Looking back, high school really was the place I really came to terms with who I was as a person. I remember for so long being confused about who I was, especially when it came to my sexuality. There was one thing for sure, I knew I wasn’t like the rest of the straight boys at my school; I wasn’t attracted to girls in the same way they were. I was, however attracted to guys, but I didn’t think of it really in a sexual way. I thought I was so interested in these dudes because I wanted to be friends with them, or I wanted my body to look like theirs or I wanted the same style and kind of haircut as them. I soon realized after those were not the only reasons, I was thinking the way I was.
I grew up in a really small Utah town (think less than 300 people). I didn’t know another gay person so it was basically a gay ghost town. Because of my LDS background, I fought hard to convince myself I wasn’t gay, and for a while that worked. But I wasn’t happy, and more importantly I wasn’t me. I left in 2002 to serve a mission in England and that helped me to focus on something outside of my sexuality. After my mission, I went off to college to Penn State to try to escape the ‘issue’ of being gay, and hopefully find new light in a city of complete opportunity. I struggled with being in the closet the first two years of college, and I kick myself for it every day. Freshman year was a new start offered to me, and I still kept myself locked away in a persona that was not at all me. As junior year came, my life turned completely upside down.
I came out to my roommate who was basically my brother, so it was of no surprise to him. I told most of my really good friends and let the rest of them put the puzzle together on their own. I was flying home to visit my family for Christmas, and I decided early on that telling my family would have to be done in person – no over the phone sob story crap, so I decided this was the time to do it. A part of me was so happy to go home for the holidays and SOOOOO much more of me was scared shitless. The holidays can be a stressful time as well as a great time, but let’s say I was damn stressed. I was sure that my family would support me, but it was more the act of finally completing this overall mess that has drawn on throughout my life. I had so many opportunities planned to tell them, where I would sit them down and do the whole thing. That is pretty much exactly how it all played out. We were sitting in the living room all small talking and my mom asked if I was dating anyone at school. I looked up at her, my hands where shaking and I just blurted out, “nope, I haven’t met a guy I like yet.” The room went dead silent. My sister quickly interjected and said, “hopefully you’re trying to find one then?” It was the perfect ice breaker. We chatted for a while and there were some tears, but lots of acceptance. I am thankful for younger siblings who are much better at understanding social issues than our parents are.
I am sad that I waited so long to come out. It really isn’t that big of a deal. I am so glad I did. I can finally live.
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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 to hear while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Still, coming out is never easy and more often than not we draw inspiration from others through their stories. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive. We invite you to share yours now.