  I didn’t take the time to understand what my feelings really were, there was no language I knew about how to express what I was feeling.
 
Fast forward and I came to Canada, I wish I could say that I felt free to explore all sides of me, but
A new country – culture shock and feeling lost
High school while learning a new language
Wasn’t a citizen – fear of being turned back
 
My mind was so busy with, learn the language, pass classes, make money to survive, help mom in everything needed – calls, translation, doctors etc., I didn’t have time to be a teen, let alone revisiting my feelings for people, because no matter how much I pushed them down, these feelings were always there.
 
I was lucky and towards my final year I made really good friends and things started to look up.
Even though there were instances in which I wanted to come out, I felt it wasn’t the time yet.
 
Eventually my mom started the conversation “Maybe you can find a nice guy to marry and have kids with” I told myself  “this is it, this is how I’m going to come out to my mom”
I turned to her and I said: what if I fall in love and it is not a guy, what if I fall for someone else?
 
She looked at me, paused for a couple of seconds (which felt like an eternity) and said “As long as you love and respect each other, is all the same to me, I just want you to be happy”
I cannot explain what I felt at that moment
I will carry those words with me forever!
 
Since then I’ve come out on different occasions depending on my comfort level, I know the people who truly care about me will have my back.
Coming to terms with this part of me has filled me with a warm sense of community that I didn’t know I could be part of and opened up some amazing opportunities  to form new friendships.

Fear can be strong but LOVE is powerful!
 
I am glad I finally let go, because loving openly brought life to a new level where essence matters more! I now know love is more complex than the narrow narrative I was taught.
 
Love is universal and kindness is beautiful
Let us ascend to new heights together
 
I am queer and happy to be in this journey
I can’t wait to see what life brings!
Mace

All of the coming out stories on this site encouraged me to write what follows and post it on my website and social media. Thank you to one and all for speaking their truth and in doing so, reminding me how important it is to own our truth and for me, stand publicly in my truth.

I have never officially come out of the closet. I also never sat my parents down to explain my sexuality. It never felt right to me, I would not explain having a boyfriend so why would I explain having a girlfriend. The idea felt degrading and separatist. I brought my girlfriend home from college and we slept in the same room. My parents have always been accepting and supportive and this was no different. Eventually conversations occurred with my parents and we all acknowledged my having a girlfriend in college and in high school it was boyfriends. That was it, and the love and support I expected and desired has always been there. With time and life experiences I recognize how blessed I have been to have such parents.

By my sophomore year at college I had a serious girlfriend. We were not out to everyone, but we were not hiding. We essentially lived together and hung out with mutual friends. College felt freeing to me, having grown up in a small town in Western Kansas where EVERYONE knew everything, or it seemed. Unfortunately, college was also my first experience where I discovered what it is like to be judged and attacked for my sexuality. I was outed by an instructor and several peers. The derisive gossip was meant to attack and shame me, to what end I do not know. Action taken, I assume, because I was different and that apparently made me a threat. Again, one of those people who outed me was a college instructor… The lesson I took was to become smaller and less of a threat, and it worked.

I became a professional horse trainer and riding instructor; a career path that is heavily dominated by men with women predominantly the clientele, a world built on traditional conservative values. In this role I had to be as tough as a man and as feminine as I could be in appearance to survive; I worked hard and found success and continued to hide in plain sight. My inner circle knew, I just did not blatantly flaunt my relationships in the workplace. However, on occasion, I experienced people finding out and attempting to use my sexuality as a weapon against me. They were never even my clients. Somehow, being a woman and loving a woman was a threat to some. I find it confusing, the horses never seemed bothered and my students grew their riding skills. Shouldn’t that be enough? Wasn’t that my job?

Over the last several decades I have been asked to go back into the closet surprisingly frequently. One such request was from a partner. For her, I embraced a much higher level of privacy and seclusion, embracing dishonesty about my truth. I justified it to myself for her benefit as she was struggling with her own sexuality, and I knew what it is like to be outed and attacked. This choice came at a cost. I slowly but surely chipped away at my own value and self-worth. When you add the shift in our culture toward more blatant violence being taken against the LGBTQ+ community, it is no wonder I find myself hesitating to come out of my cave and stand tall.

During this pandemic, I have had some extra time on my hands and have continued the process of self-discovery and awakening. In 2016 I had a health scare, a little bit of breast cancer, which started me on a path of embracing life at an elevated level. I have explored regrets, past relationships, work choices, friendships, the list goes on. Recently I have been addressing my sexuality in depth. It seems strange to do at 51… After my last breakup I tried to talk myself into being straight, didn’t work. I have sought a label to fit in, frankly because it seems easier to find community and answer questions. The truth is that I do not fit a specific label, I am not gay, straight or bisexual. I like men, but I truly prefer women. Like many, I have struggled with understanding the diverse array of labels I have come across and what they all mean. Finally, I have landed on the belief that they, much like me, are trying to find a simple way to describe and understand themselves and maybe find others who are similar. It is hard to find community and mentors if you cannot describe yourself or see yourself in others. Visibility matters. Voice matters. Being acknowledged matters. Being seen, really seen matters.

Today I am choosing to officially come out of the closet. I am guessing the closest I will get to a label is calling myself queer, but I still do not prefer labels… I am so much more than this one word. I am a woman, driven, a leader, compassionate, an empath, a warrior, a facilitator, a healer, a horse trainer, a people trainer and coach, an aunt, a daughter, a professor, a humorist, an author, a story teller, a nature lover, a dog mom, a dancer…. and I am queer. I must speak my truth and be fully congruent. If I am not congruent, I am not whole. I deserve to live an entirely whole life embodying my full truth. I am most at ease and entirely in my power when I am my truth. I want to be the mentor for that person who feels alone and know it is possible to be fully embodied and live your truth. Self-acceptance gifts us with self-confidence, which empowers us. The job or client I do not get because of this statement, I do not want. No more tainted money. I am a better facilitator, teacher, trainer and human being because of who I am and what I have experienced in my life. I deserve to give you the best of me and you deserve to receive my best. That means I must stand fully in MY power.

I am here and I am reaching my hand out. To my cousin – I am sorry I did not know you, did not know that you were suddenly a teenager forced to survive life and the streets because of who you are. I am so grateful to know you today, to love you and count you as my family. I do not want to fail another. To those who simply need to know they are not alone, I am here with you. I stand beside you and see your light. To those who need a hand, I am here and will steady the ladder. To those who need to be witnessed or heard, my eyes and ears are open. May we all as a community, young and not so young, stand together and raise our voices. May we rise and be the mentors we dreamed of to create a better world for us all; every shade of the rainbow deserves to be seen and honored.

Cathy

I’m currently 28 years old and my journey started in the form of a great internal storm when I was 16 years old, I was studying in a religious school and to be honest Colombia in those years was not a progressive and comfortable environment to talk about issues such as diversity and sexual orientation.
I grew up in a catholic family, my school was catholic, and my training was guided by the principles of a catholic family, so anything that came out of that pattern was labeled taboo or people just made offensive jokes about it. During high school my friends always talked about boys, all my close friends had a boyfriend in the same classroom or in the same school and in the meantime I saw the boys only as friends, the idea of ​​having a boyfriend never crossed my mind, in fact it always seemed irrelevant to me. With the girls it was very different, I felt that “something” that was absent when I saw a boy, but I always kept silent because, due to my ignorance, I thought it was something irrelevant and temporary, perhaps simple admiration.
At university nothing changed, I saw a girl and I still felt the same but this time with a little more freedom to obtain information I was able to find too many articles and LGBT content that helped me to know that something real was happening to me. When I finished university, 6 years had already passed and what started as a storm inside me became an authentic apocalypse, it was many years where the silence had wreaked havoc. What was stopping me? My family. I imagined a situation where I would tell my family and terror would take over because I could hear their voices saying “What have we failed at?”, So to release some of that destructive anxiety I started by telling my closest friends and they gave me that warmth and understanding I needed to keep myself sane at least until I told my family. It took me another year to gather all the strength to tell my family that it only consists of my mother and godmother that I’m a lesbian. The terror I felt when I told them is indescribable, my lips and throat were dry, I could not formulate a coherent phrase and my body was blocked but I could do it and I could feel free, that was…like 4 or 5 years ago I don’t remember well and I still feel that my mother has not assimilated it 100% because she is also the connection with my father’s family and I know that no one in that circle knows it, only my godmother’s family knows it.
I am an only child, perhaps that is why my mother still doesn’t fully assimilate it because she expected from me what almost all parents expect from their children: husband/wife and children but it doesn’t matter because my mother already knows and she will not see me with masks and lying to her, she will understand it 100% someday. Right now I’m calm, there are not storms inside me anymore.

When I was a kid, I was told a very narrow and close minded story about how women are only supposed to love men. Backed with the fear of that narrow thought, I pushed aside how I felt about other girls my entire life. I remember being small and having a best friend and loving her in such a deep and profound way and not knowing what it meant, being fearful of what it meant because I was told that I was supposed to love a boy the way I knew I loved my friend. As I got older, my parents began to change and became more understanding about what love means because I’ve tried to explain it to them and make sure they know that love is genuine no matter what gender you are or how you choose to identify. Last year, with nerves and fear, I finally told my mom that I like girls. I’m still attracted to guys but that just means I’m comfortable with and identify with being a bisexual female. My mom was way more accepting than I thought she would be. She told me that no matter who I love, she just wants me to be with someone who loves me as much as she knows I would love them. And my dad, who was my biggest fear ( he raised me very strictly before he began to see things in a different, more accepting way) told me that I’m his daughter and as long as I’m happy, then that’s all that matters. I realize that my story is much lighter than others. I see my brothers and sisters ( non-binary sibs too of course!) struggle and suffer to be free and I am with them. I love them. Every single one of them. I hope that you can find the peace and tranquility that you deserve to be your most authentic self. You are SO SO loved by me, by everyone in this community that is based on true, real, and authentic love. Thank you for allowing me to share.

Everyone is born free, free to be. And I find it so very sad that the way that our world works, changes that as we grow. The older we get, the more we realize that in order to be genuine we have to be really strong willed and have a solid support base. In most cases, we adapt…our once loose laughs, become controlled ones, our beautiful tears become a rarity and bit by bit we change ourselves so we can be accepted by the world. I was a strong willed kid, full of personality, but life is such a crazy journey and I’ve been through some wild trails. Of course that every experience gifts us so many learning opportunities and, what I find the most important thing in someone’s character, it teaches empathy. However, in the long run, it also tires you and I got tired and I changed many parts in myself because I didn’t have the strength to do otherwise, I just wanted to be someone that people would love. In changing myself, I lost the chance to grow up discovering different aspects of my soul, my heart, my personality and my sexuality.

