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LGBTQ Voices

How Validation Has Given Me Confidence When Coming Out

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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.

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