National Coming Out Day
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t pop over here and talk about National Coming Out Day, since I am a gay-lady and I am out 😉
I know somewhere way back I told my coming out story, but I thought I’d re-tell it today for the occasion and for any new readers out there.
I was 19 and dating a guy I had dated since I was about 16. His name was Shawn and he was a year younger than me. I was a sophomore in college and he had just joined the Marines. I was trying to force myself to really like him, which is why we kept going back to each other. It never felt right, but I was trying to be “normal”. He came home for Christmas that year, and it was the one and only time we had sex – if you can even call it that. Anyway, he left to go back to the Marines, and I went back to college. As the months went by and we didn’t speak (not even on Valentines Day), I realized more and more how much I wasn’t interested in him. I was crushing on girls at school and daydreaming about having relationships with them. I first told my best friend at the time that I thought I was bisexual and her response was that everyone is at least a little bisexual. Hmmmmm. (When I fell for her a few years later I found out she wasn’t talking about herself in that statement!)
In May of 1997, when I was 20 year old, Shawn came home for a visit. I didn’t hear from him, and when I called his house and he wasn’t there, I didn’t care much. My mother noticed that I didn’t care and said to me, “Maybe you don’t like boys.” To which I replied, “Maybe I don’t.” She immediately started to cry, so I revised my statement and told her I was Bi. I think she knew all along, she just didn’t want to face it. My dad came in from the store and asked what was going on, since by then we were both crying. “She’s like Ellen (Degeneres)!” my mother yelped. “More like Anne Heche,” was my reply. (To this day she denies saying that, but it is SO TRUE! 🙂 ) My dad just said “So what?” and that made me feel much better. My mother then clarified her tears by saying that she wasn’t upset at me, but upset that her hopes and dreams for me were gone, like having grandkids, etc., and I told her I could still have kids and I was the same person she knew all those years.
As the weeks went by, things were just fine. It took my mom the longest to come to terms with it, but then she was the biggest supporter. One of my brothers didn’t believe I was gay until I told him three times. Every time I would say I was, he would say, “No you’re not” – not in a mean way, just in a disbelieving way. My grandmother and most of my immediate relatives were fine about it. I only have one very religious uncle and aunt that still don’t accept me, but fuck ’em, I don’t care.
The only problem I had coming out was that I had to do it twice to my mom. What I mean is that since I told her I was bi, she was trying to still set me up with guys. So I finally said to her, “No thank you. I don’t like men in that way at all. I’m not bi, I’m gay.”
I was terrified to come out. Terrified they wouldn’t accept me. Terrified I’d be kicked out of the house. Once I did it, I knew it was the most important thing I had ever done and I am so very glad I did!
If you’re reading this and aren’t out, I really hope you have the courage one day to do it. You won’t regret it! Being true to yourself feels so much better than trying to be someone you’re not for someone else. Love yourself, and know that there are people out there who love you – no matter what.
Happy National Coming Out Day Everyone!!