When I was 14, I got butterflies in my stomach every time I talked to my science teacher, without having any idea what it meant. When I was 15, the butterflies would fly for my literature teacher. I loved her curly red hair, her voice and her beautiful smile. She was caring, intelligent and passionate for what she did. With her, the butterflies were everywhere and I started to question my sexuality. I was really unaware of this diverse universe, since my family had never openly talked about it and on TV there wasn’t any solid representation that could enlighten me. I was very confused and I decided to talk to my sister. She, being just as unaware as I was, told me it was nothing and I gladly took it. I didn’t want to be more different than I already was. But that didn’t change the way I felt, it only got stronger and more imprisoning with every passing day. When I was 16, I was crushing on my math teacher (I was super into teachers!) and a sweet girl in my school (finally someone my own age!). During all this time, I was crushing on boys as well, kissing and experimenting with them, thinking how weird it felt for not being as good as everyone said it would be.

I spent my whole teenage life and early adulthood, feeling as if I didn’t belong anywhere. When I was 20, I decided to live alone and from that moment on I started on a journey of self discovery. I allowed myself to look deep inside and be free to feel. I started doing research about different types of sexual orientation, reading about other people’s experiences, watching videos on YouTube and searching for shows where I could see something that represented what I felt. At 22, I was sure, at 23, I was brave. The first person that I told to was myself, loud, clear and true. In my family, I first came out to my sister, who is my best friend and my soul, she was just as beautiful as I could have expected her to be. Then I told my mom, who was both okay and very curious about it (she’s done lots of research since then), then my dad, who said he already knew, and my closest friends. After coming out to everyone I considered important, I felt untouchable, whole and as if I was breathing for the first time, it was one of the best moments of my life.

Finding a label to classify myself into was very confusing, I first came out as bisexual, then I was told that I was a lesbian…But I never felt comfortable with the labels, they made me feel suffocated and like I had an obligation to stand by them, instead of standing by me. I’m 30 now, and I’m proud to say that what I am is what I was born to be: free! Free to be all the colors of my beautiful rainbow.

Ever since I was younger, I always loved seeing girls together. You know how your supposed to have that couple that you always cheered on in shows, well mine were girls. It just always amazed me. The love that existed between them. Last year it finally hit me that I was actually bisexual. I like girls too and I finally admitted it. I came out to certain people. Those I could trust. First was my teacher. The first thing she told me was that it finally made sense. All of my previous relationships with guys had always failed. I didn’t always seem to be completely interested. Sometimes I dream that my happy ending will be with a woman. I hope that comes true. Your show allowed me to finally accept the truth. Thank you for that. Thank you for listening. <3

Realizing you’re queer in the southern United States isn’t as hard as it used to be, but it isn’t a walk in the park. The first time I knew what a queer relationship was was about 2016. My oddball science teacher had gone on another tangent and she had ended up on the topic of LGBT people. In that moment, something in my brain clicked and I just immediately knew I was gay. Of course, I was only 12 at the time and didn’t know much about myself and it could be argued at that time that I was just trying to go along with whatever came my way. But I know now that it wasn’t as such. It was true. I was queer; I liked women. My parents found out I was questioning homosexuality not long after, and they instilled a fear in me. They made it quite clear that homosexuality was not going to be allowed in their house. So I hid. I denied myself of being gay. I refused to acknowledge it. About 2 years later, I kissed a boy for the first time and it just made me gag more than anything else. And a few weeks later, I had discovered some gay content and finally came to terms with accepting that part of myself. Since then, I’ve questioned my gender as well. Where I’m at right now, I say I am genderqueer, but I know that is subject to change as I age and grow. And I’m okay with that. My parents haven’t taken too well to all of this. It took them a while to finally accept me liking women, but they refuse to accept that I may be genderqueer or nonbinary. So I keep that to myself for now. I know who I am, and that’s what matters. Most recently, I’ve begun working to fight for LGBT rights in the south. For my college classes, I’ve written quite a few essays depicting specific LGBT issues and now am taking this summer to start working for change. I plan on lobbying in government and starting a movement. I have been inspired by Start The Wave in order to begin this chapter. I’ve always wanted to advocate, but with an organization like this showing the possibilities, I feel supported and empowered. Change is on the horizon.

so when i was little i had the biggest crush on jessie j and like i was obsessed. and when i was in year seven i heard this group of people talking about a girl in my year who was lesbian and they where being really nasty so i was like so what im bi and you dont have a problem with me. and then i realised that it felt so good saying it but it wasnt quite right. so a few years later i came out again as lesbian and i felt so much better with myself but everyone expected it because i was the sporty short haired girl. and people started talking about me but i didnt care because i was happy 🙂 thats my coming out story x

I knew from a young age I was attracted to boys and girls. I actually had a Backstreet Boys poster and a Brittany Spears poster up in my bedroom and I thought both were cute. I was living in the Midwest at the time and that was a huge no no in the 90’s. Plus I had gotten teased a ton about my mom and stepdad practicing Tibetan Buddhism. I just went along with the other girls gushing about boys, guy celebrities, and such. I had crushes on boys and girls through school, but I felt I wasn’t gay. The only queer women I had been exposed to were very masculine and I didn’t identify in that way. I left home when I was 16 to move to California. I had met my fathers family for the first time and wanted to get to know them. I got involved in their religion, and while I saw the good, I saw so much of what didn’t align with my true self. I struggled for a few more years. I had a few friends come out to me and I was so happy for them. I knew at this point I was queer, I just couldn’t muster up the strength to come out myself.
I eventually moved to Orange County to reunite with my sister and my mom in 2014. I was 23. My mom always knew and kept trying to practically pull me out of the closet, fear had kept me in and so resistant. Eventually my anxiety for not being myself grew unbearable and I had to change that. So I came out at 23. My family was over the moon. Things started shifting for me. My dads family didn’t talk to me for a long time. Things have changed now, we communicate here and there. After my first serious relationship I have found myself in Massachusetts. While my partner and I went our separate ways for personal growth I find myself drawn to help others in situations like me. Be a light in dark times. That along with a spiritual awakening has held me steadfast my efforts and so inline with myself. I genuinely have love and compassion for others and I’m happy to be me. It’s also motivated me to become vegan and environmentally conscious.
So coming out started this beautiful chain reaction for me and I hope to support and encourage others to do the same.
You all are beautiful beings. Let your light shine bright, you are worth it and you never know when that light shines for others in the dark.

Hi there, I haven’t come out to any of my family members but I knew I was gay way back when I was in 7th grade. I just wanted to share that I have a girlfriend now, for the first time ever. I couldn’t tell my family for obvious reasons but this community feels like family to me so yeah 🙂

The “identify” title of this post may be a slight lie. See I believe that all of life is a journey, and we are always redefining what we want, and most importantly who we are. Nothing is ever only black or white.

However as this is about coming out, I’ll tell you my story. My story is similar to most. I lived most of my youth in the different shades of grey. You know where most of us live, just trying to be authentic and figure ourselves out. I was a tomboy, who for most of my life got along better with the boys than the girls. However, I knew I didn’t want to be a boy, I just didn’t want to be treated any different. I didn’t want to play with dolls, I’d rather be rough-housing in the dirt than be pretty (or clean!). I hated dresses and would strip them off as soon as I could. Luckily having an older brother and a thrifty mom who probably hated doing my laundry, I mainly got to hangout in boy-shorts, and not much else. I know I am luckier than most, as I got Transformers as birthday gifts and was allowed to be myself, even if I dint know exactly what that was yet.

Now I don’t believe being a tomboy is a precursor for being gay. Its just about those shades of grey. Look at my brother for example, always clean and pristine. Dressed to impress. Hated dirt and trucks. Straight (or rather within the straight range of the grey spectrum where we all dwell). There are no rules, only the expectations others put on us.

Despite this, I never knew I was gay. However, I had no interest in boys, or girls for that matter. I was drawn to characters I could identify with on TV, the less boy crazy more down and dirty girls (think Jo from Facts of Life) but I never knew anyone who was gay, so it just never entered my mind as being a possibility. Puberty hit and boys filled the void, although I never became attached and frankly never had that much fun. Around the same time, my focus shifted from my male school friends, who I felt nothing for, to craving female friendships.

And I fell hard. Not in love, I never wanted to sleep with them. But I wanted to be around them. At the same time, I became less interested in my male flings, but still never thought about the female possibility. I was very guarded. I never touched or hugged my friends. I thought that perhaps was just the way I was. However in retrospect, I think I was afraid. However I never allowed it into my conscious mind.

Believe it or not it was not until university where this changed. And even then it was a painfully slow process. By 3rd year I had girlfriends who would hug and kiss me. However I was still very guarded and kept even my closest friends a safe distance, at least emotionally, away. Then there was one special friend, who managed to breakdown the walls I had built so high, I didn’t even know I was within them. She crawled into my bed and insisted I comfort her (physically not sexually). She had just broken up with her boyfriend, and I am not sure why, but she picked me as the one friend she needed (she had lots of friends, but perhaps she saw something that even I didn’t).

We had an intense friendship that meant we saw each other all the time. That summer we hung out as much as we could. We’d do this thing where we’d have to go try new beers in a new bar every time. One night out with other friends from school, we spent the whole time holed up in the bathroom. One of her friends came in and accused us of being lovers. I laughed it off, neither of us was embarrassed, as we weren’t. I hadn’t even considered it! However that night, sleeping over as I often did, she kissed me. Well tried to. I told her no. Or rather I believe I said ‘not like this’. You see, my walls were still there. I knew I loved her but I hadn’t let myself ever consider anything more. After all, I didn’t know one other person who was gay. Not one! Ellen had come out, but she was a celebrity, no one that I identified with or could relate to. So I just didn’t consider it. I have many friends who are older than me who knew. Who felt it when they were young, when they were around girls. I can honestly say I never did. Until I did.

So as you may guess the friendship ended badly. She didn’t appreciate the rejection and took me as a third wheel on a date (with a guy) a week later. My guess is to prove that she was straight. That she wasn’t interested in me. I am not sure her motives, we didn’t talk about it. I left that night, pulled over on the highway and cried like I had never allowed myself to cry before. I cried until I felt the walls give way, finally giving my heart room to breath. We never spoke again.

However the change in me had started. And now I couldn’t stop it. I started looking into female friendships, trying to figure out why I needed them, no craved them. I was drawn to TV shows with strong female characters and friendships. I joined online chat rooms to discuss them. Through these chats I discovered a whole world of people who were out and proud. Unafraid and apologetically themselves. How brave!

I decided I must be bisexual. Of course, by then my interest in males had completely waned. I hadn’t had a boyfriend since grade school and other than a few drunken, not fun experiences, had no real interest in discovering more about men. After meeting up with some incredible women from my chat groups from Canada and the US, many of us coming out together, I finally ventured into a gay bar with a friend, more confident in myself and who I was, or that who I thought I was. I saw a girl from across the room staring at me. You know the out girl, who knew since she was 14 and had no problems embracing who she was. That was it – hook. line and sinker. And I never looked back.

