When did you 'Know'

Mercy's picture

Just a question - when did all of you know you were gay or lesbian or transgendered, or whatever, and how long until you told friends and family, etc?
I'm 15, and I've kinda just figured out that I like girls, but there are only 2 people who know...my best friend and a girl who I met recently who is gay. Lucky me, my best friend knew on her own, and the other girl kind of knew because of a discussion I had with my friend so she just asked to make sure. Also, how accepting were your families? I'm trying to figure out when and how to tell them...


Daniel's picture

I first knew I wasn't straigh

I first knew I wasn't straight back in 4th grade, had a crush on my teacher. I entertained that for a while than just simply decided to ignore it. I don't know why, just did. Which I continued to do until the end of high school, I was basically non-sexual and content with that. Very content actually, made life simple and pleasent. Than I came to college and something just clicked and I begin to deal with being gay. Freshman year, first realized it, though took it badly, sophmore year was comfortable with being bi, now, junior year can finally say I'm gay. I feel kind of cliche about the whole bi to gay thing though.

As to coming out, selected friends and one cousin know I'm not straight, though nobody knows I identify as homosexual. So basically I'm nearing the end of an 11 year coming out process, hopefully.

Seems like a long time, hmmmmm

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
-- Albert Einstein

JB's picture

Its not uncommon for alot of

Its not uncommon for alot of people to identify as being bi in the process. I have done alot of research in this area, when member sites come back... i will post it. so i won't be ridiculed for saying something about bi-sexuals!

I knew I was differnt at a young age. had an inkling of identifying when i was 14-15 but burried it deep away untill I was 17-18 and then delt with it and came out then.

Boygasm's picture


I realized I was gay in middle school but I lost my virginity at 11 year old with a friend at my age. Ive never had a serious girlfriend. Came out of the closet in 9th grade to my parents, 11th grade somebody outted me. So im completely out of the closet.

Scruffy the Vampire Slayer's picture


well i really twigged last year and started trying to deal. i'm 15 now and have made major progress. i'm out to one friend and it's a slightly stich. i told my dad last year. he told me to forget about stuff like that concentrate on school. i feel i need to bring it up again. but ugggh..
"The hardest thing in this world is to live in it" Buffy- The Gift

dazed and confused's picture

RE: when did you 'Know'

I was questioning my sexuality from about sophomore year in high school to the end of senior year, but not really seriously until the end. Now, I'm 19, and have figured out that I am, without a doubt, a lesbian. I came out to my sister a few months after my self-realization, and a handful of friends over this last school year. Just a few weeks ago, I came out to my mom, and as of next school year I'll pretty much be out to everyone, because I'm joining a committee for gay/lesbian student needs. So I guess, from the time I figured out I was gay till the time when I was comfortable being out was a little over a year. For some people it takes much longer, and some people have very little (if any) closet time at all. You should definitely go at your own pace...I tried to make myself tell my mom before I was ready, and it just didn't happen, and as a result I was miserable all of Christmas break.

The people who I'm out to are generally accepting. I have a friend who doesn't agree with homosexual relationships, but she said she still wants to be my friend. As far as my mom goes, there haven't been really many issues yet...I suspect that she hopes this is just a phase, and she thinks I'm too young to know this about myself, but I know that in the end she'll always be there for me.

I wish you the best of luck in regards to coming out; it's a difficult process, but in the end, it's worth it. Just remember, don't rush things. You should know when you're ready... If you ever need to chat, you can IM me at xphileatND (AIM) or Starbuck83 (yahoo pager). :)

linds's picture

later than most?

I was reading the other comments, and I wish I could say I had known earlier (4th grade!?!). I didn't think I had a sexuality to speak of until I was 17 and I met my "first". (There's got to be a better word for that.) In retrospect, I can see earlier lesbian moments, but I had blinders on for the longest time.

