Here goes my coming out story: I think it was less of a certain case of me needing to ‘come out’, as it was pretty much taken for granted that I was going to be gay ever since I was 11 years old. Due to my incredibly overbearingly feminine nature, I guess that made coming out a hell of a lot easier and more simple; there was never any single moment where my entire social circle was left shocked by the revelation that I liked boys, not girls.
I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment when I decided within myself that others should be informed of the fact that I had come to the realization that I was not ‘straight’. It was more of a gradual process. However, what I do know is that without certain influential factors, I probably would have never come out until I was much older.
I came out to my close friends in the summer of 2010. I had a chance to consider what my future possibilities would be; I could either contain within myself what I had pretty much accepted, the inevitable, that I was more attracted to men than to women, or I could continue hiding it from everyone, denying it to my closest friends’ faces, in some vain attempt to shy away from any negativity or problems, knowing full well that I would have to face up to my fears at some point in the future if I did not then.
It was probably my joining a website which, at the time, I had no idea was seemingly the refuge of similarly confused teens in Britain (and elsewhere), Dailybooth, that I was becoming more and more spurred on to inform someone of my ‘preferences’. Having started to spend my nights speaking to more and more people in my position, I was better able to fully understand that, despite my fears to the contrary, ‘coming out’ to some of my friends would not be as bad as I thought. The world was not as anti-gay as I had previously thought. Dailybooth turned to online chat groups and then eventually led me to search out other gay Mormons.
There did remain, however, a fear of certain individuals in the back of my mind. Being told that ‘anyone who’s my friend and who’s gay will get it beaten out of them if it’s the last thing I do’ and that ‘faggots are evil’ by my peers was never really conducive to allowing people to know. I spent my formative years being told that I was practically a girl; it was only from the age of 11 onwards that people stopped equating camp manners with being a girl and instead with being gay, which probably was not any better. That said, I find myself wondering occasionally if having homophobic taunts and insults at me from a young age was a good thing. I’m not sure if, without it, I would have ever even considered the possibility that I might be gay. That does not, however, mean I am glad that I was taunted in the way that I was; being kicked and slapped and abused when one walks down a corridor is never good for the soul. People’s comments over the years had bittered me, and I didn’t dare drag up a whole new shitstorm and have to face various different people who had made threats to me in the past. Having lied to hundreds of people, I didn’t want to go back on my word, on the absolute promises I had made that I was not ‘one of them’.
Alas, I didn’t really have a choice. Having made certain well placed comments as to my sexuality to certain people who I knew would not be capable of keeping their mouths shut, I sat back and watched. I told my few very best friends personally that I was gay, although I couldn’t bring myself to ever do it in person, and it was all done over MSN/text/Facebook, but as for the others, I never needed to tell them. I knew that would make the whole process easier. In fact, I never even needed to confirm anything, except once. It had already been taken so much as fact that I was gay that no one needed ask if I was actually gay, and that this wasn’t just yet another rumour, which I guess was nice.
The only time I ever did need to confirm it was one maths lesson; a boy, one of the ones who had given me some of the worst grief over my sexuality, turned to me and announced loudly, in front of the whole class “A little birdie tells me you’ve come out, Jake.” Not knowing what to do, I panicked and looked around, and, in a moment of sheer ‘screw-you-all-I-am-who-I-am’, I just confirmed what he’d said. It wasn’t really the most sensible thing I could have done, as it left me open to a class full of people who may or may not have been against it, but I did it nonetheless. Then, somewhat to my surprise, the boy leaned over to me, and extended his hand to me, offering me to shake it. Taken aback, I did so, and three or four others, some of the one’s I’d been most concerned about did the same. It was entirely surreal, but it at least affirmed to me that I’d made the right decision in coming out when I did, and that I had been mostly, if not completely, wrong about what I might have had to face.
Anyway, all things considered, that went fairly well, much better than I had hoped. Next, however, I had to tell my parents. Whilst I knew that they were both strongly pro-homosexuality, and that there would never be any judgment come against me due to my decision to come out, I still, for some reason, felt awkward about it. I mean, my mother is the one who takes the entire family on an outing to Pride events even before I came out, and then stands and has fights with people who walk past making homophobic remarks.
Anyway, I eventually plucked up the courage to tell them (they were to be the first people I’d tell to their face) – however, I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know what stopped me. Nothing should have, but it did.
Thank God, therefore, that soon afterwards, I was presented with an opportunity to tell them. In discussing marriage, and The Proclamation to the Family, my father told me that I would marry a rich girl, who would pay for everything; my mother, reprimanding him, informed him that he might be making ‘terribly big assumptions’. He agreed, and asked me ‘Why, are you gay?’, and, grabbing what was the perfect chance, I simply nodded, and said ‘yeah’, before going to get a bottle of water.
Job done. lol
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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.