Now I know I am gay. I would never say 100%, because I do believe the majority of us live in the grey areas, as I said before. Its a sliding scale, its never fixed and hell, who would want it to be. Fluidity is a beautiful thing. It allows us to embrace change. However, in my heart I can only see myself being with women, as this brings me the most happiness, and isn’t that what it is all about? Being happy.

It was a slow start but I’ve been out now 20 years. I’m out to everyone I meet. I have a very important professional job, and I know I can ‘pass’ for straight. However I remember what it was like to feel like something must be wrong with me for not liking boys, to feel completely isolated and alone. What good would I be to this life if I kept this part of me hidden? Who would I be helping, and more importantly who else would feel unseen, if I didn’t live my authentic self?

Who you love shouldn’t define you. But lets face it, it does. My closest friends are all part of this community, because it is a different experience walking through this world with your eyes open. My gayness is an essential part of who I am. I carry it around like a badge of honour. However, I don’t think its that important to define yourself. Rather the most important thing is to be aware. Be present. Listen to what your heart and soul is telling you. Because it knows you, trust me, much better than you know yourself. Just listen. Set aside the fear and chose to exist. In whatever way you define as most authentic self.

I figured out that i’m gay at 15, but I only recently (i’m 19 now) figured out I am actually asexual and romantically attracted to girls. Im pretty much out as gay to most people and I don’t care if people know, sometimes I wish I could constantly have a sign that says I LIKE WOMEN or a tattoo on my forehead or something because I am proud to be attracted to girls, I am not ashamed.

My asexuality on the other hand I’ve been struggling with. I’ve always had the thought at the back of my head that I might of been asexual but I would just brush it off because I didn’t think you could be asexual and attracted to the same gender and I’m definitely attracted to girls. But with the help of Google I found out it is possible to be asexual and still romantically, aesthetically or sensually attracted to people, including people of the same sex.

I’ve still been having abit of a hard time accepting being asexual, sometimes I feel like I’m broken or that something’s wrong with me. My brain really did a full 180, I’ve never felt like this reguarding my sexuality because I’m not ashamed that I’m attracted to girls but at the same time I’m struggling to accept my asexuality.

I was prepared to keep my asexuality a secret because I was scared of telling people but I ended up telling my best friend about it anyway because I was dying to tell someone and he told me that he is the same, not sexually attracted to anyone but still romantically attracted to the same gender. This made me feel so much better about myself and I’ve now told 2 of my other friends about it who have been nothing but supportive. I’m still scared and technically in the closet but I don’t feel as alone, especially reading Doms and everyone else’s stories on here and I hope soon I will be out and proud of my asexuality like I am with my attraction to girls.

My journey started at quite a young age, maybe around 10 years ago, I was only 13 years old. At that time the LGBTQ2IA+ was poorly represented in movies or TV shows. As the years went by these platforms as well as social media, were slowly starting to represent more of this community. The growth of these platform started to make me realize that maybe there was an explanation as to why I was « different » to others.

By the time I was 15, I had had 2 very small and insignificant relationships with boys. All my friends had serious relationship with their boyfriends and had even taken it a step further than just kissing. I felt like I was being left behind as I always felt scared and uncomfortable to take that next step. I couldn’t understand why I was so scared.

Watching many tv shows I would see more and more lesbian couples and felt like I was being more interested in their representations. I started thinking that there must have been a reason as to why I would be more interested in them and started to seriously question myself on my sexuality.

When I was 16, I knew I liked girls. I was sure of myself. Boys just did not interest me anymore. I was scared though, I had no friends that could understand what I was going through. I felt very alone in this judgy world, no one to share my secret with. Seeing all my friends obsess over who the « cute boy » of class or the school. I felt like I was just in the background just nodding from time to time to not expose myself.
One day I just decided to slowly start talking to my mom about me questioning my sexuality. I was still not confident enough to tell her the whole truth. I was so scared, not knowing how she would react, I was crying. She told me she would support and love me unconditionally no matter who I decided to be. I felt a bit relieved but still scared at how other people would react. I then left it at that and did not speak of it again for years, to her or anyone else.

2 year later, I was going to leave the nest, to go live in a different country. A few days before leaving, that’s when the question I was most dreading came out of my moms lips: « have you figured out who you want to be? ». With tears running down my face I admitted to her that I am a lesbian. She was proud of me and I really felt loved and supported. The hardest thing I ever had to do was finally out there but only my mom knew my secret.

When I moved to London I thought to myself, I’m in a new city, with new people and no one who knows me. So I decided I will be who I want to be and not tailor myself to be fake around people that I know would have judged me for who I am.
I felt such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
I felt like I was living again.
I was HAPPY again.

A year later I came back home to France. And it was at that moment that my new world came crumbling around me. I found out that my mom had outed me to my entire family right after I had told her. For a whole year my family knew I am a lesbian but kept me in the dark. I felt ashamed and hurt to have my voice taken away from me in what was the hardest thing of my life. She did not do it to hurt me though, she just thought she was helping me.

I have never told this to anyone nor to her but I was extremely hurt by what she had decided to do with my big secret. 5 years later and it stills bugs me a lot. I did not have the chance to come out to my family when I felt like I was ready to. I felt exposed and vulnerable to what people would think about me. However I can not be mad at my mother as family has been very supportive of who I am. But I will always have that thought and feeling in the back of my mind of having been robbed of my freedom.

During so many years I was in a very bad place of my life. Feeling alone in this giant, toxic and hurtful world, not knowing who to turn to in the hardest moments, I was scared. Now that I am proudly out I see the world in such a different way. There are people out there who will hate you for being who you want because their mind has been tailored to think in a certain way. But the way I see the world now, is that in between these haters there are beautiful and amazing people who will love you for who YOU decide to be. There will always be someone out there to love you and support you in your hard times. I am so proud to be part of the LGBTQ2IA+ community, the love and support is incredible.
Love is love and no one should judge you for who you want to be.

Be Proud.
Be Kind.
Be Loving.

I always knew early on that I was different. I knew that I liked people and not gender. And that I Katie McGrath for more than her acting. But growing up I couldn’t always accept that, I grew up in a Christian society and though they weren’t anti-gay it still seemed scary. Then my brother came out as gay and I watched my mother struggle for years with her faith and love for him. And I didn’t want to be a burden, I was already extremely bullied for a lot of things and didn’t want to add one more to the list. It wasn’t until freshman year that I openly said the words “I’m bi” and that was only to my friends. It was nice to have a place where I could be me and open and happy, but then I would go home and where the “straight mask” again and that grew so tiresome. Then I moved away from that school to go live in the south which terrified me because of the rumors. My brother new that I was Bi and helped me be not so scared. But my next school wasn’t so bad. I found people like me who were out and pround and I even came out to a couple family members. I just became a senior in higb school and I haven’t told my mother yet, but I’m not scared to do it anymore. I just want my moment to be mind. And when it is I will be fearless!

I am a working progress; I think that is the better way to describe myself.
Growing up I have always felt like I didn’t belong in my family, that there was something off about me. My family and teachers and a lot of people made me feel like I was never enough, like I didn’t belong there. I am sure they didn’t mean to, but that’s how they made me feel. I had zero self-steam and I didn’t like anything about myself, in fact, I considered myself a bad person and didn’t believe in me. And the worst thing was that I didn’t get me, I knew there was something off with me but could get my head around it, like a part of me was missing… and I felt lost and alone.
But two years ago, my life started changing when for the first time and without me expecting it I felt in love with a girl. I have never been attracted to women before, so this came as a totally surprise for me. And it scared me a lot and made me really confused and my head couldn’t stop spinning with all the questions and mental confusion I had. I didn’t know what was happening and I new I had two options I could either burry everything and ignore it or I could deal with it and see what was happening. And obviously I am here so I took to follow my heart and not my head. Because as scared and confused I was feeling, a part of me knew that there was something in it that felt RIGHT.
And here started the most difficult, challenging but totally worthy journey I have ever taken. I have never been a confident or extrovert girl as you might have already figure it out. It takes me forever to express my feelings and since I am really shy and was really confused, I decided to not tell anyone anything until I got something clear in my head and figure out what all of it meant. So, I dated this girl for more than a year without anyone knowing it. But at some point, after days of feeling overwhelmed with thoughts and shouting inside my head, I finally had the courage to do what for me was one of the most difficult things to do which was come out to MYSELF. Accept myself and accept that I was no longer only attracted to man but that if I felt for a woman that meant that I could fell for another women. Accept that I was bi-sexual. And even though for me it was a really difficult to accept, not for me but because of how much my life will have to change and the struggles that I knew I will have to face. Specially with my super traditional and old-school family. But for the first time I GOT ME, I understood me, I MADE SENSE.
But at some point, accepting myself wasn’t enough. I reached a point in my life where I was in a bad place. I was not feeling good at home, I was under a lot of pressure within the University and work, I was not okay in my relationship and I was feeling like I was tired of hiding this part of myself to my friends. I have been hiding myself for over a year and now that I had finally accepted myself, I started to feel like every time I would talk to my friends, I was lying to them by not letting them know this other part of me. So, I was not happy in any aspect of my life and everything was killing me inside and I went into depression.
And at one point in this depression I reached the bottom, I could not feel any worst. And in that moment I said to myself “ okay, you have shit in your life and you are feeling worst than you have ever felt but you touched the ground, you cannot feel worst… and it is okay to be sad and angry and confused and desperate but now it is time to get up” and what I did next was to go one by one to each thing that was killing me inside and try to figure out if I could do something about it to change it. And so I decided it was time to tell someone because I couldn’t deal with everything by myself. And I knew exactly who I needed but even though I was sure who I was going to come out, it took me 3 days to tell her. I did 3 attempts and it didn’t come out as I wanted and obviously I was crying and it was a mess, but that moment changed my life. Because when I told one of my best friends that I was bi, she had the best reaction ever… she looked at me, smiled and said “Really? Well now I like you even more”
Sometimes you just need a look, a smile or someone to tell you the words that you didn’t know you needed to hear. Because at that specific moment, I felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. I was carrying so many things by myself that I couldn’t do it anymore. And it made me feel amazing and happy and relieve. And I loved so much that reaction that within the next one or two months I told all of my closest friends and every time I said the words, even though it was still really hard it took me a huge weight of my shoulders.
And from there everything started to get into place. Some of my friendships changes so much (in the best way possible), I ended the relationship that was being really toxic (although it gave me the best gift of my life), I got a job in another country so I could leave my family and that environment and I started to love myself.
And its been several months since then, and I can tell you I have never been happier. I am a working progress and still have a lot of way to go but finally I get me, I accept me, and I am starting to like me. I feel free and proud and happy and excited to see what life has to offer me. And yes I still have to tell my family and a lot of people but for the moment, I am in another country where I can be who I really am, my friends back home know me and love me and I feel more complete that I have ever felt.

When I found love. I didnt say anything, I’m just action speak louder than words. I think everyone, no, not everyone notice what makes me happy. But I am glad i found love and Im lil bit scared because not everyone knows or accepted my imperfection. And that’s for being a Bi. So I am not totally out because I’m scared.

