Another Coming Out story to share…
When I was 12, I developed really strong feelings for a girl I knew. I couldn’t figure out what these intense feelings were, and told myself I must just really want to be her. When it got to the point where I literally couldn’t stop thinking about her, thoughts were flying through my head; do I want to be her? Do I just find her really inspiring? Then it occurred to me I might fancy her. I immediately dismissed the idea, she’s a girl!! So I put it to the back of my head and tried not to think about it.
The next day I saw her, and it made sense. This is what it feels like to be attracted to someone! But I couldn’t like girls, I thought lesbians were weird. My mum called women with short hair on TV ‘dykes’ and my dad’s language was even more extreme. They used these terms casually, and when I was becoming aware of my sexuality they really stuck out to me.
The girl I liked moved away, and I convinced myself this was a good thing, and that it had been a one-off with her. Aged 14 I had my first kiss, drunk, with a guy at a party. I thought that kissing must be seriously overrated because it was really not that special. I was developing a serious crush on one of my friends at the time, I’d always try and pluck up the courage to kiss her because I wanted to so much but I never did, I was too scared. After several more undeniable crushes on girls, and yet more drunk, boring snogs with guys, I started to come to terms with the fact I liked girls. I still found it incredibly difficult to deal with not liking boys, because I was convincing myself that I just ‘hadn’t found the right guy yet’, and I could still marry a man and have children, and no one would ever know any different.
After a lot of painful deliberation I came out to my best friend (as bisexual), randomly, after school in the PE changing rooms. I was crying, panicking- I thought she’d not want to be friends with me anymore. Her calm and supportive response really shocked me, and finally talking to someone helped me to gain confidence, and to not feel ashamed.
A few months later, a guy I was friends with asked me out. I said yes and told everyone. In hindsight, most of my happiness stemmed from the thought of not having to deal with my sexuality, and the thought of everyone thinking I was straight. It became apparent to me very quickly I wasn’t attracted to him. It just wasn’t the same as with the endless girls I’d fancied; he didn’t inspire me. I talked to my friend about it, and eventually I broke up with him. The feeling of relief was amazing, like I could finally be myself.
After a while it felt like I was suffocating, hiding all the time. I was so sick of lying and pretending, I had to start coming out to people. I came out to some more close friends, and finally came out to my parents when I was 15. I couldn’t eat the whole day, I felt so sick; I blurted out ‘I’m gay’ to my mum when we were watching TV, which was returned with a long silence and a wide-eyed stare. Eventually, she told me not to tell anyone. She told my dad, who texted me the next day when I was at school saying to be nice to my mum when I come home, because she’s been crying all day. There were a lot of tears, and she was very confused, as she had always assumed I would be straight.
Two weeks later I met my first girlfriend. I knew I couldn’t leave that party without talking to her. It was one of the best nights of my life, and just being with her made it all seem worth it. Being as ridiculously happy as I was with her, makes me wonder really how I ever doubted my sexuality. A couple of people from school saw me with her at the party when we first met, and it took me a long time to actually realise after that that seemingly ‘everyone’ at school knew. The lack of reaction was what really took me by surprise.
Despite my parent’s open struggle with my sexuality, I don’t regret it for a second. I am out to all my friends, and even some of my teachers and friends’ parents who have all been incredibly supportive. The biggest reward is I get to be myself, I get to date girls, be open, and have the confidence to stand up for myself.
Thank you for sharing!