Every gay, lesbian, and transgender individual has a coming out story or will at some point in their life, so I thought I would share mine. I know what you are thinking, oh gosh another coming out story with crying and parent rejection or acceptance, it does seem my people love to share their stories. What I’ve come to realize is that its important to share these stories because so many people are still afraid to come out and share their stories with people in their lives, as cliche as it sounds if I can help one person then my sharing is worth it.
Now don’t expect some big coming out, like my personality, it was nothing to brag about. A little back story on my life, I don’t remember one day just waking up and realizing I was gay. Growing up I never really even questioned sexuality, as weird as it sounds it just never came to my mind. I remember having two “girlfriends” (quotations because lets face it elementary romances are a joke) in elementary school, and never thought any of it. It was basically just passing notes to each other and the girl talking to her friends about me. In junior high, I had my first glimpse of my gayness, you know being in a locker room with guys, it was bound to happen. Yet, I didn’t think much of it, i figured all guys could appreciate another male’s adonis body. I also had interaction with my first gay person, I looked at him and didn’t see myself like him so my gayness still didn’t register. In high school things slowly clicked. Its true what they say sometimes other people notice things about you before you do. I had a few guys call me names, i’m sure you know what I’m referring too what every gay guy is called by uneducated individuals. It wasn’t until this started happening that I started looking at myself. I found women attractive but i never had a desire to see their private parts, Im sorry girls but just the image of a vagina scares me. My high school wasn’t a scary place by any means, but I just didn’t feel like this was the place where I would want to explore my sexuality, even though I’m sure all my friends and people around me knew.
It wasn’t until college that I finally came into myself. I learned about the gay culture, and realized that is who I was. I was a gay man. I’ve never been someone who thought I needed to come out to every person in my life, that just didn’t interest me. I didn’t need to make an announcement to the world, I was gay not hiding a horrible secret. I decided to just live my life like I had been doing, if someone asked then I would happily answer them. I mean my favorite artist was Britney Spears, it’s not like I was ever a closeted gay. My big coming out moment to my mom was her meeting my then boyfriend at a concert. I introduced him to my mom and aunt like it was no big deal, which it wasn’t. My mom was cordial and said hello, as did my aunt, even though I could tell they were caught a bit off guard. My aunt later invited me out to lunch, and mentioned that she always felt I was gay but I did catch her off guard just dropping my boyfriend on her like that. My mom brought it up the next day, and seemed fine with it, sorry no big emotional hugs and crying. With my friends that know, I honestly don’t remember how I officially came out to them, guess it wasn’t dramatic enough to remember.
I know I’ve been lucky with people in my life, and not everyone has the same easy transition from being “straight” to coming out as gay. I do have some very religious people in my family which don’t know, but I don’t worry about them and actually look forward to the day they finally decide to ask me. Being gay comes with a lot of responsibility that most people don’t think about. Sadly we are still misunderstood by a vast majority of people, and each of us is a representative to our community. There is no other gay individual in either side of my family, well atleast that I know of, so I take the responsibility of being a great individual very much to heart. These people in my family that are religious and love me, love me for being a good person so when they realize that I am gay technically that love should remain. I might be the first gay individual they have an intimate relationship with, their stereotypes of the gay world might be challenged and destroyed due to me being in their lives. Maybe in a way I don’t come out to them so they can realize that I am just another person, I just tend to like guys of course, being gay doesn’t make me any less of a person.
One day I hope that there won’t be a need for coming out stories. Straights don’t have to announce it to the world, so gays shouldn’t either. It’s just another part of us, everyone has things that make us different, this is just another thing like having blonde hair or two vaginas (sorry Discovery Channel is on). The only advice I have for someone who is gay is, do what feels right for you. Don’t think you need to come out to the world, or you aren’t gay. Every situation is different, don’t let anyone feel like you need to rush your process. To the straight individuals reading this, sometimes that friend or family member that you think is gay is just unsure if you are a safe person to come out to. Let them casually know that you don’t see gay as the pathway to hell (casually! don’t literally repeat what I just wrote, do it in a non-chalant conversation), they might take that as an opportunity to open up to you and could give a great relief to them.
If anyone that knows me and thinks of me as straight is reading this, surprise! Trust me, Ill be more surprised you actually ever thought I was straight.