As a lesbian and apart of the LBGT community the question of “when did you know?” becomes a big one! I always think back on my journey and wonder “well did it start in elementary school.. was it middle.. or was it sophomore year of hs when I finally put it all together and said it out loud” will I ever be fully aware of when?? Probably not. I remember in elementary always wanting to be the “boy” character. For anyone who has seen High School Musical, I wanted to be Troy, at the time I didn’t have a reason why and I don’t even know now if I could explain it coming from that young of a mind. Then in middle school that was still the case and in the end of 7th going into 8th grade I was very depressed and did not tell anyone because in all honesty I thought “well I’m confused and unsure of my feelings, I always want to be the boy so I can be with a girl, do I need to be a boy??” And that was my thought process because growing up even just 5-10 years ago LGBT representation was not huge. And then I stumbled across an episode of Grey’s Anatomy while I was home sick and it happened to be the episode after the musical one where Callie Torres, Arizona Robbins, and Mark Sloan are starting to get ready to take Sophia (their daughter) home from the hospital and I was beyond confused. I couldn’t comprehend how they all 3 were the parents. Then time went on (that same school year) and at the end of 8th grade the season 9 (I believe) finale of Greys was airing and I saw previews for it and was so in awe and decided all summer before freshman year I was going to binge watch all 9 season of Grey’s Anatomy.. which I did! And I found “Calzona” through it all with heartbreak and happiness and just everything Shonda Rhimes throws at you. Anyways I finally saw my first actual representation of LGBT characters. High school started, I was less depressed after finally realizing I do not have to be a boy to be with a girl and I just laid low.. never really admitted to myself I was gay but I had inklings of it. Then sophomore year came around and 2 friends of mine (girls) told me they were dating and tbh the instant relief that washed over me was immensely powerful. I was so happy for them and just, that was the moment that clicked of “oh, this is okay.. it’s okay to feel this way”. Now my journey of getting to that point and coming out, some may say was easy. Which I will not fully disagree because I was never disowned or kicked out, but I was questioned and at times made to feel wrong. In high school I had people trying to out me.. to just get me to say it. I refused, besides a few close friends I did not come out until I had already graduated high school to avoid the stereotypes and looks and possible whispers. But when I did finally post a picture of my gf and I in one way or another “coming out to the world” I was happy. Finally happy in my own skin. Again was it horrible?? Of course not I feel blessed.. but was it amazing with no issues?? No it wasn’t, but that’s the beauty in it. I learned so much about myself from young elementary school Nicole to 21 year old Nicole who is in a happy and healthy almost 3 year relationship with my amazing girlfriend. I don’t want to be a cliche who says “it’ll get better” because for some it may not but what I want to get across is that, it’s okay to be yourself! People may judge or do things that you just can’t handle.. that’s normal and there are still haters who will think how you choose to spend your life is disgusting but in the end, however you choose to spend your life and whoever you choose to love.. as long as you’re happy, that really is all that matters.

Ok, firstly I have to say that my English is not very good. So I’m sorry if I make some grammar mistakes. How should I start? I would identify myself as a penguin, well, a half one. I like them because of their loyalty. They choose a partner and they will be with them forever. They also have another quality that it is constancy and I’m not a very constant person but I will work on it. I know all these things because of Atypical. It’s a series tv and you guys(can I call you guys?) should give it a go. I’m not gonna tell you anything because I don’t wanna spoiler but I’m gonna tell you one thing: it’s worth it to spend some hours to watch it. It’s really educational and also catchy.
So…you are now wondering how I figured out me being part of the LGBTQ2IA+ community. When I was attending middle school(maybe the first year or the second one, I don’t remember) I had this huge crush on my friend, who was and is a girl. Like, I thought I was really in love with her because she wouldn’t leave my mind alone. My brain was filled with her and that made me realize, not right away but with the time, that I like girls. I never told her my true feelings but things went weird with her because I couldn’t stop staring at her and maybe it made her feel uneasy. I was afraid of this side of me so I tried to hide it. I was frightened of my parent’s reaction if they had discovered my sexuality because they are not very open-minded. But with the years I understood that I shouldn’t feel ashamed of my sexuality so I started coming out with my friends. Slowly but I think it’s a step toward success. I’m really grateful for their understanding and to have them by my side.
I don’t know if I’m able to tell my parents about my sexuality and that I don’t feel comfortable with my biological sex because talking about LGBT stuff is kinda a taboo. I hope that someday they will understand my feelings and still love me if I’m being…me.
Yeah, that was pretty everything I wanted to say. Sorry if it is a bit confusing to follow. I tend to write everything that passes through my mind.
Thank you for reading my little outlet and I hope that everything is ok with your family and friends. I really hope that everything is ok. It’s a difficult situation for everyone but I believe that we’ll get through it.
Also, I wanna thank Dominique Provost-Chalkley because of her I discovered this special place. She’s such an amazing person. She really inspires me and I will never stop loving her.
I don’t know how to finish because I’m very bad at this ah ah. I hope you can be happy and healthy every day of your life and…that’s all. Bye!

I think there had always been a little niggle in my mind, something that told me perhaps I was different. I had crushes on guys when I was a teenager, but I think a part of me was always drawn to girls. I briefly wondered whilst at university, when I had a so-called ‘girl crush’ on a member of my cricket team, but someone explained it away by saying that all girls had them at times and it didn’t mean anything romantic. Over the years, I’ve had guys express an interest in me and even ask me out, but I always felt awkward and embarrassed, and ended up not speaking to them again. I just thought it was because I didn’t feel the same way, that I wasn’t attracted to them in return.

So, I dismissed it. Until it starting happening more often over the years. I found myself drawn to women – in real life, on TV, in films – more often than not. Yet it wasn’t until a few months ago, at the age of 32, that I seriously started questioning it. It was whilst living abroad, alone, away from my family and friends in the UK, that I started to think about it – consciously – and had nobody to really speak to. I had never had any friends who were part of the LGBTQ+ community growing up, and nobody ever really spoke about it. It wasn’t until I watched three separate TV shows (Glee, Atypical, then finally Wynonna Earp) in the space of a few months that I realised that I definitely wasn’t straight. Wynonna Earp, in particular, helped me come to that realisation and consolidated what I had begun to suspect, and I will be forever grateful that I discovered the show when I did, to the writers, directors, and cast for their genuine portrayals of the characters and the way this helped me figure out the truth after so many years.

I eventually broached the idea with my dad and a friend when I went back home for another friend’s wedding in February, but it wasn’t until last week (May, 2020) that I finally told my parents over the phone that I was almost certain that I was gay. And they were so supportive, said that they just wanted me to be happy, and they had always been worried that I would be alone forever given my apparent disinterest in dating guys. It didn’t matter to them with whom I found that happiness. And, really, nobody was surprised. Perhaps they knew all along and it just took me longer to figure out…

A part of me will always look back over the years and regret not finding myself earlier. But then I think I can finally look to the future and find my happiness, wherever it may lay and with whomever it may be. My dad has always said things work out the way they are meant to in the end, and I’m beginning to believe that may be true.

According to many of the people in my life, it was obvious that I was queer from a very early age. For them, it was either when I chopped my hair short, or wore a bow tie to prom, or dressed up in male drag for fun starting at the age of 12 (my favorite was dressing up as Justin Bieber). For me, it wasn’t as obvious. I had always known I was different, but I could never quite pinpoint what that difference was. I just figured I was a Tom Boy. My middle school days were spent watching Glee, wearing bow ties, and being bullied by many of my peers. Despite the names I was called, I never once changed how I presented myself. Of course, the bullying still hurt. It was these negative interactions that shoved me deeper into the closet, without even knowing I was in the closet in the first place. As I got older, I tried as hard as I could to be “straight”. Pretending to have crushes on guys just to feel like I fit in with my friends, wearing dresses to formal events (when it made me outrageously uncomfortable to do so), and just not completely owning up to who I was because I was scared. Coming from a rather conservative town, there weren’t a lot of people (particularly girls) who dressed the way I did or liked the same things I did. I was clueless as to what was happening. It wasn’t until freshman year of college that I came to the realization that I was, in fact, gay. It was this moment of instantaneous relief and fear that washed over me. I was able to figure out why I felt so different when I was younger. Much of this epiphany was due to consuming A LOT of queer art once I started college. The musical “Fun Home” and comedians Cameron Esposito, Rhea Butcher, and Tig Notaro really helped in my journey of self discovery. The first people I came out to were my friends, who said things like “I knew it!” or “I’m proud of you” or “you didn’t know that already?” It was an overwhelmingly positive response that really made me feel supported. The next step was figuring out how to come out to my family. My sister and I are two of the only liberal people in my family so approaching her about it was actually quite simple. It was the rest of my family I was concerned about. It took me 4 years to fully come out to my whole family. A quick side note, I attended film school and much of my work was based in my experiences as a queer person. My family didn’t see any of my work. Senior year of college rolled around and it was time to make my thesis film. The story was about a queer person going on their first date. Eventually, I knew I would have to raise funds for the film, which would mean reaching out to family members, which would mean coming out. I knew I needed to do it and this was the right time, so I came out the only way I could, using my art. When I launched my fundraising campaign, I made a video along side it, where I officially and publicly announced my queerness! My heart raced as I clicked the “POST” button on Facebook. I felt so vulnerable and exposed in that moment, but in a good way. It was a different vulnerability than I felt when I was in middle school and people would bully me. This vulnerability was rooted in pride, not fear or shame. It was as if this weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. My posture changed from being slumped over to holding my chin a little higher. I am grateful for the incredibly encouraging response from my loved ones and their support after I came out. Of course things are still difficult and not everyone is accepting of who I am, but I am learning that those are the opinions that matter the least. I wish I could tell that little 7th grader wearing a bow tie and listening to the Glee Cast version of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” on her iPod Shuffle to never stop being who she is. It was my determination to be authentically who I was that turned me into the strong person I am today. My hope is that by sharing my story, others can connect and feel a little less alone in this world. Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep being you.

