Coming out is the most significant moment an LGBTQ person can experience. Every story is different, from good to bad to in between. Some might ask, “why is coming out made into such a huge deal?” Like mentioned before, every LGBTQ person has a different experience. Several reactions travel through the mind, imagining the worst of the worst which leads to extreme anxiety. Sometimes, this can lead to someone taking longer to confess or never coming out at all.
Every story deserves to be heard so people will realize that their’s will end with happiness. Because of this, I interviewed three people who reveal what coming out was like for them, each being different from the next.
Before coming out as a transgender male, Jacob felt fear and excitement; there was no in between.
“I felt fear because I was scared of not being accepted and losing friends,” he admits, “but excitement overpowered the fear, knowing I could be myself, carefree, and have people call me by the right name and the right pronouns.”
He described how the excitement he felt made him feel so happy and filled with joy. Jacob first came out on the internet, which is a lot scarier than it seems. “When I came out on the internet (first), I didn’t check my phone for like, an hour,” he explains, “my hands were shaking a lot and I cried a bit. It was just really scary at the time.” Coming back to social media, he discovers the amount of love and support from friends flooding his notifications. This gives him hope of further acceptance in the future. He ends his story with a heartwarming close, “everyone was very accepting, which made me cry even more. I felt a lot better than I did before. I wasn’t expecting all of the acceptance.”
For this next story, the narrator will be called Anon since he requested to remain anonymous. Anon’s story is short but sweet. Before coming out to anyone, he felt empty, or how he described it as “dead inside.” Most people feel this way; confusing emotions can lead to becoming emotionally drained.
“I felt okay while coming out,” he confesses, “but after I felt dead inside again because I won’t find anyone to love. Everyone is straight and homophobic.”
Disregarding Anon’s belief of everyone being homophobic, the responses he received while coming out were supportive. Sadly, every now and again, people would throw his sexuality at his face as a way to insult him when they got angry.
Lastly, meet Ky, a gay female teenager who goes by the pronouns they/them. They live in Mississippi, which is claimed to be one of the most anti-LGBTQ states in America. At the beginning of their freshmen year of high school, they had been fighting with sexuality and eventually decided to tell a friend. Unfortunately, this friend was unaccepting and continuously asked inappropriate questions. “He kept asking what girls I’ve had sex with,” they confess, “and he said I was going against God for being gay. I had a lot of conflicting feelings for a while because of that.” Later in the year, they met a new group of friends who showed them a different side of the world. Although they were openminded, Ky was still afraid to admit to their sexuality to them.
“It was the middle of a math class and after I tiptoed my way around it all. My best friend ended up guessing what I was trying to say and was so loving and happy for me. I ended up feeling comfortable telling my other two friends.”
A year after coming out to their friends, Ky gained the courage to tell their mother. Beforehand, they cried night after night, believing their mother wouldn’t accept them with loving arms. “I was mostly right,” they say, “when I told her, she just acted like I had never said anything and that I was just young and confused.” Although having a difficult relationship with their mother about sexuality, Ky, now a junior, is not afraid to tell people they are gay. They do fear, however, that they will not be loved by the world because they are attracted to girls and that they won’t feel comfortable in religion or with people in the communities around them.
This article was written for the purpose of reaching to the hands of people who have a similar reality. Knowing you’re not alone in a world dripping with hatred gives everyone a sense of ease. We all must hold each other’s hands through the rough and best times.