Transcript:

I didn’t have the most exciting coming out story, because a lot of my friends and family were really open minded. So I guess I’ll talk a little about coming out. You know it’s a very personal and unique experience for every person that goes through this. The fact that you’re different in this way is so beautiful and great and the fact that you have to tell someone you care about about this and they may not be accepting is so terrifying. Everyone assumes you are the way the majority is, straight, and for some families and friends that fine and it’s celebrated and for others it’s a huge issue with things such as religion. For me, I was lucky and at this point I’ll tell y’all why.

 

So, I grew up in a very conservative part of New Jersey and went to a religious school when I was young before switching to public schools. In any case I didn’t really realize they way I felt for a long time I think I was about 16 when I realized I was pansexual. What took me so long really came down to my environment when I was young and the fact that I wasn’t really looking for a relationship I was kind of a total nerd and figured well young relationships almost never last. Well, that changed when my best friend in the world told me she was bisexual. At first like I thought “that’s an option” (Of Course I know it’s not a choice at this juncture). But, anyway, after that some time went by and she asked me out, not once, not twice, but three times. The reason she kept trying was because I was just unsure I never really said no I would always be like I don’t know I need to focus on school and things like that, but really I was just coming to the realization that I really really liked her. Eventually I couldn’t fight the way I was feeling so I texted her and was like I think I’m ready to try this let’s start dating. Now, let me tell you the past five years have been amazing and are still going strong. So, in a way this was the first time I came out to anyone and it kind of felt like I was to myself as well in a way. Not too super long after I told my younger sister and of course she was super excited saying “Oh I knew you two were!” things like that and it made me feel good, but still nervous to tell other people. After that I told many of my friends and that became so easy that to be honest I don’t even remember how it went it was more like a regular conversation I guess. Kind of like “hey, I’m pansexual and this is my girlfriend,” they were totally on board! Once I had built up the courage I actually had my younger sister tell my mom. Bad Idea, my mom was pissed, but not for the reason you think. She was upset that I’d hide such a big part of myself from her she thought I could trust her. It was a relief, but also a little upsetting. I remember going to her room and she was so upset I didn’t tell her that she was crying. I knocked on the door and she answered with a stern  “yes?” I was like, “I’m dating Holly,” and I still remember her face as she said, “Ok? And,” I wasn’t sure what to say, I guess I should have said sorry I wasn’t the one to tell you and that I was just scared. I’m not entirely sure that would have made it better though. Then once my step-dad came home my mom sat us all down and made me come out to him. I remember her being like “embrace it say it!” I know she meant well, but it was so scaring! It went well though he gave me a hug and told me he still loved me and was proud it made me feel really good. Now they’re very excited for me and love my girlfriend to pieces they’re all so funny when they talk to each other.

 

This left me with the last person I had to tell. My Dad. He tends to be more conservative and we butt-heads a little when talking politics and things like that. Anyway, I remember psyching myself up all day to tell him with my brother-in-law, older sister, and girlfriend all walking me through scenarios and how they were there for me if he was mad and all that. Well, the time came around for me to tell him and as he pulls up to the house getting back from work my girlfriends mom comes to pick her up like call her like “okay I’m here to get you,”. I was devastated she was leaving, but I didn’t really have time to panic about it anyway because my dad was walking up the stairs to the house! When he got in a basically just blurted it out. I couldn’t take it anymore and he just sat down at the table and said nothing while my sister, brother-in-law, and myself just looked at him. Then he said, “what do you want me to say, why are you all looking at me?” my sister explained why we were all concerned because at that point my mind and soul were essentially used up. After that he didn’t say anything and things continued as normal, but felt really weird. He just kind of ignored it for three years before he started feeling comfortable enough to joke with us about it. Now he feel comfortable talking about and acknowledging it. I’m happy I had such luck with my family, because for many it isn’t this easy. I still have people I haven’t explicitly told, but at this point if they don’t know they’re in denial because we are extremely open about it now.