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

My journey is far from over, stalled out yes but not over…not yet. I was born and raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons-not the polygamist version). When I look back over my life, I realize that I felt different, broken…a mistake when I was 3 or 4. Going through life, church every Sunday, church activities almost every evening, seminary in the mornings…year after year. I tried so hard to be just like everyone else. But I felt something for women that I didn’t feel for men…while I didn’t understand what any of those feelings meant I knew I needed to keep my secret…a secret I didn’t even know about. I didn’t meet anyone who was gay until I was 21-ish and still had no idea I could be gay until I was 24 or so. Xena was the first suggested gay anything I had ever known. I fought against it so hard, I was always the “tomboy” and hated with a passion when someone would call me gay. As if at that time I even knew what gay was, I just knew that you couldn’t be gay and be in the church. You can’t go to heaven unless you marry in the temple. I had to be straight but I hated the idea of being with a man. After all, men were the ones who told me what I could do with my body, men were the ones that used my body before I ever knew what my body was for. But women were safe, soft and caring. I fell in love with my best friend in 1st grade but had no idea at the time what I was. Who I am. Just that I had to keep it a secret. I tried killing myself in high school…for a lot of reasons really, but mostly because I felt and had learned that I was a mistake, that something was wrong with me. I wasn’t normal. But I tried so hard to be what everyone wanted. My junior year of college I met gay people for the first time, and suddenly life started making sense. Their stories were like mine, the confusion, the loss and the horrible lonely ache of feeling like you can’t be you. At that time though, only church members were really in my life…when they started suspecting I was kicked out of two separate housing locations, I lost my all of my friends. All of them. It wasn’t hard coming out to my mom, bless her soul she has loved me and supported me even when I hate myself. She is the only reason I exist now. Dad, well…I’ve blocked most of it out but remember him with a steak knife. The majority of my family loves the sinner but hates the sin. I’ve been fired from jobs for being gay. I’ve been beaten up, called names, spit at and threatened…but I can’t change who I am. I still feel like a mistake, either waiting to die or waiting for life to start…and while I have no idea what actually happens in the afterlife…I know that I live with integrity. I help those less fortunate than me, I help lost and abandoned animals, I give to charities and I work with some of the most challenging of clients in my professional life…I’m not gloating, not puffing my chest. Just saying that I’m being me, all of me. I am gay. I love women. I love helping others. I firmly believe that if we do our best every day, no matter what the best looks like…that maybe God/the universe will understand that I am the way I was made as God intended. Yes, I still feel broken, lost and a mistake…and if being gay keeps me from heaven, then sadly I admit okay. I cannot change who I am any more than I can change my blood type. I cannot change my faith even if my church hates me. Coming to terms with yourself is not a destination, it is a journey and I am far from the end. Yes some days are better than others, and some days I am a victim to my own mind but this I promise…I will never give up my integrity as a good human. An empath. A gay Mormon. Had God wanted me different, then I would be different. No matter where you are in your journey…know others have been there. While the steps are not the same, the feelings are. Don’t let anyone steal your shine. You are worth it. Every little bit. You are worth it and so much more. Be at peace and know you are loved. <3 Deb

I think I always knew I was queer. However, when I was 12 I fell in love for the first time, just like you see straight kids do… and it was so beautiful, so truthful and so right. I never once though it was a bad thing, it was all so natural, so pure… And I didn’t even know what homossexuality was, I just knew I liked that girl so much it made my stomach hurt, in a wonderful way, so never questioned myself and I always fully accepted who I was because, at age of 12, we don’t really understand what prejudice and homophobia was and why people would think our love was wrong.

But then I started to grow and realized that society abhor who I was and it was when I started being untruthful with myself and hide the Real me for years… that felt like centuries.

At that time I believe I was bisexual, so I dated a few guys, but I never felt anything and never understood why… if I was bisexual shouldn’t I be also attracted to people of the opposite sex?!
As the years went by, the doubt inside of me grow stronger, it was like I was suppressing the answer unconsciously.

And then, in 2018, my mom found out about me, she had read the messages my (ex) girlfriend and I shared and I had never felt so disrespected in my life. She seemed so okay with who I was, but at the same time I knew she was lying and only trying to make me feel safe.
However, the past year we struggled a lot, she didn’t accept my True Self, she accepted all the parts of me BUT one. For a year my heart was breaking and breaking, in times I could even hear my heart shattering inside of me… and I still don’t feel like she fully accepts me, she keeps denying that part of me.

Nevertheless, we became closer this year and, in a way, I am grateful for that year of suffering and questioning because it forced me to look beyond the surface. I had to engage in some introspection and I finally had the courage to truly accept who I am. I finally had the courage to admit I wasn’t attracted to men at all and that it was okay.

Despite all the hate and prejudice that the world insists on throwing at us. I am really proud of who I am and I will walk in this world with my head held high because there is nothing wrong with being my unapologetic self.

i realized that i was gay when i first watched pitch perfect. brittany snow and anna kendrick just hit different. only when i found wayhaught though was i able to gain the courage to come out to my parents. i only came out to them this year, but i’ve known i was gay for about 6 years now; since i was 12. i’m forever grateful to dom and kat for portraying these roles and for coming out themselves. they have given me the greatest gift; they gave me courage and they gave me hope, and those two things inspire me to keep pushing forward and to keep fighting for what i love.

I’ve been reading a lot of the waves that have been posted and my story is nothing compared to that, I don’t really have friends that I’ve had a crush or something. I mostly started figuring it all out through tv, I really started thinking about how much female crushes I have I cannot even think about them all and men are a few that I really find attractive.
It was 2016 when I started questioning myself deeply, I had found out my brother was gay and he was married and I didn’t even know because my dad didn’t want me to know because I guess he thought I would “turn out” gay too, which guess what dad? I am (i’m still not openly out, just 3 friends know and they have been the best about it) anyways going back to the story, I started asking myself if it was just because the actresses were just too beautiful and I wanted to be them or what, so yeah, I pushed it down saying I couldn’t like women because my parents would hate me or stuff like that (internalized homophobia is a thing and I hate it) then I would really started bringing out how hot and beautiful these girls were to a friend and obsessing over a relationship that wasn’t even real to her and she asked me and i was like yeah maybe i really don’t know and she was just really happy that I was even able to “confirm.” She really was the best and I think that if it wouldn’t have been for her I would be still pressing myself over being straight and just that. She was the OG knowing since 2017 I think I don’t really remember the exact year but anyways fast forward to this year. During quarantine I have been spending a lot of time with myself, thinking about a lot of stuff, really learning about the community and I have been having like fantasies about how would be my life if I was with a girl and I really see myself more than with a guy, not saying it wouldn’t happen but I just know I would not just be boys. The thing is that a part of my doesn’t “want” to be gay because my whole family is Catholic, like reaally into the religion, I don’t care about the “god doesn’t love you if you are gay” because I know he does, he has and always will if i keep myself close to him because he lives in my (just my opinion) but I just feel like my family wont accept the union of LGBTQ+ and God since they all are extremist (and when I say that, i’m not exaggerating) My dad has been homophobic to my brother and doesn’t really interact with my brother in law and since I am the only girl, that still can have children, (I have 2 siblings, both male, neither of them want kids and I do so) I feel like he would only focus in the women part and not think about the fact that he would still get grandchildren even if im gay or not. My mom its more “accepting” she does interact sometime with my brother in law but she is more religious than my father so I don’t know how she would take it. From my mom’s side I only have family that is extremists catholics or trump supporters which are a no no too. From my dad’s side I would have it easier but I still don’t know how they would take it.
Going back to the beginning of quarantine, I had a friend who was throwing hints or something through her facebook posts so I reached out to her and started also giving kind of hints even though at that time I still was pushing my bisexuality down, I was able to accept and say I was bi or thought and she started telling me about how she had accepted herself and stuff and that really helped me to really beginning accepting myself. Now 4 months later, all I just can say is thank you to literally all actresses out there, representing the LGBTQ+ community for helping me find myself as they also might be finding themselves or found through playing those characters although im still closeted, I feel like I have came out of my own shell.

Where do I start well I turn 18 in two weeks and have the overwhelming urge to finally come out as Queer to my extended family and friends but I know I can’t yet, where I currently live it is illegal to be apart of the community which is hard when you’re trying to navigate the waters and find where you fit in, I’ve known I was apart of the community since I was around the age of twelve, it’s kind of like when you meet your soulmate and people say when you know you know, it’s never a big revelation because deep down it’s a part of you that’s been there all along.

I came out to my parents last year, even though we’ve got an aunt who’s apart of the community it was the most nerve-wracking moment of my life so far, my dad immediately started changing the pronouns he used when talking about my future partners and marriage and all in all was as supportive as one could hope – I mean he didn’t jump over the chair and give me a hug but I could always feel his acceptance was there. My mum still talks about my future husband and how everything going to change and I’ll end up with the opposite life to what I’ve currently got my heart set on, she talks about my prince charming and honestly It does break my heart that I can’t give that to her but I can still have a great love story even if it isn’t how she’s always pictured it.

I live my true authentic self in secret online and for now, that’s more then I could ask for,
but one day, someday in the next three years I promise myself I will come out to everyone.
I’m more than ready.
I’ve been ready for a while now, it’s just about finding the safest time to share my
story with my family.

xoxo

Growing up I was one of the boys, gender didn’t matter. Playing outside, drawing with chalk on sidewalks, riding around in our little toy go carts and just generally being happy, back then no one cared about labels, boy or girl.
We cared about our friends and loved them no matter what.
Starting school was different, suddenly I was pushed into the role of the gender I was assigned at birth, made to wear pink clothes, not getting the car or dragon bag I wanted, instead it was pink, with cats on it – I don’t have anything against cats, or the color Pink in fact – but back then, it was the worst thing that could happen to me, being forced into wearing and doing things that were stereotypically feminine, it hurt. It really hurt.
Because I perceived myself completely differently from the people around me. I wasn’t and still am not a girl. I never was.

It took years for me trying to figure out my place in this world, who I was and who I strived to be. When I was twelve I finally was able to get the haircut I always wanted, short hair. And boy did it feel great.
I knew that trans people existed, my mother even was friends with a trans man When I grew up, but I still didn’t realize that people assigned female at birth could transition to male.
I mean how could I have known? The representation lacked and still is lacking, but I will elaborate on what that means to me later.
I only knew about trans women existing so when I finally realized that trans men existed, and I would be able to transition, I jumped with joy.

But then the dread settled in, how would I tell the people around me?
My Mama? My grandparents? My friends?
What if they wouldn’t want me anymore because I am me? Should I live my life unhappy? I also had a bad case of imposter syndrome, constantly questioning myself when I knew I was so sure.
So I took small steps, telling my mother about the possibility that I might not be female, as she perceived. Telling a few friends and so far everyone reacted nicely, no one badmouthed me or told me how wrong I was for finding out who I was.

Still it took me years after that, until March of this year to be exact. To finally be able to voice proudly who I was, that I was David, not the name chosen for me at birth. Finally, telling people to please respect my name and pronouns.

2020 so far has been detrimental for me, being able to start treatment soon (I hope that I can be on HRT before summer 2021, and so far that might be the case), I figured where I want to go in life, and I finally reclaimed things I was grown to resent because of the perception being stereotypically female.
I am able to wear pink again! Wear nail polish or ear rings, which made me so uncomfortable before.
I figured out what I want to do in life, I want to give people like me and the LGBTQ+ community the representation it deserves. If that does not work out, I will go into psychology to help LGBTQ+ youth find themselves. I just desperately want to give the community what they deserve, and what I did not have growing up.

I still have a long journey to go, but I’ve already come this far, I’ve already had so much thrown at me that I am ready to face the world as who I am.

And I hope that i will read this one day, proud of what I’ve achieved, proud of the young man I am now.

