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!