I am excited to share my Coming Out story. The people in my life always seem to say that I’m “too mature” for my age. That might be true, so I just give them a smile, but in my head, I’m always like “if only you knew what I’ve been through you wouldn’t begin to believe it.”
Growing up my dad was absent in our lives. It sucked, but he really wasn’t in the picture, and my mom spent most of her time working two jobs. She was trying to get my little brother and I through school. We relied on members of the ward to help us financially and physically. My teachers quorum advisor would take us to activities and to carpool to school. The bishop would bring us food or allow us to shop at the Storehouse for our meals.
Home life was rough. I was around seven years old when my half brother came to live with us from Mexico. When he arrived I remember him telling me he didn’t like me. He was really violent with me when we were alone, I was so afraid to be alone with him. He would hit me, burn me, make me eat his toenails and constantly torture me. And then one day he just stopped being mean to me. It was out of nowhere. By then, I was still in elementary school (maybe 5th grade). By the end of 6th grade I started to notice the boys in my grade. I always told myself that I couldn’t like them because I feared that the boys would treat me the same way my brother did. I didn’t like anything he did to me. I did my best to avoid friendships with boys completely.
In high school I tried to have a girlfriend, it didn’t last long because it felt weird. I didn’t date or hangout with many other girls for the rest of my high school time. I pretty much kept to myself. Eventually people around me started to question if I was gay. The truth was that I did like boys, a lot. I wanted to hold a boys hand, I wanted to kiss a boy, I wanted to be held by a boy, but there was always a fear that a boy would like me, then abuse me awful like my brother had. I felt like I couldn’t have boy or girl friends and that is when I first started to harm myself and when I first attempted suicide. I felt so depressed and so alone because I was lost. I always asked myself, “why do I like boys?” I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. Church isn’t a safe place to ask these questions and as much as I prayed, I only heard silence. It came to a point that I stopped believing in God. That is why I didn’t choose to serve a mission.
I couldn’t deal with these feelings alone so I decided to come out to one of my friends as bisexual. He was always there for me and he listened to me. He was the first person I ever told my whole story to. Slowly, I started to come out to my friends who I truly cared about. After I told the important people in my life, I ended up coming out publicly. It was the best feeling ever having my sexuality off my chest. I came out to my mom as bisexual too, but she told me not to tell my dad because “he would get a heart attack.”
After I came out the following week was my graduation. I was happy to know that people knew I liked boys even though they also thought I liked girls. A few weeks into the summer, my two best guy friends straight up asked me if I was gay. I said yes, and they said, “Ok, you’re going to be our ONLY gay best friend.” I was in tears. People on my Snapchat and Instagram started to notice that I was gay. That summer I went to my first gay club and fell in love for the first time. We ended our relationship but ended up staying friends.
Life is really good right now. I had to leave the Church completely in order to stay healthy both mentally and physically. I wish the Mormons could see how beautiful we are and how valuable we are to the community. We have so much to offer, but they choose to disregard us because they fear us or they are too prideful to accept us for who we are.
I want to be an example to those around us, including my family members. It is okay to be gay. It is okay to come out. It okay to be happy. You deserve it.
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.