I hope this message gives people the strength they need. Love the people around you, no matter who they are or want to be. Spread love.

Stay healthy, Be safe, be proud.

Much love
-David

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

Since I was a little girl I felt so confused as to why I saw the girls the same way all of my friends saw the boys, I could understand why they thought the boy looked cute, this only added to my confusion. I struggled silently until the summer before high school, my best friend asked me to meet up with another girl who she liked, that was the first time I realised I was not alone. We went to the city and her friend joined us there, she too had come along with a friend, I remember seeing her and I knew instantly I was attracted to her, I didn’t just think she was pretty, there was so many more feelings going on in my head than that. We spent the entire day just smiling at each other, we both went incredibly shy, I dared to think maybe she felt it too. This was back when msn was the in thing so we spent hours upon hours talking to each other every evening and we met up a couple of times with our friends, after the third time we met up I confessed to her I liked her and how confused it was making me feel, luckily she was understanding as she felt the same way. I was so excited to have found someone who understood me for me but I was terrified of what my family and friends would think, how could I possibly tell them I had a girlfriend? The first person I turned to was my sister and she was so supportive, she still helps me to remain positive even to this day. She told me she loved me no matter what and that my family would say the same, but I was still terrified to tell my parents, especially my mum, I come from a Catholic family, church every Sunday, Catholic schools. I decided to wait a bit to tell the rest of my family but my friends started questioning me when we returned to school, so I decided to tell them, I was unapologetically out and proud at school and honestly no one even battered an eyelid, in fact a few other girls and one boy in my year also came out a couple of weeks later, which was incredible. When I eventually told my parents my mum told me it was a phase, I had been dreading hearing that, it broke me. I left my girlfriend and became seriously depressed, my mum was and still is my rock, I needed her support the most. I completely lost myself after that, all of my friends started meeting guys and going to parties, I decided I needed to be ‘normal’ and so I did the same, I was getting attention and so decided to just go for it but although I enjoyed the partying and even the attention, I was missing something, I felt so empty inside. High school was over and I had spent 4 years of my life battling against my heart to be ‘normal’ and I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, I had been to prom the night before and it just all felt so fake, this wasn’t me and I didn’t want to be here if I couldn’t be me, I took an overdose, my mum found me and rushed me to hospital, I wasn’t in a good way but I pulled through, I had to agree to go to councilling before the would let me go home, so I did. I went along and told them what I knew they wanted to here but it was all a lie, I was hurting so badly inside. I decided to go on an online forum for lesbians and just talk to people in the hope it would make me feel okay being the real me, I met a girl on there and we really hit it off. We met up and she was my first true love, after a short while I moved away from home and lived with her and her family, we eventually got our own place and I felt like I could be me, the real me. Unfortunately she wasn’t the loving person I thought she was and she did a lot of very bad things, she broke me to pieces but my mum was there to pick me back up. She told me she understood and it was okay, she loved me no matter what, she loved me for me, the real me. Every part of me wanted to believe her but the voices inside repeatedly screamed ‘it’s just a phase’ and so I drank to numb the pain of a heart break and the feeling of rejection, of being a freak. I spent two years working to go out and drink and/or do drugs, my world was spiraling out of control and I knew I needed help but felt the only person I could turn to was my sister and so that is was I did. I turned up at her door in tears, she held me and her husband called my parents, within 15 minutes my parents, brother and his wife had all come to my sisters home, they told me it was okay to be me, they just wanted me to be okay and to realise my worth and how much I meant to them and from that day I never looked back. I haven’t touched drugs in 6 years, I have a pint or 6 if the footballs on but supporting Norwich City does that to you! I don’t smoke. I am out and proud again, at home, with my friends and at work. I am currently planning my wedding with my Fiancé for 2022 and my whole family will be there and hers. Sometimes the road is tough, really relentlessly tough but stick it out. Find your person, find them and talk to them, always, tell them your fears, your worries and allow them to reassure your that you are perfect the way you are.

I began to know I was LGBT in middle school but I lived in a very small east Texas town where it was highly frowned upon. I struggled with relationships, trying to date men as society wanted. I never talked to anyone about my feelings towards women except my Mom, and she was always supportive but I was terrified of being rejected by my family, friends and church community.
In my late 20s I became an active cyclist. Riding 20-40 miles each week. Not long after my 30th birthday I went for what seemed like a normal ride on my nearby trail. Instead, I had a severe accident where I flipped over my handlebars onto the road. As I laid in the road unconscious a woman driving by stopped and called 911. I had landed on my head and shoulder. I cracked my helmet in 3 places, broke my collarbone into pieces and cracked my shoulder blade. I was very lucky to be alive and not parallelized.
For me that was a wake up call, I finally decided to be who my heart wanted me to be. I came out to my family one by one, my father took it the hardest, telling me it was a phase. I was told by an aunt to lie and hide who I was, not to share anything on social media so my grandpa did not find out. He denied my marriage to my wife until a few months before he died. When he finally accepted me, my wife and my son, whom he met for the first time.
I have now been happily married for 6 years to an amazing woman! I love that Dominique decided to be her true self as well. It can be so hard to fear everyone will shut you out but it’s much better to not shut out yourself.

I have the luck to have a open-minded family so since I was 6 I remember watching shows like glee and never asking why there was a gay couple because I always thought that was a normal thing and I remember then watching Brittany and Santana (also in glee) and feeling a little something inside me so at the age of 8 I started watching youtube videos about the community or different channels of wlw and I realized there was a lot of people who hated the community and I started identifying as an ally and the next year (9 y/o) I became really close with to friends and I felt really good with them because we could talk about everything without anyone judging but I was still an “ally” until I was 11 I was a fan of a youtube channel of two girls from spain who are a couple and one of them made a clan in clash of clans and I decided to join, at that time I had a boyfriend, in the clan i met this girl (we are going to call her Lisa) and we became really good friends (through internet because we love distance) then i started having fillings for her but i had a boyfriend so i broke up with him (he was really possesive) and after i broke up with him one day lisa told me she liked me and i didn’t knew how to respond cause i was a little confused about my fillings so i told her that and we continue to be friends, 2 weeks leater i realised i liked her too so i armed my self with courage and i told her and became girlfriends and i started identifying my self as bisexual and i still do but i really dont care abut labels in my sexuality or gender. I first came out to one of my friends from when I was 9 y/o when I was 12 and then I started to come out with my closest friends until one day I was little sad because of a girl and my mom noticed and she asked me what happened and I didn’t tell her the truth but she didn’t believe me so she told me “I think you are a little confused with your sexuality” and I told her that I wasn´t and she asked me “so you’re straight” and that was the moment when I told her, No, and then she asked me if I was gay and I also said no and after some seconds thinking she asked me if I was bisexual and I told her, yes, and then I started crying and all the emotional stuff but she accepted me.
My mom told my dad and i didn’t know that he knew but he also accepted me and my brother as well. I’m not out at all because I have some friends that I never told but now that im 15 if someone asks me if I like girls I would tell them without a problem and I don’t try to hide my self, I do and post whatever i want. blessed it be

Hi, I’m Zoe and engaged to the most beautiful and inspiring women on the planet. I truly love her with all my heart and can’t wait to marry her.

But let’s back up a bit, before I met her; I was like all of you (those that aren’t out yet) – struggling in my teens coz I felt different about women and I did try to hide it for a while but a part of you, just wants to be free. I managed to conceal it for quite a few years but I guess I came to a point in my life where I just said… ENOUGH! I just want to be me!

There is always going to be that doubt when your not out. Is my family going to except me? What if I come out and nobody likes me? But don’t listen to the negativity and embrace the positivity.

Fortunately my family and friends are very accepting and so it wasn’t that difficult to come out to my parents – I was more scared to tell my nanas. But like my parents and family – they love me for me and are happy if I’m happy.

So I’ve never been comfortable meeting someone in a bar, shop etc. So that’s when I ventured into LGBTQ online dating. I have in the past been on all the dating sites to meet men but this time, it was a brand new experience.
I actually signed up for a site called ‘compatible partners’. Didn’t know what to expect but much like the other websites, it was quite easy to get the hang of.
Talked back and forth with a few girls for about 2-4 months and was feeling like I should start to give up when I saw a picture of what looked like an angel. I just knew I had to message her, even if I got nothing back. Within a week, she replied and we hit it off straight away. We messaged for a while on the website, then exchanged email, Facebook and eventually phone numbers. I couldn’t believe my luck and still can’t every day. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

Back when we met, I was living in north east England and she was living outside of London so roughly 4 hours drive between us. But I thought screw it, I owe it to myself to meet this person because if not I will regret it for the rest of my life.
First date consisted of me driving down to her and turning up on her doorstop (heart pounding & butterflies in my stomach). There was a lot of mixed feelings that day, was I good enough for her? She’s slim and beautiful, what if she sees me and thinks I’m ugly, fat etc? I won’t bore you with it all, but was also so excited to meet the person I’d been chatting too for 6-8 months too. Felt like it had been a lot longer talking and I’d known her my whole life. Up until this point, we had only exchanged photos so it literally could of been anyone when I turned up there. (So girls, be careful!)

Thankfully she was who she said she was and we hit off straight away. We did long distance for about 6 months and then I decided I wanted to move to be with her. I was looking for that change and needed to start my life and move out of my parents, so really she came along at the perfect timing.
The rest is kind of history now. Every day is a blessing with her and I always feel grateful to have her by my side.
We plan to get married October 2021.
One piece of advice to those who who have yet to come out or even out but struggling still…
Don’t give up, your time will come.
Be you. Be proud & trust in yourself.

Thank you

I am OUT!! #OutIsTheNewIn

I knew I always liked woman a woman’s eyes the stories their lips tell I am just in awe of it. I am one of those old fashion people when I am with someone I am with them strong morals. Been through hell but got gonna give her hell life that is I am not ever gonna let my rainbow fade love all

I have a vivid memory of walking home from school when I was 13 years old. Where my steady footsteps on the pavement, the soft weight of my backpack, and the gentle warmth of afternoon sunshine created the conditions for my mind to wander to romantic curiosities about one of my best friends – a girl (like me). The memory doesn’t stay with me as a milestone for my first gay thought (which I’m not even sure would be accurate), but it hovers because of the innocence that emerged when I remember telling myself afterwards with a playful shrug – “I’m sure everyone has thoughts like this.”

Whether or not more people ever do feel a pull to kiss their same-sex friends, my experience was that it was unsafe to consider – so forget talk about – that this desire could be any part of my truth. But there was something enchanting about the tension that I then began to experience as I felt called to acknowledge this part of myself.

I had to make a choice.

So instead of pulling myself together – I split and divided core facets of my being to maintain an illusion of a “normal” life and to hide the pieces I was not ready to accept.