 

After all of this I’ve learned to be more comfortable with who I am. I don’t feel like I have to hide and it’s freeing to have a sense of yourself and to be comfortable with it. Before all of this I just felt weird I didn’t even realize this was a thing so feeling the way I did was confusing and I assumed it was wrong even though no-one told me it was. Loving who you are and who you love is freeing. It helps you to open up, build self-confidence, and grow as a person. I hope my story helps someone else out there struggling!

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Coming Out Pansexual by Aurora is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Comments
  1. Melissa 5 months ago

    I am so motivated by your post to encourage my students to write about their own coming out stories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hunter 7 months ago

    Hello Aurora,

    Firstly, thanks for sharing! This can be super difficult, especially when you’re vulnerable, like on the internet. Nonetheless, your courage to demonstrate yourself to the world is awesome, and I want to congratulate you for that. It’s so unfortunate that many people don’t have an easy-going experience when they come out, and it has even led to disowning of children and hate that has lasted for years after years. The people in my life that have come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community have been fortunate enough to be met with kindness and support, but not everyone here has been so lucky. We had an attorney come to our school last year and he talked about a girl he represented in a landmark court case. He said that when she came out as gay, her parents sent her to an institution that basically tortured her, putting rocks in a backpack and making her stand in a room with it on for hours, playing music so she could not sleep, things of that nature. It’s disgusting how we as a species can’t support each other on things as trivial as to whom we are attracted. Nonetheless, I am very glad to hear that your experience was not so volatile and dangerous.

    Hunter

  3. Theo 7 months ago

    Hello Aurora, I am really glad that you shared your story with us as I had a similar experience when I came out as pansexual as well. Even though I knew that my mom was accepting, I was still terrified to tell her, but when I did, she was completely accepting, although a little confused. Coming out is hard to do, no matter how accepting your friends and family might be because we all have that lurking “what if” on our minds. Thank you for writing this!

  4. Kiana M 8 months ago

    Dear Aurora :

    I am intrigued by your coming out story because I have never really heard one before. I am a straight female and all my friends are relatively straight and haven’t had to do this before so I never knew how it goes for people. Yours was very intriguing because I could feel your emotion, fear, and excitement behind the different ways you decided to tell your family and friends.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “But, anyway, after that some time went by and she asked me out, not once, not twice, but three times.” I think this is amazing because normally your best friends are meant to be your partners. Whether they were your best friend prior to the feelings being caught or you made them your best friend for that reason, those are still the best relationships.

    Another sentence that I grabbed my attention was: “I grew up in a very conservative part of New Jersey and went to a religious school when I was young before switching to public schools. In any case I didn’t really realize they way I felt for a long time I think I was about 16 when I realized I was pansexual.” This stood out for me because even though you grew up in a very conservative town and went to a conservative school you still were able to realize who you were and accept it. You also made others accept it too and thats extremely hard to do when you find yourself outside of the norm.

    Your story reminds me of something that happened to me. One time I had to explain to my parents that I wasn’t the student they thought I was. They thought that I was extremely smart and every grade I brought home was a B or higher. I was actually a C student with a best friend who brought home all As. After telling them I don’t do as good as they believed, I spent the next 3 years being compared to her and having them tell me how they wish I could be like her. Your story ended with your parents being supportive right away, I’m still working on mine. Even though they aren’t similar in context they are similar overall. Everyone has to tell their parents something they feel they won’t like at some point in their lives, and we all have to live with the results.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because your story was inspiring and so are you. You made such a difficult task an easy one and Im sure others that hear your story will look up to you and your courage.

