How do you come out? It’s kind of weird that we have to come out when straight people don’t. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly like standing up in front of a group of people and telling them whatever it is that I have to say. Well, it’s much more awkward when you have to announce something personal, even when it’s to a single person in private. Yet, I thought it was necessary for me in order to be myself and so I came out to different people at different times and these were their responses:
(On a public terrace) Dad: We can look for the same gender then!
(No dad, I know you’re single now, but em… I’m your daughter. Let’s not do this together.)
(While bicycling home) Mum: Oh, well it’s good you’re not a guy because anal is painful and guys they …..
(OK, thanks. I’ve heard enough. On another note, anal might be nice, too? I don’t know?)
(In her room) Friend: Oh, I’m not surprised.
(Oh, okay, I guess this wasn’t that big of a deal then, phew.)
There is no ‘right’ way to come out. Everyone does it differently and different ways feel better for some and not for others. Some people only come out to their friends or their family and some people don’t think it’s anyone else’s business at all, which it isn’t. You don’t have to come out but you can if you want to. If you aren’t as fortunate as I am, you might not be able to come out because you are still dependant on your parents who do not support your sexuality. Or perhaps you wouldn’t be safe in your neighbourhood or at school if people knew. Sometimes it is better to wait for your own safety, but that doesn’t mean you can’t already start accepting yourself. Coming out to myself was really important to me because it helped me become me. Coming out publicly only helped reaffirm this.
After coming out publicly the first few times, most people knew and I no longer felt the need to announce it. I could simply be me and that was great. However, when I moved to a new place, people didn’t immediately know that I was gay and this put me in some awkward situations (link). Sometimes I feel quite uncomfortable being put on the spot and having to say: by the way, I am gay. I don’t always like announcing it because it’s not important, in that sense. I’m me and that’s all, right? Straight people don’t have to come out either. Therefore I no longer ‘come out’ in every new place that I go. I’ll tell people when they ask and maybe they already know; maybe they’ve even already read it on my blog?
Did you come out? Did it help you? Did you think it was awkward? Did your surrounding respond positively? Let me know about your experiences!