Hi, I’m Ally, and I’m a 17-year-old lesbian from Utah. At the time I’m writing this, it is my two-year coming out anniversary to my mom. Looking back on that day is so interesting for me, because although my mom was super supportive as I knew she would be, I was an anxious mess. I had only realized I was gay six months before I came out to her, and I definitely wasn’t comfortable with myself.
Most other LGBTQ+ people I’ve spoken to have waited much longer before coming out to anyone, but I didn’t feel like that was an option for me.
I’ve always been super close with my mom. My dad passed away when I was a baby, and I’m an only child, so it’s always been just her and I. I felt like I was lying to her by not telling her something that was such a big part of me.
As I mentioned earlier, she supported me completely. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better reaction from her. Having her know what I was dealing with took so much weight off my shoulders.
I found out about Project Contrast through Instagram last year. Shortly after finding out about it, I discovered that there was an event happening in Salt Lake City to display the new series. At that point, I had never been to an event for anything LGBTQ+ related, so I knew I needed to go. Being LGBTQ+ in Utah can feel so isolating but being there was like a breath of fresh air. Everyone there was so amazing and supportive. I went to the event alone but left with friends that I still talk to today.
While at the event, I found out about an organization called Encircle. Encircle is a resource center for LGBTQ+ people and their families. It’s also become a second home for me. I’m there at least once a week either for support groups, or just to hang out. The staff there is amazing and the youth that attend have become some of my closest friends. If there are any supportive LGBQT+ centers in your area, I highly recommend going. Yes, it can be intimidating at first, but you might just find a wonderful group of people.
Now, two years after coming out, I feel so much better about myself. Being surrounded by people in the community has helped me greatly. I know I’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m so genuinely excited about my future.