  5. Jos 8 months ago

    Dear Aurora, I am truly moved by your story in reference to your experience coming out in, “Coming Out Pansexual,” because it is a different story. Most stories are about the person who has found a new identity needing to prove to others their point of view as pansexual. Yet your story reflects on the fact that your family mostly accepted. In your experience it was more of you needing to find yourself. This is not a bad thing at all but something difference that I came to notice.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “So, in a way this was the first time I came out to anyone and it kind of felt like I was to myself as well in a way.” I think this is interesting because it was her first realization. You had never really thought about love at such a young age and your friend coming out to you opened you up. This caused you to realize that you were different and even from your future girlfriend who was bisexual. Yet different is amazing and it is something you had to see inside yourself.
    Another sentence I found moving was: “…she said, ‘Ok? And,’ I wasn’t sure what to say, I guess I should have said sorry I wasn’t the one to tell you and that I was just scared.” This stood out to me because considering how worried you were about your family yet your family accepted it with open arms. There was more trouble caused within yourself than the actual conflict when you told your parents. It was touching that your mother saw it as no big deal which makes you more confident in your identity and stance.
    Your post remind me of something that happened to me. My household is very close and therefore rarely have secrets. One time, around ten, I kissed a boy. It was always a joke my family made that I was not to have a boyfriend till I was thirty. There was some truth to the waiting though so I was very fearful in keeping my secret. I was more afraid to tell my mother than my father but it was the opposite. I had prepared myself for the wrong parent reprimanding me. They all turned the disappointment on me because I had lost their trust. It was very small occurrence and childish but was interesting considering I was expecting such a huge reaction from something my parents saw as small.
    Thanks for your writing.
    I look forward to seeing what your write next, because I would like to hear more about how you have accustomed to both your new found identity and also the way your family reacts. Especially examples of interactions with your father who you believed had the highest chance of giving you a negative comment. Overall I just want to see how you are doing and I truly admire your story.

    • Author
      Aurora 8 months ago

      Dear Jos,
      Hi I’m Aurora, the author of this post, I just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and kind response. Isn’t it crazy how different a response to a secret can be from what you expected. Like for me trust is what it boiled down to for my mom. She was really only upset because, to her, it seemed like I didn’t trust her enough to tell her right away. I actually remember feeling like I would have felt the same way about telling her I had a boyfriend and when I told her that I think I made the situation worse, oops. In the end now she pokes fun about it sometimes which I’m happy about because it means its in the past. I hope your family hasn’t held a grudge. It seems like this experience for me is very similar to your experience with your secret. For trusting families, like ours, it seems we both think “what is the average/expected response to my secret?” and completely forget about all the layers that affect how people respond. In any case, thank you again your story really got me thinking about coming out in secrets in a way I haven’t in the past.

  6. Alison 8 months ago

    Dear Aurora,
    I am so moved and so happy you decided to write and publish this story! It fills me with joy to know that you have had the fearlessness to come out ! I have so many friends who have the desire to come out but don’t want to because they are scared. Reading this post made me feel such beautiful and positive vibes from you. You are such a wonderful person and I’m so glad you’re embracing who you are. Coming out is such a hard thing to do, and in some cases like you mentioned, a very sensitive topic. Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. I look forward to read many more of your other posts !

    Sincerely,
    Alison <3

    • Author
      Aurora 8 months ago

      Hello Alison, I’m so happy you enjoyed my story and I truly appreciate you’re kind words! Coming out is a really personal thing and it doesn’t always go as easy as it did for me. When I was thinking and working up my own bravery to come out I feel like I always knew in the back of my mind it would all be okay in the end and that the likelihood was my family would accept me. For your friends that may not be the case, it doesn’t always go really well. Its only a matter of time until your friends will be able to come out and that is completely fine, sometimes the timing is very important. It can be extremely scary even when you are certain whoever you are telling will accept you. There’s always a sense of “what if,” that lurks in your mind. The fact that they have come out to you is such a great first step and speaks a lot about how great of a friend you are to them! If you are interested (and you may be doing this already) I encourage you, and your friends, to complete my peers and Is’ “playlist” on LRNG called Coming Out. The resources there sound like they could be interesting for you and could help your friends as well.

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