Whew, if you’re reading this, then I found the courage to hit the send button.
I have known I’ve liked girls ever since I was around 15 years old. In that time I have only become comfortable calling myself a lesbian. It wasn’t easy to do, but I am finally there!
At the age of 22, and after graduating from BYU, I broke up with the boyfriend I had been with for a little over 2 years and started secretly dating women. Those secret dates led me to my current girlfriend, whom I’ve been with for one year.
Being with her feels way more special than any experience I’ve ever had before, given that I had pretty much only had long-distance relationships with girls and I’ve actually got to meet my current girlfriend in real life. While I was “secretly” dating, I spent most of my time in online chat groups and avoided personal/real life interactions with other girls. It felt safer that way. Like I could still be the good Mormon girl everyone thought I was, and also explore my sexuality in a healthy way.
Because this is supposed to be a coming out post, I better get to parts that explain when I came out. There are basically two coming out experiences for me. My personal coming out, and the public coming out. Almost as soon as I accepted myself as a lesbian I came out to 3 of my closest friends (C, L, and R) through very emotional and supporting video calls. I knew all of these girls from outside of BYU and they had been friends through most of my life. In my mind, because they weren’t part of the Church I thought they would be the most safe and accepting people to tell. I wasn’t ready for the LDS judgment and guilt trips that most Mormons want to spew when someone speaks of their vulnerabilities like this.
Surprisingly, each of my three friends weren’t in the dark with me liking girls; they all seemed to pick up on clues throughout our years of friendship, and it wasn’t a big deal to them. How amazing is that?!
These there close friends are the only people that I have told. In my professional life I’m still in the closet as I keep my private life very private to protect myself from the blatant homophobia that my relatives and family are sure to throw on me. I do want to come out to my parents, though, but I want to do it when I’m back home and not through a screen. It is a conversation that I want to have in person, with them.
For me, coming out to myself was the biggest and hardest step. I had to look in the mirror and say the words that I had hid for so long. I had to say the word: lesbian. And I said it again. Lesbian. And again, lesbian. And again. It was part of my process. I had to say it so that I could embrace who I am, and no longer run away from it.
Now that I am out to a few friends and I am dating a wonderful person, I feel like I am duty bound to live a happier, more honest life. I look forward to telling more people, even my family. They need to know why I am happy and why this means so much to me.
If they choose not to accept me, then that is their fault. They will miss out on the things I offer to them, not the other way around. I wish all you lovely lesbians (in or out the closet) the best life has to offer! I love our LGBTQ family and allies, you are all so special and have made such a difference in my life! Thank you for giving us a platform to share our stories and help us feel like progress is always happening for our communities!
We want to hear your story–here’s how to share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult; while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Coming out is rarely easy–but your story will help others draw inspiration from your own experience. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.