I guess if I am being honest, I became really unsure of my sexuality when I was 9 years old. Think about that for a second…nine years old, I knew I was different.
Young, I know, but I knew.
I tried to suppress my thoughts and bury them because I was taught they were bad. As I grew older I had been warned about those thoughts in Young Women’s and Sunday school. I was always taught to believe that these feelings were wrong, and as a result I was left to feel ashamed. I tried my best to not think about it. I was always different as a young kid, I still am.
I was always considered a tomboy and I didn’t fit in with the other girls. When I was 12, I started trying to figure it out how to make it work. It took me about a year to finally place a label on myself. After spending a lot of time reading and searching the internet, I first I thought I was pansexual, but then I realized that I comfortably would never be in a relationship with a male.
I’m a gay female. I came out at 14.
Even though I know what I am, it has been really hard to accept that. I came out to my parents a few months ago. It was the most awkward thing ever. My parents are divorced, so I had to do it twice.
My mother was so supportive and we talked about it. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do know that I was holding my guitar and sitting on my piano bench the entire time. Music has always helped me in times of stress. I wasn’t playing the guitar but it helped to be holding something.
The next morning I told my dad, he didn’t really know how to react. I got the impression that his primary focus was to change the subject to avoid sharing another word or phrase about the topic. I felt like there was a lot I wanted to tell him. He made me feel like it wasn’t important to him. He succeeded and changed the subject. I feel very lucky to have parents who support me, but it does bother me a little bit that my dad didn’t acknowledge what I told him. I mean, did he hear me? Did he understand? I think it makes him uncomfortable. Not in a homophobic way, but in a I-don’t-know-what-to-do-so-I’m-gonna-avoid-it kind of way.
I thought everything would change after I came out, but it’s not that different. I know that I feel so much more free. I don’t have to hide anymore. But it also feels a little bit less safe. But I like that. I have still tried to remain “active” in the Church but I cannot help but see the majority of members and even the Church leaders that I grew up respecting become so very homophobic. It makes me sad that the church wants to push the LGBT people away, when we have so much to offer.
Shortly after coming out to my family, I shared the news with my close friends. I did it basically one by one with each of my friends. To be honest, if it wasn’t for my friends, I might not have gotten through some of the ups and downs of this journey. Good friends are so important. Even though coming out was so freeing and gave me the ability to move forward authentically, I still needed lots of support and love. Please remember to check up on your friends, even if they are smiling. Deep down you have no idea what most people are going through.
Looking back, I didn’t think I could fully accept myself until I came out. The day before I came out I was hating on myself so hard. Then, at 5pm on a Friday, it was like a switch flipped in my brain. I honestly don’t know how to explain it. I hope my story helps someone. Just know that you’re not alone, no matter where or who you are. Reach out and learn. You can do this. Even if you don’t think you can, and even if you think you’ll never be happy, just be hopeful for the future. There are so many people in spaces like this that will support and love you if your friends and family choose not to. You don’t have to be prideful just yet. Just be hopeful for the future.
Keep loving. Keep living. Keep dreaming.
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.