This is my coming out story. Feel free to share any questions/comments. Thanks for listening!
Here’s a transcript of the audio:
Hi, my name is Sarah, I’m currently a freshman at Michigan State University, and this is my coming out story.
Up until my sophomore year of high-school, I didn’t really think of myself as anything other than straight. I ended up developing a crush on a friend of mine, who’s a girl, and that forced me to realize that I was definitely not straight. Denial was a very easy thing to fall into. I’m bi, and for a while I tried very hard to silence any part of myself that wasn’t exclusively into guys, but ultimately my crushes on girls didn’t go away and I learned to accept myself. I’m bi.
The first person I came out to was a close friend of mine who is also bi. I knew that she would be completely supportive and lovely about it, because she was also bi, but it was still pretty difficult to actually say the words. Saying it out loud made it so much more real. I felt like if I started telling people about how I felt, then I could no longer immerse myself in the denial that I’d grown accustomed to.
We’d gotten food together and she was driving me back to my place and I got this overwhelming feeling like “I should come out now.”
So I started by saying, “Hey. There’s something I should tell you.”
And then I spent the next five minutes desperately trying to choke out the words. The first few times I came out, it sort of felt like suffocating. I couldn’t physically say the words. I knew I had no reason to be so scared, but I was still terrified, like by telling people that I wasn’t straight, that would forever change their perception of me.
I eventually told my friend “There’s a possibility that I’m not straight. Maybe. I might be bi. Maybe.”
She gave me a high five and thanked me for telling her.
It was pretty great.
About a year later I decided to come out to my parents. There was a girl (currently my girlfriend) who I was really into, and she ended up asking me to go to the homecoming dance with her. THis was my senior year of high school.
My parents and I have a pretty solid relationship and I knew they would be completely accepting of me, but coming out was still sort of awkward.
They were eating dinner and I took a break from homework to get a snack and to also come out quickly and then probably run away. I decided to start them off with happy news, then delicately tell them that I wasn’t straight, maybe make a joke, and then leave. Cool and casual.
I told them, “hey, I got an A on a test.” And they were happy for me. And then I told them “someone asked me to homecoming.” I could tell that they were shocked by that part alone, and they started asking who it was. I told them “a girl. A girl asked me to homecoming. Romantically. And I’m going to go with her. Romantically.”
They didn’t really say anything after that. It wasn’t that they were homophobic or that they didn’t accept me, I think it was just a lot to digest in a pretty short amount of time.
I ended up disregarding the idea of a smooth exit with a joke and receded back to my room pretty quickly.
Probably a week after that I explained in more detail that I was bi. They’re pretty great about it–not always perfect, but pretty great. They get along well with my girlfriend.
I grew up in a small conservative town that could be disgustingly homophobic, and that generally meant that I was pretty accustomed to hiding my sexuality from most people. Of all my queer friends, only a few of us have come out. I’m the only person from my high school friend group who came out and had my parents take it well. I’m really lucky that way. It’s awful to come out and meet rejection. It makes coming out to other people that much harder.
So if someone comes out to you, try your hardest to be accepting. Coming out is hard. Having a support system makes it a ton easier.
And if you are thinking of coming out, keep in mind that it may be awkward, it may not go well, and it may take some time for someone to come around. They might not ever come around. Most importantly, keep in mind that it’ll all be okay. One coming out doesn’t define you, and as much as it may sting, you don’t need anyone else’s approval or validation. Also keep in mind that you don’t have to come out. Come out at your own pace, when you feel ready, whenever you want. There’s no rush. It’ll be okay. I promise.