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LGBTQ Voices

How I Got Over the Fear of Coming Out

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Author, in a one-piece black swimsuit, laying on some rocks, at the beach.
Leonardo, NJ

I first came out during the summer before I began high school. First, I told two of my closest friends at the time, and then I told my mom. I was terrified, even though I knew I was going to be met with nothing but love.

I just knew that my mom would think I was following a trend. Because around the time I came out, LGBTQ+ rights were at the forefront of everything. I didn’t feel comfortable bringing it up for a long time to my mom after I had come out to my friends.

It is crazy because my mom and I have always been close. Looking back on it, I think she was giving me more time to get comfortable in my own skin. Which is what I was doing outside of the house by being more open about my sexuality at school and with my friends.

I remember the time I realized I wasn’t straight. I was in sixth grade and was watching “Night at the Museum Two.” I saw Amy Adams playing Amelia Earhart and then was one of the first times I ever wanted to kiss a female celebrity.

It was sort of ridiculous, but she was so pretty. I kind of denied I was feeling that way and told myself I was envious of her beauty and physique. “You don’t really feel that way about her.”

Honestly, I don’t think anyone has ever treated me differently after I have come out, or at least never to my face. I was bullied a lot in middle school for my perceived sexuality, but I never lost friends and my family accepted me.

I am really lucky in that sense because I have friends that are well into their twenties, and still can’t come out to their parents. It is still a huge fear of mine: having a friend who perceives me to be straight and then distancing themselves after they find out I am not. It has never happened, but it is still a possibility when I meet someone new.

I think coming out is definitely still an issue for LGBTQ+ people because I know people who still don’t feel safe or comfortable coming out yet. It is scary because you never know exactly how it will be perceived. Furthermore, internalized homophobia is still a struggle in today’s society.

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