NOTE: If someone could tell me how to make a cut post, so I could put some of the text behind a cut it would be appreciated. This post is super long, but I am not tech savy enough and I am too tired to look it up.
So it is national coming out day, or technically yesterday was, but I haven’t gone to bed yet. I figured I would hook up some links and videos, and share my story. Since this is officially the first year that I would consider myself fully ‘out’. First, this is an adorable post from QueerSighted it is titled “I’m Out and it’s My Mother’s Fault” (Cute Story)
Second the HRC has an informative video that kind of runs through the history of National Coming Out Day and some of their work. The video is on youtube and viewers were encouraged to send in video responses. Check It OUT. I thought many of the responses were incredibly touching and inspiring. It is reassuring to know that more and more resources are out there for teenagers. I remember going with Alex and Christina all the way to Doylestown for some sort of gay youth meeting thing and thinking how reassuring it was to see other teenagers in the same spot. This was the response video that most struck me:
Finally, here is my “coming out” story, as cliché as that is. I hear a lot of coming out stories and have read books and seen movies, but for me it was different. I have known for a long time I was gay, I have been in a long term relationship, and have carried out my life in a very open manner. Everyone assumes I am “out” because I am loud and open in most situations, but there was one place where I wasn’t out until recently, my house. Some of you know the story, but I figured I would share it anyway (warning it is long and rambling as it is almost 2 am)…read the story behind the cut
Growing up I always envisioned myself in the guy’s role of the movie-dream that I supposed would be my future. The tough Irish mobster with a beautiful girlfriend, the genius politician with the trophy wife, or the doctor with the spoiled princess fiancé. It’s not like I wanted to be a boy, I just knew I wanted to be cool enough to get all the girls. I got older, and realized that’s not how the world works. I forgot all those crazy childhood dreams and went on a fairly normal childhood. I slutted it up a little to get the boys (probably to make the girls jealous) but something was still amiss. While I didn’t mind being with men (I am no man hater) and find guys attractive sometimes, it just wasn’t there. It wasn’t that lift up your leg up and float away stuff that movies made me want.
Then it clicked. I met the girl and I knew it. I carried on our secret/not so secret love affair. I kind of made a deal with myself, I would tell anyone who asked. That way no one could accuse me of being ashamed of myself, but it would involve no courage on my part. But ashamed is exactly what I was. Ashamed not so much about being gay, but that I wasn’t strong enough to come out directly to people. I think I felt how many gay people feel, I knew being gay wasn’t a choice and that it wasn’t wrong, but I didn’t want to be gay. It’s not that I thought it was wrong for others, just that it was wrong for me.
In college I just got over it. It became a non-issue. It took some time, but I just dealt with the possibility of being gay and what that would mean in terms of having a family and living my adult life. I told some people but not others, and again I never lied when asked. I didn’t tell everyone because it wasn’t everyone’s business, but I certainly wasn’t trying to keep it a secret. My friends knew, parts of my family knew, and even some random strangers knew. All my friends at school just assumed I was out at home, because I was so open up there. But my parents still didn’t know, which is arguable since I am pretty damn gay. I knew I had to tell them before moving back in for grad school cause I wasn’t willing to go back to that “let’s just ignore one giant facet of my life” mentality that existed when I was in high school. I had always gotten the impression from my mother that she already knew but didn’t want to talk about it.
So a couple weeks after I moved back in it happened. No I didn’t write a letter, no we didn’t sit down for a long conversation, and no it didn’t just come up causally. We got in a big yelling match and during the course of the argument it came out, or more correctly I came out. It feels good for it to be out there, but it felt terrible to watch my mother cry the next day and tell me just how sad she is. She took it in stride, because I honestly believe she knew and that she understands it wasn’t a choice. She didn’t freak out; she took to ignoring the issue.
I should be happy right? The last person left to tell knows. The person I wanted to tell more than anyone knows. The person I always expected to be able to share my happiness with knows. But in reality, it has been awful. I can’t be mad because she didn’t throw me out, or tell me I was going to hell, or try to convince me not to be gay. It’s worse; I’m just sad. I feel like a traitor for not telling her sooner because she keeps bring up how I deceived her and took advantage of her. I feel like our previously close relationship is permanently marred by this. She makes snide comments left and right about what a sicko I am (and then pretends it has nothing to do with being gay) and how deceitful. She is alienating my girlfriend whom she was always treated like family.
But you know what? I made the right choice. I would rather live this sometimes saddening or frustrating version of my life, then that hollow one. Because I am okay with myself (and it took a long time to get here) and no one can take that from me, including her. I know she loves me, even if she isn’t going to say it, and I don’t think that is going to change because I am gay. I think I hurt her by not telling her sooner, and so now she is hurting me. But unlike all my irrational fears, my world didn’t fall apart, my parents didn’t freak out, no one hates me (to my face at least), and for once I can be happy and not have to lie about why. I don’t think my dad cared in the least bit; his whole response was ‘you threw your mom through a loop’ ) And for the most part, my friends were genuinely happy for me and proud of me. I was a late bloomer in the gay world, but here I am.
I am Nicole. I am 21. And I am a lesbian…. and my mom knows it, whether she likes it or not.