My Coming Out
I've known that I was gay probably my entire life. I just didn't have the guts to admit it. Since accepting it, I have been able to look back and see that I always knew.
In elementary school I was never interested in any girls. Not that I should have, but most kids still had a certain attitude toward the opposite sex. I had girl friends and loved to just hang out with them and talk. Boys my age would feel weird or want to act tough around them. Girls would gossip about boys and giggle. Little kid stuff like you would expect. I didn't have this feeling toward girls though. I actually felt kind of awkward around certain boys.
In middle school is when everyone became aware of the opposite sex in a new light. I did as well, but not in the same way. Everyone hit puberty and started the immature process of dating. I did not "check out" girls and had really good relationships with them. I had guy friends as well but my best friend was a girl. Because of everyone feeling the need to date I decided to ask my best friend out. She declined because of the closeness we had and it just wouldn't be right or some such explanation. The same explanation that all straight guys have gotten at some point. It's the "friend zone" or worse the "brother zone". I was upset and seemingly depressed about it and my other girl friends were really sad for me. The truth was, I was upset because I she was the only girl that I felt truly close to. I was relieved because I wouldn't know what to do if I dated her. I was confused.
At that point I knew I was gay. I just didn't admit it. I checked out other guys and had various crushes on boys in my classes. I didn't think of them sexually. I just admired their smiles and eyes. I noticed when they got a hair cut or a new shirt. Something that the average straight man would not notice or care about. I clung to being straight by asking my best friend out again. She again declined. I still loved her and it became more of a joke and we didn't care. We went on like usual. I formulated various crushes on girls but never really wanted a relationship with them. I more so found them attractive and interesting. They also were conveniently girls that would never consider dating me. Perhaps this was coincidence, but I think that it was my way of portraying a crush as a straight boy while not allowing something to actually happen with a girl.
I remember one day in gym class we went out to the track and I messed up my knee. One of my classmates decided that it would be easier and faster if he just carried me back to the school. He helped me up and lifted me up so that he was basically holding me up by my waist. My stomach basically on his shoulder. This boy was one of the one's that I had noticed every hair cut and every new shirt. I had always noticed his smile and his eyes. The physical contact was not sexual. It was a friend helping another. I was not aroused, but I knew I was gay.
I continued on with middle school. I asked my friend out another time or two. All times the answer was a loving no. High school came and I realized that I was attracted to men and not women. I knew I was gay but didn't admit it. I guess I thought that I could fight it. I thought I would get over it. I at least thought I could keep it a secret.
During high school, I was incredibly depressed and went through major drama with my group of friends. My best friend was now a guy. My best friend that I asked out was still very close to me, but I now had a different group of friends as many teenagers do. I had very few friends. I had a few guy friends and a few girl friends. I knew others but only as acquaintances. I drank and I smoked and I tried marijuana. I'm not proud of any of them.
I was going down hill fast and it actually wasn't because I was gay. It may have been a large part of it because of the way it made me feel. I may have felt extra depressed and helpless because I didn't want to be myself and I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I may have hated myself because I was portraying a false self. However, at no time during my depression did I ever hate myself specifically for being gay. I knew I was gay and I did not want to be. I hated myself and was horribly depressed and constantly told myself why I hated myself. Never once did I tell myself that it was because I was gay.
By my senior year I had made a major turn around. I may explain the issues that I went through another time, but for now I only need to mention the depression because it was seemingly connected with my self acceptance.
Senior year is when I believe I fully admitted to myself that I was gay. I didn't accept it fully, but I knew it to be true. I graduated and went off to college. The first three years of college I remained in the closet. I think I was under the impression I could be happy in the closet forever. I went on various dating sites filled with old men wanting to hookup. I was not interested.
Then last semester, during the fall of 2009, I met a guy online going to the same college as me. We met for dinner and he knew I was totally closeted still. We talked awkwardly because I was terrifyingly nervous. At one point he texted me the words "you're cute". We finished eating and went for a walk where I felt more comfortable because there was no one around. We talked and eventually got back to his car and drove back to the parking lot where my car was. We continued talking. Well, he talked and I continued to be shy and nervous. I could barely look at him because I was so nervous and confused.
I knew I was gay, but this felt weird to me because I had it in my mind still that it was not normal. He talked to me about my nervousness and tried to get me to relax. We talked for awhile longer. Again, he did most of the talking and I just tried to calm down. I don't remember exactly how it got t this point but he eventually leaned in and we kissed. It was brief and he asked me if I was okay. I said yes and we kissed again. It just felt right. I began to relax. I was still nervous yet somehow relaxed.
We dated for a while and hung out at my apartment and watched TV or movies. We also went to his place which was a fraternity house. He was out completely so me going up to his room to watch a movie was clear to everyone around. They knew we were dating. HE told me that he had told them we were dating and asked if it was okay. It was. I didn't care. I felt weird around his fraternity brothers at first because these were the first people that knew I was gay. I eventually didn't care at all. Well maybe a little but I was comfortable with it.
