Recently I interviewed Lauren (@sighlaurn on Twitter) and she was very enthusiastic to share her coming out experiences with me. She is 16 and identifies as female. She is bisexual, sexually attracted to men and women. I asked her a series of questions which are below.
1. What was it like for you to come to terms with your sexuality? Was it difficult, or did you embrace it from the start?
I’ve known from a young age that I like boys and girls. I’ve always been aware of my attraction to girls, even while growing up with a lot of straight people and straight normative ways. I never really acknowledged my sexuality until last year when I realised it was time I should come out and I’ve embraced it, although there are some people I haven’t come out to yet.
2. What is your main coming out story/experience?
So last year was when I decided I wanted to come out to my friends. I started implying I was attracted to girls sexually by making comments on celebrities saying that I think they’re gorgeous in a sexual way. When my friends confronted me on it I came out. In the summer when I wanted to tell my granny I was very nervous but her response was, “I don’t really care who you love as long as you’re happy I am.”
3. What was either your best or worst coming out experience?
I have to say all the times I’ve come out to different people I’ve felt very supported so I wouldn’t be able to choose a best or worst. But one of my favourites was when I came out to a group of my internet friends who were like “omg you’re my first not straight friend” and I was flooded with love and support which I feel very fortunate about.
4. What is the thing that has shocked you the most from coming out?
The acceptance and support around me. Everyone close to me is very supportive and loving and it still shocks me how fortunate I am to have people like this.
5. Are you happy you came out?
Yes I am so happy and proud of myself for being able to accept myself as, well, like this.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who is contemplating coming
Please make sure that you have a safe environment to come out in. If you know it’s not safe and that your parents might kick you out then please wait. I know it can be hard but please don’t put yourself in danger. If you know it’s okay to and you’re worrying about people’s opinions, please don’t (worry about people’s opinions) because believe me, coming out is a step in accepting yourself and it opens you up to so much love for yourself and others! Good luck!
Zoe Levine is 17 years old from Erie, Pennsylvania. She is currently a student in 11th grade at McDowell High School. Her main passions are intersectional feminism, writing, music, watching TV and movies, reading, and journalism. She is president of her synagogue’s youth group and president of a local volunteer organization. She is involved with her school’s performing arts program, Speech & Debate, Mock Trial, Model UN, Exposure (tolerance activity), and Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Outside of school she has a job at a local farmer’s market and travels for Reform Jewish conferences. You can follow her multiple social media platforms including YouTube: sunflowerzoe15, Instagram: @xzoelevine, and Twitter: @xzoelevine