When I came out, I wasn’t treated negatively by my family and friends. In fact, my coming out was quite well received. However, it did not come easy. It took me a long time to actually come to terms with myself. It was far more of an internal struggle than an external one. Having others come to terms with your sexuality is one thing, and having to come to terms with your own sexuality is another thing.
I’d always known that I was more into guys than girls, and apparently everyone else knew, too. My father said that he had known by the age of two that I was gay. The way I carried myself, even at such a young age, was indicative of my sexuality. It wasn’t until middle school that I had even heard the word gay, and of course, in middle school, people don’t use the phrase affirmatively. However homophobic the 6th and 7th -grade boys were, there were ten times as many ingratiating 6th and 7th-grade girls, that were all looking for a G.B.F (Gay Best Friend). So as the homophobia intensified, my popularity soared. I befriended almost every single girl in that school, halfway through my 6th- grade year. That was also around the time that I began to scour the internet for anything pertaining to the “homosexual lifestyle”.
It took me about a year after I had “struck gay oil” on the internet to actually say the words “I’m gay.” The first person that I came out to was my close friend and confidant Sophie. She responded with “Yea, I know,” which is a pretty underwhelming response for someone who hadn’t come out to anyone in their entire life, but beggars can’t be choosers! Soon enough, coming out became infinitely easier, and actually a bit of a thrill. By the end of lunch that day, there wasn’t a person that didn’t know.
I knew that this was the time to tell my family. I went home that night, and that was when my sister came out to me, to which I responded with “way to steal my thunder.” Since we both needed to come out to our parents, we figured we’d just do it together. So, we made cupcakes, sprinkled them with rainbows, and sat them down. In unison, we said “We’re gay.” My expectation was that they were going to jump up in the air, screaming and yelling, and parade me into the street to celebrate my sexuality. Instead, we got two “Yeah, we know!”, which, as was previously discussed, is a pretty underwhelming response. They told me that they’d love me no matter what, and that they didn’t really care what I was.
I’ve grown a lot since those fateful days, and I have come to realize just how blessed I am to have such a warm and accepting family. I know that many people are afraid that they won’t have a good coming out experience because many people haven’t. To those people, I would tell them to have confidence in their convictions. You will always be who you are, and nothing can change that. Come out when you feel like you are in a safe environment. You are in no way tied to the people that do not accept you for who you are, and you ought to find a group of people that love and support you, and you ought to stick with them. Finally, remember that your sexuality doesn’t define who you are, it is only a part of your equation. Your sexuality doesn’t define you.