I cannot explain how scary it can be to come out to your friends and family. It comes with a billion psychological, social, emotional and physical stresses that can have such a strong effect on an individual.
I have known since I was 12 years old, but came out when I was 17 years old. I was fixated on the idea of being “normal” because it seemed like the easier option. I pushed the thoughts to the back of my head and went along with society’s definition of normality. It was okay for a while and I would tell myself that I liked boys but I was almost forcing myself to be attracted to them. It felt wrong and I knew that I was lying to myself.
As I got older, I met more and more people and the idea of being gay was being normalized and openly spoken about. It still didn’t make it any easier. I wanted it too stop. I didn’t want to be different. I’ve always been the girl to hide in the shadows and nobody really knew who I was. Coming out, in my head, would be a big thing. It would mean I was the only openly gay girl in my year group. It was something that I believed would draw so much attention to me, and that wasn’t an option for me.
In September 2014, I started at a new college. I knew no one, and no one knew me. This didn’t make it any easier but I knew that these people had no pre-judgement on me. They had no idea who I was, or who I wanted to be. Still, I kept quiet. If my friends asked, I would tell them that I was “Bisexual”, but that was still a big thing in my head. All I wanted was to fit in. Luckily, I was in a class with the most supportive people I have ever met.
In February 2015, I met my first proper girlfriend, who I was with for a while. THIS WAS TERRIFYING. It meant that people were going to find out and I had to get used to being with a girl and acknowledging the fact I was gay and that this might change everything and everyone’s opinions on me would change anD AHHH IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH TO HANDLE. Refusing to hold hands with her in public places (or feeling terrified when doing so), refusing to put it on social media, refusing to accept the fact that I liked her. Too be honest, I was refusing to accept who I was, just to keep other people happy.
At this point, my family and close friends knew, and had all taken it amazingly. To them, I was the same person. But to me, I was someone else. I was the person who I had wanted to be for however long, but was to scared to be her. For me, it was all about gaining the acceptance of other people, as opposed to gaining my own personal acceptance.
However, in June 2015, I decided to make it Facebook official, which felt like the biggest challenge i could have faced in my sexuality. However, through that, I met some of the best people and became close to people who I never was before.
(As most of you know, we’re not together anymore. Just to clarify.)
It’s been nearly two years since I did the whole coming out thing. My story isn’t as interesting as some people, but I’m so glad that I’ve got the most supportive friends and family I could wish for.
No one should feel ashamed of who they are. No one should have to hide themselves, just to feel normal. No one should change who they are, simply to get the acceptance of other people. Honestly, coming out has been the best thing that I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t have changed anything. Choose your own happiness, because it’s what’s going to keep you strong in the long run.
Here’s to the future. Here’s to rainbows, and all of the stars that are too scared to shine.
PS. Lil appreciation post to all of these losers. I could have named a billion more tbh. I adore each and every one of you.