I'm now out to family, friends, just about everyone. And even my mother thinks it's a phase (see Dazed and Confused's post), and I'm almost 22!


Special Envoy to Tea-Drinking Nations for The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

Daniel's picture

Seems early doesn't it :) An

Seems early doesn't it :) And for clarification, I knew at that age that I wasn't "normal", that something was different, but I never put a label on it. It wasn't like I thought about it much, I just thought, oh well, when the time comes I'll deal with it or it'll go away, doesn't make sense to bother over it. And that mind set lasted all the way to my freshman year of college.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
-- Albert Einstein

Nadya's picture

early teens

I was exactly 12 years old. Now that I look back, I recognize my earlier lesbian tendencies, but liking girls didn't become obvious until the onset of puberty.

Zoey's picture

2 stories for the price of one......

One of my best friends came out as completly gay when he was in 7th grade to friends and family, not school though (at the time he was at a 200 kid k-8 catholic school). Once he got to highschool he started introudicing himself by saying "hi im max, im gay" and soon became known throughout the school as "gay max". Long story short, were in sophmore year now and max is very content and comfertable and everyone at school loves him. Max bassicaly had the easiest comming out of anyone I have ever known, and I find hope in his story.

For me things havn't been as easy, I am completly confused about who I am. At the moment I feel pretty much completly gay, but if you read my profile you'll see that last month i was pretty sure I was bi, and im pretty sure that i'll probably change again pretty soon because for the past year or so my sexuality has been in constant flux. My biggest problem with coming out is im afraid that as soon as i come out i'll change again and then have to go through the whole process over agian.

Daniel's picture

I definitly understand that,

I definitly understand that, there was a time where I would swear by all that is holy that I was bi, and at that time it felt right. Now I know thats not the case, though I often wish it were. In theory, coming out should not be this difficult, but I still am uncomfortable saying those words. I can however say I'm not straight and for now that does just fine.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
-- Albert Einstein

RoaG's picture

oh hun... i have totally f

oh hun...

i have totally felt that way, too. afraid that it will change once i start to label myself.

those feelings are so hellish. i used to get them a lot, and i still do sometimes but i'm working hard to get out of it. what's so VITALLY important to remember - which is something that i had to learn the hard way - is that you do not need to come out and define yourself until you're ready. period. the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with you. everyone else can come later. explore your feelings, reflect on how you feel and where you've been, develop your sense of self and identity first, and when you're ready, you can show your colors to the world, no matter what they are.

just like so many confident, self-assured queers (and straights) out there, you can find yourself, too - and you will.

unicornz's picture

thnx mom

well me i always had "boyfriends" but never really liked a guy, they just came to me and i said whatever. then my mom made me watch this documentary-ish movie about two lesbian teenagers in germany. my mom always knew i had tendencies, but i never thought. and then it clicked and i got scared because i ddint want to close my eyes. even though i was 14, i always closed my eyes and said ew when a guy and a girl kissed or when a guy was being "sexy". this time it was girls and i got all excited and happy for them, and felt attracted. so then i tried it out a year later, and here i am, 16. thnx mom


desert13's picture

son of a preacher man

I was brought up as a conservative Christian, the son of an Episcopal priest, and the grandson of an Episcopal bishop. Both Dad and Grandpa are and were crusaders against the evils of homosexuality in the church, especially gay unions and gay ordination.

I didn't consider the possibility of being gay, although guys were always more attractive to me. I even admitted to myself that I had homosexual tendencies - but these were sinful and I had to overcome them.

At age 16, I started to question my sexuality. Exactly a year later, I had a moment when I realized my gayness once and for all. (it's in the first blog I ever wrote on oasis). And then, a couple months later, I came out to mom and dad - it was the day after Christmas. They still love me, but they'd sure like for me to change my sinful behavior. I don't know - I kind of like myself the way I am.


transalex's picture


as a former episcopalian, i hope you realize that your father and grandfather are frankly abberations in that church. in general i have found episcopalians to be incredibly accepting of queer youth. i know that the church i went to at the time i was coming out (for the first time) was very very accepting, having no problem with me doing lots of activities with the sunday schoolers even. you might like this: http://www.integrityusa.org/ Integrity is for GLBT episcopalians and their str8 allies...


