“Now They Love Me For Me”: One Teen’s Coming Out Story
I always knew, ever since elementary school, that something was different about me. That was when I got my first crush on another boy. He was one of my best friends at the time. Recently, I found out that he stopped being my friend because he had a “funny feeling” about me. He told one of my other friends that he thought that I was gay.
Well, surprise, he was right.
Ever since I was little, my relatives have seen me as one of the more feminine guys in my family. But growing up, I tried as hard as I could to hide who I was from them.
My attraction to males grew stronger as I got older and I didn’t know what was going on. In seventh grade, I started secretly identifying as bisexual. But everything changed in freshman year, when I realized for sure that I was only attracted to guys, not girls. That summer I had my first boyfriend. The only person in my family that I trusted enough to tell was my sister. My boyfriend and I broke up at the beginning of the school year.
Around the same time, my dad found out about my sexual orientation. He found an old journal of mine where I wrote about liking men. Afterwards, he asked me if he had done something wrong in his parenting — as if my sexual orientation were a choice. To me, his reaction was very heartbreaking. Even though he didn’t kick me out of the house, it was like he was telling me, “I don’t’ love this part of you. I only love you because you’re my son.”
I came out to the rest of my family a few months later. It was my big birthday idea to tell them that I was gay. I was very scared because a lot of people in my family that are close to me don’t support LGBT people at all.
That day, I was very nervous. I didn’t say anything the whole night because I was so anxious. For most of the party, I stayed quiet. Then, when a group of my family members was about to leave, I exclaimed, “I have something I need to tell you guys”.
Everyone turned to look at me. I sat back on the couch and held my sister’s hand so tightly it hurt. In that moment, I was ready to die. Finally, I worked up the courage, and the words escaped my mouth. “I’m gay,” I said. The room filled with silence and surprised looks. And then, my family spoke.
“OK,” they said.
I was shocked. It was no big deal to them! I had worked myself up for nothing.
It was a scary process, but now that I’m out to my family, I feel free knowing they love me for me. Even though we may have our hiccups about the topic I’m still accepted.
Coming out required me to first love myself, and then to believe that someone out there and would love me back. Now I know that being gay or bi or whatever is not a problem, and there is nothing wrong with people like me just because we love the way we do.