The division, as one might expect, led to secrecy and a dynamic where I could only find true happiness in controlled, private, and hidden spaces. Escapism and disconnection. And, as if to further confuse my inherent sense of self and intuition, my friend – who I had imagined kissing – ended up playing in these shadows with me. We “dated” in the later years of high school – a secret we kept from literally everyone else in our lives. But where we were each coming from, at our cores, wasn’t aligned. She would cycle through boyfriends and force a hard separation from our day life and our shadowed life. I started living a life so empty on the surface – craving the time in the shadows – that I became numb to who I was spending time with when it wasn’t her.

I lost my centre.
I lost my own personal sense of who I was since I was craving to exist in the only one place I permitted and allowed myself to connect to what I was truly feeling.

Eventually it became too much to maintain the separation between the two lives. When I had approached her with the confession – that what I felt in the shadows was something I wanted to share with the light – I was met with hostility and denial. This would start a dysfunctional pattern of dismissing my own needs for those I love. How can you develop any sense of confidence in yourself when the person you care about most and feel you can be your truest self with is ashamed of who you are? Can look you right in your eyes, speak directly to your heart and tell you that who you are and what you feel is wrong?

But perhaps the biggest hurt was to realize that we did not feel the same way about what we were experiencing. That the space we had created together was starkly unsafe for me to feel the way I felt.
My world began to collapse.

I had separated an incredibly significant piece of my identity from the rest of my experience, and since I had defined my happiness based on how worthy I was in someone else’s eyes, my core became a void. Who was I? An emptiness emerged from the gaping hole that I had been filling with validation from others – validation I did not recognize I needed to be seeking from myself first. And when the sadness shifted to numbness it became an exceedingly difficult vibration to move out of – especially when fear and shame took control.

Then in the swirl of sadness, shame, confusion, loss, and uncertainty – the emergent realization that maybe I am gay snapped any remaining stability out from under me. To be this way wasn’t safe, especially if my love won’t be reciprocated, wasn’t enough, or was to be used as a weapon to demonize me. I couldn’t trust myself if this kind of happiness also meant so much harm.


But what is a “coming out story”?

I would love to say that this was the lowest point of my life through this journey – but that isn’t the case. I would also love for this to have been the moment that I accepted and acknowledged my place in the LGBTQ2IA+ community – but that isn’t true either. It would take many years to get to where I am today, and maybe I will always be going through the process of coming out and deepening my self acceptance.

What is the case though, truly, is that as I have found more self acceptance, the people in my life and the world (I believe) have also been finding softer hearts and raising their levels of acceptance, awareness, and love – consciously and subconsciously. And I genuinely believe that we will only get better. We will only love more. We will only build on and grow our collective kindness and compassion.

And, at least based on my experience, I deeply believe all of this is possible through the simple, challenging work of each of us turning inwards towards ourselves – first – and lovingly embracing all of who we are.

Change doesn’t need to be a light switch – but trust that lights shine their brightest in the dark.


Thank you for creating this space for us to share. Thank you for starting this wave of change and inspiration. Thank you for your sincerity and courage.
xo

During my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I realized that I wasn’t straight. I started having feelings for girls that I had never experienced before, but there was always a part of me that tried to suppress them so I wouldn’t disappoint anyone. I had been struggling for a while, I was scared to open up to my friends, and I honestly didn’t know what to do. I had felt this way until one day my best friend came out to me as pansexual. It made me feel better knowing that I had someone who would accept me and show me support no matter what. A couple months passed and I finally found the courage to talk to her about my path to discovering a major part of me. I ended up coming out as bisexual to my friends, and I started dating a boy during my junior year.Throughout that relationship I tried really hard to make myself feel like I liked him. Turns out, there really wasn’t anything there for either of us so we broke up. It was hard for me because I wanted something with a boy to work so badly but it never did.

A few months passed, and I was nearing the end of my junior year when I became friends with a girl who I had only seen a couple of times on the bus. I sat down at her lunch table because all my friends were out doing their senior ditch day. We talked more and hung out a couple of times and then I realized that I had a crush on her. I had feelings for her that were way different than anything I had ever felt for a boy. At this point though, I still tried telling myself that I liked boys and I ended up going to junior prom with my ex. Summer came along and I talked to the girl I had a crush on more and I finally figured out that I made a connection with her that I was never able to have with boys. So, I started questioning my sexuality again. Then during my senior year I became friends with the people who she hung out with, which were also apart of the lgbtqia+ community. I finally had the support I needed to figure out my sexuality, because my parents never really gave me their full support and always told me things that you don’t want to hear. After I started college and finished my first semester, I finally found the courage to tell my parents that I was gay. From that point until now, I have been slowly but surely becoming more and more proud of who I am, and it’s because of the people I’ve surrounded myself with, and all the people who are willing to portray characters and show the world the lgbtqia+ community.

I look up to each and everyone of you beautiful people for sharing your experiences and allowing me to see that our community is filled with very extraordinary individuals. <3

Ever since I knew how to speak, I’ve always been drawn to females and never really to males? I didn’t grow up with a lot of representation so the word lesbian wasn’t very common. Gay was a big word growing up for me however, it was used in very negative connotations and that’s what started the repression part of my sexuality. I repressed it and thought it would just go away, I prayed for hours, I tried everything to make it go away and it wouldn’t. Until one lucky fateful day. Wynnona Earp. Season 1 episode 09. Bury Me With My Guns. One of the first LGBTQ+ couples I’d seen in the media. I was immediately struck. The show helped me realise that what I was wasn’t something bad. It was something beautiful. I was never truly able to accept myself at all before that. And after I told a few friends about it, I realised, I wasn’t alone. The majority of my friends experienced similar things, whether it be gender or sexuality. So I thank Emily Andras from the bottom of my heart for allowing such beautiful representation, and such accurate representation to find its way onto my (cracked-but-still-working) screen. 😀

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

I think the instinct was always there but I never thought that being gay was an option where I grew up. In my parents’ home culture, being queer was simply dismissed, as something not real and it really messed with my head when I first truly realized I was attracted to women. Even though in high school, I did have friends who were lesbian and bisexual, I couldn’t see myself ever being one of them. I still remember the night I saw the first woman I was strongly drawn to. It was when I was watching her in a performance that was so passionate and evocative. I thought, “oh God, she is attractive.” That night, I sat down, wrestling with my newfound feelings which I had never felt before in grade school. It was a crush, but I finally understood all those love songs that I didn’t really identify with, because they were mainly heterosexual love representations.

It still took me five years to come out. In between was a rollercoaster of identity crisis, unrequited love, and finding self-acceptance that I was gay. I even entered a relationship with a boy just to see if I could suppress my true attractions. It ended up becoming so toxic because at the end of the day, I could not bring myself to be attracted to him. There was a lot of coercion and I let him because I thought I didn’t deserve any better. The homophobia I had towards myself led me to being desperate to be in control of anything, which included my own body image. I developed an eating disorder, and mentally and emotionally killing my own body. Finally, at the end of college, I looked at myself, gaunt, low-sex drive, thinning hair, and empty. This was not working. I left the relationship, cut my hair, and began to pick up the pieces that were left of me.

Fortunately, that same summer, I found friends who I could be open with about my sexuality. I don’t think I ever had to explain myself or the things I went through to them, but they accepted me without question. I still owe it to them for basically saving my life. My weight went back to normal, and I was beginning to find ways to be more confident little by little. I went to pride parades, watched films and shows with queer characters (Wynonna Earp), and slowly but surely began piecing together my tattered self. I met more queer people who were kind and essential to me becoming more forthcoming in my queerness.

In the year 2017, I survived and graduated with a masters degree in teaching. I was far from being a true professional, but one thing I knew I could do was to start being more authentic. How could I teach students to believe and be themselves if I didn’t do the same? I came out, shakily, to my parents. I had to tell my older sister first, who helped me bring it up with my mother. She looked at me and said I her native language, “well I figured, seeing you brought home an effing big rainbow flag from San Francisco.” I laughed and I also cried. My dad heard, but is still not understanding quite yet. Perhaps he never will, but I was out and I was grateful he didn’t dismiss me or kick me out.

Fast forward to today, I’m pretty much out to people I care about most. There are still many scars, and healing to be done, but I’m just glad to be able to be out and proud as I am. Is it the perfect life? Of course not. I still struggle a lot as a fellow human. I still struggle with mental health and trauma. Would I choose to live any other way? Also no. Because at the end of the day, I realize that all of us who choose to be who we really are, are most able to show the love that this world desperately needs. I am proud of being myself, for the first time in my life.

Thanks for reading, and happy coming out!

I now am a proud trans* man but the journey to get there has been rough. I remember always feeling like I wasn’t a straight cisgender girl, but I also remember thinking if I ignore it, it will go away.
At age 14 I first saw a lesbian couple on screen. That gave me so much representation and feeling like I wasn’t alone. It really motivated me to come out as gay.
Two years later or something I like that I stumbled upon my first ever representation of a trans* man and I was so shocked to learn that trans* man existed. That may have been like that, because (especially in german/Austrian media) they only show trans* woman and they mostly do it for the sole reason to mock the community so I wasn’t really fond of that.
At the time I saw a trans* man in media for the first time I thought to myself I may be gender queer. I identified as gender queer for two years, before I came to the conclusion, that I myself was a trans* man. I’ve been out and proud as a trans* man for a little less than two years now (July 2020) and it was the best decision I could have ever made. I feel so much more like myself.
And to make it easier for people who might feel the same way I am fighting for more trans* (especially trans* male) representation in the media. You are not alone!

I knew when I was very young that I was interested in women, I came out when I was 13. I like the umbrella term gay because I don’t feel as though I am a lesbian. I don’t want to deny myself love based off gender however I am mainly attracted to women. Love and lust are complex and deeper than gender. Thank you for sharing your story, you are an inspiration. Keep being the shining light you are.

