do u ever look back on ur childhood and get blown away by how gay u were before u even knew what gay was
Tomorrow is National Coming Out Day
I don’t think anyone has just one coming out story. If only it was as simple as gathering every single person we would ever know in our lifetime and coming out to them all at once. I would need a few extra hands to count the number of times I’ve come out so far, and probably a few more still for the number of times I haven’t yet.
So I will instead talk about the actual first time I came out to actual real live human beings after months and months and years and years of denial and doubt and shame and confusion that finally concluded in my acceptance of who I am, always was, and would always be.
I was hot on the heels of a summer of being maddeningly, hopelessly head over heels for a woman at work who was far too old (and much too straight) for me. It was the summer I was excited to go to work just on the off chance that I would see her, that I started watching Pretty Little Liars for the sole reason that I heard two girls on it had kissed, that I discovered Imagine Me and You and streamed it on some shitty website and watched it with my bedroom door closed on a Sunday afternoon. Yes, that was the summer I had to finally accept that I was unequivocally, assuredly as gay as the day is long.
It was November 19, 2010 and I had gone to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 the night before. Oh, Emma Watson… further sending me into the lesbian spiral that was my life. I was on my way to visit my college for the weekend, taking the bus from New York City up to Pennsylvania. Since I was alone on the bus, I had a lot of time to myself to think and I just remember deciding that it was time for me to come out. I wish I could remember exactly why. Maybe it was because the friends I was about to see were not friends I saw often or who lived close by, so it would be a good stepping stone to coming out to close family and friends. Maybe it was because the solitude of the bus ride allowed me to finally find the courage I needed. Whatever the reason, I knew I had to do it.
Two of my friends picked me up from the bus station, we stopped at the grocery store, and then we went back to their apartment. Before we got out of the car, I stopped them and said I had something to tell them. “I’m gay.” Just two words, but ones that held so much weight. They asked me if I was out for real to my parents and everything and I told them no, this was the first time I had told anyone. I don’t even remember most of what they said or what I was thinking, only that I was shaking and nearly in tears and it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, like it was the culmination of everything I had felt and been through up until that moment. I came out to five different people that weekend (one of whom asked me, only half joking, if I had “come out yet” when I hadn’t even planned on telling her- let’s face it, everyone knew), and I was finally one step closer to living my truth.
Well, I think my time is (well past) up, but in the novel of my coming out story, this is only the first chapter.
Thanks for the suggestion, Heather. We’ve all got our stories, but we don’t always take the time to tell them.