My coming out story is like a series. I came out to different people at different times. However, I first came out to my sister and a few friends when I was 16-years-old.
Despite this, I still kept my sexuality hidden from my parents until I was 22-years-old. The confirmation they gave me, even though my parents said they already knew, was important to me. I truly felt free to be myself after I told them.
As for my aha moment, I am not sure how to describe how I ‘knew’ I wasn’t straight. There were feminine qualities about me since I could remember. Even if was not aware of my ‘feminine ways.’
For example, I used to like playing with dolls when I was younger. I didn’t feel or think there was anything “wrong” with it until someone pointed it out.
From there, I started to be more conscious of the way I acted and what made me different. Especially, after I became conscious of the word “gay” around the 3rd grade.
However, on the bright side since I’ve been “out,” I have not seen much of a change in how people treat me. My disability typically takes precedence.
From here and there, I do hear a fair share of whispers. But they only help me distinguish the people who support me from the people who do not.
I know I cannot speak for other people, but I do see many young individuals in recent years owning their identity. Seeing this gives me hope for a brighter future for the LGBTQ+ community.
In my opinion, we need more LGBTQ+ representation in the media. We need more inclusive stories of people with diverse backgrounds.
If we keep producing new stories, instead of recycling old narratives, we will create a more inclusive society.