A little shake up from what I have been posting about recently, but in honor of National Coming Out Day yesterday I thought I would share my truth.
I haven’t thought about this in years. It’s been 9 years since I came out to my friends and maybe 6 since I came out publicly. I was 16 when I came out to my closest friends, it was the scariest thing I have ever felt that I had to do. Let me back up a little bit, I’ll tell you about my first coming out, not the nice pretty one I had when I was 16.
I first tried to come out to my parents when I was about 12. They told me no. Quite literally they both told me that no I wasn’t gay, I just hadn’t met the right person yet and I wasn’t able to make that decision so young. Let me explain something from a psychology background. Sexual orientation and gender identity or innate, you are born that way. You don’t choose anything. The only thing you decide or choose to do is share your truth. When I was 12 I didn’t have that understanding yet, DOMA was still a thing, LGBTQ hate crimes, not being able to marry, being cast aside, increased suicides amongst LGBTQ teens, and a whole host of other things that made LGBTQ persons seconds class citizens. I buried who I was, for years I pretended that I was someone I’m not. My parents didn’t kick me out, they didn’t tell me they didn’t love me, all in all my first coming out was not as bad as it could have been, but it still wasn’t what I needed. At 12 I had no understanding of psychology, I had no really understanding of biology, I had no really understanding of what it was that I was deciding to share other than it was my truth.
At 14 while living my lie, I did what any girl trying to be straight does; I got a boyfriend. Actually I had 3 in total until I came out. What I leave out is that I was sexually assaulted during this time period. That’s only important because while I was being treated for the PTSD that followed, many of the doctors tried to claim that I wasn’t gay. No they tried to claim that my assault made me think that I was, but I was really straight. Keep in mind I’ve understood that I was different since I was a little girl trying to fit in with all the boys.
At 16 I told my closest friends, they could not have cared less, only joking as long as I wasn’t interested in them, they still loved me for who I was then. I didn’t tell my parents this time. At 16 I was being harassed by schoolmates, I almost moved to a new part of the states because of it. I missed over 100 days of school between my junior and senior year, I still graduated an honors student, with IB certificates in 3 classes, as a varsity athlete. I was fortunate.
At 19 I had my first girlfriend, my father said that I might still find a nice man to settle down with. My mother went to pride that year.
At 25 I got engaged to the woman I loved more than anything in this world. My mother still goes to pride, my father joined her this year and helped coordinate an area wide group to march under his company’s banner. My aunt agreed to officiate the wedding, my dad was to give me away, my cousins were to be my best men, my mother in law helped us plan the whole thing. I bought us a honeymoon to Mexico, with plans for a second one to go to Harry Potter World, we picked a venue, color scheme, music and were working on menus. On July 8, 2018 we celebrated two years together, with plans to marry on March 1, 2019.
At 25 my fiancée died.
I never came out to my parents again officially after age 12. I think they and my whole family have finally come to the conclusion that as long as I am happy they are happy. I’ve never brought it up again. If they knew their rejection still crept into my mind they would hate themselves.
I don’t blame my parents. Looking back I think part of them reacted out of fear. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, but it explains it. Their actions since then work to smooth it over. They prove every day that they love and support me.