Beryl's picture


My uncle is studying to become an Episcopal priest, and thats how I was raised. You must be really brave to come out to your parents like that, when you knew they wouldn't exactly be supportive. My mom isn't even church active and shes been taking it hard, I can imagine how difficult it must be for you.

Power to you!


Renfaerie's picture


I was around 8 or 9 when i knew I was "different". I knew i had lesbian tendencies later on when I knew what sexuality was. I got scared and hid the feelings until I was around 15. I knew I had to come out because the feelings became more intense and it was hard to fake conversations on guys so I made a choice. I came out to my dad first, he was the easiest to talk to. Then the guidance counsler for some guidance, the my friends who were totaly cool with it. Then Mom. She still denies it all even though she knows I've had a girlfriend and have very lesbian tendencies at times. Just for the record i am bi and lean more towards girls, (just incase I've totaly confused anyone).

novafreak74's picture

When I knew

I knew I liked guys waaaay back in preschool. I was always very sexual as a child and at that time had a crush on a cute blonde with spiked hair!

I didnt come out to friends until Senior year of high school. My mom found out my first year of college. She just asked me and I didn't say anything.

I just recently (within the last month) came out to my classmates at my new college. Everyone loves me to death and our bonds have grown closer now that I have shared with them.

All in all my coming out has been a lot better received than I thought it would be. Even my dad and his parents are fine with it. My mom I think actually enjoys it because she comes to me asking for boyfriend advice. She always did want a daughter LOL.

Love and rainbow hugs!

Zoey's picture

Chiken or the Egg?

My friend once brought up the idea that people didn't realize that they were gay until they learned what sexuality was. Befor that they simply acted in whatever way felt natural and never thought of themselves as something different, or a sexual minority. A lot of you have said though, that you knew you were different from an early age. When you first thought of yourself as different, or figured that you had homosexual tendincies did you know what sexuality was, or did you first notice that you possesed these tendencies when you learned what a sexual prefrence was?

suffragettecity's picture

That makes sense...

I had a similar experience where I flirted with other guys and had sexual thoughts about them before I ever knew what it meant. I was familiar with words like "faggot" and "queer," but I didn't think about my feelings were abnormal. I really didn't learn what homosexuality was until I was about 13, and that's when I started to feel alienated and "different."

I was talking with my mom about this once, saying that I didn't feel "different," even though that's supposed to be one of the signs that you're gay, and she said that parenting has a lot to do with it. My parents are both well-educated and aren't homophobic, and I don't remember them saying anything about gays that would be considered otherizing.

It seems like our perceptions of people who are "different" are, in many ways, culturally-based. There are a lot of cultures in which homosexual behavior isn't considered abnormal at all, and even "straight" people have extramarital homosexual relationships and don't think twice about it; it's through the process of acculturation that we begin to attach a taboo to homosexuality. Maybe that's also why a lot of straight teenage guys can have sex with other boys and not feel guilty about it, because society's anti-homo taboo hasn't set in yet.

daydream believer's picture

early age

Before I knew about sexuality, or whatever, I remember thinking that I wanted to be around women and other girls rather than men/boys, and thinking that I could spend the rest of my life around other females and be perfectly happy. In middle school, people started teasing me because I dressed differently and had short hair. Even kids younger than me called me "dyke", "lezzie", etc. So I got scared and became the straighter-than-straight girl. So, in a way, I've always known, but I didn't "give in" to what I felt until this year. I think my mom already knows, but my dad has no clue. It causes me major stress.