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

When I came across this website, I had no intention of posting my story but reading this particular paragraph written by Dominique P-C “milestones appear when I take the time to observe what does and does not bring me happiness and then having the courage to make the changes in my life to align that which isn’t working” it made me realize I haven’t been as happy as I could be so it was time to sit back, take inventory of my life and take the time to realign myself.
I first realized I was a lesbian when o was 12. I noticed I tended to gravitate toward one female friend at a time and found myself disappointed when they developed relationships with boys. I suppressed this for a long time. I thought I can’t be gay. While I was realizing my sexual orientation my parents got divorced. It became easier to suppress because both my parents got remarried. You can only imagine the fear I had coming out when my mom married a physically abusive man who said we couldn’t bring home an African American never mind being gay. My dad married a woman who was a faithful Roman Catholic and my father also started practicing faithfully at this time. My step mom to this day is very emotionally and mentally abusive person. As I sat through church every Sunday knowing this religion believed I should go to hell for being gay, you can only imagine the fear I had wanting to come out to them.
As high school went on, I did everything I could do to please my parents. I graduated 4th in my class, volunteered, worked, and played sports and did what I thought all parents wanted. I was met with a mom who didn’t show up for one game or award ceremony. She told me I would never get into college, let alone be a nurse. I ended up getting into the best college in the northeast of the US. This is when my sexuality as a lesbian crept back up. This is when I started my drug and alcohol endeavour to suppress those feelings. I thankfully retained things well and could pull off good work at the last minute. I did what my mom said I couldn’t do and graduated on the dean’s list and got my nursing degree and license.
I immediately left home after this to get an apartment with friend and my lesbian instincts were in high gear at this point. All my life I had something to prove to get acceptance from my parents. I had no one to prove anything to anymore and was left with my own feelings. I became an alcoholic. I functioned and went to work but that was the only time I was sober. It happened to be one of those drunken nights when I finally said out loud I am a lesbian. It felt like a weight had been lifted and I could finally breath.
When I told my parents they were receptive at first, but as time goes on the tune has changed. I ended up meeting the love of my life, who I am now proud to call my wife. I remember our first date we went to the beach and stayed there all night til 4am because we didn’t want to leave each other. I knew that night I wanted to be with her the rest of my life. She had her own struggles including being hospitalized with cystic fibrosis (a chronic lung conditon) and pancreatitis. Despite the obstacles with her illnesses, I knew that night I was all in. Hearing her stories while hospitalized including coding and being brought back to life was incredible. She is the strongest woman i have ever met to endure what she has had to endure. We habe spend weeks on the hospital at a time, to be home for a week to be back in the hospital for weeks at a time again. The past 5 years we have been lucky enough to have no hospitalizatons. In have spent an amazing 7 years with my wife. She is strong, resilient, honest, faithful, loving, caring, compassionate, beautiful, smart, and puts everyone else first despite what she has been through. She is extroidinary.
My family “accepted us” at first, to later be met with comments like if you were a boy I wouldn’t be comfortable with you being gay or you and your wife don’t bother me because you don’t show affection in front of us. It is sad to know I can’t show affection to my wife in front of my family. I am sick of hiding what makes me happy and it is my relationship with my wife.
My wife put up with a lot to be with me. She helped me deal with my alcoholism. When I first met her, I could suppress the alcoholism but it eventually came out roaring and my wife almost left me due to the decisions I made while drunk all the time besides work. I am proud to say I have been sober for a year and a half with her help. She has helped me help myself become a better, stronger, smarter, honest and more caring person. She helped me become a better nurse. I can’t thank her enough. I put in the work with lots of therapy and I did it for me and on my own, but couldn’t habe done it without her support.
It is sad to know I can’t be myself around my family. They are also big drinkers and now that I am sober, the one thing I had in common with them disappeared. I no longer fit in and they don’t understand I am a different but better person sober. It is sad to know I can’t love my wife openly and honestly without judgment or feeling the need to hide who I am.
This being said in the time of COVID 19 the safety of my wife has never been more important where she is immunocompromised with a lung condition. This made me realize I need to take a step back and look at the things I do have and not the things I don’t have. I have very loving in-laws who are now my family. My wife’s extended family also took me ad if I was one of their own. I may not have the support of my family, but I have a family with my wife’s family. They love me and us as a couple unconditionally. We live simple, a good over our heads, food in the cupboard, and money to do fun things now and then, but most importantly we have each other and this beautiful love we have created.
The long and short of it is, I am no longer letting my parents affect how I love my wife from this point forward thanks to this safe place to post and read other’s stories. I am going to love my wife openly and honestly from this point forward and not be afraid of who I am. I am a lesbian woman madly in love with the woman of my dreams, my soulmate and I am not going to let anyone dictate that. I am going to continue to provide care for my patients as a nurse and do my best to keep them safe and to keep my wife safe as I along with many others continue to fight COVID 19. I am going to be my true, sober authentic self. I am going to be brave and strong and not be afraid to love my wife openly, honestly, and freely despite what my parents or this world thinks. I spent too much time hiding and I am not hiding anymore. We only get so much time on this earth to love others and treat everyone the way they should be treated no matter religion, race, sexual orientation, etc. With my wife chronically ill, it became abundantly clear that the time on this earth is short and you don’t know how long you have with the love of your life, so that being said I and going forth loving my wife freely, openly and honestly for the rest of my life.

I have two coming out storys, one from coming out to my family and the onther to my mom.
My coming out story to my family is kind of funny, but for me to explain it, i have to go a little back in time to my childhood.
Since i was a kid i have always known i liked boys and girls, it was not a big deal for me at all. When i became a teen i realized that the world doesn’t gave the same view as me, so i started to hide myself and try not to be “as gay”.
To be honest, i have no idea why i did that, because since small my parents were always really accepting and had a lot of gay and trans friends ( literally the suns and daughters of the two best friends of my father are openly gay).
Till today i think of why i hide my queerness from my parents. I came to the possible conclusion that it was because i didn’t have any good representation to confirm that i was a queer ( all of the midia representations were from people completely diferent than me) and i didn’t want to tell then i was a lesbian because i was not, i am a bisexual/queer.
On a day in july when i was 15 years old i was having a existential crisis because i had a big crush on a girl and just had to tell someon that i was gay, so i decided to call my cousing ( a bit of info about this cousin: she is 9 years older than me, she is my only cousing and im her only cousin. She is really open minded and its basically an older sister to me).
I called her and heard a music in the background so i asked her to turn it down, she asked someone to turn it down (i tought she was on her room and the other person on another room) and i started talking to her. First i asked her to not say that to anyone and then i told her that i liked a girl and i was gay and started crying really hard.
After that she YELLED “YOU ARE GAY?!?!?!? WHAT!!??”
i kept talking to her and explaining and asking what she thinked of it. She was completely fine with it but seemed stressed, so i turned off the call and went crying because i tought i losted my only cousing.
About 30 min later, one of my aunts called me. ( a bit about my family: i have a really small family, we are 10 in total and we are really close. They are really open minded too and since i can remember they always had gay friends and loved the gay community. Again i dont know why i didnt say anything to then).
My aunt was really quiet and talking slow asking me to go to my grandmas house, which was really weird for her because she is loud as fuck. I stopped crying and went there.
When i got to her house i realized that i forgot that the family was having an “festa junina” ( a traditional party from when i am) and everyone was there. From the moment i got there everyone was weird and looking at me and it was weird.
I went inside and was trying to find my aunt when she came to me and yelled ” HOW THE FUCK YOU ARE GAY AND IM NOT THE FIRST ONE TO KNOW?!”. at that moment i stoped and my heart started beating really fast. On that moment my cousin got in with a sorry face and then i realized that she YELLED “YOU ARE GAY” TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY AFTER SAYING I WAS ON THE PHONE CALLING HER.
My entire plan of coming out one by one went down and i wasn’t prepared to that, so i ran to the bathroom to cry without saying anything. When i got to the bathroom i saw a giant pile of rainbow ballons on the floor of the bathroom and then the YMCA song started on the living room ( thats their lgbt song basically), i opened the door and my aunt, cousing and grandma were ate the door smiling to me and with open arms to hug.
They told me that this doesnt mean anything to then and they love me.
After that i realised that i didnt like the girl and life went on. I have always been really shy and have never dated, so the subject of beeing gay didnt came out anymore. Until i was 19 years old and fell completely in love with a girl.
We started dating and i realized that i had to tell my mom about that but i didnt know how. (A bit about my mom: she is really loud, really stubborn and really funny. We used to fight a lot because im really activist about stuff and she didn’t care at all. After i came out i we realized that we were fighting because i was not in a happy place crushing down feelings and that made me really stressed and basically a really easy target to a fight) .
I had no idea what to do and was desperate. So to my surprise and luck the movie “love,simon” went to the theaters and we went to watch (we went to the cinema every week). In the middle of the movie, simon came out the his parents ( spilers lol) and after that i told my mom that i was like simon and she said ” its ok, i love you, i dont care if you like girls or boys”. I started smiling really hard and went to a giant hug. The lady behind me started clapping really loud and i looked at her,she was smiling really hard and asked me in a low voice if she could say it, i didnt understood what she meant but i said yes, just because i was really happy. She stand up and said really loud ” this girl just came out to her mom and she suports her, lets clap to this please!! And after that the entire movie theater started clapping. I think it couldn’t be better than this.
My family is really close to my girlfriend, we even went to pride last year and my family was matching colorsto make a rainbow. My coming out story is so surreal even to me that i sometimes think im dreaming all of it. I wish everyone could have a coming out story like this too.

I grew up in a small country town in South Carolina. I was always a tomboy, playing with the boys, playing sports and loved getting dirty. I always felt different from everyone, especially girls, and I never understood why. In high school, I had thoughts that maybe I was gay but never understood the term because I never had any representation. Dating guys never worked out so I just assumed I was a broken human. I ended up going to college at a small school in the Northeast and played college softball. One of my teammates was basically like you’re gay and that’s how I pretty much came out to myself. Then the process of coming out to all my friends (they were all great and knew before I did). My favorite thing about college was the ability to discover myself: how I dressed, acted, etc and how comfortable I was. I did discover the pain that comes with heartbreak during my 4 years of undergrad. The struggle of discovering your sexuality at a later age means facing the trial and errors of dating as an adult (confusion, awkwardness). I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time (lol). The hardest person I had to come out to was my dad (at 23) and I still feel like I have to pretend to be someone different around him. It’s a long and hard process. Everyday, I feel like I am discovering something new about myself. It’s definitely tough being a woman who likes the same gender but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Hopefully, one day I can find the love of my life and show her how amazing life can be. It hasn’t been the easiest for me in the 25 years I’ve been alive but if you believe, it can only go up from here.

I was like 10 or 11 years old when I realized I really like girls, from movies, to tv show even in real life. It was though at first, because I kept denying it that I am not Bisexual, that I am straight. But as time pass by, I accepted myself for who I am. I came out to my friends first, they absolutely knew I was Bi. I then came out to my classmates and the whole school knew it. Some think it was so cool, some didn’t quite like it. When I met my girlfriend (we meet on a dating app ^_^ , I knew it in myself that I really really like her. Like she’s the one for me. I came out to my mom, It wasn’t easy tho. But she did accept me. And my brother is cool with it he doesn’t have any problem me being Bi at all. I am still try my best to come out to the rest of the family. Wish me luck!

I come from an very conservative military family so when I found out in middle school that I liked boys and girls equally I felt like my whole world was collapsing. I couldn’t talk to My family or seek their advice about this feelings and I didn’t have that many real friends so I started to feel like I didn’t know who I was. For years I put on a mask and only showed people what I wanted them to see. In 2018 my whole word changed. At the age of 22 I meet this girl what am so lucky to call my girlfriend. But that wasn’t easy. I finally told my family about her and me. They decided to send me a letter that said that they didn’t want to have anything to do with me and I was confused because “ as long as you love boys you are straight and just rebelling and trying to hurt us”.

I didn’t talk to them for 1 1/2 year. Now they say that they don’t respect it but have accepted.

My girlfriend and this community makes me strong and wanting to walk to the end of the world with my head held high and with a heart full of love and color.

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