This Pride month marks a year since my coming out.
Even though I didn’t know I was queer my whole life, a lot of things began to make sense when I looked at my life retrospectively. Whether it was asking my mom as a young child, “Am I gay?” or choosing boys to like because my friends had crushes on them, I finally had a word to ascribe to that feeling I’ve always had.
Truth is, I didn’t know that I was allowed to be gay. With little to no queer representation growing up, I had determined in my head that I would end up alone. I couldn’t picture a future living with a man, 2 kids, and a white picket fence. Gender roles didn’t make sense to me. If I had to live with a man, I’d at least want my separate bedroom, I thought.
It wasn’t until I allowed my mind to go there that things started to become a little clearer. I pictured my life with a partner who wasn’t a man, and it all clicked. Turns out the “unconventional” lifestyle I always wanted was actually just myself trying to fit a queer life into heteronormative standards. Sure, I made it fit into a pretty little box, but behind closed doors, it seemed like a life sentence I was expected to serve.
My Coming Out
It had been a long time coming and I finally mustered up the courage to listen to that voice in my head. Now, coming out wasn’t the most magical experience. It didn’t fix all my problems around my identity or my relationship with myself. But it did allow me to accept what I knew to be true, regardless of how scary that may have been.
I thought I wasn’t “cool enough” to be gay. I thought people would think I was faking it since I had only dated the opposite sex. What if I woke up tomorrow and turns out I was actually straight? All these fears were real. But that’s all they were—fears that I needed to face in order to give my authentic self a chance. In retrospect, I’m so glad I bet on myself.
A Year Later
Over the past year, I have gained a community of queer people that I am lucky to call my friends. Although a lot of them are on the internet, I am so lucky that I get to exist alongside them. I’ve definitely created a bubble around me that does not reflect the real world. But that’s okay. Sometimes, being queer should just be about love, joy, and individuality.
In the same breath, I know it’s not safe for everyone to come out. I feel incredibly lucky that I still have a relationship with my family and non-queer friends. Although I don’t always feel accepted, I have hope for my future.
If you are in a situation where it feels unsafe to be who you are, firstly, I am so sorry. You deserve to be celebrated and loved. Regardless of what they may think, I am proud of you. You are so strong. So courageous.
If you can, I’d recommend you try finding your chosen family. Whether that’s through your friends, online or in person, characters of your comfort show, book, or movie, know that you are worthy of love and acceptance and that there are people who are ready to give that to you—even if you aren’t ready to give it to yourself.
Happy pride to all my LGBTQ+ cuties and allies. I am so happy you are here. Without you, the world would be so boring.
If you need someone to talk to about your journey with gender, sexuality, or anything in between, consider booking a vent session with one of our active listeners or reach out to me at email@example.com.