My Coming Out Story
The prospect of coming out was one of the most daunting challenges I knew I would have to face growing up. I’ve known that I was gay since before I even knew what gay was. I mean I had more in common with the pink power ranger (C’mon kimberley was a babe) and seeing the green ranger topless made me feel all kinda ways.
The problem for me was that coming out was diving head first into the unknown. Would people still look at me the same way? Still love me the same way? Or would I be completely rejected - just like all those stories I’ve read online. Growing up there wasn't anyone that I knew who was gay so I did what every kid throughout the millennium did and turned to the internet. I spent hours reading every coming out story possible trying to give myself a glimmer of hope, trying to reassure myself that it does get better and everything will be ok when I’m living my truth. Unfortunately like most other subjects on the internet the bad ones outweigh the good. All my hours of searching google achieved was even more anxiety about my inevitable coming out. I think this is part of the reason I put it off for so long.
I didn’t officially come out until I was 22. I say officially not like Facebook official, I didn’t change my bio to say certified homo. I just mean that by this point in my life I had accepted who I am and no longer hide this part about me from my friends, family and the outside world. I decided I was going to come out after I broke up with my last girlfriend (I know, I used to have girlfriends. Even I’m shocked). She was one of the first people I told other than my best friend. Our relationship was burning out and she asked me to meet her at our local starbucks to ‘speak’ which is code for ‘I’m leaving your ass’. I met her and listened as she told me what a terrible boyfriend I was whilst I sipped the gayest starbucks drink of all time an iced caramel macchiato. (honestly how didn't she know I was gay). I just want to clear up that I wasn’t a terrible boyfriend I just wasn’t the most attentive, by this point in my life I was going through an immense internal struggle of trying to discover and accept who I am. She told me that it was best if we broke things off and out of nowhere I exclaimed that I was gay. Yep, there I was macchiato in hand shouting about my homosexuality to my now ex girlfriend and the entire of starbucks to hear. Not one of my proudest moments, but as the same time it was liberating. For the first time I felt like I wasn’t hiding this huge part of myself and that I was actually being honest to myself. Something that I hadn’t done my entire life.
The thing is coming out wasn’t a big deal for my friends and family but a huge deal to me. My entire life I’ve aspired to wanted to be a dad. The only way I thought that would be possible would be by having a relationship with a woman. I knew I liked boys, I knew that. I just thought that gay people couldn’t have relationships and kids. The reason for this warped logic was because I was never exposed to it. I knew 0 gay people and the only representation of gays I saw in the media was the same cliche who wouldn’t dream of settling down and having a family. This is what kept me from living my own truth for so long. Not because I was scared of how my family would react. Deep down I knew my family would be fine, they’re fantastic and love me for me. I was afraid of coming out to myself. To allowing myself to be me and to finally realise that being gay doesn’t mean I have to give up on the idea of starting a family.
In all honesty I never really came out to my family. I was raised in an environment where diversity was always respected. I actually just told my parents that I was bringing sam home for dinner. I never told them his gender and never mentioned anything else. My parents being the best humans on the entire planet didn’t even question it and when he came walking in the door just hugged him like they would If I came home with a girl. Once the rest of my family caught wind they were equally as excepting. I had calls from my sister just saying ‘FINALLY!’ and my brother saying if he knew sooner he’d have bought me a gimp suit for christmas. (for anyone who doesn’t know what a gimp suit is, google it at your own risk).
These simple messages from my loved ones let me know that nothing had changed, that they would always love me regardless of who I love. My coming out experience was as ideal as I could imagine and it breaks my heart to know that not everyone is greeted with the acceptance that I was. But I just want to let you know that living your truth, being you 100% is the most magical feeling. As soon as I came out it was like a light had come on inside my head. I could finally live my life without focussing so much of my time and energy trying to hide this part of myself from myself and everyone else around me. I could finally be me something I would never change.
Love always, bopo.boy