I came out over a year and a half ago. I was never really sure when or if I would come out, until one day I remember waking up and texting my best friend and asking if we could talk. Telling her was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. She did not care at all, and to this day we are still amazing friends. In the following weeks, I came out to all of my close friends… all of the friends that I saw on a regular basis and had strong relationships with. People at my job were starting to find out, and my boss at the time took me to IHOP one night and pretty much sat me down and bascially said, “I know, now you just have to say it…now say it.” I was the talk of the restaurant for a good month, but in the end no one cared, and most had more respect for me as a result. Now, telling the parents was different. My parents are very conservative and don’t really think much of gay people. My mom cried, and my dad got I guess you would call it being mad. They told my brother, whom did not care at all, and they also told other members of my family.
In mid October 2008 I went from being a completely closeted gay guy to being completely out within a month’s time. It was by far one of the most stressful, yet rewarding times of my life. All reactions were positive, minus my parents’ reaction. My parents do not treat me any differently at all, but the topic of my sexuality is not discussed, and has not been discussed since Thanksgiving 2008. However, I live 2 hours away from my parents now so it makes life easier, but it hasn’t changed my relationship with them. Right now, I see no point in saying anything to them about the topic of my sexuality until I am dating someone and it is serious. And in the year and a half I have not had anyone serious in my life, so I have not seen any point in talking to them about it until that happens. Also something that took me nearly 20 years to be comfortable with to tell them, I can’t expect them to be okay with it over night.
My coming out experience is not the best, nor is it the worst. It is probably one of the more common experiences. And honestly, I would do the whole thing over again if I was given the opportunity. Yes, I do wish that my parents were more accepting and able to talk about it at this point, but I am very happy that they do not treat me any differently. It was honestly the first time I was actually happy and comfortable with myself as a person. It also made my life so much easier. Good luck to you all!
I’m From Queens, NY. “Well, she left me a note.” My mother leaves a note for my father every morning. Usually it contains a request that he pick up something from the supermarket, a reminder that he take his pills, or a warning that he not work too hard around the house because it’s such a hot day. Other times, it’s a simple greeting, wishing him a good day. Seldom do her notes reveal a relative’s predisposition to same-sex intimacy. “What did it say?” My desire to officially declare my sexual orientation to my father had been put on hold momentarily. “It said, ‘Dear Bill, What we suspected has been confirmed. Love, Kathryn.’”
I’m From San Francisco, CA. “I had been desperately trying to knock down my closet door, but I hadn’t paused to realize that by coming out to her friends I was dragging her along on my closet-bashing mission. For the first time I apologized to her, not for being gay (I was well past apologizing for that), not for letting her down by not embodying her ideal future for me (after all it was my future, not hers), but for outing her publicly before she was ready. Mom re-invited me to her birthday lunch.”
I’m From Humble, TX. “As it turns out, the reality of my sexuality was much harder for my mother to handle than she thought, and her support was suddenly non-existent. I moved in with my father about a week later, and as I came to experience my father’s true character, I found myself in the same position I was in before–I was living in a very negative, hostile environment, and I urgently needed a way out. Coming out to my mother at 16 was like the first event in a domino effect that has lasted until now, at the age of almost 21.”