One night while at his place I stayed the night. All we did was sleep but it felt right. I was sleeping with a man. I was sleeping in my boyfriend's bed. I began sleeping at his place and he at mine every weekend. I was gay and totally okay with it.
I then knew that I had to come out. I wanted to come out. I was tired of lying. I felt so much better when his friends knew I was gay and felt awkward around my own friends who didn't. One night I texted my best friend who was going to school in another state. He laughed at first and thought I was joking. When he realized I was serious he didn't care. He was supportive and accepted me completely. I was never more relieved in my entire life than I was at that moment. He talked to me regularly after that night helping me through coming out. The next person I came out to was my best friend living in the same town. He also accepted me. My two best friends had no second thoughts. They both accepted me completely. At that point I stopped pursuing telling people and instead made the decision that I would be open and tell anyone who asked and if the topic came up. Otherwise I would just go on with my life. I would no longer lie about it but also didn't feel the need to go out telling everyone either.
After almost two months I realized that there wasn't a future for me and my boyfriend. He was a great guy but we were so different and I knew we didn't have a future. I broke up with him in the worst way possible. I broke up with him by text message. I hate myself still for doing that. I am so shy and nervous about so many things that I just couldn't do it any other way. I will never forgive myself for being so terrible to him by doing it that way. I love him. Not romantically but for what he did for me. We never had sex but for a time there was a real connection. He pushed me without realizing it. He pushed me to acceptance. I was at the edge of accepting myself but didn't have the courage or know how to take the final step. He gave me just what I needed to fully accept myself. I really do love him for what he did for me. I have not talked to him since I broke up with him. I hate myself for that as well. He deserves to know that I was simply being a coward. He deserves to know how I feel about what he did for me. He deserves better than what he got.
I finished the semester and went home for break. I was planning on telling my family. I decided not to. My uncle just got engaged and thought that this would only overshadow his news and I didn't want to do that. Then I made another huge mistake. My family was drinking at my grandparents house in celebration of the engagement. My mom was too drunk to drive home. I drove her home and on the way I told her. Bad idea. She was destroyed. She cried and swore while we sat in my car in the driveway of our home. She blamed herself and I told her it wasn't her fault. She cried and swore some more and asked god why. The crying and swearing continued for awhile. She repeatedly told me that she still loved me throughout the crying and swearing. We sort of talked about it. All that really came out of the talk was that she wasn't ready to tell anyone in the family except her sister, my aunt. I had no problem with this and my mom wanted someone to talk to about ti for support.
After that night she acted like nothing ever happened. One day near the end of break she asked me if I was sure and I said yes with a laugh. I hid the laugh because I realized that this is serious for her whereas I have come to terms with it and can now laugh about it.
I went back to school and then talked to my aunt online. She told me that she knows and that my mom also told my uncle who was also totally fine with it. I decided with my aunt that since I am out of state going to school that my mom and her would tell the family at my mom's pace. It only seemed fair because if I told the family then my mom would get the brunt of the reaction since she's there and I'm not.
I called my mom a month ago to talk to her about it. I told her we needed to discuss it because we never actually did due to the initial shock. I told her that I want to be totally out and open with it but it was up to her how she wants to tell the family and I would not rush her. She agreed that she would try to tell everyone by the time I come home in the summer. She had told my step dad who didn't understand but is apparently okay with it. Basically, he doesn't understand it but he loves me anyway. I was relieved to hear that.
I encouraged her to ask me any questions she had and talk to me about how she felt so that I could help her understand and clear up the stereotypes that she had learned. She was mainly worried about the risk of HIV and after discussing how responsible I am and how I understand all the risks and precautions we moved on. I cleared up that I do not cross dress or wear makeup. We were able to laugh at that stereotype together and that was when I felt like my mom was really going to be okay. I told her that she can ask me whatever she wanted and talk to me about whatever she was feeling at any time. I also asked her to keep me updated on who she told and who she planned on telling as it happens whether they had good or bad reactions. She agreed and told me she wanted me to tell her when I date someone. I agreed and we wrapped up the conversation.
Here I am now out to my friends and working on being out to my family. Not everyone knows, but I'm never going to lie about it again. I'm gay. I'm happy. I'm proud. I feel calm and better about myself than ever before in my life. I feel like a weight is off of my shoulders and I can't wait until my whole family knows because even if they react badly I will still know that I am proud of who I am and could never be totally confident in myself if I continued living a lie.
It seems pretty unbelievable that I became so accepting of myself in only a few months. The truth is I'm still working it out. I think I will always be working through issues over my sexuality. The acceptance of my sexuality is an ongoing process. I will continue to work on it, but the biggest hurdle has been jumped. I have accepted that I am gay. I have come out to my friends and began coming out to my family. I am beginning a completely open life.
That's my coming out story. It isn't the most eventful and it isn't perfect. I think it's fairly boring, but that's life. Most people won't think anything of my coming out, but for me it was the most life changing event thus far.