fbpx
Connect with us

LGBTQ Voices

How Validation Has Given Me Confidence When Coming Out

Published

on

Author in a black coat, over a blue sweater, looking into the camera, with many tall buildings and skyscrapers behind him.
Queens, NY

I don’t think I became self-aware until other people started telling me they thought I was gay. I remember, on instant messenger, this girl I was friends with added me and we were chatting.

I was pretending that I had a crush on some girl and she was like, “Oh, but aren’t you gay?” I remember being completely offended.

I had a friend who knew one of the guys I had a crush on and I felt like it would be fun to talk about it. She had told me about a gay friend she had before, so I knew that I could tell her about my own orientation.

We met up at a Starbucks, and I remember talking to her about it and she was really cool with it. It was exciting to come out to her. Then, slowly, I started telling the people that I felt comfortable around.

I came out to my friends in 2008 and I came out to my parents in 2010. I think I mainly did it because so many of my other gay friends were coming out to their parents and I thought, “I want to know what that’s like too.”

When I came out to my dad he wasn’t really cool with it and that changed our relationship. It was Winter 2010 and I was supposed to go see my mom for Christmas. When I went to Greece and I spoke to her about it, she wasn’t cool with it either.

My father never said hello to my boyfriends, and that really stuck with me up until he passed away. It still bothers me to think about it.

But, it’s cool that my mother asks about my boyfriend on occasion. That’s really validating because she knows about his family and it’s a real thing to her now.

Looking back, there were instances where I can’t help but think, “Wow! I was really gay!” I was very interested in men’s bodies.

I remember a specific moment where I was watching the Spice Girls movie and there was a part where there were male dancers in their underwear and I just thought that was cute.

Once I realized I had a crush on a dude when I was 16, I started thinking back to those moments and I started to put the pieces together. I had an epiphany that changed the rest of my life.

LGBTQ Voices

How I Gained Self-Acceptance Through Queer Straight Alliance

Published

on

By

Author, in a maroon sweater, and grey cap in the mountains and overlooking a vast canopy of trees
Rochester, NY

I’ve come out to friends who know me well. Not family. It’s mainly because they probably wouldn’t understand bisexuality. They would think that you have to be either straight or gay.

I feel like they would consider it ‘just a phase.’ I’m at a stage in my life where I’m fairly independent.

My personal life is something that my family becomes aware of on a need to know basis. I don’t know if I’ll ever come out to them. Maybe someday, but not now.

In high school, I was pretty repressed. I went to a Catholic middle school.

The message there was that being anything other than straight means that you’re going to burn in hell. Even though, at that point, I was starting to question that doctrine.

Moving into high school, subconsciously, I think I still carried it with me. I was pretty sexually repressed until around the start of junior year.

I helped a friend, who was out at the time, start the Gay-Straight Alliance, later the Queer-Straight Alliance, at my high school.

By changing who I was hanging out with, I began to develop self-acceptance.

I realized it was okay to question these things. It was in senior year of high school that I started saying to people, ‘I’m figuring myself out, but I know that I’m not completely straight.’

I’ve always felt sort of weird about being a late bloomer. I do feel privileged in that I did eventually have the space to explore my sexuality. I know that’s not always the case for everyone.

We had a honeymoon stage where it seemed like LGBTQ people were having a lot more freedom to be self-expressive. It felt like there was this social progression for acceptance.

I think the Trump era has definitely reinforced the fact that this maybe not have been true. Although it’s certainly not the 50s and 60s, I think that there is still a considerable amount of struggle when it comes to being out. Especially depending on where you are.

There are pockets where people are very accepting. However, we still have a long way to go.

Continue Reading

LGBTQ Voices

How I Overcame the Expectations of My Family to Conform to Societal Norms

Published

on

By

Author, in a black sweater and red pants, standing against a railing overlooking a canopy of trees
Long Island, NY

Growing up in a conservative household, there was no room to be different or to speak out against the norm.

My parents expected me to be very traditional in all aspects of my life. They even originally didn’t want me to go to college. Instead, they wanted me to just look for a spouse right out of high school.

However, I am not very traditional and I have come to the realization that I probably never will be. Most of my friends are single and in their late 20s.

They do not have typical office jobs and many of them are in the LGBTQ community. Actually, being a part of this friend group is the main reason why I had enough confidence to come out.

Once I graduated high school, I was pretty lost. I was hiding my sexuality from my family for years and even tried dating the opposite sex to please them.

However, once I started going online more frequently, I started to meet people who had similar struggles and stories. This is where I was really able to speak out and make connections in the LGBTQ community.

Eventually, I was able to come out as a lesbian to my family with my friends’ help and support. While I was not accepted right away, I was still so relieved that I was being open and honest with my loved ones.

Personally, I really hope that our community can keep staying strong and speaking out for what is right. In recent years, I have noticed many more LGBTQ characters and figures being publicized in pop culture. This is wonderful for younger audiences, specifically so that they can be introduced to our community at a young age.

I personally appreciate TV shows such as Glee and Riverdale for their ability to use LGBTQ characters. Also, seeing same-sex marriages being legalized and promoted is really a great thing for our community. This really gives our community the validation it needs to keep making a difference in the world.

Continue Reading

LGBTQ Voices

My Journey Testing Out Different Labels for Myself

Published

on

By

Two wrists wearing rainbow bracelets.
Queens, NY

Growing up in the internet age with things like Tumblr and Twitter in my life as a teenager really helped me see that I was bisexual. On the internet, you can be true to yourself.

You can explore and discover who you are relatively safely. You can be anonymous to people you know in real life. That gave me so much freedom.

Because of the internet, I was able to test out different labels and see what was right for me. I identified as aromantic, pansexual, and lesbian. I eventually settled on “bisexual” as the best label for me.

I don’t use Tumblr anymore because it has many toxic ideas on it. Still, it really helped me as a teen trying to find myself.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t grown up with the internet or if I hadn’t lived in a progressive city like New York. I think I could have lived my whole life repressing my sexuality and believing I was straight.

Being bisexual is so important to me. I’m so thankful for the environment I was raised in.

The LGBTQ community is incredibly important to me. Having a community like that helps me meet amazing new people.

I love going to LGBTQ+ events. This community is so strong, creative, and resilient. I’m very proud to be a part of that.

All of my close friends are LGBTQ+ too. Even people that I knew before coming out.

Having that in common brings us closer together. It’s something that we can talk about and bond over.

I’m not officially out to my parents but I think they know. They’re very open-minded so they wouldn’t care anyway. I’m out to my sister, she’s bisexual too.

With my friends, it was casual. Like I said, they’re all part of the LGBTQ+ community.

I knew they were LGBTQ+ before they knew about me. That made it really easy to just drop into conversation. Now we’re a big happy LGBTQ+ group, it’s great.

Continue Reading

Trending

0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
Share