My mom and I were having a pretty deep discussion in June and for some reason, I actually, finally, after all these years got the courage to come out to her. I’ve been scared of what she would think my entire life. To add to the scardeness, my parents have quietly made fun of my adopted sister for as long as I can remember for being gay. My sister has never really come out but we ALL knew she was gay and instead of admitting it and coming out, she found some weird dude who was equally as gay and they married one another. My mom and dad are always commenting that we all knew two gay people in a straight marriage would never work out and that it was only a matter of time before they divorced (and they did divorce two years ago).
My mom said that she still has no idea why she hasn’t come out yet and that’s why they make fun of her. We all know she’s lesbian and they just want her to come out with it already. (I personally think it’s a Mormon thing. My sister has always been really involved in church and very religious. I think her and her ex husband couldn’t peacefully come to terms with their sexuality for fear of how it would affect their “eternal” relationship with the church… but I don’t know).
Anyways, I started by telling my mom that back when I was a teenager, being gay was very much taboo. In fact, it was not only frowned upon, but heavily judged, and more. I had two gay friends in our group of friends, but they were not the only gay kids in our school who were out, but they were also outcasts. I spent my entire high school years with these kids, accepting them as part of the group and not seeing them any differently than anyone else. So, to me, the idea that being gay or bi or pan or whatever just didn’t seem so strange or different. In fact, thanks to my group of friends, it just seemed… well normal.
In an instant I just blurted it out, “mom, I am gay too.” I didn’t give her much time to react. I kinda spilled my history with her and told my mom that while in high school I could feel myself slowly finding attraction for other guys. I would look at them and think, “Wow. he’s cute.” and then before I knew it, it was, “Wow…he’s hot.” I started to form crushes on guys and wanted to kiss them. To me, that was VERY scary because like I said, being gay was very taboo and gay people really couldn’t legally marry then.
I told my mom I literally couldn’t wrap my head around it. That it scared me. That I didn’t like it. That … I just wanted to be normal. (Which made no sense to me since I was so supportive of my gay/bi/pan/etc friends and saw them as nothing, but normal). I told her I couldn’t come out because I was scared she and my dad would judge me. My dad is a baby boomer and very set in his ways as far as opinions about how life should be and my mom is gen x. So, being gay was even more taboo how they grew up. The thought of even hinting at it then, was utterly terrifying to me as a teen who didn’t even know how I was even feeling.
I told her that I considered getting married to a woman in an effort to quell my sexuality, or maybe even try to make myself bisexual. That if things worked out the way I wanted them too I could marry a chick, have a kid, and have our own life, then I’d never have to admit to myself that I’m gay. I’d never have to admit to my family that I’m gay. I’d never have to admit to the world or anyone or anything that I’m gay.
My mom asked me why I was so scared because she would never not support me. She said, “If you love men, you love men and that’s perfectly okay and we could never change my sexuality.” She then said, “your dad and I will always love you no matter what. You need to stop being so scared of judgement and worried what other people think of you and just be you. We love you regardless. I find it funny you thought we wouldn’t accept you. We would always accept you.”
I basically started crying because I’ve been holding that weight for years and she reacted to it so well and gave me such reassurance I was speechless. It’s just such a relief that my family knows more about me. I have a lot of work to do on myself before I can even think of loving myself enough to get into a relationship with a guy. However, I’m so relieved. There’s a huge weight off my chest and I really honestly could not have imagined the coming out experience going any better than it did.
I feel so blessed and loved that my parents wouldn’t shun me. In fact, my mom even said, “You can live a wonderful life as a gay man and still be LDS.” I don’t really believe that given how awful the church treats gay people, but as long as my mom is happy with that answer, I will go with it.
Anyways, it went really well and I have no regrets about telling her. I just wish I had done it sooner. Things may have been easier for me.
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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.