Good luck!

suffragettecity's picture

I remember when I was about 1

I remember when I was about 12, I started feeling attracted to other boys and fantasizing about them, though it didn't dawn on me that I was gay, even when other guys at school would make fun of me for my tendency to act kind of femmy and flirt with them without even knowing I was doing it.

I was 13 when it first occurred to me that I was gay, and I actually contemplated coming out to my parents during that time, but a mixture of social stigma, Catholicism and ignorance of scientific facts resulted in me spending the next four years largely in denial, believing that it was just a phase and that I could change myself from gay to bisexual to heterosexual, but that obviously didn't work, and I finally accepted my sexuality and subsequently started coming out to people when I was 17.

DaySleeper's picture


I think I knew in the back of my head around 7th grade but I never "became" a lesbian until the summer of 9th grade. (I'm a sophmore now). I waited a while until a told people...I told my friend kim first, which was a mistake because later when we got into the fight that would later destroy our friendship she said "you taught me to never talk to a dyke again". My other friends were great about it though. And now it's just become almost like a running joke. I suppose to some of them it wasn't that big of a surprise. I never did go on about boys the way they did and I never mentioned having a crush.

My family was worse. I came out twice to my mom. The first during my first break up with my first girlfriend. But that was during a very bad moment, during a panic attack and it was just..not cool.. yeah. The second time I wrote on a paper "ask me what you want to know" and when she asked I nodded. She gave me the whole I still love you speech. Now, she acts still pretty much in denial. But she is getting better. My dad just guessed and said "whateve makes you happy"

But back to friends.. coming out really shows you who your friends are. If they act weird for a day or two don't worry. They need some time. I wish you the best of luck!

daydream believer's picture

But back to friends.. coming

But back to friends.. coming out really shows you who your friends are. If they act weird for a day or two don't worry. They need some time.

Totally true. The first person I came out to was my friend, Whitney, and she did the common thing of thinking that I was attracted to her. I was like, 'Wow, could you be more ego-centric?' Seriously, though, we are ten times closer than we were before. But other friends have effectively stopped talking to me. It's like one of those grab bags you get from the Dollar Store. Is it gonna be something good, or is it gonna be some ugly, melted plastic soldier? It just takes some time.

Renfaerie's picture

coming out was hard...

In my small town, coming out is a VERY tough thing. I was lucky to have understanding friends. No one really turned on me or anything. It's my family that I had yto worry about. My brother who's still kinda young likes to call me names like "fag", "stupid homo", "pussy-licker" & stuff like that. He thinks it's a joke. My mom says nothing to him. So it's tough. But it wasn't like that when I first came out to them.
I had alot of the same expiriances as some of you. I flirted with the girls not knowing what I was doing. But, I didn't identify the feelings until I knew what sexuality was. Then later identified them as homosexual feelings when I learned what that was.

adbak's picture

My experience

Ever since I was about 5 years old I knew that I was not straight. Of course at that time I didn't know the concept of 'straight' and 'gay' and 'bi', but knew that I, being a male, was supposed to like girls. All the time my relatives would come up to me and ask me if I had any girlfriends. It was around 6th grade, the beginning of the hellish cesspit that is junior high, that I began labeling myself as gay.

It was freshman year that I finally outed myself, first to someone who went to my school that I met online but never in-person, and then finally to one of my best friends. Now my parents know, my grandma knows (which is weird because she was the first one to know from my family), and select friends, although I'm sure other people that I don't know know that I am gay. Confused? Don't worry, took me a while to make heads or tails of that too. Right now if someone were to ask me, I would most likely say yes.

Junice's picture


i guess ive been since a young age,i guess around 5-7....umm its kinda fuzzy,i first started identifying as gay or les (whatever u wanna call me) around 12...
i havent come out to my parents because they are very homophobic and it wouldnt be good,im waiting until i at least move out and have the security of not being kicked out etc...but i have come out to my friends and most are accepting,some treat it as a joke like im just doing it for the attention from guys...haha