This is a huge step for me to write my experience. I don’t know the day I realized I was gay. I don’t remember when it dawned on me that I was only emotionally attracted to girls, and that I didn’t want to even kiss them. I do know I sat in denial for a long time because I didn’t want to break my parents’ hearts.
My parents have a “social religious influence” among a lot of people in my hometown. I would hear people recognize me every day saying, “oh you’re a [enter my surname]. Your parents are amazing…” etc. I don’t hate my parents, but for a long time I hated that everyone knew them. I wished I could hide or not get picked out from a crowd.
I stayed in my hometown for college. I left and served a mission, came home after two amazing years, and that winter fell in love with a really great guy from a church organization we were both a part of. I remember being away from him and texting every day how wonderful he was and that I couldn’t wait to see him again. I had my first kiss with him. Both of us didn’t want to “mess up” so I cut off all ties of communication with him, when rehearsal would end, I would bolt out the door, and avoid him at all costs. It hurt me so much, because I wanted to tell him about my day, about how classes were going, and about what I had learned. But I thought I was helping myself in avoiding him. Anyway, the whole point of that, is eventually I needed to move.
I left Utah, for grad school across the country. I’ve been here about eight months and it’s amazing! While driving across the country I told myself that this was a chance to be a new me, to “hyper masculinize” myself and find a nice Mormon girl to marry. That didn’t happen, I met more and more boys that were so sweet and kind and finally I decided to go swimming with one, and “come out to him” (side note, he’s still a great friend of mine here).
Long story short, a couple of things happened for me to allow myself to come out. First, I had to love myself, I used to hate that I was gay, I used to pray it away, and wish to be healed of such a horrible ailment. One night while reading scriptures I was pondering the admonishment to “love other’s as one should love themselves.” I realized that it was easy for me to love and take care of others, but I had no care for myself, I hated me, and that needed to change.
Through a lot of prayer and soul searching I realized that there is nothing flawed in my attractions. There is something beautiful to it. I was hurting myself by keeping it a secret I needed to start being more real to myself FOR myself (sadly this did involve distancing myself from church, I have no hard feelings towards the teachings, but it wasn’t helping me recognize how incredible I was).
I remember sitting down cross legged in front of a mirror, looking at my reflection, and coming out to myself. I said the words’ “I’m gay,” out loud to myself. It took a few practice times, before I could say it out loud. It was liberating, I can’t remember, but I probably cried. The healing had begun.
At some point I realized I needed to tell my parents that I was gay (I picked my dad first, because my mom is extremely emotional, and my dad is silent and loving). I expected horrible things. I wanted love and acceptance. I got something in between.
There is no easy way to come out, there isn’t a written monologue that explains what to say. For me, it went something like, “Dad, I’m trying to be more genuine with people, and I’ve decided to stop hiding the fact that, I’m gay.” My parents were not the easiest people to come out to, and I still am in the process of telling other people that I am gay. It’s never easy, but I tell people who I feel need to know.
“You come out for yourself, not for others” is what my swimming friend told me, and I really do believe that. People who profess love, real Christlike love, have been the most wonderful to come out to. They are people who have seen my unexplained hurt and been there to offer a smile, or a hug. They have been there to say, “I love you for being you. “
The journey continues, I’ve fallen for some people, and had my heart ripped out of my chest stomped on the ground and lit on fire. But for the first time in my life I am 100% genuine. I am living life, I am allowing my heart to be vulnerable, and I am happy.
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 website. 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 and make progress by learning from your experiences.
We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive and invite you to share your story now.